Couch to 5K
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1 year anniversary (and a great failed PB attempt)

I graduated c25k a year ago on this date. The graduation run was a charity race that I was very proud to complete in 30:06.

In fact I was so proud that I decided to sign up for a 10k and a half marathon the next day, and as I felt invincible I told myself that having just run 5k, it would be no problem to make the next run 6 km, and then 8 km two days later. Well, like a lot of other graduates this taught me a lesson that many of us needs to learn the hard way, and I ended up spending a couple of weeks in May on the injury couch feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, I decided to go out today and see if I could beat my 5k personal best from September. It would be a fitting way to celebrate the day. So after the usual 5 minute warm up walk (thank you Laura, I'm grateful that you drummed that into my head) I started the attempt in fine form.

It's about 1 km to first cross road on my regular 5 km loop, and when I got to the side road I was very pleased with the first split being 20 seconds faster than planned. Good stuff. Turn right, keep those legs moving fast, keep the stride long, come on Tomas, there's only 4 km to go, and with this speed it'll only take you 20 minutes. Well, nemesis hit me shortly before the 2 km mark, when I stopped to walk for 30 seconds. Quick glance on the watch showed that if I could get the speed back up, then there would still be a chance of that PB, so off I went again, but only for about 700 m before I had to walk again. Damn!

This time I gave myself a minute, and by now it was quite clear that I wasn't going to hit the target, so I set a slightly slower and more sustainable pace. The next turn, which marks the 3 km mark came quickly, the pace was hard but it felt sustainable again, now only 1.5 km down to the last turn (my route forms a neat rectangle on a map), come on, keep running. I wanted to stop again but this time talked myself out of it. Then finally the last turn and from here there's only a short 500 m until the end of the route.

Less than 100 m from the end I met the neighbour with his two dogs, both of whom a normally very placid and friendly, but today one of them decided to be obstructive and managed to run in front of me. Quick sidejump and then the final 100 m. Phew. That was hard work.

In the end I was 16 seconds short of a PB. So technically it's a fail. But you know what? It's my fastest 5 km since September last year, it was a great workout that got the heart rate up there where it needs to be to improve things, it was beautiful sunshine, and most importantly, it was fun.

Fun. That's a word that should underpin all exercise, but over the last year there has been several phases where I've trained too much or too hard or too seriously or too whatever so that the fun has gone out of it. So a hard workout that is also fun, that sounds like a great way to celebrate the the anniversary.

13 Replies

Happy graduation anniversary Tomas. That was a quick time you set for your graduation run. Now you're a year older and wiser it's good to hear you're still finding your running fun :)


Nice post and good effort Tomas.

1st K a little bit too fast maybe?


Happy Runniversary Tomas!

I don't really care how slow or fast you can run 5km ... Sounds a bit harsh but the reality is there is always someone faster and always someone slower and those people could both be you on different days!!!!!

Its like you said ... Your first year as a runner has taught you to have FUN FUN FUN whilst using your brain to trick your mind into pushing your heart and lungs and muscles and stringy connectors to work together and move you along your prescribed route ... What a game this running malarky is!

I congratulate you on yr lovely 5km time and wish you Cool Runnings for the year ahead :-)


Happy Runniversary Tomas

I have always found you very supportive and full of good advice and encouragement. An all round good egg :-)

All the very best to you xxx


Happy runniversary. Sounds like a great run to solidify why we do this - for the fun and fitness. And how exciting to see what the next year will bring.


Happy Runniversary Tomas. Setting off too fast eh? I don't know, you and that Paula Radcliffe, you're just the same! ;)

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Hi Tomas, congratulations on your anniversary! Yes, we learn something new with this running malarkey almost every time we go out...wouldn't be half as much fun if we didn't!


That's the spirit. Happy runniversary Tomas!


Happy Runniversary!

Tomas - that wasn't a failed PB. Remember that you are a year older than last year. I've just checked your WAVA rating for last year's time and compared it to your rating for this year. The two ratings are within 0.01% of each other if you are the age I think you are. What you've done, in fact, is to replicate your PB from last year. I always run faster with other people around than I do when I go out on my own. I suspect you do too. When you take into account that this year there was no-one else around you to drive your pace up, I would chalk this one up as a success.

PBs aren't everything anyway - the idea is to get out and enjoy yourself. As you say, running should be FUN.


ah Tomas, well done on your anniversary. FUN is definitely the key word!


Happy runniversary! Sounds like a great run to me - I really enjoyed reading your post. Wishing you many more happy & healthy years of running :)


Happy runniversary Tomas - there's been loads of us within this past week :).

So you had a good balance today then really - fun and hardwork - now that can only be good - here's to keeping that up :) xx


Happy anniversary Tomas! I think you've done amazingly well in the year you've been running what with your HM and so on, so well done on the 5K speed.

Fun is where it's at so here's to a chilled, relaxed year ahead running injury free.

Btw, we don't see enough of you on here. You always give great advice and support and we love reading about your runs, so keep posting!


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