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.
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!
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?