Wednesday 17 December 2014

Dartford parkrun 20 - cold, tired and clunky

The weather forecast for Dartford parkrun event 20 was similar to the week before, so my main concern upon waking was that the tarmac paths could be covered in frost or, even worse, ice. However, when I popped my nose up against my bedroom window to check the conditions outside, there was not a patch of either to be seen.

It was, however, a really cold morning again with the temperature only just hovering above zero, so I hit the road for the 2 kilometre jog over to the Dartford Harriers clubhouse wearing my Dartford Half-Marathon t-shirt and carrying my volunteering vest, jumper and wooly hat in my hands, to begin setting up the course. I was warm enough during my jog, but when I arrived I dumped my warmer clothes on the fence and started to set up. Big mistake. I could gradually feel the cold setting into my body. At 9am, once I had persuaded my daughter that standing in the path of seventy-odd eager runners was not a great idea, the run was started, and by which time I was frozen solid.

beginning of the trail section [photo: brian page]

Another thing that made this morning’s run a little more difficult than usual was the amount of hard running I had accumulated in my legs in the seven days previous – there was the previous week’s Dartford parkrun which was followed by the Alan Green Memorial 10 Mile race the following day. Then on the Thursday evening I took part in the Gravesend Floodlit Series 10k race at the Cyclopark, and pretty much gave everything I had left to that.

As I plodded along the first kilometre with heavy legs and feet stomping down on the floor like bricks, I decided that today would not be a time-trial effort so I backed off and ended up running at around my lactate threshold pace for the next few kilometres. I sped up during the last kilometre to just about pop in a sub-20 time. I was handed my finish token by my daughter and got to work on scanning barcodes as usual.

[photo: brian page]

Once the scanning had come to an end, my attention immediately turned to course signage retrieval. But as I turned around I found that most of the signs had already been brought back to DpHQ and whatever was still out there was already being dealt with. It was this that reconfirmed that the event is clearly functioning very well and our volunteer and running community are taking responsibility for some of those little jobs that really, really help to take the pressure off.

So I got to work on packing the gear away and before I knew it I was in the clubhouse with my bananas and cup of tea, chatting away to whoever had a spare ear. I couldn’t hang around for too long as I had a subsequent running appointment in the shape of a First Aid taster training course and I had to pop home to get changed before being picked up for that.

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