DAY 20 - First Barefoot 5k Race
|Running barefoot in the Folsom Turkey Trot 5k|
By the time the race started I could not feel my toes. Walking around in the wet grass did not help. Checking out the finish line it looked to be mostly soft and grassy with a small patch of gravel about a hundred yards before the balloons. Totally doable.
I stuck with the plan. At about a mile into the race I pulled over to remove my shoes. My toes were still slightly numb and stinging as I merged back into the wave of traffic. The trail was easy, flat and pretty much free of debris (accept for small patches of decomposed granite). I crossed over a few wooden slat bridges and quickly headed toward the finish line. The comments started rolling in.
Some whispers behind me, "Is she really running barefoot?"
If they could only see the front of my shirt which said "Yes. I run naked on sharp, pointy stuff. " But, the words were on the front and covered by my fleece vest that I refused to leave in the car because it was fucking freezing outside.
Then a guy jogs by with a jogger stroller. "Look, sweetie. There's a girl who runs just like you" he said to the little girl.
And then my favorite. A really tall guy passes me and says "You're a beast!"
Hmmmmmm. I figured since he was saying that to my face that his choice of words must be an actual compliment, because "beast" is not exactly a term I would use for someone running barefoot. Especially me. I'm a short 5'3" and I wouldn't consider myself even remotely "beast-like." Maybe more "critter-like." A mouse, even. Definitely not a beast. But it WAS colder than us fair weather Californians are used to, and at that point my toes were reminding me that I was definitely not completely out of the pain cave just yet. I think its safe to assume he was referring to my larger-than-life, adventurous attempt to slap my naked soles on the partially frozen asphalt until I crossed the finish line. Lets be honest though. To the regular, shod, joe shmoe onlooker, I must have looked pretty crazy.
But I did it! I finished my first 5k race barefoot! My feet felt great! Much better than my last run which was my milestone five mile barefoot run I did last Friday. I finished this race in 32:41, which wasn't too bad since I'm still just a newbie barefoot runner. Amazingly enough, my feet were nice and toasty crossing over the finish line. Walking around afterward on the cold grass and bits of soft muddy ground felt like a cool soft cloud. It was an amazing feeling.
I'm now looking forward to warmer weather and more races. My next goal: A barefoot 10k.