There’s still plenty of running to do in 2016 but with all my target races completed it’s time to relax and look back on my running year. And what a year it turned out to be!
This week parkrun has received an unusually high profile in the UK media for unfortunate reasons. The coverage has highlighted what a fantastic, volunteer-led community has been established. With a surge in interest, your local parkrun is likely to need volunteers more than ever before so why not try it? I did, and I loved it. Continue reading Become a parkrun Volunteer
Doesn’t time fly?! Can you believe it’s 3 months since I wrote anything on here? It’s not because I’ve been injured or had writer’s block; I’ve just not had anything I’ve wanted to say. Which is highly unusual for me!
As we rapidly progress into the final quarter of the year, and with no more racing scheduled for this year, I thought it was the right time to reflect back and look forward.
The first quarter of 2015 was the adventure of my first ever marathon training plan; stretching my longest run from 13 miles to 20 was far more enjoyable than I expected!
And what can I say about Q2 of 2015?
Quite possibly the best period of my running career to date. The experience of running the London Marathon was almost indescribable! I also added the cherries of a new road mile PB at the City of London Mile and a 5k (parkrun) PB on my birthday too.
The third quarter picked up where the second had left off – securing a mile PB at the Iffley Road track – but after a tough 10k in the Great Newham London Run, the fatigue of such a cracking first six months was creeping in. I was running regularly but not training specifically. The dreaded junk miles were starting to increase. Races were getting tougher and the frustration was growing.
I managed to refocus enough to secure my second quickest half marathon at the recent Oxford Half Marathon to finish off my season. The last few miles really showed up the lack of race specific training – the beauty of hindsight!
I’m now enjoying taking it easy for a couple of weeks – the first time since last Christmas. I’m still running of course but nothing too long, nothing too hard. It’s providing an opportunity to be a bit more social and to pull together some coaching ideas for the spring, not to mention giving some consideration to my own winter training!
I woke up with a very vivid dream still in my mind. It centred around parkrun. Was it coincidence given that I was up early on my birthday to go to Oxford parkrun? I think not, but would the real parkrun resemble my dream?
Some Saturday mornings are for lay ins, some are for parkrun. Given that Juneathon day 5 was an excuse day rather than exercise day, this Saturday morning definitely needed to be the latter.
The last day of Janathon was due to be the first time I volunteered at parkrun. The weather had other ideas. From nowhere, we awoke to a covering of snow which, due to understandable safety concerns, put paid to my tail-running duties. It didn’t stop me going for a relaxing leg loosener before tomorrow’s Watford Half though.
It’s day 3 of Janathon and finally I’ve recorded my first run of 2015. And it was a special one.
This morning I opted to stay in bed instead of getting up to go to parkrun but it wasn’t because of the weather and it wasn’t to avoid a run. With a long run due tomorrow morning today was the last chance of the festive break to lay in. And I’d promised The Wife that we’d go for an “urbanrun” instead – it’d be less muddy than parkrun.
With the rain tapping on the bedroom’s velux, I thought it might disuade The Wife from heading out for the run.
I shouldn’t have doubted her.
The Wife hasn’t been running for long (just over a year ago she decided “if you can’t beat ‘im, join ‘im) but she’s got a great stubborn streak and we’re trying to harness it during her runs.
It turns out she had it with her today. The weather didn’t stop her setting foot outside and, in fact, it didn’t stop her putting in one of her strongest 5k runs to date.
It wasn’t a personal best in terms of time (that’s not surprising considering the weather was terrible and a couple of road crossings slowed us to a standstill) but it was definitely a personal best in terms of attitude and attack: her determination to get stuck in despite the rain and digging in through the last kilometre to increase the pace was awesome.
I’m very proud of her. And she should be too.
Having recently celebrated it’s tenth birthday, you can’t have failed to hear about parkrun but have you printed your barcode and joined in yet? No matter what type of runner you are, I’ve no doubt you (and your running) could benefit from getting involved.
Running kit is numerous and varied. I’m sure you all have different views on what your favourite piece of running kit is but I challenge you to name something that is more essential than your running shoes. And herein lays my current agony.