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Not the Preston Park Run ...
19-10-2017, 01:40 PM,
Not the Preston Park Run ...
... it’s the Preston Park Park Run. Which is confusing when you are looking for it on twitter.

My park run PB was set on my very first park run in December 2013 - at Hove Park Park Run with Sweder, when I ran 23:27. At the time I didn't appreciate that it was actually quite a good time (for me).

And then over the course of 31 runs subsequently over 6 other park run venues I failed to get close to matching, let alone beating the time. With most of these being at the hilly Bevendean Down Park Run - fourth hilliest in U.K. - getting an overall PB there was never going to be on. So it was easy not to get hung up on the overall PB. 

Then I ran Hove Park again in December 2016, and came within 10 seconds of the PB. So I thought this has to be on! These last 6 months, with regular injury-free running, I felt like planning to beat it would be doable.

I’d asked a former colleague from Sussex university to pace me to beat 23 min. And we fixed on 14 October for the attempt. We discussed options and I'm not sure why I didn't say Hove Park (my two quickest ever times) - but I went for Preston Park instead. I had done 8 runs there so thought I knew it better. Mentioning this to Chris Gilbert a few days before, he said - of course there is that 180 degree turn there, so make for harder PB.

In my favour though was excellent couple of Lewes AC track sessions - with the one on Thursday two days before the attempt being run at a v satisfying 4 mins per km pace. And I realised pacers do work for me - since I had just set a PB at Bevendean the week or so before, trying to chase after an impossibly springy 10 year old who bounded round the course like it was a game in the playground. So Saturday beckoned.

I arrived in good time to find Chris in official pacer’s top - with a handy piece of paper giving him 4:35 as the target to stay ahead of.  Some warm ups and dynamic stretches for me - and the race directors spiel - and we were off.  

Preston Park is quite popular and there were over 400 present. So the start was a touch crowded. But we quickly settled into a 4:20 rhythm - and aside from Chris stopping to retie his laces and catching me up - the first two km were well within time. 

Then the crunch came - with the third and fourth km being much tougher to hang on to. A pic of me cresting the mini hill at just over 3km shows a grimace of pain (which I don't really recall - though I do remember calling out to my partner that it was "f**king tough"). And Chris was two or three strides ahead of me urging me on as we did the 180 turn for third time and headed down last km.

I lost track of time - and couldn't work out if I was just ahead of or just behind where I needed to be. Chris admitted afterwards that he thought I wasn't going to make it. But I knew I would have a last sprint in me, and sure enough at 400m to go I summoned up the memory of the track session and pushed on ahead.

As I crossed the line ahead of Chris I knew (since Chris is a fine pacer) I'd done it. And my Garmin confirmed I was a good 10s plus inside the time. And it was done!

My nearly 4 year long PB has been broken: my 22:45 time took a 40 seconds off my overall PB and minute and 20s off my Preston Park Park Run PB. And I seemed to suddenly bump into people I knew, and I was able to modestly say I'd just broken my PR PB. Which was nice.  

Coffee and discussions with Chris about his aim to run 70 mins for the 10 miler the following day (he missed by only just over 1 min) and it was a very pleasant end to the morning's effort.

To pass on the karma, I will now be pacing my partner to see if she can break 25 mins this weekend back in Sheffield. No 180 turns and no Bevendean hills to contend with.
19-10-2017, 09:45 PM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
Well done, OATR! You seem to be in very good shape. Hopefully, you'll also break your Almería half PB next year.

Saludos desde Almería

23-10-2017, 01:44 PM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
So the briefest of updates on Hillsborough Park Run ... it was and is indeed a great course for breaking a PB - can recommend it wholeheartedly.

Sadly, however, my partner turned out to be at the early stages of a chest infection and at 4km in - on course to break PB and hit around 24:45 - she could go no further and we had to stop.

She's now recovering from nasty bout and fingers crossed will be on the mend soon.

But the good news of course is that the PB looks eminently doable Smile
27-10-2017, 01:32 PM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
Quick note on continuing good track sessions - I managed to lead/pace the 2b group at the session yesterday

6x400m (1m35s; with 90s static rest between)
6x300m (1m11s; with 90s static rest between)
6x200m (41s; with 60s static rest between)
6x100m (19s; with 60s static rest between)

V positive for me since I was able to do this session at 2b pace and run within myself. Makes me feel that step up to next group (2a) is conceivable
29-10-2017, 08:19 PM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
Very impressive. 6 x anything is urgh. 4 x 6 sessions is hard work. Well done!

Were those times predetermined and you had to try and match them?
30-10-2017, 08:39 AM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
(29-10-2017, 08:19 PM)marathondan Wrote: Were those times predetermined and you had to try and match them?

They send the times out by email beforehand.  They're nasty like that...
There is more to be done
30-10-2017, 10:56 AM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
As CC5 says they send out detailed times for each group - you are free to go in whichever group you want ... but you then have a very clear target pace to match (or ideally beat v slightly)
30-10-2017, 09:49 PM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
Ah OK so you were the de facto leader / pacer by virtue of being quickest in the group?
06-11-2017, 09:44 AM,
RE: Not the Preston Park Run ...
It's slightly more organised than that - the coaches make sure the groups are sensible sized and are paced by people who can hit the times and not go out too fast/slow. Usually the group I am in (2b) is led by one of the coaches - but we had larger groups 3 and 4 that week, so he was involved with them

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