Last Saturday’s jaunt to parkrun was fun, and successful so with a late kick off for the little one’s football match I thought I’d try and give it a go again. A last long run before next week’s half would be just the ticket.
Except things are never that simple, my club run blast two days before was still in my legs. The spring in my step wasn’t quite there, the ease of stride alluded me as I left the house but this time I was against the clock. I’d left a bit later than last week confident I’d make the nine o’clock start for parkrun after my improved runs over the last week. How quickly running bites back at the complacent!
Luckily my parkrun never starts on time; as I plodded into the briefing I noticed they hadn’t even started it yet so I got the chance to chat with some of my club and compose myself before stage two of today’s run.
I’m never sure how to pace myself during a parkrun, there’s over 400 runners at the one I frequent and parts are quite narrow so I tend to just play it ear. Sometimes your pace is determined by where you start and today I started a bit too far back. The first kilometre was a bit too slow and when I did find some room to pick up the pace I found myself catching up with the 28 minute pacer. I know it was that bit more muddy than usual and I was in my road shoes but I couldn’t be that far off the pace could I?
Thankfully I wasn’t, I managed to get into a decent rhythm and find some space to keep the pace up. So much so that despite the slow start I managed to get round twenty seconds faster than last week. Surprised? You could have knocked me over with a feather.
After a quick chat at the finish line with some friends it was time to head home and boy was that tough. Something I did notice on the way home is that I need to keep my concentration when the going gets tough. It’s too easy to start thinking about the fatigue and forget about keeping the legs turning, the pace soon falls away. It’s certainly something to think about for next week and to practice in the future, keeping your wits about you when tired is one of the keys to squeezing seconds and minutes out of your race time.