I had two options Saturday morning, stay in bed and feel sorry for myself or get up and stick to the plan of using parkruns to keep rebuilding. There was for me only one option…. I only mentioned in my blog last week that for the back up course they should move finish to the wide path. John (Run Director) must have read it as that is exactly what they did this past week. Although I still think the start needs moving forward slightly to adjust as I ran this weeks course long (however I think this is more my fault for running wide to over take people, rather then the course being long, as others on Strava ran a shorter route).
I felt good when I turned up despite another weekend of wet and windy conditions. I had put in a good track session Thursday but I had not slept well for obvious reasons. This week I did a full mile warm up to see if I could get faster in that first mile. I started sluggish but got going down to the car park but still can’t seem to get the legs going on this section yet, I still think mentally I’m protecting my knee. Anyway, I soon started to move up the field as we rounded the duck pond and bang into a very strong head wind, all the way up to the top of the park. I attacked coming down and past the library to complete the first loop the watch buzzed for 6:17 for the first mile. Still not fast enough but I can put that down to the wind more than anything.
The second lap though again I felt my strongest as I flew round the bottom half of the lap and the wind wasn’t as bad going back up. Plus traffic was still rather spread out which didn’t effect my own running, this meant I was able to match my first lap to be within a second in 6:18. I knew I needed a good final lap and I should beat my best time of 19:40 here. However, traffic was starting to become worse, first had to run wide at car park, again had to zig-zag round runners near duck pond. Then as I stay left up to the part a runner failed to control both her dogs who darted in front of me. I had to slam brakes on to avoid running into them. Then as I hit the marshalled corner a child had broken away from his adult and soon as you shout on your left, they panic and go exactly the wrong way and again had to stop to avoid running into him. I got going again and just got on with it as I ran past the library for the final time. By now all the shouting to get past folk meant I had also dropped two places in last lap, plus it was busy on the start/finish stretch and so had to run left to get round everyone and a case of trying to pass people on the narrow path to the car park. The hard part is you are left but need to be right to finish, so you have to pick your timing just right. The watch had buzzed already for a 6:22 3rd mile but it took 50s to finish the last part of the run.
I crossed the line in an equal best place of 8th but in 19:46, 3s slower then last week. What’s frustrating is my average pace was my fastest this year but the weaving etc meant I had run 3.17 miles rather then 3.11 and that little extra had cost me. But you know what it just means I need to keep coming back as I know I am on the brink of going faster again. For now I need to be patient and wait till we are back on the usual course where the field will spread out more. Credit to John and his team for getting event on and finding an alternative route. My only suggestion now would be to switch the finish from the right to the left next to car park. This would stop the need for people to cross paths to finish….