Ahh... Sundays, the day of rest for some, but the day of a fun run for me. My weekend runs seem to be alternating recently. I've either gone for a 'long' run (which inevitably hasn't been that long) or a filthy run where I get caked in mud running trail routes.
My 'long runs' haven't been that long. Looking at my Garmin stats, the longest I've run since xmas was 7km on New Years Eve. Every long run since has been around the 6k mark. 6km is no bad thing, but it's not a long run relatively speaking.
But yesterdays run, that was good. I really didn't feel up to it and I hadn't been out in almost a week so I really had to battle myself to step out the door but glad I did. I thought I'd try and add 10% on last weeks run (6.1km) so was aiming to hit 6.75km and I wanted to do that without stopping. I chose my route which is the local 10k race route. 6.75km would mean I stop at teh top of the local park and then I could walk through the park home as I cooled down.
I set off, and almost immediately regretted wearing a short-sleeve tee as it began sleeting. But pushed on as I'd soon warm up. 5km ticked round and I was actually surprised as I seemed to have run it with relative ease. 6km came & went, my calves were starting to feel tight now but surprised I'd hit 6k without stopping and not really stressing either.
I forgot about my 6.75km target and next time I looked at my Garmin, I was on 7.5k, wowsers! I'd now beaten the farthest distance I'd run non-stop and I *still* felt like I had some energy…
Then my brain ticked into gear... if I've already run 7.5km, another 2.5km would see me at a full 10k. If I'm running 7min/km, I could hit that 10k in around 18 minutes. After running for non-stop for 50 minutes, another 18 didn't seem like too much of a hassle.
So onwards I went, 8k, 8.5k 9k. By now, I was starting to feel that tightness in my calves. But I was still going steady. 9.3km, 9.4km, 9.5km... Come on! Only another half a km to go, another 3-4 minutes running. This was the hardest bit as I was literally on my door step by this point. I could have very easily stopped but no, I was a mule, a great big stubborn mule.
My sights were on 10k and I wasn't going to stop.
Next thing I know, bam! Watch beeped to denote 10k... I was elated, ecstatic even but hang on... I was still running. Why?
Knowing full well that to limit the chance of injury, you should only increase distance by 10% week on week, and I'd increased mine by nearly 70%, I should stop. I've been lucky with injuries so far so didn't want to push my luck. So I ran to the end of the road I was on and stopped there.
10.2km later, 1hr 10mins of solid running and an average pace of 6:51min/km I was very very happy. I put it down to the constant drizzle / sleet that kept me really cool and allowed to keep going.
Phew. Think I'll have that extra rest day now.