I hate to jinx it, but I’ve been back on the running horse for a couple of weeks, and it seems to be sticking. Remember how I decided back in September to jump back on the Couch-to-5k bandwagon to help me figure out how far I should be running and how fast I should be increasing my distances? That plan is working*. (*I expected that it would. I always do much better whenever I have a schedule telling me what I should be doing. I suppose it’s my competitive side that kicks in, and forces me to complete the runs, lest I fail at something.)
My calf muscles were really my limiting factor when all of this barefoot mania started for me. Cardiovascularly speaking, I could handle running long(ish) distances in my regular running shoes, but the running was causing a lot of pain in my legs. When Zack and I switched to barefoot, I ditched the running shoes all together. I didn’t gradually move over to the toe shoes while still maintaining my distance/endurance capabilities by doing runs in my other shoes. Maybe not my smartest move ever.
Now that I’m looking Week #4-Run #3 in the face, I’m being forced to admit some things to myself that I really don’t want to admit. Mostly I’m in denial about the fact that my calves are no longer my limiting factor. I can easily run these C-2-5k runs without any soreness in my calves post-run. I cannot, however, easily run these runs without feeling like I’m maybe going to die from suffocation because OMG THE AIR, IT WON’T COME IN FAST ENOUGH, THE TIRED, IT IS WINNING.
My days of being a well-conditioned running-machine have passed. Instead of being confident in my ability to run 3 or 4 miles at the drop of a hat, I’m looking at Week #5′s runs and gawking at the fact that they think by the end of next week I’m going to be able to run for 20 minutes. Twenty! Who can run for 20 minutes? That’s an impossibly long time to run. No humans can do that. And if any humans can (doubtful), they are surely not humans who foolishly decided that they would magically retain their ability to do intense cardiovascular exercise despite the fact that they have done basically no running (relatively) for A LONG TIME.