Saturday, 21 October 2017
Storm Brian Buffets parkrun!
We woke up to high winds and driving rain this morning. Getting out of bed to drive over to parkrun before nine wasn't, I'll admit, an appetising thought, but on the other hand there's something exhilarating about being out in stormy weather, (I especially love running through it and coming home to a hot shower), so we got up, dressed in shorts and t-shirts and headed over to the local park.
There were a surprising number of people there, given the conditions. This morning's race was a cross country so it was wet and muddy. We set off at a brisk pace, buffeted about by the high winds and spat at by the rain. The first hill began to sort the men from the boys and I gained a few paces (always encouraging) up it, and managed to hold on to them on the following downhill.
It's a three lap course and I kept getting glimpses of M, and our friends Matt and Rob who were all up with the leaders. It was one of those runs where everything clicks into place (let's hope I haven't peaked too soon as we've got a race tomorrow!) and I felt comfortable and that I was running steadily and at times strongly. I wasn't especially fast, but I felt technically it was a good run. The wind trying to blow you off your feet in places didn't help with a speedy time and the puddles were interesting- lots of people tried to skirt round them, I just did what I usually do and ran through the middle. Great fun.
On the last lap I pushed on up the hill, got my breathing right and felt good all the way up, overtaking a few more tiring runners. The marshal at the top was trying to be supportive by telling everyone 'this is a horrible hill' but it made me reflect that, when you're marshalling, it's really important to be positive. Better to have said: "Great running, everyone! You're making that hill look easy!" instead of commiserating about how tough it was. Your mental approach makes a world of difference to the way you run, especially on the final lap of a race.
I found out last night that I won my age category in last week's race (by default really- the lady who won it also came top three in the whole race, and as you can't get two prizes for one race, I've slipped in), so I've got £10 prize money, free entry to next year's competition and a trophy! Dead chuffed- it's the first running prize I've won (unless you count our village fete fun run, which I don't :o) ). Anyhoo, I was thinking about this as I ran this morning and it really gave me a boost. Definitely a lesson to remember. Think strong: run strong.
I finished with a strong sprint and grinned when Conqueror of Mountains John said: how come you look so elegant when you're finishing and we all looked utterly ragged? Mainly because they'd all run twice as fast as me :o) Rob came in first place which was fantastic.
Brian is set to clear here tonight, so tomorrow's race should be a good 'un. I will report back. Lots of friends are running Abingdon tomorrow (fast, flat road marathon that gets used as a chance to nab a 'good for age' cat for London). Spare a thought for two Romsey Road Running buddies Captain Bex who's pulled her back and it's touch and go whether she'll be able to run, and buddy Brenda who hasn't had the best training run up to it and I know is approaching the race with less than confident feelings. Not ideal when it's a marathon, but she's hugely experienced and I have every confidence she'll pull it out of the bag.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, and managing to stay dry/ not get blown over if you're UK based.