Another Day, Another Parkrun

Two Parkruns in one week? What a treat! Not least of all, because I get to play with my new Garmin… again.

After Wednesday’s Christmas Day Parkrun, I was keen to get back out again and get to work on my PB. My original goal had been to run a Sub 30 5K by the end of the year, but what with injury and cold weather making my training less than sporadic over the last few months, that was going to be difficult at best.

Still, not to be defeatist about it all, I headed to the park for this morning’s Parkrun, armed with my new Garmin and a plan for better pacing and an improvement on Wednesday’s time. It was the usual type of thing. Try to avoid setting out too fast and aim for negative splits. Nothing too clever. Just take it easy for the first half (or so) and then run your heart out at the end.

Of course, I started off too fast. I always do. But I managed to rein it a little bit for the first two kilometres. It wasn’t an easy task and I was still going faster than I should have been, but it was an improvement on Wednesday’s lack of pacing so I was happy.

As with Wednesday’s run, however, I was slower on the third kilometre and had to take a couple of walking breaks on the fourth and fifth. Thankfully these breaks were shorter though and I never felt like giving up completely. In fact, for the first time ever at Parkrun, I actually did a sort of sprint to the finish.

I’d been kind of secretly racing against a couple of the other runners. Every time I walked, they would overtake me, so I would try to catch up with them. By the final half kilometre though, they were quite far ahead so I had to dig deep and call on my last few ounces of energy to overtake them again just before the finish line.

It was a lot of fun trying to get past other runners. It’s not something that I usually do, not in the last kilometre anyway, but it did help me to get a better time. My Garmin and the Parkrun stopwatch were pretty much in agreement with the outcome: Garmin 32:41; Parkrun 32:42. Not too bad for me!

However, I am a little bit confused by Wednesday’s Parkrun as the stats just don’t add up. According to the Garmin, I ran around 33:20; but the Parkrun computer gave me a new PB of 32:12. Much as I hate to admit it, I’m pretty sure that’s not right. Apart from the fact that there’s no way I delayed stopping my watch for a whole minute, I’m pretty certain that my walking breaks slowed things down more than just a little bit on Wednesday.

I can only assume I got the wrong chip and have dutifully informed The Powers of Parkrun so that they can put it right. For now though, the new PB still stands, which is kind of annoying. Still, I guess it’s gives me an added incentive to get on with this whole Sub 30 malarkey.

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