Sunday 11 December 2011

Riddlesdown parkrun twenty-four (RDp24)

The time was 13:58 and we had just left the post-run coffee venue, the Good Companions pub, and started the journey along the scenic route back to Kent. Four and a half hours earlier we had just finished parkrunning at the 24th Riddlesdown parkrun.

The first frosty RDp (Photo: Pete Gibson)
It was a relief to finally get inside the pub as the parkrun had been the coldest of the season so far. The temperature was 1 degree, but thankfully there was no significant wind to worry about. Overnight the temperature went sub-zero resulting in frost and some of the puddles had frozen solid. The ground was very firm (a complete contrast to the previous week).

The official photographers this week were Richard Carter and Pete Gibson. Plus, as always, Nicki was armed with her camera, you'll see their stunning works are brightening up the blog - Thanks!

This week I appeared to be taller (Photo: Richard Carter)
Both myself and Mrs7t ran this week. We arrived at the start line just in time to hear most of the pre-race announcements from this week's race director, Morgan. Before we knew it we were off.

I have been running with Mrs7t for the first kilometre or so, but this week I felt that the hamstring felt good enough for me to up the pace. So after much apologising I left the wife to run her own race while I went off in search of the answer to the question (the question being - How is the hamstring recovery going?).

It's just a brilliant photo (Photo: Pete Gibson)
Throughout the first lap I filtered through the field of forty-four runners. I hit the half-way point at 11:05. Just after this I caught site of Mrs7t, who had just emerged from the trail section and was approaching the 2km point, we waved to each other and then knuckled down to our own individual tasks.

By this point I had begun to warm up. I thought about removing my hat but decided to leave it in place.

Concentrating on not tripping over during the trail section (Photo: Pete Gibson)
Just after three kilometres into the run I caught up with Ange. I knew that if I was around her I'd be running a decent pace. She decided to come with me as I passed. We exchanged a few words, then we hit the short incline up to Condon Corner, I slowed down to avoid putting too much strain on the hamstring. After this I found it difficult to keep up with Ange, so I spent the rest of the run behind her as she went on to take her seventh women's race 1st place at RDp.

By now my head was really hot so I whipped off the hat. I felt much better.

Backing off during the incline that has been bothering the hamstring (Photo: Pete Gibson)
I crossed the line shortly after in a time of 21:52. Not bad, but I really felt like I had worked hard on that second lap. Hopefully in a few months I'll regain some of my lost speed, although 5k is not the main focus of my training going into 2012 - I may have accidentally registered for another half-marathon - ;-)

Nicki took care of Matilda whilst we ran, she even briefly fell asleep on her. Bearing in mind the amount of times she has slept on me is still in single figures, it is quite something. After being re-united with Lime we huddled in the near freezing conditions and we waited for Mrs7t to come into sight. Then we saw her on the far side of the downs. She was running, then a little walking, then running - right up to the final straight. We cheered and clapped as she sailed past us to finish her 5th parkrun.

The huddling begins (Photo: Nicki Clark)
After a brief panic surrounding a potentially lost glove, we headed off the the pub. I asked about the filter coffee issue and as the pub is closing down for refurbishment early in 2012 they cannot buy in the required stock and equipment that is required. So for the foreseeable future it's instant coffee only.

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