We all know I can’t resist a virtual race, so when Jess opened the Jelly Bean Virtual Race with a 10k option (my favorite race distance), I jumped on it. What I didn’t know when I signed up for the 10k was that I would decide to go all minimalist running. Not knowing if I could even complete the distance certainly put a new spin on things.
I had one and only one goal when I set out for this run. I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers and had never run more than 5 miles in them. So my goal was to finish 6.2 without hurting myself. There would be no speed involved, it was going to be all about form.
Short story: I finished in 1:05:20 (possibly my slowest 10k ever), but it was a strong run for the majority of it.
Long story: In preparation for the race, I spent all day Friday in high heeled boots. That was a bit of an adjustment after 3 weeks in minimalist shoes or barefoot! When I finally put on my VFFs to head out on Saturday, I discovered I had some cranky toes from the day before. Hmm… I decided to run at my long run pace and stay near home, just in case.
Overall, things went well. At the end of mile 5, I was averaging a 10:25 pace and feeling extremely comfortable with it. It was definitely an “I can go forever” pace from the standpoint of my cardiovascular fitness. At about 5.5 miles, though, my feet hit their wall. They didn’t hurt, but they were definitely fatigued and I probably should have walked home. I didn’t. I kept “running”, but I slowed way down and had to be very conscious of how my feet were hitting the ground. Surprisingly, my overall form was still fine (I used to get slumpy at mile 3ish), but my feet were just having a lot of trouble with any step that didn’t land exactly right. I guess jumping from 5 to 6.2 was a bit much.
I was really glad when I was done. I was tired, but nothing hurt! We’ll call that a success!