*** Time Period: May 2011 ***
Having decided that minimalist or barefoot running is best for me, I officially started my new running journey in May 2011. For the whole month, I only used my huarache sandals (and from time to time, my pure naked bare feet!) when I’m training or joining fun runs. A new personal faith goal has been added besides living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight — To stay road-safe and injury-free while working on my running goals!
Speaking of huarache sandals, aside from my KAI Classic Running Sandal (KAI-C), I loved it so much that I bought another pair of another variation – KAI Namid Running Sandals with Vibram Cherry sole (KAI-N-VC), still from the master Tsinelas Runner.
Both felt good and light on my feet, but after testing them on short and long runs, I decided that I’ll be using KAI-C for short distances only while KAI-N-VC will be my partner for distances beyond 10 kilometers. That’s because I have a sweaty feet and the softer leather used for KAI-N-VC does not rub my skin that much, unlike KAI-C, which will make me vulnerable to blisters. I also believe KAI-N-VC is really built for longer distances because of its Vibram Cherry sole, which is really more durable than the local rubber used for KAI-C (thus, the higher price tag!).
Run UP High 3km (May 1 2011)
Just to break-in my KAI-C in an official event, I decided to join my first-ever 3 km race. The fun run was also special for me because I convinced my officemates about the benefits of running and they agreed to join me. Joel, Ralph, Jenny and Dondon ran with me while Richard failed to join for some important matters. The event was for the benefit of UP-Cebu’s scholars, which include my youngest sister Mikai, so it’s like I’m helping her studies also.
I originally planned to just take it easy and pace with my officemates, but Joel sprinted as soon as the race started, so I quickly changed my mind and tried to catch him up. I never caught up with him but I reached the finish line at a very decent time of 00:12:42! Later on, I found out that the route was only 2.29 km according to Runmeter, but still I’m very happy with the outcome! I think I finished in the top 10, but I never checked with the officials so it’s not official!
Cebuano Barefoot Runners
In my pursuit to learn more about barefoot and minimalist running, I decided to join the group that meet every Monday evening at Terra Plana, Ayala Center to run together for 5 km inside the Cebu Business Park grounds and create camaraderie among the barefoot and minimalist runners of Cebu.
Terra Plana, the makers of VivoBarefoot minimalist footwear for running, casual and formal occasions, supports the Cebuano Barefoot Runners and provide drinking water and even, uniform, for its earlier members. I am grateful they welcomed me and I got the chance to ran with some of the Cebuano runner-bloggers that I’ve been following, like the Code Blue Runner, F1 Runner, Pavement Chaser and the Reel Runner. I also met many of my dailymile friends.
Surely, May 16, 2011 will not be the last but will be the first of many Mondays that I will be running with my fellow minimalist/barefoot running brothers and sisters!
UltraHamster Running 2011 3 Hrs Category (May 22 2011)
Probably, my highlight for this month was joining Cebu’s first-ever closed loop running organized by minimalist running masters Tsinelas Runner and Edward Tan Ting. The event was held at Cebu Memorial Park (CeMPark) and one complete loop was approximately 2 km. There were two categories – 3 hours and 6 hours; whoever finished the most number of loops on the given time will be declared the winner.
The competition started at about 5:15 in the morning. I paced with the Code Blue Runner for the first 5 loops. Both of us are using KAI-N-VC for the 3-hour event. The first 5 loops felt good and relaxed, then the sun came rising and started scattering its ultraviolet rays.
The succeeding 5 loops that I managed to finish was mini-torture for me. First was the scorching heat – I was easily consumed by it, exposing my no. 1 weakness, which is lack of heat training. I usually train in the evening and it’s been a while since I did a long slow distance (LSD) morning run. So the high temperature quickly took its toll on me. Second, the event’s tag line “Only the mentally strong!” really is appropriate as it is no joke running around a loop over and over again. It became a mental battle, and to think that I am only running in the 3 hours category – how much more with those running in the 6-hour event?!?! The result was extended walking (my original plan was to walk for a minute or two after every loop) in the 8th and 10th loops and eventually bowing out even with still 21 minutes left and contended with finishing “only” 10 loops. Runmeter recorded 19.24 km in 02:39:01.
Actually, UltraHamster Running was just a friendly race with no registration fees, no monetary awards, no marshals and no water stations. But some are generous enough to sponsor drinking water and food for all the participants. My hat’s off to the organizers, to the six runners who finished the 6-hour long “torment”, to my fellow 3-hour runners, and of course, to the winners Dr. Willie Estepa (1st – 6 hrs), Edward Tan Ting (2nd – 6 hrs), Joel del Rosario (1st – 3 hrs) and Joerick Bontigao (2nd – 3 hrs). Overall, it was a fun-filled event and I would definitely join if it will be staged again!
So, there goes my one-of-a-“KAI”nd May! 101 total kilometers ran – all in minimalist or naked feet running! To top it all, I lost a couple of pounds and weighed 194 pounds at month’s end! Thank You LORD!