Unfortunately all hell broke loose at the day job, so Mrs was on and off the phone over night, and again this morning. Today's ride was off - rescheduled for tomorrow. Instead we'll go for a run together later this afternoon.
So that left me with a parkrun to do, but nothing afterwards. With working almost exclusively in Zone 1 lately, I have missed going for a 'balls out' parkrun, and seeing what I can do. With Kingston an easy 25 minute cycle away (a lovely warm-up and cool-down duration) I thought today was the day, let's put some real effort in and see how it goes.
I arrived at the start with a minute or two to spare, and joined the group. There seemed to be about 50 or 60 people there, a good size for a parkrun on a course that was fairly narrow in places, and had a number of people to navigate who were just out walking and enjoying their non-parkrun morning (they don't know what they're missing!).
Elevation (according to Garmin)
I had quite a clumsy arrangement to run in, with my iPhone tucked down one glove (I fancied some music for a change today) and my bunch of house and bike keys tucked down the other glove. We set off after the race briefing and I was immediately caught behind someone slower. I held back and waited for a gap, and pulled round. I felt good, fresh from only having had a 15 minute swim yesterday, and confident. I didn't have "new PB" as the be-all and end-all, but my previous was set almost a year ago at Wimbledon Common parkrun on 5th April 2011, so I felt like an improvement was due.
I went off a bit quick (as ever) but tried to keep cadence high and speed constant. I was surprised at how quickly I reeled in a few people over the first couple of km. I was running well, I knew it was fast, but it was a bit unfamiliar as I'd spent so much time at sub-150 BPM heart rate lately, and here I was well into the 160s.
I haven't seen Zone 3 for a long time!
I tried to wind it up on the return leg (it's an "out and back" course) and checked my watch for the only time - it said 17 minutes and something, and I was a few metres shy of 4km. I realised that means that all I needed to do was put in a sub-5 minute km and I should break 23 minutes.
I wound it up over the last 500m, had a near sprint for the line, and stopped my watch. Looking down I almost passed out in shock - not that I'd broken 23, I was kind of expecting that, but by how much!
My previous PB was 23:07 set at Wimbledon Common parkrun on 15th April 2011
I still start too fast and get slower before bursting at the end though - this suggests there's more to come just by better pacing even with no fitness improvement.
Even though all my training for the last 6 weeks has been focussed on Zone 1 - I still smashed it! I'm overjoyed, and really happy to see some results from my hard work.
This is definitely getting a "Gold" entry in the training diary.