ParkRun Week 1: 37:56
For many a year, I’ve been an on again, off again runner, every so often dusting off my trainers for a few weeks or months of pootling around the park at a snail’s pace, stopping and walking if I felt like my breathing was too loud. I even ran the London marathon quite a few mooons ago, clocking in at a ridiculously slow time, and with a lot of walking in between, but I loved the training- it was cold, but I explored bits of Leeds I’d never have gone to otherwise (where I was at uni) and had a fine old time listening to Radio 1.
After the marathon, I did a few 5ks and some random months of running but my most recent bout of running started back in May and everything seemed to click into place- I wasn’t stopping if I got a little bit puffed out, I was going further, and best of all, Mark started coming out with me, which made it so much more appealing to get out the door. We don’t actually run together- I hate that- It makes me talk too much. Instead, he pelts off into the distance (being a much faster runner than me) and I keep a more sedate pace behind him. Even though we don’t actually run alongside eachother, knowing that we’re going out makes me less likely to slack off.
Anyhoo, after a few training sessions, we, along with our friends Han and Paul decided to sign up to a Parkrun. If you’ve not heard of them, they’re all around the world and are basically timed 5k runs, taking place on a Saturday morning at 9am in various parks. Best of all, they’re free and aside from signing up initially online, you don’t have to sign up to every single run, so you can turn up (or slack off) on the morning of the run as you feel fit.
We picked a race about 15 minutes from us- Not the closest, but a bit bigger and slower (good for me and Hannah, who aren’t the speediest hares!) and took ourselves off in the drizzle two weeks ago. I took the whole thing at a happy plod, with some good tunes on my headphones, and was really chuffed to get round in under 40 minutes, but best of all, I didn’t stop once!
We went back again this week- No drizzle, so even more people were out and I smashed my previous week’s time by 4 minutes, and I’m now sitting at just over 34 minutes for a 5k. Me and Han are determined to get under 30 minutes by the end of the year. Clearly I’ve just not been trying hard enough in the past, as 4 minutes off your best time in the space of a week is rather pleasing, but I think there’s nothing like a bit of a race to get your competitive spirits out, be it competing against the other runners, or just trying to get a better PB. That and realising that I’m not actually going to have a heart attack even if I do push myself that little bit harder!
It’s only Monday, but I’m already looking forward to the weekend, to see if I can do any better, and I’ve got two training runs plotted in the diary, even though I’ve got a really busy week planned with cakes, work and other stuff- I’ve most definitely got my running mojo back!
More info on parkrun- http://www.parkrun.org.uk/
If you like a run, or even if you just like the idea of it but haven’t ever done it before, give it a look- It’s brilliant!