A few days before the Duncan Ridge Trail 30k my dad asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with him. My first thought was, “Heck yes!” Followed by “What day is that on?” and a “I dunno.”
See, the half was five days after the 30k. Having never run a 30k I didn't know how I would feel, but somehow convinced myself that I could fake the half marathon if worst came to worse(my dad seems to run at a slower pace during his training runs I should be fine). My dad told me he really wanted to run it under 2:30. This seemed like it wouldn't be a hard task, so I agreed and signed up.
Great, so Thanksgiving morning rolls around and I am just starting to feel better from the brutal 30k. I hadn't ran since then, but figured that was for the best. We set out and met up with my buddy Mitch in Atlanta. He had been using the porta-potties for warmth while hopping from wife to friends before the race. He was in an earlier corral than us and convinced us it wasn't a bad course at all.
Pre-race my dad peed about 30 times. I wasn't far behind him. I think we were nervous because we had never run a race that long where bathrooms weren't readily available at every step.
While I waited outside the porta-potties a few people asked me if I was running barefoot. I told them I was, but was carrying my Vibrams just in case. I hadn't run barefoot in a while and wasn't sure how my feet would hold up. I was holding my Vibrams with my dad's Camelbak, which was useful later in the race so we didn't have to hit the water stops.
The beginning of the race was freezing. My toes were slightly numb and I was shivering in my shorts, t-shirt, and compression stockings. After about 2 miles I was warmed up and doing good.
My dad had a master plan of keeping a constant pace the whole race. He saw they had arm thingies that tell you where you should be fore a certain pace. Being the cheap person he is, he used permanent marker and wrote the same information on his arm. Intuitive!
Starting out our first few miles were on pace, maybe a little below, but reasonable. We ran on the outside of the road(only half the road was for runners) and passed a ton of people(mostly walkers).
As the miles past I informed my dad that we were moving a little faster than he said he wanted to. I was fine with this if he was. Over the next few miles our pace increased and we made it down to around 10 min/mile.
Mile 9 came in and some expected pains started showing up. I don't know what the deal is but from that day on I have been having some pain on the outer arch of my foot. I fought through it for the race, adapted my form, tried many things, but eventually it faded and let me run.
Meanwhile my dad is powering through the course. We basically made it a game to see how many people we could pass on the uphills. While people were huffing, puffing, and walking, we were going faster than our whole run. I guess there is something good about living in them there hills.
Finally, the last mile came and we ran faster than the whole race. We passed the finish at the same time at 2:15, even though my chip time was one second slower than my dad's. This doesn't bother me one bit. The main reason I ran this was for my dad and it was his longest run. Good for him!
All-in-all it was a great race. I really had to fight through that foot pain. I probably wouldn't have on a normal run, but this kind of shows me that I can fight through tough pains and not injure myself, unlike what some sports-medicine articles stress. Pain happens. Know your body and know how to deal with it.
This side-of-foot/arch pain is probably something that will go away in a few weeks. I hate that it nags me but I did a 14.5 mile run yesterday and it didn't bother me that much and doesn't hurt today. This relaxes me a bit about the subject.
Well that's that. Merry Christmas!
Coming Up: Earth Runner Alpha X Sandals - I’ll soon be testing – and reviewing – a pair of Alpha X minimalist sandals (shown above), which are coming from the good folks at Earth Runners. The “X” s...