Yesterday wins as being my most awesome run ever! It was a hot one, 86˚ and humid, and I wasn’t looking forward to running in the direct mid-day sun. However, Owen, Toby and I braved it and I really took advantage of the Vibram Fivefingers flexibility!
This was a 28 minute run; just three minutes longer than the previous week. We headed out on the West side of the Mad River Path and I was grateful for the shade that the trees and foliage provided. I felt good and strong and once again left the knee braces behind. We curled around the first field and as we headed towards the second field I could see that the farmer was out on his tractor again. I immediately looked at Owen, who was already lagging behind, and I started thinking of a way for us to avoid the tractor without having to double-back.
We ran a bit farther down the path, as the trail heads uphill over the field for a bit before coming back down right beside it. Instead of taking the right turn to follow the trail downhill, I veered left, cut down to the river and ran (well, really quickly waded) across the river. Then I climbed up the rocks on the other side, meeting up with the East side of the trail. The dogs happily followed me on this detour, as they generally head off to run beside me through the river anyway.
I have to admit, I felt like a warrior! At this point my Vibram’s and my shorts were soaked and I couldn’t have been happier. Just a few moments later the polite British woman on my iPhone told me I was halfway through the run and I realized I had inadvertently timed things perfectly for the run back. By the way, running in wet shoes might often be uncomfortable, but running in wet Vibram’s didn’t bother me one bit!
The East side of the path definitely wins for gorgeous mountain views. It tends to be the more traveled leg of the trail, though with the weather being so unseasonably hot we only passed one person. Surprisingly, the soaking wet dogs let her by unscathed. The downside to the East side is that it lacks the shade trees that the West side provides, so the entire second half of the run was done in full sun. It was hot hot hot, but I did it!
The pups and I then stopped at the swimming hole at the end of the trail. They swam and dug up rocks while I completed my walking cool-down in the water and then stretched. The water felt amazing; definitely the perfect way to cool down. I think I might make this my normal “trail” on hot days. Adding running through the river and climbing up rocks is a great way to break up the routine.
This run reminded me that a co-worker of mine recently posted something about Mud Runs to her Facebook. From Googling it, it appears that there are several of these 3-5k runs all over the country that include obstacles and a grand finale of running through mud. While I’m not interested in running marathons, a Mud Run sounds totally up my alley. Now, if I could only find one in Vermont!
Last, but not least, I wanted to pass along this link to a great article (and videos!) from NPR on barefoot running. Fun stuff! Next run is tomorrow and it’s supposed to be over 90˚! Eek!!