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Saturday 9 February 2013

Week 8, Day 6: Poole Parkrun, Bitey Swans & a New PB

Week 8, Day 6

Goal: Parkrun + 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown

Actual: Parkrun + 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown

Today was the day to be a parkrun tourist! But this tourism stuff isn’t easy … I was up at 6am and had to leave the house at 7am as the nearest parkrun was almost 40 miles away. 40 miles doesn’t sound too far until you consider it was Dorset … so no motorways in the entire county and most of the journey through lanes and on single track roads. And stuck behind a Nissan Micra for 15 miles. Doing 35mph. Sigh. 

Hang on ... so HOW do I get to Stourton Caundle?

My car was in for MOT so I’d borrowed an ageing Honda. The first step was to get used to driving with a steering wheel the size of a cart wheel, the second was to realise I was now driving a petrol car, not a diesel … so it shouldn’t really sound as though I was driving a tractor. The economy light kept flashing at me as I kept letting the revs drop below 2,000 rpm. Good for fuel economy, but not great for getting anywhere very fast. Well … at least I sounded as though I was fitting into the county.  Just needed a bedraggled collie and a straw to chew and I’d be sorted.

Just before the start ..!

I got to Poole and managed to find the start. The weather wasn’t particularly inviting and the drizzle made everything slightly misty and damp. However, the volunteers and other parkrunners were very, very friendly and welcoming. I was soon spotted as a newbie and introduced to a few others. I was given an overview of the parkrun route and told to stay away from the swans as apparently they were ‘very bitey today’.

It was a very friendly atmosphere and to make it even better, there were pacers with bib numbers showing from 18 to 40 minutes to help everyone get the times they were aiming for. I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to improve my 5km time although ultimately my aim was to finally break into the 20 minutes … so not get overtaken by the 21 minute pacer! I had a quick check of the boating lake. 2nd aim – not get caught by any bitey swans. The ducks looked a bit hungry too.

2 laps of the boating lake

As usual the start was chaos as 436 people tried to get as quick a start as possible without tripping over their own feet, the feet of their neighbours or any of the small children who had positioned themselves at the front. I tried to bear Steve Marathon Coach’s advice in mind and tried to keep my pace as steady as possible while it seemed like the whole world and their children streamed past my elbows.

In short races, I’ve very often gone off far too fast and tired out quickly and spent the rest of the race feeling like hell and panting like a dirty caller, whereas in races with congested starts such as half marathons where I’ve been forced to keep a steady pace I’ve often had better results. 

The War Memorial

There was a layout change in the route today as part of the footpath was flooded so the start was moved to the War Memorial. This parkrun took us twice around the boating lake and then back to the café. It was a gorgeous route and flat as a pancake. The only gripe was that the paths were quite narrow so if you had runners running 2 abreast on the narrow path in front of you, you were stuck. Also on the second loop you caught up with people running their first lap which caused a few bottlenecks, but it was all amicable with everyone aiming for the same goal … a new PB. 

Shield your eyes ... I now have a matching T-shirt to go with my retina-burning socks!!

Previous PB (05/01/2013): 21:06

New PB (today!!): 20:39


6th woman / 164 women

54 / 436 people

Age Grading: 71.99 %


  1. Hey there Speedy Gonzales, congrats on the new PB!!!! :)

    1. Thanks Jen!! I'm still smiling about it now!! Can't quite believe I did a 5k in the 20s!! (OMG!!)

  2. excellent new pb, well done, u are flying in your training!

    1. Thank you!! To be honest when saw the training plan I thought it was going to be too much ... but I'm actually really enjoying it!! I hate to say it but it's going to be such an anti-climax when the training for Paris is all over!! What am I going to do with all the spare time??! Eeek!

  3. I've heard of purple haze but the pink flash is something new to me! congratulations :) !!!

    1. Hee hee!! Thanks Paul!! I felt like a real poser in the T-shirt ... but it was kinda cool at the same time! :)