parkrun #28 – Saturday 2nd May 2015

Kniggly Knee™ persists. It’s annoying now. Mentally, I want to run quickly. Physically…

I’ve been a bit naughty. The tendon is stretching easier than it was, but it’s not 100%. The good side of my head has been telling me to reign it in until I’m injury free. But the naughty side has discovered that running quickly doesn’t hurt, while running slowly does. This has introduced a quandary; do I play it safe, or risk it? 

Runners are great at giving advice, and sharing their experiences. Runners are also bad at following their own advice, from what I’ve seen. I think we are driven by our own needs, and desires. We appreciate that injuries happen, but we don’t accept them happening to our own selves. So, I’m true runner style, I’ve decided to run quicker. After all, it doesn’t hurt. Better still, I’m not getting DOMS as much.

Running quicker had worked well in training runs. Our Thursday group had tried a new run, quick, long downhills, with easy uphill recoveries. My last spurt ended up being close to the elite womens marathon pace. How the hell can they keep that up for another 26 miles, when my legs and lungs were screaming after just the 0.2 miles? It’s incredible what these distance runners put themselves through, and the fact that they make it look so easy, whilst I look like a comic figure giving it all I’ve got? I have so much admiration.

But what about a ‘proper’ run for me? I toyed with the idea of pushing parkrun, but having a race the next day (Livingston Relays), I thought I would go for a steady hardish run.
Wrong.

Conditions on the morning were perfect; not too hot, not too cold. Not too much wind. I warmed up, nothing serious, and felt okay. Wearing my new Leicester Runners shirt, I helped to distribute a few more out, but didn’t really meet any new faces. I was hoping to have have met a few more posters, and put some faces to names, sadly, it didn’t happen.

I started with my chum, Sam. She’s running so well at the minute, and I was chuffed to have kept up with her for the first 1,200m or so. Ahead was The Bloke, who should be running far quicker than his PB. For a while, he didn’t stretch ahead, but once Sam caught up with him, they both started to pull away. After The Hill, I knew I wouldn’t catch them, and concentrated on keeping my form going. It was hard. So hard. I had started quickly, and easily, but was now beginning to tire. The speed might be coming back, but my stamina wasn’t so keen. The last 1,500m were a challenge, to say the least. It was definitely a case of mind over matter, as I could have easily given up, but knowing I had half a mile to go, what was the point? I kept going, forcing myself to the finish, where my sister and nieces were cheering me on! I don’t know if I acknowledged them, I was trying to push to the finish line. It was funny that my smaller niece thought I’d run 2 miles, and was amazed I’d run just over 3!! Thanks, Deunan, I think that’s a compliment!

I finished in my quickest time since last July. 104th out of 374 runners, and 13th female out of 132. Interestingly, I was only 2nd in my age group. I’d been winning that, whilst running slower! I would have set a new PB for The Hill,Mir I hadn’t been stuck behind a kid who veered in front of me, whatever direction I tried to take to overtake him. Why can’t people run in a straight line? It’s like the start, where me and Sam got stuck behind slower runners again. Every time I tried to go past one, they’d veer in the same direction! I know parkrun is not a race, but for people looking for PBs, it’s not fair to have slower runners starting at the front. Why can’t these people realise this? What is the point in a 28 minute runner starting with the 22 minute runners? There’s no shame in starting further back, and it might even be less demoralising not having quicker runners streaming past you. Or at least, trying to. I really don’t get it. It’s more selfish and ignorant than “runner snobbery”, to me.

The Bloke set a new PB, as did Sam, and another mate, Simon, and a whole load of other parkrunners. I told you conditions were good! SadLy, I no longer hold the household 5k record. Grr.

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do to build my strength back up, just to get back where I was. It scares me that next autumn and winter will see me back here again. It doesn’t seem fair. I feel like I’ve taken two steps forward, and two steps back. I don’t even know if I should be trying. I’m like a coiled spring. It’s so frustrating. 

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