With the arrival of a New Year, it’s customary to set done New Year’s Resolutions and share them with all and sundry. Given that it’s then customary to break those resolutions and then share the excuses with those same people, I’ll save my breath and your time and skip over mine.
It’s been a hectic New Year so far. It’s crazy to think the new century was 15 years ago. I remember 2000 well as the year that everyone expected to not happen given the expectation that the millennium bug would pulverize computer systems around the globe. It was also the year I got married.
On New Year’s Day, I did a parkrun-double. This consisted of my first visit to Netley Abbey parkrun of 2015 followed by a quick drive and long wait in the car to run at Southampton parkrun. Neither run was pretty managing to complete both in just under 27 minutes. My excuses? The remains of man-flu which is really a chesty cough which makes me wheeze like a long-time smoker and also some excess festive poundage. In reality, the latter is due to excess poundage (8kg) since August.
The extra festive parkruns mean that I had the opportunity to get much closer to my 100th parkrun. Hooray! With a parkrun on Saturday too, I’ve now reached 97 parkrun events and that means that I’ve only got 3 more to go before reaching my 100th event. My aim is to do that on the 24th January which coincides with my running club’s (Lordshill Road Runners) annual dinner dance and awards evening.
At Saturday’s parkrun, I decided to run semi-naked. Don’t worry!! No-one had to endure the sight of my naked middle age rump, meat or two veg running around Southampton Common. I simply mean that I ran without regularly looking at my Garmin. I started it, rolled down my sleeve and then didn’t refer to it until I crossed the line.
I felt my pace was good and as I checked my finish time was looking forward to going sub-25. Unfortunately, that, along with many of my expectations, was wishful-thinking as I saw 26+ minutes on the screen. A small reward was that the ‘performance’ was significantly better than than either of my NYD runs. That’s progress!
On the subject of parkrun, did you see the growth of this phenomena in RunBritain’s article?
Monday evening was Lordshill training. The schedule name was rather cryptic and given the previously shared excuses, I did consider dropping down a group to feel more comfortable but decided to zip up my high-viz man-suit and stick with group E. As it turned out, several friends were having the same concern about the session and we did the best we could to encourage each other to stay in the group or at least work together to reduce the pace to a level that it would feel comfortable.
The session ended up being a 10.5 km run at a steady pace with a long climb up Bassett Green Road past the crematorium (handily positioned 2/3rds of the way up the hill where it’s most needed during the session). Without the encouragement of the group and especially Teri, Donna, Jon, Tamsyn, Pat, Laura, Luana, Claire and, Run Leader, Dave, I’d not have considered the run, route or pace. I can wholeheartedly recommend club training sessions particularly with Lordshill Road Runners.
My next race is 12 days away. I’m running Stubbington 10K which is a popular local race. It was going to be my opportunity to go for a 10K PB but the reality is that I’m a long way from that in terms of fitness and am about 2kg heavier than the last time I got close to a 10K PB and almost 10kg heavier than 5 months ago. Shame on me! I will therefore ‘do my best under the circumstances’ at Stubbington and target Eastleigh 10K as my opportunity to smash out a PB. That race is just under 11 weeks away so I have no excuses to not get back to a reasonable weight and get some decent training in for that. Queue plenty of excuses on race day!