parkrun 29.10.16

fullsizerender-27As 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?


Ballymena Runners 7.2

fullsizerender-26There comes a point in every run when you think, “Yep, this is going well, I’m going to smash this!” or “No, this is awful, I’m deluding myself, I should stick to walking and I’m not even very good at that”.

Thankfully, I haven’t had the latter for a while and I didn’t have it tonight either.

Tonight was the second part of week seven of the Ballymena Runners C25K programme, therefore two 15 minute runs interspersed with a two minute walk.

I wasn’t in the mood for it, I really wasn’t. It’s been a difficult few days since coming home, the euphoria of the weekend had been wiped out by a crash equally as strong, and also because my running brain has sort of switched off.

I’d been focusing on Portsmouth and now that was over and done with there was a bit of a void. Obviously there was still the two runs to do this week but the motivation to get at least one done before the weekend just wasn’t there.

But Sensible Martin kicked in – and encouraged by a friend – out I went, more in hope than expectation ….. and, you know what?, it wasn’t too bad.

I set off with my super duper Lidl’s finest flashing armbands attached to my, ummm, arms for the first time this winter and decided to run along the dual carriageway for the first time in ages, mainly because it was flat and then downhill on the way home.

I didn’t exert myself too much so felt quite comfortable throughout. I proved to myself on Sunday what I can do if I pushed it so I didn’t need to do it again tonight, it was all about completing the run without stopping – which I did.

longhornTonight’s run also put me over the distance for my second virtual marathon this month. I started off doing Ben Smith’s 401 Challenge and after completing that I turned my attention to the Longhorn 26.2 Challenge. Time to submit my evidence and get another medal.

There’s a certain sense of satisfaction in that …. in fact, another nine miles this month and I’ll have completed my most miles in a month since I started running. Hmmmm, parkrun in the morning and then a 10k on Sunday? You never know.

Interestingly, I completed the first marathon in 6hrs 10mins, and the second in 6hrs 1min or thereabouts, I’m getting faster!


Ballymena Runners 7.1

fullsizerender-25No rest for the wicked!

After the success of the weekend it was back to butts tonight with week seven of the Ballymena Runners C25K programme.

I’d been travelling back from England all day, only arriving home after 3pm. I only really had time to unpack, grab something to eat and then back out again for tonight’s session.

I wasn’t really looking forward to it. My legs felt heavy from both Sunday and the travelling so I worried how they’d cope, especially since tonight’s schedule was a quite simple 2×15 minutes with the usual walking break in between.

Thankfully, the one person who knew what I was doing at the weekend ran beside me for the first quarter-of-an-hour and we chatted about both my exploits and hers, comparing notes, discussing tactics and so on.

That was good because it meant the time passed quickly and before I knew it we were onto the second 15 minutes, and even though I ran this without speaking to anyone I did tuck in behind a couple of other runners just in front of me and kept to their pace in order to get me through the rest of the run.

All in all it was a good session, not overly taxing and a useful exercise in shaking out the effects of the weekend from my legs.