I haven't done a local run on my own before - just with the running "group" (me and the coach, Laura) which means I've always just followed and not had to work out my own route. I've also always done my pre-work runs on the treadmill but, unaccountably, yesterdays torrential rain made me feel the urge to run outside and get wet and muddy ! So last night I was playing with Google maps to work out a route. The route I'd had in mind turned out to be a lot longer than I'd thought but I eventually worked out a suitable distance, looping through the nearby industrial estate.
I was quite disappointed when I woke up this morning and it wasn't raining but I set off on my planned route. The warm up walk took me down the road and on to the industrial estate, a gentle downhill slope. In the distance, I could see a man walking on the footpath ahead and wondered if I would overtake him soon. My run started at pretty much the same time as my route took me uphill - oh joy ! I seemed to be slowly gaining on the walker but the hill was getting steeper.....I managed to maintain my speed and had hopes of passing him before the top of the hill, something to aim for. He turned off and went in a different direction, to his place of work. I plodded on, knowing that once I reached the next roundabout, I had a nice downhill slope to follow and recover. When I reached the downhill, I decided not to run faster but just maintain my pace in the hope that I could get the timing right so that I wouldn't be running for the last steep uphill stretch back home.
Next was a long, slight incline. I'd run for 15 minutes now and I was confident I could complete the 30 minutes if I kept a steady pace. I was still hoping for rain but, as I passed the police station and headed across a field, I settled for splashing unnecessarily in a few muddy puddles and boggy patches. I was starting to realise that finishing my run on the steep hill was inevitable but I was able to "zig-zag" a bit to make it manageable and quite enjoyed the challenge. Just as I reached the top of the hill, at the middle of the housing estate, Laura told me it was time to walk. "It's flat now" I said - but my legs were glad of the chance to recover from their hard work. I had to work up to a speed that could be described as a brisk walk. And still no rain - what a let down !
MapMyRun told me I'd covered 5.26km in a little under 40 minutes - I was pleased with that. So far, I'm enjoying week 9 and already wanting to try the longer route I'd had in mind. I enjoyed the music more than last week too - or perhaps I was just more relaxed and able to listen to it.
So pleased and excited ! The Couch to 5k program is great and I'm so grateful for all the inspirational posts I've read here that have provided so much of the encouragement to help me get this far.