Today I wanted to run a race called Iceman this is now one of a series of off-road races on army training ground, which gives a nice technical (e.g. difficult) run. But, alas it was not to be... BB had told me that our new hi-tech Mammmoth 'sports' mattress was due to arrive 'any Saturday' so I couldn't sign up for the run for the fear that we would then get an email announcing the impending arrival of said mattress. So, I did Banstead Woods parkrun instead.
As you can see from the above photo, it's a little hilly but very pretty. I always extol the virtues of the Parkrun weekly 5K race. It's free, you get a properly recorded time emailed to you, and you are running as part of a larger group, so as well as trying to beat your own best time, you can race the others in the race too, and be part of your local running community. Or, you can run at a more leisurely pace.
I ran as hard as I could, for me this was my opportunity to run a fast 5K. The ground looked a little wet this morning, so I wore my new Salomon off-road shoes. I have moreorless total confidence in them, it's like the soles of my feet are little tyres with a mega-grip when I have them on. I felt a little nauseous when the race ended, despite (or because of, perhaps..) a breakfast of one slice of toast with nutella. I have found that bananas repeat, porridge lies a little heavy, and now toast makes me gag. One day, I will find the perfect pre-race brekkie.
The other great thing about Parkrun is that you can be done in less than an hour. By 10am we were in a cafe, I was out of my gym kit, and a mocha coffee was easing the nausea nicely. Yum! We picked CC up and headed home. I already knew my result was around 25:40 something... but I was eager to look up my result from their official timers. Within hours of running the results are up. I knew I had run a vey similar time last year, I knew there wouldn't be much in it. Imagine my surprise then when I saw that the email title was 'Congratulations - A new PB!' Wow. I thought. Excellent! Then I saw the details. I had improved on my last fastest time by 3 seconds. Yes, 3 seconds. You heard me right - that's three seconds. Actually, I was quite pleased with myself. The last time when I ran and was 3 seconds slower, the race had felt a lot more difficult and 'faster'. Which must mean my perceived effort threshold is higher right ?? Perceived effort threshold - does that even mean anything? Answers on a postcard purlease... All I know is that I ran as fast as I could.
As luck would have it, shortly after we arrived home the mattress arrived. We had toyed with the idea of a memory foam mattress, but just never got round to going out and trying and buying. Then BB mentioned the Mammoth Sport Mattress several times (and I'll be honest, I wasn't really listening..I thought he was telling me about some race in the Outer Hebrides that he might do in 2015, or something). I finally took a look at the site, read some testimonials and we placed an order. I will do a full review when I've actually had a sleep in the thing, but from first bounces, I can report that it seems promising. The web site explains (in extremely technical terms) that the mattress is not only good for your back, but also offers enhanced temperature regulation. Surely this must mean a more comfortable sleep? It will be interesting to see how much this mattress aids my recovery after a very gruelling race, which ironically due to this mattress's delivery I did not get to do today!
I should just mentioned that I was 10th lady today and 2nd in my age group. When I arrived I did a little scan of the attendess and thought 'Crikey, a lot of blokes, not many girlies....' And I guess that explains my result. The fact there were approx 100 runners, and I was 71st puts my stats a little more squarely into perspective. My final time was 25:41 by the way. I am seriously chasing a 24: Anything from now on. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, every second is a second closer to my goal. Despite the nausea it was a stunning morning, and I would highly recommend the parkrun to everyone, come rain or shine.
Now I'm turning in and going off to try out that new mattress..took a quick piccie earlier.. see below. zzzzzzzzzzzz.......... :o)