I claimed my badge a while ago, but felt a bit of a fraud as my one and only 10k led to leg problems and seemed a bit of a fluke. That was 2 months ago. Since then I've been trying to build up more slowly and have done a number of 8ks, but nothing over. Today I had planned a longer run, the weather is, for once, very good and I decided to try for 10k again. It's a bit of a jump, but that's basically because the loop I can add on to my 8k is more or less 2k.
So, off I went slowly, all kitted out and prepared for heavy rain because you never know this summer! 10k is daunting, so the aim was to take it easy, but still try to come in under 8:00 per km, which is still way faster than last time. And I used my new found method of 1 min walking, 4 min running, which had worked so well last week.
The first km was soooo slow! No way I would make my target at that speed. But experience has taught me that I tend to speed up on longer runs, and indeed I did and settled into a steady pace of about 7:45 per km, which I maintained for the whole 10k. The sun shone, the woods were cool, there was no-one around. I trotted past the strawberry fields (but no strawberries there this year), up through the woods towards Schleissheim where there is a wonderful, quiet, flat road, much loved by in-line skaters (but none there today). On past the airfield where gliders, zeppelins and old-timer aeroplanes take off at the weekend. Round in a loop of about 2k back into the woods. The only problem with running this way round is there's a horrible bridge over a motorway. After 7k the bridge seems daunting, soooo steep. If I run the other way round I'm still relatively fresh when I get there. But the bridge was mastered and the 8k mark was passed. Slower than last week, but still faster than the weeks before. And now I knew I had to concentrate, the paths were muddy, rutted, uneven and overgrown - how does grass get that high so quickly? - and when I get tired I have been known to trip over my own feet, stumble over a root, or go sprawling for no apparent reason. I've had enough falls this year, I don't want a repeat. But there was no repeat and the end was in sight. The last km was not nice. I could have done without it. But that's always the case on this route (which is my favourite for longer runs) and I think it's the gremlins sitting in the trees on the last km. They wake up when I come past and start jeering, they mock my heavy breathing, point out my heavy legs and tell me I need to stop. I'm going to have to find a way round them, a change of route, that'll teach them, sitting in their trees waiting for me and then I don't come! Runkeeper piped up announcing I had run 10k in 1:17:20 and I stopped in relief. A good 8 mins faster than my first 10k, I was pleased as I'd achieved what I set out to do. My pace had been surprisingly steady, no slacking towards the end. Not very speedy, but quite respectable for a newbie. And it feels very good to be able to run 10k!