Celebrating my last day of being 34 at parkrun

Room set up for a birthday with bunting, party hats and a cake.

I got to bed early last night and woke up feeling refreshed this morning. I had my usual porridge for breakfast and got dressed for parkrun. As it would be Kirsty’s 50th run, I decided to wear my parkrun 50 club t-shirt to help motivate her. I then had to decide which shoes to wear. Having worn ‘my’ Brooks Cadence shoes all day at work yesterday, I decided that I would give them a running outing.

On arriving at parkrun, I found Kirsty, but Tony was nowhere to be seen. As usual, I had to answer 101 questions and try to organise lots of people, so I failed to get in any kind of warm up. I also had a chat with James. He has very kindly lent me his Garmin footpod as I can’t find mine and I want to know what my cadence is.

Lining up

Just before the airhorn sounded, Tony arrived, so I lined up with him and Kirsty. We were probably in the final third of the pack, which I knew would make a difference to my time, but I didn’t really think I would have much chance of getting near to 26 minutes, but wasn’t too fussed. However, as soon as the horn sounded, I wanted to run. I spent the first 500m trying to move around slow runners who had lined up near to the front, and was soon enjoying the run down to the Bellemoor with Alice next to me and Kirsty and Tony just behind. I decided to make the most of the downhill as I knew that the hill was coming up next and I seem to be rubbish at hills these days.

Part way up the hill, Mike Bisson (one of the fastest men in my running club) whizzed past. I guessed that he had arrived late as usual. Mike would win so many more races if he turned up on time! Alice and I pushed on and I was surprised that I wasn’t feeling too bad. I could see my friend Jez up ahead and wondered whether I would be able to catch up with him. I made myself keep pushing up the hill and was glad when we reached the top. One more lap and then it would be the final downhill km.

I tracked Jez for the second loop, but just couldn’t catch up with him. At the top of the second hill, Alice made a break for it and I just couldn’t keep up with her. A gap opened up, but I was also aware that there was no-one behind me. This may have helped as I love trying to out-sprint someone. I could hear Irene cheering as I crossed the line.


I looked at my watch: 25:26 (although the official parkrun time was 25:32). Finally, back under 26 minutes and a PB at Southampton parkrun. I also checked my past results and realised that it was my second fastest 5k (1 second ahead of a time I recorded at Eastleigh last year). This has given my confidence a massive boost. I am now feeling more confident that I can achieve a PB in Paris. I just need to keep going to the track.

As for the shoes, my feet and legs are feeling great at the moment, so maybe they are shoes that I could run in. My only concern is that they don’t last as long as other shoes. I’ve got 3xBrooks Vapors, 1xBrooks Adrenalines, 1xAsics 2160 and 1xSalomon SpeedCross, so I guess I have enough shoes at the moment.

I am feeling so motivated right now. I hope tomorrow’s race also goes well and that I can do well in my swimming lesson. Getting some data about my cadence will be really interesting. I wish I had my heart rate monitor, so that I had that data as well.


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