Monday, September 27, 2010

Bellingham Bay Half: First Long Race in Vibrams

Yesterday I ran my first half since The Vancouver Marathon (i.e., the day I broke my foot), and my first half in the Vibrams (Bikilas with Injinji socks). I hadn't really properly trained for this event, but wanted to at least try to run it with my friend Melissa, who was running her first half. Having only "trained" (and I mean that in the loosest possible definition of the word) up to 8 miles, I figured that in a worst-case scenario, I could run 8 and then walk the remaining 5 if my ankle wouldn't cooperate beyond that. As it turned out, the ankle was mostly cooperative through mile 10. After that I slowed the pace and incorporated some walking so I could finish.

I'd been so focused on deciding whether or not I was actually going to surprise Melissa and do the run with her  (I signed up two days before), and then on being mentally prepared to bail late in the race if the ankle wouldn't hold up, that it didn't really occur to me until after I actually finished that this was my first long-distance race since the marathon. I finished in 2:08:51, which isn't all that pretty in terms of my most recent half times (1:58 and 2:04), but it wasn't all that bad considering that I hadn't really trained for it (sporadic training runs over the past month, with barely any running the past two weeks) and that I'm coming off a year of dealing with a significant injury and making a complete change in my running technique.

Still I think this proves that the ankle is making progress, that my change in running technique seems to be working for me, and that once this ankle thing is resolved, I am going to be able to run like the wind! I felt great in every way except my foot. At mile 11 or so, I was thinking, that my breathing and speed were feeling really great (during the portions when I could run) if I could just not have to be babysitting my ankle.

Today my calves are remininding me that they're there (hello calves, yes, I hear you), and you really don't want to ask me to do anything quickly if I'm not already standing up (everything is setting up while I sit), but overall I feel good, and even better, I'm feeling pretty hopeful about my running future. I'm thinking another Seattle Half this fall....

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