You might have picked up that I'm an early riser.
I decided to have an early night, which meant that I was accidentally awake at 04:00 this morning, full of nervous energy. Not really how I wanted the day to start
I eventually got down to the park, did a circuit of the course as a warm-up walk.
Obviously, at this point, the gremlins are whispering about how long the course seems.
A couple of elite runners fly past me with their "100 runs" t-shirts on- their warm up was seemingly to do 5k just for a laugh, before the actual run.
The gremlins keep on going- it's not like a solo run- it'll be terrible, you'll embarrass yourself, etc, etc.
Just like last week (on my reconnaissance) everyone was very friendly and welcoming, so the gremlins were soon banished.
The run starts, I deliberately start off right at the very back. Tactical error.
I've got a particular pace (it's obviously not that fast), but I felt hemmed in - I couldn't get my natural stride, so I had to edge past some people.
Me- overtaking people at an organised run! Will this madness never end?!
The course is 3 laps. The time flew by, but I over-paced myself a bit on the second half of lap 1. I took it slower on lap 2. Lap 3 I did some walking intervals, and I didn't have enough in the tank for a sprint finish.
It was a little bit weird running with other people, because you have to keep adjusting your pace, based on what people around you are doing.
Having said that, it was an absolutely brilliant, brilliant experience. I had to fight very hard to control my competitiveness, and just do my own thing.
It was my first run without music, because I think it would have reduced my spatial awareness. My god! My heavy breathing! I was actually a bit embarrassed- I make a right racket!
There was an elite runner who spent the whole run shouting "burn! burn! burn!" as he went along, which was a bit odd. I think he meant "push through the pain barrier!", rather than "pyromaniac coming through!"
Having people cheer you on is such a helpful boost.
The endorphin rush when I finished was crazy, off-the-scale. I was knackered, but it gave me such an amazing sense of jubilation and satisfaction.
TL;DR - Park Run is absolutely awesome. I am still on such a high. I love it.
A brilliant end to an otherwise **** week.
"Your time was 34:28. You finished in 271st place and were the 187th male out of a field of 349 parkrunners and you came 30th in your age category VM40-44."
Bear in mind, I could hardly shuffle for 60 seconds at the end of April. It's mid-June now.
Have a great weekend