I recently completed my second parkrun. Before you worry, I do not plan to update you with details of every single parkrun I complete, but it felt worthwhile to spend a few minutes thinking about the differences between my first and second outings.
For a start, I recorded a PB at my second parkrun. This isn’t really much of a feat I know. All I had to do was run a little quicker than I did the first time and, with the benefit of knowing where I was going this time, it was to be expected that I should at least match my first time. But a PB is still a PB and I’ll take what I can get.
At the same time, it was also a downside of the second run that I had a better idea of the route; enough to know where the ups and downs were to be found, but not enough of an idea to properly pace the run. Thinking that I knew how to cope with the latter half of the route, I put more effort into the early sections than I had the first time. That was a decision that came back to haunt me in the second section of the run as I hadn’t left as much in the tank as I should have. The last kilometre and a half saw me just trying to hold onto a steady pace, with no chance of stepping it up as I neared the finish.
After my first parkrun, tubontherun had let me know about the exciting opportunities for talking to the local wildlife during the run. Sadly, I was so puffed by the last part of the run that I was unable to even offer a friendly “moo” to the assembled herd of cows. They didn’t seem that interested in conversation if I’m honest. Cows can be so aloof.
So, third time around, I will work on getting my overall run right: not quite as fast in the first half but more consistent throughout, with enough left at the end to put in a bit of a spurt for the home straight. And I will try to say hello to the cows as I go past. It might not get me a PB, but it will help me learn more about properly pacing a 5km run.
My next visit to parkrun will not be for a few weeks, but I’m already looking forward to it.