So, it turns out that Week 8 Day 3 of C25K is a whole 3 miles, not 2.75 as I expected. Still, after three rest days due to crazy leg pains and massive fatigue, I was happy to give it a go.
I headed down to the seafront pretty much straight after work – well, after going home for a glass of chocolate milk and an orange. I wasn’t feeling very hungry and was still buzzing from a particularly crazy day at work, so I figured I would have enough energy to get through it.
My plan was to take things fairly easy and not worry too much about my pace. Adding a quarter mile to my workout has been tough for the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too exhausted to complete the third mile.
Realising that state of mind has a lot to do with these things, I decided to add the extra distance to the start of my regular route. That way I would still be finishing in the usual place as opposed to having to run further at the end. It sounds silly, I know, but it kind of worked.
The main problem I had, however, was that I started too fast. I was running at a pace of nine point something for the first quarter mile, which is way more than I usually do, and I had trouble keeping it down. Of course, after half a mile I began to slow down and get back to my usual pace. But it didn’t seem good enough somehow.
The voice in my RunKeeper app was telling me that I had an average pace of ten point something minutes per mile and, even though I knew I would be suffering by the end of it, I wanted to keep below eleven. So I kept going.
It was tough and, as usual, by the final quarter mile I was really feeling it. So I decided to slow right down until I reached a point where I knew I could pick up the pace and maintain it until the end. And that’s what I did. It wasn’t quite a sprint, but it was a strong finish and it felt amazing.
I looked at my app and it said that I had done 3 miles in 32.22, or something like that. I don’t remember exactly because at that point my app decided to quit on me and made my phone totally freeze up.
I’m hoping that it will sort itself out when the battery drains and my phone turns itself off. But for now, I think my time was around 32.22, which works out at a pace of 10.47 minutes per mile – my best pace yet!
I guess having those extra rest days did me some good, so I plan to do one more run this week, probably Wednesday, and then rest until Saturday’s parkrun.
It has been a long time coming, but it feels good to have that particular finish line in sight.
How many rest days do you take each week? Do you find you improve after a rest or do you run better on consecutive days? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.