So I wake up numerous times during the night as Lachlan is having a terrible sleep. It has not helped that I turned the TV off at 12.04am due to watching the State of Origin match and although I knew it was going to be hard to get up for swimming in the morning I wanted to watch the match. I was having a busy week at work so in the back of my mind I knew that I was probably not going swimming. At 5:20 Lachlan is screaming and I am tired but think to myself, would I rather lie here or should I just get up and go swimming...I decide the latter.
We get to swimming and it is a nice 400 warm up followed by some stroke exercises before heading into the main set. The main set consists of 10 X 200m on 4 minutes with alternating paddles. Basically this means that you use paddles for the first 200m and you have 4 minutes to finish the 200m. We were finishing them on around 3.30 so had 30 seconds rest to take paddles off/put paddles on and get ready to go again. For those of you that have not used paddles before, they are a great tool to teach you to reach deep into the water and also to feel the pull that is required to get you through the water. Whilst they can make you swim quite fast due to the grab under the water, they also tire you out quickly due to the resistance they create in the water. To finish the coach springs a 200m time trial on us. He wants us to go as hard as we can for 200m. He wants to see how much stamina we have left in us after completing a relatively hard set. I am first off and feel good in the first 50m, turn off the wall and porpoise kick and back flying for the last 100m. I turn off the wall and start heading back for the last 100 and decide to bring in the kick as I come to the end of the 150m and turn to hit the wall. Now I am heading home and I am remembering when Ian Thorpe used to bring in the legs in the last 50 and the whitewash behind him. I think I am matching him for whitewash but sadly what I think and what it probably looks like will be quite different. I finish and the most important thing is, no one has overtaken me in my lane and I feel good.
It has been a busy day at work and I decide that I have not done a run for a couple of days now so need to go for one when I get home, there is a problem though...I am really tired. I reluctantly put on my running gear to go for a run in the wind that is Wellington. I am getting over these short runs. I can't believe I am saying this but I prefer doing long runs. Usually when I do a long run I am going for 2 hours and you feel like you have achieved something at the end of it all. There is a mountain near where I live which has a big telecommunications tower on top of it called Mt Kaukau. It is a really good run up the hill from my house to 445m above sea level, probably one of my favorite runs. I keep looking at it whilst at home or around town and wish that I could be doing a long run up there just like I was doing a couple of months ago. I know however that that would just be stupid with the Vibram's this early so block it out of my mind.
Anyway, I get dressed and go outside to do my short 20 minute run...boring!!! As I run out of the house and start going up the hill which leads to a long downhill I notice that something does not feel right. My calf's are really tight and they are starting to hurt and I am only around 300m from home. I concentrate on my stride as maybe it is too long and is causing the pain. I realize that it is not my stride as it does not go away even when I shorten it. I keep going and start heading downhill to the flat section. My calf's are feeling really tight and as I am going downhill it is getting worse. I begin to doubt this whole barefoot running thing and start to think to myself, why am I doing this stupid thing??? I was perfectly fine running in shoes so why have I stopped and now am running with no protection whatsoever and now in pain??
Just when I am about to stop and walk home something happens. I step on a stone. It is pitch-black as it is late and I have just stepped on a big stone, some would call it a rock. I notice something strange about me stepping on this rock. My foot bends over the top of it and I carry on without any major problems. Now I have stepped on many rocks in the past especially with all the cross country running that I have done in preparation for my adventure races. Most of the times when I have stepped on a similar stone, my shoe has rolled off it and snap, there goes your ankle! But my ankle does not roll. My foot bent around it and it was fine. I did not feel the rock hurt the bottom of my foot either as it was protected by the Vibram shoe. Although I am nearly at the flat section of the run and my calf's are killing me, I decide to push on. I am now on the flat and it feels a bit better in my legs but it is not comfortable but I keep coming back to the stone. It is not coincidence that I have not rolled my ankle. My foot adjusted itself and stopped me rolling my ankle...maybe these shoes are not so bad after all. I run home up the long hill and get home. Victoria asks me how my run was and I say that it was not good. My calf's are killing me and if they are hurting now, what are they going to be like tomorrow.