This past weekend I was to run 14k and you would think given that I have run 4 marathons, over 15 half marathons, and countless other races in the last several years that 14k should be a walk in the park for me. But the idea of running 14k was daunting. The reason is that I had to run it alone as my weekend training partner is out of town for 10 days. Eek!
It is interesting for in other circumstances I really enjoy having ‘alone’ time but when it comes to running I need to be part of a larger collective than just me, myself and I. Having said this I have no issues running a race alone. Given that I am signed up for two races, 5 and 6 weeks out, a 10k race and 19.1 km relay leg, I couldn’t wimp out and had to get this training run in. Initially I planned to run on Saturday only to be faced with snowy rain all day that made visibility atrocious. I then vowed to run Sunday afternoon regardless of whether as that was going to be the only time slot left for the weekend. Thankfully the weather turned around and it was even warm enough for shorts. Off I went, determined to get it done.
Results….Garmin Distance: 14 km
Breaks: 15 and 1’s (Every 15 minutes would take 1 minute walking break)
Pace Results: 6:06/km, 5:03/km (can’t be right), 7:08, 5:51/km, 6:01/km, 6:16/km, 6:04/km, 6:20/km, 6:06/km, 6:40/km, 6:16/km, 6:27/km, 6:56/km, 5:45/km
In the end I did it!!!! I kept to my intended walk break schedule and finished the last k strong. There is no question that I would have had an even better experience running with my friends but this solo experience made me accept that going forward I need to practice running alone at least once a week for a few different reasons. One, to build up the confidence that when all of my running comrades are away I can still maintain my practice schedule without fretting unnecessarily. Second, to use it as an opportunity to do some different types of drills, such as focusing to establish more consistent pacing.