Summer has well and truly arrived. With bright hot days, and sweltering dark nights, it seems running in the heat is something that I will just have to get used to. I have commented in the past that when the hot days arrive my performance begins to suffer. It has been proven in past summer races, and some mid-day training runs. But in recent days I have begun to show improvement. I sometimes put this down to the will to get it over and out of the way as quickly as is possible. But I think it is more a case of shedding some pounds and feeling lighter on my feet, that have given me the ability to get through it as quickly as possible – but also enjoy it too. These past couple of weekends I have managed to push through the heat and collect a few PBs.
Saturdays are Parkrun days for me. If I miss one, I feel lost – and it mucks up the flow of the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the previous week I did miss Parkrun! I thought I would lose the momentum of the previous weeks build up to finally getting a PB. My last Parkrun PB was 32:23 way back in 25/03/2017! After that I started the Keto Diet and lost a lot of energy, my performance slowed right down.
Once my body got used to Keto, my energy returned, and with that my times started creeping back to the 33-34 minute mark. That was a relief. One Saturday (10/6/2017) I managed to reach 32:32! Just 9 seconds away! But then the heat-waves arrived and, mentally, I couldn’t hack it. My times just reverted back to 34 mins. You would have thought running everyday would help. But I managed to wangle my runs to times of the day that were at the coolest parts of that day, or indoors at the gym.
Parkrun 5K – 8th July 2017
But consistently the nights were remaining as hot as the days, so I had no real choice to go out and run in them. This seems to have also helped to make the adjustments and improvements my body needed. Last Saturday (8/7/2017) it was 18°C! This was a little on the warm side, but still much better than the 28°C we were having during the week. I had brought some water with me, and then thought I didn’t really need it, but as the run briefing finished, the clouds parted and let some more of the suns heat through! I was glad I had brought the water after that! The run felt really good, surprisingly!
I didn’t want to push myself because of the heat, so when the first buzz of my watch at 1K came along and showed 6:29 min/km I was happy but a little shocked. The next couple of k both stayed under 6:30 mins and my 4th k, which seems to always be the longest, only crept up to 6:38 mins. My last k is always the fastest, as I always do a sprint finish, and today was no different, at 6.17 mins. Making the total run 32:22! That made it a PB, despite it only being 1 second off my previous time, but after 11 weeks, I did not mind at all. I was happy with that. I wasn’t sure that I should have gone all out though, as I had a 10K race the next day! But as I said, I didn’t truly feel I was working overly hard!
Parkrun 5K – 15th July 2017
Following a fantastic 10 k race, the next Parkrun came around. After only shaving off a second from my previous PB, I was raring to go to beat it again. I really didn’t think it was possible, but positive thoughts always see me through. It was a cloudy day, and deceptively warmer than it looked. The sun didn’t peak through until the start of the run. I started off a little slower than the previous week, trying to pace myself! But as soon as I completed my first mile, I felt good to speed up, with 3 of the remaining 4 k being less than 6:20 min/km pace. That’s definitely on the quick side for me.
Parkrun is so much fun and it’s great to get the encouragement of the volunteers urging you round. My last km was the fastest at only 6.09 min/km!!! With a total time of 31 mins 55 seconds I was ecstatic. I didn’t ring the PB bell the previous week, but I made sure to ring it this time!
Well I had to! I managed to shave around 30 seconds of my PB! So happy I was! 😊
How is your Parkrun experience? Do you love it as much as I do?
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