My goal for today was 6 miles in my Vibrams. I'm slowing increasing my mileage in these fancy shoes. I want to run injury free and the last few weeks with these shoes have given that to me. I'm not saying I'm a convert, but it's hard to overlook the fact that I haven't had IT band pain since I started running in these gorilla feet shoes. I could be getting stronger. I could be losing weight. I could be running with better form. Or it could all just be in my head. Regardless, I think I'll ride out this experiment and see where it takes me.
Back to my 6 miles. I went out later than I wanted to (I was aiming to be putting foot to pavement no later than 9:30, I probably got out around 10:30) and it was warm! What happened my my lovely running weather. My impromptu 3 on Thursday were in nice high 60s. Cool, and comfortable... But I digress.
I went to Irvine, the closest place I can think of that has a nice flat running path, and ended up running into some friends who were just finishing their runs! Had a good chat with one, talked about running the Vibrams and my lack of pain (which I shouldn't have, jinxed!) and then I took off.
I barely made it through the first mile, my ankle felt weak, unstable, and pounded (what did I tell ya, I jinxed myself!) But did I give in? No, damn it! This is a bean free weekend. The time when I'm allowed to focus on myself in my long runs, not worry if my run is going to be cut short by loud fussing or other toddler distractions. So I stopped and stretched/worked it out, and went on my way.
Halfway through mile 2 I couldn't take it anymore, stopped stretched and set off. After both mile 2 and mile 3 I had to stop to work out my ankle, but as it wasn't so much pain but discomfort, I powered through. I was all prepared to rinse and repeat after miles 4 and 5, but I didn't happen. Miracle of miracles, I didn't need to stop.
Yes, you heard it right, I ran 6 miles, with negative splits, ending faster (better!) than I started. It felt awesome. I'm glad I didn't call off the run the first (or second or fifth) time my ankle bothered me enough to stop running. I'm glad that I listened to my ankle and stopped to work it out. I'm ecstatic that I kept running (pun intended) towards my goal.
My run today showed me more than the level of my endurance. It was an actual metaphor for my life right now. Yes it's painful and hard and it really SUCKS. But I'll work through it, and it'll end up alright. In fact, it'll probably end up better than alright. I might even end up with negative splits.