Practising my 5k with a mouth full of midges

Intriguing title, eh? Well it sums up my run last night. A practice 5k, along the shore road just before dusk. Really I should have known better!

For those of you unfamiliar with the famous Scottish midge, it’s a winged insect that bites and sucks blood from its prey. Sounds scary doesn’t it? Truth is the midge is a tiny creature, just 1 – 2 mm in wingspan, but when they herd together, as they tend to do, it’s like walking into a cloud.

Unfortunately I was running into them, but let me start at the beginning for apparently it’s a very good place to start.

Jeff Galloway, my guru, informed me that I had a 5k run to do at race pace, just to test  myself out. It was a lovely day yesterday, although I was really busy and at one point actually wondered if I was going to get a chance to run at all. However I did and at 6:30 pm I finally laced up my shoes and headed out. I had a few new items of kit to test out and my 5k was perfect for that.

First off I’d treated myself to a hydration belt made by Asics. I had done a bit of research and this belt came up well recommended and none too expensive (always a factor for me) and so when I got a chance to try it on at Pete Bland Sports in Kendal the other week I jumped at it. It fitted well, snuggly on my waist and felt comfortable, far better than the old belt I’d bought from Lidl. The Asics belt cost me £15 and comes with a large water bottle in a quick draw pouch and has a secure and waterproof zipped pocket big enough for my iPhone, gels, keys etc…

..and the Kendal Mint Cake!

I was disappointed on visiting my local Lidl that the promised stock of sports bras had been completely bought out bar one bra that was too small. However, on a return visit my husband noticed an abandoned one on another aisle, obviously waiting for me to collect it! They also had some snazzy looking running socks in so I bought a couple of pairs of those too!

Fully loaded, I set off.

I waited until I was clear of the village before starting and Jeff gave me a countdown to get me going. The pace felt good at around an 8 minute mile when I was running, although I knew that after 4 minutes I would be walking. The target was a 10 minute mile pace. What I didn’t know until he said was that dear old Jeff was planning that the first half a mile was going to be a warm up to my 5k, not part of it! When the announcement came I was gutted! However, I restarted my Garmin and set off, again.

On the main part of the run I allowed my pace to be dictated by the beat of my running playlist, all carefully beat synched by LoLo, the makers of the Jeff Galloway Easy 10k app. The result was a reasonable sub 9 minute mile, except for a patch at the start  where I was fighting midges! Alongside of the road heading out there are woods and this is where the midges are happiest. I’d chosen the worse part of the day, dusk, and they were hanging around in swarms, just ready for me to run into them, mouth open. YUK! I really hate these little creatures flying around me. If they stayed in the bushes or even dodged out of my way I’d be perfectly happy, but no. I had wee flies in my eyes, up my nose, in my mouth – oh ugh.

Once I turned at 1.4 miles I was on the opposite side of the road and it was better. Not midge free, but better. And so was my pace. But I guess the damage was done. I was already on an average 10 minute mile pace and I was hoping for less than that. However, if I added my surprise warm up to the mix and subtracted the last half mile I probably would have had a lower average.

It matters not. It was a good run in the circumstances, my belt was great, there was significantly less bounce with my new bra and my feet were comfy.

Aside from chocolate and wine, what else can a girl ask for?

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