Monday, October 22, 2012
Diary of a Sub 40 minute 10K #6
While God has healed Elsje and told her to stop crying, I've struggled with a series of injuries, if not in my feet, then my calves, if not calves, then Achilles, or shins, or glutes. It's as if God is saying: "Don't run; don't even try." But without the warm feeling. It's frustrating, and depressing. It's a test of one's willpower and motivation. Fortunately I have a group of people around me that love running, and fortunately I've managed to pretty much stick to a diet that has lessened the load on the poor legs. And fortunately I believe that we are all born to run. Far.
The trouble I think is thinking one is an all-powerful teenager and running too much, too far and too fast, too soon, when you're 40 years old and sitting a lot of the time. I think one has to have a dream, but still be modest and humble and careful in the execution of it.
The lesson from here is to build gradually - brick by brick. So assuming I can get through October without further injury (I only have 22km to do in 10 days) I'm going to add 10km bricks to total mileage each month, thus 140km for November, 150km in December, 160km in January and so on. That's the plan.
I'm hoping that by December or January - when I'll be revisiting May's form and fitness - I'll be able to challenge some of these records I set this year and then didn't come close for months (due to injury). I especially have my eye on the 1km in 4:31 and 5km in 24:10.
My aim for Friday's run was simply to improve on the same run I did in 2011. I would have been happy with a sub hour. I cruised through 5km in just over 27 minutes, and ran the second 5km even faster. Since it includes two summits of the daunting Albrecht Road, an average pace of 5:17 isn't too shabby. I can also remember feeling painfully overweight the same time last year, as though I was running with a very hard tyre shoved around my chest and waist. Still some work to do in that department, but it shows the high protein diet is working.
When I saw I had improved 7-8 minutes from the previous year I could almost not believe it. This is also the first 10km run I've felt reasonable in (in about 4-5 races), which made the good time triply exciting and satisfying. My pace is definitely picking up again.
What has also stood me in good stead was:
- a 12km run from CBC school that included Basil Read and a number of other tough climbs
- a trail run through the Botanical Gardens (10km) that included 3 laps over two steep koppies
- a number of 10km races
- one week that included 3 very slow 10km runs over 3 consecutive days
Craig Booth has also improved, and what's good is that he is the mark to beat, although it seems he is not getting any closer no matter how fast I run. I think he did Friday's run in 48 minutes, 5 minutes faster than me. But it is good to have guys like him who are super-motivated and getting out there almost every day.
Let's hope (perhaps Elsje can pray for me) that November will produce a fitter and faster me, and my first sub 50 minute 10km since the end of winter.