NYD parkrun Part One

I’ve never made it to a New Years Day parkrun. The last two years I’ve fallen ill with a virus a couple of days before and both times slept through the final days of December and thought I’d missed New Year! Thankfully though, not this year…or last year!

I was planning on doing the double parkrun with my first parkrun being Fareham parkrun at 9am and then coming back over to my local parkrun at 10.30am. I posted on Facebook on NYE asking my friends where they were doing parkrun and someone asked if I’d thought about doing Whiteley parkrun. They got me interested with the promise of no mud (unlike the muddy Fareham parkrun) so my plan was changed. I was going to Whiteley at 9am instead.

Whiteley parkrun is at the side of a large outdoor shopping area. I’ve been to the shopping area before and knew there was a parkrun there, but had no idea where the parkrun was actually held. We got parked up and it was easy to figure out where it started, just follow the line of lycra clad runners! I stopped on the way to take a picture with one of their Christmas decorations!

Whiteley

At the start line I found Penny and Lorna and had a little chat with them before listening to the first time runners briefing. I’ve avoided Whiteley parkrun as it’s laps and I thought 3 laps of a field would be soul destroying. It turns out I’d had the route completely wrong in my mind and the field was only part of the course.

It was actually an enjoyable route. You start running around the edge of the field, you actually run right past people’s front doors which I found surprising. One of them had a dog barking wildly inside and I thought they must get very annoyed every Saturday with the parkrunners sending the dog bonkers! There’s then a slight downhill which leads in to a more “woody” area, but it still has tarmac paths, before you turn around and wind back towards the start before starting the next lap. On the third lap you just peel off to the finish funnel instead of running back past the start.

The course has one particular part which is very narrow with the runners going in both directions right alongside each other. I kept hearing a lady shouting at runners, things like “Oi, watch where you’re going” over and over. She was behind me so I thought she must be an angry pedestrian caught up in the parkrun but as I turned around and ran back towards her I realised she was a parkrunner. She was only a little way behind me and she shouted and swore the whole way round!

I saw quite a few people I knew from my local parkrun there so it was nice to look out for friendly faces and because it was laps I managed to see them a couple of times. I ran with Phil for a good while. He was pacing the run/walk group at my local parkrun afterwards and I said I’d probably join him as I’ve not run 10K since May.

Another thing I did note about the course, you’re told to keep right. As I was keeping right and passing the finish funnel the faster runners were peeling off to finish their run and they run straight in to your path, or perhaps I plod through theirs. Either way, it was a close call for me as a runner ran in front of me and missed me by inches.

I ran much better than I did on the 28th December but I did take a couple of very brief walk breaks. I thoroughly enjoyed the course though and will definitely head back to Whiteley parkrun at some point. They had a record attendance with 460 people attending.

I finished with a time of 38:57 in position 431. I went straight back to the car which my husband had very kindly gone back to and warmed up so I wouldn’t get too cold on the drive towards home.

To Be Continued…

Have you done the New Years Day parkrun double?

Which two parkruns did you visit for the double?

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parkrun 28th December

This was probably the most awful parkrun I’ve run in such a long time. You know when running just feels awful? And you think “It’s finally happened, I’ve forgotten how to run”

My local parkrun is becoming so so crowded now. When we set off I got stuck behind two buggy runners running side by side. I couldn’t get round them and ended up running too slow and then I lost all rhythm.

Eventually I got round them and then was trying to find my stride again. I bumped in to two friends and thought I’d run with them for a bit, but they were running quite slow and I completely lost all momentum I had. I said bye to them and took a walk break.

I then ran/walked on and off and it just felt so hard. It was like all the Christmas food I’d eaten was sat in my feet making them hard to lift and move forward. When I did run I got a stitch and I couldn’t catch my breath so I just ran when I could and walked when I needed to.

It was the worst parkrun! I felt shocking afterwards. I finished in 39:55 which isn’t too bad considering the struggle! It was so bad I didn’t even take a picture!

Do you ever have bad running days?

Have you ever found yourself boxed in at 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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Christmas Lights and Music Run

On Christmas Eve Eve (Does anyone else like to say that or is it just me?) I headed out early doors for a run around my local neighbourhood. I put on a Christmas playlist, and headed on out to look at the lights as I ran.

I love running early in the morning when everyone is still in bed and the smell of the bakery on the High Street fills the air. As I ran past it smelt of Cinnamon! The perfect Christmas scent. I headed past the big tree on the High Street and then snaked through the various loads in my neighbourhood. I did a similar run and loved it.

As I ran I saw inflatable snowmen, cute LED reindeers, brightly lit candy canes and the laser lights that are really popular now. It was such a lovely run, even the part where I got lost and couldn’t figure out how to get out of the estate I’d ventured in to and back on to the main road!

I was back in the house by 7:15 before most people had probably started thinking about their day. As I was running, I also clocked up my 200th mile of the year. Ideally I’d like to beat this total next year, but we’ll see how it goes. I rather run less and run injury free than run lots and be plagued by injury.

Christmas Lights Selfie

Do you do a Christmas lights run?

Do you like to run early or late?

 

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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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An Evening Run

I hope you all had a lovely New Year! Back to catching up on posts…

Usually I end work feeling absolutely exhausted. I do 11 hour days and it’s tiring. However, on 3rd December, I went on a course! The course was terrible. The slides we were given didn’t match her presentation and the course was supposed to be 6 hours and it finished after 3! When I went back to work early I was able to sit out and complete paperwork so at the end of the day I actually had some energy left, so went for a run after work!

I hadn’t eaten for hours and definitely hadn’t drank enough through the day, but I had energy and that’s all I needed. I found out my hi-viz gear. I have one of these:

It’s probably the most annoying piece of running gear I own. The black adjusters on the chest constantly slide so it ends up too long and then they fall down. Anyone know how to stop that? I begrudgingly put it on as safety comes first and headed out of the door. I was aiming for 2 miles and had a rough route in mind.

I live really close to the centre of the little town (village?) I live in so always end up running past takeaways and restaurants. It’s a complete tease taking in those smells whilst running. A gent came out of the chip shop just in front of me and I actually calculated how long I could sprint for after grabbing his chips off him. I came to the conclusion he’d probably out run me so let him get away with the chips 😉

After 1.5 miles I began to flag a bit. I could feel my form changing and I got the worst stitch. I tried all the tips I’ve read for stitch but none of them worked. Luckily I only had a half mile to go so I slowed right down and it subsided enough for me not to have to stop running.

Overall I did enjoy the run and it felt good to get out after work. It was really bitter cold too which is my favourite kind of running weather. I comfortably wore long sleeves and bottoms! That never happens!

Evening Run Selfie

Do you run after work?

What’s your favourite kind of weather to run in?

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Highs and Lows of 2019 Fitness Edition

Happy New Year readers. Today is the day we say goodbye to 2019 and celebrate the arrival of 2020. I’m not making any New Years Resolutions this year. Of course I have a goal but it’s so simple it doesn’t need a whole post. I just want to “Live Well” That’s my mantra for 2020.

I did however want to reflect and look back at 2019 relating to fitness, that is after all, what this blog focuses on. Let’s start with the lows so we end on a high!

Lows of 2019:

The first low of 2019 was being ill at New Year for the 2nd year running and missing the founder of parkrun visiting my local parkrun! Seriously, I have the worst luck.

The main low, though, from 2019 was my calf injury in June. It came out of nowhere at a parkrun and so I had a bit of time off and when I was meant to restart it was in the heatwave. I don’t feel like I need to repeat how much I hate the heat, so since then my running has never really got back off the ground! I’ve mainly just been doing parkrun, and that’s it! To be honest though, to only have one injury in 2019 is pretty pleasing and it only stopped me running for around 3 weeks. My own lack of commitment is to blame for never getting going again properly.

Highs of 2019:

The first high has to be the parkrun tourism I’ve done! In 2019 I’ve visited Barry Island, Penrose (Cornwall), Bushy, Ipswich, Nose Hill (Canada) and Renton (Seattle, Washington) as well as some closer to home. My picture at Barry Island went on to all platforms of parkruns social media.

Barry Island parkrun

Second has to be setting a massive parkrun PB of 34:41. I have no idea how I did it, and I’ve certainly never been near it since but it felt really good at the time!

I also completed a 10K in 2019. It’s been a long time since I did a 10K and although it was boiling, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I also completed the Romsey 5 Mile Cake and Beer Race with a 17 minute PB!

Beer

Another high has to be building my friendship with Rachel and having her support through the last quarter of the year as well as joining Beachbody together. I’m still loving Beachbody and sticking to the workouts.

What were your highs of 2019?

Did you have any fitness/running lows in 2019?

 

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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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