Sunday, November 13, 2011

Running Over The Limits

We all have limits, but they are not necessarily where we think they are. One year ago, when I ran my first marathon in Honolulu, I thought I had reached my endurance limit for running, as I hit the wall around kilometer 33 from overheating (it was quite a hot environment to run in after training in the snow in the UK just before the race!). I finished in 3 hours and 56 minutes and thought I could not have gone any longer. Then, 4 months later, I ran the Paris marathon, and finished in 3 hours and 37 minutes, feeling as if I could have run longer. Since the Paris marathon, I have not run any long distances again, as I have transitioned to barefoot running. I ran my first barefoot race by completing the 10K race at the Rimouski marathon, in 39 minutes and 54 seconds. Unfortunately, due to the cold weather on race day, I made the mistake to run in my socks, and got awful blisters. My feet are all mended now and I have started training for my next challenge: to run 35 miles (56 km) on my 35th birthday, this coming February 28th.

I am following a 50K training program in 16 weeks. This week (Week 1), I have run 57 km, but my right foot's arch is aching a bit at rest. This foot has not yet fully adjusted to the change in my running form since I have transitioned to barefoot running style. I have to watch it attentively: if it hurts when I run (which it does not yet), I'll have to stop running until the pain disappears. Better listen to your body than damage it. But I won't go back to my former heel-striking running form. Barefoot running form feels so much more natural and gentler for the rest of my body!

I hope my friend Davy will join me in this challenge, and the ones to follow...