This Saturday I went to Ashton Court Parkrun for some extra motivation as I make my way back to running pain free.
After a few really slow 5k runs in the gym I have been feeling positive about the direction I have been heading. To help keep me motivated I wanted to do something more than a treadmill run – which can often become rather boring, especially at a slow pace. So this Saturday I decided that a visit to my local park run would help me feel better about my running and general fitness.
I have spoken before about how great I think park runs are and even though I have not been to many too often it is something I always think about doing. As I turned up to Ashton Court for my 5k there was already a large number of people there of all shapes and sizes. In the pre run briefing there was a supportive group mentality on show with applause ringing out for people reaching there 50,100 and 150 landmarks. I would urge anyone wanting to start a running journey to attend their local park run.
Dani came along with the lure of a bike ride followed by some Saturday cake afterwards and although she has previously done one she chose not to today. So she was playing the role of motivator and photographer. Whilst waiting for it to start and feeling the effects of a few Friday night start of the school year drinks she urged me to do some sort of warm up. Which I did even if it was a very lethargic one.
I laid out my race strategy to her quite clearly and confidently. I would go steady and aim to come in around 30 minutes. I knew there was a hill so I made clear I would pace my self all the way up and then down. I was sure I would stick to this – but I didn’t. The start line was busy and I loitered near the back middle. Turns out there was 480 people there – An impressive turn out! As I started I immediately tried to find gaps to have some space and soon got into a nice comfortable pace. A man and his dog came past and I let them go, not wanting to go too fast. Approaching the hill I still felt okay and was shortening my stride lengths. At the turning point I was relieved it would all go downhill but I had to super cautious running over the gravel like section. Moving downhill my legs were enjoying striding out and I had to work hard to slow myself down at one point. I pushed to the end which was not a sensible idea but I couldn’t help it.
As I crossed the line I took my first look at my watch to see I kept nowhere near my race plan (I like to do this sometimes so I can just enjoy the run) Oh well. It was lovely to know I could do that after limited running.
Off to a running club on Monday which should help me keep moving forwards.