I was beaten by a barefoot runner yesterday. He passed me before we were even half way through the first kilometer and I never saw him again. I have tried some barefoot running. You land much more mid foot or to the balls of the feet. The last thing you want to do is bring your heel down hard on the asphalt. He was also running much more “quiet” in his upper body. Basically his legs and arms moved and everything else was rigid.
I finished 12th in my age group. The man who won first ran it in 17 minutes and some seconds. Our age group is by 10 year increments. I run in the 30-39 group. There were at least 16 registered in my group, the last count I saw was probably 15 minutes before registration was closed.
Before I reached the 2 km mark I was already getting a side stitch. I was able to keep it from getting any worse until my final sprint at the end.
When I passed the 3 km marker I started playing mind games. I tried telling myself that I was much further than 1/2 way through the race. I even started playing with the numbers and thinking that if it were on a track and I only had 2 laps left out of a 5 lap race, then that is not too much. I started running the distances longer to see if that would help me with my focus. I did the math and figured that if it was a 100 mile race, then I only had 40 miles to go. I quickly went back to thinking about the smaller numbers. The thought of running 40 miles at the effort I was putting out was not encouraging.
With about 800 meters left to run I started counting my foot steps. This is a mantra that helps you focus on pace and not the distance left. It got me a good ways towards the end of the race.
In the final 50 meters I was attempting to pass another runner. We were passed by 2 other guys who blew by us so fast, it was obvious that they had not been putting out a strong effort up to that point. In the excitement of knowing I did well, I cannot tell you now whether I beat the guy I was sprinting against at the end or not.
A half hour after the race I was talking to a couple of other runners. I told them I felt like I did very well, but did not feel totally used up at the end of the race. I know I can do better. That was then, after being so excited about my final time. Now, I clearly remember how long it took me to be able to stand up straight and breath right again after I crossed the line. I really was pretty spent. The soreness and tiredness I am experiencing in my legs today tell me that I did put out a significant effort.