Brief report of my 2019 races

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by Yvonne, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Yvonne

    Yvonne Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Brief report of my 2019 races
    By Yvonne


    Life got in the way and I didn't get around to posting here, so I decided to pop in and give a quick overall report of all my races in 2019. I completed a total of six throughout the year, and I did all of them barefoot [​IMG]

    First up was Three Creeks 10K in March, a sunny winter morning (in the low 20s°F with the wind chill). I run in the cold regularly, but I think this was my first winter race. It was an out-and-back course on a multi-use trail, and I recall a lady calling out to me on my return "You are THIRD! Great job, keep going!" I thought surely she was mistaken. She was not [​IMG]. I came in first in my age group and placed third overall female with a time of 46:56, average pace/mile 7:34. My friend Tristan (also a BRS member) ran this race barefoot as well and he was also first in his AG and placed third overall male. How cool is that?! Not bad for a couple of 40-something year old barefoot runners :D

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    The plaque I was sent for overall placement
    Two weeks later was my next race, the BrewDog DogTap 10K in early April. It was an afternoon race, and ironically the warmest day of the year so far...unseasonably warm at 70°F and humid. I was used to cold/chilly conditions all winter, and I struggled with the heat. The course (a combo of asphalt path, sidewalks, and gravely parking lots) also left something to be desired for me; it was oddly designed and confusing and not clearly marked, and it had multiple out-and-back legs within the overall out-and-back route that interrupted my momentum and left me disheartened. I still managed to place first in my age group with a time of 50:28 (average pace/mile of 8:08), and was 6th place female overall. Still, I was disappointed with my performance :(:(:(. At least one of the perks of finishing the race was getting a complimentary craft beer :p. Also received a pint glass in lieu of a finisher's medal. There were no age group winner awards.

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    Especially refreshing on a very warm afternoon after racing!
    Next race of 2019 was the Capital City Half Marathon at the end of April. This is a big event, drawing in about 10,000-15,000 competitors for 5k, quarter marathon, and half marathon distances, and large crowds of spectators. It was a sunny chilly morning, about 40°F but felt in the mid-30s, and remained in the 40s for the duration of my race. It was my sixth time running this half, and I hoped to gain a new personal record again. I did just that with a time of 1:43:44, exactly two minutes faster than my previous PR the year prior :happy:. My average pace was 7:55/mile. As expected for such a large competitive race, I did not place; however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was within the top ten of my age group (8/321).

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    Final stretch towards the finish

    My next event was the Spartan Race Beast in June, an obstacle course race [​IMG]. I love OCRs, they are so fun and challenging! This one was about 13.5 miles of off-road terrain and included 34 official obstacles (not counting the insane amount of mud and flooding caused by heavy rain the days prior). It was mid-60s in the morning when I began and increased to about 80°F by the time I finished nearly five hours later. It was definitely a challenge, and it took me longer than the previous year due to slogging through so much extra mud and water, but I finished the course in one piece. I managed to successfully complete 30 of the obstacles, the other four I nearly made it through before I failed...which isn't exactly "good" because it took time and energy and then I still had to do the penalty burpees [​IMG]. Just more inspiration to train harder and not fail next time ;););).

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    The Fire Jump at the finish...
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    Shortly after finishing the Spartan Race Beast

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    I made my mark on the Spartan signature wall :cool:
    My fifth race of the year was the BreyerFest 5K in the middle of July. Race morning was about 74°F with over 80% humidity and no breeze to speak of - unpleasant racing conditions. This course also had a couple of out-and-back legs within the overall out-and-back route, and despite trying to be cautious I suffered a side-stitch [​IMG] from the sudden dramatic change in direction and I was forced to slow down significantly the last mile. I finished with a time of 23:43 (average 7:39 min/mile). I placed second in my age group, and was awarded a Breyer model horse. I was also within the top ten females overall. A great friend of mine also attended BreyerFest and walked the 5K :)


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    On the course of the BreyerFest 5K

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    My friend and I posed at the start/finish line after the awards ceremony
    Last but not least was the Shawshank Hustle in the middle of August. It was another warm race morning at over 70°F and 85% humidity. This "7K" (actually longer, at ~4.6 miles) begins and ends at the Ohio State Reformatory, aka Shawshank Prison from "The Shawshank Redemption", and includes filming sites from the movie along the course. This is quite the attraction, and 2019 turned out especially big since it coincided with the 25th anniversary of the filming of the movie. It drew in a massive crowd, and parking was nuts, and unfortunately I underestimated the chaos that would ensue. Long story short, it was about 12 minutes after gun-time when I finally began the race; it was so strange starting late and all alone! I caught up with the back of the pack at about a mile, and struggled to push my way through that huge dense crowd of walkers, constantly saying "excuse me", frustrated but understanding it wasn't their fault. Once I got through that group, it was kind of cool to continuously catch up to and pass runner after runner along the route. There were nearly 2500 participants in the race, and I ended up 67th overall...since I started much later than almost everyone, that means I passed a whole lot of people in that race [​IMG]. My official chip time was 35:52 with a pace of 7:48/mile, and I placed third in my age group (of 292!).

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    Lots of race participants!

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    Beginning the race, late and all alone

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    Finishing strong

    [​IMG]
    The finisher's medal was awesome!

    upload_2020-1-18_15-48-55.png
    My award for 3rd place in AG

    2019 Race Results Summary:
    One 5K = 2nd in age group division
    One "7K" = 3rd in age group
    Two 10K = 1st in AG in both, plus third overall female in one
    One Half Marathon = new personal record time
    One OCR = completed and had a blast
     

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  2. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
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    Love that Shawshank meddle!
    Nice report Yvonne & sounds like a good year's running. Congrats!
    -just out of interest, which obstacles did you have to pass on in the Spartan?..
     
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  3. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Amazing! Love the way you represent! Congrats to all your accomplishments. I have mirrored your report to the home page. Thanks for sharing! :barefoot:
     
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  4. Noodles

    Noodles Barefooters
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    What beautiful footprints :barefoot: and such a great medal!
     
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  5. Yvonne

    Yvonne Barefooters
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    Thanks Tedlet! It was indeed a good year's running...in addition to the races, I had the opportunity to run in a few new locations due to family events that caused me to travel to/through various states, which was exciting. I ended 2019 with a total of 1,500 running miles (about 10 miles minimalist, the rest was barefoot).

    I didn't pass on any obstacles in the Spartan Race. I fully attempted every single one, I just didn't successfully complete them all. Those I failed: Olympus- I made it about 3/4 across and next thing I know I am on the ground :confused:...totally unexpected, I honestly have no idea what happened! Monkey Bars- The rung height and distance between varied, I did not grasp around the second to last bar enough (it was higher and seemed farther) and my grip slipped with just one bar to go :oops:. Multi-Rig - The second rope (end of the obstacle) did not have the knot like the other lanes did o_O, and my hand slipped so low on the rope that I could not reach far/high enough for the final ring to finish :facepalm:. Hercules Hoist- The sandbags were super saturated from all the rain, making them much heavier than original weight (It also didn't help that this was 9th of 12 obstacles that were within the last mile of the course)...I used my entire body weight, lying back and pulling as I walked my hands up the rope, even leveraging my feet against the pipe fence rail to add some push force, and still the weight of the sandbag just kept lifting me back up as I hung swinging from the rope :wtf:; after several minutes of struggling I finally quit, completely exhausted (side note: the penalty burpees after this fail were incredibly slow!)
     
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  6. Yvonne

    Yvonne Barefooters
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    Thank you TJ :D
     
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  7. Yvonne

    Yvonne Barefooters
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    lol, thanks! Not bad for a "flatfoot" huh?! It's become a tradition of mine to "sign" the Spartan wall after my race with my footprint(s).
    The Shawshank Hustle does great finisher's medals, depicting something from the film. This one was especially cool with the removable rock hammer.
     
  8. Tedlet

    Tedlet Barefooters
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    Seriously impressive!
    I’ve wondered about trying an obstacle type race but not quite worked up to it yet... we have ‘tough mudders’ here which I assume are something similar...
    I’ll put it on my list...;)
     
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  9. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
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    Impressive as always! You had an awesome year!!
    Lookin' forward to running more races and long runs with ya in 2020 so lets keep it up!
     
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  10. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
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    What a great year! Congrats on all the accomplishments. And always smiling: the true sign of someone "doing it right" while running.
     
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  11. Russ1013

    Russ1013 Barefooters
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    Dear Yvonne,

    I just joined this group and took on barefoot running about a week ago. I just wanted to talk to someone, and I thought I'd give a shout-out to you since you posted on the group recently. I should say that you have a lot of impressive accomplishments, and I wanted to congratulate you on them.

    The reason that I took on barefoot running is that I needed to get off the couch, and since I like to be barefoot whenever I can, I found it a great motivator. This first week, I had to start out small. I ran for 30 minutes each day. The first day, I ran on grass and light mud. After that, I ran predominately on concrete. Come to find out, I need to start off slowly, because these last two days my calves and ankles were cramping and my legs felt like noodles. At first, I thought it was because I haven't exercised in years and from being overweight. However, after some research, I found out that you have to start out slowly the first several weeks of barefoot running to get your muscles and body used to it. I've been keeping my posture straight and landing flat-footed as I heard people recommend. I'm still enjoying it and I'm gonna stick with it. Who knows, maybe I might run a marathon or even a Spartan race someday. My brother has done some Spartan races and several marathons (with shoes, though.)

    I bet that you have to spend a very significant amount of your time training to do what you do. I take it that you've always been athletic. I know that it takes a lot of dedication and discipline.

    Anyhoo, thank you so much for taking your time to read this. I look forward to talking to you and every one else here.

    Yours truly,
    Austin
     
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  12. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Welcome, Russ! Please feel free to join your area chapter through the Chapters link above. The only things I would recommend is to stay off the grass, since you never know what sharp objects might be hiding in there, and your landing shouldn't really be flat-footed but more of a forefoot first to flat landing. Good luck, and glad to have you with us!
     
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  13. Russ1013

    Russ1013 Barefooters
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    Thank you so much for the welcome and the advice, TJ. I'm open to and looking forward to any suggestions that I can get. I know that I have a long way to go, but I'm sticking with it. I'm 6 foot tall and weigh 290 pounds. I'll just chip away at it little by little. I just want to enjoy the journey. I'll look to see what chapter is in my area. I'd love to have a running buddy. Thanks once again and I'll keep y'all posted on my progress.
     
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  14. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
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    Welcome, Russ!

    You're doing things 100% right by going truly barefoot. There's just no substitute for bare skin on paved surfaces if you want to learn how to run. The fundamental component to all sports is solid, athletic form. Running is a sport. It's not an exception.

    By going barefoot you're forced to face that reality. Run with poor form and your feet feel it immediately. Learning how to run better becomes exceedingly simple: figure out how to move without damaging that skin. An unshod marathon is certainly possible. I've done it twice. To get there I didn't try to develop "tough feet" and didn't push myself or try for "no pain no gain."

    Instead, I worked on figuring out how to do long miles in bare feet on pavement without pain. You're forced to start slow that way and the progression is wonderfully intuitive. Your feet take sensory data from the ground and tell your whole body how to move as a result. The more shoe you have the more corrupted that data gets. I'm not talking about "earthing" or anything like that I just mean plain old nerve impulses: step on a sharp rock too hard and it hurts! That's crucial info. The response? Slow down and step lighter.

    Over time you start to develop better and better habits. You instinctively start taking quicker and more steps around obstacles or spots of pavement littered with stones. It creeps into all parts of your running. You find you're eventually running longer and longer and easier and easier. Without tracking miles, pace or any of that you get in better shape and hopefully enjoying it because you're not mindlessly pushing yourself or stressing your body out. You're just going out for a light, easy, fun run dancing around pebbles.

    Always err on slower and easier paces but quicker feet. Challenge yourself to step as quick as you can going 1mph. Really develop a comfort with quicker feet. The quicker the feet move the lighter touch they have on the ground, the less you're relying on raw muscle power, the more you're leveraging elastic tendons and the easier and better your running will be.

    Enjoy it! And I do mean that. If you're enjoying it you don't need motivation to go out for a run every day. Instead, you'll need discipline to stop a run because you've got to get back to life's responsibilities. If you give up trying to "workout" or mindlessly push yourself and just enjoy it you'll be far healthier, in better shape and, yes, faster as a result.

    I always think of speed as an elusive goddess. If I chase after her too obviously eager she'll just run away from me. If I act like I don't know she exists she gets jealous and seeks me out. Don't get friend-zoned by speed.
     
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  15. Noodles

    Noodles Barefooters
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    I love this description! It made I larf :happy:
     
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  16. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
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    I can't take credit for the "don't get friend-zoned by speed" line. :) Somebody at the barefoot running subreddit made that comment after I talked about speed being like an elusive goddess. I had to steal it!
     
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  17. Russ1013

    Russ1013 Barefooters
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    Thank you very much, Trevize! I have been enjoying running whenever I get to. I developed a blister on both feet on the front of my soles right near my toes last week. It looks like I need to modify my step to avoid that, maybe by landing a little more flat-footed and with lighter steps. As you mentioned, I'm letting my body tell me what it needs. I'm being patient and enjoying every little milestone I manage to reach. The last time I ran, I managed to run over 3/4 of a mile without having to stop to catch my breath. Think of speed as an elusive goddess. I like that quote. Great food for thought!
     
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  18. trevize1138

    trevize1138 Barefooters
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    Avoid the temptation to micro-manage your feet or lower legs like that. The "heel strike" gets all the bad press but it's just a symptom. If you over-stride your lower leg is raked out in front of you at an angle and the relaxed foot will contact heel-first. Micro-manage your footstrike only and you could still be running with that over-stride (slamming on the brakes with every step) except now the impact of that damaging horizontal braking force is being sent to your calves instead of your shins. Blisters forming on the forefoot is a classic symptom of that movement.

    If you're keeping your feet working the ground directly under your hips you'll likely contact forefoot or midfoot first as a result and find it very difficult to even try to land heel-first. If you find you're actively trying to avoid hitting with the heels too hard you're probably over-striding and it's that root issue that needs fixed not the footstrike symptom.

    The best way I found to stop doing that was to flip my focus 180 degrees. Running shouldn't be about striking or landing or even pushing off. It's lightly popping those feet up off the ground quick. That's how you allow your springy leg tendons to get to work and take the burden off your muscles for forward propulsion. I keep my focus on lifting from the hips and lifting the knees or popping up off the ground. Focusing up and out not down to the ground. I think of me moving my legs quick as trying to get out-of-the-way of my springy tendons so they can do the work for me.
     
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  19. Russ1013

    Russ1013 Barefooters
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    I tried that these last two days. It does feel better and I've noticed the difference. Thanx!!! :)
     
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