I had a hard parkrun yesterday. Considering that my parkrun PB is under 30 minutes, I thought it would be a doddle to be the 35 minute pacer yesterday at my local parkrun. I completed the run at the required pace - in fact , I didn't have any followers - and had a woman who was obviously run/walking the course as she kept passing me and then I would pass her while she was walking - puffing and panting ! With about half a K to go, I thought I would abandon my 35 minute pace and keep up with her - and "push" her - so I got behind her and 'stopped" her from taking walking breaks over the last few hundred metres and pushed her over the line in 34 minutes. I hope she didn't mind me "bullying" here from behind - but I am sure she wouldn't have put in that effort at the end without it But, to be honest, I found the run to be quite hard - and I am thinking that perhaps my abilities in this game are indeed getting worse over time ??
After returning home, I noticed that she was in the same age group as me - 65-69. And although I finished a bit more easily than she did and I could have gone even harder for a faster overall pace, we were both at around 50% of age group rankings . But then I thought - that is 50% of the world age group record - and there are a lot of fast older runners - but what about all the other 65-69 year olds who DON'T run -- how many of them are there.?? Lots and lots!! Hence my slow 35 minute 5K run is really within about the top 0.5% of everybody in that age group!!!!