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.