SEVEN has always been my "lucky" number, ever since I was a little kid. I was born on the 7th day of the month, I once won over $200 betting $2 on the 7th horse in the 7th race at Woodbine when I was 12 (yes, my parents encouraged underage gambling. If you know my mother, you'll understand why....) and any time I was asked to "pick a number", it was always either "7" or a number with "7" in it. So, needless to say I was expecting big things from Week 7 in the Couch to 5K program.
Every workout this week is the same - 5 minute warm up walk, then run 25 minutes without stopping. I am really starting to get the hang of this running business, so I wasn't particularly worried about this week at all. I am now more interested in how much distance I am covering, instead of how long I can run continuously.
Day 1: The first workout of the week was on Tuesday. Another beautiful, sunny day suitable for summer running gear. (YAY!) Today, my lone goal was to run for 25 minutes. I started at my usual spot and ran until my stopwatch told me not to run any more. I felt like I could have maybe squeezed out a few extra minutes, but I decided to stick with the plan. When I got home and measured out my route, I did 3.25 km in 25 mins (pace - 7:41 mins/km). Not bad!
Because I have been following the C25K plan so far using TIME as my only goal, I have been ignoring that the program creators also specify a certain DISTANCE for each day of the plan, for those that don't want to be concerned with checking a stop watch. Up until this point, I haven't paid any attention to the distance as I just wanted to be able to actually run continuously for the specified time without dying. Since I seem to be able to do that at this point, I decided that maybe now is the time to try to improve on my distance and/or pace. Looking at the Week 7 plan, the creators suggest running 2.5 miles (4K) or 25 minutes. I decided to make 4K my ultimate goal for the week. By day 3, I would run 4K if it killed me!
Day 2: I was supposed to run day 2 on Thursday, but (and I feel REALLY silly for even SAYING this) it was so freakin' HOT by the time I was ready to set out on my run, I decided to wait until Friday when it was supposed to be a few degrees cooler. I planned to run the same route as I did on Tuesday, and see how I felt about maybe adding onto it at the end. From start to finish, this run just felt great. When I came close to the end of the planned route, I decided to take a detour and add a few blocks of running. I ended up out on 9th line, which doesn't have a paved sidewalk, only a gravel shoulder, which felt a bit odd and unstable at first but I worked through it. I added 2 extra minutes onto my run (for a total of 27 for those keeping score), and when I got home I discovered I had clocked 3.6 kms at a record setting (for me) pace of 7:29 mins/km! SUCCESS! I was feeling pretty darn good about myself on the walk home. I may not yet have reached my 4k goal for the week, but I was certainly closer!
Day 3: Would today be the 4K day?? A friend of mine that runs regularly around the Osprey Pond (which I blogged about here in week 4) told me that two complete loops around the pond is 3.8 kms. I planned to walk from home to the Northeast corner of Britannia and 9th line, and start running from there, with the plan to complete 2 full loops of the pond. I hoped that the extra distance from Britannia to the path would get me to my 4K goal. It was a sunny, beautiful afternoon and I was looking forward to some new scenery. It took me about 4 or 5 minutes to settle into a good pace, which felt a bit slower than my earlier runs this week, but my goal was to go the distance no matter how long it took.
After circling the pond twice, I decided to keep running back to the lights at Britannia and 9th line where I had begun. When I checked the stop watch at the end, I had been running for 34:26!! More than SEVEN (there's that lucky number again) minutes longer than my longest run so far! HOLY %$#@!!!!! I couldn't wait to get home and check the distance, which turned out to be 4.36 km. (pace - 7:53 mins/km) YEAH BABY!!!! I was slow, but I did it! :)
The distance goal in the week 8 running plan is 2.75 miles (4.4K). Since I'm pretty much there, distance wise, I'll plan to work on my pace this week, keeping distance roughly the same. Ideally, I'd love to get my pace to around 7 minutes per KM in time for the race on May 5th, but I'm not sure if that's realistic at this point.
I guess I'll have to wait and see if SEVEN really is my lucky number! ;)