Category Archives: parkrun

Christmas Day parkrun!

I’m sorry it’s more than halfway through January and I’m still updating from Christmas! I’ll catch up eventually.

I expected Christmas Day parkrun to be really quiet. In the past couple of years it’s been less well attended than the normal Saturday parkruns. I was expecting a good finish position. I was wrong, oh so wrong! 543 people decided to come down to parkrun on Christmas Day!

I started by having a chat with friends, as usual! We snapped a very rushed selfie right at the beginning. The RD was actually saying 321 as we were snapping it! I think we all managed a pretty good pose though.

Christmas Day parkrun

As we set off, Charissa (Who I’ve accidentally chopped off the picture!) asked if she could run with me. We’ve chatted a few times about pacing. I run slow but run the whole thing whereas Charissa runs faster but takes walk breaks. We ran together and although I’d love to say I paced her to an amazing time, it was absolutely jam packed and we got stuck behind some slower runners and I actually ended up with one of my worst times for the year. Oops! It was, however, lovely to get to know her a little better as we’ve never run together before.

We finished with a time of 39:24 so still below 40 minutes which I’m happy about!

Did you do Christmas Day parkrun?

Do you enjoy running with new people?

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parkrun 21st December – The Fancy Dress One!

I headed down to parkrun slightly early on 21st December as my Mum was volunteering as a marshall. She’d got on board with the Christmas Fancy Dress theme by wearing a reindeer antler headband.

I was wearing my new Tikiboo Christmas leggings, yeah I finally jumped on the Tikiboo bandwagon. As well as an Elf Christmas t-shirt I picked up in Tesco for £6.50! The t-shirt made up for the cost of the leggings at least!

Christmas Fancy Dress parkrun

Trying not to look freezing!

After saying goodbye to my Mum so she could go to her marshalling spot, I got chatting to Nigel and Angela. I asked them what pace they were running (both said quicker than me) but since it’s Christmas they both said they’d run with me, which I was grateful for.

We ran, all three of us for just under a mile before Nigel start to peel away. Despite having a pretty serious knee injury, he’s still quicker than me!!

Angela and I chatted loads, mostly about work. We do completely different jobs but that’s what made the conversation interesting. As we were almost at the 2nd turnaround point we saw Nigel coming back towards us. He was steaming ahead! He’d told us at the start his wife had said he wasn’t allowed to overtake her, but he was ahead of her when we saw him!

After we’d turned around and were heading back towards the finish funnel I started to get a stitch. I lost all ability to hold a conversation anymore and said to Angela she could go on if she wanted to as I’d slowed right down but she said no and kept me going with lots of encouragement right through until the end.

I finished in 38:03. Quite some way behind the man who was first past the line and set a new course record of 15:31! He was over 2 minutes ahead of 2nd place!

Fancy Dress Selfie

In the background of that picture you can see two people taking a dip in the sea! I got chatting to them afterwards at the café. They were both wearing the tourist cow beanies so I went over and had a chat with them. They’d done 69 different parkrun venues so we had a lovely chat about some of the courses they’d done (all in the UK) and I told them about some of the courses I’d done (aboard as well as the UK) it was so lovely just to chat to someone I’d never met before about something we both clearly loved! parkrun is so good at bringing like minded people together. I followed them on social media so I can keep up with their tourism adventures.

Do you ever chat to tourists at parkrun?

How many different parkrun courses have you attended?

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parkrun 14th December

Seems a while since we had a horribly windy parkrun so nature decided the 14th December seemed as good a time as any!

I was partially dreading this run as I was running alone and it seems like such a long time since I ran on my own. I got down there and did the usual natter with my friends before finding the 40 minute pacer in the starting pen and positioning myself just ahead of them.

We set off and although it was windy it wasn’t too bad at the beginning, probably because my local parkrun is so crowded at the start so I had some protection from the crowd around me. Honestly, I timed the other week how long it took to get over the start line and it was 45 seconds!

As we hit the first turnaround point and the crowd thinned, the wind picked up. As we passed the finish funnel there’s then a really open bit and the wind was brutal there. It blew me sideways as I fought to keep moving forwards.

As we progressed onwards towards the 2nd turnaround point I thought the wind would be behind me then and give me a little push along. It didn’t! Granted it wasn’t as strong but it was still really windy.

I finished in 38:54 which was exactly a minute slower than last week, which considering the winds, actually wasn’t too bad.

After parkrun I dashed home to shower as we were going flat hunting with my Mum again. I’m pleased to say she put in, and had accepted, an offer on a lovely flat. It’s such a good location for her too.

parkrun 14th December

My hair shows just how windy it was

Do you run alone at parkrun?

 

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parkrun 7th December

On 7th December, I went along to my local parkrun again. I actually almost overlaid! On a parkrun morning I set an alarm for 7.30 so I can have a coffee and ya know, let bathroom things happen. I leave the house about 8.40. On this particular day I turned the alarm off, and then, fell back asleep! This never happens to me. I woke up at 8.10 so necked a coffee and got ready. You know what, it wasn’t that bad! I still got there in time so it didn’t turn out bad.

I met up with Rachel there and we had our usual chatty run. We were chatting about the weather, work etc and enjoying the run. There was nothing really to report, but after the 2nd turnaround point I could feel myself starting to flag a bit. I apologised to Rachel and said I couldn’t talk anymore. She said it was fine and she’d do the talking, which she did!

When we finished I looked at my finish time and was amazed to see I’d cracked back in to the 37 minute mark. I finished in 37:54, no wonder I was flagging. I haven’t finished in the 37’s since May! I was so pleased. I don’t know how I did it though! Maybe it was getting up late that worked well for me! Who knows?!

After we finished I had a lovely catch up with Paula who is returning from a huge injury and absolutely smashing it.

parkrun 7th December

Have you ever overlaid on a parkrun morning?

Do you ever have a surprisingly quick run?

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parkrun 30th November 2019

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’ve all had a lovely break with your families. I took a bit of time off my blog because, truth be told, I didn’t have a lot to blog about. Life gets busy at the end of the year as I’m sure you can all appreciate. Hopefully now I have a small back log of posts, I can create a bit of a buffer for if I don’t have much to post about again!

On 30th November I headed out to parkrun. It was a crisp morning with a slight wind, but nothing compared to some of the winds we’ve run in.

I met up with Rachel and we ran the course together. We ran at a comfortable pace. My pace has slowed right down again, probably as a direct result of my lack of running. I’m now back to a 12:30 min/mile. Although disappointing, I’m trying to focus on, well at least I can run! Running a 12:30 min/mile is both comfortable and means I can have a natter at the same time, which, lets face it, is part of what I go to parkrun for!

The whole time I was aware of someone pretty close behind us (hello heavy breathing) but I never turned round to see who it was. It turns out it was Marie, who is usually a good 5 minutes quicker than me. She came up to us at the end and said “How do you do it? Chatting so much whilst you’re running? I spent the whole time trying to keep up with you and I wasn’t chatting” That made me feel pretty good in a way. There was a time when I couldn’t run and hold a conversation.

I finished with a time of 39:24, which annoyingly I’ve already marked off on stopwatch bingo! I only have 15 left to get but of course, the less you have to get, the more difficult it becomes.

Rachel and I at parkrun

Have you completed stopwatch bingo?

Do you like a chatty parkrun?

 

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180th Time Volunteering at parkrun

This weekend I was supposed to be partaking in a 6 hour race where you can run as many laps as you like in those 6 hours. However, being under trained and ill in the week leading up to it I decided to give it a miss. I had however signed up to volunteer at parkrun on the Saturday as it was supposed to be the race on the Sunday.

I’d been keeping an eye on the weather and it was supposed to be rainy and windy, luckily on Saturday morning it was actually just grey, a little drizzly and breezy. I wore my waterproof coat just in case though.

I got down to where the volunteers assemble and collected my barcode scanner and hi-viz. I chatted with various people including Anna who this week discovered a picture taken during the very first London Marathon of her Dad running over Tower Bridge. Neither of them had ever seen it before but Runners World shared it on their Instagram. Her Dad ran his Marathon PB in that race of 2hr 31m. Incredible!

I forgot how much I love barcode scanning. I like being able to greet people and have a very brief chat about their run. The amount of people who say it was a bad run is astounding, but to each of them I said “Hey you just ran 5K, now you get to go and relax and enjoy your weekend” No Negative Nellies round here!

One person thanked me “for always being so kind” which absolutely made my day. It’s always nice to feel appreciated.

When I got home and received my email to thank me for volunteering I realised it was my 180th time volunteering for parkrun. That’s made up of a mix of both parkrun and junior parkrun. I wanted to get to 200 by the end of this year but that’s going to be impossible now. I’ll make it a focus in 2020 though.

Are you starting to think of goals for 2020?

Do you like to volunteer at parkrun?

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parkrun 9th November

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!

Selfie

Do you ever use a pacer at parkrun?

Have you had to stop mid parkrun to use the bathroom?

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Halloween parkrun

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.

Halloween parkrun

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!

Did you dress up for a Halloween parkrun?

 

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I Did An American parkrun!

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.

Renton parkrun

Have you ever done an American parkrun?

Have you ever placed in the top 3 of your age category?

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I did a Canadian parkrun!

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!

Calgary parkrun

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