The wizardly Andy of The Fitness Clinic decided some time ago that I had a 50 minute 5k within me. I argued, stamped my feet and told him he was a nutter. When I started the Beginners Running Course my pace was around 9 mins a km, so the goal would have been in reach. However, when the running intervals started getting longer and the walking intervals shorter, I was unable to complete them without dropping the pace considerably. 11:00 or 12:00 minute km’s were doable but that meant that the 50 minute goal was silly.
As part of the Beginners Course we were entered into a local 5k event and I have spent the past few weeks dithering as to whether or not I should even turn up. I knew that the self-castigation I would give myself if I didn’t run a 50 minute 5k would turn the whole experience sour. I appreciate this isn’t right, but I’m pretty sure it would happen. I also maintained that I had achieved the aim of running for 30 minutes straight, so why get tied up in an arbitrary time goal?
Yesterday I posted on our little Beginners Running Facebook group saying that I was intending to run the 5k course at Dinton and if anyone wanted to join that would be fab. Amanda turned up, and whilst she is naturally a quicker runner than I am, she was kind enough to stay at my pace. We set off and when I checked the pace we were at 8:05 mins/km which even Amanda said was speedy. I had decided to do about 800m run / 200m walk intervals and this seemed achievable for the most part. We were chatting away – to be fair, Amanda is fitter than I am so she did more talking than I did, as I was definitely puffy panty. There were two points that I was really surprised at how quickly we’d arrived, but I just wasn’t thinking about the time. We got down one side of the third lake and Amanda said “We’re round the lake” which I thought meant we were nearly done, but my Garmin watch indicated that we were just 3.5km in – we still had to get back up the other side of the lake and then back down the finishing straight. My motivation was flagging a bit, but the company really helped to get me round. I had a last walk break then it was only 400m to the 5k, so off I set. My legs were heavy and it was so hard to pick them up for each step. I had also switched back to my non-support shoes after a brief interlude with my New Balance stability trainers, and I could feel (and see) my ankles bending inwards with every single step. Bloody overpronation!
My watch finally ticked over to say 5.00km and I hit “STOP” before it revealed that I had just run 5k in 50 minutes 30 seconds!!! I was so happy, I could actually have cried. Andy had been right all along!
I have not sabotaged this success. I was telling Amanda on the way round how The Trainer has told me how my tendency was to downgrade the achievement like this: “Yes, I just ran 5k but I didn’t run a 10k” – when it’s said like that how ridiculous does it sound! Well, in this case I do feel proud of my run/walk 5k in 50 minutes and I can’t see much changing about that.
Now I’m definitely ready for Thursday because I can’t fail, I’ve already won. I have run 30 minutes without stopping and I’ve covered 5k in 50 minutes. Whatever happens on Thursday, it doesn’t matter. I’ll try to do the 50 minute 5k again, and maybe I’ll try to run a little bit more of it, or run a bit faster, but whatever happens I’ve already succeeded at this Beginners Running Course, meeting all the goals I set for myself or had set for me.
There’s more to come … my next goal is a 45 minute 5k, I want to get quicker at my longer non-stop runs, I want to increase the 30 minutes and make them easier.
I said at the start that I wanted to see if running could be an established part of my fitness regime, and it seems that I might have achieved that. I’m looking forward to a holiday where I can keep up my running, and I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing what happens next!