I daren’t hope that this will last but I seem to be on a little roll with the running. It’s been a struggle recently and I don’t actually feel like I can run at all. I seem to huff and puff my way through 2.5 minute running intervals and the half mile repeats the other day were tough. Did I really complete a marathon only 3 months ago? Well, yes I did but using run/walk intervals. The last time I actually ran any sort of distance without walking might in fact be the Dopey Challenge 5k. Hm
So having convinced myself that I can only manage 2.5 minutes at a time, it was time to unconvince myself. Our training plan actually called for a 5k run today (although we are a little random at the moment because we’re behind) so we agreed that we would try and run it all. We agreed to forget about pace and just focus on running it all.
I didn’t really want to get up but then it looked like a lovely morning and I was sort of awake anyway so up I got. We went our sheep loop – so the first mile and a half were hilly – first down a bit, then up a bit, then down a little and flat, then up a little more and eventually down the golf course. The rest is flat – along the canal towpath. We set off steadily and kept going steadily. Steady seemed to work. My breathing seemed fine, everything felt fine. My thigh and butt muscles were tight from running yesterday and probably the strength yoga session but usually my lungs give out before my legs do so it was interesting to feel it more in my legs.
I felt good at the bottom of the hill and slowed a little (more) on the hill but made it to the top still feeling pretty good. Soon we were past the first sheep field and going slightly up again. We passed our second field at mile 1. Still felt pretty good. Then came a little bugger of a slope on a fairly narrow uneven path but I still felt pretty good. A dog walker had stood to one side for us and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could say thanks and make a joke about going as fast as I could. I got to the top puffing a bit but doing ok. Going downhill I slowed to snail’s pace. I hate going downhill. Eventually though I made it safely onto the towpath.
It was a lovely morning to run, a little cooler than it has been and with just a slight breeze. We saw two herons not long after we got onto the canal. They are majestic birds and my running mascot – whenever I see one I have a good run. I started huffing a little and beginning to want it to be over with roughly half a mile to go but I also knew I could do it from there. The last mile was the fasted mile and we saw another heron further down the canal which gave me a last little boost to just keep going. There were a few little seconds today where running felt easy – were everything clicked into place. It didn’t last long but it was enough to remind me that it’s worth it. It wasn’t a fast 5k by any stretch of the imagination – 40.45 but I did not walk, not once.
Ok, so now that mental hurdle has been cleared, it’s time to build the miles!