I was on call for work last weekend so I had to stay close to home or bring a laptop with me where ever I go. I went for a run with kid #2 in our brand new BOB jog stroller (in a nutshell: buy from REI, their return policy is amazing) on Sunday. Rather than run with the laptop I stayed close to the house, opting to run a few out-and-back loops.
First I ran a 2 mile loop going to the West to Forest Beach and back. I continued past the house to the East and headed to the tunnel trail and turned around when I hit the muddy section of the trail for another 3 miles.As I was passing my street for the 2nd time, I stopped to feed the (now-awake) kid. Following his lunch I headed back toward Forest Beach for another couple of miles. After finishing that loop I again headed toward the Tunnel trail. I made it as far as Horsehead Bay rd before he started squawking and telling me that he'd had enough with the running.
I turned around and picked up the pace to make it back home with fewer than the 10 miles that I wanted but close enough that I was happy with the effort. My pace was a bit slower overall but I'll blame that on the hills and jogging with the Stroller. I was just looking to get out and run rather than get out and train.
On Monday I wanted to see how my knee would handle back-to-back runs now that I'm slowly making progress toward being a mid-foot striker and noticing less pain in my bad knee. It's nice thinking less about my knee while running and in daily life. It isn't quite back to the point it was before the torn Meniscus and honestly I don't expect that it ever will be. I'll be very happy if in the future I can run 100 miles on it at some point and so far I'm optimistic.
In any case I went for another lunch time run on Monday. Starting from the gym I ran down the corridor trail and out to 134th ave, turned right and then ran down Old Redmond rd to Grass Lawn Park again for some barefoot running on their sponge track. I used the jog to the park as a warm up at easy/moderate pace and then ran two miles barefoot on the dry track. I tested out my legs on the track, running the first mile in 6:41.
I didn't feel like I was taxing myself that much so I gambled on the second mile and pushed hard to see if I could break 6:00. Looking back, this may have been a little stupid in bare feet. I'm not used to the mid/forefoot running yet and while my upper body feels more efficient and less bouncy than running shod, my legs / stride don't yet feel natural. I was experimenting with lengthening my stride slightly and increasing turnover to pick up my pace on the track. I ended up just missing my goal, finishing the mile in 6:06. Very respectable for me considering how little time I've been experimenting with barefoot running so far. The track is only a 320 meter (1/5th mi) circuit so calculating my splits to run a 6:00 mile made for some odd math in my head as I ran (72 second laps).
The price of the effort wasn't soreness or injury but a nice blood-blister on my left pinkie toe. Maybe I'm using my toes to push off with the side of my foot as I go around the track counter-clockwise. The blister hurt enough to make the cool down mile and a half back to the gym (and walking around the last two days) painful. I decided against draining it and as of this morning I can barely feel it. I'll wait a few days before my next barefoot run.
Great weather and a good couple of miles on the track minus shoes.
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