This summer I have been participating in a summer track series at UNC’s Belk Track. Every Wednesday the Godiva Track Club gets together and holds a track meet alternating between “long” nights and “short” nights, featuring events of slightly longer and shorter distances respectively.
Having never run track before, I have been using these events as opportunities to work on speed and also to meet other runners in the area. Running 5,000m around a track for time would be mind numbing, but doing so in the spirit of friendly competition with other runners is not only fun but also motivating.
The Belk Track is a very nice international-style track (slightly wider with gentler turns) with a very soft running surface. I have been taking advantage of this great facility to transition from running in Vibrams to running completely barefoot. At the start of the summer I tried running one or two events barefoot but now I am running the entire night barefoot, only wearing my Vibrams to/from the car. It feels great (The only consequence is that, by the end of the night, the bottoms of my feet are very Carolina blue – does that make me a true tarheel?) and perhaps now I can try some other, less forgiving surfaces barefoot as well.
Because I’ve never run these short and middle distance events before, I am setting new PRs each week, which is always encouraging. I’m sure that won’t last but I’m enjoying it while I can! Tonight was the last “long” night of the summer track series and here are my PRs:
1 Mile: 5:52
We still have a few shorter distance meets left so I’ll hope to set some more PRs on the flat track surface before returning to the very hilly road and trail races here in the Research Triangle.