This past Sunday bright and early, the coach had the privilege of doing an 18 km out and back barefoot run along the packed sand of Wasaga Beach as part of a 24 km ramp-up run for the Scotia Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, October 20. Coach Jeff plans to go under 1:38 and, in the process, setting yet again a new Canadian barefoot running record. As I age, I get faster…go figure!
I ran the 1st 3 kms to the beach as a fast ‘warm-up’ then settled in to a steady 4:55 per km pace on Georgian Bay. With a tail wind, blue sky and ZERO humidity, it felt too easy. After the turnaround, it was 9 kms back into, of course, a strong head wind – much tougher than the way out – followed by a quick beach swim before finishing with a sub-4:30 final 3 kms on the pavement of town. During the beach run, I had a ‘Forest Gump’ moment where I could have just keep “running and running” – I was in such a perfect zone! This doesn’t happen often – as all of you regular runners can attest. When it does, you mark down the date and freeze it in your memory box.
Our good friend, Nancy, who now lives full time in Wasaga, hosted us in grand style. She also introduced me to her personal trainer, Roxanne (a delightful young lady originally from Newfoundland). She’s been trying to get into running, attended a Can-Fit seminar on barefoot running and got herself a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. The progress has been slow and steady (as it should be). Even though I would prefer she start barefoot, I’m not there to guide her. Also, unfortunately, there are no barefoot running coaches in the area – thus, Roxanne will have to make due with ‘baptism by fire’!
After such a fantastic weekend, I am tempted to seriously consider a move up the highway from Port Credit – it is that beautiful! Coming back to earth on Monday morning, I got back at my barefoot running sessions – once again with NO injuries, NO tired and sore muscles, NO dehydration (this after taking in NO fluid during the 24 km run) and NO let-up in pace. I even pushed through 45 minutes of grueling hill drills barefoot with my 4 training colleagues at 5:31 a.m. in 95% humidity today – NO problems!
Here’s to more weekend running in Georgian Bay paradise…