A.M. Ted was not feeling good, did not make it. Jeff slept in. So I ran alone at 5:15 AM. Started out a bit quicker than normal - 7:21 in the first mile, after that a slight sub-6:40. Ran into Jeff at around 5.5 mark, and we ran together from there. 1:06:59 for 10.1.
P.M. Sarah went to Wal-Mart and got me a pair of crocs for $5. I wanted to try them as a proof-of-concept for near barefoot running. At the very worst, I figured, they would make nice slippers for the summer. Did my entire evening run in crocs. First a mile with Julia in 10:47. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 13:45. Her ankle was hurting, so she did not have to catch the 9:00 girl today. Then 2 with Benjamin in 15:26. Then 5.5 more by myself. I was pressed for time, and needed to keep around 7:00 average to avoid being late. Started with a first quarter in 1:45, followed by 1:41. Then hit the mile in 6:38. Figured I'd just stay ahead of the 6:40 guy. Then I noticed that my split for the next 0.5 was 3:07. I recalculated it to be sure, it was right. The next one was 3:02. I figured, forget it, this is my second run, and I have only 3.5 left, and then a night of sleep, I am not going to hold back. If I feel like running 6:00 pace, I'll just go for it. After that it was unreal. I started running 5:40 pace without actually trying to run a tempo. The rhythm and the harmony of movement were so appealing that I did not notice the effort. The form felt great. I went by a couple of guys in their 40s going around 8:00 - 8:30 that looked like they were experienced runners. This must have been quite a sight for them - a runner in crocs passing them at 5:40 pace, I must have looked like a beach bum running away from a tidal wave. I slowed down to 5:50 under the bridges, and then was back up to 5:40 pace. Ended up catching the 6:00 guy for the whole run with 32:52 for 5.5. Last 3 miles in 17:07, 5:42.3 average.
Checked for side efforts from crocs afterwards, there were none so far. Noticed that the shin muscles were working a lot better, and I felt like was getting more out of them than in regular shoes. It was also easier to take my foot off the ground, there did not seem to be as much of my usual lingering.