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Showing posts from May, 2019

That moment...

When you discover you've just run a sub 45 minute 6k...

Saturday's parkrun hiccup seems to have had no lasting ill effects...

It was a bit damp out, but that still didn't stop me from completing my furthest run to date. The time was really just the icing on the cake; not that long ago I wouldn't even have been able to imagine running that distance or for that long.

I still can't quite believe that not only am I doing this, but that I'm actually enjoying it too.

A blip and a PB

This morning was a bit strange. I was moving along quite comfortably and about 3.6k in I suddenly switched, mid-stride, from running to walking. No transition, no struggling, no feeling out of wind, just switched of between one footfall and the next. It was odd. The only way I can describe it is it was if there was a brief block/airlock in the fuel line and once it was through the system, I was fine.

I walked for about 30 seconds and then slowly got going again; building my pace back up, and had enough left to push the last 200m and knock 3 minutes off my previous time on this course, but that was still a strange blip.

I should probably just put it down to being a glitch in the matrix perhaps.

It's that or the realisation that I was at the farthest point on the course from the finish, so it was a long walk back...

Lies, damned lies and GPS data.

I have worked out a "5k" route which I have run a number of times. When I say it's 5k, that's what the GPS tracker in my watch and Garmin Connect tell me it is. I've run this route a few times and, to within a few metres, I always finish in pretty much the same place.

Today, because it's a rest day, I decided to walk it and record it. Each of the first 4 kilometre splits occurred more or less where I expected them to. They were slight differences but mostly I put this down to the fact that I'm usually going past at a slightly faster pace and I'm not generally paying full attention to my whereabouts when my watch buzzes to tell me I've clocked a particular point. That aside, however, they were I expected them to be.

The final kilometre is where it got interesting. When I got the notification, I was still a good 250m from where I get it when my run ends. The cumulative margin of error for the previous 4k may have accounted for 50m of that differenc…

Back in the groove...

So, despite it being over 20°C (in Scotland!?) and after Monday's over enthusiasm resulting in a short run, I set out at a slightly more tempered pace and, as a result, tonight's run was a new PB for 5k.

Granted, it's only the third time I've recorded running 5k non-stop (Saturday's parkrun recorded only 4.7k), but still, shaving over a minute off my previous PB needs some celebration* I think...

Not sure how much I'm going to enjoy running in these warmer temperatures, but it's all part of the learning experience.

*large glass of ice cold water and a long shower...

Oops!

I got a little overenthusiastic on today's run. Went off way too fast and bombed out at 20 minutes. I did manage 3k in that time, which I can't really complain about but, on reflection, a slightly slower pace would have been a better approach; especially given it was warmer than I'm used to running in.

Ah well, lesson learned; we'll just call that one this week's short run, shall we?

Hopefully I'll manage a more measured approach for my next one...

Parkrun debut

So, having signed up for the Edinburgh Race for Life on 23 June, today I did my first ever parkrun at Vogrie in Midlothian.

I was a little apprehensive as all of my running to date has been done on my own, out of sight of the general public. Having looked at the results page for the event, if I got round in anything like the 39 minutes of my two 5k runs so far, I'd be comfortably somewhere in the middle of the field.

As tends to happen to me, while waiting for the first-timer's briefing, I bump into someone I knew at university (which means we hadn't seen each other in over 25 years).

The hardest thing, was not getting caught up in the crowd and going too fast, but I found my comfortable pace eventually.

Towards the end of the first circuit, I did get lapped by a couple of the fastest runners on the day, but I didn't worry about that.

The second circuit was slightly slower than the first, but I had no complaints and I was definitely happy when I received my email with…

Race For Life

It turns out that men are now allowed to enter Cancer Research's Race For Life so, partially to celebrate my new-found running abilities, but mostly in a moment of madness, I've signed up to do 5k around Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh's Hollyrood Park on Sunday 23 June.

All donations greatly appreciated and if you'd care to share this link, that would be amazing.

First consolidation run

So tonight I completed , my first post-Couch to 5k run . I was meant to be taking it easy and didn't actually have a distance or time target but it just felt good, so with my faithful playlist ringing in my ears, I kept going and completed my second 5k. My pace exactly the same as my graduation run, so I'm nothing if not consistent, and it proves that my first 5k wasn't a fluke.

By some odd coincidence, despite totally different routes, both runs started in the same place and finished pretty much in the sense place. Guess when the time comes to try pushing up to 10k, I know precisely the route to follow...

So now, I guess, having successfully run 5k twice, there's really no excuse for me to not make my parkrun debut on Saturday...

My Couch to 5k journey

Every year, after the 7s are done and the season finally comes to an end, I take a couple of weeks off, and then start thinking ahead to the start of the new season. Generally, this is accompanied by a certain sense of dread as, despite all my good intentions, much of the fitness gained over the season that has just passed, fades away over the summer.

Last year, I decided to do something about it and started my C to 5k journey in June.

My rationale was this: over the course of a game (80 mins), I cover 5-6km. Albeit this is very stop start and I probably never run more than about 1 minute before some infringement means I blow my whistle and bring things to a halt. Unless someone catches an interception on their own try line and then runs the length of the pitch (100m), it’s very rare that I run more than 50-75m in one burst.

I figured that if I could cover 4km in 30-40 minutes non-stop, then that would mean doing it stop/start over 80 minutes would be no problem. That was the theory.

Um, well, er, yeah! This happened, I guess...

Despite superhuman levels of faffage getting ready, and the fact it was raining, went out and only went and did it. Go me...

To be fair, given how everything has been building to this run, I don't think anything would have stopped me from heading out tonight. My main concern was just not injuring myself before I got to the end and having to delay my graduation celebrations.

As it turned out, I was feeling good, things just flowed, the songs in my ears went by one by one and, as I had ran 35 minutes instead of 30 last time out, I decided to push on and did the full 5k in a very respectable 39:21. I know we keep saying its the time and not the distance, but just this once it was kind of special...

Will I get 5k below 30 minutes? Who knows? That's something for the future, if it happens at all. The fact is, just a few weeks ago I was finding runs of 90 seconds tough, and now I can run 5k, and if that isn't an achievement worth celebrating then I don't know what is.

So, t…

Next up, graduation week...

Well, a "leisurely" 3.9k to conclude the week 8 runs and bring up a total of 11k (the rugby at the weekend not included) across the three runs.

Can't quite believe I've only 3 more "6 song" runs left to do. I never actually thought that I'd get this far, or at least, get here without having to do several attempts at the longer runs, but it seems like I may just finish this after all.

Back in march, when I set out on this journey, the idea that I might only be 3 runs away from completing the programme wasn't even something I could imagine; now I am actually looking forward to it.

Bring on next week...