Yesterday, after all the headaches and tiredness of work, I completed my first 25 minute run. It was raining, cold, windy, and getting darker. The chill in the air made me want the 5 minute warm up to finish so I could up the pace and get properly warmer.
This time the first 5 minutes weren’t so bad. I kept the pace slow and I knew I was capable of more. Approaching 10 minutes I started to tire. The same negative thoughts arise of ‘how am I possibly able to complete this?’. Running through the park at this stage, I feel more relaxed with less people are cars around. But then there is the added unease of the dark trees to my left and the man walking his massive dog on my right.
I make it through to the opposite side of the park and the part I was dreading most as it is a fairly steep hill. In my last run, this was the point I realised I was further away from home that I’d thought and turned back. Today I had decided on this route, so I was expecting this. Funny though that at first the hill didn’t look nearly as steep as I remembered, but it was still tough.
As I turned onto the main road the rain and wind hit me hard. It was a struggle, but I considered the idea that anyone who saw me running must think I was having difficulty with the weather rather than the long distance I was attempting. By this point I was 12.5 minutes in, half way through. I thought of the journey ahead and realised I had expected this part would take longer. I headed up another long hill, a few moments I switched to walking pace but 16 steps was the maximum. (Be careful crossing roads as well.)
At the top of this hill was a set of traffic lights. I would turn left here though and head towards home. This also lead me downhill, a very steep downhill that my legs were confused about. I must have looked very bizarre trying to run this part!
At the bottom of the hill the voice on my ipod kicked in again. I didn’t really know how long she was going to say I’d run for. She said that I was 20 minutes in. My mouth literally dropped as I ran and rain clung to my bottom lip. 20 minutes? Last week then final 2 minutes of 20 were so difficult that I nearly keeled over! And here I was carrying on through her talking. 5 minutes to go.
I had to go past the point I thought I’d stop at. I headed on but slowed down a little, I knew I’d have to turn back and I didn’t want to pass the man walking ahead of me just to turn around! For the final minute I turned back, almost colliding with a runner coming up behind me. Then it was over, 25 minutes. My legs were jelly, my breathing all over the place. I smiled a lot as I realised what I’d achieved.
As I walked home I saw my mum pass me in the car, I gave her a little wave. I got home in time to help her put the shopping away, had a shower, dropped James at his friend’s house and had dinner.
Next week is three sessions of the same 25 minute run. I can’t wait.