Week six of my eight week 10K training finished with a bang. I had to run 5 miles and was pretty nervous about it. Earlier this week I ran two miles with much trouble. After running 4.5 miles successfully last week, I figured “2 miles? Piece of cake”. Well that wasn’t so. I struggled to get through it, but did it anyway. A few days later, I completed a three-mile run and again faced some challenges. What on earth was going on? Because of the trouble I had with my short runs, when my long run came up I didn’t know what to expect.
I decided to change things up a bit to make sure a successful run with minimal struggle. Instead of running the majority of my distance at a 5.8 as I usually would, I ran at a 5.6. I decided to take my speed down a bit and keep a comfortable pace. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Normally I watch my distance throughout the run, but this time I decided to keep my eye on the clock. Last week I ran 4.5 miles in 44 minutes so I figured it would take me about 50 minutes to run 5 miles. I covered the screen of the treadmill with my towel and keep my eye on the clock on the wall. I had a plan to look at the clock every five minutes and give myself a boost with a count down.
It was exactly 3:00 when I started. At 3:05, I looked at the clock and said to myself “just 45 minutes to go”. Five minutes later, I looked at the clock again, and again five minutes later. This seemed to workout great for me. It took my mind off of my distance, which I never worried about. Usually, I would think “One mile down, three to go”. When I am thinking about how far I still have to go, it seems like it can take forever. When I think of how far I’ve come (i.e.-20minutes down, just a half hour left), time seem to fly by. I maintained a steady pace and didn’t get winded one bit!
I told myself that at my half way point, I would take a drink and stop for 10 seconds to do so. Once I reached 2.5 miles, I didn’t feel the need to stop or drink, it was going so well! I just kept running and felt amazing. I reached just past 4 miles and raised my speed to 6.0, ounces I reached 4.5 miles, I increased my speed again to 7.5. I finally started to get winded, but that was okay, I was almost done!
I am amazed that I finished a 5 mile run (52 minutes total) and did so without stopping, getting winded, or encountering any pain. I have just two weeks left in my 10K training! I am actually going to run a 10K!!
The idea of running a half marathon is no longer so far-fetched to me. After all, a 10K is just half of a half marathon!
If you are having trouble with your runs, keep track of what you are eating. Find what time of day works best for your runs, and try to switch things up a bit. When you are running longer distances (especially for the first time), don’t worry about time, just pace yourself and finish! Even if you have to walk, FINISH!!!!