Despite having graduated over a month ago, I have never actually run Week 9 with Laura, having abandoned her back in Week 6. Nothing personal, I just knew I’d enjoy my running more if I was listening to music I actually loved (or even no music at all). It turns out I was right.
I’m sure it’s great if you spent your youth dancing on the beach on Ibiza, but I had the delight and privilege of bopping around at live concerts to the likes of Bob Marley, the Clash, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones (and many others I was in no state to recall). Laura’s beepity-beep just doesn’t hit the spot for me, I’m afraid – it just keeps reminding me of the Countdown theme – three consonants and vowel, please.
Since I graduated I’ve been happily running for over 30 minutes, three times a week, ending up at the Ladies’ pond for a quick dip, in its increasingly chilly waters. I’ve done Speed and Stamina once each but decided I was happier just enjoying the sensation of running, rather than counting the beats. I’m still nowhere near 5k - the best I’ve done is 4.3kms in 43 minutes on my graduation beside the sea on the Isle of Wight. Although I tell myself I don’t care about speed, every now and then I get a sneaking feeling that I’m a fraud.
So on Monday I decided I would run week 9 with Laura, and even put up with her music, in the interests of feeling like a proper Couch25K graduate.
Off I set on my usual rate, not going too fast because of the ice and mud and slippery leaves. I’m afraid that when Laura told me I’d only done five minute, I gasped, ‘You must be xxxxing joking.’ But I carried on, knowing that I don’t having a problem running for 30 minutes and the five to ten minute stretch is always the bit I find hardest.
But when Laura said there was only ten minutes to go, I realised that I was nowhere near my desired end point. I had to take a short cut to get back to the Ladies Pond, which meant that my run was actually shorter than usual. I had run slower than I do on my own.
Now that is weird.
It’s back to the old rockers for me now. They obviously boost my adrenalin in a way Laura never could.