Last Sunday, when I did my last 28-minute run, at least five of my friends did the Cambridge half marathon; while I struggle to reach 5K, they were running more than 20K.
The slowest competitors finished in just over three hours, but the big guns were done in a few minutes over one hour. The winner was through 5.8 miles, just under 10K, in 28 minutes – what I did less than 4K in last week. He was going twice as fast as I do!
There’s no comparison of course. I’m totally unfit, totally overweight and I have no interest in competing at that level. But it did make me think about where I take this next. Do I work on speed, distance, more difficult terrain – or a combination of the three? Or maybe just go back to biscuits. But before that decision, there was…
Week 9: Anticli- to the -max
Completing my first 30-minute run wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped. I think after the first 20-minute run I knew, barring injury, I was going to make it. The feeling of running that first 20 minutes was a real buzz and this simply didn’t match it.
Secondly, I’m not running 5K – nor have I been running three times a week, and nor have I completed the task in nine weeks. So, for something that’s called ‘Couch to 5K’ that you’re meant to complete in nine weeks, I’ve been a bit of a failure.
This isn’t to say I’m not proud of what I’ve achieved. If forced to take sides I may well have bet against myself, so to get this far feels great. However it does feel as if I’m not quite there yet. Sure, it helped me run for 30 minutes – so why not call it couch to 30 minutes!
And no, I’m not now thinking ‘marathon!’, ‘iron man!’ etc. But am thinking, ‘I want to be running 5K because that’s what I set out to do. I don’t care if it takes me 45 minutes for now – that was my target and I’m not there yet. So…
Running friend Matt recommended the Nike+ app, so I’ve downloaded that and will move onto it – and more importantly, my own tunes – this weekend. I’ll try to stick to running 30+ minutes every Thursday and Sunday with the plan being to get up to 35 minutes, as this should actually be 5K at my pace. When I can run 5K, I’ll check back in.
It just remains to say thanks to all those who encouraged me, mostly through Facebook – it has really helped. Cheers!
One final note: I haven’t lost a single pound in weight. I’d have thought that if I didn’t eat and drink more I’d see some positive improvement. I guess there may have been some displacement but not that I can notice! Perhaps I’ll try to eat one less pie per week…