Over the summer, I visited Crystal Palace parkrun with my friend Dave. It was his first ever parkrun and I ran it with him, pacing him round just under 39 minutes. We had a great morning, but I was eager to go back and try to run it on my own to see what I could do.
So when my friend Stephen suggested some tourism, I was keen to accompany him. As I mentioned in my previous Crystal Palace parkrun report, it’s a pretty hilly route, comprising of two and a bit laps. The route is run on tarmac and a gravel path and it was also a yucky day! However, parkrun is parkrun come rain or shine and we lingered at the start, ready to begin.
I wasn’t really sure of what sort of time I was going to run. I was hoping that I might be able to shoot for another sub-30 time, but feeling slightly lethargic with my period meant that my head wasn’t entirely in it. I struggled up the hills and then battled with some headwinds on the downhill swoops. During the second lap, I glanced at my watch and decided that I’d be happy to hit 32 minutes.
So my run went something like this:
KM1: Don’t go too quick, remember the hill, remember the hill. Hill! Huff, puff. Damn, slow km.
KM2: Huff, puff. Ok, downhill, weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Ugh, wind.
KM3: Hill. I hate you.
KM4: Hill, still hate you. Ah, downhill ahead!
KM5: Wee—–waaaaait! DAMN YOU HEADWIND!
A quick glance up ahead and I could see the 32 minute pacer, so I concentrated on chasing her down over the last kilometre, crossing the line in 31:54 and racking up my 37th parkrun, thankfully without sliding through the mud on my bottom as we approached the funnel. Do be careful at your various parkruns as the weather changes – Crystal Palace is mostly tarmac, but there was definitely the opportunity for a mudbath at the end and the gravel path also got slippery, with one runner taking a tumble near the start.
Crystal Palace has definitely highlighted to me that I need to stop being such a wimp when it comes to hills and get out there and train on them!
If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge for your weekly parkrun adventure, then do add Crystal Palace to the list. It’s a toughie, but pretty and friendly, with a well equipped cafe for a post-run cappuccino! It’s also pretty accessible, thanks to London Overground with Crystal Palace, Penge East and Penge West all being located close to the park. I intend to visit again in a few months time, with the aim of going sub-30. Challenge on!