This is going to sound really silly, but I ran my first 5k for around six weeks today and I feel as if I’ve made a significant breakthrough.
Last year I ran 18 half and one full marathon, plus numerous other races, and increased my annual mileage on 2017 by almost 30%.
Why such importance on a 5k?
As I’ve written before, due to my recent health issues part of me was worried that my running days were finished. I had struggled with even shorter runs so how the hell was I ever going to get back up to any sort of distance at all?
So, hopefully, you can see why it’s important to me that I smashed through the self imposed glass ceiling I seem to have installed since Dublin.
For many, 5k is their first important milestone when they take up running. There are a plethora of Couch to 5k schemes around, 5k means parkrun and so on. So, despite me having done so much more in the past, the fact that even 5k seemed a step too far lately shows how far things had fallen for me.
But, with several races booked this year already, I knew I was going to have to face it sooner rather than later – and today turned out to be that day. It was a bit impulsive, too. I could easily have found a reason or excuse to leave it until tomorrow or the next day but once I was out I decided just to go for it.
It wasn’t a particularly pleasant or easy run, at least not to begin with. I used my tried and tested out and back dual carriageway route before cutting off for a loop around the estate. I felt sluggish, clumsy and suffered a wee bit more of that annoying ankle burn although, as expected, it *did* settle down.
I just wanted to get this done. On other days I’d focus more, perhaps work on different areas of my running and so on. But, today, it was all about getting that 5k boxed ticked.
However, what I found was that the more I ran the more I got into it. Not that it was like the ‘old’ days but I kept having little moments which suggested I was getting my form back a bit.
My first two miles came in at around the same pace but, for the final mile, I pushed it a little and chipped 30 seconds off. Still not great but it was really encouraging that I was able to do that, a tiny bit of promise perhaps.
My body didn’t freak afterwards. I did feel my troublesome left side was a little more sensitive than it has been lately but it never came close to developing into full on numbness/tingling, so that was good.
The run also kept my RED January challenge up. Day four was just a walk (it’s in the rules, honest!) so I didn’t blog about it but I do want to focus mostly on running so it was good to chalk another day off.
Onwards and upwards.