Brockwell parkrun – 17/01/2015

Another week of January training over and done with. Does anyone like January? The only reason I can imagine it could ever be enjoyable would be if you were sunning yourself on the beach in Australia and going surfing at the weekends. Here, we’re stuck with freezing cold and dark mornings, trying to shuffle around a pitch black South London park, praying a stray badger doesn’t shoot out of the darkness (can badgers run fast?) and send you tumbling into the bushes.

Weekends can’t come quick enough in these dark times, and as per usual for a Saturday morning I found myself milling around the start area of Brockwell parkrun, jumping up and down on the spot like Tigger whilst trying to retain any kind of feeling in my fingers. I was feeling relatively fresh, so made the executive decision that I’d run as hard as possible and most probably explode after 3 kilometres and limp the rest of the way home.

The sub-zero temperatures meant that some of the paths around the park were slightly treacherous, so I was convinced that with my relatively grip-less trainers I’d find myself flat on my arse at some point out on the course. We were set on our way promptly, with no-one keen to be standing around for too long, and I went out pretty hard. I found myself in a group of around 5, and I knew a guy at the front of the group (Rob) would routinely run 5K in under 18 minutes, so we weren’t messing around.

Half way round the first of two laps things started to spread out and apart from having to hurdle a stray german shepherd (the dog, not a lost farmer) the first lap was relatively uneventful. I was running at bang on personal best pace, and the second lap really was a case of just digging deep and emptying the tank.

Drifting slightly off topic, we said goodbye to my late nan – Norah, during the week. Now, she wouldn’t know the difference between a 19 minute and a 29 minute 5K time, and always thought I was absolutely bonkers for getting out and doing all these events (she always preferred knitting in her later days, despite me giving her those running trainers she’s always wanted for her 90th birthday). During the later stages I found her at the forefront of my thoughts, which helped to numb the agony my legs were currently in. She’ll be greatly missed.

Back to the end of the race, and I was all alone, with the two chaps ahead too far ahead to chase down, and absolutely no one behind me. It was me against the clock, so I got my head down and buried myself. Staggering over the line, I stopped the watch at 18.36, some 3 seconds slower than my overall 5K best time, but a good 7 seconds quicker than I’ve ever gone around here at Brockwell (Brockwell is considered quite a hilly course, so maybe not so ideal for flat out running.) This was good enough for 7th out of 338 finishers.

After mingling around the finish line for a bit, I tacked on another 7 miles to give me a total of 10 miles for the day, and 44 for the week.

Before I shut up, I’ve got to give a special mention to my friend, training partner (kind of), and London Marathon buddy James Bosher. Firstly, he took out the Dopey Challenge, held at Disneyland Florida, a ridiculous running event where over 4 days he ran 5K (20.18), 10K (39.54), Half Marathon (1.32.03) and Marathon (3.27.44). To put that into perspective, my marathon PB is 3.29, and he beat it after trashing his legs on the 3 previous days! (And he thinks he’s going to be slower than me at London – not so sure about that buddy). But to top off, he asked his long-term girlfriend (Clare; another friend from school) to marry him and of course she said yes! Congrats to the both of you – absolutely brilliant news.

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