Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Threat Carried Through

And so it was written, thou must awaken on the hour of seven thirty - technically, that's not 'on the hour' but we'll let that slide as I needed the sleep - and drive to Speculation in the mechanical horse know as the auto-mobile. Where upon thou must run to Five Acres, race the Parkrun and return by the same modus operandi. And as written in the prophecy, I didst do all that. And it was good...

Having parked over at Speculation in plenty of time - no shoe issues this time - I was able to merrily wend my way through the forest to Five Acres and the Parkrun. I took it steady as I map read my way across in preparation for the race.

There were quite a few Harriers out for today's Parkrun, the final one of the year - it was my first of the year! Now I've not tried to run quickly for quite some time and it was a shock to the system I can tell you. The route is a bit twisty and windy but that suits me. On the sections of firmer going I struggled but on the rougher, muddier bits I gained ground. Not because I was able to speed up but because I didn't slow down. The course would have suited me even better had there been no firm going at all but you takes what you get and you deals with it.

I finished 7th in a time of 20:59. That sounds slow for a 5k but the nature of the course means it's never going to be a quick one. Even in mid summer I wouldn't expect quick times because of all the sharp turns, and even then I expect it's still a little soft underfoot in places. Still, it was good to push hard.

I started a little too ambitiously and quickly had to steady the ship. I got into it after a couple of minutes running and ran steadily hard for the first lap. By the second lap I had crept onto the shoulder of a group of three. Not wanting to go too soon I held off for a few minutes as I gathered my strength and then made my bid for glory - 'cept it wasn't all that glorious really. I edged past all three in quick succession and pulled out a gap. Then I was able to relax and run the final kilometre or so to the finish. All in all a good speed session.

Then after a bit of natter at the finish I got back out the map and compass and ran back through the forest, following a slightly longer route, back to the car.

The 4.3k run from Speculation to Five Acres, 500ft ascent

An approximation of the Forest of Dean Parkrun route, 5k, 100ft ascent

The return leg to Speculation on a different route, 4.8k, 180ft ascent

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