I ran eastward on the Boulder Creek path this morning. I decided to run out until somewhere around 3 or 4 km from home, turn back, and push myself to do as much of the return trip as possible. A flooded section turned me around just before 55th Street, which is actually at 4.8 km, and I managed to keep running all the way back home, for a total of 9.6 km.
My body felt really good throughout the run. Between about two thirds and three quarters of the way through, I did start to feel some stretching and soreness in my left foot, but I just paid close attention to it, allowing it to help me find optimal form, and eventually it went away. Due to snowmelt and recent rains, the creek has flooded some of the underpasses, so there were a few times when I had to pause, running in place, and then run across a road. The longest I had to wait was at 30th Street on the return trip. It felt like forever, but it was realistically probably more like 30 seconds. I am not sure if running in place like I do means that the run counts for more or less than the actual distance. It does feel like a bit of a rest, but I think it keeps my heart rate up and get right back into my pace when I resume running.
I think I was only out for about an hour, which is surprisingly good for how far I ran. Back when I started running in shoes, I think my first Bolder Boulder 10 km time was around 55 minutes. It feels good to know that my pace is at least as good now, without shoes, as it was then, running a race shod. Perhaps I should wear a watch and time myself more precisely at some point. I prefer not to focus too closely on speed, though. I run best when I focus on maintaining my alignment and form throughout the run. Finding the sweet spot of pushing myself just hard enough to challenge myself without doing lasting damage is easiest when I focus on how my body feels, and not on a specific speed or distance. My pace seems to be pretty good from what I can tell, so I think I must be doing something right.