Half Marathon training is well underway which is a good thing because I have already booked five for this year and it’s only February. I can’t work out if it is going well or not. On one hand, I seem to be able to run long distances very comfortably (no lying on floor groaning when I finish etc) but on the other hand the pace of these slow comfortable runs seems to be slower than ever. I know you are not supposed to do your long runs at anything approaching race pace but the trouble with that is that you don’t know until race day whether you can actually hold a pace 60 seconds faster than you have been training at for 2 hour and 34 minutes. I guess I will find out soon. Good job I have booked five of them.
Because I am now “focusing on my half marathon” I have a ready made excuse for doing really badly at other distances. This is fortunate because I did very badly at parkrun this week. It was another excursion to North West London (this seems to be my parkrun blackspot now), this time to Harrow to meet Eleanor and Gregory at the midpoint between their homes in the north and mine in EastEnders land.
Harrow is a pleasant though not particularly remarkable parkrun of three laps and an extra twiddle because the park isn’t quite big enough. The main points of interest are a cemetery on each lap (I wanted to go in and do some pruning/genealogy/birdwatching but this wouldn’t have improved my already crummy time) and the invisible hills. Yes, invisible hills. Harrow looks pretty much pancake flat, but it isn’t. It actually has a similar elevation to Mile End which is nearly as much as Finsbury Park and as much as Dulwich, Bromley and Barking put together. The first timers briefing man said something to the effect of “this course is not short, in fact it is a bit long, but everyone’s Garmin says it is short” so when I saw that my pace was stuck firmly in the sevens I hoped the short-not-short course would help me out by chopping two minutes off my time but clearly I am the only person in the world with an accurate Garmin and I clocked 5.1km and a tequilaofshameful 36:22. A great pace for a half marathon but not for a parkrun!!
Next week takes me back to the black hole of West London to visit Gunnersbury. I’m already planning my excuses.