So after what seems like months, I went and did a parkrun (actually only 6 wks have past), this year as not got going racing wise. I’m seriously lacking my top end pace and any race fitness. I’m hoping to recover some of that over the Easter break with a few 5k races and parkruns in the pipeline. At the moment I can’t plan ahead as we are still trying to get used to my daughters condition.
I picked Hallam parkrun as it’s a local one and if anything should happen we only had to nip up the road. Hallam used to be my regular parkrun back in 2016 but only done it once since and that was 17:56. My best is still 17:44 set way back in January 2016. Aim this year is to start getting back to my road best which was 2016. With the challenge I think it’s possible but I know it’s going to take some hardwork and patience. However I am a firm believer I’m at my best when I race on a regular basis and my records show that. So I’m hoping by the 7th of April I’ve taken a big chunk out of my parkrun/road 5k season bests.
Having arrived in plenty of time, a quick visit to the loo and was all set to go, I have to admit to feeling very nervous as I waited for the start. I did very much appreciate the amount of people who came up and asked about my daughter. This helped distract me and also was good catching up with folk. On the start line a few asked my aim and I was realistic in saying anything around 18:00 minutes would be good with all things considered. However I want to get to a point where I can run regular sub 18’s or faster. At the moment the past 2 years it’s taken me to be at my very best to achieve a sub 18. After the usual announcements it was a fast start and was soon chasing fellow parkrunners down the bottom loop. I felt okay to begin with and was a nice wake up call. It maybe worth mentioning I opted not to have any breakfast so I didn’t suffer any toilet issues.
I was running sub 5:30/mi pace round the bottom loop but in all years I’ve done this parkrun I’ve yet to master the run up the park. I always find it a grind. My pace dropped to wrong side of 6:00 going up to thr first duck pond but then picked it back up in between the two ponds. Again it dropped as we ran up the short slope to the second pond and again as we exited the park. I must admit I love the new sign at the top telling folk to stay left and overtake on the right. I soon got my wind back as we started the descent down Rustlings road. The first mile buzzed for 5:57/mi a good start. I know if you nail this parkrun every mile should be technically faster and that was my aim. I picked up pace going down the road but didn’t keep it as I re-entered the park. I was on a good mile up till the bridge and the drag back up the park began.
I found it tough going second time round and lost a few places going back up the park as again I went the wrong side of 6:00 minute pace. I buzzed for 6:00/mi 2nd mile with the final part from start to the duck pond costing me a faster mile. I knew I needed to keep it strong till I exited the park and by the second pond I was proper blowing out my arse. However, I started to pull back the time as I raced down the road, again the use of the sign meant I had a clean run all the way down the road. It seriously is a massive improvement and want to thank those who implemented it. I did however have to battle with a car who decided at that moment in time to pull in front of runners. It meant slowing and running round the car. I picked it back up again and saw another sign telling runners to say right overtake on the left. This again worked a treat and had to give a call out that was coming on left. I thanked them and said well done to those who moved over. I then could feel Alex Ball on my shoulder and we had a nice sprint finish with him yelling encouragement as we crossed the line.
I settled for 15th place in a time of 18:25. Still a long way to go but I really enjoyed it and ran a very settled pace, with last mile being 6:01 and managed the final bit in 27s getting up to 5:22 as I sprinted to the line. I’m very determined now to get my parkrun back under 18 and aim is to try to hit 100 this year. I’m currently on 77 so only 23 to go. I don’t know if lack of breakfast made a difference.
Next up is the Even Splits 5k………………..