The second weekend in January and my second parkrun of the year. It was also my birthday so was good to get an event in on my birthday. I had managed to get a run in everyday up to my birthday, at the moment I’ve found my knee is OK if I keep the mileage low and moving daily. At the moment January is about building a potential base for the rest of the year. Should I make it to Feb I can look at adding focused sessions, right now parkrun is my one hard run a week.
The conditions weren’t great but what can one expect in early January, it was rather windy but I’ve ran in a lot worse and found the only bit of wind was around the car park section so I didn’t feel it effected the event, although those who follow Run Britain Rankings will notice they awarded the event a high handicap score of 6.2 compared to the previous week’s 3.6. For those who are reading and wondering what I am talking about. On Run Britain you can join and any parkrun and UKA licensed race is added to your profile. A score is given based on the difficulty of the course, conditions, and then your time is then used to give you a handicap score. A race with a 0.0 score is classed as a flat, fast round. Higher that number the harder the race. So with it being so high it meant my time gave me a massive negative score as I rebuild my online athletics profile post injury.
Back to parkrun, same plan as last week, however, I found myself in the middle of the start and as I didn’t want to trip/fall I was very careful off the start line and it meant I had to build into the first lap. However, unlike last week I actually didn’t drop a place after the start and actually gained places from those who set off like shit of a shovel and by the time we got to the tennis courts they were blowing out their arses! (Don’t worry I am also well known for doing that). On the first lap I really pushed hard up the hill but unlike the previous week, I tried to push a bit harder on the downhill parts as I knew my knee was a little bit stronger. Hitting the first mile in 6:21 (only slightly quicker then last week).
Having learnt from the previous week, regarding traffic I knew I had to pick it up on the second lap. So I pushed on and was in a tussle with another runner which helped as I looped round the tennis courts and up the park. Again by this point I began to lap other parkrunners but I was a little braver then the previous week and ventured onto the grass if I had to. Save me having to keep saying “on your left”. The second lap brought with it a 6:38 lap (another 4s up on last weeks 2nd mile. I then knew it was a case of pushing on the final lap without injury as I ran past other runners. I didn’t find it as busy as last week so it meant I was able to keep up a decent pace, although I was actually 1s down on my 3rd lap on the previous week. So still a lot of room for improvement.
I did push harder on the sprint finish to come over the line in 17th place in a new parkrun PB time of 20:35, 29s faster then last week. I know if I can stay injury free! I should continue on a decent trajectory as I build up the miles and long term the re-introduction of speed sessions will also help. First things first it’s a case of getting 6 weeks of consistency first.
However, to see an improvement in just 7 days was a nice welcomed birthday present.