First 5k since April (with bits of walking)

I'm so buzzing after running 5k. It was a weird run as I don't normally run in the evenings. I was getting ready to join a running club advertised on as meeting Tues eves at 18:45. About 18:15 I finally got a reply from the organiser - he'd just got back from Turkey and there was no meeting tonight. But at least we'd made contact, and of course as I was ready I went out anyway. The canal was much busier than normal, lots of bikes, other runners, people ambling aimlessly, lost dogs, etc. I was so busy avoiding all these obstacles that I suddenly thought I've gone the wrong way, then I realised I hadn't, but felt a bit weird, like something was different today. I kept running to the top of my loop where I join the Olympic Park before rejoining the canal to head back home. The Olympic Park is normally deserted, but today it was absolutely heaving. I thought to myself - I'll walk a bit here. As I was walking (which I don't normally suddenly decide to do mid-run) I rationalised to myself that I'd make today's run more of an interval run. I thought - I'll keep walking until I'm past these people then I'll start running again. Then I realised I had now missed a turning - the extra loop that I've been adding on recently via the Zaha Hadid swimming pool, that has increased recent 4.2k runs up to 4.6k. I was so cross with myself. I thought - I'll run a bit faster for the next bit as my overall run will be shorter now. So when I restarted running I went for it (in Ruth-terms this means approx 8min/km rather than 9-10min/km). I soon regretted this and was fighting to control my breathing, my back started inventing new ways to hurt, and every small milestone (that bin, the next tree, a squashed red bull can) felt harder and harder to reach. I really squeezed every last bit out of myself before dropping my pace to a walk again. This time as I was walking I asked myself - is this intervals of fast and slow now as well as intervals of running/walking? I felt like all the rules had been thrown in the air to land randomly anywhere they liked. Partly due to feeling exhausted, I decided to just do the next run at my usual slow pace, but thinking ahead I would then do a faster run again, followed by another slower run (which as it turned out was not so slow, as I really got into my stride). I also decided that it didn't need to be a shorter run after all, and resolved to keep running beyond my usual finish point until my endomondo app announced the 5k mark (even if I ended up in Limehouse or something). So overall I did (approx times):

Slow run: 16 mins

Walk: 1 min

Fast run: 4 mins

Walk: 2 mins

Slow run: 9 mins

Walk: 1 min

Fast run: 4 mins

Walk: 1 min

Slowish run: 6 mins

I'm so buzzing, everything aches, I felt I got to the end feeling good, and averaged 8:51min/km. My fastest 5k pace (back in April) was 8:25min/km. I feel like if I keep adapting this walk/run format (gradually increasing the running parts) then I'll be fully back to where I was, and enjoying it. Really feels like a breakthrough. Happy days :)

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3 Replies

  • That's a great post ruth, you were really just living in the moment and making decisions as you went along. How terribly liberating- I love it!! X

  • Thanks. I feel like I found the fun again. I've been getting slower and slower again as I've been increasing back to 5k, however hard I try to keep running at a steady pace. But doing intervals reminded me of being in the c25k process again. I could really concentrate on just how I'm running now, not how much more run have I got to do still. I have to admit I was inspired by your 5:10min/k sprint in the middle of your run the other day too. My 'sprint' is a slightly slower pace of course!

  • I'm sure these bodies can do more than we know! Xx

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