An Unexpected Achievement
After feeling rubbish and not running all weekend, I decided to go for a run this evening. I don’t usually run on Mondays, but work has suddenly become very busy and I needed to unwind. So I took advantage of the fact that it wasn’t wet or windy outside and headed to the seafront.
I didn’t really have much of a plan for the run. I was feeling pretty tired and very irritable, so I figured I would just go for a nice long slow run to empty my mind and give myself a bit of a boost. I suppose deep down I really wanted to run 10K, just to prove to myself that the last time wasn’t a fluke, but I didn’t really expect what happened next.
The first 5 kilometres were nice and slow and steady as I jogged along, watching everyone run past. My pace was very slow, but I didn’t mind. I didn’t even look at my watch to check how slowly I was going – just a couple of glances to keep an eye on my distance. But that was all.
As approached the 5 kilometre mark, however, I realised that if I kept the same pace going I could probably get a 10K PB. Ok, so I know I’ve only run 10K once before and most people get a few PBs early on in their training as they get used to the distance, but I’d covered 5K in something close to 36 minutes, so I was on track to beat my previous time of 1:14:23.
I also realised that because I’d been going very slowly, I still felt pretty fresh; if I could pick up the pace a little bit, I might even hit my target of 1:10:00. I remembered reading somewhere that when you run 10K, the race really happens in the second half, so by taking it easy for the fist 5 kilometres I’d set myself up for a better time without even really thinking about it. And so the second half of my run became a race, not just to get a 10K PB, but to run it in under 1:10:00.
I decided to try the strategy that I’d used on my last 5K run – maintaining a good steady pace with some short bursts of speed between lamp posts. The frequency of these short bursts dropped off a bit after the 6th kilometre, but from then on I found that I was achieving some good negative splits.
Of course, with my goal time in sight, I was keeping an eye on my Garmin and had to really push myself for the final half kilometre in particular, but I did it! 10K in 1:09:12!
I know it’s still slow by race standards, but for a second attempt at the distance in less than two weeks, I was over the moon to have knocked more than five minutes off my time and to have achieved my 10K goal.
With less than three weeks until race day, I have to say that I’m starting to feel pretty good about the whole 10K thing – nervous of course, but nervous in a good way.