Ushers do Parkrun

On Saturday Dan, two of his best friends and I headed to Northampton Parkrun for 9am (just!)
There was Me, with a 5k PB of 26:55 achieved almost exactly a year ago before I began concentrating on distance running. Dan, on his fourth Parkrun with a PB of 29:24. Usher #1 who regularly plays squash but was yet to experience a Parkrun and Usher #2 – with a PB of 21:06 set on a ‘hilly’ course.

The boys had all been out drinking until late the night before so had very little hopes of amazing times, although #Usher #2 told us there shouldn’t be any excuses with a course as flat as Northampton.
The gun went…I’m pretty sure all four of us started too far back and we all ended up picking our way through the 254 runners out in the perfect running conditions.

I hadn’t planned on aiming for a PB with my mileage this week hitting 49miles and so set off at a steady pace. I saw Usher #2 weave in and out of several runners and settle comfortably towards the front of the pack. Dan and Usher #1 set off together closer to the back. I was worried Dan’s competitive nature would see him setting off too quick and ending up injured, but luckily, since he has been using my old Garmin he has kept his pace nice and steady.

I didn’t feel like I’d set off too fast (8:50mm) but my body was telling me “No” towards the end so I ended up slowing right down.

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The one shot of me on this run was me doing my hair just before the camera! (Far right of pic) (Usher #1 in blue)

A PB for Usher #2 who finished 22nd in 20:41. Imagine what he could do whilst not hungover and having had sleep!
A 27:49 finish for first timer Usher #1 and no PBs for Dan or I as expected. I came through at 29:13 having slowed considerably during the second half.

Later that afternoon Dan was joined by his other two ushers and Dad for their suit fitting ready for the wedding (now only five months away!) Whilst the boys were out I managed to get in several hours of gardening; mowing, strimming and raking the front, back and side lawns and trimming back the hedges. Probably not the best plan before an eighteen mile long run the following day…

Sunday morning I was up brought and early again, ready to take on my first eighteen miles of the year. I have very low expectations of myself this time round for the marathon in April. I know I haven’t completed as many speed sessions as I should have done since my injury in November and my pace has dropped considerably! These are the stats from my first Milton Keynes marathon in 2012…

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Although obviously fading towards the end I was quite happy with how consistent I had been for the first half of the race and how good I had felt on the day. It’s worth pointing out that the weather was awful-severe flooding and high speed winds. I ran through puddles halfway up to my knees at one point a few miles before the end! My official chip time was 5:06:52 but my Garmin paused itself when I dived into the loo at mile 11. Stupid queue for the loo and stupid Garmin for letting me think I’d gone sub 5!
Most of my long runs in the build up to race day had been run at 10mm pace. A speed which is now a minute or more quicker than my current long run pace!
I obviously still had a lot to learn about running, marathons and my body at the time…as I still do now!
This time round I am much more motivated to get out and put the miles in… enjoying running five or six days every week but my head and chest aren’t letting me pick up the pace back to where I was. One day I’ll be back where I was again, I’m sure!
Anyway, yesterday was eighteen miles with Hayley before laying on my freshly mowed lawn (a mistake unless you want to look like a grass yeti) and stretching out on the floor because we could. At least my legs still feel good today!

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All being well my remaining long runs should go 18, 20, 15, 20m race, 15, 10, London!
What’s the longest distance you go up to during marathon training?…

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8 thoughts on “Ushers do Parkrun

  1. I only did one marathon, and the most I did was 20 miles, and that was a race- I did it as a training run and it was useful to have water tables and things instead of having to carry stuff with me. But if I did another marathon (0r when) I would do a few more at that sort of distance because I found the 20 miles fine (well, tough, but manageable) whereas I found the marathon so tough, I think I needed a few more of that distance to get used to being out that long.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Jantastic week 7 (first joker played)My Profile

    1. Yeah, that’s what I liked about slotting some races into my training runs – how handy it was to have everything laid out for you. No laps back past your house or to pick up Lucozade bottles from behind bins!

  2. How cool that the ushers did Parkrun. And wow what a great time for Usher number 2!
    I’d love to do more long distances in my current training but I don’t have time sadly. I think I’ll do a 17 (though hopefully 18) in a few weeks time but it’ll be three weeks before the actual race which is making me nervous…I’m hoping that the crows and adrenaline will get me through!
    For Berlin (my autumn marathon for this year) I definitely will have a better lead up (touch wood that I’m not injured again!!) I’ll have done some base building and 10ks during the summer and then have a proper plan going forward where I’d hope to get a 18 and a 20 miler in.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…15 miles, chicken and chocolateMy Profile

    1. I know! Can’t imagine my bridesmaids doing it though unfortunately!
      17/18 will be fine before the big day…the crowd will get you round the last little bit, especially with the crowd being so a large one at Paris.
      I’m hoping for a better build up for the Autumn marathon as well. Paris and Berlin? Very jealous! After this year I need to get some sight-seeing races booked in!

    1. I went up to 22 miles before my second marathon and probably hit my best on that day – an awful marathon followed! I think I’d be nervous of doing more than 20 miles in the build-up again now.

  3. Only just got around to reading this – a great blog, however I feel you should have dished out the numerical order of ushers due to our finishing positions 😉

    Kind regards,

    Usher Number 1 (nee Usher Number 2)

    1. Haha! OK in all future blog posts (and perhaps real life as we get closer to the wedding!) I shall refer to you as Usher Number 1! I guess your spectacular performance on the day did earn you the title. 😛

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