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Runner's screed

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    Did the Milano Nord parkrun on Saturday. Unusually there is a little running club shop / office nearby with changing rooms, toilets and showers which you can use before and after. The course was a flat two laps round a multi use park (there was an outdoor velodrome, in use at the same time) and although I was supposed to be taking it easy it produced my fastest time in nearly a year. Before the run I got my photo taken with the Italian flag and the whole field was gathered in for a group photo.

    The next day I did the Milan marathon, obviously the main event of the trip. Very security conscious (metal detectors and bag checks on the way into the start and finish 'village' and another check on the way into the start zones) but it all got away on time and I got across the start line within about five minutes which wasn't bad for a big city marathon. There were occasional cross over points on the course so unusually I got to see the elite group in action, albeit briefly, across the road in the other direction when they were at about 8km (the men's and women's winners each beat not only the course record but the Italian all comers record).

    Was a bit annoyed by the parallel relay marathon - I know it is a way of significantly boosting participation numbers (and entry fee revenue) but it got a bit tedious having people whizzing past (and occasionally elbowing past) when they were basically starting out on a 10k. Made it to the HM point in 2:16 which is around my current HM pace, really struggled from around 16 to 22 miles, started thinking the 5 hour mark was in doubt and then got it back together for the last four miles and finished in 4:50 - my worst time, by a few minutes, of the seven I've now done but I got round.

    Flat and varied course, first 12km or so were round the centre including obvious photo back drops at the Duomo and the Scala, then a long loop out to and around the San Siro area, with two sweeps past the stadium, then a long slog back into the centre with a decent finisher village in a park, including freebie cheese from a sponsor and various kiosks selling Moretti to take away the taste of the alcohol free Heineken that was being given out.

    Next up is the Keswick to Barrow (my 4th go at it, I missed it last year) and working out a plan to build fitness over the summer to take into a busy autumn season based around a local 30 mile race in September and a marathon in Germany in October - though my daughter picked up some flyers at the expo at the weekend and would quite like me to do another in France in November.


      Went by our old flat. I'm sure that was a highlight.

      The Parco Nord is an interesting place. There is all kinds of stuff there that is relatively little known, especially to residents of the centre.


        An odd thing has happened in the last couple of weeks. After months of milling around the late 31, 32 and even 33 minutes on the Parkrun, the last two weeks, for no reason at all seemingly (aside from, perhaps, firmer ground) I have had runs of 31.09 and even 30.49 which is the quickest run I have had in 2 years. Mrs Bored actually ran her all-time PB of 30:56 so there were some climactic and going circumstances that helped, I am sure, but, equally, we often use each other as pacers so if I am fast, she is often fast. I also did a 7 mile run this week - not fast, about 1 hour 15 - in preparation for my only competitive 10k this year at the old hometown of Porthcawl in July. If it is warm and sunny, it should be a beautiful run along the seafront but also, as I have mentioned before, heat and direct sun aren't my running buddies. Still, I will do another practice 10k runs and, hopefully, should be fairly fit for it. As for the new speedy Parkruns, I have no idea how it is going to go next time.


          As a veteran of six Parkruns this year (plus a couple of unregistered try-outs over Christmas) I feel qualified to start posting in this thread.

          I've always rolled my eyes at runners as I zip past them on my road bike. If I drove past a clutch of them and there was someone with me in the car I'd habitually quip "That's a shame, their bikes must be broken". However the local Parkrun takes place around the park on the other side of our road and if I'm up early enough on a Saturday I'll see the participants flocking in - or if not so early, staggering out - and I started thinking, well, what's to lose, people seem to enjoy that sort of shit and it wont cost anything to give it a go...

          Lancaster has more elevation than most courses (326ft, which places it 26th nationally) so not the gentlest of introductions, but I clocked just over 27 minutes on my first attempt and the times have been steadily coming down since. Current PB stands at 22:52 so almost five minutes isn't a bad amount to lose over so few goes. The cycling must have helped, both in terms of general fitness and because I can handle sprinting up the slopes. Rule one - attack the climbs! In fact I wish there was more climbing as I seem to do better uphill than on the flat (relative to effort put in of course) and certainly better than on the descents, which I can't handle at all - I don't have enough balance or confidence.

          I'm pretty certain that I've now plateaued and that my PB won't undergo any further drastic reductions. I set it on a morning where I turned up early to start at the front of the crowd (the starting line is narrow and gets congested even with fifteen minutes to the off) and by the time I finished I was almost on the point of throwing up. If it's going to drop by more than a few seconds each week then I need to run more. Done a few 8km lunchtime runs at work and I manage to finish them with plenty left in the tank. Don't think I'll ever go for longer distances though. An hour spent running is more than enough.

          So, yeah. Running. Not as bad as I thought.
          Last edited by Mumpo; 15-04-2019, 15:16.


            Originally posted by Walt Flanagans Dog View Post
            A further 'official' 10k, on a flat course in Lancaster
            You managed to find a 10k flat course in Lancaster?!


              Originally posted by Mumpo View Post

              You managed to find a 10k flat course in Lancaster?!
              It is the parkrun course that is the running course anomaly in Lancaster (I've not done it myself but my sister has, and reckons it's horrendous). There is a year long series of races called, imaginatively, the Lancaster Race Series, and they tend to be very flat*, as they use the paths along, over and near the river. Some of them finish in the castle, which is ridiculous for a long distance race that has been 99% flat and then produces an uphill finish on (often wet) cobbles, but it produces picturesque finishing photos so that's ok apparently. One year I did four long distance runs there with a lot of shared course, and was sick to death of those river paths.

              I did the Alexandra Palace parkrun on Saturday, which certainly wasn't flat, but was one of the more enjoyable courses I've done. It marked my 20th different one, but I'm still an amateur at the tourism game compared to many.

              *I'm not going to day "dead flat" or "completely flat", they never are, but it's all relative.

              Anyway, congrats and welcome.


                See for example the half marathon course, which has 557ft of climb in 13 miles, of which about 120ft is the final run up to the castle.