Sunday, 10 March 2013

Peeeee Beeeee!

I did it, I did it, I did it! (I am a big kid when it comes to parkrun). I only went a got myself a nice, shiny, new PB at Coventry parkrun yesterday!

Completely unexpected. Certainly not intended. At least a month ahead of schedule, but somehow I did it!

I have to be honest, I did take a fairly close look at my entire parkrun history on Friday. If you can count copying and pasting my results from the parkrun website into Excel, adding a filter and then ordering them from  fastest to slowest as "a fairly close look" that is!

As a result I realised that I had only ever done 9 sub 18 minute parkruns at Coventry. For a nearly a year now I have considered that sub 18 minutes is where I should be as a matter of course on any parkrunday that I decide to "try". Clearly, the fact I had only done it 9 time before suggests that it is not quite my default time yet. Anyay, I also noticed that after my PB of 17:28, there was a substantial gap to my second best of 17:46 and I decided that it was about time I stuck another tme in that gap. So my aim was for 17:45 or just a bit quicker.

Something else that I noticed when looking at all my results was that my most common position at parkrun is 2nd place. Before yesterday I had finished 2nd on 11 occasions. Make that 12 then now after yet another 2nd place yesterday.

Even during my run yesterday I never really considered the possibility of a new PB. I was just planning my second fastest run at Coventry parkrun. The first lap was pretty quick, but comfortable, as I sat in behind a group of 3 decent club runners. A couple of times I thought they were going to drop me, but I just ensured that I sat on the back of the group. Equally a couple of times I thought I could go a bit faster, but sensibly (and tactically?) I stayed in behind them, for my second fastest first lap (that I can remember) of 8:48.

As soon as we passed the finish line at the end of the first lap I decided that was the time to start to wind up my pace. Looking back now I think I may have gone even faster had I stayed in behind them a while longer. The 2nd lap certainly felt a bit harder. Somehow though I managed to make the second lap faster than the first and I believe it was my fastest lap ever at Coventry parkrun, completing it in 8:39 for a new parkrun PB of 17:27, beating my previous PB by a single solitary second. All the pleasure of a PB without making further improvement too hard!

When I crossed the line and glanced at my watch to see that it was very possibly a PB (depending on official timings) I even gave the air a little punch of delight. I don't think I have stopped smiling since!

Thank you parkrun, for getting me into running, for making running my sport of choice and for giving me great feelings like this. I am officially, at the age of 38 years old, faster than I have ever been before (at 5km at least!).

That is part 1 of my summer of 4 PB targets done. I do still want to improve my parkrun PB further this year, but anyway it is 1 down and 3 to go. Next weekend it's the half marathon!

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