It had been a while since my last real long run.
At the beginning of the lock-down, running was more fun because I had lots of company from my family and other neighbors who either wanted to keep fit or just needed to get out of the house. I was in the last 3 weeks of my running program (even after repeating three different weeks to enable me run easier) It was fun, challenging and humbling. You know when you get back home and you stretch your feet up all day not because you worked hard for it but because the run whooped you!
Anyway, by the time the lockdown was lifted, I could run for 30 mins non-stop which was the goal for the NHS c25k (to run for 30mins straight or to run a 5k). Well, I run slower so I couldn’t do a 5k in 30 mins, maybe in 49mins or 55mins. These mins are important in recording PR (Personal records) in runs, so I can’t just round them up or off. With my cool down on some days I could do 6k. It was really cool.
The BIG DEAL about that is that I can now run for 30 mins and I finished the program.
Till I decided I wanted to run faster; New goal- Run 5k in 35mins.
There was a follow up program for the NHS C25k graduates who wanted to increase their speed, only this time, it was a fluid programme with 3 runs for Speed, Stamina and consistency which we could alternate but it wasn’t tied to any target.
I started using the NHS C25K+ program since I wanted to improve my speed. I did my best to maintain my 3 times a week schedule even with the rains.
Sometimes I did the Stepping stone run, other times I did the Speed run (this was shorter) and on very few occasions I did the Stamina run. In spite of all these runs, I knew that I wasn’t giving my all. I gave myself extra slacks, I walked in between the runs when I felt tired even if it was only after 10mins. I gave up before 30 mins because it was challenging, and since nobody was forcing me to run, I didn’t have to report to anyone else but myself.
There was no consequence. I was the Runner, the Umpire and the Coach .
I could feel the lethargy getting stronger and I knew that if I gave it as little as an extra inch, it would take a mile and my running days will be over due to no fault of the weather.
So I decided that It was time to set a new target for my running which I did – RUN A 10K IN 3 MONTHS.
I signed up for my 10K training using a new running app to coach & track since my faithful Endomondo suddenly stopped tracking my run after the first few minutes and I wasn’t able to resolve it even after about 7 runs (that is almost a month’s worth of running).
My first task was to run do a long run – To RUN A 5k.
Even after filling in that my longest run in recent times had been 4K. I though that was mean though, but this time I just needed to follow the program, that’s how I set out to run 5K this morning.
I told myself that I was going to stop when I got tired, I cannot come and go and kill myself taking instructions from a robo-coach who wouldn’t see me when I lose my breath and fall flat out.
In order to put in an effort, I opted for a guided run with an audio coach who dropped a short message every 500 metres.
After the first 500m, I was worried about the remaining 9 more 500m runs I still had ahead, but I kept going. I took some short walks in between but kept going, because every time I crossed another Kilometre I knew I had one less to go.
And every time I stopped to walk, I reminded myself that It was just a quick break to catch my breath before I continued towards my 5km goal.
Even when I walked for longer at 4km, I realised that I was only experiencing a mental block, I didn’t believe that I could run past 4km, so my body was ready to give up.
But then again, I had only 800m to go.
Would I give up after running for 4200 metres ???
Would I give up when I could smell the finish line? (I actually couldn’t see it yet)
And then I heard the audio coach say ONLY 500 metres to go!
Then 200 metres…
I Did it!
This calls for a CELEBRATION!
I BEAT MYSELF
I RAN A 5K!
MY FIRST 5K IN A WHILE
I feel so many different emotions right now, but pain ain’t one of them!
There was just too many lessons I got from my run this morning, I just had to share.
I hope you gleaned some too. Leave a comment below to share your lessons.
The NHS Couch to 5k (NHS C25k), is great for newbie runners looking for a good schedule and a goal to work towards. the aim is to get you running 5k or for 30 mins). This is my 3rd time of doing the program, my 2nd time of completing it.
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