Pos: 13th Time: 18:39

With other local parkruns being cancelled around the area because of Storm Dennis, it was up for debate whether Cardiff Parkrun was going to be on this morning. Fortunately, the conditions weren’t too bad, just wet and bit blustery.

So 18:39 – but how did I run it? Well I think the way to describe my performance this morning was ballsy, but ultimately I ended up choking at the 4K mark.

In recent weeks the attendance for Cardiff averaged about 900, but today there were just 691 runners. This meant it was quite sparse at the front, and while my mate Chris was darting off in the first K, I stuck with a group of about four or five who seemed to be running at a decent pace.

In that group of four of five, everyone’s run was similarly paced, so when I slowed down at 4K it was because others around me had.

So for the first two K’s I hit a 3:31 and a 3:36. Mile record done, two-mile record done, and I felt fairly comfortable. Coming out of the forest and into the university playing fields section I remember just having a good feeling – was all my extra training going to show in my time at the finish?

3rd K = 3:45. Okay, a bit slower but not losing it. But on the fourth K I did in fact lose it. “It” being any chance of a sub-18, or at least a low 18.

As I said before, the group around me slowed down around the fourth K and so did I. 3:56. That fourth K has literally bugged me all day because I know I lost concentration at that point. Even waving to someone filming as toward the end of the playing fields section. If I was really in the zone I wouldn’t have even noticed that!

There was a bit of a battle between me and this younger guy at the end, and somehow he took me as well as the two guys in front near the finish. He must’ve been like 17 so fair play.

As per a massive shout out to the volunteers who make parkrun happen. I might even put something in the San Dom newsletter about volunteering at some point because it is so important to the sport as a whole. I did quite a lot last year and it’s a genuinely good feeling cheering other people on.

Just before I got my bar code scanned by said volunteers I had a chat with my neighbour who only won the whole thing! Okay, it’s a parkrun so technically he didn’t “win”, but coming home first at one of the UK’s biggest parkruns isn’t something to be sniffed at. Moreover, it’s a dub on the Power of Ten.

Anyway, some thoughts to close this blog post in general. I’ve said this before but I think my 5K could be a lot faster. It’s not just me saying it either. My PB came in August of last year and compared to then I feel fitter, faster and stronger.

Realistically, I don’t think I’m going to be happy with a 5K unless I, a. Dip under 18 minutes or b. win. Not saying I didn’t enjoy this morning, because I honestly do love parkrun. At the same time I need to stop thinking, “I ran these splits in training so automatically I should be running said time.” Nah that’s not how it works man. What I just need to do is run, or race, in the moment.

For the first time in a little while I’ve hit a bump in the road with training. Mentally my running hasn’t quite been clicking lately and I’ve found myself getting annoyed with certain aspects of the sport while contemplating going back to playing football. A sport that I’m better at, a sport which isn’t just about a comparison of your numbers on a spreadsheet to someone else’s. Maybe I’ll feel different after my long run tomorrow but we’ll see!