Marginal Gains

Race Report: Walsall Arboretum parkrun # 153

On Saturday morning I managed to convince my friend to drive me to the nearest parkrun in Walsall. I got up at 06:00 & forced down some Weetabix, I really wanted that sub 30 time! At 08:40 I was ready to go, unfortunately there was no sign of my lift. After a stressful journey we eventually arrived at Walsall Arboretum at 08:59, what warm-up?!I positioned myself towards the back of the field & decided to be Professor Cunning & started my Garmin when the race started. I wanted to have an estimate of my eventual official parkrun time. Due to the number of parkrunners it took several seconds to cross the start line. This was actually a bonus as runner congestion prevented me from running too quickly to start with & then running out of steam. After a few minutes I settled into a decent rhythm & felt positive that I would be the proud owner of a sub 30 time.Walsall parkrun 14_02_15 3Gloves on/off – Photos taken by Ron Reynolds, thanks Ron!

*Beep beep* I glanced down and discovered that the first kilometre had taken me 06:08 to complete. Bugger! I gave myself a talking to & made an effort to speed up. I “attacked” the downhill section of the course & approached the start/finish area for the second time. *Beep beep* 06:10. I had no idea how but the second kilometre was slower than the first kilometre. For the first time I started to doubt that a sub 30 time would be mine.

During the second lap I suddenly decided that I was feeling far too warm, being unfit is a pain in the arse. One minute I was feeling fine the next minute I thought that I was going to overheat. I considered removing my gloves but decided to suffer the added source of warmth for another kilometre. Glove related thoughts successfully distracted me for the majority of the second lap. Do other runners use their gloves as a portable hankie? I really hoped I wasn’t the only runner with dubious habits. *Beep beep* 06:11, I wondered how many pairs of gloves I’d lost during the years that I’d been running? I must buy some more gloves, one pair isn’t enough. *beep beep* 06:14. Arrraaaggghhhhh!

Half-way around the final lap I accepted that unless I suddenly developed the legs & lungs of a fitter runner, the sub 30 wasn’t going to happen. I had done my best to achieve my target but I had failed for the second time. The final kilometre took me 06:12 to complete & according to my Garmin I completed the 5k in 30:55; well over my sub 30 target. Arse wipes! I was feeling a little bit disappointed but at least I hadn’t resorted to walking & my asthma hadn’t made an unwelcome appearance.

Although I had failed to achieve my target, I had completed my 10th parkrun (only another 40 to go) & had dragged my slightly depressed self out of bed on a Saturday morning. As a added bonus the Odlo running gilet I bought for a fiver (RRP of over £100) from TK Maxx was a perfect fit.

A few hours later my results text arrived from parkrun HQ…

photoA three second improvement from January! Talk about marginal gains!

Unfortunately I’ll have to give parkrun a miss this weekend. It looks like Saturday 28th February will be the day that I finally achieve one of my 2015 running goals. I’m planning to start nearer the front & to run the first couple of laps as fast as I can. Hopefully I’ll be able to stagger around the final lap & will grab my sub 30!

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One thought on “Marginal Gains

  1. Vic says:

    Next time I’ll make sure you arrive at the Arboretum slightly earlier. Why am I the only person who comments on your blog? I think your blog is quite good!

    Like

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