As I hinted in my last entry I went to parkrun this morning, only my fifth time doing it.
I love it as a concept but because it’s a 35-40 minute walk away from me I don’t attend it that often. It’s also bloody fast! I regularly check other parkrun results and my local one is always amongst the quickest and that puts me off.
Anyway, I’ve become more confident with my running recently so I attended this morning, using it to do the third of this week’s Ballymena Runners C25K schedule, a 20 minute run.
I knew the other members of the group would be starting at the back of the main body of runners but I thought they’d start at the same time. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. They started around 30 yards back which was fair enough if they weren’t intending to do the full parkrun.
However, I wanted to so when the group leader blew his whistle for everyone to start I set off expecting the rest to come with me …. only they didn’t, so I was left in the unusual position of effectively running in no man’s land – ahead of the C25K group but behind the parkrun tailrunner!
Undeterred, I plugged away on my own and tried to hunt down the tailrunner, getting fairly close in places whilst I could also hear the group coming behind me being encouraged by the leader to try and catch me – and I was buggered if I was going to let them do that!
I kept going until I got to the 20 minute mark which fulfilled my C25K commitment, so I took my two minute walk which, of course, coincided with exactly the place the course photographer had been stationed. Sod’s law!
On I went around the course, quite satisfied that I was setting a good time. I was joined by a couple of club runners who had already completed their morning run but had come back out onto the course so they accompanied me home, encouraging me all the way.
I knew that because I was behind the tailrunner that the official timer would have packed up by the time I got to the finish but, to my delight, he offered to input my time manually based on what it said on my watch …. so my time of 39:07 will go down in the official records.
Although over four minutes slower than my personal best, it did mark my fastest time this year and, crucially, means I’ve finally dipped below 40 minutes, a time that has been frustrating me for quite a while. Psychologically that is a huge thing for me.
A successful parkrun return ….. dare I go for it next week again?