As all of us runners know, it’s more fun with company. Unless you’re having a really tough, grumpy run (or is that just me!?), in which case all you want to do is pop in your headphones and tune out everything else. Because I haven’t had any of those types of runs recently, I’ve been working on getting my boyfriend to start running with me.
When he went out and tried his first ever 5k and finished with an average pace only 10s/mile off my PB, I started to wonder whether it was actually a good idea to encourage him – but then I reminded myself that I’m a long distance (read: slow) runner, and he’s a short distance (read: fast) runner, so it was totally ok. Besides, given that I got him running in the first place, I’m pretty sure that I can claim some of the credit for any awesome PBs he gets. Right?
Today, I convinced him to get up and join me for parkrun. Guildford parkrun is a fairly undulating course, and as he’s been training on mostly flat ground (and not for very long), I suggested he take it easy on the first loop and pick it up for the second loop if he was feeling up to it. I’ll admit, I was still a bit tired from swimming yesterday so I was hoping he would struggle on the hills and stick to my pace (I guess my supportive side vanishes when it comes to races ..). Unfortunately for me, he disappeared off into the distance before we even reached half way!
I tried to keep up with him, but by about 3.5-4k my calf had tightened up and was twinging on the hills, so I had to stop and stretch it out. A bit frustrating, but as I wasn’t going for a PB (my current parkrun PB is at Barnstaple, as the course is much flatter!) I didn’t let it bother me too much.
I crossed the line in just over 32 minutes, and realised that James was going to be veeery close to his sub-10:00/mile goal pace. Unluckily for him, he’d forgotten his Garmin, so we had to wait for the official results to find out if he’d managed it. When they came through, we realised that for his first ever official 5k – and his first ever hilly run – he managed to beat my Guildford course PB by nearly 20 seconds:
Given that it took me a good few tries to average sub-10:00 miles, I’m really excited that he managed on his first go – and I’m interested to see how much faster he can get! Besides, he’s still a way off my overall 5k PB of 29:59 .. Once he gets closer to 30:00 I’ll start to worry. Or, yknow, do some speed work – but I hope to avoid that for as long as possible!
For now, I’m just excited to have a parkrun partner! And on the plus side, running with someone faster is a good way to push my own pace 😀