Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Art of The PB (non-scientific)

I'm an avid fan of Parkrun, if you don't know it google it or ask a friend. 

This free community running group that gathers in one of the great running locations of Westerfolds Park, they are a joy to hang out with and form a great network from all walks/ runs of life. 

Parents, Kids, Hardcore, Friends and those odd people that turn up from time to time wearing sandals and Hawaiian shorts.

My wife a little runner herself before pregnancy kicked in (only a few weeks away as I type to Dadathlete Time) started with this group; and encouraged me to get along, it seemed the perfect beginning point. 90 odd like minded people jogging 5km on a Saturday morning. Bliss. 

You compete in that secret race, the one that happens between you and your Garmin. Where you question if you can go as fast as last week. I started out posting 27's and 25 min times, that started to get down under 25 minutes and I was pleased for an over sized runner (90kgs moves a little slower than those Marathon whippets)

Dropping down to 24, then 23 and then I started to think nope that's it. We talk of plateaus and base points, I could consistently keep it sub-24 most weeks without too much effort. But anything under 23 seemed a fantasy. 

NEW YEARS DAY 2015 - a small event of 100 runners! having a run outside of the normal Parkrun Saturday AM. 

Prep wasn't great a night in on the couch with good friends of ours also expecting, meant the women stayed up till 1am talking nappies, cots, breast feeding and labor pains - while my friend Tony and I chugged cans and talked cycling, golf, football, oh heck we talked SPORT till 1am - estimated can consumption was over 5 and close to 10.

A PB is weird thing for me - if I give it too much focus I blow-up early and never quite get it. Like my golf swing if I over think it, I spray it. I've tried getting on the tail of stronger runners (thanks Michael) 

It was warm; I had a solid feed before I left the house some cereal, some fruit and a coffee for the road. The course looked great the vibe was good, and beers were staying in place I drank a little extra water and got moving from the start.

Maybe it was the thought of just ticking this run off and going home for bacon that made me stick a 4:09 first km and then power that flat section for 4:14 km No.2 - but then my head started to talk, positive talk! 

"Punch this middle hill under 4:30 and you got a crack at it Olly"

And the Garmin didn't lie; now Westerfolds 5km course has a heart-breaker at the 4km mark; its steep section that goes for about 1.2km but the up side always brings a down hill sprint so I just kept the legs going. 

I crossed that line, and just knew it! Didn't think I would do it, couldn't believe I had done it. 

PB's are a strange beast my thoughts on it is FUEL and ATTITUDE. 

My morning food intake was good, not heavy with small grains in milk and then a little bowl of fresh cut fruit, I may of fluked it with the beer drinking attempt but the light small coffee on the way to the park gave me an early kick I needed.

And my attitude was on point after the first km I had faith in my legs and quickly did my sums on my run. 

** Note I knocked this off a few weeks later to 22:11; Can I run under 22 is my new goal. And I'd like to run a 20 something by years end **

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