Tag Archives: Roundshaw Downs Park Run

5k – I Did It

There is no more Couch to 5K. I have done it. I have actually run the full 5 kilometres of the Roundshaw Downs Parkrun. It wasn’t very fast, but it was faster than last week and I did actually run the whole way. It was also fairly hard work, mainly because it was/is quite hot today. The air temperature was in the high twenties, even at nine in the morning. Leaving my drink bottle on the kitchen table didn’t help either.

I decided not to repeat last week’s mistake of being at the front of the pack at the start. A mistake in two ways.

  1. It was too easy to get carried away and try to keep up with the people who do the run in under twenty minutes.
  2. When my body quickly caught on to the fact that it wasn’t going to do the run in sub-twenty minutes, I was in danger of being trampled to death by the stampeding horde behind me.

This week I started at the back of the group. Lord Wallington’s daughter Katie made an excellent pacemaker for about half of the first lap, before she disappeared off into the distance. Lord Wallington himself had wisely blagged the job of Run Marshall for this week. There might have been a bit more to it, but it seemed to consist of barking a few instructions at us before the start, then retiring to the shade of the trees while the rest of us sweated our way round.

Starting at the back had the advantage of allowing me to occasionally overtake other runners, which gives a bit of an ego boost. There were no ten year olds in Chelsea kits overtaking me either. The marshalls situated at various points around the course were good substitutes for C.M.L. Obviously less Californian*, but still encouraging. “Come on, you’re doing well.” “Keep it up only 2k to go”. The one I liked best though was “Go on it’s all downhill to the finish from here”.

As I predicted my finish position is over one hundred places better than last weeks. Mainly because there were about 100 fewer runners. No major inter-church showdowns this week, although quite few runners were wearing their church running shirts. Some of which had appropriate? bible quotations such as Hebrews 12:v1 on them.

My result
Pos parkrunner Time Age Cat Age Grade Gender Pos Club Note Total Runs
97 John MANDERSON 38:39 VM60-64 41.48% M 64 New PB! 2

I won’t be able to do the run next week because I have to work, or probably the following week, because I have been invited to my temporary pacemaker’s wedding, but I think that the run will become a regular feature of my Saturday mornings.

I have now completed my Couch to 5k programme, so this is the last blog in the Couch to 5k series. I will carry on running (and blogging about it occasionally), probably trying to get a little bit faster rather than going further, though C.M.L. thinks I should sign up for her 10k programme. Maybe later dear, in a couple of months. Let me enjoy and consolidate my achievements.

And since you asked, yes I do feel just a little bit like an “Awesome Runner”.

Even if I don’t look to much like one in the photo

I also think I deserve a “Malt-Based Recovery Drink”

The run is on Strava. My GPS watch lost the signal going through the woods so it looks as if I have cut a corner on the first lap – honest I didn’t.

A couple of personal bests

  • PR Park Run Lap(16:43)
  • PR Start to first corner(3:37)

Interesting that I was faster to the first corner this week than last, despite not going off like a scalded cat.

*There was a guy from San Francisco doing the run this morning.


Couch to 5k Day 22

The master plan is more or less back on course. I didn’t have to be anywhere before 10:00 so I decided  to do my run before breakfast this morning. The temperature was forecast to reach  31°C in the early evening, when I would normally do my run on a work day. I thought it best to get my run in early while it was still relatively cool.

I dispensed with C.M.L. today, partly because I knew exactly what the run was and I could time it on my watch and partly because I had forgotten where I had left my phone charging. I kind of missed her telling me that I am an “awsome runner”, even if my results say otherwise.  I repeated last Friday’s 25 minute run, but managed to do it at a bit faster pace.

Date distance (km) Run Time Pace (min/km)
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 3.48 25:02 7:12
Fri, 15 Jul 2016 3.39 24:57 7:22

The full run is as usual on Strava

I think that I might try the same trick tomorrow. The forecast isn’t quite as bad but it will still be well into the twenties at five p.m.
On Saturday I will attempt to run the full 5k of the Roundshaw Downs Parkrun and hope to finish better than

210 John MANDERSON 39:36 VM60-64

and also hope to beat the 39:36 I set last time.

COUCH TO 5K DAY 20 also including Day 21


Today has left me with a major dilemma. I did the wrong run this morning. Instead of doing the run that I should have for day 20 I did the run for day 21 instead. The run should have been the same as Wednesday’s. A twenty-minute run with a warm-up and cool down. Instead I clicked on day 21, a twenty-five minute run. I was merrily shuffling round the park wondering why C.M.L. hadn’t told me that I was at the half way point. When she eventually told me that I had reached half way, my watch said that I had been running for twelve and a half minutes. I twigged what I had done straight away. I had selected the wrong programme. I could have just gone by my watch and cut the run short at twenty minutes, but heart overruled the head and I decided that I would do the full twenty-five.

I did it ok, but I could feel that I had gone a wee bit far by the end. Thus confirming the wisdom of the programme.

No new records today, probably confirming my thoughts that Wednesdays figures were GPS assisted, just these;

  • 2nd best estimated 2 mile effort (23:46)
  • 3rd fastest time on Through the Park (8:44)

The whole run is here on Strava.

Update Saturday 16/07/2016

I have added even more confusion into my carefully regulated programme. Everything was carefully calibrated to ensure that next Saturday I would be fit, ready, primed and honed to take on the full five kilometers of the Roundshaw Downs Parkrun. However over a couple of pints at the Duke’s Head on Thursday evening, Lord Wallington, who don’t forget is responsible for getting me into this in the first place, persuaded me that it would be a good idea to do the Parkrun this Saturday, because it would be its seventh birthday and all the churches in the area were using it to have some sort of inter church showdown  friendly race. That should have warned me off straight away. Let’s face it church people can be all sweetness and light and love thy neighbor on the surface, but when it comes to grinding the church down the road into the dust over 5k, they can be pretty ruthless.

I decided that I would rise above, or to be more precise sink below all this inter-church rivalry and do my own thing. I normally have at least a day off between runs and never having run this far before I decided on a conservative run/walk/run strategy. The plan was three-minute run and a one-minute walk, though by the uphill section on the second lap that had gone to a two-minute run followed by a two-minute or possibly slightly longer walk. It got me round in a new Personal Best for 5k (don’t forget I have never done 5k before).

There were a few of slightly embarrassing episodes;

  1. Being passed by a couple of kids in Chelsea shirts who looked about eight and ten, though they did run out of breath and stopped about 200 metres later.
  2. I was actually running down the home straight on the first lap when I was passed by a blur of orange and black and thinking ” did you start late?” Then looking at my watch and realising “he’s finishing his second lap”. I discovered later that it was this guy who, is a bit of a local legend on his way to a new P.B.
    1 Tom HIGGS 16:52 SM20-24

    He is less than half my age

  3. Following someone who was on the same run/walk/run strategy as me almost all the way round, without realising until I got to the finish that I had known him for about twenty years. To be fair all that I really saw of him on the course was his backside.

I finished in a moderately respectable time and I wasn’t last.

210 John MANDERSON 39:36 VM60-64

I was also sixth in my age category (Veteran -read old- Male aged 60-64). I think, although I haven’t checked too hard that there were more than six of us in the category.

I expect to improve my finishing position by at least one hundred places next week. Mainly because there won’t be quite so many hyper-competitive church people in matching running shirts.

I also set some personal bests, which I hope to beat next week;

  • PR on Home Straight (3:09)
  • PR on Roundshaw Hill Dash (1:19)
  • PR on Park Run Lap (17:46)
  • PR on Start to first corner (3:41)

The full results are here and this the link to my  Strava results 

This doesn’t complete my Couch to 5k adventure because I still haven’t run a full 5k, hopefully I will acheive that next Saturday. I will probably skip my normal Sunday run tomorrow., but if I am up and the weather is good I might go for a pre-breakfast walk instead.