I went ahead and did a spontaneous parkrun at Worcester yesterday. This is my third parkrun on the trot but I thought I might have enough left in the tank for this final stab at a home course sub 20 before getting back to basics for a month or so (got 20:03 last week). Also thought it would be nice and frosty and hard underfoot… but I was wrong there – it was well muddy. Less of a warm up this time – arrived a bit late. I finished my couple of strides to find everyone had lined up earlier than usual and the flag was raised. Shhee-it! I ran up the side of the pen to the front and kind of pushed in. No one seemed to mind though. Bang.
Oops – I didn’t press the right button on my Garmin, so no data!
I wanted to go with the front runners this time so I sprinted and found myself in 6th. But the 5 in front of me were front runners for a reason, and left me behind after about 1k. Couldn’t hear any panting behind me either so I knew I’d be alone for a while. Turned out to be the entire race! I knew I was in 6th (same finish position as last week) so I just wanted to keep that position. The mud was pretty bad in places. Especially on the 2nd lap. Hard to believe 300 people had just run through it – I couldn’t see or hear anyone! Every now and then I got a glimpse of someone up ahead in the woods but that was all. But I do all my speedwork alone so this wasn’t a problem. Problem was that I had no idea what my pace was. But you can judge it by pain, right?
My old friend, pain.
I shrugged that monkey off my back and gritted teeth up the final, bastardly ascent of Badger Hill. For a strange 10 seconds I simultaneously believed I was going to die and had a huge craving for cake (Victoria sponge, please). But I reached the top and pumped those arms. I was alive! But I had no cake.
God knows what I looked like attempting to sprint across the field towards the funnel, which looked strangely like the pearly gates at that moment. I hauled my arse through them and took my tag – 6th place had been maintained. But what was my time? The guy in front said he got 19:30. But I had lost contact with him so that meant nothing. Couple of hours later and I got the result – 19.55. Yes!
My work for 2014 is done!