Back to parkrun, and my first proper outing since Dublin. I know I’ve done a mile per day on Thursday and Friday but this was going to be the first time I’ll have gone further than that.
I normally wake up on a parkrun morning with a sense of dread, and a feeling of pressure, but I didn’t experience that today. I’ve been feeling absolutely no pressure in my running since Dublin so today I wanted to make sure it was going to be all about the enjoyment of it again.
And that’s what happened.
After chatting to a few people about Dublin etc. I set off without a time target in mind, preferring to run to feel, and actually found myself knocking out a pace much quicker than I would normally.
If I had a race coming up that’d worry me. I’d deliberately slow down in an attempt to save some energy but, this time, I wasn’t worried in the slightest. I didn’t try to maintain it, nor did I purposely try to ease off. I just kept going without really thinking about it, a quite refreshing feeling.
Bits of the second mile were strewn with wet leaves so there were places when I had to be careful and slow down a tad to just to keep my footing so I lost around 30 seconds on mile one, but it was ok. I was just out for a worry free run, remember?
This attitude continued into the final and third mile. I could have chased my parkrun personal best, it was in sight with a bit of effort, but I didn’t really want to.
I went into this with the intention of enjoying myself so I didn’t want the self imposed pressure of aiming for something I very probably wouldn’t achieve anyway and then getting frustrated with myself.
However, it was really encouraging that less than a week after a marathon I felt I had it within me to even come close in the first place.