I had a bit of a surprise with this morning’s barefoot 8K run. (31C with the humidity factored in, by the way. My kind of weather, which may have had something to do with the way the run turned out.)
I wore a watch for the run, which is unusual for me. I’ve not run with a watch for the past three months or so. I find gadgets take away from the run experience, and, because I’m not training for an upcoming race, are quite unnecessary. So I’ve been all minimalist all the time, and enjoying it immensely. I’ve been running at my own internal pace, and finding quiet moments and a certain amount of peace on each and every run.
Just for fun, I decided to time this morning’s run. Partly out of sheer curiosity, to see how slow I’d become, and partly to get a sense of how I might do in the Toronto Underwear Affair 10K on August 28.
Well, surprise, surprise! I did the 8K (on pavement, along the residential suburban streets I always run on) in a time of 46:10. That means my pace was 5:46 mins/km., which in turn means that I would, if I were to hold the pace, finish 10K in a time of 58 minutes or so. Interestingly, my finishing time for last year’s Underwear Affair was almost exactly 58 minutes. (Last year, I ran the UA 10K in my Fivefingers KSOs, and with a fair whack of intensive training under my belt too.)
This suggests that my summer of unstructured barefoot running has, in some way, paid off. I may finally have learned to run smoothly and lightly enough that I’m getting quicker. Or perhaps running without a watch has taught me to relax. Or maybe it was imply a combination this morning of hot, humid weather, quiet streets, and being well-rested that gave me a good result. Doesn’t really matter, does it?
For now, I’m going back to being watchless. And doing long slow run runs. And running barefoot. That’s the real key to success for me – touching the ground, and running free.