I'm really enjoying the 5x50 Challenge. So far I've covered 184km in the 21 days - I was planning to do mostly running days but I'm having to be a bit careful because of my sore achilles tendons and niggly calves. This is how I've done it:
3 days cycling to and from work (23km each day)
2 days cycling for fun (11km and 6km)
1 rest day 'cos I was totally exhausted - I managed to double up the day after
2 cross training days
12 days running
and today I cycled about 5.6km to get to the parkrun (mainly uphill), locked my bike at the finish line then walked to the start line ready to take part in the parkrun. The organisers had decided to dedicate todays parkrun to Boston so we all stopped for a minutes silence before the start. I've had a really dodgy tummy on and off all week and it decided to start griping just before the start so I wasn't optimistic. I'd already decided not to expect too much after cycling beforehand, although I noticed it seemed to have loosened/warmed up my achilles tendons and they were more comfortable than usual. To counteract that I could feel the burn in my thighs.
I may have mentioned the dinosaurs before. Telford parkrun follows a route past a children's theme park that includes dinosaurs. As we ran the first lap and past the dinosaurs it felt as if my stomach and the dinosaurs were trying to out-roar each other ! I kept plodding away, decided to strategically walk up the nasty hill near the finish line, in the hope I could run more consistently afterwards. That seemed to work reasonably well, although the sound of my breathing was shocking !
I've noticed that I'm finding my breathing hard work over the last few days and had also had a few brief dizzy spells - I suspected this might be due to low iron levels again so I've been taking a supplement and things seem to be improving so hopefully the noisy breathing will calm down a bit !
When I got my PB a couple of weeks ago, I'd felt a bit bad because I'd passed one of the ladies in our running club, who I know is a better runner than me. She's a lovely person and congratulated me on my finish but I know she was a bit gutted and I felt a bit bad. Today, I found myself gaining on her again. It was tempting to push on but I felt a bit mean - I'd set out not expecting a good time so I thought it would be nicer to stay back. I walked for a little bit, then just tried to maintain the same distance between us. As I came round the last corner, I broke into my version of a sprint finish. About halfway along the last stretch my stomach started griping again and I had a moment of panic as I fully expected a Paula Radcliffe style disaster. It momentarily crossed my mind to stop but I couldn't resist pushing on, so I risked it and kept running. I was very grateful that the risk paid off and there was no disaster but I think it says a lot for what this running lark does to our brains and attitude. A little over a year ago, I'd have just chucked in the towel and headed for the loos (or the bushes) !
I was so hot and bothered that my sunglasses steamed up !
All things considered, I was really pleased to find that I was only 7 seconds behind my PB. As my PB was 2 mins 21 seconds faster than my previous time, I think today's result was close enough to prove it wasn't a fluke and that I must have it in me to do it again !
After the post park-run chats and congratulations I headed for my bicycle, looking forward to the ride home, only to find that I had a completely flat front tyre. I also had no bicycle pump I had to call home to be rescued so I did lots of calf raises while I was waiting - I must have looked very strange exercising in the car park.....
I'm quite disappointed that what should have been a 15km day in all, was only a 10km day. Or maybe 11-12km, 'cos we walked to the pub for lunch
I've sort of got it in mind that I want to have averaged 10km a day by the end of the challenge - I'm on 8.76 so far.....