Dragging myself out of bed to begin the motions that will end in my lining up at the starting point of this week’s Aberdeen Parkrun, it strikes me that it is just over a month ago that I shipped myself and a couple of bags out of town for an extended holiday season. In between there have been pit stops in various parts of Surrey, East London, Chelmsford, Kent and an extended traipse through several towns within the Valencian Community. A second full week of work has beaten any remnant of festivity out of me, which heightened the sense of finality of the park run. I have come full circle, back to the grind of life. Wash, rinse, repeat. The run itself was hardly memorable – three minutes slower than my PB from last year putting the surfeit of Christmas pudding into perspective.
Although I am only three runs into my ParkRun ‘career’, the three blocks of granite on the grassy edge of the Beach Esplanade just before it turns West towards Kings Street have become a beacon of sorts. Situated around the 4.5k mark of the total 5k route they have very quickly come to represent the prospect of rest, relief and completion.
They also mark the halfway point of my morning runs, which again speaks to turning points and the call of home. Finding out they were donated to the city by a company I once worked for added a sense of serendipity to all of that.
Two for the price of one then for this week’s challenge, a grainy low light version from this morning’s run and a clearer one from the archives.
— For the WordPress weekly photo challenge, Corner.
One of the things I’m looking to achieve this year is to run a 10k race, which is why three to four times a week I grab my gear and hit the road. I use the MapMyRun app which paces me during the week from a leisurely 2k easy run on a Tuesday to a longer (now 5k+) run on the following Sunday.
As my run times improve and the distances lengthen, what I realise is that my natural predilection for just hitting go and running works fine for speed but works against my distance, as I am often far too winded to post a useful time once that initial burst of energy has fizzled out.
Being paced by the app has allowed me to find my own rhythm, a pace that allows me optimise both overall time and distance. None of my split times come close to challenge my top speed, but by running at that speed for longer, I find I make better progress overall. Therein lies the lesson for me… Find my rhythm.