That’s it. I’ve done it. I am now a Park Runner.
It’s been on my list of to-dos for a while – there’s a Park Run super near my house but it took the New Year to finally pluck up the guts to join in. I took a friend. This was a deliberate strategy as my previous experience training for a marathon 15 years before had told me I need both deadline, and date to make sure I don’t find an excuse to put a run off!
So a Park Run is perfect for me. My husband took my two boys to soccer training round the corner and I got a blissful (if not entirely pain-free) forty five minutes to myself. Yes, that’s right. It took me 45 minutes to finish 5k! In truth, it wasn’t a total surprise as the marathon training was the last time I had a consistent and serious running plan. More than that, finishing out the circuit felt like a major coup!
Here’s how it went. The friend I took has just had a baby 12 weeks ago. This was more strategy, she’s several years younger and supremely fitter than I so my hope was we’d be at the same level. We weren’t! I ran 2k at my friend’s pace, thought I might be about to have a heart attack or at least pop a capillary in my very red face and decided to stop, walk for a full kilometre to reset myself. By this stage, my friend who’s just had the baby was nearly a full circuit ahead.
However, when I started again I was able to run my own race at my own pace – and set myself the goal of not stopping until I’d finished. So, 4k out of 5k run – that seriously exceeded my expectations.
I really enjoyed the community aspect of the Park Run, meeting people beforehand and everyone encouraging each other – though I could have done without the moment my neighbour Joe lapped me twice!
After a quick warm down, Sorcha and I sipped on a Nüdest and reflected. It turns out the baby had been up all night and she nearly cried off coming but knowing I would be there got her out and she was super glad she had. Recounting my initial Park Run triumph (oh yes, that’s what I’m calling it!) so some other running Mums on Sunday they advised me to try to get a short run 3k or so in mid-week if I really want to see the progress.
So that’s my goal this week – get my distance up to 8km in one week and complete all 5k without stopping on Saturday. And yes, I’ll still be going with my friend who’s just had the baby. I’ll hunt her down yet.
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