By Saturday, I was ready to start running again. After the London Marathon last weekend, I had had enough of recovering and was desperate to get back out there and use my marathon fitness that I had gained from training and to put it to good use. I rocked up on my bicycle to Rushmoor parkrun (notice the use of a small ‘p’) and began getting ready to give the old legs a try out and instantly remembered what I had forgotten… My blasted BARCODE! In hindsight this was probably a good thing as it made me start off a lot slower than usual but at the time, it was a ‘hand in face’ moment. It was then that I decided to start at the very back and to start my watch when I crossed the start line. After a warmup it was time to get going.
The first mile was really slow, but very enjoyable as I passed runner after runner which is fair enough. Most people take it really easy and there was loads of banter at the back with kids running next to parents, dogs with their owners etc, a real party atmosphere. It was now time to see if my legs were back again and in full working. To my surprise, they were…! I found myself speeding up now and chasing more runners down with the up-coming canal turn I wanted to get ahead before being boxed in, then decided it was a bit early for that…
To cut a long (and boring) story short, my legs felt good and I finished the run without injury, so that was a result for me. This set me up for the Run Frimley Park 10K the next day.
Sunday dawned bright and cool, so off I went on my trusty bike again to Frimley with renewed optimism. Perhaps I could do OK here, I thought, so after securing my bike it was time for the usual meet and greet. I managed to find a few friendly faces to navigate my way to for a chat and it was soon time for the obligatory warm-up. Because the loo-queue was a bit shocking, I was off to search for a nearby bush, which just happened to be half a mile down the road… perfect! Now I was ready for the off, warm and relaxed, anxious though not to pull a muscle or twist anything… The start area was well presented with estimated finishing times, so found my place and waited for the starter’s pistol (or did I just make that bit up?) to start the race. Bang, we’re off! Mini rant, if you are going to be well over 40 minutes, DO NOT line up in the sub 40 minute area! Looking at the two women who were just jogging from the word go, blocking half the lane so EVERYONE has to run past you!
I was soon into my stride (after negotiating the above) up the first rise (hill) of the morning and found I was running well. Water halfway was a welcome site, but arsed-up the first offering and watched it tumble to the floor, whoops(!) then grabbed the next one, this time get in! I had water! Tried to take some onboard, but only managed to swill it around my mouth and tipped the rest down the back of my neck, very cooling. Excitement mounted (thank goodness for that, Ed) when our positions were called out to us at about 8K I think and I was in 98th place (from memory). This really spurred me on and I was soon overtaking people and managed to get nearer 80th place (when does the excitement start? Ed) and only gave up one position to somebody right near the end, crossing the line with actually, what could loosely pass as a sprint!
Really enjoyed the run and very pleased with my performance after the marathon, just hope this is a good sign for the future.