Sorry for how late this post is. I have had some trouble with my webhosting! Anyway, without hesitation, here it is!
June has flown by and it’s already July. 6 months of the year have gone.
June started with the first Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and it finally arrived. The morning was a complete success and we had a massive turn out of 184 children. I did a post about it here. It’s really awesome to know we’re doing something to shape the future generation.
June also saw me visit a local eatery for the first time called The Tenth Hole. They sell the most amazing cakes. They have a main menu too but they’re renowned for their cakes. I had the Mars Bar cheesecake which was divine. I’ve visited since and had the banoffee pie which was delicious. It tasted so fresh.
In June I only managed to run one parkrun due to other commitments on a Saturday morning. I got a PB which was pleasing. My 5k PB is now at 53:27.
On 18th June I went and spectated at the Gosport Golden Mile. This is a local race but has an amazing turnout. I blogged about it here.
At the end of June we had some friends down from Sheffield. It was fun being tourists in our own town. We ate out, went to the New Forest, took them to see Old Portsmouth, Southsea and to the beach here at Lee-on-the-Solent. They really enjoyed it.
June has been a fun month. I’ve blogged 4 times in June and the links are below if you want to check them out.
The Gosport Golden Mile is a much anticipated local race. It is organised by Nick Carter who owns Absolute Running and a true legend in the running community. He also organises 545 club (every Wednesday), Breakfast Club (every Sunday) and the Bayside 5K Summer Series as well as the Golden Mile!
Sunday morning started bright and early. The weather was absolutely glorious. I smothered myself in sun cream and donned my hat as I knew we were going to be there all morning.
Upon arrival my Mum and I (Yes I dragged my Mum along but she actually enjoyed it!) went and grabbed a coffee in the Bayside Cabin. It was like lava though and as a result we missed the wheelchair race! Ooops!
We headed over to the start/finish line of the Golden Mile ready for the kids race where I quickly caught up with Maggie.
We were waiting for her son to complete the mile. He’s been doing really well in our new junior parkrun and this was a fraction shorter so we knew he’d do well. We were also looking out for the young man who keeps being first past the line at junior parkrun. We knew he’d do well too. However the biggest surprise of all was as we were clapping in the winner and second place, we noticed who was in third place, Kieran was storming his way to the finish line. I went mad cheering him on. I literally couldn’t believe it! As he made his way round to us with his medal I was so pleased for him and told him so. However, being the teenager he is, he was totally chill about it! He completed his mile in 05:42.2! If you want to read his account of the run click here.
340 children entered the Gosport Golden Mile! That’s an astounding amount of children, but it was watching this race last year that really confirmed we needed a junior parkrun in the area.
Next up was the Adult mile race. Jeez those guys were fast. It was won in 04:09.4! We cheered and hollered so many of our friends on from parkrun. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a hot day but so many people still managed to get PB’s.
Afterwards it was time for the final race, the 5K race. The pack seemed a little small, 140 people. Maybe this seemed small because I’m so used to looking at our huge parkruns! I’m sure the weather probably made some people DNS! Again we gave our support to everyone, but mostly the people we know from parkrun. It was nice to see them all as I’d missed parkrun the previous day due to work. Booo! We watched the last runner come in then headed over to watch the presentations.
The first three winners of each race were given a plaque and cash prize. I was pretty impressed, great medal and fantastic prizes for those who managed to achieve them! There were also bottles of wine for those who won their age categories. It’s the race that keeps on giving!
Image courtesy of Kieran
Thanks again Kieran
You know what I’m going to say now right?! Watching this race inspired me so much and now I’m eagerly awaiting the entries to open for the Gosport Golden Mile 2018 to open so I can enter. But the question is, which one? The mile? The 5k? Or Both?!
It’s time to update you all on my 2017 goals. If you want to read my original post where I set the goals, it’s here and if you’d like to read my first update which was published in March, it’s here.
I’m continuing to do well with this. I’m being mindful when making food choices. My new work has a salad bar which is free, or you can eat a hot lunch. I’m making sure I access the salad bar most days only having the hot lunch once a week, or sometimes not at all. This is working out well and I’ve now lost almost two stone.
As you know, this is going well. When the 2017 dawned, I’d never completed a parkrun. Now I’ve completed three and I’m loving it. I have improved my time each time going from 58:24 down to 53:27. I hope to keep improving this. I’ve found by completing more parkruns, it’s making me be more mindful of food choices and making want to exercise more in other ways too. If you want to read my posts on parkrun they can be found below:
In my last update I wasn’t doing too well with this goal. I had read three books and listened to the Harry Potter audio books. I’ve now got back in to reading and have read 9 books. I’ll probably post a list of what books I’ve read at the end of the year as I don’t plan on reviewing them all.
Again this is going well. I’m only accepting invitations for events I really want to attend. Because I work with a lot of young people, they have a constant desire it seems to be out of the house away from their parents, whereas I actually like being at home. It’s lovely they invite me but sometimes I just prefer to be at home!
I haven’t completed a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to hurting my foot falling over a door frame at work. However two weeks of resting, elevating etc meant that I was ready to attempt another parkrun.
My plan was to walk the majority of the parkrun and at the final turnaround point begin run/walking the remainder. I walked the first part and didn’t get any leg pain like I normally do. I ended up walking with three children ranging from 9-15. Perhaps the constant chatter amongst them didn’t allow me to notice any pain! As we continued the leg pain never appeared and we were at the turn around point before I knew it. I began run/walking, supported by the children who were more than happy to run along and call out encouragement. When beginning my run segments I’d pick a point somewhere in the distance e.g. a bin, bench or beach hut. I felt good on the run section and really noticed how the Hokas helped propel me forward.
I finished in 53:27, beaten by all three children! Those pesky kids! It was another parkrun PB so I was pleased. The hot weather meant I felt shattered afterwards! I finished in 386th position! I now can’t run a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to work and having friends visit from Sheffield. I’m really going to try and make sure I keep up with practising though.
Sunday June 4th was the inaugural Stokes Bay junior parkrun. After a successful test event two weeks previous we were excited to see what the morning would bring. All 6 RD’s had posted about it on Facebook so we knew we’d get a good turnout. What we didn’t expect was a HUGE turnout!
Myself, Paul (the ED) and Maggie got their early to make sure we had anything and had everything in place ready for the arrival of the marshals. A lot of our marshals have come over to us from what is now known as our sister parkrun Lee-on-the-Solent. I’m amazed so many people are willing to give up their time on a Saturday, but to know so many people are willing to give up their on a Saturday and Sunday just shows the power of parkrun.
As we were setting up the Breakfast Club from Absolute Running ran by. A lot of these runners attend Lee parkrun too so we hollered and whooped as they went by. People started arriving from around 8.15, both runners and marshals. Paul jumped in to action and gave the marshals their equipment, lanyards and hi-vis vests. I was timekeeping, one of my favourite roles, so I trained the other timekeeper on how the stopwatch works.
Then it was a case of waiting. As we waited more people arrived, and then even more. There were plenty of children but also plenty of adults. Some adults were dressed to run with their children, others wrapped up against the bracing wind. There weren’t just parents either, there were grandparents, aunts and uncles. The prom was soon full and Paul had to ask people to gather on the grassy area to keep the prom clear!
The brief and warm up (all junior events have to have a warm up) were due to start at 8.50am. 8.50 arrived but people were still arriving in their droves. There were people arriving as far as the eye could see. Then Jade (one of our RD’s) received a call saying the car park was full! Bearing in mind the car park is a pretty big one! The briefing was given as late as we possibly could, along with the warm up. Then the last thing that needed saying was “Ready, Steady, Go!” and they were off.
We all stood a bit gobsmacked as the crowd passed us. There were lots of runners. We quickly made our way down from the start line to the finish line where we cheered all the runners on. The first runner finished the course in a rather speedy 8:05, 1 second faster than the test event! This is now set as our course record. Soon enough all the runners had returned home and we had a moment to stop and take it all in. 184 runners had completed the course. 184! Wow! We’ve created a monster.
As we chatted to people afterwards we had nothing but praise and positive comments, this then continued through the day on the Facebook and Twitter accounts. We were absolutely buzzing. I still am a little if I’m honest! The huge turnout just goes to show how much this little town needed a junior parkrun and I’m pleased we were able to bring it. We’re helping the future generation start life of a fit and healthy path. Long may it continue!
I’m starting this post on a rainy Bank Holiday weekend. Those words go together so well don’t they? Rainy Bank Holiday!
In May I continued discovering new places. I’ve heard of Old Portsmouth from a few people so we went over one evening to have a look round and explore. We went on the walls around the Square Tower and Round Tower. From the top you can see the ferries coming in to dock at Portsmouth. We were so close to this Brittany Ferry I could hear the announcements being made about how to disembark.
In May it was my Mum’s birthday so we took her for a surprise trip to Weymouth for a Birthday treat. We had lunch at the Red Lion pub who do really good seafood. We wandered around the Harbour and down to the Beach. It was a great day.
How cute is this fella? He was the only donkey left behind. Maybe he was glad of the break though?
As you may know from this post I completed my first parkrun. I’ve completed another one since and a practice run. It all came to a halt this week though as I’ve hurt my foot.
Also in May my lovely Winnie developed a problem! I was driving home from work and when I turned corners, the steering clunked. She got towed away to Smart of Portsmouth who fixed her up. Her steering rack had failed! I was pretty disappointed that this would happen in a car less than a year old!
I think that’s all for my May Roundup. I’ve done much better with blogging in May so why not read one of my other posts?
I had to semi miss parkrun this work due to a work commitment. I went to volunteer again as volunteer coordinator but then had to leave at 9.3o to get to work. In a way it was probably a blessing in disguise. I fell at work on Monday (over a door frame of all things) and probably would have been tempted to give it a go had I not have had a work commitment. It is still a bit sore so it was for the best really. So instead of a parkrun update I thought I’d post about where I’d like to visit. I know, I can barely walk them at the minute but once I’m able to run them I’d like to do a little bit of tourism and check out some local and some not so local parkruns.
Close to home
Some of these are going to be easy to achieve. They aren’t that far away and I’d be able to drive there on a Saturday morning.
Southsea – I’ve heard Southsea is very similar to my home parkrun Lee-on-the-Solent, but with less marshals. It’s flat, it’s by the sea and has a great café. It’s also where some of my parkrun friends started their parkrun adventures before Lee became their home parkrun.
Netley Abbey – I encourage people to come and visit me at parkrun this used to be because I couldn’t drive and because I couldn’t bear to give up my volunteering. However I can drive now and I’m nearly at the magic 100 times I strived to volunteer. Anna has visited me a couple of times at Lee so maybe one day I’ll be able to let her show me her home parkrun?
Southampton – Southampton is one of the biggest parkruns in the UK so I’d like to see what such a big parkrun is like, although Lee is huge it’s actually half the size of Southampton.
A little further afield
Medina IOW – I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight but I’ve known there was a parkrun there for a while. I recently saw pictures of this parkrun on Instagram and it looks lovely as it runs alongside the River Medina.
Poole – This is another huge parkrun and I’ve heard good things about it from some of my parkrun friends. Apparently they go the extra mile for runners by providing water and laminating services for your barcode.
Weymouth – I adore Weymouth from my first holiday there in 1997 I have pretty much been back every year since even when it meant travelling by train to get there from Sheffield. I’d love to run a parkrun here but have to admit, I’m disappointed it’s not on the beach front.
A lot further afield
Bushy – The home of parkrun, surely everyone has to run this once in a lifetime? Also they have deer! Not many parkruns can boast that!
Sheffield Hallam – I first heard of parkrun when I lived back home in Sheffield. Sheffield Hallam was my local parkrun but I never made it to one, even when I could run. I guess a mixture of nerves and the unknown? Without knowing about parkrun I’d have never volunteered when Lee-on-the-Solent started up. This is such a familiar course, I have walked it a thousand times but it’d be great to do it officially.
So most people know I love Scotland. If we hadn’t of moved to the South Coast I’d have looked at moving to Scotland.
Ganavan Sands (near Oban) – After completing this parkrun I’d go for locally caught seafood in Oban. Can’t think of a better day to be honest.
Inverness – I simply love the Highlands, the scenery there is just something else so why not parkrun in Inverness where I’ve spent so much time. I’d stay in the log cabin we’ve stayed in before at North Kessock.
Aviemore – Aviemore is such a beautiful place. It has Loch Morlich which is probably the prettiest Loch I’ve ever seen. It also has reindeers!! When I’d finished this parkrun I’d refuel at Roo’s Leap.
I think that’s a big enough list for now. I’m pretty sure over time there will be others I add.
Fresh off the back of a parkrun PB I really wanted to practice, to improve myself and see where I can go with this running lark. Sunday however was a really hot day and I put off going out, I put it off so much I got to the point where I wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I put a status on Facebook saying so and everyone told me to go! So I did. I’d waited until just after 6 but it was still so hot!
I’d already decided to do the parkrun course but whilst walking the first section towards Browndown I started to put a little plan together. I’d see how I felt as I passed the finish funnel area as I know I always tend to get leg pain on the first out and back. And if I felt ok I’d continue walking until the second turn around, evaluate again and if all was good, run walk the last bit.
As I looked at my watch it wasn’t showing the usual display of pace. Instead of mph it was showing min/miles and I don’t really know what I do them in! I couldn’t figure out how to change it either so just pressed on!
I did get the leg pain as I went to the first turn around point. A pavement with a slight tilt one way always makes my leg worse. In this case the prom tilts ever so slightly towards the sea. I carried on hoping it would pass and as I got to the finish funnel area it was definitely starting to subside. Now my only complaint was how hot I was! I put my head down and marched on. As I got to the final turn around point I was feeling ok so started to run. Just from one bench to the next so I have no idea how long for but everything felt ok so I continued running a little and walking in between.
When I reached mini mountain I looked at my watch. One of my friends had urged me to beat 55 minutes and I was so close! I powered up mini mountain and back down the other side and then ran as much as I could between there and where the finish funnel would usually be.
On Saturday afternoon we had the test event for the Stokes Bay junior parkrun we have been setting up. You have to have a test event before you’re allowed to start to make sure all your equipment works, the route is suitable and everything falls in to place.
We got there at 4pm ready for a 5pm start. There was one big difference from parkrun in the morning, to the test event in the afternoon. The weather! The wind had gotten up and was really strong making it a very chilly set up. I was on timekeeping for the test event and I will do the same for the inaugural. parkrun ask you to do that so that everyone is practised in their role. I talked through how the timekeeping watch works to Louise, the other timekeeper and also a fellow RD at our new parkrun. She has done some volunteering roles before but never timekeeping.
Soon we had some little runners arriving. They say to invite a small group of runners as it is, after all, just to test the course. We had 27 arrive. They had so much energy and the cold and windy weather didn’t seem to bother them at all. They were all running around, chasing and rolling down the grassy banks before we started and still managed some pretty impressive times!
As 4.55pm arrived Paul, our ED, and first time RD, did his run brief. Then it was on to the warm up. This is one difference between the 5k Saturday parkrun and the Sunday junior parkrun. The juniors have to have a warm up provided. They all joined in which was very cute and then moved to the start line.
The start line of our parkrun is a little way from the finish line, as I knew some of these runners were going to be fast I was worried about getting back to the finish funnel to begin clicking them in but thankfully we made it in time. The children did great and ran with big smiles, a lot of speed and some were chatting and laughing with friends, only getting serious when the finish funnel was in sight! It’s so refreshing how they care very little about time and pace. They just want to run and see their friends.
The first runner (male) passed the line in 8:06. The junior parkrun is 2km rather than 5km. The first female crossed the line in 9.22. What I noticed that surprised me was how many children, once finished, went back to run the rest with their friends. I know a lot of adults do this but it was so nice to see the children being to supportive and encouraging their friends/siblings.
The event went swimmingly. Nothing at all went wrong and it was a complete success. The children really enjoyed it and this shows from some of the feedback we’ve had since. I also chatted to a lady afterwards who had stopped to watch all the children run and asked if her granddaughter could join in next time.
Afterwards we headed off to have some training provided by our ambassador. This was quite quick and we all already volunteer often and a couple of us are already RD’s at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. We were taken through uploading results, what errors may occur, safeguarding, the parkrun does and don’ts and what to do in case of an emergency or tragedy. It was quite interesting and the hour or so it took soon flew by.
I think we’re all good to go now for the 4th June and I for one, can not wait!
This Saturday was a busy and very parkrun filled day! I volunteered to help at Lee on the Solent parkrun this week and put my name down as volunteer coordinator. This role involves telling the marshals or funnel team what and where their roles are. This week I was telling the funnel team and had offered to train up a couple of others, so when they were volunteer coordinator, they’d know what to tell the volunteers. When I’d finished I saw the lovely Louise from Fareham Crusaders and we took a parkrun selfie. Louise always takes one before parkrun so I was happy to oblige with this ritual.
After taking a selfie I went and positioned myself at the back of the pack ready to try out my second parkrun. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t hopeful for it being as successful as last week. When I’d got up on Sunday last week I had a horrendous cold that pretty much made me feel rubbish all week and left me with a horrid cough which I still have now. I did however have my shiny new trainers on my feet that I’d bought from Nick at Absolute Running. He’d promised me I’d PB in them but I was unsure from being ill.
After volunteering I went and found my place at the back of the pack. We had a new PA system donated to us this week and as a result I heard every word of the run brief despite being at the back!
As we started the route I began to get the pain down the outside of my calf. The camber of the pavement always makes this worse and the first part of the course does have a slight tilt so this may be why. As we progressed to the turn around point and started heading back the pain began to subside. We picked up Adam as we were passing the sailing club for the second time from his marshalling spot. He told me he planned to help me PB this week. I’m so grateful for how supportive people are of me and trying to run! As we passed the finish funnel the pain was gone and I was beginning to feel stronger. There were two older ladies quite a way in front of me and I now had these in my sight! I wanted to over take them. As we headed to our second turn around point Paula came to join me. She had already completed her parkrun in a very speedy 23.11! Having Adam and Paula walk with me made the time fly by. They’re both quite funny and so my attention was focussed on the conversation rather than what I was doing. I glanced at my watch and was managing to maintain 3.3mph. Last week I walked at 3.2mph. When I mentioned this both Adam and Paula were encouraging me even more to keep the pace and over take the two ladies…which I did!
As we made it back to the finishing straight both Adam and Paula were speeding up and shouting encouragement at me so I literally had to run. I couldn’t keep up with them so did a sprint finish (if you can call it that!)
As it wasn’t such a big turn out this week I finished higher position wise, and I also got a PB! Last week I finished in 58:24 and this week I finished in…..drum roll….55:03!! Amazing what new shoes and a bit of encouragement from friends can do!
I’m going to do a separate post about the rest of my parkrun filled day so expect that soon!