My 5k runs have been centralized around the park runs of late and as I have been pounding pavements in search of completing further distances. It has been a few months since I have tried to run a tempo 5k on pavement and a few weeks since I have run at work on a lunch hour.
This all changed this week as the topic of running hit the office workspace and my buttons started getting pressed about how long my 5k PB has stifled at 27:17 and that going to running club clearly isn’t paying off as what have I achieved since etc.
I know for the most part that this was banter and in some deluded way a sense of motivating me but it annoyed me. I have to say though the biggest problem was that I was letting it get to me. I mean so what if I had stifled on my speed over 5k. I mean I wasn’t running 5ks ( only at the park runs ) and I was trying to slow down if anything to get my pace more sustainable at 10k + speeds.
I started this running lark to get fit and then I got consumed by the now infamous ‘running bug’. I really do love it and I really do want to get better, run further and most definitely run faster. However I want to ensure that whilst I do this I do it for all the right reasons. I know I’m never going to be an elite runner and I know that the progress I have made in the last 3 months is slow and steady but honestly in my eyes I feel it’s nothing short of outstanding considering where I started from.
That said there are always people in life that want to make it about how you are compared to them. I can’t say I’m really surprised as I got totally sick of my first love of fishing due to the constant ‘Big Dick’ syndrome over who had the biggest fish, the most fish, who is top rod, who has the best gear, who had naming rights. The constant keeping up appearances to just please other people was infuriating to say the least and the very reason I lost my way about what I loved about the sport in the first place. I am now taking a sabbatical from the bankside and hope that possibly one day i will return just to enjoy it how it used to be.
Anyhow I digress…. The office was busting my balls over this PB time and even though it went against everything I have just said I went out to run a 5k course that I have not run since August 19th ( on that day I got 29:05) to try my damn hardest to beat my PB. I was confident that I would better that time with ease but I genuinely had no idea how close I could or would get to my 27:17. In my head I was thinking just at least try to beat it and give it your best shot.
Now I can’t be sure if this “banter” was the inspiration for what happened next or simply that running a tempo 5k on pavement shows my improvement for what it is…. improvement. I set off steady but not at my full on pace and got through the 1k mark with a respectable 4:54 and the 2k mark at 9:57. I just tried to sustain the pace to the 3k mark of which I passed through at a PB time of 14:59. The next 2k was where I always dropped off but after the 3k split being on for a record time for me I kept the pace up as best I could . Running through the 4k mark at 20:15 and setting myself up for a real push to the finish. When I passed the 5k mark with a time of 25:24 I was not only totally amazed that I had beaten my PB for 5k but that I had completely smashed it. I won’t lie it felt good, it also felt good returning to the office and shutting a few people up.
Now I have laid that myth to bed about my improvement I will get back to running and training how I want to and work on improving the things that I need too such as running form, breathing & pace. I vow from now on I will only be racing against myself and I will not be trying to ‘Keep up with the Joneses” or feel pressured into proving anything.
Let’s really try and keep this journey fun!….. because it has been…. Thus far 🙂