That elusive 5km PB goal

After I completed Redcar Half Marathon I looked at my runkeeper splits and realised I had run the first 5km in 25.27. I have never run under 25 minutes before and it looked like I was pretty close. My next goal seemed pretty straightforward – score that PB at my local parkrun. 

I started well, further forwards in the pack than my usual so I didn’t get held up at any of the bottlenecks on the course, and I ran a good steady pace, pushing myself hard all the way – knowing I didn’t have another 16km+ to go afterwards!

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I’m in the turqouise cap

I got 25.53. On the half marathon I felt like I was still just floating along at that 5km point, trying to make myself go down to a more practical pace but feeling too good to do it. Yes the parkrun is an off-road, twisting course, and so it should be slower than a road race, but I wasn’t ready for it to be slower and feel so much harder. 

I felt better when I got my results email later saying I was 19th lady and 2nd in my age group. Although I put that down to luck, and I am some way off the the 1st lady in my age group – 20.45! 

It looks like I still have some work to do, hence the focus on hills lately.

And I just worked out my 10km time too, based on my half marathon splits, and that was 52.2 so maybe I need to find a race for that too…

Running with a cold in the cold

I’m not sure what the pharmacist made of me running red-faced and sweaty into the shop to pick up lemsip and lockets, but she probably just assumed they weren’t for me.

I woke up this morning at 6am with sore throat. Seriously, it woke me up. Yesterday, nothing. It is so frustrating because I love my weekend runs. Since my post half-marathon dip in training, I have just got back into a good schedule, getting out regularly and building up the mileage. Ok, so that 10km I did on the treadmill a couple of days ago may have been a bit too fast, and ok that could be why I have a cold now…

But I needed to get into town to pick up some things, and having added throat sweets and orange juice to the list, what better way to get there than a gentle jog? I couldn’t bear to leave out my favourite woods so built those into the route. And off I went, Runkeeper pace updates switched off, just listening to my breath, keeping it slow. Rather than pushing for ‘mental toughness’ on the hills, I gave myself full permission to walk whenever I felt like it. In the end I covered a good 6km, and it felt good. I realised running is now a treat for me – getting out in the crisp frosty air, autumn colours in the leaves, and smell of pine needles underfoot. What better way to feel better?

Dark night rising

I really didn’t want to go out for a run tonight. Since the clocks changed, it is now dark when I get up and dark when I get back from work. Depressing, rolled into the depressing prospect that this is all I’ve got for the next few months.

Fortunately, I am stubborn, even in the face of ruining my leisure time. So I made myself, and my husband do it anyway.

Durham Cathedral with Lumiere lights

And it was gorgeous! We had to take a different route with more streetlights, so we went up to the Cathedral. It turned out they were setting for the Lumiere festival on this weekend, so we got a sneak peek at the lights, and the wall-of-sound choral music could be heard all over town. As we ran up the Bailey, all the students were heading to formal halls, wearing Harry Potter style academic gowns. Our run was transformed.

Maybe these winter runs aren’t so bad after all.