If my Park Run time got any slower this week I think I would have thrown in the towel...! I am only joking of course; as you can probably gather from my running exploits and commitment to training, I am a very determined and dedicated person. However, if my time did get any worse, I think I would have be severely questioning where on earth my speed had disappeared to!
Thankfully I am pleased to say my time improved - finally! It was still not a groundbreaking finish, but at 24 mins 6 seconds (nearly 30 seconds faster than my last Park Run attempt) I was happy. It was certainly my favourite Park Run visit of 2016, and gave me more hope that I can return to running 22 minute times at some point this year!
My plan for this week's trip to Lincoln Park Run was to pace myself. I had in my mind the splits I needed to run each kilometer at in order to get a 24 min finish and vowed to stick to this. Initially I went off fast to create some space amid the hoards of other Park Runners (nearly 400 at Lincoln was such as wonderful sight!), but I quickly settled down into my own more natural stride. I also took on something my friend had said she frequently does at Park Run, which is to find someone who looks to be running at the pace you want to be at, but also looks like they are running comfortably. I pinpointed my man, who was just ahead of me, and seemed to be effortlessly taking on the course, and kept him in my sights.
For the first two laps of the three lap course I ran comfortably hard; my splits exactly the same for the first 2k and only slightly increasing for the third kilometre. I felt so much better than in previous weeks, when after the first lap I have found myself questioning how on earth I was actually going to get around, and by the second my legs were screaming to stop!
So feeling in control and with the final loop approaching I felt confident I could up the pace a little, and with just under a kilometer to go I really found some self belief. In my head I visioned an interval from my recent marathon training runs, picturing how I could push my legs to go fast and the speed I was actually capable of. With this vision in my mind, I really dug deep in the final stages of the course, I even managed a sprint finish for the first time in ages, actually pipping a fellow running into the funnel. This final kilometer I ran a 4:05 min split - which is super fast for me!
I need to build on this week's Park Run now, the level of speed I had in my legs at the end shows I can try push a little harder in the earlier kilometers and I must also believe I can actually do it; a sub 24 min time will be achieved next time!
It was also another successful Park Run week for my friend who ran a PB of 22.02 - so close to going under that 22 min mark; and who continues to give me the motivation to get faster even when I doubt myself! My friend also managed to get us to Park Run just in time despite us having to do a quick u-turn on route to go back for my barcode - imagine how gutted I would have been to improve my time but not have it officially recorded! The golden Park Run rule - DFYB!!!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...