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:
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...