On the off-chance that I would actually make it, and seeing as how I tend to do better when I have an actual goal, I applied for the New York City Half-Marathon. I was not entirely sure that I would get into the race, given my newbie status and the fact that I had to rely on the luck of the draw rather than qualifying through time or any of the other means that the Roadrunners provide.
Imagine my surprise then, when I checked my email the other day and saw a note confirming my entry number. The distance is somewhat daunting when I consider that the longest I have ever run is five miles. But, I have done some research and devised an appropriate training plan that should provide the right level of conditioning to help me meet my goal of completing the run in less than two hours.
First things first though … I have a 10K race to run this weekend!
One of the joys of traveling is finding interesting new places to run. While I was away, I took the opportunity to substitute a sterile treadmill run in my local gym with a seafront dash back and forth along the beach in Juquehy, a little waterfront community located just outside of Sao Paulo. For some reason that still remains unknown to me, I decided to run barefoot. I guess I have never run along a beach before – and the thought never occurred to me that it might not be such a good idea. In the early mornings and late evenings there were plenty of people running along this idyllic stretch of sand, and a handful were even going forsaking footwear. However, it was only after completing the 4 miles back-and-forth that I fully understood why running shoes should always be worn.
Running on wet sand is in fact the equivalent to running on sandpaper. Throw in the lateral movements required to avoid the water and the variable grade of the beach thanks to tidal erosion, the feet and ankles take a significant amount of pressure throughout the session. About three miles into the run I felt the blister on the underside of my right big toe. By the time I was done, I had worn through multiple layers of skin under my toe and there was a significant stinging sensation.
I learned the hard way, always protect the feet by wearing socks and runners. I just hope this irritation heals in time for the upcoming run in Central Park.