A great few days (including Southampton Juniors parkrun inaugural event)

parkrun with Trenty

Had a great weekend. On Saturday, I went to Southampton parkrun. My training plan required an 8 mile steady run so I decided to break it into 3 with a 5km run before parkrun, parkrun itself and then a 3.5km run after.

It worked really well and I made the most of the Common. As I did my first run, it was good to see several familiar faces all heading in different directions.

Once my first run was over, it was time to get to the start area for the parkrun itself. As I ran in, I spotted Steve Trent and had a chat. I said I’d run with him and it was great. We didn’t hear the air horn at the start and were some way back in the masses which meant a slow run off over the line. I certainly wasn’t going to run at top speed and running with Steve have a great way to moderate my speed. Plus, I wasn’t running on fresh legs.

Our pace dropped for the first of the two inclines and sped up again on the descents and flats.

Steve could recall his PB was 28 something but not the actual time. D’oh!! I vowed to try and get him to the finish in 28-something.

As we reached the last 200m, I raised the pace and gave Steve no room but to keep up with me. He had to cross the line ahead of me. Simple!! I’m sure he hated me for it, but he finished really well although a little out of breath!! As it turned out, Steve equalled his PB! If only I’d known why it had been we could have shaved a second off!!

As I finished, I spotted Teri. Teri and I have known each other for about 20 years and worked together for about 10 (if memory serves me). We shared a fairly parallel social life for a few years, have been on group holidays together including at least one skiing holiday and, at one point, I probably spent more waking hours with Teri than anyone else. Having left the job at the company we both worked at, we lost touch apart from the very occasional email for several years until we bumped into each other at parkrun. Anyway, that’s the background of Teri and my friendship in a nutshell!

Teri had been out on Friday evening and wasn’t feeling 100%. As I still had 3.5km to complete we decided to run one loop of the Common together. It was really nice. Chatting as we ran, the km didn’t seem so long (although the inclines felt as steep!)

Having completed my 8 mile run, it was time to head off to collect an A1 laminated poster of the Southampton Juniors parkrun course.

Which brings me to Sunday and the…

… inaugural Southampton Juniors parkrun

I won’t break down the event into everything that happened as it followed a very similar pattern to the trial event. A couple of things to mention though…

We had Alexis Green from BBC South at the event. Alexis was filming coverage for a feature on the event to be show in the regional news programme South Today. There was also a photographer there from the Daily Echo and they featured the event in a full-page article yesterday (Tuesday).

We held a marshal briefing at about 8:45am. This summarised the information on the emergency contact/actions card, let marshals know what their responsibilities were and provided an opportunity to get the marshals in one place prior to sending them out to their positions.

We had 68 juniors running along with parents and the event went really well. A few little things to do before the next event include creating an A5 laminated sheet for each marshal position to show position and any notes associated with the position such as when to direct the runners in one direction. The sheet will also let the marshal know when they can leave their position and ask that they bring signage etc back.

I wrote the run report for the event that summarised what happened at the event so will refrain from repeating it here.

Chris, Donna and I (and my two sons) went to Sprinkles in Portswood to process the results. It’s only 5 minutes drive from Riverside Park and has free wifi! The parkrun laptop was really playing up and it must have taken 30 minutes to get it to respond. Damn frustrating. However, once working (although only just), the processing of the results was painless. As Donna is going to be a Run Director, she was watching the process. It was really useful to have Chris there too as he could provide an insight as another Run Director.

Once the results were processed, it was time to head home, put the kids in front of the TV and then unload all the equipment from the car before posting on Facebook and eliciting feedback, writing the Run Report and preparing the equipment for the next event.

I also wiped the parkrun laptop of all applications, user accounts, etc, etc and reverted it back to factory settings before reinstalling the various software needed for a parkrun event such as the Opticon OPN-2001 download app and Roger Hardimann’s Junsd stopwatch download app. After a fair bit of testing, the laptop is noticeably more responsive and well-behaved than it was before its ‘surgery’.

Monday’s run and swim sessions

Monday’s training consisted of an interval run session at lunchtime which went well followed by an unexpected STC swim session in the evening. Denise had originally been going out but it got cancelled so that meant I could head to the Quays. Hooray!

As I arrived, Ian Boshier turned up looking very trim. It was his 2nd STC swim after having done the Saturday morning session.

Tamsyn and Stuart were also there along with Liz and Asa and a couple of other regulars. In fact, the lane was quite crowded with all of us in it.

We started off with the usual 200m freestyle, 200m pull and 100m freestyle before launching into sets.

I felt my swimming was going well and when Peter, the instructor, let us know our Critical Swim Speeds (CSS) which he’d calculated based on a test in the previous week’s session, it was good to know that mine wasn’t the worst at 2:22 per 100 (roughly 35 seconds per 25m).

Our CSS was to be used in the next part of the session. Liz was given a Finis Tempo Trainer set to beep at her CSS length time of 32 seconds. After swimming 100m, Liz would get 32 seconds rest before starting her next 100m. That would be repeated for 800m in total.

I was 2nd or 3rd and we had to try and keep up with Liz. This was fairly straightforward for me as I had a CSS which was only a couple of seconds adrift from Liz’s. However, it was tough for those with slower CSSs.

I set my Garmin so I could track every length and off we went.

I felt good and cracked out 100m interval after 100m interval. Others in the lane took breaks when needed but I kept on going. I surprised even myself. It felt like I was finally making progress. Certainly not anywhere near as fast as those in lane 2 but improving and that felt good. For the last 2 or 3 100s, Pete gave be the Tempo Trainer to try and I nailed almost every length turning as the beep went. I slowed a little on the last lap but hey, I’d swim over 750m at a good pace prior to that.

That was a great session. Looking forward to the next one even more than usual.

Just a quick mention of last night. As an Event Director of a Junior parkrun I attended a workshop on Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport. It was a really useful evening. Will try to blog about it later.

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