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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Freedom parkrun - good on your own, better with a friend

Well I did it, I completed my 14th freedom parkrun this lunchtime.

I am in the very fortunate position of being able to work from home a couple of times a week. Now more than ever, as the nights are drawing in and winter approaches, I find that a lunch-time run is the best way for a fair-weather runner like myself to fit in a couple of runs without having to run in the dark.

Today was a bit different to my usual solo freedom runs. Today I was joined by my brother, Andy. He is also in the fortunate position of working close to the park. We met at the start line after running there from our respective workplaces, had a quick stretch and then stepped onto the start line where we hastily agreed to aim for sub 22 minutes. With each of our PBs well over 2 minutes under this time, it doesn't sound too tough a target, but in my experience, freedom runs are far harder than normal parkruns.

With no objection from Andy (apart from the noted facial expression - "how quick!") we set off on the normal route and started chatting, mainly about my new parkrunfan blog and it was mainly me chatting "at" Andy to be honest. Within 30 seconds I had to pause to pull up a running sock that had slipped inside my shoe. I caught Andy up around the memorial. Two minutes later, back at the memorial on the return leg and the sock had gone again. A more permanent fix was made to the sock this time and thankfully it didn't annoy me again. I have never had this happen before. Two periods of sprinting (to catch up) certainly changes the feel of a relatively comfortable run.

Coventry parkrun is a two lap course and we reached the half way point of the run in 11:20. The sock incident had played its part in this delay. We are both the types to never allow a target time to be missed so we picked up the pace a bit and the chatting slowed somewhat.

We managed a brisk 10:19 second lap and finished the freedom run in 21:39, well within our target time. This is about the average time I complete a freedom run in, but having company made it feel so much easier.

Having someone to share the run with and have a chat with, for at least some of the run, helps to take the mind off any tiredness that can creep in. The run flew by to be honest. This is only the 2nd time we have run a freedom run together, far fewer than the 12 I have done on my own, but it certainly won't be the last. We have already made arrangements for another freedom parkrun this coming Friday. I can't wit and I thin Andy is as keen as I am.

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