With the Jogging Made Easy (https://www.joggingmadeeasy.co.uk/) parkrun take over at Mersea this week I decided I would give this one another go. I enjoyed the route previously and with there being pacers I was looking forward to trying to stick with one, not only to help improve my time but also to help with controlling my split times.
We’d had a bit of wet weather and with the route being offroad this meant I could get my trails out which my toes (in particular Saltmarsh Toe) were pleased about as for some reason I seem to get a bit more toe space in these compared to my roads. The first thing I picked up on when I arrived was that the numbers were so much smaller than that of Maldon and many of them were in high vis pacer tops. So, realistically which pacer should I keep my eye on? This was a tough one. I know how far off my PB pace I am at the moment but I did want to push myself, so I thought between 26 and 27 was doable (especially now I was a nail lighter than I had been – that’s gotta made a difference right? 😏).
After a quick briefing we were off, at this point the pacers were a bit all over the place but that’s not a problem it’s my own run and I’m responsible for pacing myself. Only I’m not great at that, I have a habit of going off too quickly which is exactly what happened yesterday. I have no idea if this is down to getting carried away with keeping up with others at the start, excitement or because my legs think I can run faster than I actually can. The route is 2 laps with an added loop through some trees (my favourite part), the first half of lap 1 felt ok – I was just trying to get into my stride but I soon realised I wouldn’t be able to keep up at that pace because I could hardly breath. By the second lap I really felt like walking, but I didn’t – I just slowed myself down and kept going. I just didn’t feel like I could take a deep breath in (fitness definitely needs some work), by slowing down for a few minutes it gave me the chance to calm myself and take control of my breathing.
By the time we came round for the third loop through the trees I was feeling better and made friends with a very cute dog who ran a few strides with me (i’d quite like a puppy now please 🐶). I was just behind the pacer for 28 minutes so I thought I’d stick with him until I could see the finish line and then put a last push in and get within the 28. As I came round the corner towards the last turn for the finish line I could see the 27 min pacer up ahead, the pacers were a little all over the place but this gave me the chance to up my speed a little and aim to run in with pacer 27.
As I approached the finish I suddenly felt like I could really go for it, so I did. Chasing a lady up ahead – I gave her a little “come on” shout and we had a great sprint finish which I thoroughly enjoyed although I have no idea where that extra push come from (she still beat me🙈). The pacers were very encouraging and all the marshal’s gave us a boost as we passed which is always something I love about parkrun. Although I still have a lot of work to do I am quite happy with that run, pacing needs some work and hopefully I can get some fitness back as I keep putting the effort in and I’ll be able to see some improvements.