So January has been a big write off and I will cover this in more detail in my first training post of 2018. Besides Bakewell a few weeks ago, I’ve spent the rest on the treatment table. Last week I started training again, slowly building up the miles. I picked Stretford for my 2nd parkrun of the year, as I know the course well, plus I know what I’ve done here in the past. But Saturday was more about doing the parkrun pain free and to see where my fitness/speed was. I know it takes weeks, months even years to build up speed but only takes a few weeks to lose it.
I had not trained properly since before Christmas, so this would be a huge test. The conditions weren’t the best with the trip over being rather eventful due to the wind. Thankfully the rain held off but the wind was noticeable on the home straight of the track and coming back towards the stadium. This would also be my first time doing it the new way, so would be interesting. After the usual announcements it was go time. As always I set out to give it my all but as soon as I set off I felt lethargic, as we looped round the track. I was in top 10 but it already felt hard in terms of effort. I felt like I was doing a hard track race but a quick look at watch told me another story.
I didn’t panic I expected I’d lose some fitness/speed. So Just got my head down and focused on the task at hand. The good thing was I had no issue with the injury. As we left the stadium we was sent the right way and straight away had to plough through a small lake that had formed due to all the rain, but it was a wake up call. Refreshing but was glad I had used my old adios 3 to race in. I lost some time as we had to stop and turn at the switchback, picking pace back up as we headed towards the kids area. Some sections were slippery underfoot due to the recent rain fall. As we hit the access road I was able to recover some pace as the first mile buzzed on watch 5:49/mi. The route swung right and then back towards the stadium. This is where you could feel the headwind, I began to struggle with my pace at this point and the twisty nature of this section meant I dropped vital seconds as you take a left and sharp right, along the side of the stadium then a hairpin turn to begin lap two.
I was slowly getting passed but I was just enjoying being out there, another water bath gave me another wake up call, then down the switch back. It took some effort to get going after the turn. But I slowly rebuilt my pace as we once again passed the children’s area. The second mile buzzed just after for 6:11/mi. However I found a bit of pace on the long stretch to the furthest point, that is when we met traffic but it was easy to negotiate them as I headed back towards the stadium, my tank was on empty but I dug deep as I entered the stadium to pick it up a little but was out kicked by one person to finished 16th and 4th in my age category.
I was proper tried afterwards, so I knew I did my best on the day and gave me a mark to build from, it was my lowest finish and slowest time at Stretford but you know what it was probably the happiest I’ve been after a parkrun at this venue as I was looking at the bigger picture. My challenge is still 4 weeks away to get a bit of fitness back. In the mean time, I will continue to do parkruns to keep check on my fitness.