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Conquered a 10K training run – Finally

I finally ran the 10K distance today!! AND I had a blast doing it. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to this distance.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been running at a slower and slower pace. I’m sure the heat & humidity have contributed, but I couldn’t break out of my slump.  I reached out to my friend Melanie Spring for help. She suggested going on a 5 mile training run during the week. She also suggested going unplugged (I’ve never run without my iPod).

So Melanie and I set off for our 6:30 am run. Did I forget to mention that she said we would be doing speed training and hills? She forgot to mention it until just before we left (LOL). We started at an easy pace and soon arrived at the first hill (kinda steep, but not too bad). I’m completely winded at the top because it takes me a little while to get warmed up. We then have it easy because it’s downhill. Now comes the fun part.

Melanie says we’re going to speed up and run at her pace. I’m thinking “Oh boy” because I thought we were already running pretty fast. Then she says we’re going to run a little faster. “Faster than your pace?” I ask. “No,” she says “we’re not at my pace yet.’ OK, I’m game, then she again says we’re going to run a little faster. Now, we’ve definitely gotta be running faster than her pace. Nope, we’re at her pace. Sigh…it’s gonna be a long run. Time for an attitude adjustment. Stop thinking about it and just do it.

Well, long story short, I did it. We charged hills and laughed through out the run. We were running about 10 minute miles when we were running and ran about 45 minutes of the hour we were out. I don’t run non-stop and take walk breaks whenever I need them. No shame. All the running books suggest it, especially for new and fairly new runners.

So, here’s why I’m so excited. Sundays are my long runs and I was determined to run a 10K distance so I would have at least one under my belt before the race in October. I conquered the distance today and really enjoyed my run. Melanie and I went out last Thursday and I think the speed training really helped my body adjust to a faster pace. I was so surprised when I got home and saw that I ran sub-10 minute miles for 2 of the 6.26 miles I ran today!!! Wah-hoo!

I was also able to run more of the distance especially on the flatter surfaces. Hills — no problems. I charged every one of them and didn’t walk any! I probably would have had a better overall pace if I hadn’t been a klutz and twisted my ankle twice on some curbs. Oh well, no permanent damage.

I like being unplugged from my iPod and will continue to do so. Instead I’ll focus on my breathing and footfalls, and will enjoy the sounds of nature around me. I going to update my training schedule and include one day of speed training with hills. The end result is I’m going to be a stronger runner. I’m totally psyched. My suggestion — reach out to runner friends for advice and support. It really pays off. Happy running!

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