I was back at my local Parkrun on Saturday with other family members. I volunteered to run around with my niece, who is 9 years old, as I thought it was my turn. There was a bit of added pressure attached to this due to complaints that some parents/ responsible adults are not sticking close enough to their children. All children under 12 have to be escorted. Even on the sprint finish, I made sure I was within arm’s length of my niece, so as not to fall foul of the event rules, plus it’s a little embarrassing when a junior leaves you in her wake – even at my age!
As previously mentioned, I have been racing over the last few weeks without GPS assistance, to test how beneficial these devices are. For me, as I always thought, I’ve decided my GPS watch is invaluable. Even though the race distance is in kilometres, I still deal in old money, so my GPS is set to miles.
My first mile time is crucial as to whether I’m likely to run a fast time, and when I get to 2 miles, I know if there is any chance of a pb. If there is, I’m more likely to dig that little bit deeper over the remainder of the course. Last week is a case in point for GPS; while running at the Holkham Parkrun for the first time, I rounded a bend to see the finish line only 250 metres ahead. I had more energy than I could burn in that short distance. Obviously, with GPS, I would have known how close I was to the finish, well before that point and paced myself accordingly.
Clearly, these findings are very personal. I appreciate that some runners do not like these devices; whereas, others swear by them. I also like using my watch for interval training, so I can set distance and recovery. I’ve done such a good job of convincing myself as to the merits of a GPS watch, I’ve decided to treat myself to a new one with additional features. It’s the least I can do.
As for our run, we both crossed the line in 32.31. This is just over a minute off Emily’s best time for this course, but she ran strongly without stopping. This week I will be trying for a fast time. Training is good and I’m lighter than I’ve been for several years, as I continue my push to lose weight.