Tag Archives: parkrun

Christmas Day parkrun

This Christmas, much like last Christmas Day, started with a festive parkrun. It’s so nice to see everyone on Christmas Day. Everyone is always in such good spirits. It’s also an opportunity, I find, to meet family of my friends as they’re persuaded to come along too.

I decided against fancy dress for Christmas Day as it was a rather balmy 12c! After seeing friends and wishing them a Merry Christmas I went and joined the starting pen. I soon found Rachel, who hasn’t run parkrun for a while and my friend Claire who I run regularly with. They both kindly offered to run with me. Whilst giving the run briefing, the RD made me laugh by saying “I’ll try and get the results out before I get the gin out” The results didn’t come out until 4pm so I’m guessing the gin won!

We were soon on our way. I’m often asked by who I’m running with “So what are you aiming for today?” and I always answer “Just to finish” I set no expectations on myself now. As we were running we chatted about how busy it was. At one point I actually felt like I was being held back a little, this was probably good though, as I always start too fast. We even ended up walking around the turn around cone due to the congestion. It was frustrating a little but also nice. As I’m a “back of the pack” runner it’s rare I have that much company around me!

I managed to run the whole course with no walk breaks. This is happening much more frequently now which pleases me. I did struggle a bit, partly because of the warm weather, and partly because on Christmas Eve we’d been out for a curry at a local restaurant. Curry, whiskey and Baileys do not make good fuel for a parkrun!

As we ran in to the finish funnel I was pretty blown away to see my time was in the 37’s!! Only just though, when my official time came through it was yet another PB of 37:59! That was the best Christmas present I could have given myself!

Just like in my last post I thought I’d compare my Christmas Day parkrun results.

Christmas Day 2017 – 46:00

Christmas Day 2018 – 37:59

That’s a whopping 8 minute difference! Progress has definitely been made!

Christmas Day parkrun

Did you take part in a Christmas Day parkrun?

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A Christmas Pudding parkrun

On 22nd December (I’m slowly catching up now) it was the official Christmas fancy dress parkrun at my local parkrun. I brought back my Christmas Pudding outfit from last year. I think my husband was pretty embarrassed to walk down the street with me dressed as a Christmas Pudding but I didn’t care one little bit haha.

When we got there I met up with my friend and work colleague Maria. She introduced me to her new boyfriend who is also a parkrunner. Bit of a shame I had to meet him dressed as a Christmas Pudding but there you go! Maria was wearing a Brussel Sprout hat which was hilarious. Maria had decided to run with me and soon Penny came to join us too. Penny was wearing one of those inflatable outfits which was Santa riding Rudolph! She looked absolutely brilliant but unfortunately Rudolph deflated half way round!

We had a quick chat and were soon on our way. As we all work in similar environments we had plenty to natter about along the way. Lots of children were keen to high five Penny as we ran by as she was dressed as Santa which was really cute. I think we all struggled a bit though in our fancy dress outfits. December was unseasonably warm and I, for one, was sweltering in my Christmas Pudding outfit! I did have a bit of a moan but Penny told me to shut up and keep running so I did.

Somehow, despite sweltering, I got a new PB. These are coming thick and fast at the minute to forgive me for appreciating every single one. I know they won’t last forever, so I like to celebrate them whilst they’re here. We finished in 39:04!!! So close to sub 39! I ran the same week in December 2017 dressed as a Christmas Pudding so I thought it would be interesting to compare the times.

December 2017 – 45:47

December 2018 – 39:04

I’m pretty pleased with a 6 minute difference to say I had 5 months out with injury!

And now, the obligatory post parkrun picture:

Christmas fancy dress parkrun

Do you compare your times?

Do you like to run in fancy dress?

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Why 2018 Was Awesome!

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed ringing in the New Year and aren’t feeling too sad about saying goodbye to 2018. Now, as regular readers will know, this blog saw a lot of doom and gloom through 2018 as I went through 5 months of injury. So, now it’s time to focus on what made 2018 awesome.

parkrun:

Obviously parkrun had to get a mention here. My first parkrun of 2018 was on 6th January (I missed the double on NYD because of a horrible virus) My finish time was 45:20. I’ve now dropped that to 37:59 on Christmas Day! I also was a tourist at Aviemore parkrun in March where despite finishing in 46:18 I finished in position 28. My highest finish position to date! Not only finish times and positions though, the friends I’ve made through parkrun. I know I can ask on Facebook for a run buddy and someone will always come forward. The running community is so supportive. I’ve built my network down here (We moved South in 2015) from parkrunners and now they’re incredible friends. In April I ran Mike’s 100th parkrun with him because, this still amazes me, he wanted to run with me because I was his favourite RD. I felt so incredibly privileged that day. More wonderful parkrun-related days were meeting Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, and Dame Kelly Holmes, the retired Olympic athlete.

End of the run

Selfie with Paul Sinton-Hewitt

Dame Kelly Holmes

Travel:

I’ve not left the UK in 2018 (I went to Brazil at the end of 2018 and will go to Canada in 2019) but I’ve still discovered new and lovely places. I started 2018 by visiting Cheddar, Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol. In March I visited Scotland and discovered new places as we stayed in a different area to where we’d usually stay. In April I visited Wales, or to be precise, Barry Island. We went landmark hunting as I’d finally got around to watching Gavin & Stacey! In September we went back to Scotland where we did so much walking! My injury was finally fading and I loved enjoying the outdoors again.

Loch Morlich

Running:

My running has improved so much towards the end of 2018. However I want to focus on some of the amazing runs I’ve done that aren’t parkrun related. I ran in my local country park for the first time and discovered the cliff top run so many people have told me about. That was an incredible run but it’s a shame it coincided with flying ant day!! A year to the day after starting parkrun, I also completed my first run with The Breakfast Club. I’d never felt good enough to go before but I loved every second. In May I also did my first intervals session at Gosport Road Runners and absolutely loved it. By May my running was going from strength to strength and I was thoroughly enjoying it. In June I also ran my longest run (5 Miles) to date at the Romsey Cake and Beer Race. An incredible day and I won a prize! October was an amazing month as I started running again after my injury and suddenly found losing 2 stone had made quite a difference to my speed.

post parkrun selfie

Friends:

In June I met Woofs With Wilson and his Mum for the first time and got on with them famously. We’ve since met a couple more times and they introduced me to The Pump House, one of my favourite places in Gosport.

My friendship with Maria went from strength to strength as we went to so many spin classes and in June, I got her to come to parkrun. And got her hooked on it!

We had friends from Sheffield visit in June. The weather was sweltering so we had beach days, as well as playing tourist in our own area.

I also met up with Anna from Anna the Apple blog a couple of times at the Paul Sinton-Hewitt chat and for dinner where I quizzed her on every marathon she’s run.

Woofs with Wilson and I

Me:

Obviously in 2018 there were some great things that happened to me that don’t really fall in to the other categories. At the end of July I signed up to Weight Watchers and so far I’ve lost 2 and a half stones. It’s from the picture below people really  started noticing my weight loss.

I added another string to my bow by completing a level 2 course on Understanding Childhood Illnesses.

In December, my husband and I also celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.

Wearing the Contra t-shirt

What made your 2018 awesome? Or are you glad to see the back of it?

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Storm Deidre

Everyone loves running in a storm right? On 8th December I went to parkrun and the weather wasn’t looking good. Thanks to Storm Deidre we were going to be battered by 45mph winds coming straight off the sea! 

The winds is definitely one of the worst things about living on the coast. We never seemed to feel it living in a big city but living by the sea is a different kettle of fish. It can barely be windy on the back streets but as soon as you hit the sea front the wind comes out of nowhere.

Honor had messaged me to see if I fancied some company at parkrun so of course I took her up on the offer. I think I was now up to 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. It was pretty windy throughout the run. Going to the first turn around point the wind seemed to be behind us so it aided us a little. As we turned around though the wind was brutal from the side. I was freezing all down that side and couldn’t wait to hit the next turn around point so the other side could cool off and my cold side warm up! 

As we turned at the 2nd turnaround point the wind was absolutely horrendous. Honor and I weren’t really able to talk because we just couldn’t hear what the other was saying. I remember I kept shouting “This is so hard” It was like running on the spot. I felt like I was going absolutely nowhere! 

Somehow I managed to finish with a PB! I’m chipping away at the 39s now. My finish time was 39:37. 

I insist everyone who runs with me has a selfie taken with me. For my own memories really! So obviously Honor and I had a selfie. I tweeted it and parkrun included it on their Twitter which was pretty neat.

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Hitting A Goal

Since my injury in June, that lasted 5 long months, I gave up on the goals I set for 2018. However, to my surprise I actually hit one on Saturday 24th November. If you didn’t read the original post where I set my goals, you can revisit it here –> My Running Goals for 2018

So….the goal I hit? This one:

40 minute 5K

On that Saturday I managed to go sub 40 minutes at parkrun! As you know, if you’re a regular reader, I’m still returning from injury. I’m run/walking parkrun each week. This particular week I hadn’t asked anyone to run with me at parkrun. I wanted to see how I got on running on my own and listening to my body.

It was a complete mix of feelings. The first mile I struggled. I felt like I couldn’t get my breathing right, my body was asking me “What the hell are we doing?” and it was just a struggle. The 2nd mile however I felt like I was flying. I had a moment when I finally reached the finish funnel before the first runners finished. This never happens! Then I hit mile 3 and I was struggling and fatigued. I was running near two older gents who were chatting and I heard one of them say “Well I’d like to finish somewhere in the 30’s” and I thought to myself “You’re going to be sorely disappointed” because I’m never anywhere near the 30s. I always finish in the 40s.

Anyway I ran through the finish funnel, went to stop my watch and couldn’t believe what I saw! I’d finished in 39:45! After being so injured where I thought I’d never run again, I can not believe I’m nearing the end of the year with a sub 40 minute 5k!

Have you hit any milestones with your running in 2018?

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A parkrun PB and The Tree Is Up!

So as you can guess by the title, today I got a PB at parkrun! I started off running alone and was scarily close to the 40 minute pacer. My PB was 43:27 so to be so close to the 40 minute pacer had me worrying I was going way too fast, although I felt comfortable. I was soon caught up by Cliff, a fellow parkrunner who asked if it’d be ok to run with me as he has Gosport Half Marathon tomorrow. Obviously I said yes. We were soon joined by my friend Maria too as she’d been worried I was running alone and felt bad. How sweet is that?!

This week I was running for 3.5 minutes and walking for 1.5 minutes. During miles 1 and 2 I felt strong but my mile 3 I was finding it harder. Maria reminded me to concentrate on my breathing which did actually help. I think I was chatting too much in the run portions. The whole time the 40 minute pacer was in sight but I didn’t look at my watch the whole time. When I went to stop it in the funnel I could hardly believe it when I saw 40:something on the screen.

Maria and I

I was elated but I definitely felt like I’d pushed harder in mile 3 to just keep going. Mile 1 was actually my slowest mile despite feeling good at that point. Anyway after snapping some pictures my husband and I went back to the café for breakfast and saw fellow parkrunners Richard and Gemma there so we sat with them and had a natter. I sold the idea of the Gavin & Stacey parkrun challenge to Gemma, which I don’t think Richard was too impressed about! Oops!

post parkrun selfie

Afterwards we went home to put up the Christmas tree. I’m not even sorry that it’s up. We’ve bought a new tree this year. We usually have a real tree but decided to get a good quality artificial one from John Lewis. I’m pretty pleased with how it looks.

Christmas Tree

After we’d finished we nipped in to Gosport town centre as I’d seen some Reindeer coasters in a little gift shop. They’re really cute.

Tomorrow I was meant to be going to Breakfast Club but because of the road closures for the Gosport Half Marathon, getting back could be tricky so Claire and I are going to run in Lee instead, then I’ll shower and go back out to cheer everyone on in the Half.

Do you like to spectate at local races?

Have you set a PB recently? 

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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 Windy parkrun

I’m finally up to date with parkrun posts! This week I was run/walking 2.5 minutes of each. I’m finally at the halfway point of my road back from Injury! It was a warmer morning than last week at parkrun and a lot windier!

This week I was run/walking with Lorna and her son Luke, both of whom I met through junior parkrun. My friend Maria, from work, also joined us. We started off really well and continued to do well until we reached the second turn around point. Now we were running straight in to the wind and they were strong. It felt like we were running whilst trying to push something incredibly heavy. It was so hard. I was fine with the run/walk intervals and it was pain free which is always a relief. My pace was again commented on as being a fair bit quicker than before.

We finished in 44:35 which is slower than last week but to be expected in that wind I think. It was Luke’s first big parkrun and he absolutely smashed it. He never complained once! Hopefully the run/walk intervals helped him to complete the parkrun easier than trying to run the whole 5k.

Group Shot

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Halloween parkrun

Saturday (27th October) was the Halloween parkrun. Fancy dress was of course encouraged. This week I was running with Kerry who is a member of Fareham Crusaders, a fellow blogger and a Women’s Running magazine cover girl!

Kerry dressed as a zombie nurse and I wore my 99p from eBay pumpkin t-shirt!

Halloween parkrun

This week I was running for 2 minutes and walking for 3. I’d done a mid week run on the treadmill which had gone well so I was hopeful this would easily transfer on to the tarmac! It was near perfect running weather for me as it was about 2c! I run so much better in lower temperatures as I just get so hot whilst running.

Kerry and I chatted easily about working out, routines, running and injuries. We kept up a good pace and I noticed that slowly but surely we were moving our way up the pack. We soon caught up with my lovely friend Mike and then ended up playing cat and mouse with him. He overtook us every time we walked, and when we ran we caught him up.

At the end I was surprised to see 420 on my finish token! There were more people there than I had realised! Usually I finish somewhere in the high 300’s. I was even more surprised to see my finish time! I finished in 43:53, a mere 26 seconds away from my fastest ever parkrun! Incredible, especially considering there’s still so much walking! I’ve knocked 6 minutes off my time since the beginning of October when I started back at parkrun after my injury. Mind blown!

Did you dress up for a Halloween parkrun?

If you did, what was your costume?

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Feeling Good!

I’m almost up to date with my parkrun updates! On 20th October I ran with two friends from parkrun, Richard and Penny. They were both running the Great South Run the following day so had agreed to run with me the day before. I’m always grateful that people are actually willing to run with me.

This week was 1.5 minutes running and 3.5 minutes walking so nothing too strenuous for them as they would be running 10 miles the next day. As we ran/walked we chatted about where best to spectate the Great South, I’d told them I was thinking about spectating at mile 9. We talked about parking and the best method of getting there etc. I’d been thinking of getting the Gosport Ferry over to Portsmouth but was still unsure of what was best. The time flew by and conversation flowed really freely between the three of us.

Just as we were heading towards the finish we saw Richard’s wife Gemma. She’d already finished but had really hurt her leg. She was starting to head back to the café so as soon as we finished Richard dashed off to catch up with her. Penny and I however took a selfie. She looks like we’ve barely run a step whereas I look like a tomato!

Penny and I

I improved my time again this week, dropping it to 45:08. I’m not looking at my watch during the run at all as I just want to run and make sure nothing hurts. However I do allow myself a look as I head towards the finish and this week I made a dash for it just to get that little bit closer to my PB. In October I’ve knocked around 4 minutes off my time which I’m pleased with.

Have you run the Great South Run?

Do you prefer running with friends or going on a solo run?

 

 

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