Week 6 of my comeback (when do I stop calling it a comeback?) Each week has seen a 20% increase in weekly mileage. However, one constant has been parkrun on a Saturday. I’ve decided this year to use Hillsborough as a constant. In that I can measure how training is going on a weekly local course and it allows me to know if I need to back off or if I have more to give. Besides one week (frozen course) I have improved my time. I enjoy the buzz that comes with marginal improvements each week. However, I know there is a long way to go. Funny thing is despite doing the same parkrun each week, no 2 weeks have been the same. In 6 weeks I have seen 3 different courses, strong wind plus personally I have changed with each passing week.
This week the parkrun reverted back to it’s original course which meant the old start/finish plus a direct descent from the library, making it a little quicker. During the week I had done my first track session in many months and was still feeling it in my legs come Saturday morning. On top of that the new diet wasn’t agreeing with me causing upset stomach. Not good when your aiming to go flat out, plus on a personal note I received news from my doctors that will over the coming weeks and months have a massive impact on my running and general health. Right now I will take it day by day but remain positive that like everything thrown at me I will overcome it.
So to parkrun I chatted to an old club mate before hand then it was go time. As I had an unsettled stomach I hadn’t done a warm up and the first mile felt awkward and didn’t really relax until the 2nd lap and I’m still yet to get the flow going in that first lap. I also got boxed in around the library as first lap ended I clocked 6:17 and I know I am capable of running quicker on 1st lap. However, by now my stomach had settled and I felt the second lap was a lot stronger as I pushed hard and it showed as I was soon hitting 1st lap runners just after the tennis court. Thank fully there was no congestion and allowed me to clock a quick 6:21 second mile.
By now I had only a lap to go but this time I had to weave in and out of runners going through the finish line runners were 3 and 4 abreast meaning I had to take to the grass on the right and despite shouts of “on your left”, those wearing headphones didn’t move and it meant I had to run on grass and around the back of benches. Again costing me vital time. As I got back on the path in front of the car. Daughter was out shouting encouragement and I continued to weave through traffic all the way to the finish. Thankfully as I hit the start/finish straight I had a good gap allowing me to hit my best finishing kick of the year bringing me home in 9th place in 19:40.
Another 17s improvement and I know if I can keep healthy and injury free. Get a good 6 weeks of track work in I should continue to make progress. My next target is sub 19:30 but with storm Dennis on the horizon it may not be for a few weeks.