This past Saturday was my wedding anniversary (15 years) and with a free Saturday of no football, we (the family) decided to have a day out in York. This gave me a free pass to do the York parkrun. Still my favourite parkrun as it’s held on the fast/flat race course route and even with big numbers there is no congestion and no getting in anyone’s way no matter what your pace or goals are. This was the venue for my first sub 19 5K ever and my best time here was set way back in February 2016 when I ran 17:33, my last two visits produced a 18:08 despite being injured in 2019 and 18:35 last year which was my fastest parkrun of last year and my last as a week later we went into lockdown (I was doing a parkrun a week at start of 2020 as part of my comeback from injury & only a few weeks after my cancer diagnosis).
Going into Saturday I was getting back into a training groove again. I had a good session Tuesday doing a solid 30 minute fartlek and I also re-visited my old track group Thursday night and had done a solid 5 x 800m (2:36 or 2:35 each split). I was still feeling the session in my legs plus as was an early start I had skipped breakfast. I had to visit loo several times that morning (I would later that day find out I had caught the sickness bug doing the rounds locally, so my performance from my view point was rather good). So after arriving in good time, a nice steady jog to the start line, a call of nature and then a brief chat with other parkrunners and it was go time.
Going into this my goal was to run a sub 18 and to see where I was race fitness wise before my upcoming 5K race in a couple of weeks. I wanted a good first mile, targeting a sub 5:30/mi then seeing how the rest played out. After crazy start, I stuttered slightly and eased back a little too much, I put it down to cobwebs of not doing many early morning races and lack of coffee! The field soon stretched out and it was a case of chasing the person in front. I had a runner I had raced against a lot in the past and basically spent the first 2K catching him. The conditions were good with a slight breeze as you turned towards the finish. I hit the first mile in 5:34/mi not as fast as I wanted but I found that by not going off as hard I didn’t die as I have done in past and was able to sustain a solid pace for rest of the 5K. I past my ever supportive family, I shouted something like “it’s a struggle” to which I got “ok, get on with it!” So I did I caught the runner and again was on my own but hit the start line and felt good, the 2nd mile buzzed for 5:44/mi, happy that I was still running strong I dug deep to not let the pace drop as I pushed on. I found the second large bend a mental battle but as I hit the back straight I just chased those in front, the last two turns and then it was a kick to the finish pace did pick up and crossed the line in 17:44 for 6th overall and 1st in my category.
Got to admit was happy, I know where I can improve a better start, fuel before hand and more consistency in training. If can cover those I do think the fact that every 5K I’ve done be it road, track (in 28’C) or a parkrun I’ve been consistent and ran under 18 minutes. I’ve got to believe if everything clicks on the day then a new personal best is possible and that dream of sub 17 will come. As mentioned I have a 5K coming up later this month, then come October I switch to 10K before winter training/racing sets in and focus on some long distances going into 2022. I aim to get another 3 parkruns in before I turn 40 in January and hit that 100 milestone. But me being me i will pick a flat one with decent conditions.
- Position: 6th
- Age Position: 1st
- Time: 17:45
- Race Results: click here
- Photos: n/a