Well, off we toddled to another parkrun. It’s not a race of course, so no pressure. Why then do I feel anxious? That is because I am really assessing my state as I pass another age milestone, now 77 years. We ate porridge for breakfast and had a strong coffee before leaving home. I felt bullish on the start line but went off too fast. Consequently, rather too many runners passed me and they looked so relaxed. I finally found myself matching a younger woman so tucked in behind her. My intention was too pass her on the return from Bakewell Station. I did that and then put in mini-surges. That is to identify a tree in front and as soon as I reach it, speed up to another tree. However, I ran out of trees. As the finish hove into sight, she speedily swept past me, the parkrun pensioner.
I feel so guilty. As I become slower I realise that catching the faster men in my group is looking very unlikely. The only option is to hang in there whilst they, poor sods, are forced to stop running or the grim reaper overtakes them. Then, I move up one place. The problem with this thinking is that it might be me the grim reaper catches, as the slower, struggling runner. As it was I just beat 30 minutes and felt okay, but that is a full 6 minutes slower than 5 years ago. What to do? More training, less training, more sprinting or, heaven help me, lifting weights in the gym. It is a dilemma. As it was, Ann and I settled for enjoying runs over the hills and to hell with pace. Let’s just try to keep going.
The young woman I tried to drop thanked me for pacing her over the final mile. That was nice. I was second in my age group, about half a minute behind another 75 – 80 runner. His grey head bobbed past me earlier. I hope he keeps well and continues running so fast. At our age, keeping going is a lottery. So, back to my runners diet, that of feeding the gut. Courgettes are the answer, the little roughage devils. And mint tea, Ann thinks that is good for us. We need to clutch at straws at our age, and try to keep this amazing body running.