DAY 20 - First Barefoot 5k Race

Running barefoot in the Folsom Turkey Trot 5k
Woke up early and crabby this morning. Didn't sleep well. Not because I had the pre-race jitters (I haven't had those in years), but because I watched a very disturbing, mind-bending horror flick last night. Shaking some insanely, deranged images from my mind I focused on the temperature outside. It was a nice crisp 26 degrees with a winter freeze warning. Great. My first barefoot race happens to be on an abnormally freezing morning. Hard to believe we had 80 degree weather not more than two weeks ago. My plan? To wear my VFFs until my feet warm up (usually about half a mile to a mile into my run) then strip them off and finish barefoot. I was excited about my first barefoot race, but bummed that part of it would have to be in my VFFs.

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.


  1. So it looks like we have another cold weather barefoot convert? Way to brave the cold! Good work.

  2. Great job on your barefoot 5K Krista!

  3. Damn, you got some real guts doing a 5k barefoot! Major props!

    I really like your blog, and was wondering if you wanted to do a link exchange with my running blog:
    I've already added yours, by the way. :)
    I couldn't find another way to contact you (sorry!). Let me know!

  4. We've had quite the cold spell here in NorCal! I can't believe you still pulled off the barefoot run during the sub-freezing temperatures (26 degrees???). My feet feel like giant numb anchors when I run barefoot on really cold surfaces. Great job!

  5. Great job!I'm sure that tall guy was in awe of your barefoot approach to things. Ken

  6. Way to go! It's fun to hear what other people say about being barefoot. You were really brave to do it in that cold of weather! Great job!


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