As I said at the end of my last post, at my most recent parkrun I got my fastest time yet – 26:43 for 5km. I know loads of people can run 5k much faster (and do at my local parkrun each week) but this is such an achievement for me, it made me so happy!
I had actually set out to do an easy run, as I was quite tired and not feeling great, but it turns out I’m not very good at pacing myself. My first mile was actually twelve seconds slower than the week before (so I suppose I did slow down a little), which I knew thanks to my snazzy new running watch (I LOVE it so much!). I didn’t therefore think that I had any chance of beating my time from the previous week, which is was one second slower than my course PB, but knew that I was running quite well.
Since I was feeling comfortable-ish at this point, I decided to at least keep up the pace and do what I could, promising myself that if I ran the rest of the lap, I could walk the hill during the third lap if I wanted. Bramley parkrun is just under four laps of the field, and the first bit of the course is a longish uphill section (or as the parkrun sign states, a ‘flat upwards section’). By the time I’d done a mile I’d already done the hill twice, so I knew the hardest bit was done for lap two.
I continued, and of course when I got to the hill at the start of lap three I wanted to walk, but I made myself run it (albeit quite slowly). Again, once I got to the top, I told myself that if I put in the effort for the rest of the lap, I could walk the hill during the final lap. At some point during lap three, my watch buzzed to say I’d hit two miles, and mile two was twelve seconds faster than the week before.
At this point, I knew I was on track to at least match my time from the week before, so of course I managed to convince myself to ‘run’ the hill on the last lap. Although to be honest, I’m not sure if I might have been better off walking a bit then having more energy when I got to the top. I’ll have to try it one week!
The hill was really, really hard on the last lap though. I was definitely feeling it in my heart and lungs at this point, and felt like I was slowing down quite a lot during the next bit of the lap. I really wasn’t sure I’d actually match my time from the week before after all, I was tired. However, as I was coming to the final straight (which is downhill) I knew that if I pushed hard, I would be able to beat it.
I don’t think I’ve ever run quite so hard as I did down that final path into the finishing chute – I was going flat out in an attempt to shave even a second off my course PB! I was trying so hard to put everything into it that I forgot to stop said snazzy running watch when I crossed the line! I only remembered about ten seconds later, when I’d walked down the rest of the finishing chute. My watch showed the same time as the week before (26:47) but since I hadn’t managed to stop it straight away, I was confident that there would be a few more seconds to come off that time. I knew my watch time wouldn’t match my official time anyway, as I start my watch when I cross the start line, whereas the parkrun timing starts when the first person crosses (I’m usually a good few seconds from the front).
It turned out I’d done my third mile in 8:18, which I was thrilled with – 17 seconds faster than mile three the week before. My pace for the nubbin was 6:28 according to my watch, which means it was probably faster than that since part of that time was me standing in the finishing chute! Super super happy!
Because of the above mentioned timing differences, I didn’t manage to knock 17 seconds off my PB, but I did manage to take seven seconds off, which I was pretty thrilled with.
It’s going to take a while for me to reach sub 25 minutes at Bramley parkrun I think – that hill is a killer! I’ll keep going though, and hopefully enter an official (and maybe flat!) 5k race later in the year to see how I do!