One of the things outlined on my 30 by 30 list is to check off parkruns in 10 different locations. As the months tick by, I realise I’m not doing very well with the list in general, but this is one that I do intend to achieve.
Mile End parkrun is an event that had been on my list for a while as a possible “different location” parkrun. In terms of transport, it isn’t too tricky to get to and I used to live and work in the area, so I was eager to check it out. When Rachel responded to my tweet, saying that she’d also been intending to go, we decided to make it a date. It got even better when Will invited us over for brownies after.
Now, I must confess to harbouring the dream of going back under 30 minutes for 5k by the end of summer. I am stubbornly refusing to admit that I’m not fit enough to do so. I even idly dreamed that today might be the day. It wasn’t, for the following reasons:
- Lemon and thyme gin cocktails
- White wine
- Red wine
- 5 hours sleep
Anyway. Finely tuned athlete that I am, I ignored the knocking of a hangover headache and dragged myself out anyway. I met Rachel at Mile End Station and we enjoyed a slow amble to Mile End Park. The run starts outside the leisure centre, which is really useful for toilets, finding the start and meeting people. The event was a good size, of about 150 people and the Race Director called new runners over at 8.55am for a quick chat about the route. We ditched our jackets, I decided to try running without water and lined up for the start. There was a great mix of runners of all ages and abilities there, which was great to see.
The run started promptly on time and we were off! The route consists of two out and back laps of the park and is run exclusively of tarmac. This combined with the fact I assumed it woud be pancake flat, led to me convincing myself that a smashed post-pregnancy PB was on the cards.
I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.
Because who put a hill in the middle of the park?
The route was lovely, undulating with THAT hill and a lovely stretch along the canal. It was congested to begin with, but quickly opened out and it was fun cheering on the faster runners as they came back. Stretching the legs out on the downward slopes was great to claw back a few seconds and as I completed the first lap in 15:15, I did wonder if I pushed hard, could I manage to get close to 30:00. Alas, I didn’t quite have the legs for the hill on the second lap and flagged a bit in the hot sunshine by the canal. A push to the finish and I crossed the line in 31:32, my second best 5k time since coming back to running. Rachel also ran well and it was great to give her a wave as she was running back to my outs, speedy individual that she is!
And as a bonus, despite the heat, I think I have finally learned that I DON’T need water for a 5k run.
Friendly, encouraging marshals, great weather, nice company and a lovely park. A lovely parkrun, easy to get to and one to visit again.
And thanks Will for the brownies after – as you know, I “will” run for cake. Perfect morning with friends.