Saturday, 1 September 2012

Parkrun PB!

Two weeks ago, I decided to run my local Parkrun 5K race. It was my 7th attempt at the Eastbourne course, and I wasn't expecting a great time, but I have been doing a bit of speed work recently, so I wanted to test myself on a short distance. It turned out to be a really hot, sunny, hot morning, and it was too hot for running! I struggled with the heat, and got round in 25m37s - almost a minute slower than my PB for this course.

This week I decided to make my 8th attempt. It was much, much cooler, with a lot of white cloud, but no rain, and little wind. Perfect for running.

I chose to cycle there, as I haven't had a chance to go on my bike for almost a month. It's only 3.5 miles to the start line from my house, but my legs felt a bit tired as I arrived, and I thought about forgetting running fast, and just running for fun.

However, once the race started, I decided to go for it. I ran as hard as I could, and every time I checked my Garmin, I was delighted to never see a number 8 at the start of my min/miles pace! I felt good after the first miles, but not sure I could keep it up; after the second mile I knew I could get a course PB if I didn't crash and burn, and at mile 3, with just 0.1 of a mile to go, I knew I was close to my 5K PB. I tried to kick to the finish, and crossed the line in 24m33s.

This is 12 seconds faster than my previous PB on this course! The trouble was, when I saw my time, I was gutted to be so close to my all-time PB of 24m31s! If only I had run a couple of tighter corners, sprinted harder at the end, saved a couple of seconds somewhere...

But I'm happy with a course PB really. My best 5K was last December at the Worthing Christmas Cracker - a completely flat race along the pavement next to the sea. The Parkrun course has a couple of stretches on grass, which can be very bumpy and overgrown in places, and I find that much tougher than tarmac. So I want to find a nice flat road 5K soon!

One of the great things about Parkrun is the range of stats they provide on each race. Here are mine from today:

Time: 24m33s
Position: 31/68
Gender position: 9/26
Age category (VW35-39): 1/1!
Age Grading: 61.91%

And from my Garmin:
Mile 1: 7m53s
Mile 2: 7m50s
Mile 3: 7m49s
0.1:  7m06 pace

Average pace: 7.49min/miles.

Cycling home afterwards was tough - I hadn't realised how much the race would have taken out of my legs, and it was a struggle! I'm looking forward to a 10K at the end of September next...


  1. Great run Liz. And so agonisingly close to your PB. But that means you're in great running shape at the moment and if you keep persisting you'll get it.

  2. Woohoo, that's fantastic!! Congratulations! :)

  3. Whoa, speedy! Good for you!!!

  4. Nice job! I just told my friend about a time I biked after a hard race and it was too much.

  5. That's quite fast! Good for you. I'm happy to achieve 5K in 30 minutes...

  6. Congratulations on an excellent run Liz, that warm-up biking to the start must have set you up nicely. I'll have to pull my socks up now - 24:33 is 3 seconds faster than my PB!