Highbury Fields is an open space about a minute's walk from Highbury & Islington station. This Parkrun involves running five laps around the outside of the park. 235 runners took part this week.
This was my first Parkrun! Between you and me, I actually hate running. In fact, I hate most forms of physical activity and all sports (except chess). However, Matthew can be very persuasive and that is how I found myself at Highbury Fields before 9am on a Saturday.
I would normally be in bed at this time.
The very, very few runs I have done by myself lasted for no longer than a mile and took at least 13 minutes each. I thought, since this was the closest thing to a proper run I had ever done, I would aim for 12 minutes-a-mile and an overall time of 36 and a bit.
Lining up with lots of other people was very exciting. Some were wearing exciting looking T-shirts that said "London Marathon Finisher" and "IronMan Top 3". I stayed towards the back of the group and loaded a Taylor Swift album on my phone (Speak Now for those of you interested).
You have to run 5 laps around the park and then into the park to finish. I forgot to count for at least the first 3 laps, until some super fast people who had lapped me finished. Fortunately, Matthew caught up to me and told me I only had one lap to go!
Finishing was the best feeling ever. I had never got a runner's high before but I did today. I don't know if it was the buzz of half of Islington running together or if I just really like running laps, but I had a massive smile on face. I am still not the fastest runner but I was really pleased with my time. I had run a lot faster than I had planned, managing an average pace of 11:26min/mile.
Thank you for dragging me out with you, Matthew!
This was my third Parkrun, but my first with Alison, so the blog starts here. I've been running for a few years now, and have completed three half marathons. As longer distances have been my thing, my running pace is quite slow, so I decided to start running Parkrun regularly to speed up my 5k time, as well as to encourage me to train more often. And it only took 3 weeks to convince Alison to join me!
On the way to Highbury, Alison and I were talking about how fast we were each expecting to run. I worked out that, as the course is five laps around the park, I should expect to just lap Alison twice as I was approaching the finish.
So the race begins, and I run the first few laps. My legs are aching more than usual, and I realise that I can't see Alison ahead of me, even though I should've lapped her by now. Then I'm worrying that I've been running much slower than I should be; or my running app is broken; or has Alison given up to sit in the park?
Finally on the first turn of the final lap, I see Alison on the straight ahead of me. I just catch her up as I reach the finish (it's lucky I did, as she'd forgotten to count her laps).
When I looked at my time at the finish, I realised that I had been running at the pace I wanted, I'd set a personal best, and the reason I'd not lapped Alison twice was because she was running so much faster than she'd planned.
Thank me for dragging you out with me, Alison!