These reviews, and reflections, are somewhat late. Partly because of Christmas, and partly because of waiting to see if there would be any pics from these runs. There weren’t any.
My last parkrun of 2014 was another pacing run. I still didn’t feel fit. I have also found that pacing is a good crutch when my confidence is low. There’s no pressure on me to do well, or get a time. Well, not for me. It’s very easy for me to offer to get someone else a PB, without me having to worry about my own.
My confidence has gone to pot, in recent weeks. I know that I’m ill every autumn, and that this affects what I can and can’t do. I made some massive improvements over the summer, and I should be proud of that, but I still have the disappointments of my last few races with me. I know I can improve again, but I also know that at some point, I will stop improving. This scares me.
So it came to pass, that I offered to pace my mate to a sub 29 minute parkrun. I actually planned on being closer to 28 minutes, but on the morning itself, it was very cold, and icy. Consequently, it was slippy. I advised my mate to use the grass, to get through the congestion at the start, and on the first downhill. I was shocked to see her go storming past me! We managed to get some clearer ground before the bottom, and settle into a steady rhythm. Just before the car park, there was sheet ice, which lead to some congestion as runners had to gingerly walk across it. By the time we reached it on the second lap, the marshals were making us cut the corner, where it was less dangerous.
We finished in under 29 minutes, and my mate had another PB under her belt, which was brilliant. I enjoy helping other runners. It can be hard, when pacing yourself, to find the right pace around the course to do that. It’s just as easy to start too quickly, and burn out, as it is too start too slowly, and have too much to do at the end.
For my first parkrun of 2015, I was tempted to offer to pace again, but I knew that I had to run my own run at some stage. It was another cold morning, but thankfully, not too slippy. It took 2km for my hands to stop feeling cold. I found it a struggle. I was pushing, but I worked hard. However, it felt like I was wading through treacle.
I was the 11th female finisher, and was 2nd in my age group, however. But my time was only slightly quicker than this time last year; 24:27 compared with 24:34. This makes me feel uneasy, as based on that, I would only improve as much as I did last year? There won’t be much progression, or not what I hoped for. Or will there?
I’m still struggling with runs, and I’m not as comfortable as I was during the summer. In three weeks, the first LRRL race of the winter league takes place, and I’m not feeling very confident. Not at all.