Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Running Through the Pines

We had quite an eventful weekend. Tanya, Allyson and I ran "Run through the Pines 1/2 marathon" which took place at Lake Gregory, Ca. I knew the day was going to be interesting when after picking up our bibs, I noticed I had forgotten my running shoes. Though Tanya did not make a comment, I knew what she was thinking (knuckle head!). I tried to take it in stride, I said people run marathons and Ultra's barefoot, so I can give this 1/2 marathon a shot in my sandals. Plus, I'm sure it will make a great conversation piece on the course; so I tied my timing chip to my Z1 Chaco sandals (LOL) and got ready to rumble.

The course was four loops around Lake Gregory, with a final short fifth loop of about 1.5 miles on trail. At the horn Tanya and Allyson took off leaving me to feel my way into this new style of running. Lap 1 was uneventfully the sandals felt great. I had to focus on my form, but the sandals felt very supportive. I ran the first lap in just under 30 minutes, sub 10 min pace; better than I thought. Lap 2, I'm getting the hang of these things. I had to stop once to make a strap adjustment on the sandals but otherwise I was still feeling strong. Another sub 30 minute lap. Lap 3, I was getting a little bored with the course. Lake Gregory is a nice place, but going in circles is not my favorite. With 2 full laps to go, and the fact that my sandals were kicking butt, I thought to pick up the pace. Still may be able to break 2 hours. As I ran faster, I began to feel a slight burning in both ankles, by the end of lap 3 my ankles and calf's where not happy. The sandals definitely made my ankles and feet work hard, they had no propulsion like running shoes. Lap 3 was my fasted lap. Lap 4 thank goodness, lets just get this thing done. By now my ankles where screaming, but sub 2 hours was still in my grasp. Ok Marc focus on your form and get through this. When I finished lap 4 I felt ok, but I still had Lap 5 (1.1 miles on a trail). Under normal circumstances I love running trails, but my ankles had to work so hard on this section. After about a quarter mile I began walking. I was in real pain. I walked/ran until the trail ended; which left 400 yard to the finish. Tanya was there to cheer me on, I quickened my pace, passed a few runners; and finished in 2 hours and 18 seconds. Shucks!

I received my handmade finisher award, and hobbled over to Tanya to get a hug and a kiss. She had run well. She placed 3rd in her age group. She was awarded a nice hand made 3rd place trophy. Allyson finished also, but had some leg cramping which kept her from performing her best.

Lessons learned: Always check and double check the car for your running shoes. Running in sandals was interesting, but only want to do it again if I HAVE to!