It was nice to turn up to the Parkrun with the sun shining. It was already warm enough to turn up in shorts (yes, shorts) and t-shirt, and not have to worry about jackets that would need to be removed at some point.
As part of the advice that has been given to me, I also did a pre-run warm up. I never warm up, I just like to get on with it, but I have been told that this can be counter-productive. I said I would give it a go, because there was a lot of expectation I would run a PB. I know, most of it from me, but I really wanted to get under 24 minutes. I made it clear that if I did not PB, then I would not be a happy bunny.
There was also a 24 minute pacer running. A friend, Mick, had offered to pace, as he needed an easier (*sobs*) run. He started a lot further up than I normally would. By the time I’d caught up with him, I’d found my rhythm. That rhythm being “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors. I’ve been advised I should be aiming for three stides per second, which is 180bpm. Okay, “Turning Japanese” is 179bpm, but I wasn’t going to split hairs.
I still struggled with The Hill. I’ve been doing some hill work, and thought I’d tackle it better, but sadly, it still metaphorically laughed at me struggling up it. Heaven knows how I will cope with the Fog City Run next month.
The quicker stride pattern helped a lot with the rest of the course, however. I was still aching from all these changes to my running style, and found the end tough, but I felt the best I have after crossing the finishing line. This is good; it gives me the confidence that there is more to come. A glance at my watch, and it said 24:01, however when I uploaded it to my Mac, it said 24:09. I’m pleased to have knocked 25 seconds off of my PB, but slightly disappointed I couldn’t break that 24 minute mark.
As an aside, my mate Lou obliterated her PB, taking off about 3.5 minutes! I’m so pleased for her, and I hope it’s given her the confidence boost she needs because she is working ever so hard towards her first half marathon.