Much Ado About Parkrun

Weekends never seem to come round quickly enough, especially when there’s a Parkrun on the cards. And this weekend was no exception.

After last week’s disappointment with being given the wrong result, I had missed out on that feeling of achievement that you get when you check the website to find that your imagined PB is in fact a reality. Of course, the good people of Parkrun were quick to correct last week’s error and the result was updated, but seeing it a few days after the event wasn’t quite the same. So I was keen to get a good result for this morning’s run.

When I got up and headed out to the park, I wasn’t really thinking about PBs though. I’ve just started training for my next 10K race and was still feeling a little bit tired after my two mid-week runs. So I figured I would just go out and enjoy being in the park with a few hundred other runners.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and the wind was behaving itself for once as I joined the three hundred and seventy or so runners at the start line. Well, not at the start line exactly. More like a few metres behind, along with the slower runners, children and first timers.

Even then though, I started off much faster than I knew I should have done. I tried to rein it in a little bit to preserve enough energy for the final couple of kilometres, but I wasn’t overly bothered about it as long as I could complete the run without walking. After all, today was just about having fun.

Well, that’s what I kept telling myself as I tried to ignore my Garmin and judge my pace by feel. To be fair, I didn’t check it nearly as much as I usually do – just once or twice to make sure I was doing ok. And I was doing ok.

For the first four kilometres I was running pretty much by feel, but when the marshall called out the time at the 4K point, I realised that I could probably go for a PB if I wanted to.

Now, normally this would be a no brainer. I would start to pick up the pace slowly, checking myself to make sure that I could sustain it, and then try to pick it up a little more and so on until the final push to the finish line.

But this week I am training. To push to hard on Saturday could jeopardise my long run on Sunday. And, since I’m training for my second 10K, getting those long runs in is a bit more important than getting a PB at Parkrun.

However, I wasn’t convinced. Not completely anyway. So I decided to compromise and hold off until the final half kilometre before picking up the pace to the finish line.

It wasn’t exactly a sprint and I resisted the temptation to race the group of kids that were coming up behind me, but I kept it going until I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin at 32:04. A new Parkrun PB?

5K Map 2014-02-22

Well, I know I don’t always manage to start the timer quickly enough but, as it usually takes me an extra couple of seconds after the finish line before I remember to stop it, the few seconds here or there generally balance out.

This time though, when I checked the results, I was delighted to see that it was my own watch that was a couple of seconds over, giving me a new Parkrun PB of 32:02 – that’s 6 whole seconds off last week’s time and only 1 second away from my Garmin PB of 32:01.

I guess it just goes to show that sometimes our best results come when we least expect them.

How was your running this week? Did you do Parkrun? Are you aiming for a new PB, training for a race or just running for the love of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Much Ado About Parkrun”

  1. Well done on the parkrun PB! I love the feeling of finishing a parkrun and then wondering for a few hours how fast you actually were… I really enjoy my local parkrun (St. Andrews) and take part whenever I can. The route in St. Andrews is hilly and muddy, so it’s good fun, but I get nowhere near my 5k PB there – still, it’s always a good tempo run and I love the atmosphere!

      1. I’d love to try other parkruns in future – it’s just such a lovely community event. Perhaps I’ll set myself the goal of participating in all parkruns in Scotland for a start. That seems doable and could be really good fun! =D

      2. Sounds like a great idea! We usually have a few Parkrun tourists at Brighton but it’s a bit too convenient for me to venture further afield. In saying that, we do have another one about a mile up the road that I keep meaning to try – perhaps in the Spring. πŸ˜‰

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