Went out for a 5k run, did 10k instead (my first one!)

Went out for a 5k run, did 10k instead (my first one!)

I've been really struggling to run twice a week let alone 3 times a week at the moment, and when I do run time is tight and I only manage 3, 4 or 5k at best. I'm the classic disorganised sort of runner who moans they don't have enough time, but the biggest hurdle is really just getting out there, then once I'm out I magically find the time and just keep going.

Today I went out to run 5k, got to the loop I do at Victoria Park now and thought how about trying for 6k - as I've got the time. Then I reached the 3 or 4k mark and started thinking wouldn't it be great to run for 8k like I was managing in November (and never again since). This seemed feasible, but then a voice popped into my head - what if today was an organised 10k run, and my preparation had been less than perfect but I was going to draw on all of my reserves and try to make it to 10k? I was convinced I might actually be able to do it when the running started to feel easier after the 4k point - breathing less ragged, legs less heavy, body as a whole relaxing into the running.

I thought about SteveL's question about where do we strike when our feet hit the ground. I honestly could not pinpoint any particular point. The more I thought about it, the more my feet seemed to hit absolutely evenly across the pad of my feet by my toes, along the edge of my arch, and the inner arch felt snug in the shoe, so no obvious feeling of pronation etc, and my heel didn't hit too hard either. Perhaps I hit very centrally - or simply with an even spread. I felt the strength in my legs, my lightness on my knees and feet, and felt like I must be running 'right'. My confidence kept growing and growing from this point, and I really thought - I'm the sort of person who can definitely run 10k.

I saw lots of lovely dogs ('Ben' and 'Dexter' were the friendliest ones - lucky I'm not scared of a few muddy pawprints up my legs as I run!) and loads of runners too. My pink gelert base layer kept me snug and my Stone Roses 'best of' kept me entertained for over an hour of running - 1 hour 11 minutes and 57 seconds to be precise! The map of my route shows lots of add-ons and turning back on myself trying to find enough path to manage the full 10k - but partly that's because I didn't set out to do it!

This is obviously a personal best as it's my first 10k - but I also got a new PB for a 1k lap - shows how much I got into it that I could even manage to get some speed going in the final two laps. Previous 1k lap PB was 5:55 - today I did 5:50 (and a 5:54!) :) :) Also - I've been running for over a year now - having started Couch to 5K in late January last year. That means my running shoes are now a year old - and showing it - so my reward for today's run is definitely going to be new shoes :) Happy running everyone :)

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  • Well done. What a great pace !!!!! Couldn't quite manage that myself, jealous.com !

    It's great when you drop into a "zone" and just seem to be able to run and run.

  • It's pretty much all flat where I run - although I do have to dodge a few puddles and go over the odd canal bridge. I think having a lot of flat path really helps with pace. We'll always be jealous of your amazing island :) Hope you're enjoying running round it still :)

  • Wooooooohoooooo! I loved reading that!!!! What a tale of sheer grit and determination. Actually it shows that you're more organised than you give yourself credit for as you pulled that off with aplomb!!! Things all came together to make that a fantastic run. I bet you're simply over the moon. I love Resurrection!!! Brilliant running tune!

    So, then, new shoes! What you gonna get then? Spill I just posted a pic of my new Kinvaras

  • I've been admiring your shiny new shoes misswobble. But I'll have to see what fits. I may be really boring and get the same Karrimors again (same as in my profile pic) as they've served me so well. But I'll go shopping with an open mind - esp when it comes to colour! :)

    I love 10 storey love song and the epic drum intro to elephant stone. The roses are so great for getting into a running zone - have put them on again now in fact - making me feel energised again :)

  • Delighted for you, Ruth! That must do so much for your confidence - now you've done it once, you know you can do it again, and you'll find 10k becomes part of your training pattern. You ought to think about one of the regular 10K races in the Olympic Park! That time you ran it in is a very respectable one, so very well done. I'm also pleased that I provided some food for thought about footstrike. You're right - when you concentrate on what your feet are doing, you do notice that it changes without you being aware of doing anything.

  • I definitely found it useful to really think about how I was running in my body. It was a good distraction from any thoughts of breathlessness, distance etc. And also gave me food for thought about what my feet need from me for new shoes etc. And what my body needs in terms of stretching too. I did a whole session of stretching afterwards - about 20mins!

    I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just not into the idea of running events, although I will definitely look at something local. Thanks for confirming my time was okay. My 5kPB is only just under half that time at 33 point something so I'm pleased - especially for my first time! I'm pleasantly surprised in fact, considering my very inconsistent running routine these days!

  • I still have my 2 pairs of karrimor tempo from when I started c25k ☺

  • Well done! I loved reading your post - funny how some days everything just comes together and you feel like the hard work was worth it. I only ran my first 10k in January so I remember the buzz well! Enjoy!

  • Thanks Sandraj - I was totally buzzing when I wrote this post! It was totally a case of things coming together. It was even quite windy, not perfect weather at all, plus over friendly dogs making beeline for me - but I was just completely in the zone! Congrats on your 1st 10k too! :)

  • Well done on the 10k - good pace too! And congrats on the 1 year running!!

    I have been thinking about how I strike the ground and find it difficult to pinpoint - I think it must be midfoot as I am sure it's neither the toes nor the heel :-)

  • Brilliant! I know what you mean about the biggest hurdle being about just getting out there, but then you just kept adding on! And what a great time - so well done :)

  • Wahey, well done. I too loved reading that πŸ˜€

    10k is a great distance to crack, and the furthest I personally have run (after nearly 2 years). I've done the distance a handful of times and have only done one race - due to do my second in May. I don't find not doing races hindrance to running any distance I want to. Have recently discovered Parkrun which is good.

    Hope you carry on having a fab time running πŸƒ πŸ˜€ xx

  • Nice one ruth, what a wonderful run. So fab just to see where it will take you!!

  • How are you doing sparky! It's been a while since I read one of your posts - I'll have to have a read back through! I love hearing about your runs too :) It's been a year for you now too I guess :)

  • Wow Ruth ! That is just brilliant !

    Fantastic, Well done ! :-) xxx

  • Brilliant post and run Ruth well done you must be mighty pleased with that :)

    Hope to reach the big 10 k next week myself :)

  • Thanks Slow_Rob - good luck. Exciting times :)

  • Well done Ruth. Great time. Don't underestimate the toughness of a flat run. Whilst uphill may need extra effort, downhill is a bit easier so it all sorts out in the end. And if your towpath is "proper" and not a cycle motorway (that's a rant for another day πŸ˜‰) it's trickier on the joints than a paved or Tarmac surface!

    Enjoy the chance to treat yourself to new shoes 😘

  • My canal paths are a complete mix - some gravelly/muddy/with puddles, some paved with wonky stones, and some bits more concrete-like. There are some wooden floored footbridges and some brick-stepped horse-bridges - a real mixture of the old and the new. And I'm one of those cyclists who use the paths too - it's busy round this way!

    Hope you're running's going well folkieboater. I think of you as I go past the smells of wood burning stoves and see bleary-eyed boaties walking to and from the water taps with water bottles in the mornings. I hope you're keeping warm :)

  • Spending a lot of time working in London at the moment so confined to Mother in Law's house :( Shes away so it needs "looking after" i.e. all the winter fuel bills are hers :)

    Looking forward to getting home to the boat - its far warmer at this time of year as its such a small space to heat. And running on a towpath through the mud and puddles sure beats the streets of Essex!

  • That's true my canal boat friend's boat is always incredibly hot once the fire's going. But from my experience of catsitting there I remember it being painful trying to get it heated up in the mornings. That said my gas is still costing me about Β£3/day in my grotty council flat (until the weather warms up!) - at least wood for a fire is potentially free! I'm curious what you mean by a 'proper' canal path by the way - I only know the paths through east London which are variable as I described. I know in the country canal paths get significantly more muddy - but historically canals were designed to serve industrial cities so it makes sense that many would be paved too (and the horse bridges are very solid - made of brick and concrete).

  • As a cyclist you're probably not going to appreciate this......

    Increasingly towpaths in cities are being widened and surfaced to make cycle lanes/paths. Not a problem in itself, but the idiots that then insist on tearing along them at top speed are becoming dangerous. Lots of boaters have have pets injured and post or killed and I know of many people that have been hit. One old lady was badly injured. I have been hit in Stoke on Trent by a youth. When you are fighting to pull 15+ tons of boat in with a rope! you don't need to be thinking and woorying what others are doing - a little consideration and slowing down doesn't hurt anyone.

    As is true in most walks of life, the selfish minority are spoiling it for the rest. Unfortunately, the income to the Canal and River Trust from selling these cycle way rights is considerable. Boats are becoming an inconvenience.


  • I could rant too - when I first moved to east London (2003) you still had to buy a licence to cycle on the canals and it could be revoked if you cycled dangerously. As a result I will always be a considerate cyclist on shared pedestrian/cyclist paths. I'm also very resentful of other cyclists who behave badly and give the rest of us a bad name - and due to experience of helping my friend I've also been in the position of trying to pull a boat in with ropes needing the whole of the path so I totally understand that you don't want to to be looking out for people who just use the path as a race-course. Very much in sympathy. Round here the paths haven't been widened though. They are very wide round Angel however - but they've also introduced very aggressive speed-bumps there so I don't cycle along there anymore.

  • That sounds like a great run Ruth, I hope you can keep on finding a way to fit them in.

  • That's an amazing time for your first 10K! Very well done and you certainly deserve those new shoes!

  • Well done, great feeling isn't it. Brilliant.

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