Breaking the Ten Mile Barrier

I have been running 10 kilometres regularly in training recently but today I wanted to go just that little bit futher to see what it was like and ideally to see the number 10.00 next to the “miles” field on my GPS tracker.

So I left work early (well actually relatively late as I didn’t get any lunch due to back-to-back meetings) and got home by 5.15pm, which was enough time to run for a couple of hours before sunset.

I deliberately didn’t run fast as I wasn’t sure what exactly happens after crossing the 7.2 mile barrier (my usual route), and also I did actually want to enjoy the evening afterwards, although I did find that my pace was initially quite quick.

I followed my usual route and got to my regular halfway point without any problems, and so made sure I was okay to continue – and then I entered into a new part of Richmond Park that I had never been to before.

The unfamiliarity of the route had an effect and I was looking around a lot and distracted by the new surroundings and, as I had no sence of where I actually was in relation to my route; I found it heavy going.

At the 5.00 mile mark (there was nothing special at this point, unlike the tea hut at the 5 kilometre mark) I turned round and headed back in the opposite direction. It was easier running back as I now had some sence of where I was, although I was quite drained at this point (and regretting not having any lunch).

I crossed the 7.2-mile barrier but then really started to feel tired, especially as I knew that the next mile consisted of lots of hills, and my pace subsequently slowed, but I made sure I deliberately didn’t walk – I wanted to run all the way.

I continued like this for the rest of the run and ultimately did run all the way back, apart from stopping briefly due to some traffic. The sun was dipping behind the trees and it was getting quite cold so I was glad I had planned the timing of the run.

When I got back to the flat I had little energy left – I couldn’t walk (although strangely I could still run) but I realised pretty quickly how much work 10 miles really was. Massive respect to those who completed the London Marathon.

So what next? The 10 mile barrier was a very significant milestone, and so other milestones I would like to achieve in the near future are:

* complete a lap of Richmond Park
* complete half a marathon in under 2 hours
* complete the next two Richmond 10 kilometre runs (no specific time)
* complete the London 10 kilometre race in under an hour
* complete the Bushey Park Wedding Day 7 kilometre race in under 30 minutes

In fact while compiling this list I noted that Google maps said that a lap of Richmond Park is 6.7 miles so, given that the run up the hill to the park is 1.5 miles, a jog round the park starting form my flat will be about 10 miles anyway.

That will be my next challenge.