Whether it be a lack of company, or general fatigue, but I found tonight’s run difficult.
It was an intervals/speed session of 6 x 0.5 miles at target 5k pace with two minutes recovery between. For me that meant doing each half-a-mile split in five minutes, after a warm-up run of course.
I wasn’t really looking forward to it and, if I’m honest, I let the thoughts of it hang over me all day which then cast a shadow over my morning and afternoon. Never a good sign, but one I’m all too familiar with.
I’m nothing if not determined so, come the early evening, I knew I’d have to haul my sorry backside out there and at least give it a go.
The warm-up mile was, as ever, a challenge. I wanted to just get straight into the intervals just to get them out of the way as quickly as possible.
As usual my ‘track’ was along the dual carriageway. I freaked myself out a little by measuring half-a-mile during my warm-up. It felt longer than I thought.
I made the rookie mistake of starting the first split on a slight uphill, and I almost quit it as a result but decided to just keep going. After all, the sooner I did this the sooner I’d be finished. As a result, the first attempt was ever so slightly slower but it wasn’t far away so I was happy enough.
It was tough. I felt tired already, how the hell was I going to do another five?
But, yet, I did. The second split came in at 4:31 – that’s nine minute mile pace! I was aiming for ten so obviously that was far too quick.
Number three – more like it, 9:57. Almost bang on. It wasn’t getting any easier, or at least it didn’t feel that way.
Split four was a little bit quicker, 9:35. After this I began to grow tired of the back and forth along the side of the road so decided to take the long route home in order to squeeze in the final two.
Five – 10:02. What pleased me about this was it was downhill to a large degree so I was happy I managed to regulate my pace despite having the advantage of the descent. It would have been easy to let go and produce a false reading.
Finally, the last one, 9:59. Sheer bliss. Very nearly perfect, and it was also the most comfortable out of all six. Maybe it was psychological, maybe it was just my body starting to adjust to the overall run but it was reassuring, nonetheless, to get to the end and to feel pleased with my efforts despite a shaky start.
It was still a very challenging evening, but I overcame my doubts and insecurities to get out and do it.
Thankfully I’ve only got one more training run before Saturday, another ‘intervals’ session on Thursday but that’s – on paper at least – easier than tonight.