Due to family illness I wasn’t able to compete in Wednesday’s Fairhill 5 race, the first time I’ve missed it since I started running, and also my first ever DNS.
That meant today’s return to Chippenham parkrun was my first run in three days.
I’ve been following a training plan which allows for two days off, and whilst that might not seem like much of a break I have been coping well with it and enjoying the routine.
So, of course, having that extra day off was always going to mess with my mind. The age old doubts started to creep in. Would I feel out of shape? Would my legs freak at being made to run again? The same old nonsense really.
But with a half marathon to follow the next day I knew I had to do this, get it over with and get my legs back in running mode.
Because this was my third time in Chippenham this year I wasn’t sure whether to join the visitors pre-race brief, but I decided it’d be nice to reintroduce myself again to the lady giving the briefing, who gave me her normal warm welcome.
When the race started I immediately felt comfortable, tucking in behind a couple of runners who seemed to be going at my pace.
The plan was to shadow them for as long as I could to stop me from setting off too fast. It worked a treat, I stayed with them until the first mile before moving on to another runner a little further ahead and doing the same for the next mile.
Again, this worked perfectly and at two miles I was on target to at least match my parkrun PB set just last week.
Unfortunately Chippenham is run on partly trail, and the uneven nature of the course and having to slow slightly to keep your footing put paid to any designs I had of beating last week.
However, I wasn’t too far away. My pb time passed at exactly 3 miles so I was very close to it.
What I did do, though, was set a new course record for myself at Chippenham, beating my previous best by 40 seconds and coming in around two-and-a-half minutes quicker than my first run here back in February. I’ll take that!