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A Point Well Run I Feel

PBMy 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 🙂


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Hinchingbrooke Parkrun #3 #4 #5 & #6

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I have been back to the Parkrun 4 more times since my last update and have recorded

29:18
27:30
27:30
28:04

The amazing thing is that I managed to record back to back 27:30s, i honestly could not have done that if I had tried. Still cannot manage to get close to the 27:17 I recorded on this course. Although I do feel that I could run it faster in better weather conditions when it’s not so damp and wet on the trails. No excuses though, as I 100% have tried to get close, I just keep burning out on 4k like clockwork.


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Running Club

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I really have the urge to take up running a little more seriously as the weeks have progressed. I really cannot believe how far I have come in the last few months. If i think back to this time last year when I was 5 stone heavier and got out of breath at the thought of reaching for the TV remote it really does make me smile.

At the Parkrun I attend in Huntingdon I got to know of a local running and triathlon club. I approached the club through the membership secretary and arranged to meet on a club run. Of course i was mega apprehensive and wondered if I really was biting off more than I could chew. I really wanted to try this though to see if it was something that could stick.

I turned up and approached the meeting point feeling like the guy with ‘All the gear and no idea”. My nerves were soon settled as I was made to feel really welcome. There was two new starters that night as well so we kind of clung on to each other as things started to get explained about the route being taken etc.

I thought we might be running 5 mile or so which is why i had practiced a few 8k runs before attending the club training night. I thought that would put me in good stead for what i might face.

As we set off it felt really good to be running along as a group. Two distinct groups started to form and i found myself in the front group. This was not intention I can assure you. As the run progressed my inner self started to feel that i had run the 8k that i was used to and i started to struggle a little and the pack I was with started to pull away from me with ease. I found myself now somewhere between the two packs on my own and wondering if it was a left or a right that needed taking (after all this area was completely new to me). And then as if by magic my guardian angel turned up to run alongside me. Someone from the pack behind had clearly spotted the straggler and ran up alongside to check I was okay. This really pleased me and showed a great team spirit. I explained that I was quite new to running and had simply hit a wall and had not run more than 8k before. She then encouraged me and we ran right through to the end of the course. To my utter shock ( and pleasure) I had ran 11k….. that’s right 11k and I had done it in 1:05:19 and my 10k split time was under an hour at 59:12. I was on cloud nine and absolutely buzzing at this. What a first night.


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Quick Update – 8k

I decided to push my distance up to 8k and undertook two runs this week. Neither runs were very quick at all but for me it was just about getting a longer distance the 8k under my belt. The first run saw me cross the 8k mark in 49:07 and two days later I crossed over in 47:37.  I Went on the same run a few weeks later and recorded a 46:03.


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Zombie Evacuation Run

The Zombie run was amazing and will definitely be something that I will look to get involved with again next year. I wore my GoCheap to capture the event and I think they day gets summed up perfectly in my video without the need to elaborate any more with words…. Enjoy!

 


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Hinchingbrooke Parkrun #2

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I entered the Huntingdon Parkrun again last weekend and was really motivated to give it my best shot. I had run it in 28:56 the week before and that was my only my second sub29 and only 9 secs off my then PB. I was obviously extremely happy with that time and took that confidence into the week where I ran a new 5k route on the Tuesday at 28:40 and then reversed the route on the Thursday coming in at 28:26.

So I lined up on this Saturdays Parkrun determined to try and really push myself, I knew the route now after all and had got over my initial fear of running with others in public. The whistle went and I shot off I managed to get myself into a good stride and as I passed the 1k mark I had hit a PB for this time of 4:50. I just wanted to now keep the pace going and try to sustain it as best I can. Naturally I fell off the sub5 pace but as I passed through the 2k and 3k I knew I was quicker than normal. As I came through the 4k mark I knew if I could find one last push from somewhere I could be on for a good time. I ran as hard as my tired body would allow me and as the finish funnel came into site I found a little bit extra. As I crossed the line I actually thought I was going to embarrass myself and be sick but I managed to fill my lungs with air and somewhat compose myself. All I had to do now was wait for the official time.

This came through on my way home and I had run it in 27:17 and this smashed my PB. I was so very happy with that time and although I know that I’m only 3 months into my running programme and whilst I was not expecting miracles I have genuinely really surprised myself. A year ago I could barely walk up the stairs before getting out of breath so If you had asked me 3 months ago if I ever thought that I could run 5k I would have laughed in your face, let alone run it in 27:17.

here is a list of my PB times over certain distances:

1 km 4m:50s

3 km 16m:04s

5 km = 27m:17s

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1 mile 8m:11s

3 miles 26m:38s