Those of you who are kind enough to read my blog will know that I have had a bit of a struggle with the C25K program over the last few weeks. Today though, I put all of that behind me and achieved a rather unexpected milestone.
On Monday, I repeated Week 6 Day 1 to try to get my confidence back. I found it hard but managed to complete the run and intended to do the same run again this evening to try to build up my fitness. But something strange happened.
For some reason, after a hard couple of days at work, I decided that I didn’t want to be told when to run and when to walk. I wanted to just go out and run on my own to see what I could manage.
My plan was to get as close to 5K as possible, so I set my RunKeeper app to 10 minute reminders, thinking that I would try to do some 10 minute running segments. Then I figured that if 10 minutes was too much, I could try running for 1K at a time, so I set the 1K reminder so that I could go by distance if necessary. This was a great motivator as it also told me my current and average pace every 10 minutes and every 1K.
I set off at a nice easy pace, knowing that I would be running a lot further and for a lot longer than I had ever done before. And it felt good. The air was cool and I was feeling relaxed knowing that I didn’t have the added pressure of having to reach a specific goal.
I was surprised at how easily I managed the first 2K. Running further along the seafront than I had ever done before gave me a huge lift, especially when I reached the end of the promenade and had to turn around again.
It felt amazing. My breathing was slow and steady and my legs seemed to be working all on their own. It was as if they were gathering some kind of momentum. I knew that if I made them stop, it would be hard to get them going again. So I kept going and was shocked when the voice came through my headphones to announce that I had done 3K.
Of course, after a while, it did begin to get harder. My legs started to get tired and by the time I reached 4K I really felt like stopping. But I didn’t. I just kept going and going, until I had to look at my app to see how much further I had left.
When I realised I only had about 0.25K left to go, it occurred to me that the faster I ran, the sooner it would be over. So I took a deep breath and gathered all my strength to run as fast as I could to the finish.
And I did it! 5K in 37.10 minutes!
My goal now is to use C25K to try to improve my pace and eventually achieve a sub 30 time. I’m not sure what kind of pace I will have to maintain to do that, but I’ll figure it out. For nowthough, here are my splits for tonight’s run.
Not too shabby for a 39 year old who hasn’t run in over 25 years!