Photo of the Rail Bridge over David Balfour Park

2020 5k PB Attempt Week 10 – Summer in the Fall

Week 10 of my quest to set a 5k PB in 2020 is in the books.  

This week was a week of ups and downs, from unmotivated to fully motivated, from injury fears to feeling the best I’ve felt in a long time, from cold weather runs to the best November weather I can remember.

If you’re interested in learning about the journey so far, I encourage you to click through to, Diary of My Attempt to 5km PB In 2020.

How did the week go?

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about how changing our mindset to focus on the positive can help overcome our fears and the resulting impact on success.

As I woke up for my Monday off-day, I had no fears, no negative thoughts, and for some reason, no motivation either.  

I tried hard to be positive, to focus on what I like about running and the joy it brings, and still nothing.  

After eight years of running, I’ve come to understand motivation comes and goes, and that one day, the thing you least wanted to do yesterday becomes the thing you most look forward to today.

As I sat at my desk on Tuesday, I knew what I had to do, and whether I wanted to or not, I planned to run Part 3 of the Lionel Sanders 5k Training Plan.

Then out of nowhere, every time I stood up, a sharp and biting pain from my left knee. 

With 78k in August, 131k in September, and 202k last month, I know I’ve thrown aside the advice of thousands of experts and ramped up my running way too quickly. 

Then the real fear sets in, what if the thing I love doing the most, the thing I wasn’t able to do for four months earlier this year, is once again taken away from me?

By Wednesday morning, the pain had gone, warm weather rolled in, and although I didn’t want to, I knew I’d be running that night. 

As I set out on that run, I was thankful that the knee pain had gone, that I was running in shorts, my pace was on target and effortless, and the very thing I couldn’t find the motivation for this morning became the favourite part of my day. 

As I write on Sunday, I’m continually amazed at how quickly motivation can change. That at least when it comes to running, by simply getting out the door, and putting one foot in front of the other, what you dreaded the most today, can and will become the best part of your day tomorrow.

And if you’re curious, as I write this on Sunday, the pain has not returned.

November 3, 2020 – Zwift the Gorby at 85%

Before I start I just want to say… check this out, starting the day right with my new favourite mug.

Durham Destroyer I'm Not Worthy Mug
Starting the Day Right With My New Mug

I’m struggling to find balance.

Although running has been a struggle these past two weeks, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and am fully aware of all the hard work I need to do if I plan to PR.

That said, I miss the bike. I miss the long rides, exploring new places, and the struggle of pushing my limits farther than I ever thought possible.

Today was a commitment to not entirely lose everything I accomplished this summer, to put in a mild effort, and maintain some base bicycle fitness for when this is all over.

November 4, 2020 – No Limits Workout 3 – 6km Tempo HM Pace

The goal today: 3-4k warmup, 6k at half marathon race pace, 3-4k cool-down.

The question, of course, what is my half marathon race pace, or at least, what should it be if I’m planning to run 19:45 on the 5k?

For this, I turned to SportTracks Race Time Predictor, inputting two results, my goal 5k time of 19:45 and my last 5k intense effort from the end of September, at 20:45. The result, a target pace of 4:18 to 4:31.

Final result, an average pace of 4:21.4, with fairly even splits of 4:21.6, 4:21.3, 4:19.9, 4:22.6, 4:22.3, and 4:20.1. Average HR around 158 for the set. The best part, it felt effortless.

November 5, 2020 – Recovery Run

Ran with AirPods for the first time and loved them.

I’ve been struggling with all manner of headphones lately, in ear, out of ear, over ear, and nothing stays in, but to my amazement these did.

Update from November 8. Ran with AirPods yesterday, and although they stayed in, it didn’t feel like they wanted to. Tried to run again today and had to take them out after two drops in 500m.

The quest for new running headphones continues.

November 6, 2020 – No Limits Workout 4 – 3 x Broken Mile

Today was a 3 x Broken Mile workout, part 4 of Lionel Sanders 5k plan.. The workout broke down as follows: Part 1 – 2×800, Part 2 – 1×800 and 2×400, Part 3 4×400. With a 1.5min rest between intervals, 2.5min rest between sets.

I’m not sure why, maybe the weather, perhaps recovery, perhaps training, whatever it is, today was by far my fastest session to date, with splits almost all under 3:50km, putting me hopefully back on pace to set my PB in four weeks time.

Lap/DistanceTarget PaceActual Pace
1/8003:503:41
1/8003:503:50
2/8003:503:51
2/4003:453:45
2/4003:453:37
3/4003:453:45
3/4003:453:40
3/4003:453:40
3/4003:453:52

November 7, 2020 – 40 Minute Recovery Run

Selfie in Front of a Wart Covered Tree at G. Ross Lord Park
Snowmen on Monday, Shorts Today Makes Me a Happy Man

I’ll keep it short, with weather like this I can run all day, every day.

November 8, 2020 – 18km Remembrance Day Long Run

Last week I talked about joining my first group run and have been very interested in joining up with We Run North York

I like this group because they try to find ways to make their runs fun by exploring new places, oftentimes ones I didn’t even know existed.

Last week, that was a run up to the Thornhill Mini Trains, at the corner of John and Henderson, which I managed to see with my kids this past weekend.

Photo of the Thornhill Mini Trains
Thornhill Mini Trains John and Henderson

Then this weekend, they ran down to the Manulife Center, where for remembrance day, they’ve placed over 10,000 flags on their lawn, honouring members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have fallen in service during war and peacekeeping missions.

Photo of the 12,000 Mini Flags Displayed at the Manulife Centre
Manulife Centre Remembrance Day Display

Although I wasn’t able to join the run on Saturday, it did serve as the motivation for what was probably my best long run to date, a solo 18km run on Sunday.  

With 80/20 running in mind, my target was to hold my HR just under 140. I’m pretty sure, based on feel, that if I wanted to go hard today, I easily could have set one of my fastest half marathons to date.  

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