I managed to get two of my mid-week runs running barefoot despite high 30s nighttime temperatures. I have been doing a most of my miles in my Sockwas because of the cold, but this week I decided I would just deal with the cold so I could have the joy of having my feet actually in contact with the ground. I had no problems running in the cold. That being said, the concrete of the sidewalk is much colder than the asphalt of the street. Another interesting thing I noticed with my bare feet was the temperature gradients as I passed various landscaping features. There were noticeable temperature changes (colder) in the first 5 - 6 inches off the ground as I passed areas of plants. The grass areas were slightly warmer. Extended periods of running on the sidewalk made the balls of my feet slightly numb so I would try to switch up running on the sidewalk with periods of running on the street.
My third mid-week run was skipped due to one of the aforementioned events.
This weekend I had to switch my Saturday and Sunday distances. Saturday morning I headed out to Cosumnes River Preserve for a quick 6-mile on a trail. The temperatures were a very frosty 32-degrees. After 5 miles, I tried pulling off one of my Sockwas to see how cold the ground was. It was very cold and wet too. So, I decided against running at near freezing temperatures with wet feet.
|A cold, frosty start to the morning - just before sunrise|
|The leafy path and fog|
|Sunrise across the Cosumnes River Preserve|
The temperature was about 40-degrees as I went out for my 10-miler late last Sunday night. I started off in the Sockwas and switched to barefoot for the second half of the run. The run started off rough. As I always tell people, running is about 99% mental. At about 3-miles my brain started to complain that I was too tired to finish the run. I had to debate myself out of stopping or turning around. By the time I reached 4.5 miles, I had found my groove and was floating down the road. At about 8 miles, my body started to protest all of the food I had eaten over the past 48 hours - 2 Chinese multi-course meals, various cocktails, and a Christmas lunch from that day. I managed to make it home without any incidents and just over 90 minutes for the run as a whole. So, I was fairly satisfied with the run.
The thing I have been learning to do lately is how to run on a relatively full stomach. I've always been a weak-stomach runner. Before races I used to only manage a slice of toast with peanut butter. I had a breakthrough last summer with the Skyline 50K that taught me that I could eat a lot of different stuff without adverse effects. This week was definitely no different. Wednesday night, I had eaten a very healthy bakers dozen or more of chicken nuggets about an hour before my run. If that didn't put a damper on my running, then I don't know what would.
For this coming week, the running plan is 2/2/4 on T/W/TH and 12/8 for Saturday and Sunday. The challenge will be that this weekend is Christmas. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to manage the weekend miles. I guess you'll find out when I post next Monday!