Saturday, 8 March 2014

There must have been something in the water this parkrunday, PB'sgalore!

Since my last blog about the Huddersfield 10k I've been trying to keep my distance runs going and increasing the distances at the same time. This is mainly because I have the Huddersfield half marathon quickly approaching on the 27th April and it will be the longest run I have ever done, so far. 

So a couple of Fridays ago I'm found myself with a morning to myself and decide to go for a 10-11k run on a route me and Steve had run before. This run turned into a bit of a freedom run as I knew I had plenty of time and no rush to go home as SJ had taken the boys out for the morning. This lead to me just running wherever took my fancy and I ended up running 16k for the third time in my life. One was at the Yorkshire warrior last year and the other was in training for the Yorkshire warrior, I mention these only because in the space of a year I have managed to knock 18 mins of the 16k run. I was quite proud of my time last year but to knock 18 minutes off it was brilliant and that positive feeling stayed with me into this past weeks training runs too. After a quick 6k on Wednesday I met up with Steve on Thursday evening to run a 10k, with the intention or trying a slightly different route than last time. 

Oh how we paid for that decision, we didn't set off until gone 7 and by that time it was dark but as we knew where we were going it wasn't an issue. Up until the point where we slightly changed our route that was still true, from here on we didn't see our feet or where they hit the road for about 4km no street lights only the light of the moon and stars to guide us. Even the odd passing car was more of a distraction than helping us to seeing our footing. With the dark also came other unexpected concequences, the lack of visual markers meant we lost track of our pace and how fast or slow we were pushing. It also hampered our judgement when it came to elevation and distance. As we turned up on to near bank we felt strong and even the head wind wouldn't matter on this small climb up to the Soveriegn. Well we won't make that mistake again, the wind picked up on every corner and every headlight from passing car seemed to be brighter and more dazzling than the last. The hill went on for what seemed an eternity and when we thought it would flatten out from memory we were greeted by yet more incline. By the time we reached the top of the hill our legs were shot and the strong and constant wind had almost taken our will too. Even though from here it was a long downhill home part of me wanted to just stop, cry out in relief and swear until I could feel my legs again. We hit 10k just a few metres down the hill and ended up completing 11k just before we return back at my house still cursing the hill we had just climbed and swearing never to repeat the route. However when both Steve and myself got PB's at parkrun this weekend maybe we will be revisiting that hill.

Parkrun this weekend was really good for many reasons, it was taken over by local running club Stadium Runners so there was plenty of volunteers and had things very organised, not that they are unorganised normally. Even at the start there was a very obvious happy feeling and plenty of smiling faces on the people warming up and those ready to go. Maybe it was because the weather fairies had worked their magic and given us a very calm, bright and slightly warm morning for the first time in a long time. 

SJ was back running after her bad back and was running with Dexter and Flynn so I was free to run quickly. I wasn't expecting to run a PB but when I saw we had a 22 minute pacer I thought I would try to stick with him and see what happend. At the halfway point I was ahead of him and was feeling ok but was starting to worry about my stamina and if I could keep going. At 4k I was overtaken by the 22 minute pacer and my heart sank a little but when he looked at his watch and slowed his pace it gave me the push I needed to keep it going and pushed hard to the end. I even managed a small sprint finish and crossed the line in 21.37 knocking 16s off my PB and making me feel absolutely brilliant, I didn't think I was in that great of shape to beat my PB but to knock 16s of it was ace. I saw Steve and he had managed to break his PB and got a sub 19 minute time, well done Steve. Whilst gathering my breath I saw Jo who was also following the 22 minute pacer, and she too had a new PB. There was a definite buzz in the air and it seemed to spread as more runners came in to cross the line, even after pushing to the end everyone was crossing the line with huge smiles. This is very common at parkrun but there was something extra this week, and this was shown when the results came in later on. After a little rest I went back to meet up with SJ and Dexter to see how SJ's back was and if Dexter was behaving himself. I helped them round the last couple of Km's and they finished in 39 mins but the couple of weeks off for SJ meant that it had been harder than usual for her. Dexter was even calling for a PW (personal worst), it wasn't and for many it was the complete opposite. There was 598 runners and 169 of them achieved a new PB one of which was Becky, well done Becky. It was massive number but it didn't stop there, many other parkruns had a large number of PB's too. My little sister Jessie got a PB at princes parkrun in Liverpool too, well done Jessie keep it up. Twitter was on fire with people saying that had smashed there PB's which added to my own excitement on my PB. My buzz still hasn't gone away and I hoping that I could with a bit of luck get a similar time next week too. 

Next week it is the Shepley First School Fun Run which this year is taking part at parkrun, a big thanks to Simon, Mark, Kerry, and everyone else at Huddersfield parkrun for letting us combine the 2 runs.

There will be about 40 of us donning the T-Shirts we've had made for it and about 15 of them will be children from the school too. About 30 of them will be first timers to parkrun and I hope that the fun run will be a nice introduction to parkrun and will mean they come back time and again. I hope that the kids will also enjoy themselves and return even if it's to a Junior parkrun.

Let's hope the weather stays for the foreseeable future and don't forget everyone, keep running.

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