The Scribbler

1 January 2011

What a way to start

Filed under: Parkrun,run — The Scribbler @ 14:36

Woohoo parkrun time again! Having it to look forward to gave me an excuse to bounce out of bed this morning. What is is about this simple wee race that feels so good? Maybe because you know it will always be there if you need or want it and that you’re likely to see someone you know and like. It’s a race, sure, but as Lesley said once, “Parkrun’s like family”.

So off to the Town Moor I tootle. A chilly wind today, and my resolve is just to relax, enjoy and run well. It feels good to be up and out. No hangover to shake off for me, but probably some sugar to dissolve from my system. I jog to the start with Lesley, nearly taking a tumble as I leave the car park, dropping one of my gloves… so much for a less clumsy decade!

Nice to see Jeff, Susie and Mark and talk of races postponed entered and anticipated in the next few weeks. Nice and relaxed, but not very warmed up on the start line, we’re off with the warning of ice ahead.

I don’t remember the first kilometre being this much up hill. The ice has kept me and my road shoes away from the moor for the past few weeks and the patch that still lingers almost catches a couple of runners out as they pass. But it feels good to be out and running, easing through, trying to keep it steady until the gate.

Nice encouragement from Mark on gate duty and off along my favourite bit of the course, through the trees along Grandstand Road. The shelter is welcome as we turn out of the wind, but all too soon, we’re back on the muddy path and slightly rockier ground round to kilometres 2 and 3.

I overtake a lady in black wearing a union jack buff as a face mask/neck warmer. She’s running well, but I’ve found my stride now, warmed through and an enjoying this. I try to keep on pushing as I turn behind the museum, but once again I’m out on my own on the hardest bit of the course.

Push on, push on to the gate and then see if I can take it up a wee bit, but don’t get your head in a pickle and overcook it. Just run how you feel.

Onto the tarmac paths again and the lamposts stretch ahead, punctuated by dots of colour as other runners stream ahead reaching their finish. I lengthen out my stride little by little, thinking, just another 5 minutes. I can push on for another five minutes. There’s a tightness in my throat that I struggle to clear, coughing to chase away the choking sensation. I ease through the legs and concentrate on getting my breath stable.

There’s guy ahead in a yellow jacket. Can I reel him in enough in this last half kilometre to take him at the finish? Breath under control, I turn it up a notch, but not too much. It’s too far to sprint just yet.

Onto the last straight and today we have a finish gantry, flapping in the wind. That’s my end marker. I pick a puddle patch as the start of my sprint and booom, kick the legs into turbo time. At first I think he’s going to play, pick up the pace and give me a race. But he shouts a cheery ‘go on’ as I go past. Hammer down, arms pumping, I love running like this. Keep it going right to the finish 26:43 as I cross the line. Nice one!

Here’s what the parkrun results say:  I finished in 48th place and was the 11th lady out of a field of 70 parkrunners, coming 1st in my age category.


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