Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run... some tough choices for footwear

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Last Place Jason, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
    1. Michigan

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    This last weekend, I was selected in the Western States lottery. The race is run through the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California. Every vet I've talked to, including barefoot runner extrodinaire Leif Rustvold, tells me the vast majority of the course is definitely NOT barefoot-friendly. I'm considering a combination of barefoot on the doable parts in the daytime, Lunas when the going gets tough, and some minimalist trail shoes in the dark.



    The conundrum- I want to represent the BFR community as much as possible- this is the biggest stage in the ultrarunning world. I am intimately familiar with my own barefoot limits... do I push it on a race that I had a 10% chance of getting into, and won't likely get in again? Thoughts?
     

  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Only run it barefoot where it

    Only run it barefoot where it is safe to do so. The least amount of shoe for the job. Right, Jason?
     
  3. C. Beth Run.

    C. Beth Run. Barefooters
    1. Texas - Dallas
    2. Texas - Austin

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    After having my 2nd child

    After having my 2nd child (natural childbirth) I said, "I'm so glad I did that. And I'm glad I never have to do it again!" But wouldn't you know it.... Within 6 weeks I was wishing that I could experience childbirth again (minus actually raising a 3rd kid, mind you!) My mind just glossed over the pain and remembered the joy.

    There's nothing wrong with somewhat "forgetting" the pain of childbirth because it's not a pain that actually harms me, so if I did go through it again, I'd be fine. My concern is that you might be kind of "forgetting" the pain of Burning River, etc.--and in this case, you could end up harming yourself by pushing too far barefoot again!

    I'm remembering reading your blog post after Burning River about shoes, and maybe letting go of the goal you'd had. It really stuck in my mind, because it helped me to see barefoot running from your realistic (and I think wise) perspective...realizing it's okay to accept some limits! So I guess I'd just say...try to remember your first priority is to keep yourself healthy, not to promote barefoot running.
     

  4. Blind Boy

    Blind Boy Barefooters
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    Jason, I thought we covered

    Jason, I thought we covered this last summer. If you wear anything more than the BRS thong, what's the point in even starting?

    Seriously though, I think what you're saying sounds good. Progressing from nothing to more substanital footwear as fatigue and darkness comes into play should be the way to go. Or you could just get yourself a gravel bucket and do all your training in that...
     
  5. pbarker

    pbarker Barefooters
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    Congrats on getting in.   Go

    Congrats on getting in. Go for it! Use all your knowledge and make right the choices

    Wear a thong
     
  6. Jimmy Hart

    Jimmy Hart Barefooters
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    the stage is too big to not

    the stage is too big to not play it smart. it sounds like you've got a good plan so if you're comfortable with it then do it. i would be mindful of the time limit and terrain more than anything. you want to finish. crossing the finish line would be representing the barefoot community to your full abilities. this is a tough course and being bull headed is not the wy to go here.

    use your shoes as you need them and just make sure no one takes any pics of you when you're wearing them...barefoot photos only and you're good to go. :)
     
  7. ewheeldrive

    ewheeldrive Barefooters
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    congrats on getting in!  i'd

    congrats on getting in! i'd use what you have to to get through. of course, barefoot will keep you the freshest but will be detrimental if overdone. the hauraches will be the next best thing for a great balance of longevity and protection, and when it gets really tough (dark), use what you need to pass the miles. sounds like you have a great plan so go with it. use barefoot for its benefits, beyond that, it becomes foolish to do it for the novelty of it all...its Western States for cryin out loud!
     
  8. hmduey

    hmduey Barefooters
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    2. Florida -...

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    Jason, I have to agree with

    Jason, I have to agree with everyone else. Was it you who coined the phrase "Footwear as Tools"? In this case, shoes are a necessary tool, just as the other tools you will need. I think your plan is perfect; progress in the footwear as you need to when the terrain changes.

    Good luck; my husband wants to do the Western States sometime (he is running his first ultra, a 50k, this weekend).
     

  9. saypay45

    saypay45 Chapter Presidents
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    I thought he coined the

    I thought he coined the phrase "I'm a tool."

    Anyway, I know that you're struggling with two conflicting goals Jason: finishing an 100 miler barefoot, and scoring a decent time in an 100 miler. At Burning River, I know that your time goals ended up winning out.

    I think until you can run an 100 in training barefoot, it's a little foolhardy to race one barefoot. Plus, if you go barefoot in this race, you're going to get smoked by the field if there is rough terrain.

    Also...think about the swag. At Western States, there aren't any prizes for going barefoot. There is a gold belt buckle for finishing under 24 hours. That seems like a better prize to go after. We already appreciate your efforts.
     
  10. stjohnthegambler

    stjohnthegambler Barefooters
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    Jason,You'd still be

    Jason,

    You'd still be 'representin'' in using minimalist footwear, like the Lunas. I'd be interested in seeing if Lunas would be enough, but bring something more heavy duty for the darkness, just in case.

    Congrats. You rock.

    John
     

  11. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile Barefooters
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    Congrats on the lottery,  I

    Congrats on the lottery, I can't imagine how beautiful the course will be. I wouldn't put any pressure on trying to decide what to do barefoot, and what not to do. You are established as a barefoot representive, everyone knows that. Just enjoy the race.

    I personally would go with two options, barefoot and huaraches which are easy to carry, and whip them out when you need too. Barefoot Ted's leadville huaraches maybe a perfect choice for this race.

    Good luck with the training!
     
  12. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Not only did Jason coin

    Not only did Jason coin "Footwear As Tools" (FAT), he also coined "The least amount of shoe for the job." I think you know what to do Jason, besides you can save your barefoot 100-miler for a more barefoot-friendly 100-mile course. We stand behind you shod or barefoot. Like SP said, you're already earned your stripes.
     
  13. Barefoot Mary

    Barefoot Mary Barefooters
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    SO AWESOME. Congrats on

    SO AWESOME. Congrats on getting in!

    Well, regardless of anything you can always do like Barefoot Ted did in Leadville & peel those suckers off for the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful part of the race. If I did 100 (like that's gonna happen in the next 3+ years...*sigh) I would wear protection for most of it and save barefootedness for one nice lovely stretch of the race.

    Again, awesome for you! Have fun!
     

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