And so it goes on … my fifth successive day pulling on my shorts and getting out for a run.
This one was different.
It was my weekly speed session, with my task tonight to attempt 4 x 5 minute intervals at 5k target pace with a one minute recovery in between. My 5k target pace is 10 minutes per mile so, in effect, I had to run for half-a-mile in each five minute split … pretty straightforward really once I figured it out!
As usual for things like this I headed to the old faithful dual carriageway/industrial estate route, nice and uninterrupted albeit exposed to the elements which tonight was an interesting combination of heat and wind!
With lots of miles in my legs from the past four days I had no idea how this was going to go but I knew I just had to get on with it.
Remember, my target was 10 minute mile pace …. so when my first interval came in at an average of 9:26 I was really surprised. I knew I couldn’t maintain it, and expected to slow down considerably for the second interval.
I did, but only to 9:32. Wait! What? I’ll be honest, I was really struggling by now but was also giving as much effort as I could.
Interval three … 10:08, slower but almost on target so I wasn’t worried. Perhaps now I was beginning to figure out how to pace myself correctly. I do struggle with this aspect of speed work and I know I need to work on it.
Interval four … 9:46. Back under ten minutes again. Rarely have I been so pleased to finish a run, not only because I was finished but because I had achieved a pace I didn’t think possible.
I was drained. Totally and utterly drained of every last bit of energy I had left. But I was elated too. This has been an extremely intense five days but I have come through the other side unscathed, hitting almost every target along the way.
Then it hit me … today is also the third anniversary of my first ever run out on the roads.
Although I’m often far too critical of myself I’m also going to acknowledge everything I’ve done and achieved in those three years.
Running has provided me with so, so much. I wouldn’t change the experiences, or the friends made, for anything in the world.
For now, though, rest!