On day 3 of the 5x50 challenge I did a 5k, to get a 'starting' time - 47:07.
Today I did my second official parkrun (I've done three 'freedom' runs on non-parkrun days, the latest one earlier this week, which took me 45min 6 seconds, so quite a bit faster).
Last night I didn't think I was going to do go out today, as I had all sorts of minor aches in my legs and feet, and was pretty tired from doing rather a lot of activity for the last week of the challenge, but I woke up feeling keen and legs ok, so off I went.
Quite nervous on the drive in - why am I doing this? But I didn't chicken out. The first ten minutes were hard work, and I was beginning to think that I'd made a mistake taking part in public again. I like running on my own - why was I doing it with all these people around?
Another lady in a fuschia top kept running past fast, then walking so I caught her up and overtook her (once, notably, while I was running up the steep hill - I have overtaken someone on a hill now!) We chatted very briefly several times, but neither of us had much puff for talking long - it was nice to encourage each other though.
I knew I'd started off a bit faster, as there's a bench that I passed at 20 minutes the first time I went round the route, and I went past there at about minute 17. About half way round is the highest point of the course, and it's almost all downhill or flat after that. My legs had loosened up by then, and I could feel that I was going well - really 'in the zone' - a great feeling when it happens.
i deliberately didn't keep checking my garmin after the first half, because I didn't want to push myself too hard and get injured, as my legs had been achey last night, so I didn't really know how I was getting on. One of the marshals called out 'only 5 more minutes' at the last sharp corner, and I had a quick look at my watch. I'd switched it to clock time, instead of the pace settings, but hadn't noticed what time we'd actually started, so it didn't tell me much - decided to just keep going, rather than fiddle with it again.
Mrs Fuschia top had passed me and was running again and just ahead - I didn't think I could catch her again, but it was good to be able to see someone else still running (last time I couldn't see anyone else by that point!)
I put on a quick burst for the last 100m or so (which pushed my heart rate pretty high - I think I need to reset what my max heart rate is), and then it was all over. Checked the garmin - it said 41m 18s - almost 6 minutes faster than on day 3 of the challenge. The official parkrun times aren't up yet, but whatever it comes out at, I have definitely got a lot faster since the start of 5x50. And a good third of the run felt really pretty good, not as though I was overdoing it at all.
I then walked 4k in the woods near the course, and on the way home stopped off to walk another 3k across fields. Hips slightly aching, but otherwise really very good.
5x50 on top of c25k is just amazing. As is parkrun - what a lovely atmosphere. Thanks to all the volunteers too.