Tag Archives: 5K

What I’ve Done This Past Week

It feels like way more than a week since I did my catch up post! But I already feel like it’s time for another.

Last week after parkrun I bought the kit home as I was to be the RD the following week.

On Easter Sunday I went to spin class with Maria, my spin partner in crime, and work colleague. We go to Virtual spin and it was my favourite one, RPM 75. There’s one section of it that I absolutely love. So much so that I’ve downloaded the track that goes with that section.

As this week was Easter I got another day off in the week as my usual day off is a Monday but obviously it was the Bank Holiday so I was given a Wednesday as my day off. This was great as it meant I could prep the kit for parkrun mid week and get it all done in the day rather than charging it over 3 or 4 evenings. However I had to go in to work for a meeting at 6pm and I always feel like I’m clock watching when that’s the case.

I also wanted to get a run in on Wednesday but it threw it down. It looked like it was stopping so I quickly went and put on my running kit only to come back downstairs and find it had started throwing it down again so I, begrudgingly, did a run on the treadmill. I did a 2 mile run and it was just awful. Running on a treadmill is now so hard! Before it was my comfort blanket. Now I literally hate it. I’m definitely converted to an outdoor runner. Just not in heavy rain!

Thursday was spin class again. Unfortunately the bike I used seemed to have a faulty speedometer and it only recorded 10 miles. I always do around 13! Frustrating but nothing I can really do.

On Saturday I was RD at parkrun. I had all the kit prepared and got there nice and early to set up. I was about to announce the new runners briefing and asked someone to turn the PA system on. They tried but it wasn’t working. It’d switch on for a second then fade out. We’ve had a couple of problems with the PA system and it looked like today was going to be another problem. Well, good job I’m loud! I shouted that the new runners brief was starting and when that was over I shouted the whole run brief to 350 people and was heard! Yep, I’m that loud. Thankfully the rest of the run and the uploading of the results went off without a hitch.

Giving the run brief

Hollering the Run Brief

Sunday I was tail walker at junior parkrun. As I’ve completely lost my mojo I thought this would be a way to get me out and running. As it happens I ended up walking the whole thing! It was actually really nice though as I walked with a fellow RD’s daughter who I presented with her half marathon wristband in this post. She was just so sweet chatting away. We talked about her pets, her running, her dad’s running, her school friend, foxes honestly the list goes on.

Sunday afternoon I was back at spin class and somehow I managed to get on the same faulty bike again! What a nightmare. It recorded only 8 miles this time despite my watch telling me I’d actually burnt more calories than usual. I felt like I’d worked really hard too so it’s a shame I don’t know how far I really went. A lot of the time the speedometer was telling me I was doing 1mph when I obviously wasn’t so I let the receptionist know that the bike is faulty.

That brings us to Monday. I finally got outside and went for a run. The weather was so rainy but I waited it out and managed to get out when it was just spitting/drizzling. I ran part of the parkrun course and then ran from there to Hillhead beach. It was really quiet out because of the weather. Although I did see some people and it’s funny what people say. I passed a lady for the second time and she said “Ooo you’ve gone far” I didn’t really know what to say so I just did an awkward laugh. I then passed two elderly gentlemen and one said “You go for it girl” ha I said thanks and jogged on. Bless them, they did make me smile though. Somehow I managed to get a new 5K PB! Amazing what being well rested and well hydrated can do! I’m now at 42:13. Ever closer to 40 minutes! Now I just need to try and replicate it at parkrun!

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The Whole 5K

I wrote this for the run report of my local parkrun and decided to make it a blog post too.

I’ve been completing parkruns since May 2017. I started walking…slowly! Today was to be my 23rd parkrun but I have to admit, when I got up this morning, I didn’t really fancy it! I toyed with the idea of just volunteering, but eventually forced myself to get dressed in my running clothes.

After volunteering as Volunteer Co-ordinator I went and lined up in the starting pen, did you know there are some roles where you can volunteer and run?! I listened to the Run Brief given by Geoff and chuckled at the comedy moment when Geoff asked if anyone was running with a dog and a dog replied!

We were soon on our way and my slow plod began. At the moment I am a plodder. I have been able to run more and more since starting parkrun but have always had walk breaks. Some weeks more walk breaks than running it seemed!

As I turned at Browndown I saw a large boat out on the Solent and wondered if I’d overtake it or at least draw level with it at any point. I didn’t. As I turned at Browndown I was yet to take a walk break.

Once over the hill (I ran the hill this week!) a lady over took me and said she liked my cheer leaders. I know a lot of people at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun as I have been volunteering since Week 2 (pesky work made me miss week 1!) A lot of you know me by name due to this and me making semi regular appearances on top of that ladder. I know a lot of you by face rather than name but it makes me beam with pride when so many of you cheer me on by name. I always try and say thank you but sometimes I am pretty breathless!

As I headed towards The Shack I looked at the new work going on, on our beautiful beach. I then ran the shingle section, grateful that they’d cleared some of it to get their equipment on to the beach.

The turnaround at The Shack marked the start of the hardest bit for me as a slow runner. For some reason in my head this feels like the longest part even when in reality it isn’t. This is because I’ve already passed by most people. I look out for my friends in the crowd to make the time pass quicker. When you’re a slow runner at the back The Shack to the Finish can feel like a very long and lonely road.

The two little boys who were marshalling with their Dad at the end of the beach huts made me smile as I passed them. They were so enthusiastic and kept me going on the hardest part. The hardest part also involves the two mini mountains which I actually managed to run up this week.

As I reached the brow of the hill and ran back down the other side, with a view of the finish funnel, I thought “Hang on a minute, I’m actually going to do this” And I did. I ran all the way to the finish funnel and had run the whole 5K for the first time.

post parkrun photo

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A new parkrun PB

I’m a bit behind with blogging so I apologise that this post is coming to you a bit late. This post is about last weeks parkrun on 10th February.

I was looking forward to parkrun this week as it was a takeover week by one of the local running clubs. We have around 4 take overs a year at my local parkrun by the local running clubs. The members of the club take over all the volunteer roles. They provide pacers, give the run brief etc. They’re always really fun events. This time the take over was hosted by Fareham Crusaders with a super hero theme so they became the Caped Crusaders! Fancy dress was encouraged and there were some amazing costumes, my favourites were Banana Man who ran with a giant inflatable banana and the Hulk who was the tail walker.

I went and found Mike in the starting pen. When we started we ran together but he was soon gaining on me and I was struggling. I just couldn’t get a good rhythm going. He turned to look for me a couple of times but I waved him on. I didn’t want to spoil his run. As we approached the first of two turn around points I began to get stitch. As I headed back in the direction I had just come the stitch got worse, I then lost my rhythm with breathing and I gave up a little. I took my first walk break and thought “Some days you have bad runs, today’s not going to be a PB day” I proceeded to run/walk the course just running when I could and walking when I needed to.

I was struggling big time with stitch and just not being able to get a rhythm with my feet. I don’t know, it felt clunky and uncomfortable. There were three photographers with it being a takeover and I dreaded seeing the photographs. As I passed Sarah taking pictures I shouted “I hope it’s good enough for the gram” I was only half joking but was pleased when she shouted back “It definitely is!”

Good enough for the gram!

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful and it still sucked big time. I struggled the whole way. As I ran down the last section I looked at my watch and figured it must be wrong as it only said 43:XX and I was confused because I thought I’d started it early but it was showing a shorter time.

As I ran through the finish funnel someone shouted to me I’d done a PB. I can’t even tell you who this was, by the time I’m finished I can barely think straight! I looked at my watch and it said 43:41. I didn’t believe it was a PB though because it just didn’t feel like one!

Once we were at the café having breakfast whilst the results were uploaded there started some chatter about people having not taken tokens and funnel ducking etc. and the results would have to be looked at and reprocessed. I kept thinking “That’s it then, it definitely won’t be  a PB, there must be something wrong with my watch” but even with the results reprocessed it was a PB. The parkrun timers had me at exactly the same time!

So, my 5K time is now 43:41. Lots of people commented on how strong and comfortable I looked out on the course too, which I thought was ironic giving how terrible the whole run felt!

Post parkrun photo

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How I Earned the Halloween 5K Medal

I entered my result for this race as soon as I’d done a 5K in October. By the time you read this post I’ll be away on holiday and I wanted to make sure I’d entered my 5K time well before going on holiday because otherwise I’d forget for sure!

So I completed this 5K on 7th October at parkrun. I’d really wanted a 5K PB but sadly it wasn’t to be as the wind was ferocious. That’s the thing about having a seafront parkrun, it can be so windy. As it was parkruns 13th Birthday my local parkrun had put on a pacing event so people could try for a PB but even the pacers struggled to make it in on time due to the wind. So a sub 45 minute parkrun still eludes me but I’ll keep trying. Or maybe I’ll have managed it by the time you read this! We’ll see!

So with a time of 45:36 I earned the 5K Halloween Medal from Virtual Runner UK. This medal was a surprise as, for some reason, I didn’t realise it opens up! It’s another really cool medal.

Halloween 5K Medal

Halloween 5K Medal

It’s such a great medal, I love that it opens and says Trick or Treat. What a neat idea. The medals from Virtual Runner just get better and better.

 

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How I Earned My Golden Ticket medal

This is actually a medal I earnt in September, I just realised I hadn’t posted about it yet! Oops!

The Golden Ticket medal could be earned by completing a 5k during the month of September. I didn’t complete a 5K specifically for this one, instead I decided I’d do 5K’s throughout September and pick my best time. I perhaps did this a tad early as if I’d hung on until 30th September I’d have had a better time but that’s another story.

So the end of September was approaching and my best 5K time was the Bayside Summer Series 5K I did so I entered that time. It’s kind of like I got two medals for the same run but considering the weather it was worth getting two medals for that run!!

If you missed my post on the Bayside Summer 5K it’s HERE

Now this medal is something else, check out these pictures! I love it.

Golden Ticket Medal

Isn’t it fab how it opens up to reveal the golden ticket! Willy Wonka would be proud!

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My first race in 3 years

On 12th September I ran my first race in 3 years. This should have been my graduation from the Gosport Road Runners beginners group but due to injuring my Achilles I never completed it. However, because it was better, and because my lovely friend Eileen offered me her place, I decided to run. I was running the Absolute Running Summer Series 5K. This was the fifth and last race in the series.

Thank you Eileen for the photo

Before I begin, let me tell you about Eileen who gifted me her place. You might have seen her featured on parkrun’s page. Eileen is in her 70’s and such an inspiration. In the 1980’s Eileen was a cross country champion and has a sub 3 hour marathon PB! I can not imagine our parkrun family without Eileen in it. She’s an absolute hoot and as cheeky as they come. Thank you Eileen for the place. Here she is finishing her first parkrun. Read Eileen’s story on the parkrun website here

Eileen at parkrun

I really wanted to do well in the race and use this as a bench mark for future 5k races. I took my nutrition on the day really seriously, looking up suggestions of what to eat and drink during the day before the race. I also kept a close eye on the weather reports. It was saying there would be rain and high winds. The day time was actually quite nice but as the afternoon progressed in to evening the sky turned dark and as I looked out of the window, the trees in my garden were swaying frantically in the wind.

I got down to Stokes Bay early and was a bag of nerves! I met up with Kieran and we went and collected my number which I then pinned on my top, and then re-pinned it when Kieran told it was neither straight nor central! We then headed out to the start rather leisurely, thinking we still had plenty of time. However we’d both read the wrong start time and had to rush! As a result this meant my Garmin wasn’t ready! I hadn’t had enough time to find satellites before beginning so had to start it a little way in to the race. In a way though this sudden rush at the beginning meant I forgot all about my nerves.

For the first portion of the race I chose to run for as long as I could but tried to hold back a little to allow me to run for longer. This worked quite well but I was soon breathless. At the minute I’m finding my breathing difficult. I usually stop running, not because my legs want to, but because I can not catch my breath. The wind, which was now around 25mph, was taking my breath away.

A special mention for this race has to go to the marshals. I knew pretty much all of them and what a difference it makes having marshals shout personal encouragement to you. They were so cheery even in the awful weather conditions.

The race heads along the sea front at Stokes Bay and then does a loop around the GAFIRS (Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue) building twice. GAFIRS were having a training exercise where they “rescued” six people involved in a pretend boating accident. I saw the team put through their paces and the coastguard circling overhead bringing in their casualties. Here they are hard at work. If you want to read more about their training exercise it can be found here

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Team

Soon I’d completed my two laps running for 30 seconds and walking for one minute. As I came off the second loop I saw the 4km marker. It was starting to get dark at this point and then the rain started. It was coming in sideways due to the high winds and my left side was soon soaked right through. The rain felt like small pellets hitting me in the face. After seeing the 4km marker I decided to try and run as much as possible mainly to get out of the wind and rain! I could see the lights of the race HQ in the distance and kept my eyes on them the whole time, apart from when the rain was that bad I couldn’t actually open my eyes!

I finished the race in 45:53 beating my parkrun PB by over a minute. I was so pleased. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the result that I realised I’d also beaten my 5K PB from 2012 when I was running regularly! I was so surprised and really pleased. Now I want to keep chipping away at my time through parkruns and my new running plan. Fingers crossed!

Bayside 5K Summer Series

Thanks to Ben from Friendly Photography for the photo!

If you want to read Kieran’s race report, it can be found here

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Gosport Golden Mile 2017

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?!

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Earning the All Aboard Medal from Virtual Runner UK

I’ve used Virtual Runner a few times in the past but then I let me fitness slip completely and didn’t bother anymore. Now as part of my 2017 goals to take charge of my health I decided to enter a couple again.

The All Aboard medal can be earned by walking or running 5K. I would be walking it but this is the longest I’ve walked in a while.

This morning I really didn’t want to go out. I’d woken up with a really bad headache but this medal had to be earned 2nd-8th January and since it’s back to work tomorrow I knew today was really my only chance so I made myself get up and out of the door.

I decided to walk the Lee on Solent parkrun course as it’s a sure cert to be a 5k route! I walked it and yes my back hurt, then my leg hurt, then my back hurt a bit more but by the time I got 3km in to the walk all the pain started to ease away and I was able to finish feeling pretty good. sun over the sea at Lee on Solent

Picture from our walk. It was lovely weather for a January day and there were loads of people out walking. I completed the 5K in 1:03:25 not particularly fast  but I have a starting point now. I’ve submitted my result so any day now this medal should be on its way to me.

London Bus Medal

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Next I’ll be earning my Unicorn medal.

How are you doing with your goals for 2017?

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