So I decided to try something different today. Usually I run in the evenings (out of necessity), with the exception of Sundays when I usually head out a little earlier and get in a morning or early afternoon run. Anyway, I decided to have a run without having any breakfast. I had a big glass of water before I went out and two strawberries (for a bit of a sugar rush!), but that was it. I wanted to see whether it would effect me, or if I'm the kind of person who prefers to have eaten, leave it for 2 hours and then leave the house for a run.
Initially the weather looked a bit grim - I've always been very fortunate before now and have never had to run in the rain. It was spitting a bit but then when I stepped outside the weather miraculously cleared up. 'Great stuff!', I thought to myself.
It's often said that Couch25K is as much as mental challenge as it is a physical one. I really felt that today. My legs felt very heavy and were struggling to cooperate with me, and I started to hear little Gremlins, for the first time in a long while, mumble in my mind.
'Wow, you haven't even been running for 10 minutes and your legs hurt. You can't do this.'
'Why did you even think you could run without having any proper breakfast? You're stupid.'
'Your legs hurt so much, it's like running through honey.'
'Well', I thought to myself, 'I rather like honey. Maybe I'll have some with my breakfast when I get home.'
I struggled through and the Gremlins relented a little. Then one of them took physical form! A man made some comment as I ran past him. I couldn't quite catch what he'd said but I knew it wasn't positive. I just yelled, "THANK YOU!" and kept on going.
When Laura announced that there was only a minute left, I willed myself to go faster, and I did. 'Why the Hell are you doing that?' A Gremlin asked. 'Because I'm mental!' I replied, and I really upped my pace. I visualised a finish line with cheering faces and water and breakfast and a shower and I just went for it. It wasn't a full-on sprint, but I certainly couldn't maintain that kind of pace for long! I let out a silent cheer as Laura told me to slow down to a walk, and I felt as though I had slayed the Gremlins... for now.
This time, RunKeeper said I'd broken another 3 personal records. I was really surprised as at times I had slowed to a dangerous 'this is walking' pace. Including the 5 minute walks on either side, today I covered a distance of 3.13 miles, was tracked for 41.29 minutes (my 5 minute cool-down walk went on for a bit longer than 5 minutes), and I burned 327 calories. I was really surprised, as I had really felt like I was going much slower today, but apparently not! Maybe that's why my legs had been giving me grief. Next time I go for a run I'll pay more attention to how fast my little legs are carrying me in those first 5-10 minutes.
When I returned home, I saw my cousin's pictures which she'd uploaded of her and a friend participating in a 10K earlier this morning. She was thrilled as she achieved a new PB. I felt very proud of her and wondered whether one day I could join her on a 10K race.
I hope that everyone's had a lovely weekend, and that you too can conquer the Gremlins.