So the last time I wrote about my running progress I was still staying near Holy Island (and hoping to get out for a run the next day before we left for Scotland…) Needless to say I didn’t get out for that run.
In fact I only managed 2 more runs in our final month away – one when we were staying just north of Blackpool and one when we were staying in Lauder in Scotland, although I did scope out possible routes everywhere we stayed!
However, I had made a promise to my sister Debbie that I would do a parkrun the 2nd Saturday after we returned. I sort of stuck to this in that I was expecting to come back a little later than we did (the weather defeated us in the end..) so I did the parkrun on the date I originally had in mind – which was the middle of November.
Unfortunately, although I did try, the weather was against me again during my training time – I couldn’t bear the thought of going out for a run when it was so cold. So I only managed a few short runs before attempting my first parkrun. (Yes – I need to train to do a parkrun – not treat it as part of my training!!)
The morning dawned bright but fairly cold (it could definitely have been worse!) and my friend arrived to walk down with me (a nice warm-up at 1 3/4 miles). Calv (who had also said he would do it) stayed in bed hiding under the covers until I’d left….
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run all, or much to be honest, of the course but resolved just to do my best and not come in last with the ‘back marker monitor’ immediately behind me!
I was a little nervous to start with (it had been a long time since I’d even attempted to cover 3 miles in any way other than walking), but once I’d got going it was fine. I knew it didn’t matter if I walked – it was really just about getting to the end in my own way and my own time.
Which I did. I was unsurprised to see runners heading back towards me before I’d got anywhere near the halfway point but was very pleasantly surprised to receive lots of encouragement from many of those doing so (it has to be said – not the 1st dozen or so (all men) and also it was mostly women who were seeking to lift my flagging spirits). This did have an effect in that if I had been thinking of stopping to walk I had to keep going until that person who had just spurred me on was out of sight!!
I’m not going to lie – I didn’t particularly enjoy my first experience but, with the help of my friend Emma (who came back for me after she’d finished and got bored waiting for me!) I finished in a time of 46mins 1sec (which was far better than the 50 minutes I was expecting 🙂
Of course now I had to walk back home (I live halfway up a fairly steep hill)… I can honestly say it took me about 10 days before I could walk properly again!
However, I am now planning to have another go. When the weather’s a bit warmer!
To this end I can confirm that my fitness levels are improving as I’m going to the gym 2-3 times a week, playing netball (back to netball) every Wednesday and taking 2 classes (LBT and Sh’bam).
I’ve also started including a bit of interval training on the treadmill which is helping with my speed (still slow, but faster than I was) AND on Monday I covered a mile in 12 mins 35 secs (with a walk at 7 1/2 mins for a minute and a half). My next target is to run without walking for 10 minutes.. Then to run for the full mile etc.
I am now aware that running outside really is easier than running on a treadmill. I say this as, years ago (when I could run – I once (emphasis on the once) ran 5 miles in 45 minutes) I never ran outside and refused to believe it would be easier than using the treadmill… I now know different which gives me great encouragement that I will be able to run for a whole parkrun before we leave on our travels again at the beginning of April.
I also have to admit to being inspired by my family and friends. I have 2, really very good, running sisters, 2, really rather good, running friends as well as 1, really very good, running brother-in-law and 2 more brothers-in-law who aren’t bad at all (1 of whom has just started entering 10ks at the grand old age of 55 – well done Mark 🙂 ), and a brother who has decided that he should also get involved and has signed up for parkrun.
My main inspiration though is my oldest sister who has been doing parkrun for over a year now, but in recent months has been steadily improving her personal best. Like me it doesn’t come naturally anymore (she was a wonderful sprinter as a teenager until she suffered injuries) but she has kept at it, and has just signed up for a beginners course at her local running club. I wouldn’t have the confidence to do this and I am really proud of you Alison. Well done!
I look forward to us beating our personal bests as we aim to beat each other in the coming months at Parkrun 🙂 (me at Fareham and you at Lee on Solent).
Watch this space 🙂 (and keep running!)