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me runningin the spring, i went for a run and put up a wee post about it. as it happens, i have continued to not be a runner on a consistent basis since then.

this morning’s run was under grey skies, as seems to have been the mornings of late.  it was also later than i prefer to run as i waited for both daylight and coffee to happen first.

crickets and cicadas provided the universal heartbeat backdrop to the run.  starlings and70735714_1659574990843496_1696513074057445376_n.jpg mourning doves hung like garlands in trees.  the shoulder of the road was still littered with fallen trees, though power lines that had been broken and were hanging just a few mornings ago, all remnants of last weekend’s hurricane dorian, are now repaired, explaining the power outage yesterday.

i have been contemplating entering the pei marathon’s 10k event this year. i have done it twice before, once shod, once barefoot. i have even flirted with the idea of the half marathon. thankfully, my common sense and self care instincts kick in before i get further than a furtive wink with the 21 km demand.

i am not a distance runner, not being well suited to endurance events, except perhaps birthing labour.

years ago, when i first began training for a half marathon, i gradually added more kilometres to my week on a schedule slightly on the conservative side of most recommendations.  weeks in, somewhere around the 13/14km mark, a wisdom deep inside my right hip flexor began to arise.  i dropped back my weekly distance for a couple of weeks and then slowly began to increase it again.  this inner wisdom was not to be denied.

i am not the sort to ‘work your way through that pain’ and, observing the ultimate outcome for those who do,  i am grateful for the kindnesses, including abandoning the thoughts of half marathon training, i have offered my body as i age.

so, i continue to run. short distances which fill my senses and clear my heartmind.  having nothing to prove to myself, these runs serve me well.

onward, then.  headlamp and safety vest season is upon me.

learning to treat ourselves lovingly may at first feel like a dangerous experiment.    sharon salzberg

 

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So, it is Saturday and I am running a 10k tomorrow.

Aside from the challenges that will be presented by not being sufficiently trained for this run, there are other factors which will make tomorrow an adventure.

One is the forecast.  Environment Canada is saying:

Showers ending in the afternoon then cloudy. Amount 2 to 4 mm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 10.

I don’t mind the rain and I don’t mind the temperature, but gusts of 50 kph will just kill me.  Tonight when I go to bed, I’ll be sending out calm breeze thoughts.

A second concern is a blossoming bout of bronchitis. Or, maybe it is just a chest cold coming to call.  Either way, my chest is tightening and my bronchioles are irritated and itchy.  My nose is a bit congested and my cough is becoming more frequent and, as the health folks would say, productive.  I picked up a vile wildberry flavoured expectorant cough syrup at the pharmacy and I’m drinking water.

I have also been challenged by the timing chip.  Let me tell you.

I headed to the Confederation Centre of the Arts to pick up my race kit in the bluster which was Friday afternoon.  I strode past all the tables of the health expo laden with running gear, colourfully appealing running clothes and running supplements; tables with information from health organizations and agencies, and tables peddling nonsense like fully processed bread as an essential part of a healthy diet.

 

the problem champion chip

 

I took my timing chip to the verification table.  The Atlantic Chip staffer was handing out timing chip cuffs/bracelets to relay team members, reading them the riot act on returning the bracelets, and allowing those of us with Champion Chips to scan them and verify our information on a lap top.  I asked him where I should wear my chip and explained to him that I was running barefoot and would not have the requisite laces he indicated.  He was neither polite nor helpful.

So, I have spent a good portion of today seeking information regarding Champion Chips and barefoot running.  I put out twitter requests for advice and posted queries on barefoot running forums and a half dozen barefoot-related facebook pages.  Many folks have offered ideas and I am grateful to an online community. My partner spent part of the day with the top of his foot duct taped, an alternative use not mentioned in Wikipedia, in an effort to perform a test run for me.

The best online information I found was posted on Barefoot Pua’s Blog this past July.  There is the medical tape suggestion (I have none in the house) and the rubber band idea, which I find not particularly comfortable but close to the top of my options list.

 

2009 vs 2010 footwear

 

Rubber bands vs duct tape at this point.  Both will come along with me in the morning.

In anticipation of my first official barefoot run, I headed off for a pedi yesterday.  I first came across Marlo Graves owner of Simply Aesthetics when I used a gift certificate for her services last February.  In my second pedicure of the year I asked her for something funky.  She did an outstanding job of trick and treating me!  I couldn’t help but be motivated by her artistry.

I’m headed out tomorrow morning in search of fun.

Tomorrow I’ll pick up my race kit for a race I might not run.

If you recall, I registered for the Confederation Bridge 10k run of the PEI Marathon at the end of August.

My intention?  To run the 10k barefoot.  Just to complete it barefoot, enjoying the run totally and not setting any goal beyond that.

I began a training schedule, running 3 times per week late in August and was able to maintain it until the early morning hours of MOVE IT! Boot Camp changed my weekly schedule and energy demands in the middle of September.

I have not been running much of late.  On Tuesday of this week I got out for the first time this month!  I got out only 8 times in September.

Tuesday’s run was a short one on a very cool morning.  It was about 4 degrees Celsius and the sidewalks were chilly.  I ran straight up University Avenue on an out-and-back run.  My feet numbed a bit as my nose dripped and my fingers burred. On the return, running into the sun, my fingers melted and my spirit ignited. I am so glad I stepped out there onto the friendly concrete sidewalks.

Typical of most of my urban barefoot runs, I attracted curiosity.  I frequently get comments, encouragement, and exclamations of various kinds. “Where are your shoes woman?” or “I wish I could do that” or “I’ve been watching you with wonder.”  This day I was chased for a half block by a not-out-for-a-run man who wanted to ask me about my barefoot running experience.  His tap startled me and I turned to see red jacket, black backpack, and a sincere face framed by gray hair. I was friendly but a bit short with him as I wanted to run, not talk about running.

I am certainly not ready to run a 10k on Sunday.

After much back and forth on the decision, I have decided to let how I feel Saturday guide the final decision.

 

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