Well, I went to the St Andrews Parkrun this morning all full of vim and vigour, promising this would be a good one. 23 minutes should keep Aftabs at bay for a little while longer. The first two km went according to plan - a little over schedule but definitely heading for a PB. Unfortunately, I let myself ease off after that point, but still went through the finish line at a creditable 23:53. Not quite a best time, but pretty close to it. I hadn't done as well as I had hoped, but I wouldn't be ashamed of the time.
UNTIL ... I got home and spotted Aftabs' post. Decimated! He left me for dead. I don't want to run any more. I am not worthy of being in the same forum!
Then the worst bit came. The official times. Seems I didn't make 23 mins something after all - they said 24:04. I could have understood a few seconds variance, but wasn't sure where 11 seconds went adrift. Maybe the timekeeper had fallen asleep waiting for me to cross the line? Or maybe I hit my watch at the wrong point. Whatever, the time is the time. Then I found the answer. The runner before me had a time of 23:53. Aha! Maybe there's a connection. Sure enough, there was an unknown runner at number 11. I guess the timekeeper hit the button twice by mistake when number 10 went past! So I did make my sub-24 minute time, but still not a PB.
BUT - given where I started 2013, I'm actually quite pleased with myself. That's a good five minutes taken off.
So, well done to Aftabs. And the rest of you? Well, if you haven't tried Parkrun, don't be intimidated by it. A couple of our group have posted times approaching 45 minutes. But they'll improve as time goes by. The same can go for any of us. Don't worry about running 30 mins plus - just go along and run. Nobody will mind ... and in fact they'll be pleased to have you there and keen to encourage you!