Struggling in 5Ks and Jumping to 10Ks

Either I’ve cracked or there’s a method to the madness. I talked about it before, but I wanted to go after a 10K this year. I wanted to stay in the mode of running, but I needed to set goals. 12 5Ks wasn’t going to happen. Doing every other month (or something like that) was still too similar to be mentally exciting. Trying to break 25 was the only goal that made sense, but it was too easy to fail.

So I chose to go after a 10K.

I could never explain the logic of it. I wanted a goal that seemed reachable but that also had a low chance of being pure failure. I thought if I could make it through 3.1 miles every month, I could at least make my way up to surviving 6.2 miles. Once.

I’m basically two months out from the 10K I’m targeting. I’ve gotten into my Zombies, Run! 10K training plan (which isn’t as solid as the 5K app, unfortunately, but it is still something).

And I’m doing something extremely novel: I’m running slowly.

This has been really weird. My last few runs have consisted of me fighting myself to run slower. I figured out in my first 5K a bit more than 4 years ago that I was running much faster than I realized. I just assumed that if I kept running, I would get better distance.

Nope.

Last year’s a testament to the failure of that advice. I never got my miles up. I think the most I ran nonstop in a 5K was 12 minutes last year.

And so I’m trying something new. My run on Sunday got me about 13 minutes nonstop. My run yesterday got me 14. And even though I’m fighting like crazy, I’m still running too fast.

Yesterday I was targeting 10-minute miles and still clocked 8:45. My second mile that included a fair amount of walking was still about 10:30.

I’m pushing further. I’m working at it. And I didn’t know why.

This is where things get a bit weird in my brain. Ready?

I pushed to a harder goal because I didn’t do as well as I’d like with the easier goal.

Yeah. I didn’t do well when things were easier so I made them harder. That’s like failing algebra and choosing to take calculus the next time around. It doesn’t really make sense.

Except in my messed up little world.

For some reason, I’ve always believed I did better when the stakes were high. The 5K that should have been the worst was the first. And I cracked out about a 31-minute race. I was hoping (and I mean just hoping) to break 35. A few month later, I was hoping to break 30 and walked off with a 33- or 34-minute race.

And this is always what it feels like.

So instead of setting a lighter goal, I just added more to the first. Couldn’t run a mile? Next time run 2. It makes zero sense.

And yet, here we are.

In the next couple of months, I’ll hopefully be upping my miles and keeping y’all informed on my journey toward a May 10K.

Oof.

I really do the strangest things.

-Q

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2 thoughts on “Struggling in 5Ks and Jumping to 10Ks”

    1. I actually have a 5K wedged in the middle (signed up before I decided when my 10K would be), so that will be a good indicator of how far along I am on a flat course.

      Like

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