Until the parkrun, I haven't really done any 5k runs and I think a 5k was taking me 34-35 minutes when I graduated and shown little improvement since then.
Now, these are my 5k result this year:
Parkrun 16/2/13 34:35
Parkrun 6/4/13 32:14
Parkrun 20/4/13 32:21
5k race today 31:37
I'm pretty chuffed with that and the improved times were all pretty unexpected. The parkrun on 6/4/13 was after the first week of the 5x50 and I was still feeling a bit in shock after exercising every day - but knocked 2mins 21 off my time.
The parkrun on 20/4/13 I didn't expect to get a good time at all, not only was I well into the 5x50 but I cycled 5.55km to the parkrun. Only 7 seconds slower than my PB seemed unexpectedly good.
Now, this week I've probably overdone it on the 5x50, what with my 19mile + ride on Wednesday and 14 miles cycling to work and back on Friday as well as the usual running club nights - it all hit me yesterday afternoon. I cycled to Parkrun, marshalled, then cycled back. Then walked to the pub for a jacket spud lunch. In the evening, I could hardly move for the pain in my legs and I felt exhausted.
This morning saw me aching and sore, struggling to walk up and down the stairs, popping painkillers, hayfever tablets and vitamins and generally feeling shaky. I had a 5k race in Shrewsbury and treated myself to riding there on my little Honda XL185, along the country lanes. I was still feeling wobbly when I got there and it hurt to walk to the start line. I was planning just to enjoy it and for the first 4km, I stuck to a chatting speed as I knew that would ensure I could finish. Out of the blue, I felt the urge to speed up for the last km - overdid it a bit and had to walk a couple of steps, then picked up again and legged it to the finish and a PB ! Where did that come from ?
I wonder if the 5x50 has toughened me up a bit so that I can keep going when it's uncomfortable and I'm tired. I've noticed several times with the cycling that I think I'm plodding along and it's hurting because I'm tired but then I check the Garmin and find I've actually been slightly quicker. My friend at running club has commented that I always look worn out when I arrive but seem a lot better by the end of it and that was certainly the case today.
I was amazed on my 19 mile + cycle ride that, even though it was the hilliest and longest route I'd done, on average I was slightly quicker than on my previous ride. Frankly, I was staggered when I saw that !
Has anyone else on the 5x50 noticed this sort of pattern ?
I'd decided not to do any races during the 5x50 because I assumed I'd be slower overall due to doing more frequent exercise. I only did the race today because it was a memorial run for a friend of a friend - I loved it !
One of my aims for this year was to beat the 30 minute barrier for a 5k - it's beginning to feel achievable