Facebook SDK

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A totally unexpected PB

I have been banging on about my injury problems for what seems like a lifetime to me, so goodness only knows what any remaining readers out there think.

I'll try not to repeat all that too much, suffice to say that they started a year ago, the last occurrence was in November and I have tried to come back slowly over the weeks and months since.

Before last weekend my best parkrun since injury was an 18:18 two weeks earlier at my last parkrun.

I turned up at the weekend hoping to just beat that time but almost a bit nervous of the pain I would have to go through to achieve a new "comeback PB". But I knew I could do that.

I had decided to go out hard again and try to stay ahead of schedule. In the past I would always do the second half of my parkrun faster than the first and finish with a sprint. Due to injury problems a sprint finish is still very unwise, so I am currently trying to run exactly even paced laps to end exhausted.

I was trying to do a fast sub 3:30 first km and then stay at or around 3:40 per km to secure my target time.

I did a slightly quicker 3:27 first km and felt strong, so decided to stay as far ahead of schedule as possible.

I have to be honest that by the next km marker and those that followed I was too punch drunk to have any idea or possibility of calculating my km splits. But I was sure I was ahead.

I did manage to get a one lap split time in my head of 8:53 (my fastest first lap ever), so I knew I was well ahead of target.

The problem of being so far ahead is that it raised the possibility of beating my 17:49 PB. I decided to ignore that possibility and just knuckle down as I was still feeling strong.

I was firmly in 5th place at this stage, well ahead of 6th and at least 50 metres behind 1st to 4th.

With about 1km to go I noticed that I had closed on positions 2 to 4 (1st was long gone). At this stage it actually became a race for me rather than about time.

I decided to power past those three runners in one quick effort so tgat they had no chance to stay with me and with 500 metres to go I had a good 20 metres lead over them. A quick look at my watch suggested I would be within a second or two of my PB.

I was now trying to defend my second place with first far too distant a possibility. I gave it everything for the next minute or so and with 250 metres to go I was completely out on my feet, running with my eyes closed and gasping for air.

I somehow got myself to the finish line, held on to second place and a quick glance at my watch suggested it would be an equal PB or slight improvement.

When the text came through I was delighted to see that I had a new PB by 3 seconds! How did that happen!

I think this was the first time I have punched the air with delight at the sight of my parkrun text. That was the thrill I got from finally getting "back to my best" and from achieving a parkrun PB after all those months of injury!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sport Relief Mile "training" with my 3 year old

After a fairly swift (but comfortable) double parkrun yesterday (21:51 and 21:30), for a respectable 10km time of 43:21 and with parkrun tomorrow morning, I had planned to take a day off from running today.

My 3 year old daughter had other ideas!

She has just taken me out for 2 laps of the block, which (according to google maps) is roughly 1.02 miles. I'm not sure that "roughly" is the right word when you give mileage measurements to two decimal places. Anyway, we ran just over a mile.

She has taken me out...and I do mean "she takes me out" as she certainly tells me in no uncertain terms that we are going, the route we are taking and the number of laps. She even decides the topics of conversation. So, as I was saying, she has taken me out to run round the block a few times over the last couple of years, but this is the second time as part of her "training" for the Sport Relief mile. She loves it so much and is clearly glad of the excuse to get me out for a run. I have to say that I really don't mind at all either. We enrolled my 7 year old son and there is no way my 3 year old daughter would have allowed us to prevent her from doing it.

Her last run was a mile around the block a few weeks ago where she ran it in about 14 minutes, without stopping! 14 minute mile pace sounds pretty good to me for a 3 year old!

Well today, she blew that away and did it in less than 13 minutes. Pretty amazing. She even stopped a couple of times this time. To wait for me of course! I wish I could pick my mile pace up by a minute between training sessions!

The best bit about all of this is the delight in her eyes, the enthusiasm with which she does it, the fact she came home to tell her mum all about it, the fact she has just told me that she wants to go every day, twice a day!

Better than that, she has just come into the room and is doing laps of the table, telling me all about her running, sorry no, she says she is jogging. Great stuff! Though I am starting to get dizzy as she laps me every 10 seconds or so, she must be getting dizzy too.

Such a special time, being out running with my 3 year old daughter! I can't remember when the Sport Relief mile is, soon I think, but I hope she doesn't lose the enthusiasm for running after that, because I had a great time and am looking forward to the next time. Tomorrow she tells me!