Pre-Birthday Run PB

I had hoped to be able to run a sub-30 5K by the time I hit 40, but as the big day drew nearer I realised that the chances of that happening were slim to none. Still, that wasn’t going to stop me from trying to improve my time!

On Saturday I completed my final Parkrun in my current age category with a time of 32:50. Not a PB unless you take off the 30 seconds logged for starting further back than the start line, but a decent enough time for me, especially considering I stopped and walked for some of it.

Being used to training on the flat route along the seafront, I find the gentle inclines of the Parkrun a bit tricky sometimes. So, as I don’t turn 40 until tomorrow, I decided to go for another run in the park this morning to get some practice in.Β I don’t usually run in the morning or in the park other than at weekends but I’ve taken a couple of days of annual leave from work so the opportunity was just too good to miss.

I headed out at around 8:00am. The temperature was quite cool but it was dry and there wasn’t much wind, so I figured I would see if I could beat my PB of 32:25. My main strategy was to try to achieve negative splits for each kilometre but I wasn’t going to try any quick bursts as I wanted to make sure that I could cope with the inclines.

The strategy worked well for the first three kilometres but, as usual, my pace dropped a bit in the fourth. I realise that this is probably due to the fourth kilometre being mostly uphill, so I was pleased that my average pace only dropped by a few seconds.

By the final kilometre I was feeling pretty exhausted, but a quick glance at my Garmin confirmed what I had hoped. If I could maintain my pace, I might just about beat my PB. So I pushed on.

It wasn’t easy keeping the momentum going, but with a nice downhill slope about a quarter of the way through the final split, I was able to pick it up a bit. I relaxed, focused on my breathing and let my legs do what they had to do. Then my pace picked up.

I don’t know how it happened. I think the breathing helped, but there was also the fact that this would be my last chance to get a PB before I turned 40. I knew I wasn’t going to get a sub-30, but I needed something. So I pushed on, trying to go faster with every stride until my Garmin finally beeped to let me know I was done.

And boy was I done! I was exhausted. But it was worth it. 5.01K in 32:01 and a new PB for yours truly. And if I take away the extra 4 seconds that it took to press the stop button, that makes it 31:57 for 5K.

Splits_2014-01-27

The best part though, and the part that really shocked me, was that I ran that final split in under six minutes – my goal pace for a sub-30 5K! I don’t think I’ll achieve the sub-30 anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that I can achieve the pace that I need and hold onto it for more than just a few seconds.

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6 responses to “Pre-Birthday Run PB”

  1. ewenlewis says :

    Excellent well done on the birthday PB. you’ll be doing 6 min/km pace and your sub 30 5k will happen sooner than you think if you keep putting the time into training. Good luck.

    • theblogrunner says :

      Thanks Ewen. Getting used to the inclines certainly seems to help, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some more training runs in the park once the evenings start getting lighter. πŸ™‚

  2. LeAnn Cady says :

    You’re so close to a sub <30 5k! You'll be there in no time. By the way, Happy Birthday! Blog Runner–I am still trying to figure out if you're female or male, since I haven't been able to figure that out from your recent posts I've read.

    • theblogrunner says :

      Ha ha! Working out bloggers’ genders can be tricky sometimes. I usually get it wrong with people who don’t make it obvious, so I should probably clarify – I’m female. Did you guess correctly? πŸ˜€

      • LeAnn Cady says :

        You’ve been really good about not giving away your gender, for sure! Even your profile picture doesn’t exactly give it away! You just have to know that I’ve always thought that your blog name is absolutely the BEST–theblogrunner! Initially, I thought you may have been male, but I have been leaning towards female lately. Ha! Ha! Best of luck with all things running, lady!

      • theblogrunner says :

        Thanks LeAnn. Your blog grabbed my attention when I noticed your tagline, ‘Launching Life At 40’ – great motivation and very inspiring for a recent couch potato like me. 40 is going to be awesome! πŸ™‚

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