Today is the last opportunity for a longer run for a while - I'm going on my hols for two weeks and although I will definitely be running I probably won't be straying too far away from where we're staying and expect 5k to be the maximum. Well, I overslept for a start this morning and didn't get out till 10 am. It was raining quite heavily but somehow you don't get too wet when you're running and I actually enjoy the rain. I ran semi-naked. No music, just runkeeper piping up every 5 minutes. I needed that as I wanted to do some run/walk. One minute walk after every 5 minute announcement from runkeeper. My recent runs (at least the first 5k) have mostly been non-stop, which is good - I felt as if I'd graduated again when I'd done 3x5k non stop in a row on Monday! But not today! Off over the fields, through the wet grass. Fortunately the dog walkers have trampled a wide path so there was no long grass to trip over. Runkeeper announced the first 5 mins and I winced at the time. My first km is usually my slowest, but this was ridiculous. While walking I tried to persuade myself that it didn't matter, that this was fun, that it was about banking mileage, that there were others a lot slower and anyway I usually get faster etc. And then I was off again, the grass tracks turned into proper trails, alongside fields, full of puddles, but no mud (yet). Past the allotments, along the edge of the strawberry fields and then up the track heading north parallel to the railway tracks. I didn't notice the rain, I dodged the puddles, my feet got soaked, my glasses steamed up when I walked but cleared when I started running again and rain started dripping off my baseball cap as it got saturated. My times improved as I ran through the woods, having opted for the 8k run rather than a longer one. Just a straight path through the woods, a bit boring really, about 1.5k stretching off into the distance. At the end I turned right over the motorway bridge. An incline and I'm in a running phase, little steps, don't look too far ahead, don't change your pace, just shorten your stride as you've all taught me and then I'm running down the other side. Runkeeper tells me that I've put on a burst of speed over the last couple of km and my times have improved drastically. Even I'm happy with them now - I have been faster, but they're respectable for a newbie, slightly overweight, middle-aged runner. I'm heading back home now and my statistical mind starts working overtime "in the next 5 minutes I will get that far, 5 minutes later I'll be there and then it's only about one more km till I'm home". Round amongst the bendy trees, where the track is rutted and muddy. Have to watch out, pick my feet up and make sure I don't slip on the wet grass. But my shoes are good, no sliding at all. The last 2 k are a blur and I have a smile on my face when I get back home after 8.2k in 59 mins. Anything under 7:30 mins/km is fine by me, especially on a longer run. I pranced around my husband, energized by the run. Now I just have to pack for my hols.
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