Me and the 5km run

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(original post 23 January 2011)

Running doesn’t come easy for me. In school, I remember having to do a cross country run twice a week and everytime I tried to do it, it was a disaster. There was a time limit set for each run which ranged from 30 mins to 1 hour 10 mins depending on the distance and route. Needless to say, it was a disaster everytime. Points were awarded for all runners which would go to the house tally. At the end of the term one of the houses would be awarded the Cross Country trophy. My contribution to the house points for cross country was remarkable for how negligible it was. Running was a painful exercise for me.
20 years later running has taken a new meaning for me. One fine day about a month ago (Dec 2010) I decided to start running as part of getting fit. I have a park near my house and I started to run in the park. I decided on the 5km distance because it was not too long so that it doesn’t required extreme endurance and it was not too short so I still have to push myself. Progress was slow. The first time I ran I had to run/jog for 1 lap and walk for another lap. Each lap is about 350 m (don’t ask me why the odd number) so I had to run 14 laps. My time for that was 68 mins. As slow as it was, I did feel good about it despite the numerous pain I had to endure in my shins, heels, knees and not to mention the extreme fatigue.
These are my 5 km run times:
15 dec 2010 68 mins 29 secs
17 dec 2010 45 mins 58 secs
20 Dec 2010 44 mins 28 secs
3 Jan 2011 49 mins 08 secs
20 Jan 2011 45 mins
2 days ago(20 Jan 2011)  I did the same 5 km on the home park. Though I think I started strongly I was getting weak near the end. Even though I knew I could better my personal time of 44 min something in me refused to break through the fatigue. In other words I gave up and as a result I ran the 5pm in 45 mins which is 1 minute of my mark.
Today was different. I started by cycling for 10 km on the trainer then I went for a run.
My splits are as below:
Lap 1  unrecorded
Lap 2  2.44
Lap 3  2.55
Lap 4. 2.51
Lap 5  2.51
Lap 6. 2.55
Lap 7. 2.50
Lap 8. 2.47
Lap 9. 3.07 (tired- had to walk more)
Lap 10 3.04
Lap 11 2.37 (recovered)
Lap 12. 2.45
Lap 13. 2.32
Lap 14. 2.37
Total time 39 mins 30 secs
It’s interesting to see my times for the last 2 laps was the fastest of all the laps. I nearly gave up for those 2 laps and was ready to admit defeat just like 2 days ago. The negative voices in my head though brief and quiet was still ruling my effort. The breakthrough came in lap 9. This was the lap where I nearly gave up running for the day. I walked for about 30 m and was convincing myself to walk the rest of the lap. As I went pass the 30 m mark I suddenly started running. Though not as fast as the other laps I still managed to run. With 2 laps to go, my pace started to increase. I think the last lap was the fastest and if I was able to run 100 of that lap instead of 70% run 30% walk I would gave done it in 2 mins.
Although I still had to walk for some portions of the run, I knew my pace was getting faster. I attribute this to the interval trainings during the last 3 weeks which went something like 200m sprint followed by 200m walk (talk more about that another time).
At the moment I am averaging 2 mins 50 secs per lap. My current target for the 5 km is to do it in 30 mins. To do this I have to bring the average lap time from 2 min 50 secs to 2 min 10.
This is not out of my reach for several reasons.
1. I am still walking parts of the 5 km (I estimate about 30% is spent walking). If I run the whole distance my average lap time will improve.
2. The second reason is my weight. Today I weighed in at 104.3kg (which is still classified as obese). As I lose weight I will go faster or to put in another way, I will use less energy to move my body.
3. I am still refining my POSE Method running technique (more on this in future posts).
4. My time in the gym is making my Core stronger which helps me maintain good form
All these factors will contribute to my 30 min 5 km time (and possibly go even faster).
My biggest learning for the day. There will always be moments of doubts, fears and maybe even weakness when we go after our goals. Don’t fight the doubts. Embrace it. Listen to it. The more you ignore it, the louder these doubts will get. Once you acknowledge it, then you can get to the business of getting it done.
If you have goals and dreams, the louder they are, the more doubts, fears and moments of weaknesses will come up. Don’t fight the doubts. Just like me, embrace it, listen to it and acknowledge it, then you can get to the business of getting it done.
All in all, a good day for Reza’s running……

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