Barefoot Mama

"I started running barefoot in March 2008. I started one step at a time, one day at a time. I decided to start keeping a journal of sorts. Sharing my history, my journey and my adventures."

I have taken some new paths in relation to my running over the last year. This blog will still include my running adventures but I have to move on with more stories of my family and the journey we have taken together over the last year. This blog was started as a way to help me record my barefoot journey but now needs to become more than that. Please be patient as I explore ways to stay connected with family and friends.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Other Female Marathon Inspirations

Well, I may be the first female to have run the Boston Marathon Barefoot...but there are some pretty amazing women who have also run barefoot marathons:
Kudos to you ladies for being an inspiration to us all. :)

Barefoot Angie Bee: Des Moines Marathon, October 2010 (This was her first barefoot marathon)
Caity McCardell: LA Marathon, March 2011 (this was her first marathon)
I think one other woman ran the LA marathon in March 2011 barefoot but I don't recall her name. If anyone else has this information please share it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boston Marathon: Part 2

My morning started with an early rise, about 6am...taking a bus from Charlestown to meet the Marathon buses at the Boston Common. Waiting in a line at the buses for about 45 minutes. It was a cold, windy morning standing in line. Note to self: wear toe socks with Huaraches next time...The weather man promised sunny and in the 60's right? NOT! The bus ride to athletes village took about 30 minutes...longest 30 minutes in history!

Athletes village was crowded with runners anxiously waiting to be called to the start. I followed some on-line advise: arrived, made my way to the food and water tent, grabbed a bagel and Gatorade and then stood in the bathroom line...ate while waiting...grabbed a banana and a smoothie Powerbar and a water and got back in line...ate while back in line while sipping done...they called my wave to start toward the corral. By the time I got my bag on the bus to be shipped to the finish...I still had to walk nearly 3/4 of a mile to my corral.(Wave 3; corral 1) I ended up running to get there on time. They called a 3 minute warning to the start and I was still way back by corral #9. When I entered my corral I had just enough time to take off my Huarches, throw them into my belt and go....WOW!

I never pictured what it would be like to start with that many people. I was surrounded at all times buy 100's of runners and even more spectators.

I don't use an i-pod when I run. I haven't since I started running barefoot. I like to hear the sounds my feet are making...when they start slapping the ground I know I'm tired and I need to focus on my form. This marathon was very loud. There was only one small quarter mile section that seemed to be "quiet"! I wished I had earplugs for most of the marathon. Glad I didn't at the end though. The cheering crowd it what helped me get to the finish line.

What I remember: (or remember thinking)
relax, focus, good form, relax, breathe, focus, good form...I have to pee, breathe, wow look at that shirt, nice, form , relax, I have to pee....( I stopped at porta potty about mile 5ish to pee AGAIN) sorry I drank so much before the start but I was really worried about dehydration. There are points in the marathon when things my family had said to me would enter my mind, like my husband saying before he left me standing in line at the buses, "you're going to be fine, have fun!" I wanted to keep it fun. I wanted to remember smiling. I wanted to finish and know I had finished my first Boston Marathon with my head held high.

I remember worrying about the water stops and wondering how to avoid the sticky mess that was waiting for me...I remember being excited when I heard the crowd cheering for me. When runners went by me or came up behind me and said stuff like." wow your barefoot, great job!" I would say something like, ' you're doing a great job too.." they usually would reply,"but I'm wearing shoes", and I would say, "yes but we all had to work hard to get here, I'm proud of you too." and they would usually just smile.

Heartbreak Hill? I'll say it again..what hill? Training on hills in coastal Maine certainly prepared me for that. I passed lots of runners on that hill. I wondered why they were walking? It wasn't that bad. I also felt bad for those runners and a number of times I tried to encourage them to not give up...we were almost at the top...they were doing great...I wonder if they heard me?

I was elated to finally see my family holding big signs and yelling my name, somewhere around the 24 mile mark, just before a water stop. I stopped long enough to give some quick hugs. and off I went with even more enthusiasm. I remember turning the corner and seeing the finish line. My legs were tired, my feet were tired and I had tears in my eyes. I finished the Boston Marathon! Barefoot! When I was younger all I wanted to do was come to the big city and run! I finally had made it. It was worth the wait. I had a fabulous run, a wonderful weekend with family and the best recovery after a marathon. My quads were tight for a couple of days but I had no calf pain or tiredness and my feet are just fine. No bruises, blisters or hot spots. Just took a couple of days to get the black tar stain off.

Here are some interviews related to my Boston Marathon experience:

I think I need some more time to think about things....I'll post more as I remember it...but for now: Enjoy!

My new tattoo: revisited!

So follow this link and see how my tattoo got "discovered"! :) I won a free t-shirt!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My First Boston Marathon: Part 1

Well, I've had a week to put my thoughts to paper. I have so many great reports that I don't know where to begin. I think I will begin as a kind of diary. and then I will go into my experience at the marathon as a separate post.

The girls and I left for Massachusetts on Friday morning, 4/16. It was a pretty uneventful drive. We arrived at our families place in Berkley, MA around 3pm. I don't mind the drive. It feels good to be out on the road. My children travel really well in the car. I get asked all those questions I swear they save up for 4 hour drives. Like, "Mom when I was a baby how long did I breast feed?" My youngest, who is 8, has a new facination with the Baby Story on TLC!

Friday night was a long night, we went to see the Red Sox play! Whoo Hoo! I haven't been to a game since I was probably 8-9 years old. We had perfect seats! 7 rows from 3rd base! It was alot of fun. We had to ride the subway to get to the game. It's always fun to experience the MBTA. Since my husband lived in Boston for several years he makes the best tour guide.

Saturday I spent nearly the whole day in Boston. The children played with their cousins, my husband worked on some welding for his boat and I drove to the nearest subway, got on, went to the city. Yes, all by myself. I felt like a big girl! All grown up and taking the subway! :) LOL I have to admit that I am not ready to face the subway barefoot. I wore my huarches. Once I arrived I went straight to the Boston Public Library where I met the Barefoot Naked Tour run group. After a few introduction from Chris McDougall and a few photos our group of 50 or so barefoot and minimalist runners set off on our 5 mile run along the Charles river. WOW! Nice to see Boston that way. I got some pretty pictures of the river. The only thing that would have made the day even better was if the sun was shining. It was windy and overcast. After the run I went to the Naked Cabaret and book signing at the library. I got my "Born to Run" book signed by Chris and was entertained by a lively group of professionals including Dr. Irene Davis and Dr. Daniel Lieberman. After this event I walked to the BAA Boston Marathon Expo. WOW again. It was pretty big. I don't believe I got to experience the whole thing. I think I missed a whole room. Stayed long enough to get my race packet, t-shirt, GU's, and try a few new products. I usually do not like crowds. I hate to go shopping at malls for that reason. So I was happy to leave, take the subway to my car and drive away from the city.

I decided that the girls had been so good that I made plans on Sunday to drive to the American Girl Doll store so they could spend their Christmas money. Once again crowds! All the little girls, all holding their American Girl Dolls. I think I saw one father in the whole store and he looked lost. He had that blank stare look about him. LOL! We had lunch with our friends at the Cheesecake Factory. We don't have a Cheesecake Factory in Maine so it was a special treat. The girls were excited to see their friends. They had a good day. Charles and I spent the night at the Colonial Inn in Charleston. We walked to the North End for Italian and had a relaxing evening together. The kids stayed with their cousins and had an Easter Egg hunt. It was nice to spend the night before the marathon with my husband. :)

The next day is the Boston I think I'll make that a new post.