Race 1 of 12–Milton Keynes ParkRun (and Janathon Day 29)

Summary checkers – 5k run in 24mins 45 seconds

ParkRun Cherry

So today I popped it. I think I first looked at ParkRun about 18-24 months ago. There was 1 in Manchester and it seemed like a good idea. However it was pretty far so I never got round to it. Since moving back to Hertfordshire I seem to be in an area without any within a 25 mile radius. The nearest is probably Milton Keynes or Cambridge. Having previously worked in Milton Keynes, and knowing it better than Cambridge, I opted for MK to be the 1st run of the challenge.

Getting about half-way to MK, I then realised I had my Nike trainers on. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but as a way of raising some more sponsorship I’d promised @ChrisF2k that I’d run in the first race exclusively in Adidas stuff (He’s a bit obsessive about Adidas stuff – seriously, you really wouldn’t believe it). So, apologises Chris, I did try but made a school-boy error. Due to my Adidas trainers being trail trainers I don’t fancy doing more than 5k in them – so you’ll have to wait for that exclusive run.

Pulling up in the car and paying for parking, some guy came over to me. He then proceeded to ask me loads of questions about the run. Turned out he was a 1st timer as well. So we both went together to find a 3rd bloke. Turned out to be his 1st ParkRun as well! Finally we found someone to explain what was what. A short time later we were on the start line.

I’d been thinking over this race for the past couple of days and how to race it. I’m conscious I’ve got a tough marathon training session tomorrow and Watford Half Marathon next week. On the other hand I didn’t just want to coast round, as that would render the 12 races in 12 months challenge fairly pointless. I’d also spent the past couple of days using an application called Running Calculator on my phone to try and gauge some kind of time to aim for. It basically takes a time for a distance and then applies some formula to give an indication of what time you should expect for other distances. I decided to work on my Half Marathon PB of 1hr 57m 20s. Typing this in gave me a time for 5k as 25m 28s. I thought may as well aim for that.

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Starting I decided another strategy would be just run to feel, ignore my Garmin, and just push myself a little out of my comfort zone. After passing the 2k marker I had a quick check on the watch, and I told me I’d done an 8m 13s 1st mile. Cracking stuff, get my breath back a little and then push on in Mile 3 for the finish. I was quite surprised to see the 2nd mile split starting with a number ‘7’. The 3rd split was another staring with ‘7’. Eh? I even managed a sprint finish and my ‘unofficial’ time is 24m 45s. I’ll pop the official time up when I get it, but would imagine its only a couple of seconds over this.

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First race of the 12 done. Watford next weekend. First ParkRun also done. Will I be back? Hell yes.

Oh, and some dodgy photos to end on.

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