Tag Archives: parkrun uk

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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July Roundup

I know this post is late but to be honest I’ve had some problems with webhosting and wordpress that just put me in to a bit of a blog funk and I didn’t want to update it. However, I finally seem to have it all fixed so hopefully now I’ll feel like updating a little more!

Now, on to July. July was a good month where I concentrated on my running and felt like I was coming on in leaps and bounds. However, now injury has struck and I find myself in a running funk! More on that in another blog post.

July started off with our 2nd Birthday at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. We had a fancy dress and cake theme. I was joint RD along with the Event Director Maggie. I did the run brief up the ladder and that’s where this picture comes from. Taken by Kieran.

parkrun RD

On 3rd July we went for an evening walk and I managed to grab this shot. There’s nothing like a car park full of seagulls taking flight as you walk through to remind you that you live at the seaside!

seagulls flying over Lee-on-the-Solent

In June I took part in one of the challenges on Virtual Runner to earn the mermaid medal. I completed 25.5km throughout the month and my medal arrived at the beginning of July. I must do a blog post about this! But for now, check out the medal. Super cool!

mermaid medal

In July I completed two parkruns and this picture shows my current PB.

parkrun finish token parkrun PB

Probably one of the most awesome things to happen to me was that Starbucks UK featured this picture on their Instagram after I posted on mine and tagged them.

Starbucks Caramel Frappucino

Finally in July the USS George H W Bush came to visit Stokes Bay which attracted people in their droves! It was a huge boat. I took this picture of it from Pebbles Café after we finished up at Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It actually doesn’t look that big in the photograph!

USS George H W Bush

And finally it wouldn’t be my blog without a sunset picture! So to finish, here is a sunset picture!

sunset at Lee-on-the-Solent

Let’s see what August brings!

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June Roundup

Sorry for how late this post is. I have had some trouble with my webhosting! Anyway, without hesitation, here it is!

June has flown by and it’s already July. 6 months of the year have gone.

June started with the first Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and it finally arrived. The morning was a complete success and we had a massive turn out of 184 children. I did a post about it here. It’s really awesome to know we’re doing something to shape the future generation.

junior parkrun volunteers

June also saw me visit a local eatery for the first time called The Tenth Hole. They sell the most amazing cakes. They have a main menu too but they’re renowned for their cakes. I had the Mars Bar cheesecake which was divine. I’ve visited since and had the banoffee pie which was delicious. It tasted so fresh.

In June I only managed to run one parkrun due to other commitments on a Saturday morning. I got a PB which was pleasing. My 5k PB is now at 53:27.

On 18th June I went and spectated at the Gosport Golden Mile. This is a local race but has an amazing turnout. I blogged about it here.

At the end of June we had some friends down from Sheffield. It was fun being tourists in our own town. We ate out, went to the New Forest, took them to see Old Portsmouth, Southsea and to the beach here at Lee-on-the-Solent. They really enjoyed it.

June has been a fun month. I’ve blogged 4 times in June and the links are below if you want to check them out.

Stokes Bay junior parkrun event number 1

My third parkrun

2017 – An update part two

Gosport Golden Mile 2017

 

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2017 – An update part two

2017 Goals

It’s time to update you all on my 2017 goals. If you want to read my original post where I set the goals, it’s here and if you’d like to read my first update which was published in March, it’s here.

Health

I’m continuing to do well with this. I’m being mindful when making food choices. My new work has a salad bar which is free, or you can eat a hot lunch. I’m making sure I access the salad bar most days only having the hot lunch once a week, or sometimes not at all. This is working out well and I’ve now lost almost two stone.

parkrun

As you know, this is going well. When the 2017 dawned, I’d never completed a parkrun. Now I’ve completed three and I’m loving it. I have improved my time each time going from 58:24 down to 53:27. I hope to keep improving this. I’ve found by completing more parkruns, it’s making me be more mindful of food choices and making want to exercise more in other ways too. If you want to read my posts on parkrun they can be found below:

My First parkrun

My Second parkrun

My Third parkrun

Read more books

In my last update I wasn’t doing too well with this goal. I had read three books and listened to the Harry Potter audio books. I’ve now got back in to reading and have read 9 books. I’ll probably post a list of what books I’ve read at the end of the year as I don’t plan on reviewing them all.

be me

Again this is going well. I’m only accepting invitations for events I really want to attend. Because I work with a lot of young people, they have a constant desire it seems to be out of the house away from their parents, whereas I actually like being at home. It’s lovely they invite me but sometimes I just prefer to be at home!

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My third parkrun

parkrun logo

I haven’t completed a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to hurting my foot falling over a door frame at work. However two weeks of resting, elevating etc meant that I was ready to attempt another parkrun.

My plan was to walk the majority of the parkrun and at the final turnaround point begin run/walking the remainder. I walked the first part and didn’t get any leg pain like I normally do. I ended up walking with three children ranging from 9-15. Perhaps the constant chatter amongst them didn’t allow me to notice any pain! As we continued the leg pain never appeared and we were at the turn around point before I knew it. I began run/walking, supported by the children who were more than happy to run along and call out encouragement. When beginning my run segments I’d pick a point somewhere in the distance e.g. a bin, bench or beach hut. I felt good on the run section and really noticed how the Hokas helped propel me forward.

I finished in 53:27, beaten by all three children! Those pesky kids! It was another parkrun PB so I was pleased. The hot weather meant I felt shattered afterwards! I finished in 386th position! I now can’t run a parkrun for a couple of weeks due to work and having friends visit from Sheffield. I’m really going to try and make sure I keep up with practising though.

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Stokes Bay junior parkrun event number 1

junior parkrun logo

Sunday June 4th was the inaugural Stokes Bay junior parkrun. After a successful test event two weeks previous we were excited to see what the morning would bring. All 6 RD’s had posted about it on Facebook so we knew we’d get a good turnout. What we didn’t expect was a HUGE turnout!

Myself, Paul (the ED) and Maggie got their early to make sure we had anything and had everything in place ready for the arrival of the marshals. A lot of our marshals have come over to us from what is now known as our sister parkrun Lee-on-the-Solent. I’m amazed so many people are willing to give up their time on a Saturday, but to know so many people are willing to give up their on a Saturday and Sunday just shows the power of parkrun.

As we were setting up the Breakfast Club from Absolute Running ran by. A lot of these runners attend Lee parkrun too so we hollered and whooped as they went by. People started arriving from around 8.15, both runners and marshals. Paul jumped in to action and gave the marshals their equipment, lanyards and hi-vis vests. I was timekeeping, one of my favourite roles, so I trained the other timekeeper on how the stopwatch works.

Then it was a case of waiting. As we waited more people arrived, and then even more. There were plenty of children but also plenty of adults. Some adults were dressed to run with their children, others wrapped up against the bracing wind. There weren’t just parents either, there were grandparents, aunts and uncles. The prom was soon full and Paul had to ask people to gather on the grassy area to keep the prom clear!

The brief and warm up (all junior events have to have a warm up) were due to start at 8.50am. 8.50 arrived but people were still arriving in their droves. There were people arriving as far as the eye could see. Then Jade (one of our RD’s) received a call saying the car park was full! Bearing in mind the car park is a pretty big one! The briefing was given as late as we possibly could, along with the warm up. Then the last thing that needed saying was “Ready, Steady, Go!” and they were off.

We all stood a bit gobsmacked as the crowd passed us. There were lots of runners. We quickly made our way down from the start line to the finish line  where we cheered all the runners on. The first runner finished the course in a rather speedy 8:05, 1 second faster than the test event! This is now set as our course record. Soon enough all the runners had returned home and we had a moment to stop and take it all in. 184 runners had completed the course. 184! Wow! We’ve created a monster.

As we chatted to people afterwards we had nothing but praise and positive comments, this then continued through the day on the Facebook and Twitter accounts. We were absolutely buzzing. I still am a little if I’m honest! The huge turnout just goes to show how much this little town needed a junior parkrun and I’m pleased we were able to bring it. We’re helping the future generation start life of a fit and healthy path. Long may it continue!

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Stokes Bay junior parkrun test event

junior parkrun logo

On Saturday afternoon we had the test event for the Stokes Bay junior parkrun we have been setting up. You have to have a test event before you’re allowed to start to make sure all your equipment works, the route is suitable and everything falls in to place.

We got there at 4pm ready for a 5pm start. There was one big difference from parkrun in the morning, to the test event in the afternoon. The weather! The wind had gotten up and was really strong making it a very chilly set up. I was on timekeeping for the test event and I will do the same for the inaugural. parkrun ask you to do that so that everyone is practised in their role. I talked through how the timekeeping watch works to Louise, the other timekeeper and also a fellow RD at our new parkrun. She has done some volunteering roles before but never timekeeping.

junior parkrun volunteers

Soon we had some little runners arriving. They say to invite a small group of runners as it is, after all, just to test the course. We had 27 arrive. They had so much energy and the cold and windy weather didn’t seem to bother them at all. They were all running around, chasing and rolling down the grassy banks before we started and still managed some pretty impressive times!

As 4.55pm arrived Paul, our ED, and first time RD, did his run brief. Then it was on to the warm up. This is one difference between the 5k Saturday parkrun and the Sunday junior parkrun. The juniors have to have a warm up provided. They all joined in which was very cute and then moved to the start line.

The start line of our parkrun is a little way from the finish line, as I knew some of these runners were going to be fast I was worried about getting back to the finish funnel to begin clicking them in but thankfully we made it in time. The children did great and ran with big smiles, a lot of speed and some were chatting and laughing with friends, only getting serious when the finish funnel was in sight! It’s so refreshing how they care very little about time and pace. They just want to run and see their friends.

The first runner (male) passed the line in 8:06. The junior parkrun is 2km rather than 5km.  The first female crossed the line in 9.22. What I noticed that surprised me was how many children, once finished, went back to run the rest with their friends. I know a lot of adults do this but it was so nice to see the children being to supportive and encouraging their friends/siblings.

The event went swimmingly. Nothing at all went wrong and it was a complete success. The children really enjoyed it and this shows from some of the feedback we’ve had since. I also chatted to a lady afterwards who had stopped to watch all the children run and asked if her granddaughter could join in next time.

Afterwards we headed off to have some training provided by our ambassador.  This was quite quick and we all already volunteer often and a couple of us are already RD’s at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. We were taken through uploading results, what errors may occur, safeguarding, the parkrun does and don’ts and what to do in case of an emergency or tragedy. It was quite interesting and the hour or so it took soon flew by.

training

I think we’re all good to go now for the 4th June and I for one, can not wait!

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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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My First parkrun

parkrun logo

On 13th May I completed my first parkrun. I’ve volunteered at my local parkrun at Lee-on-the-Solent for 22 months but never completed one thinking I’m not fit enough and I’d never be able to complete it in under an hour.

In January I set myself some goals for 2017. One of them was to take charge of my health and another was to complete a parkrun. So since then I’ve been working on my walking, upping the distances and in time improving my speed.

On 13th May it was the Gosport Road Runners take over at parkrun meaning I couldn’t volunteer as I am not a member. So instead I was going to walk it. I put a call out on Facebook as in the past people have said to me if I ever want to walk it, they’d be happy to walk it with me. On Saturday morning I had my friends Rachel (who was also tail runner), Andy, Kieran and Louise walking with me.

The walk started good. The Lee-on-the-Solent course is a loose figure of eight and as we made our way to the first turn around point I was absolutely astounded by the amount of people there. As we were at the back of the pack we had to walk in single file as the main crowd of runners were on their return leg.

As we went around the turn around point I started to get twinges down the outside of my legs. This is always where my leg pain starts. Instead of focussing on the pain I decided to instead focus on the conversations around me which at this point was about dreams about Tough Mudder events!

As we continued making our way towards the other end of the course we passed the finish funnel and this is my only moment of complaint. The promenade was packed with runners and I had to slow right down to try and work my way through people meandering back to their cars. It was frustrating but I know how difficult it is to keep the prom free from runners. As we passed the finish funnel I actually over took a group of three ladies and couldn’t believe it. I was no longer at the back. This did however mean I got separated from my group for a while as Rachel had to stay with the three ladies at the back as tail runner (the ladies later dropped out) I instead began chatting with Louise, we chatted about all sorts of things but she also told me how when we reached the slipway we’d already walked two miles and the bulk of the work was done! As we were chatting I hardly noticed the time going by. I felt good at this point (though warm) and wished I’d left my jacket behind at the funnel. It meant I had to carry it for a lot of the walk. As we rounded the next turn around point and made our way back towards the finish funnel Louise and I continued to chat about parkrun, running and injuries.

As we got closer to the end Anna came back to find us. She had already rather speedily finished her run and walked the remainder of the walk with me. It was so lovely chatting away to her and she informed me of the amazing cakes waiting for us when we finished. That girl knows how to motivate!

As we made it to the ramp (or as the parkrunners like to call it, the mini mountain!) the finish funnel was in sight, along with a sea of hi-vis vests of the marshalls and funnel team. It was quite the sight and there were lots of people there ready to give me congratulations and well dones for completing the course.

I came 583rd out of 587 runners (so not last!!) I walked the majority of the course chatting away and feeling good and most importantly, pain free. There was one slight problem though…I forgot to take any pictures!!! D’oh, what sort of blogger am I?! Rest assured, next time, I’ll take lots!

Want to read my 2017 goals? You’ll find a post about them here and a quarterly review of them here

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Volunteering at Waterlooville Junior parkrun

parkrun logo

As you all know by now I love volunteering at parkrun. This week was a parkrun double for me. I volunteered at my usual Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun then on Sunday I headed over to Waterlooville Junior parkrun.

Waterlooville is only half an hour away from where I live so it wasn’t too far to travel. The parkrun is held in Jubilee Park (Milton Road entrance) in Waterlooville so if you’re in the area with a 4-14 year old on a Sunday then why not give them a visit?

The course was a 2 lap course with a small loop then in to the finish funnel. I went along with two friends and their son who initially weren’t going to volunteer but were going to watch and their son was going to run. When we arrived at 8.30 to register as a volunteer there was only Adam, the run director there. He was setting up the course but stopped to have a chat with us. He was really friendly and told us a few snippets of information about the course. They were low on volunteers this week so my friends were quickly roped in to help. One as a marshal and one as Tail Walker (although actually it was a tail run in the end). I was barcode scanning and a bit nervous as I was the only scanner. I’m used to scanning in over 400 runners with three scanners. Luckily it turned out on a very cold February morning only 39 children were to take part.

The junior parkrun is 2km instead of the 5km of a Saturday parkrun. Watching the children was brilliant, especially the two children that led the way. They were fast and pushed hard. It was nice to hear from one of the Mum’s that the first female across the line is part of an athletics club showing she takes her running pretty seriously.

The first male crossed the line in 08:17 and the first female was close behind with 08:25. The final runner crossed the line with a PB of 19:08. She told me friend she turned 4 in September and had taken part in 4 or 5 parkruns. She was just as inspiring as the first runners over the line. 4 years old and a parkrun advocate, brilliant!

As the junior parkrun is 2km, volunteering there really doesn’t take up too much of your time and is really rewarding as you know you’re helping the future generation reach a healthier lifestyle. Why not look up your nearest junior parkrun on the parkrun website and offer some of your time?

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