I ran my first parkrun in my home town today. It was event number 4 but I volunteered at the first three. It was a lovely, sunny 15°C when we started at 8am. I still struggle in warmer temperatures although I didn’t get a headache today (which I have been getting after about 3-3.5km). Probably because I’ve made a very concerted effort to drink more water and less diet coke.
It was so much fun! The lady who was Run Director for the day made a fuss during the briefing drawing attention to me and my efforts to get it started. As a result, I was rewarded with lots of thank yous, high fives and smiles as I ran (and walked) along the out and back course.
Then as I neared the finish line, I was cheered and clapped and generally encouraged. That is what parkrun is all about! I am so glad we finally have a parkrun here that I can be involved in. I still don’t look like a runner in photos, but I am starting to feel like one more often when I am running.
The run set that I had on my programme for last Tuesday and again on Thursday was a 15 minute warm up followed by 8 x 3 minutes at 6:50 pace (fast for me) with 2 minutes of easy jog or walk between. Tuesday I did this straight after my bootcamp session so I skipped the warm up. I ran/walked exactly 5km for the 40 minutes.
Thursday I was repeating the same set. This time I did a 5 minute walking warm up followed by 10 minutes “just running”. Then I repeated the 8 x 3 min/2min set. I had my garmin watch set to display only pace and time so had no idea of distance. It didn’t get to auto-lap every 1km because I was resetting the laps for each new 3 minute and 2 minute segment. By runs 7 and 8 I was feeling a little weary but pushed on (which is unusual for me – I have a bad habit of giving up). When I checked my distance at the end of my run I had covered 6.93km. No wonder my legs were complaining. It didn’t “feel” like 7km – so I felt great!
I headed off to work, then managed to do a 1700m swim set on my extended lunch break. After work it was back to bootcamp.
I digressed. Back to parkrun. I ran the 5km in just a few seconds over 35 minutes. This is nowhere near my goal of 33 minutes for the Armidale Fun Run in two weeks but it is my fastest parkrun out of five attempts (I’ve run at three other locations). I’ll still be volunteering often so I won’t be running every week but it’ll be interesting to see how I progress in the months to come.
I cannot recommend parkrun highly enough. You should check it out whether you’re a runner or a walker and if there isn’t one close to you, start it yourself – I did!
After four weeks, I’ve received more thank yous from strangers than ever in my life. So many people have commented that they’ve been hoping parkrun would come to town. I haven’t heard of a single person saying they didn’t enjoy the experience.
If you’re ever in Tamworth on a Saturday morning, please drop in and run or walk with us.
Details are here: www.parkrun.com.au/tamworth It is free and the only requirement is that you register as a parkrunner first, print a unique, personal barcode and bring it with you on the day. No need to RSVP. Just turn up. At any parkrun in the WORLD! All with one simple, FREE, registration. Every parkrun is 5km. They are all free. They all operate under the same basic policies and procedures.
Which reminds me, I need to find the closest one to where I’ll be at Christmas and for my next holiday.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!