Sunday, 7 May 2017

May the Fourth Virtual Race & New PB!

This week has been pretty busy so far (although I seem to write that every week), especially over the last few days; on Wednesday I had to give a presentation, Thursday I had a 3-hour coursework online test, and Friday I handed in an essay. Between working and revising, I managed to get in a pretty good speed workout on Tuesday, which consisted of:

5 minutes out, come back faster (10:00 min/mi out, 8:20 min/mi back)
10 minutes out, come back faster (12:30 min/mi out, 10:05 min/mi back)
2 minutes at 70% effort (~7:40 min/mi)
1 minute 80% effort (~6:40 min/mi)
30 seconds 90% effort (~5:30 min/mi)

Speed workouts are so hard but also so fun and satisfying! Afterwards, we walked to the beach to cool our legs down.
Sea ice baths = the best ice baths

Remember the runner I met at Bideford parkrun? He got in contact with me through the media of Strava to invite me to go running with him and about 15 others as part of a virtual "May the Fourth" virtual race to raise money and awareness for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, to be run on the Swansea parkrun route on Thursday. I entered the race online, and even though I was convinced that I would be the slowest there, I was feeling pretty optimistic about how I would do. 

Once I got there, I found K (Bideford parkrun guy) and he introduced me to M, who had organised the gathering and had EDS herself. She held a briefing and explained that she wanted the evening to be about the running and the social, not about EDS, and some of the non-runners took some photos before we set off. I settled into pace with the BF, M, and another runner whose name I didn't catch but had a really nice Welsh accent. Most of the way around I listened to them talk about the races they had done in the past (including one where M ran a whole half marathon with a dislocated arm), and at the two-mile mark I felt pretty good considering the average pace was a little faster than I usually run a 5k.

 At about 2.5  miles I mentioned how if I could run the whole way round without walking it would be the first time on this route and I'd probably get a PB, and M replied that it was a plan and they'd help me achieve my goal. In the last 0.3 miles I was absolutely dying and really wanted to stop, but the finish was in sight and I knew walking wasn't an option. M and the other runner really encouraged me as I put on a burst of speed, and as I stopped my watch on the finish line I was astounded to see my time was about 32 minutes for 3.2 miles, meaning that I had beaten my PB by about a minute! Strava confirmed when I got home that my 5k time was 31:02, which I am so proud of and very grateful to my new friends for encouraging me- without them I definitely wouldn't have run the whole way.

Afterwards, everyone met in the cafe and we talked to a load of lovely people; I'd love to keep in touch with them all. I submitted my evidence to POW! Virtual Running and hopefully my medal should come in a week or two.

Saturday was parkrun day, and I completed it in 31:27 without walking, which proves I definitely am capable of running the whole distance now :) The first race of the PPRC Summer 5k Series is on Tuesday, and this will be our first proper race, and good race day practise before the big one in September. My goals are:

Achievable: run the whole way, don't die
Would be nice: Go sub 31:00
Would be incredible: Go sub 30:00

I'll write a race report and let you know how I did!

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