Third weekend of the new year and I kept to my routine of going down to what is now my regular parkrun at Hillsborough. Little did I know it was as icy as it was. Upon arrival the route looked okay but during my warm up I noticed the turn on to the start/finish straight was frozen over, then during the briefing I heard something about ice, it wasn’t until the start that the lad next to me warned everyone that the climb up the park on the entire path was frozen. My aim was to be around last weeks time, I had purchased some new trainers but had only done a 10 minute run in them so there was still an unknown element and anyone following me on Strava would have seen my knee had give me some grief during the week. However, I set off and felt good as I headed down towards the car park, getting an excellent start. I actually felt good, although I wasn’t relaxed as was worried about slipping and with my knee still rebuilding I didn’t want to slip and re-injure it.
So when I turned left down to tennis courts I took it carefully then picked the pace back up but as I ran round the bottom of part I could see the frozen path at the side of the duck pond, so I was very careful going up the park, however, as soon as we hit the hairpin turn the whole path was frozen. It was a case of getting through this section still in one piece. So my pace slowed down, some people took to the grass but with my knee, I didn’t want to risk turning the knee and my thinking was I’d rather slow down on a frozen path then risk the uneven grass. I didn’t lose any places as the entire field also slowed down. Soon as I hit the top of the park I felt grip underfoot and off I went again. I wasn’t flat out as I looped back round to the start as parts were frozen and it meant that my first mile was my slowest first mile of the year.
As I started the second lap I knew what was to come so again I pushed pace down the park and I noticed thanks to 500 other parkrunners they had defrosted the path. So even though I had to slow down I had a little more grip and it meant I actually ran a faster second lap then I had in previous parkruns. The pattern continued on the 3rd lap as by the time I had hit the frozen section it was only frozen in small sections so meant I was again able to run a faster mile then in previous weeks.
I came home in 11th place my best position of the year but 5s down overall compared to last week but I know in better conditions I should start to see an improvement on my times. As my mileage continues to rebuild and I re-introduce speed work I should begin to start seeing some of my top end speed comeback, I know it takes 6 weeks of consistent training to start noticing a difference and fact that from May to January I was unable to string more then 10 days of running together I have best part of 7 months to make up for. Right now I am happy to be running daily and feeling stronger with each passing day. Using parkruns weekly allows me to track the progress of my comeback.