Firstly, Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you’ve been good boys & girls so that you get what you want tomorrow.
Yesterday I went for my last run before Christmas. Eventually.
I finished work at lunchtime, got home and wrapped my presents and then procrastinated with a vain hope of the rain moving on.
It didn’t. It got heavier.
Dragging myself off the sofa with the thought of the £20 donation I’d just received, I went to get my kit on and tried to work out how far I should go. The devil on my left shoulder said 5k but the angel on my right shoulder said 10.
I set out with a compromise: I’d set out for 2 laps but if the weather was so terrible I could abort after 1 and still have covered 5km.
Now, covering the distance of 10km is no longer a physical problem for me thanks to 9 months of regular running. Controlling my pace over the 10km is the challenge: I’m definitely getting quicker, especially over shorter distances, but I’ve struggled to translate that into a sub-50 minute time for 10 kilometres.
I’ve read a bit about “negative splits” but never quite manage to achieve as I seem to go off to quick so I decided I’d give it another go – if I made it to my second lap!
The first couple of k’s weren’t nice – a cold head wind and, despite the cap, the rain was getting in my eyes. It wasn’t looking good for the second lap!
By the third kilometre I’d turned out of the wind and the rain was easing off and felt good. At 4km I realised I’d gone off a bit quick and tried to ease back but I still hit 5km 36 seconds ahead of what I should have.
Starting the second lap meant the return of the headwind and the return of Tower Hill, both which slowed me & I started to feel a stitch. Then I began doubting whether this second lap was a good idea.
As well as controlling my pace, I think my mental attitude whilst running needs some work. I often doubt what I can do or I don’t push myself hard enough, finding a ream of excuses to slow down.
Yesterday I slapped myself round the face (metaphorically of course, I’d have looked stupid otherwise) and dug in!
I thought of all the reasons I should carry on, all the reasons why I could do it: the £858 of donations, the 805 kilometres I’ve run since March, the people who Maggie’s are helping, the people going through Cancer treatments and anyone who is heading into Christmas with one less loved-one following a battle with the disease.
With a stern talking to & the impeccably timed Labi Siffre I cracked on with the task at hand: 5 more kilometres at 4:55 pace & with 30 seconds in hand. Definitely do-able!
I pushed myself even harder for the last section and completed the 10km in under 50 minutes. I can do it!
On checking my splits after posting the run I found that I not only run my fastest ever 10km (49m10s) but I’d achieved a negative split too!
It’s amazing what you can do with the right mental attitude!