My local parkrun was cancelled on 2nd November due to the stormy weather that was battering parts of the UK. I was just about to leave the house that week but was a couple of minutes early so I thought I’d kill time by looking at Facebook. Lucky I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it was cancelled! It was throwing it down with rain and winds of 55mph. I understand why it was cancelled but I’m pretty sure we’ve run in those conditions before!
So I didn’t run at all that week and headed back to parkrun on 9th November where the weather was much calmer. It was a chilly morning but sunny and blue skies with just a slight breeze. I was pleased to be back with Maria who had returned from working away.
We ran and chatted the whole way. We had a couple of walk breaks but not for too long and then I ran the last little section on my own as Maria had to make a pitstop at the bathroom. I’ve really let my running slide recently and it’s definitely starting to feel harder again. I look back at my PB time and really can not even imagine how I did it!
I finished with a time of 39:21 which I was pleasantly surprised about because I was way behind the 40 minute pacer! I try not to look at my watch when I’m running instead using the pacers as a rough guide but sometimes the pacers seem to be quite far off!
Do you ever use a pacer at parkrun?
Have you had to stop mid parkrun to use the bathroom?
There’s something about parkrun days and the weather! parkrun on 26th October was a Halloween themed parkrun and was joined by 30mph winds! Thankfully the rain held off though.
I met up with Rachel and Penny who I was running with this week. Penny forgot to dress up but Rachel and I were wearing our Halloween outfits.
As we ran, Penny told us all about her half IronMan she’d completed in Weymouth. I can’t even imagine completing a half IronMan but Penny has decided she’ll now complete a full one! I love hearing others stories about races and this was no exception, although it was sometimes hard to hear with the wind howling around my ears!
I found the run really tough. I’ve been a bit lazy and haven’t exercised all week and the day before I’d pushed the new 6 seater pushchairs at work around a 3 mile walk. I’ve also been suffering with a spot of insomnia, added together along with the winds it made a pretty tough run. Rachel and Penny were great, checking if I was ok and encouraging me round.
My first two miles were pretty even at 12:18 and 12:11 but my 3rd mile was 13:22! I finished in 39:11. When I think now to my PB of 34:41 I can’t imagine how I did it! I seem so far off it now! Maybe over the Winter I can squeeze in more running as the weather will be much more to my liking.
I’m actually wearing Halloween leggings in the picture that I picked up in America. I’d never have dared wear patterned leggings like that before losing weight!
During our holiday to Canada, we spent some days in the USA. Obviously I planned that the days coincided with a parkrun so I could get another country ticked off! parkrun is going to become an expensive hobby if I tick off many more countries!
We decided on Renton parkrun in Renton, near Seattle. It was only 10 minutes from the hotel so was perfectly located. The parkrun was held in Riverview Park, along the Cedar River Trail. It was very similar to my home parkrun in that you run to one turn around point then come back on yourself, past the start and then out to another turn around point, and then head back on yourself again to go through the finish funnel.
When we got there, there weren’t many people at all. Soon a small crowd started to gather and we listened to the run brief. There were quite a few tourists there from England and Wales and the tail walker was touristing from Germany!
The weather was far better than it was when I did a Canadian parkrun! It was cool with a bit of sun on and off. We set off along the path. The whole course was on tarmac paths and the course was flat. Had I of been in PB shape, it would have been a really good course to try and get a new PB.
I ran the whole course and finished in 27th place! My highest finish position of all time. I was also 3rd in my age category! Something that will probably never happen again. I finished in a time of 37:41. A whole 5 minutes quicker than the parkrun in the snow in Calgary!
Afterwards we had a chat with the core team and a couple of regulars. They were really friendly and were telling us different things to go and see whilst we were in the area. We’d already got a lot of them down so at least we knew we were going to the right places. It was a lovely friendly course and if we were in the area again I’d definitely go back to visit them again.
Have you ever done an American parkrun?
Have you ever placed in the top 3 of your age category?
I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday to Canada and America. Whilst there, naturally, I had a couple of parkruns lined up and the first was Nose Hill parkrun in Calgary.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday the weather in all three destinations we were visiting was supposed to be pretty similar to the UK with temperatures between 12 and 20c. A couple of days before we left, Calgary started predicting snow so I took some long running items just in case. That turned out to be good decision. I emailed ahead to ask if they still put the event on in the snow, assuming that they probably would because it snows a lot in Canada. They told me they only cancel when it is too cold for the volunteers…-20c!!
We arrived at a snowy Nose Hill park and could already see the volunteers out setting up the course. We went and talked to the team and other runners. It turns out the Event Director is an ex pat and belonged to a very local running club! She’s also run my local parkrun. What a small world!! On this particular day there were actually more tourists than locals running!
It was a two lap course with the 2nd lap having a slightly different route to send you through the finish funnel. We set off and I felt quite sure footed. The snow was thick but still fluffy, however on lap 2, as everyone else had run round and the snow continued to fall heavily it became far slippier. There was a downhill section that I actually walked down for fear of falling over by slipping. I didn’t want to break a limb with over 2 weeks of holiday left!
The course was certainly undulating but never too steep or for too long thankfully, except for the very end where you go up a long, very steep hill. I was dead by the top of it, thankfully the finish funnel was just around the corner from it!
We had another chat with everyone at the end before heading off to warm up! I felt so lucky to get to experience parkrun in another country. I’m amazed that what started off as a group of friends running together is now a worldwide phenomenon that you can join in with pretty much where ever you are!
Something to note as well, -9 obviously suits me as I ran the whole thing with a hat and gloves and didn’t overheat at all! Perfect!
On the Wednesday before parkrun, they sent out an email with a section from Vitality asking people to do an extra 20% at parkrun and use the hashtag #move20more. Rachel asked me if I was game and I told her I definitely was.
On Saturday morning I met up with both Maria and Rachel and we all ran together. To start with I was a bit grumpy because the temperature was so warm and it’s meant to be cooling off because we’re halfway through September! But as we ran along I soon got over it…although I did moan about being hot haha.
I managed to run the whole 5km again which really pleased me. There was very little breeze so I definitely felt like I struggled the more we progressed. Mile 3 was my slowest at 13:06 but I averaged a pace of 12:51 throughout.
As we passed through the finish funnel we took a token and then Rachel and I quickly said goodbye to Maria and ran on. We were going to do an extra 1km but as we ran I actually felt a bit stronger than I was expecting so we topped it up to 4 miles. I was really pleased, as it’s been a good while since I ran 4 miles. In fact, it was June that I last ran 4 miles! Wow! At the end, I actually didn’t feel like I’d run 4 miles. I expected to be fatigued, but seemed to have got a 2nd wind of energy after we passed through the finish funnel. Again, I wonder how much of this new found strength is down to the workouts I’ve been doing.
Rachel and I then walked back to the barcode scanners and had a chat with various friends. We then went and had a coffee at Leon’s on the seafront. Thankfully it was bug free today! We sat outside and the views over to the Isle of Wight were incredible. We’re so lucky to live here.
On Saturday 7th September I’d arranged to run at parkrun with Rachel. After meeting with Rachel the other day (In this post) We both signed up to Beachbody and agreed to do 100 days of Happiness with each other, documenting our progress on Instagram. Saturday was our first day to get together to have a bit of a chat about how it’s been.
We started off chatting to various people. Rachel and I know so many people at parkrun now. Once we set off we were chatting about the programmes we are following. I’m following the Transform: 20 program and Rachel is doing one called Liift 4.
Because we were chatting the time passed by really easily. I was finally able to run the whole thing again after my injury. It really helped having someone to talk to the whole way, my mind being focussed on something else and luckily the weather was cooler too.
I felt so accomplished by the end and wondered if my daily workouts that I’m following had anything to do with it too? I don’t know if a week is enough to make a difference but hopefully it will over time.
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?
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?