Saturday, 22 October 2011
A new plan
I've just been for a run on the heath. A 'parkrun' to be precise. It's a free timed 5k that takes place every Saturday morning at 9 am. In fact, they do them all over the country (www.parkrun.com). It has instantly become my favourite thing ever! You rock up. You run. You go home. Then around lunchtime, you discover how fast (or not) you ran it. It's like a race, but without being a race. And because there were enough entrants of differing fitness levels, I felt fairly confident I wouldn't be bringing up the rear a la last year's cross-country.
I decided to employ a slightly different running strategy today. Instead of conserving my energy for the final push, I would just run as fast as I could. And if my body rebelled, then I would slow down. And that's what I did. The course is split into two laps and I was shocked at how quickly I did the first half (12 minutes according to my stopwatch). However, on the second lap the pain kicked in and the final hill was a struggle (to the tree... to another tree...to yet another bloody tree, where's the top of the hill?!). At one point, I found myself neck-and-neck with a fat West Highland Terrier. I finally 'took him' when he stopped to relieve himself on a course marker.
My stopwatch says I did it in around 28 minutes, which means I was considerably slower on the second half. That said, I'll be intrigued to know my official time. I do hope that it's not worse than my stopwatch time. That would make me a bit cross.
It was nice to do something that was like a race, but wasn't competitive (well, not from where I was standing). Everybody was very friendly and one fellow runner even gave me a lift home. Which I very much appreciated as I was shattered. This running fast strategy is very tiring.
(Stats: 5km; stopwatch time: 28 minutes/official time: as yet unknown. I await the results with breath that is bated.)
(Pic: Post-run runners. Apologies for the strange 'treatment'. I took the photo into the sun (I'm no David Bailey) so I had to 'magic it' in iPhoto to clarify the image.)