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My First Barefoot 10K Trail Race

August 17, 2011

Ever since the big knee injury seven years ago (during the 20-mile portion of the Bishop High Sierra races in mid-May) , I usually do a combination of mostly hiking and some trail running–but today, I went 6.2 miles, all running, all barefoot.

. . . but  is a 12-minute per mile pace even considered running? I hit the five-mile mark in 60 minutes exactly, and then felt so good I picked it up and did the the last 1.2 miles in  10 minutes . . . for a total time of, drum roll: one hour, ten minutes, twenty-six seconds, according to my watch.

This afternoon race, called “Into the Wild/Orange County” was fun–there’s another one coming up on Aug. 31. I’ll be in the classroom that afternoon. . . unless I can figure out a way to incorporate a field trip to Irvine Park in the lesson plan for Freshman Comp.


A few days ago, as I was checking out the race route (it’s my home hiking/running turf, after all . . . I’ve been traveling these trails since the early 1990’s) there was this spectator–note the purple-ish tongue and blurry action-rattle:

He didn’t show up today, but there were plenty of snake-crossing-the-trail tracks all along the race route.


Happy Trails! After seven years of all kinds of soft-tissue injuries from attempting to run, it finally happened today–6.2 miles of pure fun running! As Homer Simpson would say, “Woo Hoo!”

Five or six years ago, a physical therapist helping me rehab yet another injury said something along the lines of “People should listen to what their injuries are trying to tell them.” Hmmm. I’ve tried to imagine mine saying–most of the time– “Don’t give up on trying to run. It will happen.”

On other days, though, I heard: “This is your (chronically sore left knee, sprained left ankle, strained left calf, strained right calf, always aching lower back, four broken ribs) speaking: Give up now. Go sit in a chair and get stiff and decrepit.”

The last couple of years I’ve spent a boat-load of money on soft tissue therapy called Active Release Techniques (ART) at Performance Chiropractic in Irvine. Like running without shoes, it’s not a magic bullet, but it sure has helped me get through above list of injuries . . . and guess what?

I ran 6.2 miles today.

As Johann Sebastian Bach would say: “Soli Deo Gloria.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tricia Strawn permalink
    August 18, 2011 8:21 am

    Very nice meeting you! What an inspiration to keep plugging away.


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