I graduated about 3 weeks ago now and shortly before I graduated, I tried a different route to what I was used to.
The route started off with an uphill section, then some undulating pavement followed my a long downhill section and ending with a moderately flat (although a very slight incline) towards the end. That was the plan anyway.
Turned out the first uphill section was a km long (ouch) and I had to stop for a breather and walk the remaining 100m towards the top. Once I got to the next section which was also a km in length, I had trouble and had to stop again for the last 100-200m and walk for a breather. Then the downhill section followed and I honestly managed half of this before stopping, giving up and walking home. Eurgh, bad run!
This morning a month on, with some determination, I tried the same route again. Stage 1 (the uphill bit) seemed brutal; I constantly felt the need to stop but I plodded on. Before I knew it, I had passed teh point where I stopped last time which gave me a mental boost.
I got onto stage 2 and still felt like I needed to stop but pushed on. My Runkeeper app told me I had done 10minutes. Eurgh, is that all? So i thought I'll have a walking breather when I get to the end of this stage. By the time I got to the end of the road, I was on 14 minutes so I thought, I'd run to 15minutes and then have a breather.
Stage 3, the downhill section was a lot easier this time. I had horrible back pain last time so that's improved no end - I missed the 15 minute mention so carried on running. Finished the downhill section and still felt like I needed to stop but checked my time, 19 minutes!
Right, I'll run to 20mins then I'll stop. By this point, I was on the last long flattish section so I carried on. I was feeling a little better by this point so told myself I'd run to 25minutes, which I did.
So I managed 25 minutes, woo! And I hadn't stopped yet! Every run since graduating has involved walking breaks at around 2km & 3km. I was doing well! And my pace was ok too so I pushed on and tried to up my pace a bit to see if I could beat my PB for 5k!
Run Run Run!
It got to 30 minutes. I'd been running solid, I was so proud, looked at my phone, 4.7km so I turned a corner with a planned sprint to see if I could make up the last 0.3km in less than 30 seconds and was greeted by a steep hill! UNGGGHHHHH!
I shifted down a gear, stoked the fires, lengthened my stride and really gave it my all. It was funny, I ran for those 30 seconds at some pace, I felt good, I felt fluid. I felt like this was how a running motion should happen. It almost felt effortless to run at that stride... but it was a lot of effort, and I managed 30 seconds of it before dropping back to my normal pace.
I didn't make my PB (still at 30:29) but I managed the 5k at 30:51. So fairly close (let's not forget that 1km uphill section at the beginning too!).
I walked for 200m and then got running again, slow pace for another 1.5km before arriving back at my street.
It was a great run today. I'm elated because I've managed to run 5k without stopping again! The last 3 weeks have knocked my confidence as I've been unable to do that, but I'm also over the moon because a month ago, I tried this route, had to stop 3 times before giving up at just over 3km and today, I've ran the route with only one walking break.
I'm feeling a lot more confident now for reaching that distance and beyond. Next step is to do 5k around the local park run circuit. It's on grass, pitted horrible lumpy grass... and it won't be pleasant.