Sometimes I like to just get out the door and enjoy my run, other times I mull on my times and want to beat them. I have had two runs this week which demonstrated this and I wanted to share them.
As a bit of context I am currently running a Bridge 2 10k, a 5k, a speed 2.4km run and 3 x core body workout each week. (I am not fit yet but am slowly cutting out the chubby bits). I am also going the month of June without Caffeine in sympathy to wifey going without lots during her pregnancy.
On Tuesday, I decided to try and not just beat my 5k time (about 32 minutes or so) but beat the 30 minute mark. Of course that is a pretty silly jump up in speed with the benefit of hindsight. I set off and stormed away with my app running to tell me my km times. I completed the first km in 5 minutes 50 seconds, which was pretty quick and almost spot on for finishing a few seconds under 30 minutes. I struggled up the hill which normally slows me down quite a bit and stormed towards the 2k mark. I hit the 2k mark and my app told me I was at almost 13 minutes so I had slowed down loads. I got disappointed, frustrated and a minute or 2 later stopped and walked in a mood with myself. Had I really thought about it I would have realised that the second km is the worst with the big hill so the next 3 would have been better and I would have been marginally over 30 minutes, a new personal best (PB). Instead I just wandered home dispirited.
Today I went to do my speed run in my short time slot. It was pretty hot and I was just thinking about getting home, showered, cooled off and having some lunch. I do the short run at the local track as it is just 6 laps. I always runs this one a bit quicker as it is so much shorter. The first time took nearly 15 minutes and now I am down to just under 14 mins. I am aiming for 13:18 which is my age group goal to meet the Royal Navy entry requirement, just because it is a nice goal. I sped off and as I wandered round the 3rd lap the 1km reminder said I was due to finish the run in 13:08. I knew I couldn't keep the speed up all the way but I had an outside chance at least. I gasped my way round the next laps and crossing the 5th my app told me I was looking at 13:38 so I had slowed quite a bit. I stumbled up a notch and panting and gasping worse than I do at the end of a 5k, I thundered(ish) the last lap. I stumbled over the line to 13:28, exactly 10 seconds outside my goal.
The two runs taught me that rather than go out to beat my personal best everytime, I should just go out and aim to complete my run. If my run turns out to be nice and I have the energy, I can then try to best my PBs. I also think I have forgotten than a couple of seconds less is a big victory, a minute less is pretty incredible. I still enjoy running but would love to one day have a 5k run when at no point do I have the urge to stop that I need to overcome.