I have had a difficult week at work. The hours have been long, there have been numerous problems to be solved. One person was particularly unpleasant. I have struggled to find time to run until yesterday evening, by which time I needed to run.
The training plan said 9.7k, but that had to be rounded up to the full 10K didn’t it? I was to run at a steady pace of between 9.03mins/km to 8.19min/km .The evening was sunny, with a light breeze and my route was quiet. I brought my dog Max who needed as much stress relief as I did after a week of getting used to our new kitten Harley.
A 5 minute warm up loosened out the legs and I set off, listening to this http://marathontrainingacademy.com/slower-runners episode of the podcast The Marathon Training Academy about the challenges faced by slower runners, which was full of positivity and support for us mid to back of the pack runners.
I found my pace easily and the first 1.5k was an easy flat road run, under the bridge, up the hill and past the cemetery. Around the bend and up the short but very steep hill. I have run this many times but this was the first time I was ever able to keep running all the way up the hill and not have to walk. Around the corner to the right and the lake comes back into view, the evening sun glinting off it. My legs were feeling great, my breathing easy. The route has gentle undulations and I covered the next 4k keeping an even pace, always staying at the faster end of the pace range.
Around the bend the right again and down the hill and through the forestry and headed up the final steep hill, not walking a step. Final bend to the right and back towards the beginning of my loop. My legs and lungs are feeling great and I start to pick up the pace a little. As I reached the 10k mark, I could have kept going, the endorphin and serotonin pumping through my brain.
This was the first time I had been able to run this hilly route without ever walking and I am delighted. I may have taken 1hr 21mins but speed was not the point of the exercise. I achieved my goal of an even pace, managed a negative split and finished feeling great. That, for me, was the perfect run.