Flip me over, I’m half-way done!

Posted: 15/07/2012 in Barefoot, Journal, Running, Transition

I’ll be honest, I have no idea what the title means either, but it kept flashing through my head, so I figured I’d better use it.

This transition thing is a lark – after 10.5 (not that I’m counting, you understand) hours of moving furniture and painting, I was ready to get out. But it was quarter to nine, so I didn’t want to be too long, what with having work tomorrow and all.

So, I figured a wee transition run in my barefoot shoes would be in order – last time I went a mile and it cured my wonky knee, so I was hopeful if I did it again or maybe went a little further, then I might discover a non-polluting fuel source that would save the planet*.

I set of purposely slowly, somewhere around the 11 minute mile mark – trying to keep my tempo/cadence/turnover rate, or whatever you want to call it as close to 180 steps per minute as possible. Without a metronome or handy iPhone app (I’ve got one, but I left the phone at home), I had to opt for “as many as I can” in the hope that would work.

A little jog along the sea front, past the skate park and over the top of the Panama Cafe. Down onto the promenade along the top of the beach and back to the skate park. All in all it was feeling pretty good – not a twitch from my left knee, and only a little bit of a twinge from my left calf after yesterday’s Jesmond Dene exploits.

I was feeling so good, I decided to try out the Hill of Doom in the ol’ barefoot shoes, and it felt marvellously gloopy underfoot going up the steep grass incline. Reached the top and continued to plod towards home. I was just coming past the Spanish City when a young whippersnapper overtook me, going a bit faster. Pah, I thought, he doesn’t know I’m mid-transition and therefore running really slowly on purpose. I wouldn’t try to overtake him, that would be mad.

SO, I let him get a distance in front of me before I speeded up – and it felt good – the faster turnover felt lighter and the speed felt nice after holding it back. I got a bit closer. I sped up again. I got a bit closer. I realised that I was in danger of passing him, and that might make me seem like the sort of obsessive runner who hates being overtaken, and I’m definitely not that, am I?

As I was thinking that, I looked at my GPS and goggled – the average pace was showing 7’47” per mile – that can’t be right. I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast, even in my smarty cushioned shoes. Just as I was about to catch him, I was nearing the turn off to home, so I stopped and patted myself on the back, high speed and the good grace not to be all competitive, how good am I.

Will I pay for it in the morning? Probably. However, I can see that it may not be too long before I abandon my cushioned shoes altogether, the feeling is much nicer, and the damage is much more due to my body adapting, rather than rebelling. It’s the decision whether to push on with the gradual transition in order to keep up the marathon plan, or go whole-hog barefoot shoe and adapt the plan around it. Not sure which I’m going to do yet, but each transition run is pushing me towards the latter.

Sleep tight.


  • Distance: 2.21 miles
  • Time: 22’40″66
  • Average pace: 10’20” per mile
  • Max pace: 7’47” – get me, I’m a rocket!

*Save the planet – collect three and get a free set of wine glasses.


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