Do you ever have times when everything just seems to go right? They always take me by surprise.
I have a 10K run coming up this weekend; the Women’s Running 10K at River Lee Country Park. It had been preying on my mind last week that I have not yet run 10K this year, that any time I go out for a run I barely break 4.5K including my warm up and cool down! Even the tri club coached sessions only had me running around 7.5K!!!
Then I started thinking that, while the coached sessions were leaving me pretty tired by the time I got home, I was also cycling 3 miles each way to get to them and was feeling pretty smug and good about myself rather than completely wiped out. Plus these sessions weren’t just a gentle jog, they were proper training sessions: intervals; pyramid sessions (ok, I admit I’ve only been to two of them).
So if I can cycle 9 kilometers and run 7.5, half of which at a faster pace, is running 10 kilometers at a steady pace not going to be easier than that? I settled down with a laptop and a mapping site, planned out my 10k from the end of my warm up stretch to the start of my cool down, printed it off and put it in a waterproof (sweatproof) pocket.
So I had my route, guaranteeing 10km of running if I followed it. I had my positive mental attitude. I had my wonderful, supportive boyfriend babysitting my boys. I had 9% charge on my phone… Half an hour later I had my favourite running shoes, my Yurbuds and 35% charge.
Time to line up those zombies and knock them down!
The first five minutes felt, as it always does, like I had the wrong number of legs, not all of which were wired to my brain, but once I got past that I managed to find a rhythm I hadn’t realised I had. Wow! This must be my 10K pace! I trotted along very happily for the most part. I had decided to go backwards along the route I had plotted so as to tackle the unfamiliar part first, running across parks before the daylight faded and leaving me with a reassuring familiarity of a route well traveled on my way back.
If you’re going to be really pedantic (and I feel I’m in no position to criticise you for that) I did slow down to a walk, even a stop, a few times but as it was only for checking the map, crossing roads and, for around 50 frustratingly slow yards, trying to get Siri to text my boyfriend that I was around five minutes from home, so I’m not going to count them. In fact, apart from Sirigate, I actually decided to speed up at the end as I felt I had more in reserve than I needed, also making a little last-minute diversion so I could listen to the end of the track.
My boyfriend was just finishing up tea when I got in (I am a seriously lucky girl to have him!) and casually threw out the “how was the run?” question. He then nearly fell over at my chirpy, enthusiastic “it was really great, thanks!” while stretching out my quads (or possibly hamstrings, or something; muscle names is not one of my strong points). It’s nice to be positive for a change.