Las Vegas RnR Marathon in VFF Sprints

December 6, 2009

I landed in Vegas with an hour to spare to pickup my race packet. I suppose it was good on my wallet the fact I didn’t have time to shop at the expo.
I then spent the evening with my sister and friends who were running the ½ marathon. Same time last year we were all together for the Las Vegas half. Little did I know I would be returning a year later to run in my second full marathon – this time in Vibram Five Fingers at that.
Sunday morning was nice and chilly. I made it to my corral and huddled with about 30 thousand other people on the Las Vegas Strip. Not many people commented on my Sprints at first. As we waited some people would notice and either strike up conversation with me or talk amongst themselves while pointing out the crazy shoes.

I didn’t prepare myself for the questions. In then end the questions boiled down to two main asks:

Do you like running in them? (yes I enjoy it very much)

Are they comfortable? (yes seems too short an answer sometimes but it’s the truth)

Of course there were a few “what about arch support” questions to which I would just state my foot support is the natural foot structure support as nature made me.

I did not wear headset during the run. In fact, I’ve not run a long slow run with music for months, due to the fact I’m running with someone most of the time. I figured why zone out on music when one of the reasons I like to run is to appreciate myself and my surroundings?

Yet I did keep a few songs in my mind for cadence at times. I tried to apply the Chi Running methods I’ve been practicing for the last few months. The running while leaning forward – ie Falling Forward really helped me stay relaxed.

Towards the Half-Full split I met up with Sara from Alaska who was seeking encouragement to continue on with the Full marathon. She was running with a bunch of Halfers and they saw me and *glomp* “There you go, Sara!”  Sara and I ran together for two miles and not once did she comment on my Sprints. This made me happy for some reason. This was her 6th marathon. Horray Sara!

Mile 17 I had to sit on the curb for some foot adjustment. You see, this was only my second run in the Sprints. Up to this point I had been running in KSOs. My Sprints fit perfect! On the right foot at least. My left foot must be a tad longer because the fabric kept biting into the back. I had some blister packs. I wasn’t getting a blister but put the packs on for padding just in case.

This all worked well because a local runner from WA who I knew from online yet never met passed me by and recognized me! She’s a Marathon Maniac and one of the inspiring people I have admired from afar. We live 20 miles apart at home and didn’t meet until Las Vegas! Fun times.

I ran with Tory and her good MM friend Marie for three miles. They stopped to get pictures with a runner Elvis so I kept going. We waved at an out & back spot. I knew they’d catch me again. I was still smiling, but starting to get tired.
Only six more miles.

My sister wanted me to call at mile 24 to alert her of my location. I called at 22. I didn’t think I’d have the energy at 24 and I was right. Although still no blister, the bite of the material was turning into a version of The Wall.

The thoughts going through my head as I was running into The Wall: I know I can do the distance. Nothing is hurting I’m just tired. I haven’t run 20+ miles for two months. My last longest distance was 17 miles. My time is great! Way ahead of my June marathon.. I am running for my brother, sister, and family. Snap out of it!

My siblings were the ones who purchased my race entry and flight to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday present. Thinking of my family – I finished strong. My sister and her friends who ran the half were at the finish line cheering me on. It was a great feeling as I crossed the line. My second Marathon turned into two PRs: 1) time at 5:08 and 2) longest distance yet in VFFs for me.

Once I met up with my sister the nerves in my feet finally started to kick into overdrive. Running 26.2 miles on asphalt will do that to ya no matter what type of shoe you wear, IMO.

My first marathon was in ‘running shoes’ – this one in VFFs I didn’t want to walk one step further at the end of either race!

So I took the Sprints off my feet felt very tender. I walked back to the hotel in my sisters socks. What a nice sister!

After a bath I was ready to head out to dinner with the friends. My feet were fine. During the run I had one small blood-blister at one point that appeared to have broken and sealed back up by the time I took the Sprints off. I saw the blood on the inside of the Sprints –  examined my feet and could not feel or see any trace of a blister. How odd! Other than that I had no injuries, aches or pains.

This time last year I had no clue about Vibram FiveFingers. What a joy they have turned my running hobby into.


ran barefoot to prevent blisters

Tuesday morning I was running on the Treadmill in my new Sprints. The material behind the left ankle is a bit tight still and I didn’t have a blister bandage with me.

  At first I took a paper towel and placed it in the shoe for cushion. It was very uncomfortable. Then it occured to me: Why don’t I just take the Sprints off? I’ve run barefoot on the treadmill before for three miles!

  So I removed my Sprints, set them next to the treadmill, and ran two more miles barefoot. I remain blister-free.

  My marathon is this Sunday. I’ll have pleanty of blister-aids with me then. I want to run the entire thing in my Sprints but if needed I will definately remove the Sprints for some BF running.