I did the Pontypool birthday parkrun on Saturday, which was really nice because I haven't run that course in such a long time, and I had a course PB too. 😊
On Saturday evening, my Friend Jenny of Griffithstown Harriers, Cwmbran was hosting a fundraising event for the Children with Cancer charity, as she is running in the London Marathon in April for this event. These charities obtain quite a few marathon places and successful applicants have to promise to raise a certain amount of cash to be able to take part. The amount does vary but it is often around £2k - £3k, which is a lot of money to raise, and Jenny managed to raise in excess of £700 at this event.
Whilst I was there, Jenny asked me if I would be happy to help her with some speed training, as she is feeling the need to improve her run times. Now I'm no coach, but I do take part regularly in the Thursday evening speed interval sessions with my own club, so I felt I could pass on the knowledge I have gained from my own sessions to help her, and we decided to meet up on Monday evening and run the Riverfront Parkrun course.
I decided we should begin with a sort of fartlek/tempo session, so my plan was that we would run the out section to the turn around point at Jenny's usual parkrun pace, about 10 minute miles, stop for a quick breather, then the return would be at a quicker pace.
The outward section was nice, we managed to chat and I could hear Jenny breathing fairly heavily, but not so much that she couldn't hold a conversation. The return leg was a different kettle of fish. I pumped up the pace so that I could still chat but, Jenny had to work harder than usual, and in fact I did all the chatting because Jenny couldn't breathe and talk at the same time, so I knew the pace was good.
I gave her lots of encouragement along the way, and more so in the last ¾'s of a mile as I could sense that she was tiring but, all credit to Jenny, she pushed herself all the way and didn't slow down at all, right to the finish.