I was determined to make it out for the first Finsbury Park Parkrun on Saturday, so we all downed our porridge and got ready to bike it over there. As we were putting on our helmets the rain came down in buckets. Edward was all set to stay behind, but Hector wasn’t (and never is) put off by a bit of rain. It was so bad we even had to shelter under a tree for a bit, but it eased as we made our way up the hill to the park. As we rounded the corner I saw a few runners huddling under the eaves of the cafe, all looking a bit bleary-eyed and with that sort of ‘what the hell am I doing here at this time on a saturday morning?’ look on their faces. Edward and Hector sauntered over to the playground and I did that runner’s loitering thing you do before a race, where you check everyone out whilst doing a daft token stretch and trying not to look to awkward.
Eventually we were directed over to the gate where the race will start each week, and were given a few pointers before the start was called. I was delighted to see that the first stretch was down hill so we could generate some speed, but soon found myself overtaken by pretty much everyone. Quite quickly I settled into a pace alongside another woman whom I plodded beside for the rest of the race. I had been very excited about this new race and have dreams of cracking my PB here in the future, but I soon realised this is not really a PB sort of race. About a third of the way round, the path takes a sharp turn up a steep hill. During the first lap I found some incredible grit from somewhere and glided up no problem, leaving my fellow runner behind, but during the second lap I thought I was going to throw up! I had to pause for a moment and lean over before resuming my trek to the top. How embarrassing. Shortly after the hill I was on the home straight, so picked up the pace, gasping and panting all the way. As you cross the line you are given a token with a number on it to hand to the computer-wielding volunteers at the end, who scan your personal barcode and add your finish time to the website later in the day; all very high-tech.
This was my Garmin’s reading of it all:
Time: 27 minutes 41 seconds
Distance: 3.16 miles
Average Pace: 8.46
Best Pace: 5.28
Not a PB, in fact a little bit slower than my last 5k race at Trent Park, but not so bad considering I stopped to avert a pukey disaster.
On Sunday I headed out for a ‘long’ run, but this was cut short by not being able to see where I was going due to the rain being horizontal and mostly directed at my eyes.
Time: 41 minutes 20 seconds
Distance: 4.37 miles
Average Pace: 9.27
Best Pace: 6.55