Sunday 5 February 2012

Riddlesdown parkrun thirty-four

Sub-zero temperatures ensured that the field was smaller than usual at the thirty-fourth Riddlesdown parkrun. We had somehow managed to get there with plenty of time to spare, which meant I actually had time for a warm-up for a change. I did a kilometre of jogging plus a bit of this and that to get my legs ready for the run.

pre-race ritual prep [photo: pete gibson]

Yet again I started at the back, I was not quite sure exactly how I was going to approach today's event. I was still faffing around with my phone as I ran along the first 100 metre section of the course. As I settled into the run I realised that I was feeling good at a slightly faster pace than I have been running in recent weeks/months.

I worked my way through the field, always focusing on the person ahead and using them to motivate me to keep the pace up. By the half-way point I had caught up with Ange, I stayed with her for about a kilometre and would have been happy to finish behind her. However, I saw David up ahead and couldn't resist testing myself to see if I could keep the pace strong enough to catch him (I haven't run this hard for months). It turns out that I did just about have something in me and I caught up and overtook him during the trail section on lap two.

trail section during lap one (hat still on) [photo: pete gibson]

By the time I reached the finish line I was completely wasted. I was handed my position barcode but my head wasn't thinking straight and I just kept walking, not realising that Mrs7t and the Baba were actually waiting for me at the finish line.

Once I had been scanned at the registration desk, I wandered over to the car park (to look for the wife) but clearly she wouldn't be there as she had been waiting at the finish line. I found a spot and had a stretch and a quick massage of my legs. Before I knew it the wife had appeared and we jumped into the car for some well-needed relief from the cold.

approaching condon corner (approx 3.5k point - hat off) [photo: pete gibson]

Next up we went for the post-race coffee with the rest of the gang! The Good Companions was closed for some refurbishments (maybe they'll do something with the taps - lol) so we went to a different pub. It was The Horseshoe, in Warlingham. A pub with very nice decor, an open fire and real coffee!

Mrs7t had brought some snacks in the form of a graze box, which we have delivered every now and then. There were different seeds, sultanas infused with cinnamon (awesome), and some with lime. Tiny rice crackers with mango chutney, and plenty of other healthy snacks. They were much nicer than our usual selection of chocolate and cake.

final straight [photo: Mrs7t]

So another week was done. The 100% attendance record still in-tact. Nice to finally be able to put in a decent run. I finished in 20:41, which was my fastest time since last October, and thus stands as my 2012 pb so far.

After the fun and games of Janathon, February is to be a month of ease and recovery. I've made a deal with myself that I will make sure that my relative recovery time outweighs my training time. We'll see how that goes, the snow/ice should help me stick to it.


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