I was up and at the park for 7:45 this morning to join the group of runners I met on Wednesday. They planned to do about 10k around the park, out onto an old railway line that is now a cycle way as far as a country pub, loop around and back. It would be the farthest I had ever run and I was a bit concerned about a slightly dickie tummy due to large quantities of beer at a tennis club quiz last night and only 5 hours sleep.
Off we set, about a dozen of us and 3 dogs and I soon found the pace to be slightly too slow to be comfortable. I enquired about the route to be followed and then just allowed myself to pull away from the group at a natural, comfortable & unhurried pace (you see JuicyJu - I am learning!). I plodded along until I reached the pub at about 4.5k but then had to wait for a couple of minutes for someone to catch up and show me the loop. I jogged along with this nice lady for a couple of km chatting about her recent HM (2 hours 10 at age 55 - not bad I thought) until we got back onto the track. She warned me she would slow down when we got to a sharp little rise and when she did I pressed on again, still at an easy & comfortable pace.
At about 8 or 9km my right calf started to twinge just a bit but nothing I couldn't ignore and I got back to the start point where I met some of the slower runners who had taken a short-cut to make a 5k of it. Checked my phone and b*gger! Damned phone had stopped recording. I checked my watch and waited for the nice lady who arrived about 4 minutes later. She told me it was 9.65km and she had taken 56 mins so I would put my time at about 52 mins which is fine as I really wasn't pushing it at all.
So that is 9km done. Tick. I will do a properly timed 9km to try to reach my 5 mins per km target pace later in the week. I am encouraged that I could easily have done another 0.35 km to reach 10k, but that will have to wait for next week.