It was that time again, the park run time. I don’t do many park runs because I am too lazy to like my chest on fire and my breathing go beyond infinity and to ever smash that 20 minute 5km. So one Saturday morning I thought I would be lazy and do a park run with my best friend Becky and fellow friend Dean. So down to Darley Abbey I trained, (as in not drove), ran from the train station (2.1 miles) and then gathered at the open start with rucksack weighing at least 5kg on my back. Several times I got asked if I was going to run around with that on my back – no I am going to run with it on my front.
Born to run. Forced to work.
I like Darley Abbey Park run because it doesn’t have that sheer inability to shuffle forwards in a ‘Great North Run-esqueness’ for a few minutes before the park runners had stretched out like lively elastic bands. Instead immediately the vast space of the park allows runners to find their personal space immediately and off they go. Not that it mattered today for I was running with Becky and Dean and my rucksack today, for enjoyment and to add up the mileage for Ultra training.
And one two three we were off not even oblivious we had started as I was still chatting to Dean as runners began to depart. We were hanging mid pack for the first half mile running through the open grass following the masses. One reason I love this route as it opens up into a vast array of green space. Becky was putting in great effort as we turned the corner to plough up what they call a “hill”. It felt good to run at this pace relaxing and chatting along the way. At the top we ploughed down the slope, a little slippery after the storms the previous night I was glad I wasn’t racing.
I am not slow. I am just enjoying the course.
Round to the start again with some cheers from the marshals and then a loop around the cricket pitch on trail. I supported my road shoes but on reflection if I had been racing trail may have been more useful. The trail was narrow and I stepped out of the way to let a few runners come on by with another comment about my rucksack packed with enough clothes to keep me warm for a week and enough food and drink to feed an army of two. This was just lovely, just simply lovely, running with my best friend, chatting along to fellow friend Dean and enjoying seeing runners pass us, or speed by near the finish as we double backed past the start/finish again to run our last mile.
The course goes up ‘the hill’ again, with friendly marshals shouting words of encouragement. I passed a few people on the hills whilst chatting along, Becky at my side doing well, doing well girl. I glanced at the watch to see where Becky would come in and thinking she may break the 28 minutes but I didn’t want to push her as we had organised a 7 miler after this. Becky picked up speed on the grassy someone speed bumpy section round the tree and to the finish as she put in a sprint and I had to puff up to keep up with her.
We came in at 28.35 a great time and fantastic effort by Becky. A gorgeously yummy park run not really pacing my friend round properly but just keeping a little in front of her, enjoying the atmosphere and the quality of the event. Why not give it a go sometime?
Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can. – Lowell Thomas
Thereafter we set off for a 7 miler up some hills and around the posh areas of Derby. I then finished the day off with a 2.1 miler back to the train station for the train. That was my Saturday training done for Sunday was to bring a 30.5 miler reccie of the Sheffield Way Ultra coming soon, coming soon. EEK!