I have been thinking about Parkruns and 5k in 30minutes but it turns out the next challenge was much closer to home. Our house is in the bottom of a dip which means there is nowhere to go except uphill as I leave the front door. The countryside is also quite rolling tho very pretty. However up until now, all through C25K, I have walked to the top of a hill as my warmup walk and only started running downhill! In the early walk/run days I became very skilled at timing the walk bits for the uphill stretches and the run bits for the flat or downhill stretches. I figured that it was more important to finish the runs and ultimately C25K than to be a purist about the route. In fact the hills became a bit of a bugbear for me and as the distance built up I ended up further and further from home at the end of each run just so I wouldn't have too far to run uphill. And I have rather blanked the fact that I was avoiding the hills so much!
But yesterday I bought a new car (now the proud owner of a tiny, shiny, brand new, bright red motor - instantly christened The Tomato by the kids). As is the way with these things signing on the dotted etc took longer than I had anticipated and I did not get home until 2pm. So I had 1 1/4 hours before school pickup time and I hadn't had lunch. I think it is a measure of how much I have changed on this programme that I actually thought of running at all instead of feeding my face instantly. I knew I would not get a run in if I had lunch first as I can't run after eating. But realistically I had to run, shower and eat lunch in a little over an hour as I knew we would have to go for a joy ride in the new car as soon as I picked up the kids.
Dilemma - I did not have enough time to walk up the hill and get to a flat bit to run and then walk back avoiding running up the hill. Finally I had to bite the bullet and run up the hill! Started the W9 podcast (reasoned I could not do this without Laura!) and off I went. Warm up walk took me halfway up the first hill and I started running as slowly as possible (don't know the gradient but I can't cycle up this hill yet even with gears!). To my own surprise I managed it tho I was very glad to get to the downhill bit for a breather. The run went well (for once it wasn't raining and I only met one well behaved dog) and then I had to turn around at 15 mins and run back up the nice downhill bit. It was a struggle, I admit, but I did keep going even if snails were whizzing past me and I sounded like puffing billy as I got near the top. Got to a flattish bit about 25 mins in and tried to lenghten my stride as just keeping going had made me shorten my steps and sort of cramp up. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear Laura say only 60 seconds to go just as I reached the last downhill bit towards home.
Just goes to show that graduation is only the start of the journey!
BTW - the kids were thrilled with the new car! The old one was 15 years old and had 190,000 miles on the clock (the guy in the show room said I had broken his record for the highest mileage!) so I suppose anything would have been an improvement. But you know secretly I was more thrilled with running up the hill than with my lovely new Tomato.