Last week, I wrote about my first parkrun experience. I titled that blog entry "A Humbling Triumph". The triumph was in completing my first parkrun, the humbling came from realising just how slow I run.
Still, I had three goals, which were:
(1) Finish the run,
(2) Don't be last, and
(3) Don't take more than twice as much time as the person who came in first
Coming in 81st (of 86) with a run time of 34' 44", I managed to meet all those goals. As I said, it was a triumph.
To reward myself for this success, I went to the local running shop and bought myself a new pair of shoes to run in. I could have done this months ago, when I started the Couch-to-5K programme, but I decided not to invest money in any kit until I proved that I would stick with running. Completing my first race seemed sufficient proof. Time to trade in the nearly dead trainers that I have been using for both casual everyday wear and running; time to find something better.
After a fair bit of time in the shop, I ended up purchasing a pair of Brooks PureProject shoes. For those who are not familiar (as I wasn't until a week ago), these are not your typical running shoe. They are tighter than normal and rather lightweight, in an attempt to recreate the advantages of barefoot running. I was skeptical, and nearly went for a similarly priced conventional running shoe... but I decided to take a risk.
This week, as I was advised, I scaled my running back. Apparently, the new style of shoe requires some time to get used to. For my first run of the week, I used the podcast for w5r3, running only twenty minutes instead of my normal 5K. For the second run of the week, I used the w8 podcast, ramping up to twenty-eight minutes. And today, my third run since moving on to the new shoes, I ran a 5K once again.
How did I do? I mentioned earlier that last week's parkrun time was 34' 44". This works out to about 8.6 km/hour. That is very consistent with earlier runs that I have timed myself over a period of several weeks -- I always came in between 8.6 and 8.7 km/hour.
In contrast, today's 5km time was 30' 59" -- I shaved nearly four minutes off my time! Holy macaroni! With the new shoes, I ended up running 9.7 km/hour! That's 12% faster than last week, thanks to these new shoes -- amazing! I'm not quite at my goal of 10 km/hour (i.e., 5km in 30 minutes)... but I am one heck of a lot closer!
Very excited by this! (Can you tell?) If I can use the 5K+ podcasts to squeeze out just a little more speed -- only another 3% or so -- I will have met my goal of running 5K in 30 minutes! Awesome!!