Sunday, 21 December 2014

Race recap - Naas Parkrun

And yes I know it's a timed run rather than a race but for the sake of consistancy I'm calling it a race recap. I had asked E from the club to give me a call some weekend if she was going to do Parkrun. This Wednesday at the track after she kicked my ass again she said she might be up for it this Saturday. She is much faster than me but coming back from having a baby so temporarily more my speed! She had run a good bit faster than me at the cross country over a shorter distance so I knew she would be a great pacer for me to push myself a bit over the 5k. Oh and she is also a sweetheart and it's nice to catch up with friends first thing on a Saturday so there is that too! Another lovely running friend O came along too but was just hoping to get around as she hasn't been training much due to some family stuff. It was so nice to catch up with her too. Have I mentioned I love my running friends? Probably many times, but I do!

So anyway Saturday dawned clear and not too cold (unlike last Saturday) and we arrived at Naas racecourse with about 15 minutes to spare. Not ideal for warming up but nothing I could do about it. I got to it straight out of the car while the others went looking for the loo and then we jogged up to the course together and around the long way to the start line. The warm up exercises were almost done by the time we got there so there was just enough time to shed layers and we were off!

I didn't get caught up too much at the start and settled in about 10 meters back from E and hoped I could hang on for as long as possible. The first mile was uneventful but I felt like I was breathing very hard already. Would I be able to keep this up or was I going to die in the second half? 7:14 on the garmin. Not too bad!
The next mile was a bit of a slog but I always find this middle one hard mentally. E seemed to be further away from me and I had to fight to keep the pace going especially on the parts of the course where we had a headwind. Mile 2 7:17. Was this a sign of things to come? Was I going to be slower again for the next mile?

At this point I started to really feel like I might have a bit more in the tank so I let myself push a bit more as I knew there was only a mile to go. How does that happen when you swear you don't have anything previously? Anyway I started to bridge the gap with E and was right on her shoulder for a while. She told me after she knew it was me as she recognised my breathing from the track! Anyway she gave me a "go on!" gesture with her hand and I thought she had lost it. There was no way I was going to be able to go past her was there? But her faith in me gave me a bit of a lift and I looked up and saw we were on the last bend before the long stretch to the finish. I might as well give it a try anyway.
I tried to relax and push hard at the same time if that makes any sense and my legs kind of took over. I used all my mental games to keep it going all the way to the finish line.........counting, swearing I could stop at the next fence post, promising myself I never had to run again after this. The usual! I didn't look at my watch here but according to garmin the third mile was 6:57 pace and the final segment was at 6:07 pace. I'll take that!

The time on my garmin at the finish was 22:06 so a PB by over a minute and on the same course too. The time Parkrun gave me was 22:02 but I don't think that can be right so I'll go by the higher one to be safe. E was a few seconds behind me for a post baby PB and O was about a minute after. Not bad for a bunch of old(er) birds!

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