My plan was for an easy 6 mile run today before tomorrow’s 25 mile around Ben Lomond but I was listening to Marathon Talk podcast as I cycled to work yesterday and they were talking about the value of doing a parkrun as a goo indicator of fitness.
I had felt really good on my Tempo run on Wednesday so decided to run the Pollok parkrun which I could fit in before going to Nuffield for my swimming lessons.
I parked the car just under a mile away so I could have a cool down and get out of the park in time to get to my first lesson at 10.30am. It was a lovely morning and I was really looking forward to the run.
As I warmed up I saw Chris Greenlaugh who is our Pastor at Life Church and a very good runner. He wasn’t too confident about his run as he had run 12 miles on the Cathkin Braes yesterday. So much for that as he won the race in a pb of 16:43!!
I saw Neal and Caroline and other friends before the start. I made my way to near the front as I wanted to head off as quick as I could and not get held up. I could see Neal and Christopher (Caroline’s brother) just ahead.
Once we got round the first corner I could see Neal showing down a bit. As I went past I asked if he was okay. He said he had no power in his legs. I assumed he was going to jog round but seeing the results he was only 13secs behind me so he must have got going again.
I was going past a few runners up the first long hill. I was feeling really good and decided not to look at my watch at all but to go as hard as I could for as long as I could.
Christopher had a big 6 on the back of his t-shirt so I focused on drawing him in. Christopher is a very strong runner so I assume he’d had a tough week or not feeling too good. Anyway I went past on the downhill but assumed (rightly) that he wasn’t too far away!
I often lose a bit of ground on the small section before the short sharp hill and a couple of runners went past me but held my position for the rest of the way round the second loop.
I continued to push hard and caught a couple more runners. I was also overtaking quite a few runners on their first loop.
I pushed as hard as I could for the final bit but a couple of runners went past me including Christopher!! His legs are a lot longer than mine and he used them to good effect!!
I finished 19th (out of 327 starters) in a time of 19mins 23secs (6.16pace). I was hoping for anything under 20mins so I was very pleased with that!
Sorry Neal but I couldn’t resist adding your time in. It is a very rare occasion for me to finish ahead of you so I need to milk it for all I can!!
I was very pleased with my age graded 79.28% which is one of my best I think.
I have run 14 parkrun races all at Pollok. Here is a summary of my best times each year ….
So that was best time since 2010. To be fair though it is very rare I can run one when I’m in 5k shape. Normally they are after an ultra when I don’t have much speed in my legs!! But encouraging nevertheless!!
My heart rate for the race was pretty consistent for the whole race ….
On the Saturday before Christmas I ran 20:17 and 6 weeks later ran almost a mini faster. My training has been good over the last 4 weeks with plenty of Fartlek and Tempo runs but I think another massive factor is I have lost almost a stone in weight since the beginning of the year.
On 10th Jan I weighed 12st 5lbs and today 11st 11lbsThe difference that makes is amazing. Running feels so much easier an smoother so the effort I’m making to watch what I’m eating is paying dividends!
I’m looking forward to getting back on the trails tomorrow. My friend Jonny is going with me and we have decided to run the 18mile loop that Marco showed us plus we are going to add in a trip up and down Ben Lomond. Report and photos to come!!