The best way to recover from a long run is to go cycling with your friends, find a place on a cliff by the sea, spend the afternoon in the hot sun drinking rosé wine, chatting and laughing and then come home looking like a lobster. Ok, so maybe it's not the best way to recover from a long run, but it's the best way to spend an afternoon (apart from the coming home looking like a lobster bit – that, I really don't recommend. Don't stay in the sun too long, folks!)
I slept for 9 hours last night. A day in the sun can do that to a person. I spent the morning taking it easy, and then hopped on a really warm bus dressed in a technical T and my shorts. The reason was that I was about to meet some people who are into barefoot / VFF running, and run a few kilometres together. I warmed up in my Kayanos and then switched to VFF before the others showed up. I was a bit apprehensive, because I'm still new at this and they're not, but as it turned out, not only could I keep up, but I went above and beyond the call of duty. But more of that later.
I met up with 4 runners, among which the women's winner of Lidingö Ultra 50km (and one of the chirpiest people I've ever met). The first kilometre was fast. Fast for me, anyway. We ran through Slottsskogen, Gothenburg's most popular park, and up a hill to see the moose calves in the little zoo. I don't know why, but hills feel easier in VFF.
We made our way down the hill again, and into the Botanical Garden. People stared as we ran on the grass, climbed on rocks and just had fun. Pure, unadulterated, child-like fun. Then, it happened. One of the group got injured. His knee got dislocated. He took it pretty well, saying that he'd had problems with it for a while and it was a question of time before it happened. Still. Ouch.
Needless to say, he had to go home, and the session was brought to a premature end. We had run about 5 km together, but I still had to get home somehow. I decided to keep my VFF on and run through Änggårdsbergen. Either it isn't as steep on the Botanical Garden side or I was having a good day, because before I knew it I had reached the highest point, with a view over Gothenburg, and was already heading downhill towards home.
I glanced at my Garmin, not without some anxiety. My calves were doing fine, but my toes were sore. I decided to put my Kayanos back on when I came out of the nature reserve, but once I got there I was keen to maintain my pace and kept postponing the pit stop.
Before I knew it, I had run 10 km in my VFF and I was almost home. It felt pointless to stop now, even though my toes were screaming by that point. Garmin showed 12,5 km when I arrived, of which just over 11 in my VFF. Once again I shattered my previous record, this time by 3 km. As a reward, I now have a blood blister under each of my big toes and some wonderfully achy calves.