Somewhere in the ether around Leeds Hyde Park, zipping between the trees and skittering over the grass are three seconds. My three seconds. The three seconds that jumped out of my watch and disappeared, leaving me that much short of a personal best at today’s parkrun.
I strongly suspect it was the guy in front of me who had them, he certainly shifted his feet pretty sharply as if he’d cheekily swiped those precious three seconds.
The weekly 5k started off well, I had the offer of a personal pacer to get me through. The most excellent Sam Dooley who’s returning from injury certainly saw it as a challenge to help me get a good time and keep the pace going so I couldn’t utter a word other than ‘ughhh’ and make spluttering sounds.
His encouragement was fantastic, while at the same time pushing and pushing, verging on quiet shouting moving up the scale to shouting. My earlier politeness in not wanting to push forward past slower runners definitely went out of the window, if I’d had the strength, I’d have yelled to the woman in the orange shirt and the guy with the pink water bottle ‘getoutoftheway!’ but I didn’t.
All the way around I was learning new ways of pain, new stances, hips forward, bottom in, arms back, THAT’S ARMS BACK! Counting the paces, pushing, panting. Forbidden to look at my watch, not that I’d remembered to set it going and not that I could see it through the exertion.
And in less than 30 minutes, there it was, the final push, the finish. Then someone stole my seconds, I had them with me when I set off, but they were gone. Three short of a PB, but still under the half-hour target that has eluded me for all but three of my 44 parkruns. It was a definite breakthrough, so next week… yes next week, I’ll not only find those seconds, I’ll make sure I lose them pretty damned quick, someone else can have them.
I wasn’t disappointed, though, far from it, I was thrilled, it was less than 30 minutes, I’d had a very good lesson from someone who knows what he’s taking about. Now it’s up to me!
From there I had to hot foot it to the Calverley Horticultural Society Annual Show where I was judge for the photography class. The dreadful summer weather had wiped out entire classes, there were no roses and a poor show from the vegetables. Fortunately there were photographs and some good ones at that. And cake, lots of cake, well, I’d deserved it.