Today I ran the Australia Day 5km fun run in my home town, Darwin. It's the first time I have taken part in an organised running event since high school.
I haven't been obsessed with running times since I 'got off the couch' in October. Really my focus has been on running often and far enough to lose the weight I need to lose. I am wanting to do a half-marathon in the second half of the year but I will only map out a training regime once I am at my goal weight. Anyway, before the event I felt I would be happy if I could run under 30 minutes. Hence I was delighted to run it in 25:50!
The first occasion I timed myself over 5km, November, I ran 43 minutes in training. To run under 40 minutes seemed like it might be possible, though painful. Under 35 minutes was the realm of another galaxy, while under 30 was going to involve incantations to various deities begging for a miracle. To think that I've made that much progress, already ... I'm quite emotional about it!
My observations about the run experience:
- underestimated the traffic chaos around the event, hence arrived later than I planned. Consequently didn't have the full warm-up I wanted. I even thought about not running at that stage. Then, however, the start was delayed by some minutes for speeches and whatnot and by the end of them I felt good enough to go.
- the starting stampede is not a pretty place to be when you aren't used to it.
- felt I held my pace the way I wanted to, not worrying about what other people were doing. I'm quite good at that kind of concentration; I think it helps to note what your running strengths are!
- course had a couple of hills which I struggled with as best I could. Really, I could/should have gone there some time in the last few weeks and had a practice run over the course, as the map has been up on organisers' website for a while.
- overall: thrilled. It's a great feeling when the training pays off :-) Funnily, what I'm really looking forward to is a nice gentle 5km jog tonight to run out some of the stiffness. Ha!
Photo: not me, I just 'borrowed' (ssshhh!) the photo from a news site.