31st May 2014
A PB! And our parkrun’s record attendance. Not a surprise really, as it was such a glorious day, the sunshine brought out lots of runners. I really pushed it and at times it felt very comfortable, although my pace did vary a bit. I knew it was close and was very pleased with a PB, although it was only 4 seconds! It was a hot day and I hadn’t run since Monday after my double up 10k, and with the buzz of lots of runners it certainly was a good one.
Hatfield Broad Oak
26th May 2014
I had heard lots of good things about this race but I was very nervous as we (me and daughter No2) pulled into the pretty little village. I had run the BUPA 10k the day before and my legs were feeling it. And I realised that this would be a smaller event (Obviously!) and so whereas London Marathon, BUPA and Silverstone had afforded me anonymity and a large field where I could feel fairly confident although I be at the back, I wouldn’t finish last. I couldn’t guarantee this here and my nerves were further peaked when looking for the signs of estimated finish times the final time was 55 mins! So I hung around a little behind that and waited.
There was a sizeable crowd to see us start as well as a melodious rock choir. I settled into my running and my aim again was to try to break 1hr 20 and if I could 1hr 15. I knew that this course was less flat than London (and so it turned out) and my legs were not fresh so I wasn’t too worried about the time. There were people behind me and there was a massive pack about 20 metres ahead of me, but I couldn’t bridge the gap. Gradually though the big pack splintered and I started to pass a few people as the hot weather or maybe their ambitious pacing took its toll. It was lovely to see people out cheering and running along closed, country roads was fantastic.
The route is a figure of 8 with Hatfield Broad Oak in the centre, and I headed back towards the village passing the faster runners on the way. Running through the town was great as I saw my daughter but it felt hard running past the finish line seeing people finish.
The kilometres seemed to go by quickly and as I hit 9km I realised if I got a move on I could go sub 1hr 15. So I really went for it and this time I enjoyed seeing the countdown markers. But I didn’t enjoy the uphill section but I knew it finishes downhill so I kept going. And I did dip under 1hr 15, so was delighted! No goody bag or medal, but a bottle of water, bananas, oranges and a technical T shirt at the finish, plus a text within an hour with my time and a sports massage for a small fee to charity gave good value. And with half the village out celebrating and a great little fair, a mile fun run after the 10k, it felt like a great event. One which I would like to return to.
25th May 2014
Originally this was not on my to-do list, and ideally with Hatfield Broad Oak the next day I wouldn’t have done it. But I got the opportunity to run the streets of London again, and one of my parkrun friends was going so we made a day of it.
The 10k was organised by the organisers of the London Marathon and Silverstone half marathon and you could see the similarities between the events. Good pre-race information, well sign posted route to the start and good organisation (apart from keep many runners back from the baggage trucks for a while) was apparent, as was the penned start. It was a bit of a wait before we got going, but when we did, it did bring back memories of London Marathon as it was quite busy, and there was a sizeable crowd. Quite soon after the start I saw someone else from my parkrun! We get everywhere! I decided I wanted to beat 1 hour 20 minimum and would be delighted with sub 1 hour 15. It was great seeing the kilometres go past as well as seeing the faster runners going in the opposite direction and knowing soon we would be turning and heading back along the embankment. There was a large water station which was gratefully received as it was a hot day.
Around six kilometres I felt it got hard and for the next two kilometres it felt like a slog. But once I hit eight kilometres I tried to push the pace along as I realised I would go under 1hr 15. Ironically the last kilometre felt the longest despite the many signs counting down the metres. But eventually I turned into the Mall and to theme tune of Eastenders I crossed the line. Again post finish line the organisation felt familiar, with a nice medal and goody bag and easy access to the bag collection. Overall a great race; I was pleased with my time and enjoyed pounding the streets of London again on a glorious sunny day with thousands of other runners. Definitely one I would think about doing again.
24th May 2014
One of the beauties about parkrun is that if you have a bad run, there will be one next week. And that was me. For some reason I wasn’t feeling on it. No reason for it, and whether it was my mental attitude (i.e. I had decided I wasn’t going to have a good run), the damp weather or just not feeling ok I just trotted around. Definitely a time just to chalk one more run to my list.
5k evening series
22nd May 2014
I saw this series advertised and thought that it might be fun as I was used to running 5k through parkrun, and I knew quite a few parkrunners did the series last year. Lining up on the start line I did wonder to the wisdom of this as I felt very exposed as there were only 70 odd runners and most were wearing club vests and looked very fit! But one of the reasons I decided to do this was that it was a handicap event, with the thought that even slow runners could win! So I set off second and with my friend and she shot off ahead of me. For most of the run it was a lonely run with a couple of people passing me, but towards the end it got very busy, and I finished 15th over the line, although my time was next to last. There was a friendly buzz at the event and I look forward to running next time, and seeing what happens with the handicap system!
10th May 2014
Just saying it was a PB doesn’t quite capture the agony of this run. The night before I playfully suggested that the ED pace me round to a PB, maybe even 32.xx. She took this on and was deadly serious about it, and was superb. She did all the pacing and I just followed. From the second lap I was in agony-as usual my breathing was all over the shop and I couldn’t talk but my legs started to scream too. My friend, Mary, who got her PIPB (post injury PB), last week, was just in front of us and I couldn’t catch her. It was the most tired I had ever finished a parkrun and needed a long sit down to recover. Both Mary and I felt it was so much harder than the previous week and the only thing we could think was the weather conditions were not as kind, and it was fairly windy. But I am very proud of that PB and give enormous thanks to our lovely ED!
3rd May 2014
I really didn’t feel in pb shape, even though the week before I had set my pb and the weather was glorious. I had run a lot this week, my son was unwell and I wasn’t quite feeling at 100%, not ill, but not quite top form. I was going to run with my son, and jog around, but he opted out, and so I just thought I’d go for it as long as I could. My garmin was playing up, so I couldn’t rely on that, and so ran on feel. I caught up with my friend Mary who was having a storming run and we ended up running together for most of it. I was 3 seconds outside my pb, which I was happy with and Mary did a great post injury PB! Hurt us both, though!
A great morning was made even better as the founder of parkrun, the legendary Paul Sinton-Hewitt was there and I was lucky enough to talk to him (and tell him how wonderful and life changing parkrun is) and get a few snaps. It was a real honour.
26th April 2014
A PB! OH YES! Not PB weather as it was cool, wet and windy, but I went out hard and tried to maintain my pace. Which I do find tricky, as I always lose time on the off road section. But I kept going and really tried to push at the end, which I am assuming is part in thanks to my stamina built up by marathon training. still got a long way to sub 30 which is my dream but ever hopeful!
19th April 2014
I targeted this run as one I wanted to attend post marathon-even if I had to volunteer. As it was my legs felt really good and hearing lots of advice ringing in my ears (DON’T GO FOR A PB) I wondered what to do. As it was the decision was made for me as the ED ran with me and we chatted the whole way around. the time was good but it was more having a good run out and being back with my parkrun family.
6.37 (Chip time) 6.24 (Garmin time)
13th April 2014
I am not sure how long I have wanted to run the London Marathon, but it has been a part of my life for a long time. Every April seeing it would inspire me, but usually I would do nothing about it. My brother did it, and a couple of other people I know, but I hadn’t. Then I got a ballot place. I was over the moon! But my training was pants and I wasn’t in the right place physically or emotionally. My brother persuaded me to defer and it was probably the best advice he has ever given me. So I started back up running in the summer with a view to the Marathon in April and this time I would complete it.
My training had gone well, in that I completed all my sessions. The only negative was that my long runs were not as long as advised, but I still managed a 19, 18 a couple of 16 miles. I had lost weight and was probably fitter than I had been in a long while.
So my journey was a long one. It also was an unforgettable one.
We arrived in London at Saturday lunchtime and the plan was for me to go to the Expo and my family to gad about London! The Expo was fantastic-so much stuff but I can see how people can be sucked into spending a long time there. I went back to my room and relaxed and got my things organised for the next day. I had dinner in the hotel and my family came back half way through it, having had a wonderful time in London and quite possibly buying half of it!
I had a reasonably good night sleep and had a shower before breakfast. The hotel had put on porridge and bananas as an extra, but I stuck to my usual Weetabix and banana and toast with Nutella. I was surprised to see some runners tucking into sausages, bacon and eggs!
A quick goodbye to my girls (husband and son asleep in another room) and walked the few hundred yards to the DLR. It was packed with runners and their families. I headed to where my charity was meeting but they had gone so I went along with the crowd to the park.
Once I had found the Blue Start I dropped my bag off, queued for the loo (only took a few minutes), grabbed a coffee and just sat on the grass watching the coverage. It was a warm morning, which did worry me, but for the moment I just enjoyed it. Soon it was time to make my way to my pen (pen 9-the party pen allegedly!) and I was waiting with everyone else, getting slightly nervous. However someone made me laugh as she offered her daughter a cereal bar and then offered me one!
Gradually we started to move forward and it was 10:18 when I crossed the start line. It had begun!
My plan was to follow a run walk strategy of run 30 seconds and walk 30 seconds. I did wonder if at the start I should run for a mile or two as it might be a little crowded. But watching everyone I realised that starting too fast would be the problem, so pretty much immediately I went to run/walk. Very sweetly another runner asked if I was ok and I explained I was doing run/walk. I did see a runner pre mile 2 getting attention and my heart went out to him. The crowds early on were great and I remember thinking (stupidly I know) the noise will die down and so will the heat! The noise was patchy at times but more of that later.
I had a quick pit stop and then carried on. Things were going fine but I do remember thinking-when does London start? The red start merged with us and I think they must have taken longer to get through their start as there were definitely faster runners trying to overtake us. I was asked by a gentleman if I had seen a jigsaw piece! Quite a normal question in the context! Also there were some rhinos and they got massive cheers-it was great being close to them!
Then it was nearly mile 6 and I knew that there was the Cutty Sark, as well as a cheering point for my charity. That was fab. I found out later that I ran past my brother, totally ignoring him! I was concentrating so much on running!
The next few miles past well, no real issues at all. My mile splits were getting slower and I knew I was unlikely to break 6 hours. But I kept going with my RWR strategy. I was totally blown away by the crowd offering so much food. The support you expect, but there were so many bowls of sweets on offer that I need not have taken my own jelly babies. It was so appreciated.
Then there came a real ‘wow’ moment. I turned a corner and there was Tower Bridge. It was as good as everyone said. I felt like an Olympian going across and it was a real boost. I knew that soon after Tower Bridge I should see my family and so I started to concentrate on the crowd.
But just before mile 14 I made my biggest mistake. I stopped for the toilet. I needed to go and there was no way I could have waited until the end, but I queued about 15 minutes. I watched so many people go past that I had passed, like the marching band, Paul the oldest runner in the race and the rhinos. I was really deflated running off and found it hard to get back in my rhythm. It was great to see my dad, step-mum, brother and cousin, and then about 200 yards down the road (around a corner, so they didn’t know each other were there!) was my husband and children. Again it was a real boost although the next part would be the toughest part of my race.
I don’t know why I found the next part tough. It wasn’t physically, although my toes on right foot hurt and I did have an ache in my right leg. Despite the heat I wasn’t overly hot and bothered, and I made sure I drank regularly although not too often. I felt like I had energy, and mentally I was OK. I kept on convincing myself that my strategy was working. Well it was.
Putting this into context, this was a dip. It wasn’t a crisis, and I had been through worse on my long runs. But at 18 miles I picked up a bit. I realised it was 8 miles to go and last week I had done an 8 miler. Then at 19 miles I saw my family again and that was a massive boost.
I was concerned that I had not done more than 19 miles in training as I approached mile 20, but I need not have worried. I was feeling stronger. I made a decision that at mile 23 I would carry on with my 30;30 strategy if I was ok, would walk if I was struggling, or increase my run segments if I felt strong. I felt very strong. I managed to get a Lucozade from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which was great and then ran through a very motivating tunnel! But the Embankment was my favourite part. The crowd were going wild as the runners were so close and they made sure we all knew! And I felt close. This was the London that I had thought about and it was every bit as amazing as I had imagined.
There was a little part running through the city and then there was a sign 600 metres to go! A marshal came to run with me for a few paces but then there was another sign 385 yards to go! Then a few steps further and it was the sight I had dreamed of for so long; that I used to motivate myself so often-the Mall.
It was shorter than I expected and before I knew it I had crossed the line arms raised. A few steps and my tag was removed and a medal was placed around my neck. I must admit at that point I got a little emotional and when I had my post run photo I kept my sun glasses on!
I then collected my bag and started to head towards the meet and greet point. I finally hit the wall! I felt tired and weak and just wanted a sit down. I spoke to my husband and couldn’t work out how I was to get to where he was! Fortunately moments later my children came bounding up, and I felt a bit better. When I realised how close the car was I was fine and by the time I reached the car I had perked up! It was then a chance to catch up with their day and scoff some of the food!
It was a sensational day-everything I could have hoped for and more. The time was slower than I would have liked but I would not swap it if it meant I finished as well as I did. The crowd was amazing, and I grateful to everyone who shouted out my name, offered their support and sweets! My family have been so supportive that I was pleased that they appeared to have had a good day. Would I do another? YES PLEASE!
12th April 2014
Originally I wasn’t going to run but I ended up being tail runner, which is a volunteer role I always enjoy I trotted happily at the back, mainly running with a runner who was feeling off colour and then I collected the signs. I also stopped to talk the café guys and touchingly gave me money for charity. What amazed me the most was as I finished quite happily, uninjured and not too tired that it was a couple of minutes outside my first time where I was gunning for it. At least it shows how far I have come! I left with many good wishes and am looking forward to returning with my shiny medal next week!
Did a bit of tourism for a change. Owen, Emma and Sue (our parkrun’s ED) went to an inaugural. And it was great. A lovely park, great weather and about 200 keen parkrunners. Great start to the Easter break.
The course was a three lapper, which I had never done before. And we started at the back, although Sue offered to run with owen and he paced her around and they both got sub 29! Emma went over on her ankle and only managed 1 lap, but I carried on and was reasonably pleased with my run. Didn’t go out all guns blazing, and I definitely think the course is harder than our local, as it has a hill (sorry, slope) you do three times. And a great ice cream afterwards!
Oh this hurt! But it was so worth it! Sub 34 for the first time. The conditions were perfect-dry underfoot, warm weather and no wind. And I really gunned it as with the Marathon coming up I don’t know when I can really go for it again. It did hurt but the thought of sub 34 kept me going and I was so happy at the end. Can’t believe marathon taper has helped me knock so much time off and am really looking forward post marathon to see just how much closer I can get to 30. So happy!
I, like many other runners, have been logging my runs for Jantastic. Jantastic is Marathon Talk’s motivation tool and for March I had to log a predicted time of an all-out run. So I went for a 5k and to begin with I put down 34.12. But as the weeks progressed and my legs felt heavy from all the miles, I thought I’d change it. What a plonker. To my great surprise, delight and shock, I got a pb. I was so pleased with my run-it hurt, but it was great to get a pb, as I really wasn’t sure when I would get one next! So thank you Jantastic (although it hammered my score!).
Not too much to say other than it was a beautiful day, our numbers are on the rise, and I tail ran with my son. It was even easier this week as the signs were not put out due to the park not being opened in time! But great family joy as my daughter entered the 10 club!
8th March 2014
One of the many great things about parkrun is that it’s weekly. If you miss one or a run doesn’t work out, there’s one the following week to go for. So when you end up jogging in after you planned to go for an all-out effort, it’s much easier to bear.
I felt up for it this week. The weather was good, the off road section drying out and I did wonder if a PB could be mine. But fate, or my son’s knee had other ideas. About half way into the first lap he complained of it and pretty soon we were jogging, and in fact we walked a couple of times. Towards the end he was said it felt better, and later he had shaken it off.
So not quite the run I had hoped for, but a coffee after, a catch up with lots of friends and beautiful sunshine meant it didn’t matter. And there’s always next week…
Silverstone half marathon
2nd March 2014
2.51.01 (Garmin time)
I certainly had mixed feelings going into this. I was looking forward to the event, and knew that it would give me valuable experience towards London. But last year’s half marathon was so horrific it shattered me physically and mentally and I wanted to avoid that.
Driving up I wondered about the wisdom of having to drive for a couple of hours, sit in a traffic jam for a while to do a half marathon when there were races much nearer to home. But when I reached the track I got my first sense of the event-it was going to be big. I bumped into a fellow parkrunner and it was great to chat to her and then it was the long walk to the start. There were thousands of people milling about, but it was very organised and quite frankly all I could think about was the cold. It was bitter. I was so pleased I had the sense to wear a long sleeved top but was regretting not bringing my hat and gloves. I hung about inside as much as possible, but pretty soon it was time to get to the start line.
I positioned myself towards the back, amongst a bobsleigh team amongst others and it took a minute or two to cross the line. I settled into a steady pace and it was fabulous to run with people. Last year everyone had shot off leaving me by myself. There was no atmosphere really apart from a few points where the spectators and at the drinks stations. It was fabulous to have water and Lucozade handed to you and the people were so encouraging. I pottered along quite nicely and realised that I could definitely go sub 3, maybe even sub 2.50. But then I came to the last couple of miles.
It had been fairly windy and cold, but it started to drizzle and the wind picked up. It became a real battle, and so I did walk for a little way. I did think sub 3 was going out of the window but suddenly I turned a bend and the wind dropped, the temperature rose and it became a lovely run in.
I was pleased with my time, and even more importantly how I felt during the run. I felt strong and it felt a million miles from last year’s debacle. The race itself was slick, well organised and I definitely would go back, even though it took hours to get out of the car park and get home. I enjoyed running with people which bodes well for London and it has given me confidence. So a successful day!
1st March 2014
A real family affair as it was my daughter’s birthday and she decided to celebrate by volunteering. But I decided to run and my son joined me. The ground was wet underfoot and it was very windy, and I felt I was on for a good time but the first off road part I struggled with and the run along the prom was fighting the wind. So no PB for me, along my son got one, and a coffee was very welcome post run. A great start to birthday festivities!
22nd February 2014
So it was back to my usual parkrun this week and I promised a friend I would run with her. Usually she is quicker than me but has suffered a knee injury and been on holiday so was getting back into the swing of things. I have to admit it felt very hard-I think the week of having a cold and eating, quite frankly, crap food took it’s toll. But it was a dry, bright day and the muddy section is drying up (yipee!) and I had a great cuppa and catch up afterwards, so yet again parkrun delivered!
15th February 2014
During the week there was a message that my normal parkrun would be cancelled due to the risk of falling trees caused by the high winds. Fortunately we were given several days’ notice and in reality it only took a couple of minutes for me and my daughter to decide that we would head to the only other parkrun that I had been to-on New Year’s Day. So collecting a friend on the way we headed there. On NYD I had run a one lap course although that was changed from the normal course. They were hoping that it would be a one lap again but due to flooding they ran a two lap one. We encountered the flooding as we walked there as an underpass was under several inches of water and so we waded through-wet feet: lovely!!
It was still a very windy day, but fortunately the rain had held off and although numbers were down for this parkrun there was still a good crowd. We even had a gentleman taking us through a warm up. And I admit one of the exercise in particular I have used several times since. I started off fairly slowly partly due to the strong headwind but partly so I got into my running. It definitely didn’t feel like a PB day, more like a day when you’d been pleased to finish. As it happened I did get a course pb but as the course was so different it didn’t feel like one. Another visit to the wonderful café and our unexpected tourism ended well.
1st February 2014
Slower this week as I was tail runner, but a nice run as I ran with a newbie for a bit and I always feel double virtuous as tail runner-I have completed a parkrun and volunteered too! Result!
Sub 35! I am so happy! Again it was very busy at parkrun, and it was so odd to be surrounded by runners the whole way round. At the risk of repeating myself (too late!) I am convinced the interval sessions are having a positive effect. It was good to check my progress on the garmin and what it does is to encourage me to try and keep up the speed. It was tough although other runs have hurt more and I was so delighted with it. Suddenly sub 30 in 2014 seems a lot more do-able.
A PB! WOOP! WOOP! It was a lovely day, sun shining, dry and not too windy. But I was shocked to do a pb, nearly 1 minute faster than my previous on this course. there were more runners this week with lots of newbies and two of my children were volunteering and my husband was taking photos so it was a family affair. It did feel odd to start the run with lots of people and I had several in my sight all the way around. The off road section was very muddy and we are all looking forward to when it dries out. I kept pushing and thanks to my garmin (I love it!) I knew I was there or there abouts a PB. And when it was confirmed I was delighted. Next step sub 35!
4th January 2014
The first parkrun of the year at my usual parkrun and it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends. I did, and it was great to chat with them before and after. Although before it was looking very dodgy with the weather. The rain was lashing down and it fortunately stopped for the duration of the run although it was very muddy and extremely windy. I felt good for the first lap and thought I might be on for a course PB, but my legs felt so heavy and I couldn’t push on. My friend finished ten or so seconds in front of me and I just couldn’t catch her, but we slowly recovered our breath together! Another fabulous morning that further confirms my love for parkrun.
1st January 2014
As my local parkrun was having New Year’s Day off I did my first piece of parkrun tourism. And I wasn’t disappointed. There were a few familiar faces and a larger crowd than I was used to. It was odd running with people as usually we are quite spread out at my usual parkrun. I overtook a few to begin with and then settled into a comfortable pace. It was a one lapper which was novel and most of it was on cycle paths but there was one particular point going up a slope, on a muddy field into the wind which was very tough! I was mindful that I’d been told this parkrun was quicker than my usual one and at the end I had our event director running in and yelling encouragement. And yes it was a pb! A lovely cuppa afterward in the café rounded off a great parkrun. Am sure I will be back one day.
28th December 2013
It was a glorious morning and although there were fewer runners than normal, and many of my parkrun mates were absent it was a lovely run. I started with my son, but part of the way through, unusually for him he wanted to walk, and so luckily I dropped him off with the tail runner (who was also the event director) and my daughter and carried on. Overall I was quite pleased as the mud is getting more slippy (I am positive I will go down one day!) and I did have a stop when I walked with my son. But it was great to catch up with some parkrunners and feel the parkrun love. Certainly this has been one of the best things I have done in 2013!
25th December 2013
Now I haven’t ever run on Christmas day before. In fact the most exercise I have had previously on Christmas Day was lifting the turkey out of the oven (weight training) or reaching for the remote (stretching). And yet here was I lining up on Christmas Day to run 5k. Barmy!
And if I was barmy, I certainly wasn’t the only one! Over 100 people turned up, more if you include family members who were there to support, cheer or even ended up marshalling! And so many people made a real effort with their dress. The atmosphere was fabulous, and it was a fantastic start to the day. My children said they want it to become one of our Christmas traditions. And I agree!
21st December 2013
I could write about my run again. I was tailrunner again, that’s why my time was off my PB. It was wet, the off road part was slippy. report done.
But this week yet again I was struck by how parkrun is not like races. I saw two people that I know through my children’s swimming there for the first time (their sons were running), but most of the people I spoke to were people I had met during parkrun. I had a coffee with my cheerleader finally. I had a great time catching up with other parkrunners and am so grateful that I took the plunge and run. It really is like a family and I can’t wait to celebrate with them on Christmas Day!
14th December 2013
Another fine day for parkrun. And not a bad turn out even though it’s December. A slower time, but I was tail running, so I started running at the back of the field and for the first lap maintained my pace well. On the second lap I collected signs so my speed (relative!) dropped. But it’s another parkrun notched up and I also got the thrill of volunteering. Next week I am tail running again, but later in the month I want to have another crack at my pb.
7th December 2013
I have to admit I was disappointed with the time, but as usual parkrun delivers on so many levels. Our course was under threat from the high tide on Thursday and Friday night, but fortunately the damage was minimal and the parkrun went ahead.
Whether or not it was the threat of it being cancelled or just that it was a cold Saturday morning in December, numbers were down. But I was there with my son and we set off at the back of the pack.
I felt quite early on that I wasn’t working as hard as last week and didn’t know whether it was the lack of wind that blighted last week or my pace.
On the second lap I tried to increase the pace and I did until I drew level with a lady who had been in front of us for a while. I felt I could have run past her, but we got chatting and it was nicer to run in with her. So that’s what I did.
So well off my PB, but two of my children completed it, I chatted with many other parkrunners and park users and had a lovely hot chocolate after. PBs are not the only measure of success!
30th November 2013
So close! 5 seconds from my PB. I felt I worked harder than any other parkrun. It really hurt!! The wind was quite high and it affected a large part of the course and it was very cold too! But I managed to cope with the off road section fine, which bodes well for the depths of winter. But an enjoyable (although tough!) parkrun nevertheless.
16th November 2013
This week was an immensely satisfying run, even though I was several minutes outside my pb. Why? Because of two reasons.
The first was that I was trying to pace my daughter around to under 45 mins. Last week she did amazingly way and knocked 13 minutes off her pb, and ran walked for the first time. My job this week was to keep the momentum going. And we did. We ran/walked our way around and much to her delight overtook 3 people. Her encourager/trainer from last week even ran the last few 100metres with her and she did another pb!! Yeah. I trotted in a few seconds later. It was lovely to be able to encourage her and see her so successful. Well done darling!
And the second reason was more selfish. I ran/walked and felt very comfortable. Yet a few weeks ago that was my pb. It was a fabulous marker of how far I had come, and so was a great boost.
Autumn has struck! It was cold, but thankfully dry on Saturday morning. But I knew that the off road section would be slippery, and in fact the whole course was described as foggy and slippery. There weren’t many back of the packers but I settled into a good rhythm and felt I was doing fine until the second off road section. I felt I slowed down and couldn’t pick the pace up again. It really hurt towards the end but I wasn’t surprised to miss my PB by just over 30 secs. Still a good run, my daughter did a massive PB and really enjoyed the run -walk way rather than the lolloping walk way. And we had cake afterwards. So a fabulous parkrun day all around!
27th October 2013
I have to admit my legs were a little tired from yesterday, but I was determined to take part in this wonderful event. And as luck would have it, the clocks went back, so I had an extra hour, so no excuses.
The weather was blowy but sunny. And as it was early-ish the roads were fairly quiet. I pushed it reasonably hard, after yesterday’s run I was just hoping to get under 40 mins. And I did achieve this, so I was very happy with my weekend’s work!
26th October 2013
After not running parkrun for 2 weeks (I did volunteer last week) I was looking forward to this week’s run. The weather promised to be dry but windy (and it can get very windy running alongside the promenade) although I knew that the off tarmac parts would be a little slippery.
There were good numbers considering it was half term, with lots of familiar faces as well as some newbies. As we settled in to our rhythm of running there appeared to be plenty of back of packers, which certainly encouraged me.
I do wonder if I am beginning to think like a runner as I tend to run on feel. But this run was the first where I wised I could run to a certain pace. I didn’t know if I was faster or slower than my pb, but it hurt!!
I carried on with my son until the final run past the café (where I high fived my supporter, bless him!) and I let him run the rest of the way alone and he did very well (PB 35:11). As I crossed the line I couldn’t believe it when the timers said 36 mins! I was speechless (yes partly with being puffed out as well as being so chuffed!). I was genuinely shocked but overjoyed, and it just shows that if you put in the work, good times will come. So I guess my next target is sub 35mins!!
Another PB! So pleased! And what made it even better was I had my daughter volunteering and my son accompanying me for his first parkrun. Another fine day, lots of runners, catching up with fellow parkrun friends and a tough run. What more could I want on a Saturday morning?
It felt tough and my legs were hurting towards the end and the relief when I finished was immense. As was the pride in my children. Well done!
Today was the time to take part in this fabulous idea that I wrote about previously. I decided to run on the treadmill which had positives and negatives. I found it hard and at times I reduced the pace to a fast walk. But I also tried to push through too with periods of faster speeds, and was fairly satisfied with my time. Will definitely be taking part in this fabulous event regularly.
Eagle eyed readers amongst you will notice that my time is a lot slower when compared to my previous parkruns. Don’t panic, I was not ill or injured, I was volunteering for the first time and my role was tail runner.
This meant I literally was the last runner in the field (although I wasn’t for a minute or so as a lady arrived late and steamed past me!). So I decided to walk as there were several people walking too (including my daughter for her first parkrun-proud mum alert!). I really enjoyed it although in some ways it was as hard! I also appreciated the “not running this week?” comments from runners and my supporter in the café!
On the final loop I collected the signs and enjoyed the good weather and beautiful views. I trotted over the line happy that I had volunteered for the first time and delighted my daughter had her first parkrun experience. A good day!
So after a week off, I was back doing a parkrun. It seemed quite busy, full of very sporty/fit runner types and not many back of packers. But it was a lovely day for running-mild, not windy and dry. I set off and everyone else shot off so it was a very lonely run, and at first with no encouragement from anyone. But I soon spotted a cheerleader at the café and he made me smile and I settled in to my run and fairly soon I was blowing hard. As usual I was overtaken by the faster runners on their second lap and received several words of encouragement.
By the second lap I was blowing really hard and it felt very hard, and I was tempted to walk but I knew I would regret it. So I kept going and got cheers from the cheerleader at the café (bless you sir, one week I will buy you a cuppa to thank you) and a lovely runner who kept on cheering me until I finished. When I did I was told I went sub 40, and all the pain was worthwhile. No wonder it hurt! I was so chuffed I still have a smile on my face.
Thanks once again to the volunteers and organisers.
So my second parkrun rolled around and as I enjoyed my first one so much I was very excited. However I was feeling a bit “off” in the morning so I went more in hope than expectation of a PB. I turned up and immediately started chatting to a club runner. The numbers were down on the previous week (it was the inaugural event) and when the run Director called for all the newbies there were only a dozen or so runners left! So then we rolled up to the start, listened to the RD’s speech and then it was off.
Unlike last week there were people behind me! Despite not feeling great I settled into my plod and was encouraged by the marshals, dog walkers and people sitting at the café. I kept traipsing on and finally finished with a PB.
Afterwards there was a chance to catch up with several other runners who were equally enthusiastic about the magic that is parkrun. There were several of us “slow runners” but we all enjoyed as much as everyone else and felt part of it! My only sadness is that I can’t run every week due to family commitments. But I will try to get to as many as I can and will certainly be volunteering in the future.
31st August 2012
I have been a fan of parkrun for a while even though I had never been near one. I had heard Martin and Tom discuss them on Marathon Talk as well as listening to the parkrun podcast. I wished there was one close that I could do, and at the beginning of the year up popped a parkrun a few miles away.
But my nerve failed me. I registered but told myself that I wanted to get fitter and faster before I ran it. That never happened and then things were further put on the back burner when I started to go to Slimming World on Saturday mornings.
So when a parkrun was planned for a park a mile from my home I had no excuses. So I weighed in and then drove over to the park.
At first I felt like I was at a race. There were people with running vests, ironman triathlon t shirts and most seemed to know each other. I felt hopelessly out of place. I hoped the fabled parkrun friendliness would show itself but to be honest as I settled down (at the back of the field, way at the back of the field) I wasn’t feeling it. I had a cheer from one marshal and very sweetly from a lady walking her dog who was nothing to do with parkrun.
And then things changed. The marshals became more encouraging; runners that lapped me, and then finished and were warming down gave me encouragement. I was really enjoying myself. I didn’t care I was at the back of the field, I was used to that, but I cared about running all the way. Which I did apart from a stop to check on a stricken runner (she had with her several other runners who had stopped and sacrificed any good time for themselves as well as several marshals. I hope she is ok.).
Near the finish I was joined by a lovely man called Steve who was the tail runner and he encouraged me over the last few hundred meters. As did many of the finishers who hung around the finish funnel. I had so many congratulations I was humbled and when I got my time I was pleased with it. I will definitely be coming back and my first aim is better my PB and then go sub 40…
The National Lottery Anniversary Run
21st July 2013
The thought of running in the Olympic stadium where Ennis, Rutherford, Rudisha, Weir et al had done their thing attracted thousands to apply for the National Lottery Anniversary run. I was one of the lucky ones and secured my place. Although I ran regularly I didn’t do the miles I wanted and so was definitely undercooked going into the event. My fault completely. However as it was 5 miles I was confident I could go around safely.
So with my two daughters accompanying me, we headed to the Olympic stadium. As runners we were supplied a t shirt before the event and encouraged to wear them it was easy to spot the runners and there was a touch of the fantastic atmosphere that encompassed London during the Olympics. The girls headed off to their seats while I headed off to the start line.
Victoria Pendleton interviewed post race
Excitement was mounting as when I reached the start line the first wave had already gone off (I was in the last wave). Chris Hoy was the starter and high fived and waved to as many people as he could. I waited…and waited, and watched the other waves go off, the front runners go past, and gradually got closer to our start time. When finally it came I was still waiting! It took over five minutes to get over the start line. And then I was off…well not quite. The first part was quite narrow and with the numbers there everyone had to walk.
Finally I got to run. Most of the run was deserted and along access roads within the Olympic Park. The highlights were running right past the velodrome ( and I mean right past, you could touch it!) and of course the wonderful views of the stadium. I ran well for the first couple of miles but then my lack of mileage told and I adopted a run-walk strategy (especially up the slopes!).
The day was hot, and the water provided at half way was well received, as was the mist shower. As the stadium loomed, I was very excited and relieved however running through the bowels of the stadium was unexpectedly exciting. Through the corridor there was a loop of “Chariots of Fire” and Steve Cram’s commentary of Mo’s Olympic gold, which certainly inspired me to sprint onto the track. The track! Hard to believe that I was on the same track where so many greats had plied their trade. I looked for the girls but couldn’t spot them in the crowd, but tried to put a sprint on and finished in 1:10:39.
Little Mix on stage
It was a wonderful experience for all of us. The girls loved being back in the stadium (we’d seen Paralympic action the previous summer) and enjoyed the entertainment. I enjoyed the location (who wouldn’t?), got a great goody bag and felt inspired by so many people of different ages and sizes all enjoying running. I wish my time was quicker, but I hadn’t put the work in, so I got what I deserved. If you ever get the chance to run in the footsteps of Bolt and Blake, do it.