Back to basics tonight with an easy 5k as per my training plan. Indeed, my runs between now and my next half marathon on July 21st are all ‘easy’ apart from, of course, my interval sessions.
I guess it’s what my body needs. I am beginning to creak a little in my old age, and with doing so many races in such a short space of time.
Easy is perhaps the wrong phrase to use, but runners will understand what I mean. Maybe gentle is more appropriate because I rarely find running easy. It’s still a physical battle when I’m out and a mental battle to even begin.
But back to tonight. Normally for these runs I go to the dual carriageway and loop back when I get to the industrial estate but, this time, I decided on something different and headed towards the Toome Road.
Anyone from Ballymena will know that means a few climbs, some steady and some short and sharp, but I sort of wanted to test myself a bit ahead of the Dark Hedges in 11 days.
The first climb, early in the run, felt fine. I was still in ‘easy’ mode at this stage so I didn’t really exert myself, I just wanted to get to the top.
After that there was a steep drop down the other side before the road gradually rose back up. Here I decided to see what power I had in my legs, upping the pace a bit and also trying to lengthen my stride … and it felt ok, to be honest. It’s still unusual trying a different stride but I think doing it a little bit more with each subsequent run it might start to become more natural.
Just as the second mile included a steep drop, the third and final mile meant that I had to go back up the way I came – it was an out and back run – but this was ok. I held a bit back, this was an ‘easy’ outing after all, got to the top and then was treated with the long descent home to complete my run.
All in all, it felt good to get out despite not really wanting to. The drop in temperature definitely helped too. It was still 19° but it was much more manageable than that which I had to deal with at the weekend.
Tonight’s run brought me to 50km for the month already. This year I’ve been attempting to run at least 100km per month in order to earn a set of 12 medals through Virtual Runner. So far I’ve achieved it from January to June, and I’m well placed already for July … still a long way to go to complete it for the year but it’s been fun and beneficial.