What better way to kick start the New Year than with a Park Run! My friend and I ventured to our local Lincoln event to start 2016 as we mean to go on. We have set the target of doing at least one Park Run a month this year, and also want to be tourists in some new locations close to Lincolnshire.
I headed to Park Run with my usual optimism of getting a PB. My friend and I have decided we never go to Park Run in other other mindset really! A PB would be a great way to begin the year and set a target to be beaten over the next 12 months. The weather was favorable, not too cold, not too windy, and no rain. It was slightly wet under foot, but thankfully this only really affects a small part of the Lincoln course - unlike some of the other Park Run photos I have seen from around the UK where people are very, very muddy!
My tactic was to aim to keep up with my friend. She has a faster PB than me so technically if I could keep close to her, and she ran within her usual time region, I could do it. Within about ten seconds of setting off the plan was out the window; she jetted off, and although I was not too far behind her, I was certainly not keeping up with her either. I ran the first 2km fast, I was in third female position and could see that my friend was also in first place, now already leading by a huge margin. My run plan was out the window but things seemed to be going ok...
This was soon to change, as I passed the half way mark, a tidal wave of pain and heaviness hit my quads, and instantly I went from feeling in control to feeling in trouble. Each step was requiring increasingly more effort and I knew I was slowing.
Runners began to overtake me, and this made me feel a little demoralised, and also a little naive for going out so quick. I kept going, not really paying attention to the time and just hoping I could salvage something respectable.
As I neared the final section I looked at my watch and knew from that brief glance I was on for a poor time. My pathetic sprint finish, in which I felt like I was dragging ten tonne weights instead of running with my legs, meant I stopped the clock at a woeful 24.28 - virtually two minutes over my PB. Even more embarrassingly, the time was slower than my Park Run before Christmas which I completed after 13 hours of drinking and five hours sleep, and nearly threw up during.
I have no excuses nor can I put my finger on why my legs gave up so catastrophically - I simply just could not run any faster! So my benchmark to start the year appears to suggest I have some work to do to get back to my own PB of 22.37, before I even begin to think about trying to beat that time. During marathon training this may be a tall order, but I will try nevertheless! In better news, my friend finished first female, putting nearly a minute gap between herself and the female runner in second place - a much better way to start the year!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...