That was the best run I’ve had in ages!
As snow reports were showing the snow line approaching I felt it best to get out there this morning. It was dull and overcast when I set off; not very promising at all. As soon as I turned the corner though I realised just how windy it was. A strong and cold north wind was coming straight down the country…straight at me! I’d opted to reverse a route I enjoy to give a try at approaching some of the hills from the other side, just for a change. I’m pleased now that this is how I ran it because although I had the wind on my face early on, it was on my back coming home. There’s nothing worse than running into the wind when you’re tired.
I had set off with the intention of following Jeff Galloway’s Easy 10k app, although I haven’t done it for a while and most of the work I’d done previously was on the treadmill. I didn’t know where to start; if to restart it, carry on from where I’d left off or pick something in the middle. In the end I just chose a run with a distance close to 4 miles.
Unwittingly I’d chose an interval session, one which always shocks me when Jeff announces that we’ll do a set of race pace intervals with a minutes rest in between. Oh fine. Why not! It’s howling a gale, but yes I’ll give it a shot!
And so, whilst battling the wind, I really tried to achieve race pace for 4 minutes at a time. By race pace I think I’am aiming for between 8 and a half and 9 minute mile pace. With the minute walks that should be around a 10 minute mile. Mr Garmin shows that I was a bit slower than that, no surprise really. The huge gap in my time was when I was stopped by a lorry driver asking for directions!
I realised that Jeff’s session was only going to last for just over half of my run – I’d picked a session of just under 4 miles, fair enough, but that included warm up and cool down walks. I decided that once it got to the cool down walk that I’d just change to my ipod and run the last mile or so home as it’s mainly downhill and I knew that I would be wind assisted.
I stopped to do the switch over and for the first time ever I thought that I might be sick. I’d been coughing a lot during the run, probably because of the wind not really allowing me to get a proper breath, and I was feeling pretty rough. I tried to put the thought out of my mind and sipped my water. My iPod fired up to The Pretenders and ‘Chain Gang’ and I was off on the home stretch.
I find music really inspirational and when The Who and ‘My Generation’ started I found my pace quickening. I slowed a little for KT Tunstall’s ‘I Don’t Want You Now’ but then along came Elton. ‘Saturday Night’s for Fighting’ is one of my favourite running songs and as I looked at my Garmin I realised that if I kept up the pace I was running at I’d better my pace for my last 10k, the one I’d just done on a track! I was stoked that even in the wind and going up and down hill I could actually go faster than I had just going round and round. I went for it, finishing my last mile with a negative split and a smile. My fastest pace was 6:53.
Sitting here now the wind has really picked up. It’s beautiful out there – bright sunshine, blue skies, but I’m pleased to be in here and finished. It can snow now!