About a year ago I completed my first 5K. The event was in Inverness and it was wet, cold and miserable. There was no official timing for the “race” and Strava didn’t want to play. But I loved it! At the time, if you remember and if you read my blog about it, I loved it so much I committed to completing a 5K every month for a year. Hoping that sometime in that year I would manage to run the whole 5K. I only made two stipulations: 1) The race would be official and timed and 2) it would come with a medal. Simple you would think.
And so the quest began.
08/11/2019 Kelpies Supernova
My first organised and timed 5K. A cold, no freezing, evening run round the Kelpies in the dark. I’d set myself the intervals I was running in my programme as my pace but that went right out the window as soon as we started. Everyone else around me kept running when I should have started to do a short walk. So being the macho guy I am I kept running. Then we were sweeping past the start line after our first loop so I better look good and at least look like I’m running. And then out into the dark again. By now I’m going slower and teenage girls, who are obviously just doing this for a laugh and a fun time with friends are skipping past me. But on I plod. Walking, running, walking a bit more. Heading towards the finish line with no idea of the time someone near me says we’re at 39 minutes. I was aiming for 40 so I’m on target. Oh? That’s where the finishing line is? Ah well maybe next time.
41 minutes 11 seconds
15/12/2019 Lochore Meadows Santa Festival
A fun run dressed as Santa. What could be more fun. Well not much really. The atmosphere was brilliant despite the weather. It was raining would you believe? And had been for a few days beforehand. So it was a wet, mostly trail course in a Santa suit. It’s certainly a route I’ll try again. During the summer.
43 minutes 23 seconds
01/01/2020 Kirkcaldy Parkrun
January.The month with no organised, timed 5Ks that I could find. So improvise. New Years Day Parkrun with a JogScotland January virtual 5K. Now this was a busy parkrun for Kirkcaldy. Friendly and once I’m further along in my training I’ll be along for a Parkrun every so often (if only I could have seen the future). Again there was a great atmosphere and the course was one I had done a few years ago (all be it in the reverse direction and walking) so no surprises. So that’s 3 5Ks now so yes I’m claiming this as a PB. And it was under 40 minutes. Result!
38 minutes 12 seconds
22/02/2020 Glasgow 5K Winter Warmer
A long wait for the next 5K at the end of February. A truly rotten day to drive through to Glasgow in. Storm Jorge had hit and it did look like the race would be cancelled but it went ahead. 5K round Glasgow Green. Windy and wet but a good experience and despite the weather a good day out. And under 40 minutes again.
39 minutes 36 seconds
01/03/2020 Meadows Marathon 5K
And just a week later back on the east coast with the Meadows Marathon 5K. Twice round the Meadows while others where running 10K, half and full marathons on the same course all doing a different number of circuits. I would have lost count if I had been doing any more than the 10K! Under 40 minutes three runs in a row and 53 seconds better than last week.
38 minutes 43 seconds
And now it all goes wrong. At this point I’ve got 5Ks lined up for the next few months and it’s looking good until at least July. But Covid-19 strikes and all organised races are postponed and finally cancelled. So from here on in we’re on the virtual circuit.
12/04/2020 Roy Castle Foundation Easter 5K
My first virtual event and my first lesson in route planning. I decided just to run my training route and just tack some extra Ks on to the end of it and see how it goes. Well that could have gone better. It was fine until I realised that my finishing last K was uphill. That was a learning experience. Still it got done and the medal earned. And once more under 40 minutes.
38 minutes 48 seconds
31/05/2020 Cities of the World Virtual 5K
A random virtual 5K for which I chose New York as the city to “run”. But I’ve learned from the previous run. No uphill finish this time round. Instead it’s a traipse through some trails after a slight detour from my training route. A new route or improved fitness? I don’t know but just over 2 minutes knocked off my PB. Happy chappy.
36 minutes 47 seconds
21/06/2020 Roy Castle Foundation I love the 90’s
Another Roy Castle Foundation race and the first in a series of “Retro” races. This one comes with a Spotify playlist to run to. Great for taking me back to my youth. Well maybe not my youth but close to it. Today I ran the same route as before since it worked and guess what? A new PB!
36 minutes 24 seconds
25/07/2020 Thank you Rainbow Challenge
A thank you fundraiser for the NHS for all the work they’ve done, all the sacrifices they’ve made so far during tis pandemic. This fundraising shouldn’t be necessary if the government properly funded healthcare but this is not the day to get political. Rather stupidly I changed my route. I had seen another local runner do this on Strava so thought why not try it? Too many hills that’s why. It was a nice run through where I was brought up (so I should have known the lay of the land) but won’t be doing this route again in a long time.
39 minutes 08 seconds
22/08/2020 Roy Castle Foundation I love the 80’s
Another Roy Castle Foundation 5K with another Spotify playlist. But oh wasn’t the 80s the decade that music died? But the good news is I’m back on the good course again. A solid completion this time staying under the 40 minutes but not as fast as it could have been.
37 minutes 35 seconds
05/09/2020 Edinburgh Marathon Festival (Virtual)
This is the re-scheduled virtual race that I had really been looking forward to running in real time so it was one that I was going to do whatever. Back on the good course and still under 40 minutes and a new PB by 7 seconds. Not a lot but I’m taking it. As well as the prestigious EMF finisher’s T-shirt.
36 Minutes 17 seconds
18/10/2020 Roy Castle Foundation I love the 70’s
And so to the final month of my year of 5Ks. Another Roy Castle Foundation Retro run with the best playlist yet. By this time I’ve progressed in my training programme and have changed my training route. For the previous 4-5 weeks I’ve been running along the Prom in Kirkcaldy. A nice, flat, even, straight mile long. The sea at your side and plenty of room to safely pass other runners, walkers, dog walkers etc. My training programme says to run for 5K. I’m ready. I do it!! I actually ran the whole 5K. From Morrison’s, along the Prom, past the harbour to Carr’s and back and then another 1/2 K back along the Prom. The feeling when I was finished was great. Tired? Yes. but full of energy (well maybe adrenaline).
35 minutes 19 seconds
So that’s it. A year in 5Ks finished off with my first full run and a new PB. Now I’ve got to keep running them.