Posted: Yesterday at 16:51
A 5k then. Got down there, and quickly saw a dead armed elder statesman through the misty glaze of the Rye, and thought, shall I zoom off and surprise him later, or take the more sensible social option of sharing a warm up. Phil probably thought i was just out running, as has happened before, but a big “i’m going for it” put cards on the table early doors. Quickly followed with a “in a, getting to the finish without collapsing way” disclaimer to reduce any expectations.
In my head I had loads of time thoughts going through my mind. Knowing i could “at least” do 6min miling, which’d give an 18.36 as i’d done loads of those sort of tempo speeds ages ago. Trying to forget the paces on the 12 week schedule, as this course does have grass, steps and inclines, so sort of vaguely wondered if a 17.30 and 3.30 km might be sensible.
Phil had informed me by pure lotto I’d bundled into some sort of 200th Wycombe parkrun celebration which was nice. Although the 10-15mins rucking around waiting for various clowns to take tonneloads of photos, as well as the Major who has a quite incredible way of pronouncing words, like no one i’ve ever heard, not even the infamous “Vick-ham Vonderers” with “Dennis” Taylor in goal (for any non footy fans, Dennis – snooker gimp, Martin – actual goalie name), and quite warm conditions for 9am (9.15?), coupled with the sheer non confidence after so long away, were getting my anxiety levels off the scale
Wycombe parkrun has an exceptionally wise start line. Looked down the mile down the left, didn’t really recognise anyone. Same down the right. Was slightly alarmed some midget kid with a name I can’t remember on his footy shirt (possibly Chavinho? ED - behave)was slightly too close, so trying not to smash him as I set off was mission 1.
Mission 1 achieved, now the small matter of the race. Monstered off, on my own, although i was taking a different line to a gang on my right, so wasn’t sure if they’d suddenly join me.
They didn’t before the first bend, so on hearing Bus’s (volunteer boy today) encouragement I carried on. Second bend, still seemingly no one near, and the two times I’ve done this race, here is where someone joins me.
Quick sense check on the watch, sub 5 pace, hmmm, doesn’t feel too bad, although breathing sounds noisy, but then it’s inevitable, as breathing hasn’t felt 100% the same in a year.
Up to the 1k marker, and slightly surprised to “Only” see 3.25 on the clock. In my history of 5k races, i’ve found that first km is usually comfortably faster than the average. So I was trying to compute how, with that start, we weren’t off to a tastier first km.
Thought forget it, carry on, as hard as feels right. 2nd km takes you up to a slight muddy path through a kid’s park, and then up an incline round the back of the park. Hoped the goons with tonnes of mutts out on some doggy exhibition that were in plenitude earlier had dispersed, and luckily they had.
After the slightly undulating path part, comes a sharp left turn down a few metres onto a grassy section. The marshall was in a slightly odd position, but there was a sign there anyway.