Pictured below are the essentials (other than my running clothes and shoes) that made it out of the door with me this evening, iPhone armband/case, headphones, keys (to get back indoors) and a 500ml bottle of water with electrolyte replacement tab already dissolved into it. Oh and my glasses of course as I’ve often expressed a preference for being able to see where I’m going 😉
I was attempting the final day of the C25K program – week 8 day 3, a 5 mins warm-up walk, followed by a 30 mins run. This is the very last part of the program, where you afterwards officially graduate to “run a 5k from now on whenever you like”.
It’s a kind of glib statement really, as it only equates to the distance you can run in 30 mins and has no idea of the pace you are running at or able to maintain for any prolonged period of time. Hey, hang on though, step back a bit… “run in 30 mins?” Yes there you go… who cares how far you run in 30 mins? In 8 weeks (or 9 for me as I repeated week 5),
I’ve gone from “I have run for 30 seconds and I actually feel like I’m going to genuinely die” (ok, slight exaggeration).
to “WTF? I CAN ACTUALLY RUN FOR 30 MINUTES NON-STOP!”
Forget what anyone ever says or what you can read about learning to run (and there is SO much available out there) – that is the most impressive statistic for me; the fact that I can now actually run. I have graduated and I am officially a runner, and I even believe it now in my own mind. I am enjoying running. I came in soaked to the skin after the 40mins total for the session (inc warm-up and cooldown) but I felt full-on EPIC. No word of a lie – that was by far the best run I’ve EVER experienced. I have yet to experience a bad run since I’ve been doing the solid runs with no walking breaks – no joint pains. I know of course I will at some point in the future have a bad day or days, and maybe get injured, but I’m enjoying what I have for now and just riding the wave.
It was fairly heavy rain throughout the entire run, so that’s another new experience for me. I was absolutely drenched but loved it. Running as night was starting to fall was another first for me, so that’s another couple of things ticked off my list of things to do/have when running. It didn’t seem too bad, and it also allayed any doubts I had about whether I’d enjoy running in the dark.
Also, it was easily the coldest temperature I’ve run in, since the majority of the previous days of the program was during what for us was a full-on blazing hot 2 months of summer. I only really felt the cold probably I’d say in the first two minutes of the initial 5mins warm-up walk. From that point on I was totally comfortable with the temperature, and as you’d expect warmed up marvellously for the duration of the run, finishing as a heaving, red sweaty, hairy mess. Lovely, I’m sure.
I had made a point of performing a silly statistics experiment (not actually silly as it involves numbers which are awesome), which for me seemed to be a grand idea. I removed and weighed my TShirt before I left and did the same when I got back in, and it had soaked up 200g of water, which I thought was quite impressive. Despite how much I was sweating, I’m sure the majority was rain, as it had also gone from a light grey to virtually solid black and required a good wringing out too. Normal day’s running without rain tend to only slightly darken TShirts and they are most definitely patchy in the areas you would expect, and not solidly coloured-in 😀
This run was a tiny step up really from the previous two of only two extra minutes of running, but it was the final session. A full 30mins of running!
Ooh, Friday the 13th as well – totally irrelevant as I’m not even remotely superstitious. Lucky pants/socks? Nah… hehehe
The time of the session was around 6:45pm to 7:30pm. I’d spent the day in Oxford as it was a colleague’s last day and capped the day off getting my car back with an MOT. So my pattern is now back to normal – next week’s work days all finish at 4pm so all runs will probably be early evening and I think I’d plan to get them done before it gets dark, while we still have the light for next couple of weeks or so. Any day when I have a late 10am start I think I’ll look to run before work although I could even manage that on any other day as well.
I just feel like with the two sessions I’ve run which were a 25mins and 28mins run early morning were the two best runs I’d had in the whole program, so I’m currently leaning towards preferring early morning running rather than evening. All of that though is just more words I would have sworn 3 months ago that I’d never write when referring to myself!
Final track of the random playlist tonight was “Humanoid – Stakker Humanoid” which probably contributed to feeling epic. What a great track to run to. I’m now starting to pick some more less obvious tracks as well and throw them into my running playlist. I still like the randomness though, as I like to mix it up but still have the capability to skip a track if I simply feel “no, that one doesn’t feel right for now or today”. “Feel-good” songs still have a good part to play though, as a happy track that lifts your spirits just seems to instantly give you more energy and pick you up.
I also ended the run on over 11,900 steps on the Fitbit which isn’t bad for a 8,000 step daily target.
My dinner reward was grilled sirloin steak, roasted thick-cut sweet potato slices, steamed spinach and steamed asparagus. Delicious! Look!
So, onto Monday. I have a planned run where I’m going to track distance as well as time, with MapMyRun or RunKeeper (as yet undecided). It’s 5k time for real! Wish me luck 😀