I had been due to volunteer at the Erddig parkrun this morning, but it's been cancelled as they got bumped for the (ahem) Cadbury's Egg Hunt.... so instead I indulged in a little parkrun tourism. I did think about going to Delamere Forest, but I'm going away on Monday and didn't think I'd have time to clean and dry out my Trail Runners before I go! So instead, I went down to the one at Shrewsbury.
If you know Shrewsbury, the parkrun takes place at the Quarry, doing a small lap, then a bigger one alongside the Severn for most of it, before finishing down by the river again. It's all on tarmac, and although you do have to go up the hill a couple of times, you start at pretty much the highest point of the route and go down first, meaning you're reasonably warm before reaching the first uphill - and it's not anywhere near as steep as the one in the last 500m at Erddig!
It was a lovely day for it too - not that warm, but clear and sunny. Probably about twice as many people as I'm used to though - they get somewhere in the region of 600 some weeks while Erddig is closer to 200 and once or twice 300... So it was more important than even not to get too carried away, to run my own pace and keep going. It's a good course for a PB though, and as I've been hitting the roads regularly - and doing 5K regularly - I felt quietly confident as Laura got me going at 150bpm, then 155.... this is my custom version of Stepping Stone, with an extra 5 minutes at 150, and although Endomondo wasn't giving me splits I felt like I was going well - even a little walk up the hill towards the end of the big lap seemed well in control - and of course there was a downhill to get the muscles recovered before the 160bpm finishing burst.... I didn't think I could have pushed it much more, but I knew from my tracker that I had every right to go and ring the bell that they have for setting a PB!
The email has just arrived, and I'm extremely pleased - the recorded time is 33:19, a whole THREE AND A HALF MINUTES faster than my best so far at Erddig, and probably my best overall 5K time to boot! Now, I think I'll stick with Erddig most of the time, but if it's one of those days when it's going to be more like Bog Snorkelling than running, I think I know where I'll head instead.....