The dreaded 20-minute run is over!
The first part of the run is a gentle uphill slope for about half a mile, and it’s usually the toughest part, too, so I slowed my usual pace right down to keep myself going for the rest of the run. It helped to tell myself that as soon as my first running foot hit the ground I had under 20 minutes to go, and even though I’m running for time rather than distance, it helped to think of the run in terms of the distance I’d need to cover rather than the time I’d need to spend running.
I was surprised when the podcast narrator said I was halfway through – and by that point I was on a downhill slope anyway, wasn’t feeling out of breath, and was happy to keep on going. The steep hill that came soon after wasn’t much fun, but as ever it was manageable, and I got my breath back fine on the way down again. The only unpleasant bit of the run was coming back down Byres Road for the last five minutes or so, which was (as ever) crowded with people and required a lot of slowing down and speeding up and dodging around the crowds, which I always find more tiring than a straight steady run. Just as I was starting to think I really was getting quite tired now and my calf muscles wanted to go and lie down for a long, long time, the narrator said there were only sixty seconds left, and I knew I’d make it all the way to the end.
1.7 miles in 20 minutes. Not as fast as I could have been, but less exhausted than I was expecting. I can always concentrate on picking up the speed again in the longer consecutive runs in weeks 7-9.
Week 6, day 1 is a return to intervals:
Run 5 minutes
Walk 3 minutes
Run 8 minutes
Walk 3 minutes
Run 5 minutes.
Because I decided to push myself a little more speed-wise and get a faster pace than I’d been managing in the previous run, this was definitely tougher, and the steep hill that came in half-way through the 8-minute run was hard in a way it hadn’t really been for a while. This was also about the time that the podcast narrator said that it was probably quite tempting to go faster than last week, that wouldn’t be a great idea, which was not really great timing. If it’s really that tempting and unwise for everyone, why not mention it at the start? Or must we all learn from the hubris that comes of struggling up a steep hill through the Botanics at a pace of about 0.00005 miles per hour, while every toddler in Glasgow is out playing with its mother? Bah. Still, I kept up the same pace overall for all the runs, coming in a little short of a 10-minute mile.
As for the hills, I’m sure they’re doing me a world of good but I’m not loving them. My route will have to get longer again this week (right now the five-minute cooldown walk ends only after I’ve got back to my building, gone up the steps to my flat, and made it across the living room to the kitchen, which leaves little room for expanding), and it’s not looking good terrain-wise…