Wow! What a week! It was one in of those weeks where it ended better than it started. It wasn’t a bad week or nothing bad happened but I didn’t get the same number of runs in or time on my bike as the week before.
Circumstance meant I had to take the car to work more this week and when you get out of the habit, it can be hard to get back to it again when you have the easy option of going everywhere on more comfortable seats than the bike! The only runs I did manage were with my Zero to 5k and Run Faster groups on Thursday. I introduced my Zero to 5k guys to the wonders of hill reps and I’m delighted to say they did brilliantly although I suspect they were cursing me on Friday morning! With my Run Faster group, we did some technique drills to help improve form so I joined in so they could see how to do them. I’ll be writing a post on technique drills on my website in the next day or two if you want to learn more.
With no runs done on Friday, it was onto Saturday and Parkrun. I had a client early that morning who is getting into running so we did some different technique work that seemed to make a huge difference to her. When I got to Parkrun, I was thinking as I warmed up that I would be lucky to get anywhere near the PB I got last time so I just went out to see what would happen. I got off to a pretty good start and went through the first mile in 6:10 and felt in good shape. I’ve seen me run faster but then pay for it big style later. Into the second mile and we were running into a headwind before reaching the turn and onto the grass. Typically, there was no tailwind to enjoy on the way back. How does that work?
Running on grass can be a bit tricky as it can slow you down but this is where I usually quicken my cadence so I can maintain as close to the same pace as I run on the path as normal. The grassy section at Perth Parkrun is fairly bumpy and so offers a good test to everyone. I’m not a slave to my Garmin but I like to check my mile splits just to see where I’m at and can work out my tactics for the rest of the race. I was stunned when I hit mile 2 in 6:11. I’ve never run that section that quick before! I usually average 6:20/6:30 over that section! It was then that I thought I could get close to 19mins flat if I was able to maintain pace.
I was fortunate to have another guy close to me to run with at that stage. Normally the guy in front can be a far enough distance in front for me to catch but this suited me well. He was running well and so I tucked in behind him. I know that if I pace it right that I’ve got a good sprint finish and I know where I can speed up so there was no need to push too soon. There was a small downhill section then an incline and the guy hadn’t got away from me and so I knew I could beat him. I know a point that’s roughly 100m from the finish line and so I just sat on his shoulder until we reached that point then I went for it. He didn’t have enough time to react and so I felt like I was cruising to the line and a quick glance at my watch saw the time of 18:57 as I finished so I let out a big “YES!” I think everyone knew I had got a PB!
Official result came back as a time of 18:57 and I still can’t quite believe I did it! I had run 22 seconds faster than my PB from last week and 50 seconds faster than the week before! My target after last week was to go for sub 19mins before the end of the month but I didn’t think for one minute I would do it the week after, especially after a week of very little meaningful running! I went home and had a great call with Francisco, a Portuguese guy I’m working with and he told me he’s been making very good progress since we started and that he doesn’t appear to be suffering any of the issues he’s had in the past with niggles when he runs. All in all a very good day!
Have you had a week where nothing seems to be going right in training only to find yourself having an amazing run at the end of it?