Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pre-Event Jitters: Barefoot Run with Chris McDougall - Harlem to Brooklyn

Well, folks, when I read a couple of weeks ago about this upcoming barefoot run with Chris McDougall, I first thought, "oh I wish so much I was a more advanced barefoot runner so I could participate."  You see, they were planning to run eight miles.  Even though the organizers of this fun run said you could join in at any point -- be as beginner or advanced if you wanted, run barefoot or shod as you preferred -- it still seemed intimidating for my beginner barefoot self, as I wrote about my misgivings here.

As anyone who has been reading along knows, I have decided to brave this event, because it just sounds like too much fun and, for me, it's like the barefoot party of the year -- not to be missed!

So, today is the day.  I tried to get some friends to come with me but no one was able to make it, so it looks like I'm going to head out alone.

This is not a really big deal.  There are many many people who would just say, "oh, that's cool" and show up and go home.  But for me, I have been fraught with worries.  I actually spent a half an hour last night (or longer?) trying to figure out my plan.  I had three different interactive maps open -- one map of the running route provided on Chris McDougall's web site -- (Map of Run) -- one to see where the subway stops are at different mileages on the route through the park -- (Interactive NYC Subway Map) -- and one mapped out on www.mapmyrun.com (beta version) to see where the different mileage points would be where I might have to stop and hop on a subway to join them at the end for the party and book talk.

That's a lot of pre-race work!

So, I have to travel to Manhattan, and then three different subways to get up to the start point.  I wish I was able to run 3.82 miles.  That would make everything much easier, being that it would enable me to begin the race with everyone and then let out right at the perfect subway stop to get over to Word Bookstore.

(BTW, This Word Bookstore is being very friendly to barefoot runners, providing party food and welcoming barefooted people into the store.  I see they have an online shopping link, so I think I'm going to be shopping for books there in the future -- book shopping instead of running shoe shopping!)

I now have a list of different subway stops on the run.  My plan right now is to try to run 2 miles, and then walk the other 1.82 miles to the subway stop at 60th street.  However, if I can't manage to walk after the barefoot running part, for whatever reason, I now have a list of at what mileage each stop on the Lexington Avenue (4,5 6) line is located along the route:

2 miles = 96th Street Station
2.35 miles = 86th Street Station
2.87 miles = 77th Street Station
3.43. miles = 68th Street Hunter College.

Whew!  I am doing as much planning and tracking as someone getting ready for an ultra marathon.  You see? It's like I always say.  The tasks are the same at any level.

Other concerns:

Water Bottle
It's going to be HOT!  But I don't usually bring a water bottle for "The Barefoot Mile."  I might go further than a mile though today.  And Chris McDougall and John Durant both sent word that we should have a water bottle and gave examples of what to bring.

All I have is this:


I bought it at the running store on the finish line to the Boston Marathon a couple of years ago while my visiting  Boston.  (I also bought 2, yes two, pair of expensive running shoes while I was there -- because I couldn't decide which I liked better.  Oh, the memories of shopping for running shoes!)

But there is no bottle to go with this because the cute little bottle that came with it had an annoyingly leaky top and eventually I discarded it after really trying to like it and make it work.

Flip Flops or Vibrams or Both?
I am, of course, going to have to bring some footwear.  If I bring just the flip flops I can attach them to my waist pack and be able to travel light.

If I bring just vibrams I'll be cool, just like all the cool kids are doing it.  But if my second metatarsal head acts up, or my feet muscles are too tired (since I'm planning to try to go a bit further than usual), the vibrams may not make it all the way to the subway.

If I bring both, then I will have to bring a backpack.  I hate to run with a backpack on.  It's going to be hot and my back will get all sweaty and it will take away my freedom feeling.  I could attach both the vibrams and flip flops to my waist pack like I showed you I did the other day at the park, but then I will start looking really silly.

Book
Well, I already have a copy of Born to Run.  But to carry it while running so I can get it autographed seems burdensome.  I could buy a copy at Word Bookstore to support them, and then just give my other copy to a friend or donate it to the library.



In the meantime, should I wear my RKFsport Kung Fu Tshirt or my "I'm Slow I Know; Get Over It"  T shirt?

1 comment:

barefootjosh said...

Can't wait to read the report!