After managing to run every other day since I began the programme (except for a week off for flu at the beginning) I decided to have an extra day's rest before starting the last week. It seemed sensible as my right foot felt bruised (perhaps the cheapo Aldi trainers showing a weakness) and I had a sore throat. But the cold got worse and I had a sleepless night so I was tempted to put it off one more day. But the sun was shining so... off to the lake once more.
I am circumnavigating the lake clockwise now so that the soft sandy sections are mainly at the start of the run (when my legs tend to wobble less). Off to the bridge with iPhone in hand trying to program the podcast and RunKeeper for the whole walk/run thing and getting MapMyRun ready to monitor just the running bit (can't wait for my Garmin Forerunner to arrive).
On to the path and I start running before Laura's prompt but quickly realise that it's one of those days when 5 minutes seems like 10, 10 like 20 and 15 is about as far as it's going to go. But there's a steady trickle of runners coming the other way, so I put on a brave face and try to appear as relaxed as they all look, and press on. Then I start to wonder if perhaps I'm committing some awful faux pas by going round clockwise (no-one else is going this way round) - angering the gods perhaps so that they soften the path and make every step bog down and get slower and slower. Hmm.
Get to 15 minutes and it's obvious I'm not going to make it to 30, just no way. It feels as though I'm moving through treacle and not getting much nearer to where I have to go (the bridge is a long long way off still). I switch my brain off until I hear Runkeeper say "25 minutes" (which is actually 20 minutes of running) and a few minutes later Laura says I have 10 minutes to go. She's kidding, of course - only a couple of weeks ago or so 10 minutes seemed impossible, and now I'm exhausted she's saying I have to do _another_ 10 minutes? After rounding a small inlet in the lake and negotiating a few more runners coming towards me I rip off the armband and try to retrieve the iPhone to see what MapMyRun is saying. I have to input the code one-handed while still running to open the phone and find it - 4 point something kms and 20 something minutes. Wow, that's a surprise, maybe I can do this. I carry on until I see the magic 5kms pop up and stop instantly, all strength gone, rather like a puppet having its strings cut. Stop the program and check again - duration 30.16 minutes, distance 5.06kms. I know that the phone apps are a bit optimistic but I'll take that. Laura's urging me to walk briskly for the warm-down walk so I put it all away and walk back to the start point.
It's strange that the more confident I feel about runs, the less well I have done and just occasionally, when I am expecting a poor result, the reverse happens. I reckon it's the gods messing with my head... maybe I'd better go the other way round next time.