Another PR in the books! A lovely sunny morning at Rock Creek Trail. This morning I decided to do my Garmin suggested run within parkrun, which was a 10 minute warmup and cooldown, with 17 minutes of running at threshold, 10:10/mi, in between. It made sense to adapt this into my parkrun at the time, and in the end it was great for my pace in general, but boy was it tough.
I ran .5 miles as a warmup beforehand, and then went off too fast because that’s just what I do. I was going to slow down when another runner came up beside me and asked me about my bone-conduction headphones. He was going fast too so I kept pace for a bit to talk and then just said “I gotta slow down” and let him go ahead. But even then I was running a little faster than my warmup pace (which is around 13:00/mi). However, this has become a thing now; I’m getting better at running which means 13:00/mi is a little slow, and I’m really going about 12:30/mi.
Anyway, then my warmup was over, and as you might suspect, my threshold run began uphill. There are two hills at my parkrun: the first is called “Deepak’s Torture Hill” on Strava and I have to agree with that assessment. This is where I started my threshold, and I hadn’t really factored hills into the whole thing. The second hill is at the turnaround point and has a boring name on Strava so I’m going to call it “Deepak’s Torture Hill 2: The Reckoning.”
So I started my threshold going uphill, which was hard. But I made it, and my pacing wasn’t … terrible. But I knew what was coming, so I made a decision to walk a couple of times in between DTH and DTH2 so I could bank a little bit of energy for my pacing overall. This is the legacy of Jeff Galloway, the man who told me that I could walk during my run and it would be okay.
The second uphill was hard, but thankfully, the rest of the course is mostly downhill, since you’re coming back the way you came. And so, when my threshold run ended and Garmin put me back on my warmup pace, a weird thing happened: I couldn’t go slower. I just couldn’t. I tried! I even stopped at one point briefly to wiggle out my numbing foot, but when I started up again, I went faster than I expected. My watch kept beeping at me to slow down but I didn’t, and at the last minute was me running even faster to reach the finish line.
I ended up 34:18 official parkrun time, which is a mind-boggling difference of 36 seconds. That’s a lot in running! It really opened up my mind and my body in terms of what I am capable of doing on a 5k race. I could feel the months of running and walking and exercise finally starting to click into place.
And that was that. I bought McDonalds afterward.
Next up is my first ever 10k race! The Foot Traffic Flat on Sauvie Island on the 4th of July. See you then.