Valentines morning. 8.30am. I personally couldn’t think of anything more romantic than standing in the freezing cold waiting for our chariot to arrive to whisk us along to Edinburgh parkrun. Our chariot in this scenario being the number 41 Lothian bus service to Cramond, where the event is held.
The 5K route is around 20 minutes outside the city centre, running alongside the Firth of Forth, which eventually flows into the North Sea. Apparently on a good day, great views of the Forth bridge are available to runners, but nothing to see on Saturday morning – far too misty.
We were expecting a big crowd – Edinburgh gets over 500 participants on a regular basis (there were actually 511 there this weekend). We made a friend on the bus who talked us through the history of parkrun in Scotland – a subject I can honestly say I wasn’t too clued up on before this weekend, but now consider myself an expert. He guided us from the bus stop down to the starting area, we thanked him, and lined up ready to go.
I’d told Katie I was going to run with her this weekend, and hopefully push her along to a quick time, whilst trying not to constantly annoy her in the process. I successfully managed one of these objectives, although she told me afterwards she ‘didn’t mean it’ when responding with some choice words to some of my ‘motivating’ comments.
After a frantic start where things were fairly congested for the first kilometre or so, it started to spread out a bit and everyone had a bit more room to stretch their legs. The course at Edinburgh is a really easy one – follow the forth for 2.5km towards Edinburgh, turn around, and head back to the start/finish area. There were plenty of families, dogs etc. our on their morning walks, but the path was very wide, with plenty of room for everyone to do their own thing.
Making the turn at half-way, Katie was working really hard whilst I continued to offer my ‘motivational’ words of encouragement. Pushing all the way to the line, we ended up with times of 23:17 and 23:18, not quite a personal best for Katie, but her second fastest ever 5K time which was a really cracking effort. I obviously, did the chivalrous thing and let her cross the line first 😉
The following day was long run day, with us both running 19 miles out and back along the Stockbridge canal, which felt great, and the training is going swimmingly at the moment.
I’m writing this on the following Wednesday, and I’ve done another 15 miles this morning before work, which was definitely a new experience for me! I’m really focussing on banging out the miles at the moment, knowing that the speed is there, I just need to work on my endurance.
Tumbridge Wells half marathon this weekend. I’ve heard it’s got a few hills!