1st Parkrun of 2015

Yesterday I started my road to my 2nd 26.2 miles with my 1st parkrun since March 2014.

We recently moved to Yorkshire so our local Parkrun is now Burnley.

As you may have noticed I have an internal competitive streak but not enough motivation to really push myself, so the prospect of running what I anticipated would be my slowest Parkrun yet was not appealing. I foresaw me struggling, walking and being at the back.

Now don’t get me wrong the last time I ran wasn’t March 2014. I had done a marathon in April and a couple of half marathons since then, but I’d only run 60 miles in total since April, and sporadically at that.

Burnley Parkrun is set at Townley Hall Park and is a nice course, albeit a course with laps in it. But luckily not a lap course where the leaders lap you unless….gulp!

I set myself a goal of finishing within 30 mins. That may have been a slightly comfortable target, even my first Parkrun was better than this. My slowest park run was 28.51 at Dulwich back in Feb 2013, but I had eaten a lot this christmas.

There was a good turnout running, a great number of volunteers and pacers. I decided just to go at my own pace and set off comfortably.
There was a slight uphill and an inevitable downhill. Unfamiliar with the course I wasn’t sure where to reserve energy or go for it. As a result the last large loop was a little tough. Also the finish straight was uphill and this is usually where I dig in and push for a strong finish. Not today.
I did however finish in under 28.30, so I have a nice starting benchmark to improve on. I wasn’t last, I didn’t walk and I came second in my age group, which was a nice boost. There may have only been two of us running though 😜

Looking forward to improving on this time and getting PBs each week as I train for the Manchester Marathon.



A lot of new things – First running!

So, this is my first blog post. Before I get started I should probably apologise for many things, such as:

  1. Spelling, grammar, punctuation – It’s not going to be perfect, and I am so sorry
  2. Updates – I hope they will be regular, but I have a habit of laziness, so fingers crossed I can break a habit of a lifetime
  3. Boring – I will try, I promise, to be interesting but sometimes life just isn’t!

Ok, just 3 things to apologise for, not bad. I’m sure there will be more before my 3rd post.

I’ve decided to blog about 3 new things in my life. 2 of which seem to have sneaked into my list of things I like to do, one of which was so sneaky I didn’t even realise I actually liked it, until only yesterday.


I am notoriously lazy when it comes to exercise, healthy eating, cleaning…OK most things actually, but definitely when it comes to exercising.

The thought of getting sweaty and exerting myself wears me out, let alone the showering and changing after. I had no enthusiasm to drag myself off the sofa to a class or onto the cold streets of Dulwich, and this lack of enthusiasm was really beginning to distress my dear hubby, oh and my waistband!

Now don’t get me wrong I’m no heffa, I love a good hike and cycle, I just had no motivation to do something regularly.

So one day I decided why not run home from work. It’s only a 4 mile stint, it has an ultimate destination, and once you start you’re pretty much committed to stay the course.

So that’s what I started doing. It took some planning, i.e. don’t wear too many clothes on the days you decide to run home unless you’re happy to leave your clothes at work, or carry it all in a backpack. This meant strategic planning of wardrobes, conversations with myself as to whether I needed a coat/umbrella/laptop that day, I was already losing interest…I joke of course.

I got myself a MapMyRun app for my iPhone, so I could keep a track of the distance and speed at which I was running, in the hope that I may actually get faster. I also updated my music library with some good running tunes, but listening to music whilst running is a contentious issue as I have recently learnt.

I’ve been running since the summer, and I try to do at least 2 runs home a week. Usually the same route, but I have been known to try to find a ‘shorter/faster’ route only to get lost and find myself going up the biggest hill to get into Dulwich, and going a mile out of my way extra. I swear Dulwich is in it’s own little valley with hills on all sides, and the only easy route in is to go along smelly Rye Lane!

For a while I was stuck on a time between 43-46 minutes (dependent on if I got lost or not!), and couldn’t seem to get any faster. When I went slower than the previous run I would get depressed that the running obviously wasn’t working, and I would never get better. Then, hubby suggested I just really push myself. WHAT! Actually try harder?? Surely I should just go faster by virtue of having done this running malarky a few times, and going faster takes no effort and is just a given result of frequency.

OK so my laziness was actually holding me back, so last Monday I took hubby’s advice, and low and behold I went a whole 3 minutes faster. I was ecstatic, I even had enough puff left at the end to jump up and down with joy. Well surely if I had some puff left for jumping could I go faster? Hell yes! I went out on the Wednesday and went a minute faster again! That’s a whole minute a mile faster, for the whole route, I had managed to shave off just by pushing myself.

The heady sense of achievement I had from this result meant I promptly signed myself up for Parkrun, thinking I’m ready to pit my superior speed up against some worthy competition.

Now I must stress parkrun is not ‘really’ a race, it’s a community run that helps you monitor your progress over 5KM, and ranks you against all the other runners (hmm, still sounds like a race to me), and helps you make improvements week by week. They have these every saturday all other the country, and I must say they are fantastic. It’s free to join, but they always need volunteers and that is all they ask of you, to volunteer at least 3 times a year.

My first 5K was this Saturday, there was a field of 72 runners of all ages and abilities. Hubby volunteered this week so he was there to cheer me on during the 3 laps of Dulwich Park.

It went well. I went my fastest speed ever, doing 5k in 27.31! I was really pleased. It was tough to start with but I got my rhythm sorted, and settled nicely. Didn’t really overtake anyone except this one guy, who then overtook me towards the end. Overall I came 66, which doesn’t look that good, and is certainly something I will improve on, but hey, it’s not a race!

Hubby has joined the local Dulwich Park Runners running club and I met a few of them on Sunday at a 10K (hubby running, not me! That would be too soon!), they all seemed like a great bunch of people. A running club seems like a great way to get into something more socially, and give me the motivation that my laziness needs to continue with this running thing I’ve fallen into.

So my blog will hopefully also be motivation to keep me running as I log my progress (or lack of…) to the world. Ok, who am I kidding…just a few people who see my link on Twitter or Facebook and are bored at work, but I can dream.

Stay with me there will be more…