My First ‘Barefoot’ 5K

Whew, what a crazy weekend that was!  I have so much to tell you guys about, I don’t even know where to begin :).  It was set to be pretty darn busy even before the tsunami alert, but really, the biggest event of the weekend was that we celebrated the birth of two my best friends – Zak + Amanda!  I love you two!!

We were meant to take the ferry to Lana`i yesterday for Zak’s birthday but decided to postpone it because (1) due to the tsunami, Lana`i can’t find it’s boat ramp [did it sink?  did it get destroyed?] and (2) Ben and Zak caught some sickness this past week and were still recovering.  Instead, Ben, Zak and I went for a long adventure around Maui’s North shore yesterday to celebrate, which deserves it’s own post (get excited!).

Right now I’m super excited to tell you all about my first ‘barefoot’ 5K this Saturday! 🙂

In case you’re just tuning in, you can (click the text to) see my progression from planning to run a 10K to

I had originally thought that I’d be able to train in both my Vibrams and my Asics,

but after running in Vibrams for a while I just couldn’t convince my body nor mind that I could run in Asics again.

This Saturday was pretty important for me because just one year ago, this very same race was my first race ever after I started the Couch to 5K program in January!  Last year I surprised myself by running the 5K in 33 minutes and 49 seconds.  In August I ran a 10K in 66 minutes… I figure I have some pretty great pacing skills or something.

For Saturday’s 5K, I wasn’t worried about time. After reading Born to Run and getting to know the barefoot concept, I’ve decided that my running practice shouldn’t be time-focused.  It should be focused on connecting to the earth beneath me and to myself. Lately I’ve been running without headphones, which helps me to just listen to my breath and recognize that I am capable of moving.

On Friday, the day before the race, Ben was rendered inactive due to his symptoms.  He decided that, if he felt better by Saturday he was going to drop down to the 5K too, otherwise he’d just sit out this year.

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early.  I had a bunch of water and a half serving of steel cut oats as soon as I got up (so that I could digest it), and then we headed out the door to Green Banana Cafe in Pa`ia, where the race started.

In case you’re ever in the area, Green Banana Cafe is an internet cafe with internet access [and other office needs] upstairs and a kickin’ menu downstairs (I’d tell you about their coffee but I don’t drink).  I love the fact that they’re super environmentally conscious, support local agencies, and that they have a phenomenal design to the shop.  Anywhere you choose to sit – outside in the shade or inside with the wafting smells of freshly-baked goods and warming paninis – the ambiance makes this spot a great place to hang for a bit.  They’ve expanded and also started a Frozen Yogurt Bar one shop over, which is probably the most brilliant idea ever since they use legit yogurt with local mix-ins and Pa`ia is always blazing hot!

It was hot by the time we got down to Pa`ia at 7:30 am. I’m talking humid, no wind, 85 degree heat.  Ben and I got registered, strapped on the Vibrams [I’ve found that a waterproof bandaid on the insides of my feet and moleskins under my big toes works best for me], and then warmed up a bit.  I never understood why runners would run before a race until recently. The race was a “fun run” to benefit Women Helping Women and the turnout was great for such a race!  There were about 100 of us who took off from Pa`ia at 8 o’clock heading toward Kahului.  Three of us [we counted] wore Vibrams. 😉

Although Zak was too sick to make it out that day, Ben did end up running the 5K.  He blazed past me on his way back, even though he said he was still “feeling his sickness”.  Our friend Jessica, though, rocked it and came in first place for the wahine 5K!  She’s amazing and I want to be just like her when I grow up ;).

As soon as we started I thought holy crap it’s hot.  I wound up pacing with a friend (she has a hard time running an entire race because she’ll start fast and then have to walk) and although I brought my iPod, I didn’t use it.  It definitely wasn’t the best I’ve felt during three miles, but I kept moving and never stopped running. I kept thinking about how grateful I was to be able to run today. To be alive, with a beating heart, and be surrounded by everyone I love.  I ran in sheer gratitude that day for all that I have.

I made it back to the finish line and guess what I saw?  33 minutes!  Haha.  It must be that almost 11-minute miles is what my body likes. 😉  Plus, not bad for running barefoot!

I cooled down, talked with the other runners about the ridiculous heat, and stretched while waiting for Momma (last year’s 5K was her first race, too!).  She rocked it, again, so I wasn’t waiting for long!  The shady area in front of Green Banana was the perfect hang-out spot while watching the other runners come through the finish line!

I honestly don’t know how the 10K people ran the race in the blazing heat [and with zero shade on the path], but we were all so grateful to Green Banana for offering all the runners free shave ice after completing the race!

I learned from last year’s race that my tummy doesn’t really like sugar right after a race, so I didn’t get any shave ice for myself – I did end up taste-testing the dark chocolate froyo, though – but I heard from the other runners that it was the perfect after race cool-down!

It is so amazing to see myself with a number pinned to me and to understand what it means to have a “runner’s high”.  If you would have asked me about running just over a year ago, I never in a million years would have imagined that I’d be capable of running, nor have such an appreciation for the sport.  Now that the first barefoot race is out of the way, I’m looking forward to (possibly getting a different pair of Vibrams that chafe less,) upping the mileage, and working toward the Maui half-marathon in about six months!

Next up: my first ‘barefoot’ 10K!  🙂

Did you run this weekend? What have your times looked like [am I the only one who keeps getting exactly the same numbers?]?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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10 thoughts on “My First ‘Barefoot’ 5K

  1. Katie says:

    I did NOT run this weekend, because first I had twinges in my knee…and then when those disappeared, I accidentally opened a screen door smack into my ankle. So yeah…I’m letting myself recuperate.(swimming instead of running)

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually timed myself while running; neither have I run a race. I just run for stress relief and for fun ( as well as health benefits). Congrats on running an awesome race! I think running in 85 degrees would make me throw up to be quite honest.

    Also, I LOVE Pa’ia. When my family and I went to Maui, I made us eat at Flatbread Pizza co. three times!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Oh my gosh, Katie, I literally gasped when I read about the screen door on your ankle 😦 I’m so sorry! It’s good that you’re listening to your body and swimming, though!

      I LOOOVE Flatbread! Haha.. Pa’ia has SO many incredible places to eat!

  2. Therese says:

    Way to go on the 5k! I tend to have similar times as well although I’m hoping to change that with my 10k in May. I don’t normally care about speed but this time I just want to see what I can do!

    I ran 5k yesterday but not in a race! It was nice to get out on a dry day as it’s been raining here all week!

  3. Momma says:

    Well I was six MINUTES off from last year, so I’ve got some work to do for next year!! Woot woot!! So much fun and such a great way to spend the morning and time with loved ones 🙂 Too bad you left before the hula dancers started, they were awesome and they have these tiny lil girls that dance tahitian…. so cute!

  4. Danielle says:

    Haley you look GREAT!

    I am training for a 5K on the 24th of this month…it is a corporate run through work and my goal is to beat our CEO (We got $$ last year if we beat him 🙂 My husband just finished his first marathon and is now training for his first triathalon! (He is in much better shape than me!).

    Can’t wait for us to move back to Maui and start running there (even though it is hot!!).

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Aww, thanks Danielle! =) I love the idea of being able to win money if you beat your CEO, lol… what a great way to have a healthy workplace!

      Do you guys know when you’re moving back to Maui??? Wanna train for the Maui half-marathon (13ish miles) at the end of the year??? [We’ll wait for your hubby to come through the full marathon, lol].

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