I went and tried out my nearest parkrun route today (google parkrunning if you're new - well worth finding out about - lots of volunteer-organised 5k runs around parks all over the UK and other countries too I think). I had a feeling that it could be a bit challenging, so decided to try it out on a non-parkrun day, without loads of other people watching.
I started off too fast - I keep telling other people not to do that, but did it myself - partly because it was seriously chilly and I wanted to warm up, plus it was flat at the start, but I rather overdid it and started feeling lightheaded and woozy - not clever! That took me to about 10 minutes, so I thought it might be a good idea to try out the walk break that I'd asked someone about earlier this morning. After 1minute of walking, my heartrate was still looking a bit on the high side, and I didn't feel quite right, so did another minute of walking. I did wonder whether I should just stop, but that seemed rather lame, so I didn't!
Started running again, but more slowly, going fine.
Argh! Horribly alarmingly steep hilly bit in the middle, that I could barely walk up, let alone run! Well, maybe a bit exaggerated, but it's about 10% slope for about 80m, so it was itty bitty little steps. Must go and read the bit in Chi Running about hills - I hadn't done any hilly bits when I read it, so didn't really concentrate on it. I couldn't work out whether to try and bounce off my toes (to avoid overstretching my calves) or what...
Got to the top of that bit, and then passed a golfer who cheered me on with 'You're nearly at the top now!' in a very friendly way. Still going uphill, but in a more reasonable fashion. It was lovely to be running in a different place, with some lovely views too.
The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, though I did seriously consider chopping a chunk off and sneaking off part way round, when I'd got to about 30 minutes, but I had another short walk, and decided that I really wanted to have a baseline time to refer back to later on. So started running again, gently. For the last ten minutes, which was nice and flat again, I decided to pick up speed a bit, and was almost back to my starting pace, which was encouraging.
My overall time, for 5k was pretty dire - 50minutes and 58 seconds (that was the Garmin time - my watch said 49min 41seconds, but I did start it a few seconds late - not that many though). I'll use the Garmin one as my starting point - it gives me more scope for improvement! So, about 50 minutes for 5k. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Anyway, even though it wasn't a continuously run 5k, and it was a bit slower than my one-and-only fully run 5k (no hills in that though), it was still faster than my Race for Life 5k, in July 11, which I walked (apart from 4 minutes running) - that was a totally flat course and took me 53 minutes. Baby steps!
On paper, it doesn't look too impressive, but I know what it felt like, and I'm pretty pleased with myself. I went and bought myself 'What I talk about when I talk about running' as a reward. (And was tempted to buy some bright green trousers in Gap... but didn't!)
I'll do a bit more training before I join in a Saturday parkrun, I think.