So, after repeating week 5 to regain a bit of fitness, having had to miss two weeks of runs due to an unholy amount of work, week 6 so far has been... well... an experience.
Week 5 take 2 had been a breeze, I was confident, happy that my body had maintained my hard-earned fitness, and felt like anything the plan decided to throw at me, I would have no difficulty in knocking right back. That, it turns out, was perhaps not the best attitude to have. I set off on run 1 of week 6 with my head held high. 5 minutes, 8 minutes and then a final 5 minutes. Please, I'd just run for 20 minutes 2 days ago! Easy!
The first 5 minutes was fine. I ran at a slightly faster pace than normal, speeding past dog walkers and skipping over puddles and pavement cracks. I was out of breath and tired when Laura told me to slow down, but still felt incredibly confident. The beginning of the 8 minutes was fine also, I slowed a little, but was still faster than usual, and coasted through the first 4 minutes feeling like the dog's dangly bits. And then, of course, my poor legs thought it was time I stopped torturing them, and they started screaming. Needless to say, my smug grin was replaced with a beaten grimace, as I staggered, hobbled and wheezed my way through the remaining 4 minutes. Never had Laura's instruction to stop been so welcome. I managed to complete the final 5 minutes of the run at a snail's pace, and finished the session feeling more than a little deflated.
Today I went out for run 2 of week 6, feeling apprehensive. Maybe my fitness wasn't as good as I'd thought it was? Maybe I should do week 5 for a third time? I began my first 10 minutes at an easy, comfortable pace - my normal speed, my normal breathing, my normal determined, concentrating face, and my normal attitude of "I'm just going to give it a go". It was great. I happily stumbled along at my bumbling pace, was glad of the walk after 10 minutes and then shuffled through the final 10 feeling like I'd done well, I'd survived, and maybe the dreaded 25 minutes in 2 days time wouldn't be as hellish as I'd previously thought. All in all, a much better feeling than after the previous run!
The moral of the story? Don't get too cocky. You'll enjoy it much more!