Very Long Post Alert!
Regular readers will know that my run on Thursday night (w7r3) was, shall we say, 'not entirely satisfactory'. I had, whilst ruminating in the bath, decided regardless to do a Parkrun for the first time this morning - incorporating my first run of week 8. After Thursday I seriously doubted that I could get round 5k in under 40 minutes (if at all), so 40 minutes was my target (my 1k splits are usually anything from 7.40 - 8.15 ish). So I roll up at Tilgate Park in Crawley in good time to do my 5 minute warm-up walk before the start, and at 09.00 off I trotted with 312 others. I listened to Laura for the first 28 minutes, but when she said to walk at the end I only did two minutes, not wanting to ruin my chances of a (for me) decent time. (I did warm down properly for 5 mins after I finished, I promise!) Tilgate is a lovely park and a lovely course, it includes two separate circuits of a lake at beginning and end separated by 2k through the woodland. Mostly on hard paths so good conditions all round. Only one walking phase was required, up a murderous uphill stone path where far better runners than me also had to walk, so I didn't feel too bad about that. There was loads of encouragement from the volunteer marshalls all the way round, they are lovely and fantastic people, I thank all of them. And to the finish. A couple of people I know from work who had, it turns out, finished 10-11 minutes ahead of me had waited at the finish line to cheer me on, so I felt obliged to put a spurt (of sorts) on for the final 50 metres. As I crossed the line to barely deserved applause from loads of other runners too, I stopped my Nike+ app. Didn't look at it straight away as I needed to get my finishing tag and personal barcode scanned. Then I dared look. Have I beaten 40 minutes? Nike+ told me I had done 5k in 37 minutes and 35 seconds. 37.35!!!! I could have cried. After feeling so despondent on Thursday I was suddenly on cloud 9. No, cloud 99. I know pride is a deadly sin, but I feel so pleased with myself. Ridiculously happy! I'd been told that official timing was often a wee bit slower than GPS based apps, and so it proved, but if you look at the results of today's Tilgate Parkrun, this is what you'll see:
282 Steve JACKSON 38:08 VM55-59 40.65 % M 158 First Timer! (and 9th in my age group. Out of 10 )
So 38.08 rather than 37.35 but I'm still deliriously happy (and it makes it a little bit easier to set a PB next time ) Stupid grin all day and my mood hasn't even been ruined by West Ham performing so abysmally against West Brom in the FA Cup
If anyone is thinking of trying out Parkrun please do it! The people are lovely and there's so much encouragement (just like on here!)
Sorry for the VLP, but if you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Today is a GOOD day!
Good luck and good running everyone, Steve