What I thought was going to be a free weekly 5km run, that would help me increase in my running confidence has become so much more than this. parkrun is my happy place.
I have learnt all about the running community… I thought I would be too slow for everyone, not a good enough runner… how wrong I was! I’ve learnt that the running community is kind and inclusive, encouraging and inspiring, friendly and supportive. parkrun is a bit like a family really. We get each other; we understand. There is no need to explain why we run, we all know. No matter where on the slide of running and fitness we might put ourselves we are all welcome. The cheering is just as loud for those coming in at the end of the field as it for the middle and front runners.
And I’m getting excited. This year Pauly and I are planning to be parkrun tourists several times over!
In early May we’re heading over to Perth, Western Australia to see my newly engaged eldest daughter, Brown-eyed Daughter #1 and we are hoping to run Claisebrook Cove parkrun. My first born is turning 23 in May! Then in June we are having a holiday in North Queensland where we hope to run twice at Cairns parkrun.
So many parkruns, not enough Saturdays!
I love it how our times are recorded and sent to our personal spot on the parkrun website where we can see our progress. Sometimes I like to run fast and really have a go. Sometimes but not that often. Mostly I run to enjoy myself, to participate and to remind myself why I run: I run for the pure celebration of being able to run. To run, run, RUN! And of course for the coffee and the chat afterwards.
If you haven’t heard of parkrun please check out the parkrun website. There might be one near you or if there isn’t there might be one at your next holiday destination. They are all over the world! They are free 5km events, registration is a simple process online.
You could say that I’m a huge fan of parkrun. In fact a big part of my 50th birthday celebration will be later in the year at Albert Melbourne parkrun. Brown-eyed daughter #1 and H, Blondie daughter #1 and Son #1 plus my Mum and Dad will all travel to Melbourne and walk/run the 5kms as a special birthday present for me. Yay!
Yes, parkrun, so much more than a free 5km weekly timed running event. It’s my happy place. Time out to spend with friends doing something that we all love together.
And what happened on parkrun number 38 for the Unsporty Woman?
I was going for a nice slow run. Janette and Paul lined up beside me and before I knew it we were off. Come on they said, let’s have a go, you can run faster than you think you can. In their slipstream I ran a lot faster than I usually do. I managed a pretty good negative split and pushed myself from the start to the finish. No oh let’s just have a little slow bit here to catch my breath was allowed yesterday. Janette kept encouraging me to push and to keep going and not to listen to the voice in my head that said to SLOW DOWN YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST! Or that other one that said If you go this fast you will conk out and have to walk. While it wasn’t a PB for me I can say, that on the day, I did my very best. I don’t want to run like this every week but sometimes it feels good to give it my all. My goals for running are always to participate, run all the way and finish. But yesterday (shhh) it was fun passing LOTS of people. I’m usually the one watching others speed off, this time it was my turn. But only thanks to Paul and Janette for literally pushing me along with their encouragement, they both had to run a lot slower to pace me. And especially Janette who stuck with me the whole way. Thank you x
Running events can get a bit expensive, but never fear parkrun is here! It’s run totally by volunteers and each runner is asked to give their local parkrun three Saturdays per year to fill spots on the roster. I love to be a marshal which would have to be the easiest volunteering job ever! I get to watch, point the way and cheer all the runners, SWEET!
Not too shabby. No giving up a third of the way around like I often do.
Thanks to Janette constantly encouraging and being just in her slipstream
I managed to get a little bit faster as we went around. There was lots of weaving in and around
other runners so all up I ran 5.05kms, but at the 5km for me was 26:03 and officially 26:21.
parkrun = friendship, running, challenge and fun all rolled up into Saturday mornings.
There is no better way to start the weekend.
Happy running 🙂