Last week saw my friends and I visit Lincoln Park Run for the first time in a while. A warm day was brewing, so I was glad to be getting my run in fairly early, even though at 9am the heat was still noticeable. I was also pleased to be able to share another Park Run with my friends, as its always a great way to begin the weekend. It was whilst standing with my friends waiting to start - and naturally discussing running - I came to the conclusion that out of the three of us I am the 'middle' runner. One of my friends is the speed queen, the other can run long distances at a pace I only wish I could emulate. I try to be both, but end up sitting somewhere in the middle...!
Probably with this revelation in mind, I started the Park Run fast, with the vague hope of trying to maintain some sort of touching distance of my speedy friend. I just about succeeded for the first lap of the course, and by the second lap the gap had increased but still did not seem too large; however by the third loop any chance of finishing near her had well and truly gone. Whilst running it felt like my pace had dropped a lot, and after my optimistic start, I was not hopeful of a good finish time at all. Usually I am able to muster a reasonable sprint finish, but today my legs seemed to only be able to conjure up a slight change of pace. I couldn't even catch the woman in front of me who was only about a metre or so away. I was therefore somewhat shocked to glance at my watch upon crossing the finish line and reading an unofficial time of 22.38. For the life of me I could not remember what my PB was, but I knew it was somewhere around this figure - it just didn't seem right that a run that did not feel that great could be in this region!
The much anticipated Park Run text/email confirmed later in the day that I had officially ran 22.39 - two seconds away from my PB of 22.37 - how I was cursing my lazy finish now!
Elsewhere in the Park Run field, my speedy friend knotched up a new 5k PB; whilst my mini Paula Radcliffe friend was not far behind me, despite being in the middle of marathon training, whereas during my marathon training my 5k time slipped to an all time low of 26 minutes! My 'middle runner' position was therefore confirmed!
Whilst I am comparing myself to my friends - let's be honest who doesn't compare themselves to someone - I hugely respect what they can achieve and are rewarded for following their efforts in training. As long as I reach what I feel is my best, I am happy. Plus at least by being the 'middle runner' it gives me the option to progress in one of two directions!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...