After nailing my first 10k last week, it turns out a friend of mine is also considering entering a local 10k race next month; I asked him if he wanted to take a trial run and managed to rope in another of our friends too.

On the plus side, running socially was great fun - we managed to set a good pace that we were all happy with and could still hold a conversation (so, I hear, we had it about right..?). On the middle of the good and bad side, I felt like out of the three of us, I wanted to be pushing on with less brief pauses to catch our breath, like I was finding it a fair bit easier. On the down side, one of my friends had some real problems with his hips, so we had to cut the run short at around 7-8km.

We had a good run and I was stoked that I'd managed to almost no-effort the distance we DID cover, but us cutting it short stuck on my mind. I was really restless all afternoon until about 8pm, when I decided to do it again.

Without going all philosophical on y'all, I don't think I've ever experienced a real 'pull' to do something like this before (and I wrestled with the idea that I might just have been being overly-compulsive), but I couldn't sit still with the nagging feeling that I could have run much further if I'd have been on my own.

The run to the next town over is bang-on 10km and I knew there would be no buses back once I got there, so the run there was committing me to 20km total. I figured if I set out assuming I'd be walking back, then that 'accepting failure' would get me out the door - and it did.

I ran the first half in good time and felt great, rested up for maybe five minutes and set off back home. I ran around the first 5km back at roughly the same pace, but then had to drop back to a walk when my knee started hurting on the outside. Fatigue-wise, I felt absolutely fine, but I didn't want to push myself on to an injury. I got home and felt really, really good!

Having bored you all with this, if anyone can give me any pointers on a couple of things, I'd be really grateful:

What should/could I have been doing in the middle five minutes in terms of resting/stretching/eating etc?

I'm guessing the knee pain is related to technique, rather than fitness or strength, but does it sound any different to anyone? Like am I pushing the distance up too quickly?

If anyone's got any ideas, then as I say, I'd be very grateful - I feel like need to get my legs, heart and attitude all firing at the same rate as soon as possible!

- Ben

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