Been a while since I posted anything here but I thought a small breakthrough at the weekend warranted a post. I know that compared to a lot of people's achievements this spring it may seem small but to me it was huge.
I'd been increasing my distances with training for the Wings for Life World Run on the 8th May and due to the slow start I didn't make my 10km goal. I loved the race, it was great fun and I would really recommend it to everyone. I hadn't made my goal but I had controlled all the parts of the race that I could, weather and crowds are not within my gift, so I didn't feel too disappointed.
Feeling strong and being in Edinburgh the following weekend planted a seed, could I try a parkrun PB? It has been almost exactly a year since I set my PB of 32:23 at Wimbledon Common and Edinburgh parkrun is a fast, flat promenade out and back.
Tim agreed to try and pace me at 6:15-6:20min/km which would give me a little bit of a buffer in case I slowed at the end. So with an extra puff of my inhaler for luck off we went into the grey Edinburgh morning. At least the heavy rain had actually stopped when we started so for me conditions were perfect.
The first two km passed without incident, I focused on controlling my breathing and counting steps to keep my cadence up. Soon enough we were at the turn around and heading back. I glanced at my watch at three km and saw it was under 20mins - the PB was on. Tim was worried I might be slowing and all I could say was "no talk, no walk" let's go!
In the last km my breathing was horrible, you could hear me coming but I was actually catching up and passing other runners. I've always loved the tide metaphor for running, let the tide (other runners) go when you start and try not to go out too hard. They will stay out and then in the last third of the race the tide should come back in (if you've paced it right).
With 100m to go - handily marked on the course - I really pushed it. God I didn't realise how long 100m could be!! I glanced at my watch and my pace was starting with a 5 oops!
I crossed the line and took a good 2-3mins to get my breathing back to normal but I'd broken the 32 min barrier. Barcodes scanned we walked back to the cafe my dad was perched in. Tim got out his app to see our pace and this is when I got excited - it was a royal flush!! Each km had got quicker! These are the kind of thing you only hear about on Marathon Talk that happen on other people's runs 🦄 Tim had no idea what I was talking about but I was ecstatic 🎉🎉🎉
31:37 - new PB, royal flush and negative split. It felt awful at the end but I'd earnt each and every one of those 46 seconds.
While most of the time my ultimate goal of a sub 30 parkrun feels impossible this weekend it felt a little more possible!