One sign you’ve become a runner is when you have to go out somewhere to do a message and instead of walking to your destination you decide to make it into a run.
Hence my run this morning. I needed to go to Tesco’s to buy some gels for Dublin tomorrow so instead of a nice Saturday morning walk I plotted a 5k route that would fulfil my training plan obligations and get my shopping done. Win win!
I shouldn’t have been running today. My plan had the 5k down for Friday but a busy day at work put paid to that, and because I have another half marathon tomorrow it was imperative I had some sort of run under my belt before then.
My coach left me the following instructions for the run: “Push the pace slightly. Try and make the run progressive. Not an easy 5K but you shouldn’t be pushing to your max either.”
To me that meant no parkrun. I knew I couldn’t or wouldn’t take it easy there but, as difficult as it was not to go, I needed to be sensible.
So … the scenic route run to Tesco. The first mile was a little rusty, my knees felt ‘clicky’ and it was generally on an incline but it was ok, not bad for what was essentially a warm-up, coming in at 11:31.
Mile two took me through the industrial estate, never the most inspiring of locations, nor exactly a comfortable place to run due to the poor conditions of the footpaths. That said, I increased my tempo considerably, shaving some 30 seconds off that first mile.
The final mile was even quicker. By now I was fully into my stride, all warmed up and loosened, so it was no surprise I was a further 15 seconds faster this time.
Overall, in the end, I was only a little bit slower than parkrun last week but felt as if I had expended a lot less effort which, coupled with the steadily faster miles, fulfilled my pre-run instructions.
Not a bad wee warm-up for my second half marathon this week. Bring on Dublin!