Following on from Thursday’s adventures, I decided last night that it would be a good idea to go and do the Perth Parkrun this morning. Perth Parkrun recently celebrated it’s 1st birthday and as I usually work on Saturday mornings, today was the first time I’ve had a chance to take part. I had originally included it in Allison’s marathon training schedule and so I decided that I would join her so we would be doing our first Parkruns at the same time.
The conditions were always going to require trail shoes so we arrived fully prepared only to discover the paths were a bit slippy. We made the customary trip to the loo, like everyone else, before making our way to the start. The great thing about these events is that you often know many people there and so it becomes a big social event as well as a run. This one usually attracts between 100 and 200 people and the were a healthy 147 there today. When I say healthy, I refer to it being a good number whereas I would imagine some were feeling far from it after New Year hence the reason they were there!
We didn’t seem to hang around for long before we were off. Much of the route along the banks of the river Tay is well used in most people’s training runs and this one is an out and back with a good section on grass from the turning point before rejoining the same path we came up on. This is pretty good as the stretch is parallel to the main path so you get a great scene of runners going in both directions. Normally, people would curse the grass section in favour of the path however, due to the path being icy the whole way, the grass was actually easier to run on even if there were a few icy puddles to negotiate!
I had gone through 2 miles when my body started to remind me that it was still feeling a bit tired from the Triathlon. It had occurred to me that I could take it easy going round today but I haven’t got used to the “go easy” idea in training yet! I have been working on cadence in my training, used a bit in the uphill run section of the Tri (it actually makes it easier) and also used it today in sections. It helps me run quicker without using up any more energy and also balances out the distribution of effort through the muscles in the lower body so started to do it when my quadriceps and hamstrings were tiring. This helped me gain an advantage over some of the guys behind me. I don’t mind people running on my shoulder but if they want to pass me, I try to make sure that they have to work hard to do it and it seemed to work. A friend of mine passed me in the final sprint and admitted afterwards that he was going to try going past me a wee bit earlier but then I speeded up and it made him work a bit harder.
I crossed the line in 20:29, which I was absolutely delighted with given the conditions and the weariness in my legs from Thursday. What was interesting though is that it was 7 seconds faster than the time I ran in the Glasgow Santa Dash in 2013 which, at the time, was a new 5k PB and I had taken 40secs off my previous best that day!