Tag Archives: lee on the solent parkrun

A Tingly parkrun!

On Saturday 2nd February I got myself down to my local parkrun for my 51st parkrun! I was looking forward to this particular parkrun because we were running the C route. This is the route where we get to miss the tricky shingle section of our normal route. I hate the shingle, I can’t help but slow down as my feet sink in to the pebbles. I end up like Bambi on ice!

Speaking of ice, we had to check the parkrun page at 8am to see if it was going ahead as it had snowed on Thursday evening and some areas had some icy patches left over as a result of the temperatures still being low. Luckily it was still on although it was mentioned on the Facebook post that there would be some cones over patches of ice. No great shakes I thought so off we went.

I ran this parkrun alone. Once again it was very congested and I was working my way around people. The beginning of our course is quite narrow anyway, but when it’s congested, it makes it even more difficult to manoeuvre around people. As I was running I heard a marshal ahead shouting to watch out for ice and follow the diversion. There was a large patch of ice on one of the slipways and we were diverted on to the beach. So much for no shingle!

I always overheat on a run but on this particular day I hadn’t warmed up by the time I reached the first turnaround point. As I made the U-turn at the cone I was then hit by the icy cold wind. I was cold, particularly on my left side where the wind was blowing from. As I made my way back towards the start, following the diversion over the shingle again (!) my left arm started feeling weird. I couldn’t straighten it without getting pins and needles spreading up and down it. It actually felt impossible to straighten as the pins and needles was too painful. I continued whilst periodically trying my arm out. It still wouldn’t straighten. I actually thought to myself “Am I having a heart attack? Well if this is a heart attack it’s not as bad as they make out”

I passed the finish funnel and headed to the new, closer turnaround point. On the way I saw the lovely Honor, who I run with semi regularly. I was pleasantly surprised to see her until two things: 1. I tried lifting my arms in surprise to shout her and couldn’t because of the weird pins and needles thing and 2. She told me we were being diverted on to the shingle because of ice on the prom! Dammit, I’d done shingle twice already and this was meant to be the no shingle route!

Over the shingle I went and obviously turned in to Bambi on ice in an instant. Then I made the U-turn at the turnaround point and it was like a different day. There was no wind at all and the sun was beating down. Naturally I began to overheat in an instant but it did start to cure the pins and needles. As we’d turned around early (and gone over the fourth shingle diversion) we then had to run further so we had to pass the finish funnel. This always messes with my head because my head is always saying “Oh we’re here, that means we’re nearly finished” It was really crowded trying to get through this section because everyone who had already finished was milling around. A woman I was running close to said to me “Bloody hell, can you see a way through that lot?” I responded by shouting “Shiiift” and the people parted haha.

We then reached the third turnaround point and the wind was back, and now because I was hot and sweaty I got cold very quickly. It was horrendous. I also ended up running behind someone who didn’t seem to have showered in quite some time. It was not pleasant being in his down wind. I could see the finish funnel in the distance by this point and a quick glance at my watch told me I could probably bag a PB here so I sped up and passed the man. I sped up too early though and ended up having to back off a bit so I could actually make it to the funnel.

I did get a PB though. 37:05! I was shocked as I’d felt so horrendous through it. As soon as I got my hoodie back on and started walking home I felt absolutely fine. My husband wasn’t very pleased with me though! He was adamant I should have stopped. There is no post parkrun selfie this week as the one I took I realised afterwards that I didn’t like it!

After parkrun we went straight home and showered rather than going to the parkrun café. This was because we were heading to a coffee morning organised by Penny, who I’ve run with a few times now. She’s running the London Marathon for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the coffee morning is one of her fundraising events. We went and enjoyed a bacon sandwich, cup of coffee and a slice of cake. The cake was home made and delicious. My husband had two pieces of cake as he couldn’t decide which he wanted! As the coffee morning was in Stubbington we went and had a look around the shops afterwards but didn’t buy anything.

Have you been to any fundraising events?

Have you run for a charity before?

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My 50th parkrun

On 26th January I ran my 50th parkrun! It’s taken me from May 2017 to January 2019 to achieve it. My 50th was something I wanted to celebrate so I bought myself a sash from eBay that said “50 parkruns” on it and had a silhouette of a woman running. I was really pleased with how it turned out and it was only a couple of pounds!

My 50th parkrun

I ran with my work friend Maria and parkrun friend Penny. We had a nice chatty run. As we work in similar environments we chatted a lot about work and opportunities/career advancement. We also chatted about upcoming races in the area as Maria would like to progress further than a 5k. I mentioned a 10K being organised by The Breakfast Club. It’s not an official race but there will be marshals, a medal and a race number. Because it’s organised by The Breakfast Club the usual rules apply, run at your pace. I’ve signed up for it, amazingly it’s only £5, on local roads and the money raised goes to The First Light Trust, a local charity offering support to veterans. And obviously we get breakfast afterwards. What more could you want?!

The beginning of parkrun was so congested again, damn those new year participants! We struggled to catch up and overtake the 40 minute pacer because of the sheer volume of people. I finished in 39:29 in the end. Not my greatest time but it was a nice chatty run.

post parkrun selfie

In the evening we went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema. Queen have been a constant in my life. My dad was a huge fan and my husband is too. What is it they say about marrying someone like your dad?! The film was brilliant. I knew it ended at Live Aid but as soon as Live Aid started I just cried and cried. Such a loss of a talent. I wept right through to the end of the credits! Thank god it’s dark in the cinema!!

I quite like January as a month, it’s one of new beginnings, my Birthday, cooler weather. I hate seeing people whinge about how dark it is…obviously we forget the shortest day is actually in December! I posted an Instagram post about this the other day and Anna hit the nail on the head by saying “Make your own sunshine” I agree completely. The picture was of these…

Daffodils

These brightened January right up when they were in full bloom. I was impatient though and had to take a picture early!

Have you hit any parkrun milestones?

Have you been to see any good films recently?

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First parkrun of 2019

There was a bit of chatter before this parkrun on the old Facebook. People were moaning about how cold it was meant to be (2c) however this was getting towards my preferred running temperature. I like it when it’s freezing to -2. I actually got tagged online a couple of times with people saying “Your weather is finally here”

Anyway I was finally feeling better after being ill over New Year so it was time to resume exercise and run a parkrun. I ran this parkrun alone. I’m sure I’ve said this before but when I run alone it means I can concentrate on my breathing a bit better. I tend to struggle getting my breathing right more than anything else.

The start of my local parkrun is almost always congested. Even more so with it being the New Year. It takes a good 20 seconds or so before I’m even moving let alone running. As I ran towards the first turn around point I didn’t really focus on much other than dodging benches and people! Sometimes people dash off and then you’re stuck behind them as they start to walk but you can’t get round as the faster runners have started to come the other way. It’s a bit frustrating but sometimes helps me reign it in a bit.

As we turned around at the turn around point the field really starts to stretch out and you have that little bit more space. I looked over the Solent towards the Isle of Wight and thought how lucky we are to have that view to distract us and appreciate. I also thought, somewhere on that island they’re doing parkrun too! I definitely need to get myself over there to run the parkrun there.

Running parkrun

I was soon too hot in my long sleeved running top and regretted wearing it. I rolled up my sleeves to try and cool down a bit but it didn’t really help! As the run progressed I slowly started picking off a few people. There were two women just ahead of me, who every time I approached them, would speed off before resorting to walking again until I caught them up again. At one point they hadn’t noticed me and when I overtook them they both instantly sprinted in to action haha. I hope I helped them achieve a good time!

As I was coming in to finish I had a sneaky look at my watch and thought I might just be able to beat my PB time. I finished in 37:51! I knocked 8 seconds off my Christmas Day PB which I was pleased about, especially after being ill.

post parkrun selfie

I thought I’d compare my times again from the same week in 2018 vs 2019, just to show myself how much I’ve progressed really.

2018 – 45:20

2019 – 37:51

Does your local parkrun have something unique to offer?

 

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A parkrun With More Running Than Walking

The weather was forecast to be vile this morning at parkrun. Thankfully, the weather somehow cleared for the morning and we had a dry run. This morning I ran with Kelly, one of my parkrun friends daughter, and Gavin, a fellow member of Gosport Road Runners.

Kelly can run a parkrun in 29 minutes but doesn’t like the pressure of having to run all the time so I was happy to have her run/walk with me. Gavin was taking part in the Gosport Road Runners Helpers Half Marathon this afternoon so he wanted an easy run. For me, the more the merrier. The more people I have to talk to, the easier the run seems for me.

Today was 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. I’m glad it’s finally got to the stage where I am running more than I am walking. It’s been a slow process getting this far. I was a little apprehensive this morning. I haven’t exercised all week and haven’t run since last weeks parkrun. I could make up excuses but it’s nothing but laziness to be quite honest. I really need to find a routine that works for me and stick to it.

Anyway back to this morning. There was a takeover this morning by Stubbington Green Runners, which means all of their club members provided the volunteering roles and cake.

Cake!

After the run brief we were off and the time passed by quickly. I could definitely feel that the runs are longer now and I need to concentrate on my breathing more as I’m now running for 3 minutes not 30 seconds. At one point, whilst running, I asked Gavin what our pace was and was pleased to hear 11:30 min/miles.

Mile 2 definitely felt the hardest for me as we turned in to the sun with absolutely no breeze whatsoever! I always overheat when running so this wasn’t pleasant. However when we turned at the final turnaround point there was a breeze which was just strong enough to help me cool off a little.

I finished with a time of 44:27, exactly one minute from my PB time! I feel like I’ll never reached that time again!

parkrun finish token

Afterwards I went and helped myself to a piece of cake. There was so much choice but at the last minute I spotted coffee cake which is my absolute favourite so I had a slice and I’m pleased to report it was delicious. All that was left to do after that was grab Gavin for a selfie and then head to the café for a well earnt breakfast.

Gavin and I

Tomorrow I’m off to Breakfast Club with Claire so fingers crossed the weather is better than it is right now! As I’m writing this, it’s heavy rain!

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A Small Piece of parkrun Fame

Every week parkrun UK ask a question on their Facebook page. Sometimes it’s just “Did you join us this week?” or “Where did you parkrun today?” Sometimes they might ask something a bit more in depth e.g. “How does parkrun make you feel?” etc. Occasionally I answer these, if I feel I have something to say.

So imagine my surprise when I left work one night and had a Twitter notification from Anna telling me I’d been featured on parkrun UK’s Twitter page. A few days later I was on their Facebook page!

Facebook

Imagine my surprise when the following week I was featured again!

I absolutely can not get over how many likes on Facebook this one got! A whopping 761! So many people congratulating me and lots of people complimenting my t-shirt! It’s from OBD Clothing in case you’re wondering!

I’ve loved my little two minutes of parkrun fame!

Have you ever been featured on parkrun’s social media?

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Running in 2017 – My Journey

My greatest achievement in 2017? Starting to run again and properly this time!

Last Christmas Day (2016) my husband and I went for a walk. Embarrassingly I made it to less than a mile before I needed to turn around and head home. My intention that Christmas Morning had been to walk my local parkrun course. I’d never completed the course and wanted to give it a go. I think the aspiration was too big and it was a case of wanting to run before I could walk (excuse the pun)

Gradually through the remainder of December and January I built it up little by little. By the end of January I could walk 5K (the length of a parkrun) but it took me well over an hour. By walking regularly I managed to speed my pace up a little and by April had got my 5K time to just a tiny bit over an hour.

In May I was ready to attempt my first parkrun. There’s one friend I’ve made through parkrun who is my greatest believer. She’s called Rachel and she gives so much encouragement. She told me before that parkrun “So what if it takes you over an hour, they’ll wait. You’ve given enough of your time through volunteering, now it’s your turn to do it” Those words meant a lot to me and I managed to complete that first parkrun in 58:24. Under an hour. I was over the moon.

I slowly built up to run/walking. I completed the course walking a couple of times and complimented this with run/walking on my treadmill at home. I then began walking the majority of the course and then run/walking the last section. This then built up to run/walking from around halfway and then run/walking the whole thing.

Louise and I at parkrun
Louise and I at my 2nd parkrun

In August I joined the Gosport Road Runners Beginners Group but broke after week 2. I suffered with Achilles pain that put me right out of action until September. I was so gutted. I’d waited so long for the group to begin and then went and broke myself. I think it was a case of too much too soon. However it made me more determined and I was still able to complete the final 5K race of the Bayside series, which the Beginners Group were using as their Graduation. I got a PB in that race, 45:53 and broke my PB from 2012!

Bayside 5K Summer Series

Since September I’ve looked after my Achilles doing stretches and buying a half foam roller to help aid it. My run/walking has continued to improve and I’m now able to complete 5K doing one minute of running and one minute of walking. However I can’t do this and finish strong yet. If I do 30 seconds of running and 45 seconds of walking then I finish feeling stronger. I’ve worked on chipping away at my time since September and really wanted to get under 45 minutes. on 2nd December I did it! I crossed the finish line in 44:40. I was elated.

So far I’ve improved my parkrun time by 13 minutes and 44 seconds. I’d love to make that 14 minutes by the end of the year but with only one parkrun left I’m not sure I’ll manage it, especially after the indulgences of Christmas! But we’ll see….Watch this Space!

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November Roundup

Apologies that this post is a little late. I’ve kind of being feeling a little burnt out when it comes to blogging. I’ve had no inspiration or motivation but this post should really write itself so lets see how it goes.

I started off November in Brazil, or more specifically Rio De Janeiro. If you want to read my post about it, it’s here: My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Below is a picture I didn’t share on the post, but did on Instagram. This is taken at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. There was a huge wall covered in this graffiti. I know sometimes graffiti can be menace and look unsightly but when it’s done like this, it’s marvellous.

Graffiti from Sugar Loaf Mountain

When we got back from Brazil my husband and I received our iPhone X’s. My old iPhone 6 plus had been running slower than an old dog so I was glad to be able to upgrade. I’ve enjoyed playing with the portrait feature on the camera. I like how it blurs the background on pictures.

Coffee

I also went to lots of parkruns and still tried (unsuccessfully) to break the 45 minute 5K. Getting closer though!

parkrun time

Staying on the fitness note, I’m still really enjoying the spin classes at the gym. The calorie burn is epic and I come out of the class buzzing. I’ve started going twice a week now.

spin class

A funny moment that occurred at Stokes Bay junior parkrun in November was a lost dog. One of the rules of junior parkrun is that dogs aren’t allowed on the course, unlike the adult parkrun where you can run with a dog. We spotted a dog running loose and at first assumed it was with one of the spectators but we soon realised it wasn’t. Our wonderful team rallied together and caught the dog and hooked him up to a makeshift lead! Luckily he was wearing a collar with his owners phone number on so we made contact. As I was RD I was left holding the dog whilst the rest of our team returned to their volunteer roles. His owner soon arrived and was very thankful. Apparently he’d come quite a way and crossed over a busy road! Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt!

dog

The core team of volunteers at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun had a team night out in November. We went to a Chinese buffet in Fareham. The only problem was they sat us on a super long table so it was difficult to talk to people more than a couple of seats away from you. They’d seated another large group on a round table which looked a much better way to chat but we couldn’t have got a “down-the-table-selfie” as easily had we of been sat there.

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun core team

I think that pretty much sums up my November. I managed to get a few blog posts out before I burned out too, in case you missed any, they’re listed below:

November Memories Through The Years

Bonfire Night Memories

My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

October Roundup

Disney Mickey Mouse X Cath Kidston

More Christmas Items

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

I Am A Broken Runner

Why I Love Winter

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October Roundup

October felt like the month of illness. I had a cold and bad throat then started to get better, had the flu jab and got worse all over again!

October started with a visit to Sprinkles in Southampton and as a result, another ride on the Southampton Wheel! We went on it just as the sun was setting so it made for some lovely photographs.

Southampton Wheel

October 7th was parkruns 13th Birthday. They’d asked people to post photographs of them in their apricot t-shirts so they could try and get a picture of every parkrun location. So here is me and my parkrun family celebrating parkruns 13th Birthday and also Kieran’s 50th parkrun and 25th time volunteering! Also worth mentioning we didn’t know the lady with the dog, we just grabbed her for a photo because she was wearing an apricot t-shirt! I think she thought we were a bit crazy!

parkrun

I’ve been enjoying my spin classes at the gym I’ve joined. It’s such a good workout and really makes me sweat. I took a picture of the screen at the end of the class. Just look at that calorie burn!

Spin Class

On 22nd October I was a marshal at the Great South Run. If you haven’t already read my blog post about it, please do: Marshalling at the Great South Run

At the end of October I went on holiday to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. There’s a blog post about that too! My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro

The famous wave pattern on the pavement at Copacabana Beach

In October I worked really hard to have a blog post every other day to take me in to November so I didn’t have to worry about blogging whilst I was away. If you didn’t see one, or want to revisit a post, they’re listed below and all open in a new window:

September Roundup

My Favourite Things About Autumn

Autumn in Scotland

2017 Goals An Update Part Three

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

If I Were Prime Minister

October Memories Through The Years

What I Don’t Like About Autumn

My Favourite Halloween Movies

My Favourite Autumn Quotes

My Favourite Movie

Marshalling at the Great South Run and Runner Reviews

How To Prevent Getting Sick in Autumn

What I Do When I Get Sick in Autumn

How I Earned My Golden Ticket Medal

How I Earned The Halloween 5K Medal

Halloween Memories

I think that’s the most I’ve ever blogged in a month! Not sure I’ll be able to keep it up in November but I’ll definitely try! Happy November everyone!

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Returning to parkrun

parkrun logo

On 1st August I injured my Achilles. I’ve rested it, iced it, stretched it. It’s got a bit better. When I first did it, it hurt even without weight on it. Now it only hurts walking down stairs and it’s not exactly a pain, just uncomfortable.

On 19th August I walked a 5k and it was still a little painful. I’ve continued looking after the injury and today wanted to try out walking the parkrun course.

I walked the course with Kieran We also walked with Jade, the tail walker.. Jade is one of my fellow RDs at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. As we walked the Achilles felt absolutely fine. We kept up a good walking pace and chatted all the way round. It was really lovely, the sun was shining and I was chatting away with two friends and also improving my health at the same time. That’s the beauty of parkrun.

It was only towards the end, at the short uphill section, that I even felt my Achilles and again it wasn’t a pain, just uncomfortable. As soon as we had finished it went away and as Kieran and I walked back to the café I couldn’t even feel it.

After the run we took the standard post parkrun finish token photo. Kieran had his Birthday this week just gone and he got a new iPhone 7 plus. His post parkrun finish token photo was so much better than mine! I can not wait to get a new phone. For now though, you’re just going to have to deal with my picture.

parkrun finish token

We completed the course in 56:19, a good time for walking and still beats the first time I ever did parkrun and walked. I was surprised how hard it felt after a month off though! To be honest I thought we might have dipped over an hour but thankfully it didn’t. Now, the next step? A little try at running, possibly tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Volunteering 100 times at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun

parkrun logo

On 19th August I volunteered for the 100th time at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I got started at parkrun but in case you haven’t read it before, I moved to the South Coast and needed a way to meet new people. It really is as simple as that.

I’ve met a lot of great people at parkrun and now have a lot of friends as a result. I know I can go and always see people I know, have a natter and a laugh and then finish it all off with a coffee.

There are people I’ve become close to, people I’d never have met if it wasn’t for parkrun, and people from all walks of life. I could write a paragraph to each person who has made my life that little bit better by having them in it as a result of meeting them at parkrun but I feel this blog post would become way too long so instead I’m going to share some pictures of me with my parkrun crew.

Starting with a picture of one of the greatest parkruns. It was part of the #IAmTeamGB campaign and parkrun sent us balloons, bunting, tshirts, sweatbands, selfie frames etc. We had fun in the finish funnel.

parkrun volunteers

This is probably one of the first team photos I was in. The volunteers change every week but sometimes people come and go. I haven’t seen some of the people in this photo for a while which is sad but the beauty of parkrun is that the door is always open.

parkrun volunteers

One of my favourite parkrun memories. I was timekeeping when this guy carried his pug, Dexter, over the finish line. Lots of people take their dogs to parkrun, not a lot of people carry them!

dog at parkrun

Me with Emma and Geoff, I’m wearing the blue and white Run Director vest. parkrun has enabled me to meet people from all walks of life that do interesting jobs and give their own time to help others.

parkrun volunteers

Another picture from the same day with us all squinting in the sunlight! It is occasionally Sunny at Lee-on-the-Solent but if I’m honest the howling wind and rain has had me wet through to my knickers at parkrun more times than I care to remember.

parkrun volunteers

This is a more recent picture of some of the regular volunteers. The lovely Pippa is wearing the RD vest in this picture, another amazing person I’ve benefitted from knowing!

parkrun volunteers

It’s taken two years to reach 100 times volunteering. Here I am as RD at the 2nd anniversary. We had a fancy dress theme and obviously I am Minnie Mouse. I’ve just realised, it looks like I am the only person in fancy dress in this photo! I swear there were others!!

As well as volunteering at parkrun I’ve now started completing them too. I’m lucky enough to have had people complete them with me. They’re willing to give up their chance of a PB or decent run to accompany me on a slow plod. The photo below is Louise and I. Louise walked with me and gave me great encouragement. I’m truly grateful.

Louise and I at parkrun

Now a couple of pictures from the morning of my 100th time. I wore my “uniform”, my apricot parkrun t-shirt personalised with my home parkrun Lee-on-the-Solent. The apricot t-shirts are only £27 including personalisation. They’re a great way when you’re doing parkrun tourism to show others where you’re from. In the picture below I’m inputting the results. You can see the lovely card Pearson made for me and the doughnuts and éclairs my friend bought for me to say Happy 100!

I also had balloons that I decorated the finish funnel area with. I started the morning wearing them but after they repeatedly hit me round the head I was ready to pop them! They worked much better on the finish funnel.

parkrun volunteer

And finally the lovely Anna came to Lee. I was very honoured to be asked for a selfie with her! Thanks Anna. Anna writes an amazing running blog that I’ve read for, blimey, probably a few years now! You should check it out.

Selfie with Anna the Apple

So what’s next for my parkrun journey. I now really want to concentrate on progressing with my own running at Lee-on-the-Solent and continue my volunteering streak at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. Of course I won’t be able to resist still volunteering at Lee but it won’t be every single week anymore, unless this Achilles injury sticks around!

Are you a fan of parkrun? Why not read my other parkrun posts? These start at the beginning of my parkrun journey.

parkrun volunteer

Becoming a parkrun Run Director

parkrun – More than meets the eye

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

I Am Team GB

parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

Volunteering 80 times at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun

My First parkrun

parkrun number 2

My third parkrun

 

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