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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!

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