Week 9 of parkruns, same route as previous week due to the recent bad weather. After running 18:55 (18:57 on gun) I wanted to improve my parkrun time. Hillsborough is not a fast course but one I think is more beneficial to me then a flat one, like for example York. If I can continue to improve at Hillsborough when I got to places like Leeds, it is only going to benefit me. I found the climb at Leeds easier then Hillsborough and the time showed. I still personally think due to numbers now at my local parkrun, the original course is faster as you only get congestion once going down to the park. It’s virtually impossible to sprint flat out to finish at moment. For now patience is key as we will soon be back to normal hopefully in a few weeks.
So to this past Saturday. I had an easy two days after Wednesdays race but I had spent the majority of my Friday being prodded, poked and tested at the Hallamshire Hospital. So Saturday morning I hadn’t slept well and fell lethargic. The weather didn’t help as it was bouncing it down as we drove the 6 miles to Hillsborough. Good thing is it stopped just as I did a warm up mile. I’m growing to like the warm up as it is allowing me to gauge obstacles and conditions. After warm up I hovered around the start catching up with fellow local runners. Just before start I realised my neighbour had even turned up for a run. Then it was go time. I had a clear start so was soon chasing down the early pacesetter and was flying for once down the park.
Running sub 6:00 pace until after the duck pond. While not as strong as last week, the wind still slowed me as I climbed the park, before hitting the decent around the library. I hit end of first lap and legs felt heavy and knew I was about to pay for going a little too hard. Plus with mileage still increasing and everything else going on I will have days where I feel tired. I lost some time going up the start line. Hitting first mile in 6:00, my fastest 1st mile at parkrun this year, By the duck pond I was lapping other runners but thankfully there was still room to get round. Only issue was I had to run through a puddle to get past people. Much to their annoyance.(I did apologise). I was really having to work hard on the second lap.
I dropped a couple of places on this lap as I clocked a 6:16 2nd mile and I knew the next lap was going to be a slog and I was right. I did managed to get down the park ok on the 3rd lap but nowhere as fast as previous laps. As I headed up the park, a walker coming other way was coming down on left so I had to slow down till I could get past. You could see he was trying to block as many runners as possible! I then set off again and I find myself on the last lap sounding like Captain American shouting “ON YOUR LEFT”. Think people are sick of me. As I hit library I was cut up as two runners were having a personal battle so again had to slam brakes on till I could make a move. I then got a good run in to the finish but had to run way wide on left on the start line as runners were running 4 and 5 abreast. I almost lost it on bottom corner as someone with headphones darted out but I did get a clear run into the finish, just cutting on the last turn and crossed the line in 8th place again! But I clocked 19:38 on watch. So I knew it was an improvement.
Official time put me as 19:37 and I know I can get that down further over next few months. This week I think the race Wednesday evening and trip to hospital had made me a little more fatigued but I know each mile is a mile in bank and it will all come good in the none too distant future. As said patience is key and I know when we are back to original route I can have a crack at lowering my time even further. I also know as I continue to build my miles and race longer distances it will help with my 5k time as will another few months of track work.