We rocked up with 5 minutes to spare, did a few pretend stretches amongst the professionalesque runners, who were limbering up properly, and the fabulous Easter mums whose warm-up, in fairness to them, consisted of simply removing their jumpers. The call was made and we all lined up as one – parkrunners!
Last week I had half marathon walrus legs and slapped my way round like an old steam boiler. This week, I went off way too quick - 6:40 min/mile for the first 200 yards. Ouch. Reined back a bit, let the quicker guys and gals fly off, but kept myself hidden, as mid-pack Martin, amongst the enthusiastic amateurs and pre-pubescent kids.
I felt quite strong most of the way round, evidenced by the fact my HR was 7 beats (roughly) lower than last week, yet I was averaging 10 seconds a mile quicker. Running science is weird.
At 4km, I hooked on to the back of a young boy. He must have been about 11 or 12. If you are reading this young boy, I am truly sorry for crushing your spirit. (still did great!!) You see, dear reader, he appeared to have hit a tough patch and I was coasting a bit, so I waited for an opportune moment before letting out a bit of turbo and eased past. (My only competitive streak of the whole run and I hated myself for it!).
I passed the back of the finish line just as some of the first few finishers were funnelling through it. Just a lap of the field and the customary sprint (and I use that term loosely!) home and I can have my reward of some lukewarm water in the rucksack.
Garmin time: 23:31 (course PB by 21 seconds) - I put that strongly down to the fact the ground was firm today.
My friend Lynda popped round the final bend about 5 minutes later, looking like a giant satsuma about to explode in her bright orange Berlin Half Marathon top. She sprinted past one doughty lady runner on the run-in and hit a new PB herself. Not sure of her official time yet, but we think it was sub 29 and Eastbourne is always going to be quicker than her home parkrun of Richmond.
After shopping for prosecco and nibbles for later (vine leaves, olives, spiced corn, feta and other assorted antipasti), we laughed the whole way home again, with Lynda recounting how she was overtaken with ease by an 11 yr old girl with a honky-cough. A giant satsuma squeezed by a teenager with flu. I think that calls for a #embarrassingmoment
Next time, I am going to play bull-spotting. You know, the guys who sniff in so much air so as not to leave any for the rest of us? They strut around wide-eyed, sweat physical-fitness testosterone and their only thoughts are to cane every runner around them. Try bull-spotting next time you are out and I dare you not to chuckle…
The satsuma and I....
A parkrun lesson
How parkruns and bumblebees can lead to half marathon success
Eastbourne parkrun 24 March
Eastbourne parkrun 31 March 2012: How Kathy Bates sabotaged my parkrun