The Scribbler

2 October 2010

Newcastle Parkrun – take 2

Filed under: Parkrun,run — The Scribbler @ 17:42
Tags: , ,

Waking early Saturday morning, my mission to make it to Parkrun number 2. It’s bright, with no sign of wind. A good day for a good run.

So much milder on the moor this week, but I jog a little further to warm my legs through and spot a couple of friends from Fetch Everyone before the start.

A good day for another PB? The weather says yes, but my legs are still feeling the effects of Friday’s PT session, so I’m not sure. I can actually hear the starter’s announcements this week as there’s no wind carrying the voices away. And we’re off!

I don’t quite get the sensation of the whole field passing by me at the start this time. Maybe I’m a bit further back; maybe I know what to expect. I get a little blocked in behind one of the Veteran runners but manage to find a space just after the first turn and dodge the cow pats  to head out onto the long straight path across the moor.

Just run your own race, I tell myself, trying not to go off too fast, but targeting as close to 5 min kms as I can, with one eye on a future 10k race. Through the first km in 4:51. That’s good – stick there or thereabouts.

There’s a male runner on my right shoulder and at first I think he’ll push on past, but we stay level for a while and I sense that he may be pacing himself with me. And if there’s one thing I seem to be able to do, it’s run at a fairly consistent pace.

At the gate out onto Grandstand Road, he gallantly gestures me through ahead, and we continue to keep in step below the trees. We pass Hannah Bayman who I recognise from Look North and I call out ‘Keep going Hannah’ as much to check my breathing as anything else.

Turn back onto the moor, dodging the muddy bits and onto the stony path and the bit of the course I don’t like as much. I start to drift a little here, pushing on, then pulling back. But my pace setter is sticking with me. I resolve to stick with him as long as I can and tell myself to relax into my stride.

Just like last time, kilometre 3-4 is where it starts to slip. I can really feel my legs starting to get heavy and my breathing start to stumble and somewhere along the path, my pacer moves ahead and I cannot catch up. It’s a bit of a head down moment. A bit of a mental letting go. It’s hard to keep going as the group ahead moves off into the distance.

But that’s what these short races are all about, keeping going, keeping pushing the pace and although I know I’ve dropped off a little, I try to make sure it’s not too much and hope for a sprint finish to pull it back. I look ahead to the line of lampposts marking the last section of the course and resolve to kick in when I reach a certain point.

There’s a girl in a black T-shirt ahead as we approach the finish. I know I have a good kick, can I reach her? It’s a bit too fast too soon and I can’t sustain it. I kick through two more gears and close the gap, but I have to reign it in again. Oh well, just running for me and my time now. With less than 100m to go I push on for a sprint finish, hoping to be lucky and shave a few seconds off last week’s time.

I collapse breathless over the line, stop the watch and collect my token. A smiley lady with blonde hair asks, “Did you do better than last week? You had a good run last week.” And I reply that I haven’t looked at my time yet, then ping up the screen on my watch to see 25:22.  A new PB by 15 seconds. Get in!

It’s all so effortless after that. Stand in line to get your barcode and your token scanned for your results later. Parkrun really is a well organised event. I spot my pacer in line in front and thank him for getting me round in a new PB and he thanks me for keeping my pace which he says was ‘spot on’.

So, back next week? Yes please. Three PBs in a row might be asking a bit too much, but if I can eliminate the fade between 3 and 4 kms then it’s a possibility. Of course, conditions on the Town Moor can always throw the wind in your face or a cow pat under foot. But if I can book the same weather again for 14 November and the 10k race, that would be fantastic.   

Stats and stuff:
5k in 25:22
km splits
1. 04.51
2. 04.56
3. 05.16
4. 05.24
5. 04.54

Official email from parkrun:
“Your time was 25:23 . You finished in 74th place and were the 19th lady out of a field of 109 parkrunners and you came 3rd in your age category VW35-39.
Congratulations on setting a new Personal Best by 00:14 seconds at Newcastle parkrun!
You achieved an age-graded score of 59.68%.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Woohoo!!…fantastic. I’m well chuffed for you!
    3 PB’s in a row aint too much to ask at all, so i look forward to reading about you smashin 25mins!! (no pressure. lol)

    Love reading the posts, probably helps being local too, as i can see the race in my mind as i’m reading.
    Thanks for writing Michelle, and good luck for next week!! 🙂

    Like

    Comment by Dom — 2 October 2010 @ 18:28 | Reply


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