What I learned at parkrun today

ParkRun 7: 32:20

Im still feeling extremely chuffed with myself and my running prowess over the last few months. Ive started going out more regularly under my own steam, and have made it to a park run seven times out of eight (was in Birmingham with work one week).

I’ve also managed to improve on my time every week apart from one… granted, given the somewhat stately pace I set in the first week, of 37 odd minutes, I’m still not exactly speedy gonzales but very happy to be continually improving.

2 new things I did this week: 1- went on my own. The safety net of knowing my friends or hubby were going to run too had been a huge motivating factor in getting me out the door, but this week Han and Paul weren’t up for it and Mark didn’t want to be knackered for Rugby later in the day, so I went myself.  Our park run is about 15 minutes away in the car in an area I’m not really familiar with and you know what is like, when you’re in the passenger seat, you never really notice where you’re going.  Consequently, flying solo, I managed to turn in a road too soon, missed the car park and had to park on a residential street and go cross country.

Second thing- as I picked up my phone to go out, I realised I hadnt turned the charger on and so was down to 15% battery.  I usually use my phone to play music and to track my run, and knew the battery life wouldn’t hold up for both, so for the first time ever I ran my entire run with no music.  A big deal for me- I always run worth something in my ears.  Music keeps my feet moving and the radio keeps me company and stops me from concentrating on how knackered I am! Running without turned out to be a bit of a revelation- far from being lonely, I had the 35 minute pacer guy behind me for the first few ks who was calling encouragement to his group and letting me keep a check on the times. I moved away from them after a bit and ran the second half of the run with a 68 year old parkrun veteran called Sam, who after initially encouraging me on with a friendly ‘good pace there, keep our going’, then carried on round the course with me chatting away and telling me which side of the course to aim for so it was on less of a camber and encouraging me up the hills.  I was exhausted at the end (he still beat me at the end by the way- bloody sprint finish is my downfall), but had a great big smile slapped on my face and beat my pb by over a minute to boot! Don’t think I would have got chatting had I had my head phones in and though I do love the solitary-ness of running and wouldn’t be looking for a running buddy every week, on this occasion I had a fab time and definitely ran faster because of it.

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