After playing away at the Cambridge Parkrun on Saturday, and then dashing still sweaty and in running gear to a 10am meeting of mostly aging Physics examiners in the Cambridge Arms Hotel, I decided on the drive home that the exam marking could wait and I would join my daughter in the RunThrough Wimbledon Common 10k next day.
Although I wasn’t expecting to actually run with her, my 10k target, for a distance I have never run in an official race before, was sub 50 min and she has a PB of 41:51. But she insisted she would run with me, and ‘encourage’ me to get as close to my target as possible. It soon became obvious that the race wasn’t just a walk in the park, undulating well describes the course, with over 200m of climbs over the whole course. Cat let me make the pace, and it was steady as we completed the first 5k in 26:01. My wife and elder son were waiting for us at the 6k mark and after their encouragement we picked up the pace and actually touched 16k/h over a short stretch.
The oft expressed view of the benefits having a partner to run with was really proved to me during the last 4k. On a couple of occasions I am certain I would slowed noticeably if it hadn’t been for Cat’s friendly goading. I hadn’t been keeping a careful eye on our time, but looked when the finishing line came into view and was amazed to see we were well inside my target and we finished in 49:06 with a 3 minute negative split and the 2nd 5k in a time only a few seconds outside my Parkrun PB.
And you know you have pushed yourself to the end when you almost wretch when you stop!