One of the best things about running on Hove seafront on a Friday evening is that, if you get out early enough, you can get a free onion bhaji from Azaro’s on Church Road. Of course, I’m not usually early enough to get one on the way back from my run. By the time I get home from work and get myself out the door again, it’s gone 6:00 and, much as I hate to decline any offer of free food, something tells me that eating onion right before a run is probably not such a good idea. This evening, however, I was in luck.
I’d taken a few days off work this week, which meant that I could pretty much go for a run whenever I felt like it. Ideally, I would have gone in the morning but I’ve been feeling pretty tired since Tuesday’s long run, so I decided to leave it and see how I felt later. If truth be told, I almost didn’t go out this evening at all, but somehow I managed to persuade myself. Something to do with the fact that I’ve been feeling a bit fed up with the cold, the lack of daylight and my inability to keep running for 5 kilometres without slowing to a walk.
In the end though, that was what got me. Much as I enjoy run-walk-run, it doesn’t seem to be helping me get back to running continuously for the shorter distances. The only thing that will do that is to actually get out and practise. So that’s what I did.
I headed to the seafront just after 5:00 to see if I could complete a nice easy 5K. The words 5K and easy aren’t something that have gone together for me for a while, so I started off very slowly and allowed my pace to pick up naturally without pushing it.
This seemed to work quite well. I felt relaxed and comfortable for the first 4 kilometres and was running negative splits (not hard when you start off that slowly, I know), but by the 5th kilometre the head wind was starting to pick up.
I knew I wasn’t going to run a particularly good time, but I still felt strong enough to push a bit harder. Not too much, as I didn’t want to feel like crap again tomorrow, but enough to match the pace that I had set in the 4th kilometre.
In the end I completed the distance in a very slow 33:39 but that didn’t matter. I had run 5K without stopping and it felt really good – even more so when I received my free onion bhaji on the way home.
How do you reward yourself after a run? What’s your favourite post-run snack or treat? Please share your thoughts in the comments.