My friends from BRW are training for the Gold Coast Marathon so they have started to do some long runs as part of their training. This morning they are running 18 – 20km and I decide to join them.
We leave the top carpark at Victoria Point at 5am. We are a group of about 10 and I’m the only man. I’m slightly anxious about the run because it’s 4km further than I’ve ever run continuously on bare feet. I know the soles of my feet will be fine for the first 10 – 12km but am concerned that they might start to burn when I hit 15km. I decide not to carry shoes because they are too heavy and I don’t like to wear them.
We set off at a comfortable pace. It takes about 2km to find a rhythm. This is normal for me so I’m unconcerned. As usual I start to feel good as the 2km marker ticks over on my GPS. The run is largely unremarkable. I enjoy running with Sue who has a steady pace and we chat away. Well, to be honest, I probably do most of the chatting because I’m a chatter box. We run along roads, footpaths and grass. There are some hills along the way to challenge us, including a tough run up Boundary Road. We run along suburban streets and busy through-roads. We run past houses and farmland.
The last few kilometres are the nicest part of the run as we reach the waterfront at Point O’Halloran. Rain clouds threaten but continue to move further out to see as boats bob on the water. The king tide is high, making the bay water look inviting.
At 18.2km, just 600m from our cars my feet finally give in. I know that my legs and lungs can keep running but I have now pushed my feet 4km further on the road than ever before and they have been burning for about 1km. I know that I should stop rather than push on to the finish because the extra 600m will probably be the difference between running again on Sunday or needing to stay off my feet for 4-5 days. So I stop running and dip my feet into the soothing salty water.
I’ve entered a half-marathon on 18 March and this run shows that I will be able to make the distance and to do so barefoot.
Total run: 18.2km @ 6:17 min/km pace.