Half Marathon Running Woes..[The Second]
This morning's half marathon was quickly turning into a disaster and it looked like I was going to have to throw in the towel for the first time ever in my running career... Continued from Part one..
Half Marathon Running Woes..
When I reached 5 kilometers, I made a decision.. ditch the shoes..
I had run barefoot before, I even did one race barefoot.. but that wasn't even a 5k run.. and the most I had ever done in my peak of barefoot running was 8k.. that was last year! I still had a lion's share of a half marathon to go..!
I knew from experience that running barefoot in the rain can be a blessing and a curse.. it's cooler on the feet, almost cushioning, but rain tends to shake up dirt and debris, little sticks and rocks that can be painful.. also wet skin tends to chafe easier.. (as evident with the ankle).. but in my mind I had no other choice.
At first I thought I would carry the shoes in my hands, and put them back on if I started to hurt my feet, but I also know that I hate having things in my hands when I run especially shoes.. so I threw them under a bush and made a mental note to come back and retrieve them.
After that, I was all in... 16km left, barefoot, in the rain..
I quickly started regaining ground, and continued the momentum for awhile. I was actually really enjoying myself. I felt great, and I was getting a lot of reactions and thumbs up as I passed other runners....
..until I reached the 16th kilometer mark..
Suddenly both of my calves cramped up out of nowhere.. I tried to keep running, but I had to stop.. at that point I realized how much my feet hurt.. even that was bearable though.. I needed to keep going.. after walking a hundred meters or so, I noticed the cramps had disappeared as suddenly as they came.. so I started running again..
But, lo and behold, at the 17th kilometer, the cramps were back.. on and off they went as I ran/walked my way onward and onward towards the finish line..
As soon as I passed the 20th kilometer, the cramps attacked me with such intensity that my legs seized up and it nearly brought me to my knees.. I hobbled along for a few hundred meters and coming around the bend, I caught sight of the finish line in the distance..
After limping a few more steps, a thought ran through my head... this is NOT how I want to finish the race.. A blaze of energy surged through me and I took off.. sprinting the last few hundred meters and across the finish line! I must have still been in pain but I at the time, I didn't notice. I was too busy smiling and being satisfied at not giving up.