betterment personal running

parkrun #2

My second week of parkrun was as you might expect for the Portland Metro area in January: cold and rainy. Again was I virtually at the end of the pack, a cross of running and walking, and despite running out of gas early on, and despite thinking that I was slower this week than last week, I was actually faster, by 27 seconds (on Strava at least). That seems like nothing but it’s actually a pretty good jump in time.

I was concerned that my last night, late night workout would impede my ability to run this morning, slowed down by sore muscles and whatnot. But I woke up this morning virtually sore-free (Soreless? Sans sore?). The opening mile of the run felt like my legs might give out a bit, and for some reason I was sucking in air early on, which is what happened last week too; my 2 mi run on the track on Thursday saw me running two whole laps (around 8 min), so having to stop at around 4 min this morning was a little discouraging. But it’s not about the walk, or the run, really. It’s just about moving. So I kept moving. I walked when I needed too, I ran when I wanted to. I’m glad to have a Pixel Watch because I can check my heart rate, allowing me to pick up into a run when my heart fell to around 140 bpm.

My goal for the year is twofold, but is essentially the same: one, to get my time down to 10 min/mile, and two, to run the entire 5k without walking. It’s going to be an uphill battle against age and the past few years of sedentary lifestyle, but I think I can do it, and honestly, I think I can do it a lot earlier than I realize. Every time I run I get a little faster. It’s only a matter of time.

betterment personal running

And it’s not about you joggers, who go round and round and round (parkrun #1)

The title of this post refers to a Blur song called Parklife, which is now stuck in my head.

So I did a thing today: a friend and old high school classmate of mine, Annie, DMed me a couple days ago to refer me to parkrun, a casual, timed, 5k run started in the UK (Annie lives in London now) but has spread all over the country. There is one near Portland, at Rock Creek Trail which is either in Hillsboro or some unincorporated area called Somerset West; I don’t know how cities work anymore. It’s free and they time you and you get a barcode and everything. Sounded neat, so I went!

I only got one photo and there is a trash can and TWO poles in it. Great.

This event occurred about five days after I finally tested negative for covid, after being riddled with it since December 20th. So, you know, I wasn’t expecting much. In fact I assumed I would be walking the vast majority of it due to my lungs still healing from the badness.

Instead, I ran a PR. Granted, this is a 2022/23 PR, not a ten years ago PR, but still, the fact that I ran very well for this after having covid is amazing to me. I’m extremely proud of myself. What’s even better is that I had eaten cold pizza for breakfast just before leaving. This seals it — cold pizza is the best pre-run meal.

The drive there was fine. The drive home went through West of Ross Island Bridge territory, aka a Clusterfuck of Streets, which was annoying but not terrible. I will always write about my drive to and from races.

The event itself was excellent. A handful of very friendly volunteers (including a leader who was definitely from England herself) and a lovely little trail between some nice looking suburbs. Rock Creek Trail itself is a wetlands area (Rock Creek is a tributary of the Tualatin River) and I can’t wait to run through here in the spring and summertime. Everyone was friendly and encouraging; this was the first time running in my life where someone said “Good job, keep going” while they passed me on the course. That is worth 1,000 medals, believe me.

I plan to go to this every Saturday. In fact, I am replacing one of my New Years resolutions with this, because my “eat X amount of carbs in January” resolution flew out the window. This is a much more interesting resolution.