Just like the true athlete that I am what else would I do the day before the loch ness marathon but run another parkrun?
The walk to the event gave me a good opportunity to walk the last mile of the marathon, I doubt it will be that quiet tomorrow!
Here’s to a nice gentle run today, ticking off another Scottish parkrun.
Remember – you can show your appreciation here : http://www.JustGiving.com/MNDScotland or by texting ross70 £10 to 70070.
I found a much shadier and scenic route for today’s run :
But I quickly realised why the local runners all stick to the main roads.
My slowest 5k in a long time. Mind you, according to my Fitbit I climbed the equivalent of 34 floors yesterday!
Well that was a first in a long time:
I went for a run
AND I ENJOYED IT !
Yes it was only 5k
Yes it was slow
Yes it was uninterrupted
Yes my head was held high
Yes I smiled all the way
Wondering why I couldn’t download my run from my watch.
It was not plugged in!
It’s been a while since I found a true “can’t put down” book.
I have found one The Martian by Andy Weir:
The story of an astronaut left on Mars.
Well – that’s my final marathon of the year done and what a way to end it. Fantastic location, fantastic people/support, fantastic weather (cold and dry) and a personal best by over 14 minutes!
You can review my marathon stats here.
The stats make interesting reading (if your into stats or are a runner).
It shows how my pace per mile has changed since my first marathon and also how Chester compared with Dublin (4 weeks apart). It also finally drummed it into me that starting slow DOES enable you to hold a more consistent pace for longer.
As you should know by know my plan for the year was to run four marathons, one in each of Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland for MND Scotland.
The start of October saw the English leg with the Chester marathon.
My worst race ever.
Prior to the 2012 Edinburgh Marathon I have only ever not finished one race before – a Strathclyde parkrun when I pulled my hamstring.
Bearing in mind I did the Great Welsh Marathon last month – I was just doing some “easy” runs as I “know” I can “do” a marathon so I was just treating this period as an extended taper/recovery period.
On Sunday the day was very sunny and hot.
I had multiple applications of factor 50 sunscreen – been upping my hydration in the days before, the only thing I did differently was grabbing a tuna sandwich rather than my usual porridge.
My plan was to run 12:00 miles in the hope of beating my PB of 05:42.
I knew I’d have to revert to a run walk strategy from about mile 19ish but I should have enough in the tank for about a 05:30 finish.
I knew I would start way faster than my planned pace so for the first three miles it was a case of forcing myself to slow from 10:00 to 11:00 until I settled at a comfortable 11:30 pace.
I started feeling a bit “wobbly” at about 9 1/2 miles so I had a walking break, a gel and some water.
This was fine until mile 10 when I “lost” my breakfast – not exactly lost – I knew EXACTLY where it was !
More water and gel and I soldiered on with a walk/jog until mile 12 (15:00+ mins per mile) when I knew if at this point I was having to play mental games to force a jog – there was no way I could continue.
After 20 minutes sitting by the roadside – thanks to everyone who took the time to check I was OK – I started the long slow walk back to the start.
I have two more marathons in the plan – Chester 7th October and Dublin 29th October so hopefully the heat will not be as big a debilitating factor.
I still “owe” a Scottish marathon from my 4 marathon plan – I have an inkling as to how to address this – stay tuned for more info!
This year my fund-raising for MND Scotland involves running four marathons in Wales (Llanelli), Scotland (Edinburgh), England (Chester) and Ireland (Dublin).
Last weekend saw the first of these.
I have never been a fast runner – but parkrun has always been a competitive event for me.
If I have not been chasing a personal best (PB), I have at least been trying to shave a few seconds off my time for the previous week or trying to pass the runner just in front (truth be told I always aim for the person two in front, to make sure I PASS the person in front of me).
This year, what with a series of coughs, colds, splutters, work commitments and various slight injuries; my running has really suffered and my head has not been in the right place either so I have really neglected my marathon training schedule.
I was supposed to be tail running at Strathclyde parkrun event 99 but John Edge asked if he could take my place – he is tactically planning to run his 50th parkrun at our 100th event next Saturday. This left me free to run the event at my own pace! I’m still nursing a slight pull to my hamstring and I was supposed to be running the Alloa half marathon the following day, this left me free to pick my own pace.
Just as we started there was that ominous sound from my Garmin – No Battery, my watch died. Nothing left for it but to just run and listen to my body – run at a nice comfortable pace and enjoy the view and enjoy the company.
This resulted in one of my best parkrun running experiences ever – comfortable enough to have a conversation and enjoy the view. Running in a different part of the field from normal allows you to meet completely new runners, I’m privileged to be a regular volunteer so I do get to see most of the runners but maybe not have as long a chat as I would like.
So why don’t you try it – experience a parkrun at a completely different pace!
Disclaimer : I’m on the core team for Strathclyde parkrun and am always on the lookout for new runners to join our event or do one of the easy volunteer roles that enable our events to be enjoyed by so many.