Tempted by Parkrun

Hey peeps! How are we all doing? Hooray for the weekend etc.

These were well and truly urgent to help me get on with my marking on Friday afternoon/evening!

So at the moment my running is going well. I have been gradually increasing distance and making sure I stretch after each run for a long time, and doing yoga each week. Only once a week but I have to start somewhere.

I was planning on doing my long run of 11 miles this morning, but yesterday we were watching the weather and it promised strong winds and heavy rain. Hmm, not so tempting. I have a bit of a cold (a child sneezed in my face the other day, the joys of the job!) so spending nearly 2 hours in the rain was not very appealing for that reason either. Plus Andy was off to the football and due to all the flooding had to leave earlier – he is running tomorrow morning and it is nice when we run together.

So then I started thinking, should I go to Parkrun in the morning? It is the off road course so I would not be going for a pb, just trying out my trail shoes in the mud. Then on Sunday morning I could go for my long run with Andy instead of on my own…

So this morning I pottered about before heading off. It was sunny when I left, so I was thinking that perhaps I had got the weather wrong and it was meant to rain on Sunday. My drive there was diverted twice due to roads closed due to flooding so my final route took me much longer- I got there at about 8 minutes to as it started to rain heavily- just enough time to get my parking ticket and try to listen to the race announcer (but it was windy, and also people near me were talking over here how rude). I heard the countdown and then jogged over to her to ask her what the route was (as they only put the normal route on the website)- I am fine following others but I wanted to know how many laps it was (3).

The normal course is super flat with only a small incline near the end, but this one was uphill on the way out, through a lot of squelchy mud, and then down hill on the way back. I feel I need to develop a technique for running on the mud- I felt much more stable in those shoes as they do grip better but still the mud is so slippery.

My shoes at the end with a good inch of mud all up the sides- I took trainers to wear on the way home so I would not be slipping all over the pedals

Anyway, I heard someone at the start saying they think the off road route adds about 2 minutes to your normal time. I didn’t look at my watch at all during it, I was concentrating on not slipping over! The rain stopped for the second lap but then started again with a vengeance in the third lap. You had to run past the finish chute which was a bit strange- and a little disheartening when people have finished ages ago and you are starting out on your final lap. But still, I enjoyed it- I think the great thing about Parkrun is that it is over in about half an hour, so even though the weather was horrible I got my fresh air fix. My final time was 30.36 (I was 124th/169 but only the 24th female out of 47- crazy that it is still so dominated by men)- a personal worst (well not officially as there was a time the results went wrong and we all got 59.59), but probably around the time I should have been aiming for.

I did a few stretches in the car park but it was cold so I headed home for some tea and muesli in front of the snowboarding on TV.

Now I have a little ache at the front of one of my legs, near my hip, so I have been feeling a bit paranoid, but hopefully it is just a normal post running ache and nothing worse.

I do like the fact that Parkrun is not too far either- I have enough energy left to get on with all the housework (I even cleaned the fridge but that was more to do with putting off my work than anything else), then got on with most of my work before having a break and walking into town for a Starbucks. Now I have a bit more work to do but hopefully I can power through.

Hooray for Parkrun! How I have missed it. Although I think to be sensible next weekend I won’t be going, will have to wait until March for my next fix.

How was your Saturday? How is the flooding by you? There are roads near me that always flood in the winter, so they of course are underwater, but there are so many roads between fields that are closed- driving back from town today even the roads that were open probably shouldn’t have been as the water was so deep and still just pouring off the fields. I am very lucky that our house is relatively high so even our garage has been fine.

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10 thoughts on “Tempted by Parkrun”

  1. I’m sorry to hear the flooding has been so bad 🙁 We have some issues with the strength of the wind up here, but as of yet we’ve escaped the worst of the flooding *knock on wood*. Serious dedication to get up and go to Parkrun in those conditions though – I must admit I don’t like running on really saturated and muddy ground because I’m so scared of doing the splits or something similar and injuring myself. I think your leg might be sore because you’ve been using so many muscles just to stabilize yourself on that ground, let alone run on it! Running on mud is so tough on your hip flexors in particular – mine are very tight and prone to being pulled at the best of times, but in the muddier trail races I’ve done they absolutely kill me. Good to know those shoes still have good grip: if I need a pair of trail shoes I’ll be buying them (I was worried the new version might not be as good as the old ones I used to have).

    All the best for your long run tomorrow, and I hope it stays dry!


    1. Thanks Jess- I think Parkrun is a bit addictive – you are right about it being tough to stabilise so will be back on the road tomorrow!
      As for the flooding it is inconvenient that the roads are closed but at least our house is dry- loads of people with much worse situations than us.

  2. Our little town seeeeems to have escaped unscathed this weekend. We have had rains and winds but nothing like 80miles/hr thank goodness. We do still have our pond outside the kitchen window though and the level goes up and down varying on how much rain we have (we are about 4 steps up from the pond if that makes senesce??).

    1. The normal course is laps of a lake, and most of the path is underwater (as are the public toilets) so they have no choice! I think normally they keep it as a route for when it is icy as the paths are very slippery, but it has been handy for other reasons this year!

  3. The flooding round us hasn’t been too bad at all thankfully. We saw a lot of flooding around the New Forest over the weekend though.
    I do love Parkruns. I love the community feel, the spirit of it and also it’s a great way to track progress. Though recently the course has been so tough because it’s the winter course with multiple hills.

  4. I love Parkrun, it’s over before the day has even begun- always sets you up well for the day! I’m hoping to get to Cardiff parkrun on Sat if my calf improves. I think running off road requires so many different muscles than on road, I’m pretty sure my calf injury is largely down to running in the shin deep mud in the trail race for 4+ hours, just to stay upright was a mission in itself. Hope your hip is ok!

  5. The best tip I’ve been given since becoming a regular mud runner this Winter is to not change your mind on direction once you’re running. Pick a route through the mud and stick to it…if you alter it as you’re sliding through, your head doesn’t quite follow your feet and you end up on your bum!

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