So this week featured a second attempt to improve my 5k time.
Mon.: no running
Tues.: run 6.7 miles (with some hills)
Wed.: no running
Thurs.: swim 1450m; run ~4 miles on track (1 x 1 mile (6:21); 2 x 800; 3 x 200)
Fri. no running
Sat.: run 5 miles (1.75 mile warm-up, 5k Parkun, cool down)
Sun.: run 6.5 miles
After missing Parkrun last week, I was ready to race this week.
I ran a 1.75 mile warm-up in the woods of the park where the race is held. The park features a large woodland, and I ended up on a trail I had not seen before, and had to scurry back for the start of the race.
It was cold, about 3 degrees C (39 F), and I wore tights, a long-sleeve shirt, gloves, and a head band.
At the start, I tried to go out at an even pace. There's a graded hill in the first kilometer, but I ran steadily.
In the second kilometer, the terrain flattens out a bit as the route travels through the woods. Again, I tried to run evenly, but fast. Probably, this is a point in the race where I could cut some time.
There's a descent in the third kilometer, and I tried to open up my stride a bit.
In the fourth kilometer, there's what's locally known as "heartbreak hill". It's a steady pull of about 200m, maybe a little longer. Here a kid passed me like I was standing still.
In the end of the fourth kilometer and into the fifth, there's a steady descent. Again, I tried to open it up here again, once I regained my breath from the hill. The kid that had passed me was stopped at the side of the trail, trying to regain his breath.
I tried to kick the last 200m meters, just to shave off more time.
I cross the line in 22:11.
So, my attempt to run a faster 5k has led to a slower 5k. I was 10 seconds slower than my last attempt.
I felt good during the run though. My legs felt strong, and perhaps some of the track work is filtering through.
I'm patient, and I know that the training I do on any given week is not going to show up in that week's 5k time.
My suspicion, however, is that it is not my legs that are the problem.
I went to the lung specialist two weeks ago, and he suggested we cut back on my inhaler, and then stop using it for a bit to get a clean lung-challenge test in a few weeks. The problem being the last lung test I did I was fine, but I was still using the inhaler, so it may have masked any over-sensitivity in my lungs.
I dutifully cut back on the inhaler for 10 days, and stopped using it altogether earlier in the week.
But I've started to wheeze a bit in the evenings. And to run slower. And I know how this movie goes...
On Sunday, I climbed a local hill with my family. It was a cold, frosty morning, and the mist hung close to our town below.