So, last week I made my return to parkrun and was determined to go today. However, when I woke up and heard the rain, I almost changed my mind. Thankfully, having seen it wasn’t quite as wet as it sounded, I got my running gear on and headed for the Common.
Having followed my training plan during the week, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a good run. The training runs had consisted of:
Tuesday: 8 x 400m at target race pace
Thursday: 4 mile steady run
Both has been a challenge but I’d completed them which I was pleased about. I have had some calf tightness which I’m dealing with with a combination of stretching and strengthening. Fingers crossed that’ll work.
As I got to the parkrun start area it was clear that the weather had resulted in a smaller number of (approx 1100 vs 900) runners than the previous week. Having started too far back in the pack last week I made a conscientious effort to make sure I started near the front.
As Run Director, Gil, set us off my pace was good and it wasn’t necessary to weave through the masses.
As I started, I overlook the 26 minute pacer and thought I’d try to keep ahead of her.
Following last week’s realisation of the new course as I was running it, I mentally knew when the effort would be required and did my best to maintain pace as best I could.
I have to admit that the main ‘Climb’ felt more of a challenge and I almost walked but I kept mentally strong knowing that it was all downhill/flat to the finish. The last km is mentally tough though and thankfully Elaine J has caught up with me and kept me pushing all the way to the finish.
I crossed the line in 25:38. 56 seconds faster than the previous week. Having reviewed my Garmin stats, 40 seconds of that improvement can be attributed to my improved pace for the first km due to a better start position and a less dense pack. However I was a few seconds quicker on each subsequent km too. I must have tried harder.
Overall, really pleased to have improved my time by so much in the space of 1 week. The training and improved start position tactics are clearly helping but stop a long way to go.
I’m not able to parkrun for the next couple of weeks but will return on the 2nd November and see how I do.