A while back, I signed up for the Sporting Life 10K as a runner (I’ve walked it before). This meant that I had to actually be able to run 10K in one go – that’s over an hour of running. Yikes. It seemed daunting when I started training to go up from 5K to 10K, but I’ve actually done it now – at least, I’ve done it twice.
Last weekend, I went for a run on the Leslie Street Spit. My goal was to run for an hour and ten minutes continuously, as that would get me close to 10K; I would try to reach it the next weekend. Well, as it happened, I was going at a faster pace than I expected, so I was at 9.60K when I reached my time limit. At that point, I thought what the hell, and ran for an extra 2 1/2 minutes to make it an even 10. Woo-hoo!
This weekend, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it the whole way. I had been bothered by a bit of a stomach bug for a couple of days earlier in the week, and was feeling a little weak when I started. I thought to myself, I can stop whenever I want to or have to. As long as I don’t suddenly collapse and injure myself, it’s all good. So off I went.
To make it to 10K, I ran out to the Belt Line from Mount Pleasant to Oriole Parkway, turned around, ran to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery entrance, and ran in the cemetery a whole bunch. Here’s the map of my route:
This is actually a tougher route than the Sporting Life 10K, as it ends slightly uphill, and the Sporting Life is pretty much downhill all the way. I was reasonably happy with my pace too:
I was a bit too fast going out, and a bit slow near the end, but it wasn’t too bad. The 10th kilometre was the uphill bit, and I was happy about that.
This was also the first time I carried two hand-held water bottles with me. I thought I would have trouble, since I thought I might need one hand for one bottle, one hand for another bottle, and one hand to adjust my glasses, put my running earphone back in, or whatever, and that’s a total of three hands – but everything seemed to work out okay.
It was also the first time I had a gel, which is a tiny packet of edible energy boost stuff, about halfway between liquid and solid, that you can eat mid-run to keep from running out of gas. Mine was Chocolate Burst or something like that, and it did give me a bit more get up and go at about the 45 minute mark. I still felt a bit low on energy at about the 9 km mark (you can see it in the results above), so I might need to figure out how to keep my energy level up for the whole run.
On the whole, I’m happy with how it’s going – I’m obviously fitter than I was when I started running a year ago, and fitter than I was when I was at 5K last fall. But I’m not sure exactly how much running I will do after I finish the Waterfront Toronto 10K in June. I’m not going to stop – I enjoy it (most of the time), and I like being fitter. But it’s a fair bit of time, and I find that I am often worrying about whether I am going to injure myself, whether I will get enough sleep on the nights before my run, and so on. Also, all this running means that a lot of my time is heavily scheduled; I don’t have a lot of time to just relax and idly do random stuff. So I don’t know. I’ll keep going for a bit, and then see what happens.