Disclaimer: This post contains pictures of bare feet. If you can't bear bare feet, you might want to skip this read which is otherwise pretty informative.... Well, you might just want to scroll over the bare feet pics really fast. ;-)
I know, I said I am not going to post until next Monday, but then I had this really really great run yesterday evening and just HAD TO SHARE IT!
So I headed out for a run last night, but planned on keeping it in the 3 to 4 mile range due to my monster running weekend (see dress rehearsal posts day one and day two) and since I haven't done a track workout in a while, I decided that it's going to be some speed work. After my warm-up I looked at the track and then I saw a guy in the grass field next to the track running and I thought to myself, that this looked so much better than the track.
On top of mixing things up with running on grass instead of running around the track, I remembered a portion in "Born To Run" that said some track coaches let their athletes run bare feet on grass. And as I mentioned a week ago, I feel my feet muscles seriously have declined and I need to get back into my FiveFinger shoes. Since I was out there, I just thought to give it a go... without the FiveFingers and everything.
The first lap, I just did as add on to my warm up, to check out the terrain (who leaves all those sunflower seeds out there) and to see how far one circle around the field is and it's pretty much the same as the track - a quarter mile. The grass was nice and cool and soft. So after my check-out lap, I did four laps fast with each a recovery lap in between.
The total run ended up to be 3.66 miles in 32:35 minutes. That's a 8:54 pace and this is the fastest I have been in a long time for a complete workout. *Insert a little happy dance here!*
Was it the bare foot running? Maybe not! But it certainly gives you more awareness of the terrain and how you run. As soon as I took off my shoes, I felt myself leaning forward more and strike the ground with my forefoot. Also, I felt my toes spreading out and "digging" into the ground. I also noticed that I favor my right side. I have been told this several times, but last night, I actually felt it for the first time myself.
Bottom line: This felt good and I am planning on incorporating this into my running in the future. But I also felt that it's time to call it a day after two miles on the grass, because the little muscles in my feet, shins and calf started to get achy. It's like with everything else, you have to build up slowly.
And here is the proof that I didn't hurt myself and that the feet didn't even get very dirty either. ;-)
PS: Today is my parent's 43rd wedding anniversary! CONGRATULATIONS!