The magic started by my lacing up shoes in the first place, but I was damned determined to run today, ITB pain or not. This was pretty boneheaded of me to even think, just sayin’. But today, I was in a mood to get shit done since my professor decided to end class 3 minutes after he walked in and asked us to hand in our papers — I did not drive all the way to campus for something I could have emailed. So after I got home, full of gusto, I threw on some running shorts and decided to conduct my final running experiment of the last month: running in (real) shoes. Not my huaraches, I honestly cannot wear them for running any more, they just do not stay put no matter how tight I tie them. I find they are great for yard work but not for running, sadly. Once those nylon webbing laces get saturated with water/sweat, they stretch out hardcore. I tossed on my Trail Gloves for the first time in what must have been three months, coincidentally it has been about that long since I last wore any shoes that were not flip flops. After filling the water bottles up and starting the Garmin, I was off.
That’s when the magic happened: I ran 3.29 miles nearly pain-free. I was expecting to cut the run off after a mile or so since that has been the point at which the ITB pain just gets too much to bear recently, but not today. Not today! The last time I was able to run continuously for more than a mile was a few days after the Freedom 5k on 11 Sept 2011. Nearly a month to the day since I started plodding along in pain in training.
But not today. The first two miles were glorious and were easy! I maintained a great pace over those miles — about 10:37 — and the only time I stopped was for traffic and to pull a stink bug out of my shoe since it was doing an excellent job of stinging me. Right around that 2 mile mark is when I started to feel the ITB pain again but it was very minimal and not the searing, burning, excruciating pain I have experienced in previous weeks. It was more of a dull and annoying pain, almost like someone gave me a Charlie horse in the hip. I also experienced no SI or lumbar pain in the piriformis region, great news! The worst part of the run was, aside from wearing shoes, I did not bring a towel or shirt to wick away sweat and my sexy headband is more for looks than anything else. All that searing, sweaty man glaze burned my eyes for the last 1.3 miles of the run. I could really use a hat!
So for now, I will no longer be training strictly barefoot. I have two races in the next three weeks and I need to get my body back up to speed for the distances. I will more than likely run the races barefoot or in new huaraches that stay tight to my feet (Brancas, perhaps?) but training will be strictly shod. As sad as this makes me, I have to run in a way that keeps me moving forward and out of the doctor’s office. I hope this change is not permanent, the feeling of running barefoot is second to none.
My first 5k in a month was a smashing success even if there was no one around to witness it, it made me feel like a titan.