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!
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.
Happy New Year readers. Today is the day we say goodbye to 2019 and celebrate the arrival of 2020. I’m not making any New Years Resolutions this year. Of course I have a goal but it’s so simple it doesn’t need a whole post. I just want to “Live Well” That’s my mantra for 2020.
I did however want to reflect and look back at 2019 relating to fitness, that is after all, what this blog focuses on. Let’s start with the lows so we end on a high!
Lows of 2019:
The first low of 2019 was being ill at New Year for the 2nd year running and missing the founder of parkrun visiting my local parkrun! Seriously, I have the worst luck.
The main low, though, from 2019 was my calf injury in June. It came out of nowhere at a parkrun and so I had a bit of time off and when I was meant to restart it was in the heatwave. I don’t feel like I need to repeat how much I hate the heat, so since then my running has never really got back off the ground! I’ve mainly just been doing parkrun, and that’s it! To be honest though, to only have one injury in 2019 is pretty pleasing and it only stopped me running for around 3 weeks. My own lack of commitment is to blame for never getting going again properly.
Highs of 2019:
The first high has to be the parkrun tourism I’ve done! In 2019 I’ve visited Barry Island, Penrose (Cornwall), Bushy, Ipswich, Nose Hill (Canada) and Renton (Seattle, Washington) as well as some closer to home. My picture at Barry Island went on to all platforms of parkruns social media.
Second has to be setting a massive parkrun PB of 34:41. I have no idea how I did it, and I’ve certainly never been near it since but it felt really good at the time!
I also completed a 10K in 2019. It’s been a long time since I did a 10K and although it was boiling, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also completed the Romsey 5 Mile Cake and Beer Race with a 17 minute PB!
Another high has to be building my friendship with Rachel and having her support through the last quarter of the year as well as joining Beachbody together. I’m still loving Beachbody and sticking to the workouts.
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!
I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday to Canada and America. Whilst there, naturally, I had a couple of parkruns lined up and the first was Nose Hill parkrun in Calgary.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday the weather in all three destinations we were visiting was supposed to be pretty similar to the UK with temperatures between 12 and 20c. A couple of days before we left, Calgary started predicting snow so I took some long running items just in case. That turned out to be good decision. I emailed ahead to ask if they still put the event on in the snow, assuming that they probably would because it snows a lot in Canada. They told me they only cancel when it is too cold for the volunteers…-20c!!
We arrived at a snowy Nose Hill park and could already see the volunteers out setting up the course. We went and talked to the team and other runners. It turns out the Event Director is an ex pat and belonged to a very local running club! She’s also run my local parkrun. What a small world!! On this particular day there were actually more tourists than locals running!
It was a two lap course with the 2nd lap having a slightly different route to send you through the finish funnel. We set off and I felt quite sure footed. The snow was thick but still fluffy, however on lap 2, as everyone else had run round and the snow continued to fall heavily it became far slippier. There was a downhill section that I actually walked down for fear of falling over by slipping. I didn’t want to break a limb with over 2 weeks of holiday left!
The course was certainly undulating but never too steep or for too long thankfully, except for the very end where you go up a long, very steep hill. I was dead by the top of it, thankfully the finish funnel was just around the corner from it!
We had another chat with everyone at the end before heading off to warm up! I felt so lucky to get to experience parkrun in another country. I’m amazed that what started off as a group of friends running together is now a worldwide phenomenon that you can join in with pretty much where ever you are!
Something to note as well, -9 obviously suits me as I ran the whole thing with a hat and gloves and didn’t overheat at all! Perfect!
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?
Saturday’s parkrun was pretty wild. My weather app told me the wind speed was 45mph, but later on the news I heard the gusts had been 60mph.
Walking down to parkrun was strange. It was so windy, yet it was a warm wind. I’d expected it to be colder. As soon as I turned on to the street that takes you to the seafront, I was almost blown away! The wind was strong!
I’d decided it was time to move on from the 1 minute run/walking which I’ve done the last two weeks at parkrun and I thought I’d give 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking a whirl. I was run/walking on my own but it never feels like you’re on your own at parkrun as you’re surrounded by others and their conversations.
To be honest the run/walking was absolutely fine and there’s really nothing to report on that front. However, the wind made it really difficult. Although running along the coast you’re always exposed, there are some points where you’re more exposed and I could feel my legs being blown sideways from under me! Very disorientating!
All the way along I could see there was sea foam blowing off the sea. Nothing prepared me for when a big clump of it hit me in the face! It was icy cold and of course, very salty! The spray off the sea was continuous and quite refreshing as it was actually really warm!
I was definitely glad to be finished by the end as it’d felt like running whilst pushing a brick wall at some points. I was really surprised to finish in under 40 minutes! I’d kept the 40 minute pacer in sight but she was quite a way ahead of me and I finished after her so presumed I’d have finished over 40 minutes.