Pos: 8th Time: 20:00

And we’re back with another parkrun review! It’s just over a month since I’ve last done a parkrun but so much has happened running-wise since then.

So my last big race was the Rose Inn Relays on the fourth. Since then I’ve taken a week off and reintroduced myself to alcohol. Last week (Saturday – Friday) was a 37-mile week but unlike usual I backloaded most of my mileage.

On Tuesday there was no session. Instead we did a 5K run around Roath Park as part of #runforgav. The event was dedicated to a CDF Runner who tragically took his own life, and was to raise suicide awareness in general too. It was a great event, one of those where everyone gets together as one and makes the best of a bad situation.

Then on Thursday we had the Club Handicap race at Cardiff Bay. As I was using it as a training run I thought I’d run there and get a bit of mileage done – by a bit I meant six miles, certainly not the nine I did! Somehow I made it to the Norwegian Church before seven despite getting ridiculously lost! On the bright side I did a grand total of 13 miles that day, the most I’ve ever done.

And now onto today. The plan, which was perfectly executed may I add, was to catch a train from Llanishen to Cardiff Central then to Barry Island station which is just a couple hundred metres from the parkrun start. As Llanishen station was a fairly long walk away I thought I’d run there but I felt awful! Those 13 miles on Sunday were coming back to bite me!

Not gonna lie, the fact I saw the parkrun had been won in 18:54 the previous week gave me some incentive to go. That coupled with the fact that I fancied something different before I got into my Saturday Caedelyn Speedwork routine again.

By the time I got to Barry Island the temperature had gone up a lot. Scouting the competition I saw a guy in a British Milers Club vest – well “that’s my chances of winning gone,” I thought! I spoke to him after said he didn’t run for a club anymore, but obviously, he still had to beat me!

All jokes aside though this was mainly a fitness test. How fit was I after some time off and no proper speedwork in almost three weeks?

So we were off. Oliver Williams, who is very well known around the running community in South Wales, broke off leaving myself and a pack of four other guys behind him.

But that envisionment of a tactical race between five runners all carefully choosing when to burst didn’t last long. After 800 metres in the pack broke up and I was pretty much at the back of it.

The course takes you from the promenade and onto the coastal path, then it’s one lap of “Heartbreak Hill” before you trace your steps back the start and do another lap. After the first lap one guy dropped out, and with a course like this where you can’t find any rhythm, I don’t blame him!

I wouldn’t say I was really going for it but I was racing. Strangely I felt better on the second lap as I powered (I use this word loosely) up Heartbreak Hill for a second time before taking someone on the downhill. From there I kept 8th place.

That last kilometre came in at 3:48. According to my Strava the course was 5.14 km’s long  – hence me taking 20 minutes to do 5K at a pace of 3:53/km. Overall I was alright with the result, it was a tough course and I wasn’t absolutely hammering it like I did at Cardiff 10K or the at Rose Inn Relays.

Nevertheless I’ll be running the miles more than ever now as the XC season approaches. This will probably be my last racing blog for a while so get ready for some updates instead. I’ve got plans for when and what my training will be like too, but I’ll keep that to myself for now…