I always have pretty vivid dreams, but they are normally about something I am worried about, and parkrun is something I look forward to (especially when I missed the previous weekend). Now, I had volunteered this weekend for the new runner briefing again, because that would mean I could still run it, so perhaps I was still a little worried about doing that. Also, someone in my running club had mentioned a new parkrun in Hoddesdon (not much further than Panshanger) so I must have been thinking about that too.
So, the dream:
I am travelling to a brand new parkrun, to do the runners briefing. I get there are 8.30, and begin to try and find the start among a sea of fluorescent-clad runners. I realise I still have my handbag with me, and a rucksack, so try and find Andy’s mum (who was going to watch) so she could hold my bag. I felt bad because there was a long walk from the start to the finish so she would have to carry them a long way. My shoes were not tight enough to I have to keep pulling out more and more of the lace to make them do up. I walk up and down a steep steep a few times, trying to find someone in charge, but I can’t spot the high viz jackets because everyone is wearing bright tops. Then I realise the date- 12th September, and remember that I am meant to be at Panshanger. I have a bit of a panic wondering how I am meant to let them know that I am in the wrong place. Then, we line up. Andy is there, and we are both wearing our Southampton 10K tops. When the guy says “go” we both sprint off down the hill, with only about 4 others, but are told we false started so have to jog back to the start.
I get up, have some water, potter about, empty the dishwasher, pack my tennis visor, check my emails. Drive to parkrun. I see the run director, but he can’t find the laminated prompt sheet, so he writes down the main points for me. One of the OH ladies is tail running, and one is chip scanning, so I chat to them for a bit.
Time comes for the briefing- I stand in my high viz jacket and wave, and have a big group- around half were tourists and half were new to parkrun. No questions, but a guy on a bike turned up late so I go through it with him. The rain is holding off so I leave my visor in the car.
I go to the back and chat with the tail runner, then we listen to the start talk (two people were doing their 50th run). We go. As I am right at the back, it is very stop start, as it narrows through a gate and then along a woodland track. I was not aiming for any time, although I have given myself an unofficial target to keep them under 30 minutes each week. After a mile I catch up with another OH lady, so I say “hi, enjoy” before I pass her.
Past the fields, the track widens out, so I overtake a few more runners. I shall make the most of the downhill, I decide. As we run down through the sheep field (although no sheep to be seen) I try out the grass instead of the track- I think it was a bit faster.
At the 2 mile point my watch beeps, but I don’t look because I want to run on feel- this feels hard but enjoyable- I still have the energy to thank the marshals and smile.
On the final hill I am digging in and someone overtakes me seriously sprinting! I try to say “good work” but I think I just panted something incomprehensible! As I finish one of the marshals (who is RD sometimes) said “well done Maria” to me, which was lovely – I can manage a smile, but then the current RD passes me and asks me how I got on- I could not answer very well! That hill is tough! I saw a few of the OH ladies so we chatted a bit, before heading back to our cars. I bought a chai latte from the coffee van, and while in the queue I saw a guy who was a tail runner with me back in the summer- he had just run it with his wife- it was her first parkrun- hooray! After that, it started to rain, so I put my hoodie on and headed home. Perfect. I think the reality was better than the dream! My 48th parkrun too!
I was showing off my OH hoodie.
Now, I have a dilemma. Next Saturday I am going to a wedding. It’s a small wedding (not sure if this makes a difference), and is more relaxed than normal. I need a hair cut, so I tried to book one, but the only time they had was 9am on Saturday. Those of you who share my love of parkrun will feel my pain. It’s worse because the next weekend we are meeting family near Birmingham, and the weekend after we go to Bournemouth for the 10K, so I won’t go to one for ages. So, do I keep the appointment and have my hair done for me, or re-book for later, go to parkrun, and do my hair myself? I think you might be able to tell which way I am leaning. But my hair really needs to be cut!
Do you have vivid dreams? Shall I parkrun on Saturday?