Having done my first Parkrun and first continuous 5k on Saturday I wondered if I should have an extra rest day, but, much in the vein of Irish-John 's thought for the rest day, out I went because I needed to feel my best before driving over 200 miles to sort out stuff for my mother. I can just play it by ear, I thought.
So, after a while I found I was more tired than usual and breathing was harder so I walked for a short distance. Got to a hill I've been practising going up, ran halfway up, walked a bit then ran again. Back down, rinse and repeat, followed by another brief walk then running all but a few strides till 5 minutes from home, thinking how good it had been even though even slower than usual. Well worth going, to set myself up for the day ahead.
So here's the oddity. Strava tells me I was quite wrong about the speed - it was one of my "faster" runs, and the 2 efforts up the hill were the "quickest" I've got up there, even though I walked a bit! Not that it made a difference either way to how much better the run had made me feel - the endorphins were there either way!
I can only think that it stemmed from the 2 runs before. Last week I had my first try with the run/walk section of a local running group. They definitely set off faster than I normally do when by myself but do it for shorter distances then walk (very briskly). I just about managed that. Then after 2 days rest there was the parkrun where I'm pretty sure the effect of being in a big group was to make me start off faster, but in that case, knowing I wanted to try to do 5k continuously, I remembered what Laura says about keeping steady and slowed down. I guess those 2 runs must have got me starting quicker than before so it looks like I've accidentally started practising improving my "speed" as well as the hill stuff improving.