Having managed some light runs in the week, I offered to pace a mate round the course in under 30 minutes. Sadly, achilles injuries appeared to be catching, and she was unable to run at the parkrun this week. One of my running club team mates also wanted to see if she could run a PB, so off I went.
Pacing is actually harder than it looks. Trying to maintain a steady pace when you have no idea what pace you are running at, is a huge challenge. Thank goodness for my Garmin!
I really enjoyed this run, even though it was my slowest parkrun. There was no pressure, no pushing, and The Hill was nothing. Most importantly, my calf and ankle felt fine.
The team mate I was pacing began to drift off, and I carried on at sub 30 minute pace, and when the watch bleeped at 4km, I was all set for finishing in 29:58, or thereabouts. But with nobody to pace now, and an injury to test, I began to progressively increase my pace. By the time I reached the finishing hill, I was flying, and I have to admit, I enjoyed the feeling of overtaking people! I finished in 28:58, and was 222nd overall, and 47th female. Surprisingly, I was 4th in my age group!
I think it’s good to have an easy run every once in a while. Racing (and parkrun is not a race…) takes a lot of effort, and I can miss things that are happening around me because I’m so focused on getting round as quickly as I can. Yesterday, I was able to people watch, and absorb my surroundings.
I also found the actual pacing part easier to maintain, and had I not pushed that last km, I’d have been about spot on. When my mate is back to full fitness, I’m confident I’ll be able to get her round in under 30 minutes. I can’t wait!