Wham bam thank you mam! I was in Richmond Park this very morning for a very important parkrun - for today was PArkrun's 10th Anniversary. I was up far too early, mainly due to Oscar mee-owing at me and saying in a broad cat accent "Oi! Moosh! I want me breakfast innit? Look lively pal!" Seeing as it was 6:45am I decided on a bowl of porridge because I WAS STARVING! There'd be plenty of time to digest it and what's more, the slow releasing energy from the oats would add power to my legs and muscles. At least that's what I've read......
I straddled my scooter and rode swiftly to the park. I parked up a good ten minutes walk away from the park so that my legs and hips would be nicely warmed up. Being that it was an important anniversary I was expecting bunting, live bands, champagne being popped left right and centre and dancing girls in lycra cat suits!! Alas, when I entered the park there was none of those things - although I did see a few alarmingly attractive lycra clad ladies, so that helped me get over my disappointment.
I was hoping to see TurboTortoise at the gathering, but by the time the briefing was over and we'd set off to the start I knew that she wasn't turning up today. I burst into tears and wailed loudly but then realised I was making a show of myself and shut up! I have since learned she has a ghastly cold so get better soon TT! Once I'd reached the start I gave myself a stern talking to ;
"Right mate. Listen up. Don't go crazy today ok? No exerting yourself too much early on got it? I want a nice smooth finish, so no stupid "he aint gonna pass me" boll**ks. Capisce?"
I was in total agreement with my pep talk and set off at a reasonable pace allowing tens of people to pass me at will. Even on the long downhill section I took it easy cos I wanted to save myself for the 2nd half of the course as it's the 2nd half that KILLS your legs. It looks flat, but it's a sneaky leg draining incline and more often than not, I have ended up totally cream crackered.
K1 and 2 were fine and my K3 performance was positively sublime, passing a few fellow runners along the way but keeping the "don't go mad Dan" mantra in my loaf of bread (head!). Now was the start of the Killer K - the 4th dastardly kilometre. There were a few heavy breathers on my tail (God, that sounds so dodgy doesn't it?) and I pushed ever so slightly and got ahead of them. I've realised that when someone is close to you on a parkrun, it doesn't take too much to destroy their spirit by going a teensy bit faster because the chances of them doubling their effort to get past is virtually nil! Alas there's a price to pay for this extra speed - namely it leaves you a bit exhausted! But today I was pushing on, refusing to believe I was tired (I was definitely getting that way though!).
K5 and a rush of three people zoomed past me - one of them a very attractive ponytailed lady with a "50" ParkRun T shirt on. I couldn't believe their speed at this stage of the course - it was mega impressive. A lovely chap applauded us with 500m to go. There was a chap in front of me who I just could not get past for the past kilometre and I decided I was was going to charge him at the line. With 30m to go I sprinted past him and got BEEPED by the finishing line marshall who said "Nice finish!" God knows where the final spring energy came from, but it's amazing what you can do when you push yourself.
My watch said 26'17 but I await the Parkrun time to tell me how it really was. So I'm very happy with todays run. I did go faster than I wanted to but that's the fun of parkrun I've realised. Why the heck not give it a go every week? I think in future I'm just gonna go and run with no plan, no pep talk, no nuthin'! Just turn up and see what happens. I could have done with a massive flute of champagne at the end but as no one had any I had to make do with a slurp of diluted cranberry juice when I returned to my scooter which I had under the seat.
Hope all you fellow PRunners had a good one. Thanks for reading!