I apologize for the long delay in writing. Work has been overwhelming and I have been putting off writing. I did run the Paris Mountain 7K in the Vibrams. Before the race started I met two other guys running in Vibrams. They both were running with the Bikila Vibrams. This shoe was designed more for running than the KSO that I wear. The Bikila has a thicker sole to help absorb impact from small rocks and other debris on the ground. When my KSOs wear out I may try the Bikila.
I felt good the morning of the race and to "enhance" my performance I tried an ABB Ripped Force energy drink. I had tried one of those with good results on the Milliken Earth Run so I thought I would give it a try in this race.
We started off at the upper picnic shelter and ran down the road and through the parking lot to spread us out. My plan was to go at it hard until we hit the Mountain Creek trail to get in front of the slower runners. I believe I ran a little too fast. By the time I hit the Mountain Creek trail I was panting hard. I continued up the Mountain Creek and then took a left on the Sulphur Springs. By the time I crossed over the road I was beat. I looked at my Garmin and noticed my pulse was at 193. I have never seen it that high before. The morning was warm and humid and I think the high heat index coupled with the energy drink made my heart rate soar. I got a little nervous so I walked for about 2 minutes to catch my breath. I then continued on at a slower pace. By the time we climbed up the rocks by the dam I was approaching the 190 beats per minute again. Fortunately there is a good downhill after that climb. This gave me a small amount of time to recover.
The worse hill was still yet to come! Coming off the connector trail we hit the road and started the steep climb up the only portion of road that you actually run for a distance on. It is a very tough hill. Somehow I actually continued a jog up that hill without stopping. Knowing that I had some good down hill stretches ahead of me helped motivate me through this portion of the run.
Once I passed the Archery Range picnic shelter the trail is a steep and treacherous downhill. It is difficult when you are tired because I tend to not pick up my feet as high and catch them on the roots and rocks. I struggled through the remainder of the run just hoping the finish line would appear soon.
Approximately 1/8 mile from the end a friend of mine passed me up. That bummed me out because I did want to beat him in this race! As we turned onto the final trail for the finish I decided to suck it up and try to catch him. I actually got close enough to grab him if I wanted but we got into a jumbled group at the end so he actually ended up two people in front of me.
My finish time was 39:27. That put me at 57th place, which I suppose is good for me. The Vibrams felt great. Even though I was exhausted most of the race I never tripped or stumbled in them. No blisters either! My feet must be toughening up! I really like running the trail runs in the Vibrams. However, I believe I will skip the ABB Ripped Force next time. I suspect that may have caused my excessive heart rate.
My next post will be on the Moonshiner 5K. I did that run last night and it was a blast. I will describe it in the next post.
So conclusion is: the Vibrams are definitely great for running trails. I still don't run for extended periods of time on the road yet. As much as I am trying not to be, I am still somewhat of a heel striker. That is something you don't want to do in the Vibrams.
Have a great day!