So Saturday morning came (that is Saturday 15th in case you're confused) and I had decided to get myself out of bed early to try and get to one of the free "park runs" one of which I did earlier in the year. As a reminder these are *free* and timed 5K time trial.
Having got up in plenty of time I proceeded to do what I do best and phaff... phaff and phaff a bit more! Suddenly it was nearly 8am and I was still in my dressing gown! Realising I'd better get a wriggle on a managed to slide myself off the sofa and drag my butt back up the stairs... after some more phaffing I finally dragged my sorry arse out of the door questioning my sanity. BUT it was a lovely looking morning and wouldn't I feel great once I had done the TT (at least that's what the Angel on my shoulder was saying, the devil meanwhile kept reminding me how much doing this hurt in April!!).
Got in the car, got TomTom out I kinda knew where Bushy Park was but figured better safe then sorry... and off I set.... and then I looked at TomTom's predicted arrival time... 0905.. OPPS! The TT starts at 0900... I wasn't going to make it... The Angel was disappointed but the Devil was laughing in glee and the prospect of more time on the sofa...
NEVER FEAR - "Isn't there a park run at Basingstoke which is nearer... " I pondered....
So I pulled over, got my web browser on my phone going and sure enough there was and yes, TomTom said I'd be there by 0845.. PERFECT! Angel was happy, Devil had a right old grump on.. and we were off!!
Got there with a good time to warm up, remember last time that although I did warm up I hadn't really got my HR up enough prior to starting. So did some jogging, some stretching, some short sprints, more stretching, sorted out the music and headed over to the start area with about 40 other people. The short briefing done (2.5 laps, a little undulating, different path types. watch out for the leaves) and we were off!!!
I started at the back, then got a bit worried that I wasn't going fast enough... remember by PB from the run in April was 25:42, wanted to see if I could get nearer the 25min mark. The half lap to the finish shoot was down hill then back up through a nice little wooded area, thought I was going ok - check watch... oh TOO FAST... Yikes.... still no time to slow down really, I wasn't so fast that I was going to keel over, first 1k in 4:44... Game on!
Heading past the finish line you soon head off the path and over a football pitch, slightly slippery underfoot, across that and then down hill a bit where we rejoined the path and headed back up the far side of the park, I was at the 2k mark in 9:58 - perfect, had realised my mistake and controlled things a little and was spot on the mark for by 25min 5 k run.... .could I last??
The third k saw me go back past the start line, head back down and back up the hill, I did this in 5:01 so that was still fine but now it was beginning to hurt. The music was doing its job though as I couldn't hear myself breath (although I was gasping believe me!) so plodded on.
The Angel was encouraging me, the Devil was reminding me of the pain of Bushy Park and telling me any minute now I was going to start to feel awful!
And so it came to pass - it was the 3-4k mark where I lost my time of going under 25mins.. I did struggle on this part, and after I finished I remember what I've been told before that this is the point where it's easy to defocus on a 5k race.. and that's exactly what I did. I thought I was doing ok but wasn't really focused on what I was doing..... 4th k time 05:24... DARN!
I hit the 4k mark and kinda knew that I was very unlikely to make the sub 25mins, but still I only had a k to go, the devil was shouting at me to give up.. the Angel was saying "PB PB GO GET THE PB!".... so I got angry with the devil, passed the start point for the final time and put the boot down.
Chased a guy down over the last few hundred metres (he thanked me for that once we had recovered out breath at the end as it pushed him on to a PB), and stopped my Garmin.... 25:10!
The official time was 25:12... So I AM PLEASED with that.. although the thing is my Garmin said the distance was 4.93k... so 70m short of the 5k.... so does this make it a PB?... was my Garmin out?.... Well actually I think Yes definately and maybe it was .... I though was very happy and I've put the 5k devil to rest as it didn't hurt anything like the last time (don't get me wrong here, I did push myself, I couldn't have gone any faster I probably just knew what to expect more).
The people at the event were all great, the fact that it's nearer then Bushy Park and has about a quarter of the people means I'm likely to venture back down there again and give it a go... I still may make that sub 25min before the year is out!!!