The 10km test

After losing my mind my last week and signing up for a 13km run in just a few weeks the test this weekend was to run 10km.

I’ve been averaging shorter runs until now so we had it programmed to run 10 min walk 1 minute repeat until 10km was done. I made sure I memorised the route so I could try and pace my efforts as best I could.

I use my iPhone to track my runs. Either via run keeper or one of the apps like c25k. This way I get prompts on timing, music and it will record a map for me as well. This works for me as I’m not so big with numbers when it comes to training I just want to know the basics.

Started off really well, felt good and pace was up, 2km in and feeling fine, around 3km the music stops. I pull out my phone and try to get it to play music and nothing is happening. Am getting the voice prompts but no music. In desperation I restart the run from the beginning but I can’t skip forward the warm up walk. Getting increasingly frustrated and yelling a string of swear words in my head I start to get really angry. Why can’t simple things just work. Music plus prompts from an app that is designed to do just that! By now I am sitting on the curb trying to get it to work and wasting valuable time.

I feel like turning it all off and walking back to my bike and sitting down and having a good cry and just quitting. But I’m also really really pissed off that the useless hunk of junk just isn’t working. So I turn off the app, put some music on and start running again.

Now I have 7km to do with no prompts to help me to figure out pace and timing or any record of how I will do it so I can learn from it later.

I keep running, I give up entirely on the concept of 10 minutes run walk 1 minute and just keep running. I pass the start line again and now I have to go up the hill. I keep steady and keep going up, about half way I have to stop and walk a bit to not only catch my breathe but also to avoid the cars, bikes, runners that all seem to be at the one spot at the one time. Quickly I am back running and hit the top of the hill, downhill for bit, walk a little and then run to go back up round the top and downhill back to the start line and then another lap to go.

To get through it without the voice prompts I am used to there is a running commentary in my head. Mostly it’s all the voices telling me to give up and that it’s too hard, am not fit enough, too fat, not a runner blah blah blah. The rest is me telling it to shut up and trying to push it out of my head or at the very least to the side and allow me to figure out if I really hurt or if it’s just a ruse to get me to give up.

Once I’ve passed what will be the finish line I keep thinking that’s one more step you don’t have to take again. The final lap had 3 sections of walking, never more than 100m and mostly less than that. I felt like I was on automatic and just keep pushing forward.

I was however really needing a drink. I could taste the salt around my mouth and my mouth was dry. Coming round past where the bikes were I spot The Englishman already finished his run.*

Pushing on I make it to the finish line. Apart from needing some water am feeling ok. I walk a few meters and then think may as well run back to the bikes, so start running again. About half way back I meet The Englishman who has water and a jacket for me. Gulping down the water I feel so much better and pull the jacket on despite the heat pouring out of me.

So I did the 10km, it wasn’t pretty, I was really angry that I had no record of it and that my plans had been mixed up so early on. But I did it.

* while I was struggling to do my 10km The Englishman was on an easy run and knocked out a lazy 13.5km….yeah that’d be nice for an easy run!

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