Last weekend were the 2 hottest days of the year so far. Although it is May the heat was more like August or abroad not the normal UK May weather.
I have mixed feelings about running in the sun. I do like days where the sun is out but the weather more spring like and not scorching summer. I like to feel some warmth but there is a fine line between the warmth I like and the oppressive heat I dislike when running.
Saturday started with celebrating an anniversary at a local parkrun. Raphael parkrun is more local than my home parkrun (Harrow Lodge) but was not around when I first started to help out at parkrun and to be honest although the course is hard at Harrow Lodge I prefer it as it is 1 lap, so you don’t get lapped by the faster runners and it is a mix of trail and path.
Raphael parkrun is a 2 ½ lap course all on paths and so you have to tolerate being overtaken by the super fast runners (even if they are good friends) and seeing the same parts of the park in some cases 3 times – I am talking about a nasty hill that needs to been run up 3 times.
Parkrun always needs to keep to time, for some people their Saturday morning parkrun is a small slot of time where they can escape for 40 minutes and get back home without making a dent in family time. When I have been a run director at my one I have always kept to time. Anniversary parkruns always have awards and trophies, so awards tend to start at 8:45 ensuring that the run still goes off on time. This run didn’t, despite the speeches starting at 8:45! At 9.15 there were still speeches going on and the new runners briefing had even started. I could feel the morning warming up second by second, the sun coming into full view over the houses and trees and there were a lot of restless people around me.
We finally were underway just after 9:20. The last time I ran over at Raphael Park I was just coming back from my injury, it was quite possibly the worst run ever, my leg ached and I was wearing trainers that felt they were ripping my feet to bits, I did not get on them, and have given away since (they get on with them fine). So I was a little apprehensive running Saturday morning. I took off slow and steady, as I approached the hill for the first time the full force of the morning heat hit me I had realised that my drink was in my bag by the start and there was no going back for it now. By the time I got to the tennis courts the full force of the sun was beating down, it was very open there, no dappled shade to take the edge off and I needed a drink. On the start of the second lap I was able to shout out to my friend who had come over to help out that I needed a drink and as I came past hubby ran over with my bottle (luckily he had just finished), I gulped the liquid down and instantly felt much better. I finished the parkrun close to my PB, not bad considering and I left there sweaty but chuffed with myself. Note to self, make sure I have my running bottle close by on hot runs and make sure parkrun speeches are kept short and sweet.
Sunday was Beachy Head training and oh boy the heat of the day was already making itself known at 9am as we congregated near Hainault Country Park. This time I was prepared, I had my running bottle with me and I was prepared to run with it! We were going to walk/ run loops, each loop was 2 ½ miles and they were hilly. The idea was to walk up the hill run down the other side and jog the flats. The idea was to try and get a good overview of how well we would do completing the Beachy Head marathon and what we need to work on over the coming months. I was tentative at the start, it sounded horrendous I didn’t think I would even make 1 loop. How wrong was I? I managed 7 ½ miles or 3 loops and it was brilliant. This is my new favourite route and I am planning to come back and use it for my training. I liked how it was a loop so I could do as much or as little as I wanted. Some parts were in full shade and some out in the open but the shade made up for the open parts. The hills were tough but they have given me something to work on and when I go back I want to see if I have improved.
The next GP race is looming, I will post up a review of the 10k once done and dusted!