I was tired last night, after an interrupted night’s sleep on the train and didn’t sleep much better in the hostel. Too hot, too noisy to be ideal. As soon as I got out to jog the 2k to the park I was fairly sure this was not going to be a great run. I’ve had mornings where I’ve not been up for it, but felt even heavier this time.
Last night’s run had reawakened tiredness from the Thunder Run. On reflection, that might have been a better run than I have it credit, but today I paid for it. If given myself plenty of time, so got to the park and did a couple of laps round the course. The parkrun.dk website was back up, which was encouraging, but I was aware that my Danish stretches only to tak and pastries so I couldn’t check everything was on. On my second lap, chalk arrows had started to appear on the ground, and whoever was marking them was working somewhere up ahead of me, with the legend ‘parkrun’ appearing on the start line, and after a further smaller loop it was joined by the event no, #94, which was a nice touch.
Still heavy legged, though, so I withdrew into the third rank of runners. The front few went off, and I gave it what I had. Spotting I was outside the front ten I held the pace for a while and picked off a few, working off the first lady who surprised me. I had spotted a willowy youth, who looked quick but I passed early. Instead there was a singlet wearing lady out front who was surprisingly quick. Perhaps she had gone off too hard, and I passed her to slip into ninth. The course is flat, three laps of a loop that is just slightly, maybe 60m, more than a mile, so the finish is just slightly offset from the start. Mile one was respectable, 5:54, but I was expecting to be in better shape than that by now. Tiredness was showing itself and mile 2 was 6:30 and, worse, towards the end of the lap I could hear the patter of closing feet. I pushed on, holding them for half a lap, now with just over a k to go, wondering if there were one or two people with me, and beckoning them through. They didn’t go on the corner, though, but took me a few hundred m later, into the wind on the side of the oval. It was the singlet lady and a blue topped companion-in part I’d underestimated her, in part just been running at a pace I couldn’t keep. I upped my effort to go with them, and they’d erred-they hadn’t made it stick. We were together, in an echelon (who has been reading cycling mags, then) of 3 for 100m and then I overtook again, holding it onto the last long stretch. I dug in a little, realising that they weren’t going to go past and catch 8th as I’d expected though we could still see him. That final stretch seemed to have picked up the wind that had previously been on the edge before it, and I figured that would give me a shove to the finish as it reversed. Feet were still with me and I hung on, now realising I was gaining on 8th. I caught him before the final gentle left turn (anti clockwise course) and he groaned and came with me-he was a younger man and i tried to encourage him, wondering whether younger legs would do for me but almost wanting to see it happen. But I had enough, and held off him and blue top man (for it was he who had come with me). Mile 3 6:25, the last section at 3:20km pace, holding 8th, but nowhere near 18 mins, let alone wondering if I’d get near 17, which is the form I’m aiming for (and had in Ireland, so no big reason it’s not there now).
I shook hands with singlet lady, hoping she wouldn’t find it condescending, and tapped blue top on the stomach, making him flinch where he lay on the ground with eyes closed. he chuntered, but in Danish and I could only offer “sorry, I’m visiting” and hope for repetition in English which didn’t come. Two others compared runs as I collapsed on the grass-in perfect English, though neither were English, it turned out-and the fit bloke who finished off the front three in 18:26 had “his slowest run ever”-his pb in the 16s. Amager Faelled is the bigger run (though not by much today) but I would have placed more highly there; I’m glad of the workout, and for what it has taught me about how repeated hard runs with a break affects my legs. It was tough, then, for all of us in the mugginess, but for me the tiredness got to me-45km over a weekend is a lot like having a marathon in the legs, and maybe the travel added a bit, given that I’ve had better parkruns the week after a marathon.
I got back to the hostel at over 10m/m pace, showing how tired I was. In fact, as I contemplated a shower I realised I was struggling and stuffed some food and water in before heading to the park to sleep and recover. I originally thought I’d run again today to make up for a day of travel tomorrow, but I don’t think it’ll happen.
The cemetery park is a good place to lounge in the sun. When there is sun-it has turned into a cloudy day, in fact. It’s a little oasis of calm, though I get the distinct sense of ‘things’ happening. An hour or so ago music was playing off to one side, which might have been a repeat of the exercise class in the park I caught yesterday, or something else short lived. I can hear traffic moving quickly, which must have been there all along but without my noticing. It’s busy somewhere, anyway, but on my agenda is a trip to Netto for more food. That’s it.
Noticing I was cold I finally moved from the park at 3. Within a few minutes it threw it down but it was just a shower, so I sheltered in a doorway. In Netto I tried to pay with a Swedish note-at least I know I’ve got one, as I travel in Sweden for several hours tomorrow. Exactly what the £2 20k note will get me, now I check its worth, I’m uncertain.
Summary: parkrun 19:32, 5km. Warm up etc 47:50, 8.29km