Category Archives: parkrun

More Running Than Walking

The last day of August was a Saturday, which can only mean one thing, parkrun day!

I’d seen on the Facebook page of my running club that they were encouraging everyone to wear their club tops to run in on Saturday. Not for any particular reason, but just because, naturally I obliged.

I’m a bit all over with my running. I’ve done a continuous 2 mile run and a variety of run/walks but I wasn’t sure what to do on the day so decided to wing it. I’d run as much as I could and walk when I needed to.

I set off and run a little bit with Gavin from my running club. He’d got penned in with his buggy at the back so was waiting for the crowd to thin out a little before making a break for it. After he left me Pete caught up with me and we ran for a short while together. He was sandwiching his parkrun in the middle of a long run. He’s training for Ironman Wales so his tapering run that he was doing was still a whopping 10 miles!

After he too had left me I took my first walk break. I was just over a mile in. I only walked for a minute and then continued. As I continued I only took a couple more walk breaks which I was pleased about. After we hit the turnaround point, there’s over a mile to the next turnaround point, and there was a glorious cool breeze that allowed me to run quite comfortably without overheating which pleased me enormously.

For the duration of the run I could see the 40 minute pacer ahead of me. At some points he was closer to me and at other points he seemed much further away. I try not to look at my watch whilst I’m running but gauged my finish time to be around 43-45 minutes given the distance between us at the end. As I was on the final section the pacer was cheering people in to the funnel and I figured he must have finished and come back round to cheer others on so as I entered the funnel and stopped my watch I was surprised to see a 39 at the beginning. Turns out the pacer had gone too fast and then walked through the funnel when he hit the 40 minute mark!

My official time came through and I finished in 39:20. I looked at my watch at the start and saw it had taken me 22 seconds to cross the start line so actually it should have had 38 at the beginning.

Does it take you long to get over the start line at your local parkrun?

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parkrun and More Flat Hunting

I tell lots of people about parkrun. Usually it’s work colleagues who are intrigued by me going every week. Quite often they say “Oh I’d like to do something like that, I can’t run though” to which I always reply “You can walk it if you want, if you ever fancy going, I’d be happy to walk it with you” I never nag them to come to parkrun, I never force them to say yes just to shut me up. Lots of people have said they’ll come to parkrun, they register, chat about it, make all the arrangements to come and then Saturday morning they text with whatever their reason not to come is.

You can see where this is leading, on Saturday 17th August, a work colleague was supposed to be joining me. Again, I didn’t nag them or force them, in fact, they asked me. Anyway Saturday morning my phone beeped with the text that, to be honest, I was expecting. I was a bit annoyed though as the day before I’d run 2 miles non stop as our plan was to walk with maybe a little bit of running on the Saturday. Now I would have to still run walk to as not to aggravate my injury but if I’d have known they were going to pull out, I wouldn’t have run on the Friday.

Anyway, I set off with the plan on running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute. It felt so hard. I haven’t been running as much as I should lately and I had been for a run the day before. It was breezy yet muggy. Surprisingly though, even though it felt difficult my splits weren’t actually that different. I felt like I was getting progressively slower, yet miles 2 and 3 were exactly the same.

Mile 1: 12:12min/mile
Mile 2: 12:27min/mile
Mile 3: 12:27min/mile

Maria had waited for me and ran the last bit with me. She actually commented on how fast my sprint finish was! Watch out Bolt! haha

parkrun selfie

My mum was coming down at some point on Saturday morning to go and view more flats. We didn’t know what time she’d get here. When I got in from parkrun I grabbed breakfast then went for a bath. I commented to my husband “I can guarantee I’ll get in the bath and she’ll arrive” Just as I got in the bath the doorbell rang!

We went to view 3 flats all in Gosport. Each flat got progressively better and I think she’s found the one! We went to look round the last flat and to help her get her bearings I took her the very short walk to Gosport waterfront which looks out over Portsmouth Harbour. She was pretty impressed by the view, and in the picture below, you can see why.

Portsmouth Harbour

That evening my husband and I had dinner booked at the café we use after parkrun. We booked it way back in March as they sell it so quickly and I couldn’t remember for the life of me which options I’d selected from the menu. So, each course was a nice surprise. I had garlic mushrooms on a crisp bread, vegetable lasagne with a side of seasonal vegetables and orange sponge cake with orange sauce and custard. It was absolutely delicious but the pair of us left feeling stuffed! We enjoyed it so much though we booked straight on to the next available one…April 2020!

Do people ever let you down over parkrun?

Have you ever had to book so far in advance to eat somewhere?

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A Hardcore parkrun

Saturday’s parkrun was pretty wild. My weather app told me the wind speed was 45mph, but later on the news I heard the gusts had been 60mph.

Walking down to parkrun was strange. It was so windy, yet it was a warm wind. I’d expected it to be colder. As soon as I turned on to the street that takes you to the seafront, I was almost blown away! The wind was strong!

I’d decided it was time to move on from the 1 minute run/walking which I’ve done the last two weeks at parkrun and I thought I’d give 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking a whirl. I was run/walking on my own but it never feels like you’re on your own at parkrun as you’re surrounded by others and their conversations.

To be honest the run/walking was absolutely fine and there’s really nothing to report on that front. However, the wind made it really difficult. Although running along the coast you’re always exposed, there are some points where you’re more exposed and I could feel my legs being blown sideways from under me! Very disorientating!

All the way along I could see there was sea foam blowing off the sea. Nothing prepared me for when a big clump of it hit me in the face! It was icy cold and of course, very salty! The spray off the sea was continuous and quite refreshing as it was actually really warm!

I was definitely glad to be finished by the end as it’d felt like running whilst pushing a brick wall at some points. I was really surprised to finish in under 40 minutes! I’d kept the 40 minute pacer in sight but she was quite a way ahead of me and I finished after her so presumed I’d have finished over 40 minutes.

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parkrun and Flat Hunting

Saturday was of course parkrun day! I’ve still not been running much so decided to join the run/walk pacer again. My mum was down this weekend so I went and met her and she volunteered as a marshal.

When she went to her marshalling spot Maria and I decided to run together with the run/walk pacer so we could have a bit of a catch up. However, as we ran, we soon lost the run/walk pacer. It’s so crowded now at my local parkrun that as we over took people walking, as the other runners were passing the pacer couldn’t get by so we ended up really separated from her and the other people run/walking so we decided to keep on going and I’d keep an eye on my watch. This kind of worked! We were too busy chatting and kept going over the 1 minute!

It was very humid and hot again and despite there being a breeze I was soon too hot for this to make any sort of difference. In the final mile I was sweltering and it wasn’t my legs making me slow down, it was the fact I was so damn hot and sweating profusely! Although I really felt like I was slowing down with each mile, I actually ran progressively faster with each mile, which was a nice surprise.

My splits were: Mile 1: 14:03 Mile 2: 13:25 Mile 3: 13:21

 

Afterwards we went and had a quick shower and then went to view some flats with my Mum as she’s moving down here (Southampton) She’s sold her house in Sheffield now so the pressure is on to find somewhere here.

It wasn’t that successful unfortunately. The first flat we had to move youths off the doorstep to get in to the block of flats and then the resident was in bed. She’d forgotten there was a viewing and the flat was VERY untidy! The 2nd flat had previously been owned by a smoker and my word! The smell was eyewatering. The 3rd flat actually made me a bit sad. The owner didn’t have a sofa or TV. Apparently she was a student and worked so just used the flat as a base. The bed was also an airbed on pallets. However, she did work at Sprinkles so her life isn’t all bad! And the 4th flat, well, my mum refused to even stop the car as the area looked so bad!

So for now, the search continues!

Have you seen some sights whilst house/flat hunting?

Is your local parkrun crowded?

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parkrun Travels

parkrun logo

I have an upcoming holiday booked. We’re flying out to Canada for two weeks of road tripping across Canada before dropping down in to Seattle in the US.

Naturally I have juggled our plans around to try and schedule in a couple of parkruns. One will be in Canada and the other in Seattle.

Canada

The first overseas parkrun I’ll attend is called Nose Hill parkrun and is in Calgary. The course is described as a mix of trail, tarmac and grass. It looks pretty flat from the course page. However, as there seems to be new parkruns popping up each week in Canada, this may well change.

USA

Once we cross the border to the US I plan on attending Renton parkrun in Seattle. The course is on paths along the Cedar River Trail and from the satellite view on the map, it looks like a wooded area.

I’m really looking forward to taking my parkrun tourism overseas!

Have you ever done a parkrun overseas?

What’s the furthest you’ve travelled for a parkrun?

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a parkrun/walk

On Saturday I headed down to my local parkrun. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m now building back up my running distances due to an injury.

I figured, today I’d join the run/walk pacer because I’m allowed to run 1.5miles and I figured technically that’d be ok. The run/walk pacer that day was Sue. Sue and I follow each other on some social media platforms but have never met. Sue is currently living with Stage 4 cancer and is part of the “5K your way, moving against cancer” group. Once a month they attend various parkruns and there’s a large group attend at my local parkrun.

I forewarned Sue of two things 1. I might not be able to keep up because of my injury and 2. I have two fat blisters! One on the ball of each foot. (I wore flip flops the day before and it obviously ended badly)

There was one other lady run/walking with us who was Sue’s friend Lucy. All three of us chatted together easily which is always a relief when running with new people. Thankfully because I had been and bought some blister plasters before parkrun, my blisters were just uncomfortable rather than painful. The running aspect though was absolutely amazing. I felt brilliant. I never struggled, other than being a bit hot.

At the end I felt like I could have easily run/walked an extra mile. It was great and really set my mind at rest about this injury. However, now I’m not sure how to play it. I need to up the distance but do I run/walk and stick at 1.5 miles, or do I run 1.7miles and then walk the rest? Hmm answers in comments please!

Happy face after finishing

After parkrun we went to a local café for breakfast. I scoffed a very tasty cheese and chorizo toastie followed by a mini Victoria sponge cake. We’re attending a dinner evening at the café in August so we also filled in our menu choices for that.

Saturday evening, once the sun had started to set a little we went out and did some work in the garden. We have an ongoing battle with a vine (bindweed) that comes over from a neighbours property. They choose not to garden which is completely their choice but it does make a tricky for us. We spent two hours out there pulling out the vine but to be honest, we could have spent another two hours out there and there’d still be loads. I feel like unless we can tackle it everyday it’s just going to keep growing quicker than we can remove it.

Do you have a 5K Your Way group at your local parkrun?

Do you enjoy gardening?

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A parkrun Walk

Despite the physio signing me off yesterday, I decided to walk parkrun on Saturday.

The weather had been predicted to be awful with wind, rain and thunderstorms. Thankfully all we got was a strong breeze, so not too bad at all. It was however really muggy and sticky!

When I got down to parkrun I bumped in to Rachel who was pacing 40 minutes. We had a chat before saying bye as we set off. I started walking and wanted to maintain a good pace. I made sure I used my arms to help keep up the momentum.

As I turned at the turnaround point I saw Paula coming the other way. She was also walking today so I waited for her to catch up so we could walk together. It’s ages since I saw her for a good chat so it was quite nice. We kept up a good pace and chatted about lots of different things, including injury. Paula currently has a stress fracture.

I was really surprised when we finished just over 50 minutes. The first time I ever did a parkrun I walked it and completed it in 58 minutes. My average mile was 16 something, I was pleased when I could run that two years ago! How times change!

Me and Paula

Have you ever walked a parkrun?

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A parkrun DNF

On Saturday I headed down to parkrun as usual. I’ve had a terrible week and hadn’t done any exercise since last Sunday when I ran at Breakfast Club.

When I got there I had a good natter with Maria whilst we waited for the off. I was also volunteering to token sort afterwards and hoping to speak to two new potential  Event Directors for an up and coming parkrun in my local area.

We set off and everything felt absolutely fine but as we got to the first turnaround point my left leg felt “weird” I don’t really know how else to describe it. It wasn’t painful but was starting to feel uncomfortable as we went further on. I slowed it down a bit, then told Maria I needed to walk. As we got back to where we started I said to Maria I thought it best I stop. It wasn’t massively painful but it definitely didn’t feel right.

We sat and had a natter whilst we waited for everyone else to finish. Despite me telling Maria she could go on without me she kindly stayed with me. As we were sat there chatting I noticed a large lump on my outer calf about 3 inches above my ankle bone! Once everyone had finished Maria left and I collected up the tokens. I met up with the other lady I was token sorting with, she had been marshalling at a part of the course I never reached. We walked up to the café together and my leg felt absolutely fine. Her husband met us at the café and we did the token sorting, along with a couple of others who came over to help, one being my lovely friend Mike. This was my 175th time volunteering at parkrun!

parkrun finish token

Obligatory token sorting picture of me holding token number one!

Once we’d finished I went over to chat to the core team. Two of them are hoping to set up another very local parkrun but are having some difficulties with one particular aspect. We chatted about the route they’ve found which sounds fantastic. They said they needed a winter route too and I offered them a 5K route I’ve run in the past that is a suitable winter course.

When I left the café my leg felt absolutely fine so I did a gentle jog home. It’s only 5 minutes from home when running. When I got back I had a bath with muscle soak and when I got out, both my legs had the same weird feeling. I *think* it’s tight muscles, although obviously I don’t definitely know. I took ibuprofen for the remainder of the day, iced it and wore my compression sleeves. I’m writing this on Sunday morning and again they both feel tight, although less so than yesterday. I’ll take ibuprofen again and then try some gentle stretches again. Fingers crossed this doesn’t develop in to anything.

Have you ever had to pull out of a parkrun?

Do you ever volunteer at parkrun? What’s your favourite role?

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Storm Miguel Visits parkrun

I feel like I’ve run in a storm in each month of 2019! The only downside to living on the coast is you get battered by winds and Saturday’s parkrun felt just like that.

I’d arranged at Zumba to run with Claire, one of my Zumba instructors. She wanted a slower run as she was starting work at 10am. I got down to parkrun early to have a natter with my friend Maria before we ran. Maria wanted to run alone to see where she was at (She finished in just over 30 minutes) so we had a good natter beforehand. By the time I’d walked down there I was already freezing from the strong winds so was glad when Maria suggested sitting in her car until nearer the time.

We got out at ten to 9 and Claire came and found me. It was so cold listening to the run brief as the winds were howling! Luckily by 9:03 we were on our way. As we ran the first section I told Claire about the Romsey 5 Mile Beer Run and she told me about a race she was doing the following day. As we turned at the first turnaround point the wind hit us like a brick wall and the grind began! Our friend Angela caught up with us and then to my surprise Mel did. Mel’s mum passed away on the Friday hence me being surprised to see her. She ran with us for a bit and told us her Mum had had a stroke on the Monday. She was really upset but appreciative that she could come to parkrun and be with friends. She told us her brother had come down to be with her, meaning he’d missed his 250th parkrun. I’ve met her brother a couple of times and went and offered my condolences after we’d finished running.

As we reached the 2nd turnaround point, Kaarina, the marshal at the turnaround point said “You’ll be really fast now with the wind behind you” Unfortunately the wind was coming straight off the sea and getting us side on rather than being behind us! It was slightly easier though.

I finished in 35:58 which I was happy with. I’m not running a lot at all at the moment so I’m glad it’s not affecting my times too much at the moment.

Selfie

Janet took this picture for us and her husband said I needed to treat myself to a new smaller t-shirt! You can see the wind blowing up it and making it flap! It’s a shame once you’ve got a parkrun t-shirt you aren’t able to buy another one.

Have you got any parkrun milestone t-shirts?

Did you run in Storm Miguel?

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A Hot parkrun!

It looks like the winter weather has finally made a move and now we’re heading in to warmer temperatures. I know most people are glad of this, but I am definitely an Autumn Winter person rather than a Spring Summer person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the extra daylight but I’m just not good in heat! I get hot so quickly, I sweat buckets and I overheat. It’s just miserable. When we had the heatwave last summer I was kind of glad to be injured as it meant I wasn’t having to run in the hot weather. The weather is warm now, not hot, but already I’m overheating.

Saturday morning at parkrun was about 16c. I walked down there in just cropped leggings and a tshirt so I knew it was going to be a warm one. I was pleased to see my friend Maria there as she’s been on holiday so I’ve not seen her for a little while. I was looking forward to hearing all about her trip to Cyprus.

We got down to the starting pen and it was very busy. After the run brief it took us over 30 seconds to get to the start line! We set off at a chatty pace. We had a lot to catch up on and I knew I’d need to take it easier because of the heat. It was nice hearing all about her holiday and catching up on other bits and pieces but my god it was hot. I regretted not taking a headband or wearing a buff on my head to try and absorb some of the sweat! Icky I know, but I sweat buckets. I also had a problem with my sunglasses steaming up! Does anyone else get that? I found I had to pull them further down my face but then they felt like they needed pushing up!

I finished parkrun with an official time of 37:07 a good two minutes slower than last week! I think over Summer I’m just going to have to ease it back a bit and take the slower times as I’m not good in heat.

My home parkrun now has a selfie frame too so obviously I had to get a picture with it!

parkrun selfie frame

With Maria

With Marie

With Marie

After heading home for a shower we drove to Ringwood to go and order a new car for me! It’ll be late August/early September before it gets to me though. I’m getting a Ford Fiesta. I wanted something a little bigger than my Smart Car and after looking round a few different cars this was my favourite. After signing on the dotted line we went for lunch at a pub in the New Forest which was lovely.

Ford Fiesta

What my new car will look like

Any tips for running in the heat?

Does your home parkrun have a selfie frame?

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