To celebrate my first anniversary of running (see previous post) I decided I was going to do a PB at this morning's parkrun.
My previous PB was set on the 100th Riddlesdown parkrun a couple of months ago, I was being pulled round in the slipstream of all the other runners, caught up with the adrenaline leaking out of everyone's pores and knocked a huge chunk off my previous PB. But it was such a huge chunk that I didn't think they'd got my time right, could I go from 28½ minutes one run to 26 minutes the next? No, something went wrong, surely; a mix up of barcodes somewhere or something.
Anyway I've continued running there every now and then, once I got a lift there and ran home, the last two weeks I've run there, run the parkrun and then run home again (and the second time I did this I wasn't as absolutely shattered so went a longer way home, clocking up my longest ever run). I got a phone call a couple of days ago, Grace (my occasional running partner) wanted to know if I was going, I said yes but I was aiming for a PB so was going to go fast, not a problem she'd run at her own speed. Then I started to get the collywobbles. 26 minutes is such a fast time, was it really my time? Am I setting myself up for a disappointment (any run's a good run, there is no 'failing' so long as I get out there)? Should I just pootle round the course with Grace?
Nope, I went for it. I made sure I set out a bit fast (I could always slow later if I needed to) so I didn't get stuck tripping over people going slower than I wanted to as the first 1k or so seems quite a narrow path if you're trying to get past. Not only did I not need to slow down but I think I improved my pace over the run. At about the halfway point I went past a chap who looked like he was barely out of a walk, his 'eat the miles' pace being a lot faster than mine (quick chat between us), I was practically at a sprinting pace (for me anyway). At about 3k I caught up with (and passed ) a couple of chaps who also seemed to be ambling along, one went past at a great rate of knots soon after and I commented to the other that it wasn't fair that he didn't sound like a steam train like the rest of us did. Coming round into the last corner for the final couple of 100m home where you'd normally give that final sprint push there wasn't anything left for extra effort, I was going at this pace for the rest of the run. Until that is I heard footsteps rapidly gaining: not bloody likely, you're not getting past! It wasn't a great spurt, but it did the trick!
So did I do it? Well my Garmin certainly indicated that I did, but it also maps the course as about 200m short of the full 5k and I didn't stop it there, I clutched my barcode in my hot sweaty little fist, turned around and jogged back round the wrong way looking for Grace! Now I'm 'patiently' waiting for my email with my official time and trying to avoid uploading my Garmin to get a sneak preview.
I'll let you know!