Since I began looking at races as “street parties” (thanks to Barefoot Ted MacDonald for that nudge), I’ve not only found them more enjoyable, but – surprisingly – have also found my finish times improving.
The latest evidence of that was last Sunday’s Dundas Cactus 10K, organized by the good folks at VR Pro. A great route, a small but friendly and enthusiastic group of runners, and a great medal made it a good one.
A new (by a very slight margin) PB made it even better, even if the PB time had to be calculated because of a distance-measuring error. I also came second in my age category! Because of a miscommunication between the folks who measured the course and the race director, we only ran 9K instead of the required 10K. So I took my finishing time for 9K (49:21), and calculated its equivalent for 10K (54:00). And I’m dealing with the inevitable guilt in doing so by being quite convinced that I could have kept up my finishing pace for another 1K. So there.
The course included one short, medium-grade hill (which we ran twice), and a longish (1.5K or so) downslope (which we also ran twice). The road surfaces varied, from quite smooth pavement on the park loop to old, broken, and choppy pavement on the side streets. I’ve been lazy so far this season about speed and hill work, and running downhill on rough pavement in bare feet took its toll, so I flagged a bit on the second half of the race. But rally I did just – before the finish – and came in strong.
It was nice to get the age category award, in part because it gave barefoot running a bit of legitimacy as a viable option for doing races. (The fellow on the left is Deepak of Lee’s Pharmacy, a local store that sponsored the race. He handed out the awards.)
Nice people, an interesting course, and a good race. I was happy with it.
My next “entertainment” even will be the Oakville Half Marathon on September 25. This is going to be more serious challenge than the 10K. I’d like to acquit myself with dignity, so I’ll be incorporating fartleks and hill repeats into the next four and half week’s training. The Oakville Half is run on a very pretty course, and the half is my favourite race distance, so I’m really looking forward to this one.