Friggate park is about 2.5 miles from my house, probably a little shorter as the crow flies. With London Marathon next Sunday I was apprehensive of going up and having a full on blast at this organised time trial, but I thought I would go anyway. After all, it is on my doorstep (in comparison to Cramond which is 10 miles away).
Louise and Stuart were staying at the hotel about a mile from my house as Stuart is running the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday 19th and they had also decided to go along to the parkrun so it was good to see some familiar faces including them, Ian and Lorraine, Kieran, David and a few others. It was a lovely morning in Figgate Park, sunny, a light easterly breeze and cool. Ideal running conditions. I left the house in plenty of time, no breakfast, only coffee, and headed up through Brunstane to Portobello Park along to Figgate. It was busy when I got there, and very busy by the time the race started. On the way up, I was watching my heart rate as the HRV value this morning was not favourable for a hard effort even though I took yesterday as a rest day, so it was no surprise to see a heart rate of 140+ for 7:30 pace, normally that would be 6:30 pace. I knew I wasn’t firing on all cylinders and as it was, with London next week, I was happy to not push too hard anyway.
At the start there was the usual H – B – T shouts from those in the shity brown vests (yawn, will they ever get as bored as we are of that – D.U.L.L, they are like sheep, baaaaaa). Anyway, David Limmer from the local club shot off like a bullet, along with a few others, I was quite happy to let them go and settled into a pace, watching my heart rate all the way. I was hoping to settle on a marathon paced heart rate but was a few beats higher than that. The parkrun is 3 laps, more yawns, and I managed to pass a few on the first half mile and ended up in third spot directly behind a young lad. He was pushing hard and I was quite happy just sitting in behind him. David, on a mission, was already 200m up ahead by the time we got to the first bridge crossing. My HR was creeping over threshold and I decided to reign it in a little and get the HR back down to a normal level. The lad in front seemed to slow in the second lap and I was just running at a sustained effort and passed him. He had other ideas though and within the next 30 metres had passed me again. A quick look at my watch showed that I had breached threshold effort again, so held back the pace and on the third lap Richard passed me looking very strong for having run the G2E with me a couple of weekends before. Great running by these guys and I was happy just sustaining my effort to the end and letting them go for it. Crossed the line as 4th finisher, first auld guy, and was actually quite happy with my effort levels and pace considering the elevated heart rate on the way up. It was also elevated on the jog back home, but that may have been due to the harder effort. So I crossed the line in 17:46 (I think my slowest park run for some time) with an average heart rate of 165 (about 91% of max and roughly half marathon effort) so I am actually quite encouraged by that. My legs still feel tired from the G2E and there was certainly not much else there today in terms of speed, but that is fine, on previous parkruns, my average HR has been at 175 or more, showing there is about 20-30 seconds per mile in there on when I am feeling a little fresher. David Limmer of Protobello Running Club had a great run to cross the line in 1st spot with a time of 16:24. given the undulations and the number of sharp turns on the course (3 times as well), I think this is a very good run from him and I am sure on a flat course he will be approaching that magical 16 minute barrier.
The parkrun itself got off to a great start, very well organised and I saw no mishaps or issues. If there were any they were well hidden so a big doth of the cap to the organisers as they seem to have a wee gem of a parkrun not too far from me. The only slight issue is the 3rd lap. The guys and girls at the front will always have to navigate through those at the back of the pack, but hey, it’s a parkrun, let’s not take it too seriously!!
Good jog home with Stoosh and Lou, good luck to Stoosh at tomorrows run, I am sure he will blast it.