Tag Archives: fitness blog

A bit of parkrun practice

Fresh off the back of a parkrun PB I really wanted to practice, to improve myself and see where I can go with this running lark. Sunday however was a really hot day and I put off going out, I put it off so much I got to the point where I wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I put a status on Facebook saying so and everyone told me to go! So I did. I’d waited until just after 6 but it was still so hot!

I’d already decided to do the parkrun course but whilst walking the first section towards Browndown I started to put a little plan together. I’d see how I felt as I passed the finish funnel area as I know I always tend to get leg pain on the first out and back. And if I felt ok I’d continue walking until the second turn around, evaluate again and if all was good, run walk the last bit.

As I looked at my watch it wasn’t showing the usual display of pace. Instead of mph it was showing min/miles and I don’t really know what I do them in! I couldn’t figure out how to change it either so just pressed on!

I did get the leg pain as I went to the first turn around point. A pavement with a slight tilt one way always makes my leg worse. In this case the prom tilts ever so slightly towards the sea. I carried on hoping it would pass and as I got to the finish funnel area it was definitely starting to subside. Now my only complaint was how hot I was! I put my head down and marched on. As I got to the final turn around point I was feeling ok so started to run. Just from one bench to the next so I have no idea how long for but everything felt ok so I continued running a little and walking in between.

When I reached mini mountain I looked at my watch. One of my friends had urged me to beat 55 minutes and I was so close! I powered up mini mountain and back down the other side and then ran as much as I could between there and where the finish funnel would usually be.

The result? A 5km run walk completed in 53:27!

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parkrun number 2

 

parkrun logo

This Saturday was a busy and very parkrun filled day! I volunteered to help at Lee on the Solent parkrun this week and put my name down as volunteer coordinator. This role involves telling the marshals or funnel team what and where their roles are. This week I was telling the funnel team and had offered to train up a couple of others, so when they were volunteer coordinator, they’d know what to tell the volunteers. When I’d finished I saw the lovely Louise from Fareham Crusaders and we took a parkrun selfie. Louise always takes one before parkrun so I was happy to oblige with this ritual.

parkrun selfie

After taking a selfie I went and positioned myself at the back of the pack ready to try out my second parkrun. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t hopeful for it being as successful as last week. When I’d got up on Sunday last week I had a horrendous cold that pretty much made me feel rubbish all week and left me with a horrid cough which I still have now. I did however have my shiny new trainers on my feet that I’d bought from Nick at Absolute Running. He’d promised me I’d PB in them but I was unsure from being ill.

Hoka Mafate Speed 2

After volunteering I went and found my place at the back of the pack. We had a new PA system donated to us this week and as a result I heard every word of the run brief despite being at the back!

As we started the route I began to get the pain down the outside of my calf. The camber of the pavement always makes this worse and the first part of the course does have a slight tilt so this may be why. As we progressed to the turn around point and started heading back the pain began to subside. We picked up Adam as we were passing the sailing club for the second time from his marshalling spot. He told me he planned to help me PB this week. I’m so grateful for how supportive people are of me and trying to run! As we passed the finish funnel the pain was gone and I was beginning to feel stronger. There were two older ladies quite a way in front of me and I now had these in my sight! I wanted to over take them. As we headed to our second turn around point Paula came to join me. She had already completed her parkrun in a very speedy 23.11! Having Adam and Paula walk with me made the time fly by. They’re both quite funny and so my attention was focussed on the conversation rather than what I was doing. I glanced at my watch and was managing to maintain 3.3mph. Last week I walked at 3.2mph. When I mentioned this both Adam and Paula were encouraging me even more to keep the pace and over take the two ladies…which I did!

As we made it back to the finishing straight both Adam and Paula were speeding up and shouting encouragement at me so I literally had to run. I couldn’t keep up with them so did a sprint finish (if you can call it that!)

parkrun finish token

As it wasn’t such a big turn out this week I finished higher position wise, and I also got a PB! Last week I finished in 58:24 and this week I finished in…..drum roll….55:03!! Amazing what new shoes and a bit of encouragement from friends can do!

I’m going to do a separate post about the rest of my parkrun filled day so expect that soon!

Want to read about my first parkrun? It’s right here: My First parkrun

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Earning my Unicorn Medal – The Hard Way!

Way back in November I signed up to earn the Unicorn medal from Virtual Runner UK and posted about it here. To complete the medal all you had to do was complete 10K in as many different events as you like and you could walk or run.

So here’s my story!

Walk along the beach

Activity 1 Walk – 2.27 miles 47:50 – Not much to report about this walk and I didn’t take any pictures!

Activity 2 Run/Walk on the treadmill – 3.11 miles 59:12 – This ended up being void as my treadmill reset itself after 30 minutes so I wasn’t able to take a picture of the display showing the whole amount completed. Fail!

Activity 3 Walk – 3.45 miles 1:13 – An early evening beach walk which made for some nice pictures as the sun set.

Sunset

Activity 4 – Walk 1.96 time unknown – This also ended up being void. Despite setting off with 85% battery on my phone after 0.82 miles my phone died and showed the needs charging sign. I’d barely started my walk but with no recording it kind of made it pointless as I couldn’t submit this as evidence towards the 10K. I turned around and walked home.

Activity 5 – Walk 2.01 43:50 – I had an awful head cold this day but was quickly running out of time to finally reach 10K and submit the details to Virtual Runner.

Finally, after 5 activities I reached 10K! Who knew it would take so long. Pretty sure it won’t have taken anyone else as long as me to achieve this but the main thing is I achieved it. After submitting my results I soon received the medal which is epic!

Unicorn medal

Really pleased with that. During February I’ll be earning the Love You To The Moon and Back medal which looks like this…

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

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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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parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

parkrun Christmas logo

It’s been a while since I did a parkrun post so I thought I’d tell you about Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve started off really jolly. There were a lot of runners in fancy dress ranging from a simple Santa Hat to full on costumes of elves carrying runners like this one!

christmas parkrun fancy dress

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

When it started we knew there were more people than normal. I filmed the start and it took 40 seconds to get everyone through rather than the usual 15 seconds, but it never occurred to us just how many people there were or why there were so many. Was it because we’d planned Reindeer pacers for the event starting with Dasher at 19 minutes?

parkrun pacers at lee on solent parkrun

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

According to the parkrun page our parkrun has an average of 290.4 runners each week. We usually sit around 300-350. I’m going to let you in to a little secret here. We only have enough finish tokens for 500 runners in the box we keep at the finish funnel.

parkrun runners

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

I’m not even sure that picture does justice of how many people there were!

I knew it was busy as when I was barcode scanning I was asked to move further away from the finish funnel. That doesn’t usually happen. I then got asked to move another 3 metres away from the finish funnel. Apparently the finish funnel was getting so crowded the time keepers were having to move forward as the funnel was full and they couldn’t click the runners coming in to finish.

We were all kept in the festive spirit though by these lovely people playing Christmas Carols!

brass band at lee on solent parkrun

Photo Courtesy of Steve Wood

Then we hit it, the magic 500 and we ran out of tokens! Imagine the panic that filled people. Some clever soul had the idea of writing the finishing numbers on the runners hands. They then went to manual entry and had their details taken that way.  Luckily the runners at Lee on the Solent parkrun are a friendly bunch and straight away we had people offering to help take down people’s details and asking what they could do to help.

Afterwards we had a little time to reflect. Our parkrun is so successful and it’s going from strength to strength. However some lessons had to be learned and so a longer finish funnel and more finish tokens will be ready at the end of the run on New Years Eve. I can’t wait to see how it plays out, especially as I am Run Director. I have excited nerves! And hopefully I won’t have to enter the 52 people by hand that I did last week!

Never been to parkrun? Be sure to find your local and register here. New Year is a great time to start.

Want to read more parkrun posts? They’re all listed below for you

I Am Team GB

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

parkrun – More than meets the eye

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