There’s a parkrun course about a mile or so away from my house that loops round an old victorian park. A lovely route, apart from the hill in one corner, and usually very well turned out on a Saturday morning. I reckoned that a run to the park and a few laps round before returning home would be about 10k, so a good route and distance for my long/easy weekend run.
I haven’t run as far this year, so quietly told myself I could walk at any point if I got into any problems. I knew very well that unless my legs near enough fell off, I was unlikely to take myself up on this offer, preferring to absolutely knacker every muscle I own ahead of slowing myself to andante (not to be confused with al dente), a walking pace.
I set off early, but it was already a glorious day with the sun beating down on one half of the road ahead, the other in shadow for now, perfect running conditions. I reached the park and ran three laps at a reasonable pace. The hill was still there to try to cause me problems, but nothing too stressful this morning.
Running laps means you see the same people going the opposite way several times. I’m a smiler, if I see someone else running towards me I’ll smile, nod, say hi if they haven’t got their music on. There doesn’t seem to be many like me, perhaps other runners are more focussed on their training plans, perhaps smiling at other runners just isn’t the done thing. Perhaps all the smilers do their laps in one direction and the non-smilers go round the other way, so our paths never cross!
Aside from the lack of interaction, the run went well, I trotted back along the same increasingly sunny roads I’d run along earlier and completed the distance in just over 56 minutes. This was an adequate marker of my progress, and more importantly there was no need for the walking option at any point. The next 10k target will be some consistency in the splits and moving towards a milestone of 50 minutes on the clock.