Its a good thing I called this blog Running Not Racing because that is exactly how my weekend turned out. As I have mentioned here a few times there was a local 10k being held this weekend. The event’s Facebook page said it was on the 28th and its Runireland.com event listing had it down for the 27th. My friend who had decided to do it with me told me last week that the local advertising said it was the Sunday.
So when I texted her Saturday evening, I was disappointed to be told that the race had taken place earlier that day.
I felt daft and went about double checking the information I had and yes, indeed both Facebook and an email I had received said the race was on the 28th (Sunday). Oh well, best laid plans.
I decided to channel my annoyance and went for a run. It was lovely and I did a fast 5k using the same 2 min running/1 min walking intervals as my last 5k. My Runtastic app has a ‘Challenge This’ function that lets you compete with yourself over the same route. Its quite cool actually, using spoken announcements to let you know if you are ahead or behind your last attempt and encouraging you to overtake yourself (is it weird I visualise an actual runner chasing me?). I pushed hard in the running intervals and twice jogged the recovery intervals and was rewarded by a 1 min improvement on my last attempt. This brought me within exactly 1 min of my 5k pb.
On the way home, I briefly considered driving to Galway City the next day to take part in an alternative 10k but was not in the mood for the drive there or the fight for parking. I did, however, find another race in the same costal location on July 12th organised by the charity I raised money for when I ran the Dublin Mini Marathon so I have decided to do that race instead (http://www.runireland.com/news/atlantic-way-run-inaugural-atlantic-way-run-aid-cancer-care-west-will-take-place-sunday-july-12).
Having enjoyed my Saturday evening run so much I decided to head out Sunday for my LSR, a 10k. My legs were feeling great and the weather was nice. I chose a different route to my usual 10k and headed off with my Spotify playlist setting a suitable tempo. My chosen route includes 2 steep hill climbs but the pay off is the gentle downhill slope from the 8k mark. This was going to be great.
Except it wasn’t. Around the 3k point, having easily crested the first big hill and working my way up the second, my legs decided they were tired so I walked just long enough for my heart rate to calm and took off again. However, my legs were having none of it:
Brain – Ok, were are only 3k in, just warmed up really. You can walk to the junction then we are off!
Legs – *in sulky, teenage voice* No.
Brain – Yes! Here we go, a downhill bit, lets go, a nice steady pace, no one says we have to go fast
Legs – I said No. And you can’t make me.
Brain – Ummm, I think you will find I can, after all, this is my body and you will live by my rules.
Legs – Its too hot, I’m too tired and I don’t want to.
Brain – Pleeeasse. Just as far as the next km mark then you can walk again.
Legs – I. Said. No.
And so it went. After the 5k mark, Brain gave in to Legs and we compromised on walk/run intervals. It seemed to go on for for ever and, like an Escher painting, seemed to be always going uphill. My 1 minute interval strategy worked though and I decided just to enjoy it, admire the scenery and sunshine and just keep going.
It was my slowest ever 10k. On the upside, Runtastic rewarded me by telling me it was my longest ever time spent running and therefore the most calories ever burned. At least my feeling that I was always going uphill was rewarded by setting a new pb for the greatest elevation I have climbed – 64m.
So there you go. No race and maybe that was for the best. I would have made a complete show of myself.