I just ran my first trail marathon...

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by zapmamak, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. zapmamak

    zapmamak Barefooters
    1. California...

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    I had to share my experience...

    So I just completed my first marathon. Not only was it my first marathon, it was my first trail marathon with no pain from my IT band and feet. And not only was it my first trail marathon with no pain, I did it in minimal shoes (Merrell Pace Gloves). Part of the trail was pretty technical (steep fireroads and deeply rutted out single-track with lots of sharp rocks in some parts). I finished strong and with enough fuel left in my tank I was able to kick it up a notch during the last 4.5 miles.

    I also used an alternative type of training (high intensity interval training similar to crossfit) in which my longest distance was a half-marathon trail race I did back in late August/early September. So 14 miles was the longest distance I ever ran before this race. I did this because of all my feet, knee and hip issues.

    Words can't even begin to describe what an accomplishment this is for me since I wrote off running long distances when I was about 25 years old. Almost 15 years later and after a year-long transition to barefoot/minimal running I finally completed this marathon (well actually, nearly 29 miles of trail when all was said and done.)

    My hips are a bit sore after this race (I still have more work to do there), but my feet, knees and calves faired the best during this race. My feet were more stable than I expected on such uneven and difficult terrain. The only blisters I got from my shoes were on the top of one foot and on a couple toes from flexing my toes in my shoes like I do when running barefoot. Since none of my training involved long slow distance I wasn't able to condition my feet for the longer distance barefoot, but was so happy to be able to do it in minimal shoes! My feet felt good most of the way. They got a bit tired around mile 26, but I think that's to be expected since I hadn't been putting any miles on them.

    I wanted to share my experience because there were so many times that I had doubts. Doubts about my body, doubts about barefoot running, doubts about my alternative training, doubts about whether I was too old to be trying this again... but at some point I decided to embrace the unknown and just give it 100%. It was risky, but if it paid off it would be a major accomplishment. And it was. It truly was. These are the forums that started it all for me. Thank you guys and all your knowledge and support. I truly appreciate every one of you. :)
     

  2. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
    1. Washington

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    Great job K!  Are you up for

    Great job K! Are you up for an Ultra yet?
     
  3. sloutre

    sloutre Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania
    2. New Jersey
    3. France

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    That's totally amazing!So

    That's totally amazing!

    So this training worked well for you it looks like. Will you take a break now or continue your punishments?
     

  4. angel73bird

    angel73bird Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    Wow, that is so inpsiring!

    Wow, that is so inpsiring! Way to go! I hope to run a marathon someday, too :) Congratulations on a huge accomplishment!
     
  5. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    CONGRATULATIONS, ZapmamaK! 

    CONGRATULATIONS, ZapmamaK! Kickin' ass and takin' names! I'm so glad you aren't dealing with those knee and IT issues anymore.
     
  6. zapmamak

    zapmamak Barefooters
    1. California...

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    Thanks everybody!I will

    Thanks everybody!

    I will definitely be signing up for a 50k sometime next year. The training totally worked and then some. I could have seriously gone another 5 miles. I want to do races that have beautiful trails and things to see and are a little more organized than this one, but at least I survived and thrived during it. I can honestly say that although a little more challenging than most races I do, it was definitely one of the most enjoyable.
     

  7. BrunoRuns

    BrunoRuns Barefooters
    1. Maryland

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    Nice! Congrats! 

    Nice! Congrats!
     

  8. Tfox

    Tfox Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    If you're looking for some

    If you're looking for some amazing scenery I might sponsor a 50/100 mile race in Zion National Park in May. It's a first time race so let them work out the bugs this year and train for next year. We are also sponsoring a 50K that's part trail part road in the same area.
     
  9. ajb422

    ajb422 Barefooters
    1. California...

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    Congrats!!

    Congrats!!
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Tfox, will there be a

    Tfox, will there be a barefoot runner division, by chance?
     
  11. swedishpimple

    swedishpimple Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Awsome work Zap!I remember

    Awsome work Zap!

    I remember when you joined BRS... not too long ago and look at you now.

    I'm looking into crossfit and the like... it's great to see that it worked for you.

    S. Pimp.
     

  12. Tfox

    Tfox Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    TJ, I don't think so but I

    TJ, I don't think so but I can certainly ask the race director.
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Thanks!  Please let me know

    Thanks! Please let me know what you find out back here.
     
  14. JosephTree

    JosephTree Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania

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    Oh, my!  What a great story! 

    Oh, my! What a great story! Thanks for sharing it. I send you a first class e-hug!

    I've just about worked up the nerve to sign up for my first (in this BF/Min incarnation) Marathon next May. It's flat but through very nice country in central PA. I'll save the technical Marathon for later.
     
  15. pilotrunner

    pilotrunner Barefooters
    1. Texas - Dallas

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    Nice job, Zap... Congrats. 

    Nice job, Zap... Congrats. That's a hell of an achievement and you have every right to be proud.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
     

  16. Tfox

    Tfox Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    Barefoot TJ wrote:Tfox, will



    The race director said that he doesn't think there would be enough barefoot runners to make a division but anyone is welcome to run barefoot. He said there is going to be some very sharp rocky areas on the trail so you probably want some kind of minimal footwear. It can get pretty gnarley out here!
     

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