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  #1  
Old 17th Oct 15, 07:15 PM
Trinity1976's Avatar
Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Trinity's Tour de parkrun

Before today I had done 32 parkruns, but the bulk of those were in 2012 and 2013. I only did 3 in 2014 and 2 so far in 2015 (before today). I got out of the habit of doing them regularly when I changed to a job where I worked on Saturdays. Now that I am in a normal job again, I have not got back into the habit, tending to spend the weekends doing long runs and long bike rides.

So, now that my Autumn marathon is over I have decided to do a parkrun tour over the next few months, until I can no longer fit parkruns in around training for the Spring marathon.

There are 18 parkruns in the North-East, so I'm going to try to get round quite a few this Winter.

The idea is not to run a PB every week, as my PB is on one of the faster courses, but to try and run the best time possible for the course, and to get into as many fastest 500 lists as possible. With some parkruns the standard is too high for me to reasonably achieve this, for example, at Newcastle I would have to be running low 18s!

Today I commenced Le Tour de parkrun as follows:

Gibside parkrun

As I did a marathon last weekend, and a 5k PB the weekend before, I had no intention of going for a PB, so I decided to get the toughest north-east parkrun out of the way right at the start of the tour.

Gibside Park is in the Derwent Valley, on a significant slope. The course is on a rough footpaths and woodland trails with significant climbs and descents. It is only a small parkrun - today there were 56 competitors.

The first mistake I made today was forgetting my Garmin, so I had to faff around with Endomondo on my phone, meaning I didn't know what time I'd ran until the results came out.

After an initial scramble to get my phone back in my pocket when the race director said go, I settled into my running and it quickly became apparent I was inside the top 10 and I couldn't hear anyone close behind. There was one lady ahead of me but I was hoping I could reel her in. Alas it was not to be.

At about 1 mile I got caught and passed by a lad going significantly faster than me. I can only assume he started slowly for some reason. He went on to pass several more people after me.

On the long hill up to a turn-around point at 2 miles I was passed by another gentleman. As we approached the turn-around I was counting everyone in front and realised I was in 10th, so was hoping to hang on. Once round the turn-around the lady in front hurtled back down the hill more quickly than me and extended her lead. Once it flattened out again with about 0.5 miles to go, she slowed down but I had insufficient space to catch her, but managed to halve the gap, coming in 14 seconds behind her.

Fortunately no others overtook me so I finished in 10th place and 2nd lady. The standard to get into the fastest 500 was around 24.5 minutes. I went for a 45 minute jog after the run and by the time I arrived at home the email result had arrived and my time was 23:53, so I'm in the fastest 500!

This may seem pretty slow by my standards but to put it into perspective, even the winner did not run a sub-20. Only 4 runners were under 22 minutes. Last week one chap got under 20 minutes, with a further 3 under 22.

Endomondo tells me it was 518 feet of ascent. I then did a further 771 feet of ascent in my 45 minute jog round the park afterwards.

Next week I will do a flatter one...
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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03
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  #2  
Old 17th Oct 15, 07:20 PM
adibear's Avatar
adibear adibear is offline
Real Name: Adrian   Gender: Male  
Location: Yorkshire
 
2014: 1,421.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 200.32 miles, 27 hrs 11 mins
Wow thats pretty hilly for a parkrun!! Nice idea Claire. I work all ost Saturdays and rarely get the chance. Wish i could do more.
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5k 19.02 10k 39.51 HM. 1:36:03 Marathon 3:22:38

2016Goals 5k<18.40. 10k<40mins(done). HM<90mins. Marathon<3.15
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  #3  
Old 18th Oct 15, 07:35 AM
Country Jim Country Jim is offline
Real Name: James Grey   Gender: Male  
Location: Tyneside
 
Nice one. If like to do as many of the North East ones as I can, so I'll read your reports with interest. I haven't done Gibside since they changed the course, the new one looks more interesting than the old one. I did a night run there earlier this year, which was great fun, but the toughest, hilliest thing I've ever done.

Other than that, I've done Gateshead (my regular), Newcastle (not keen- too busy and I find the course boring), Riverside (really nice, good pb course) and South Shields (a really lovely run once you get past the first stretch along the road).
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  #4  
Old 20th Oct 15, 04:24 PM
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owenhd owenhd is offline
Real Name: Owen (oddly enough)   Age: 43   Gender: Male  
Location: Geordieland (originally Belfast)
 
This is a great wee idea Trin! Having never even done a single parkrun, it'll be nice to have something to refer back to if I ever do 1!
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  #5  
Old 24th Oct 15, 05:56 PM
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Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Durham parkrun

Today Le Tour took me to Durham, a very attractive place to run, though a very hilly city. Fortunately, the parkrun is situated in University sports grounds down by the river and is pretty flat. I had checked out the course and the profile and although it looked fairly flat (with the exception of 3 distinct short but sharp lumps), it was clear from the satellite imagery that much of the course is on grass, so it probably wouldn't be especially fast.

So getting a PB would almost certainly be out of the question, especially only 3 weeks after a PB on a hard tarmac course. Also, the standard to get into the fastest 500 is well under 20 minutes, so that was out of the question too.

So, I decided just to run it as fast as possible, with no set pace in mind.

The run starts on the athletics track behind the sports centre and does approximately one and half laps of the track. This is only a 4-lane track, so I made sure I was well towards the front so I didn't get stuck in a bottleneck.

So the first part was fine, the crowd becoming spread out quite quickly on the track. After about 600 metres we left the track and ran across the grass for much of the remainder of the first kilometre. This first k clocked in around 4:15. We then moved from the grass field onto the riverside path. The surface was better here, but still just a footpath with a stony surface. After a few hundred metres we reached the first lump in the course - the footbridge across the river leading to the sports field. Weirdly the planks on this bridge we not flat but were all rounded, so difficult to run on. They also moved underfoot and were quite noisy.

Once on the other side we ran straight onto the rugby/football pitches, and the course took us round the edge of several of these, on grass for around 1.5k. Kilometres 2 and 3 were slow, so I reached the 3k marker in around 13:30, so began to think even getting under 22:30 might be difficult.

The third kilometre ended just as we left the pitches and went back onto riverside path. This took us back towards the wobbly bridge, but straight past it for a few hundred metres to a turn-around point. The second 'lump' was at the turn-around point, which involved running up a short hill and doing a loop before heading back to the footbridge.

Then it was back over the wobbly bridge before retracing our steps back down the riverside path, then back onto grass for about 300 metres before finishing next to the track. Fortunately the 4th and 5th k were faster than the 2nd and 3rd and I managed to cross the line in 22:27 - not a blisteringly fast time, but I was happy with my position in the field, namely:

1st in VW35 category out of 15.
7th lady out of 136.
57th out of 359 overall.

Once I'd chilled and stretched a bit I went for an easy run along the river. One of the reasons I have rarely ran parkruns in the past is that I have been unable to justify running such a short distance on a weekend day. So I am trying to do one hour easy after parkrun, then a proper long run on a Sunday, to bulk up the mileage a bit. However, I am finding it really hard to run after a parkrun. Last week I managed only 45 minutes, this week it was 55 minutes. I'm sure it will get easier if I persevere though, and will be beneficial in the long run (excuse the pun) to get my legs used to running when tired.
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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03
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  #6  
Old 31st Oct 15, 03:39 PM
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Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
No parkrun today as I have an Ultra tomorrow
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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03
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  #7  
Old 31st Oct 15, 11:08 PM
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adibear adibear is offline
Real Name: Adrian   Gender: Male  
Location: Yorkshire
 
2014: 1,421.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 200.32 miles, 27 hrs 11 mins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity1976 View Post
No parkrun today as I have an Ultra tomorrow
Poor excuse! Whats an extra 3 miles?

Best of luck Claire.
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5k 19.02 10k 39.51 HM. 1:36:03 Marathon 3:22:38

2016Goals 5k<18.40. 10k<40mins(done). HM<90mins. Marathon<3.15
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  #8  
Old 2nd Nov 15, 05:25 PM
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Gary5k Gary5k is offline
Real Name: Guess !   Age: 39   Gender: Male  
Location: East Sussex
 
Love reading the parkrun writeups Claire..those parkruns are going to get a bit cold soon though, oop norf.
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  #9  
Old 7th Nov 15, 04:56 PM
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Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Well, a bit of a disappointing morning this morning. I intended to go to South Shields parkrun, which would be about a 40 minute drive, so I planned to leave the house at 08:00. I set my alarm for 07:00, or so I thought, but clearly must not have pressed 'Save' or something, because I woke up naturally well after eight so missed the opportunity. I went for a few miles easy in the torrential rain instead.

With a race last weekend and another next weekend, it will be 3 weeks in a row without a parkrun, so the Tour is a bit dead in the water at the moment. I hope to do parkruns on 21st and 28th Nov but they are X-country days so I will probably stay fairly local.
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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03

Last edited by Trinity1976; 7th Nov 15 at 05:45 PM..
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  #10  
Old 8th Nov 15, 12:03 PM
Biscuit-Breath Biscuit-Breath is offline
Real Name: Tina   Age: 54   Gender: Female  
Location: Darlington, North East England
 
Will you be coming to Darlington Parkrun?? That's my local one, I run there every week xx
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  #11  
Old 8th Nov 15, 12:44 PM
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Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuit-Breath View Post
Will you be coming to Darlington Parkrun?? That's my local one, I run there every week xx
Yes definitely. I used to live in Darlington so I'm quite looking forward to that one. I'm actually considering it for New Year's Day as they are starting and 10:30 and I'd like to do a double. So perhaps Riverside in Ch-le-St at 09:00, then there should be enough time for me to get to Darlington for 10:30. Riverside haven't confirmed they are doing a New Year parkrun, but they did last year.
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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03
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  #12  
Old 22nd Nov 15, 09:39 PM
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Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Druridge Bay parkrun

So, after a 3 week gap I finally managed to get back to Le Tour.

Due to the fact that I had a cross-country race in Durham at 13:10, I had to keep the parkrun local, to give me time to get showered and have some lunch in between the two races.

So I decided to nip to Druridge Bay. This is my nearest parkrun but it is only the second time I've done it. The first time was a year ago and I was first lady. It's a two-lap course of the lake at Druridge Bay Country Park. It's pretty flat but because it's trail it's not an especially fast course due to the softer surface.

On the drive there my car thermometer was reading 1.5C, and I drove through quite a snow shower on the way. It was quite windy as well so didn't look good. At the last minute I bottled my t-shirt and shorts plan and wore a long-sleeved top instead (although still with shorts). I also wore gloves. How pathetic!

I lined up quite near the front and had a look at the other ladies about. No-one immediately stood out as potentially speedy. Most of the faster runners would be saving themselves for cross-country, of course.

So I led from the start in the ladies race, but got passed after about half a mile by a lass moving quite quick. But then she got a little way in front of me and ceased moving away so I didn't get too concerned. Then before we'd even reached a mile she started to slow and when we reached the only significant lump in the course, she slowed significantly and I moved past.

There was a lot of standing water on the course, so that slowed things down a bit, but even so I was a bit surprised my first mile was as much as 7:17 - especially since I thought I'd gone off too fast. After that each successive mile was a bit quicker - I think that is the first time I've actually got faster during a 5k.

Luckily it only snowed once and very briefly during the race, but my feet were soaked through and legs also very cold and wet from all the splashing through flooded sections.

I finished in 22:39, 1st lady out of 29 and 13th out of 79 overall. Relatively speaking I think that might be my best ever finishing position.

Next week I have cross-country again so if I do a parkrun it will also have to be a local one. So I will probably do Whitley Bay, which I haven't done for a couple of years but used to be my regular one. Also not a fast course, so I won't be expecting a PB.

I will probably visit one of the fast courses in December in order to try to get a sub-21 before the end of 2015.
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PBs

5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03

Last edited by Trinity1976; 22nd Nov 15 at 09:41 PM..
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  #13  
Old 23rd Nov 15, 12:08 PM
Trinity1976's Avatar
Trinity1976 Trinity1976 is offline
Real Name: Claire   Gender: Female  
 
2014: 2,304.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 773.45 miles, 115 hrs 7 mins
Here are some photos of me taken at Druridge on Saturday.

Towards end of first lap:



Towards end of second lap:



Approaching finish line (completely airborne):

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5k - 20:21; 10k - 43:04; 10M - 72:03; HM - 98:45; Marathon - 3:22:03
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  #14  
Old 23rd Nov 15, 12:28 PM
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Runningfox Runningfox is offline
Real Name: Gordon   Age: 84   Gender: Male  
Location: Yorkshire
 
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Excellent result Claire, and you're out on your own in those pictures. Wish I could still clock times like that! Well done....
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  #15  
Old 23rd Nov 15, 01:01 PM
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adibear adibear is offline
Real Name: Adrian   Gender: Male  
Location: Yorkshire
 
2014: 1,421.00 miles
Week: 0.00 miles, 0 hrs 0 mins
Year: 200.32 miles, 27 hrs 11 mins
Nice work Claire. Yeah looks a quiet parkrun.
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PBs
5k 19.02 10k 39.51 HM. 1:36:03 Marathon 3:22:38

2016Goals 5k<18.40. 10k<40mins(done). HM<90mins. Marathon<3.15
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