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I ran @PrestonParkrun! (& eventually blog for #Juneathon)

04/06/2012

Preston parkrun week 4-19

… But I was too late to be in the starters photo!

Yep, true to form I was late for the start, but I still ran, and my friend Kate ran with me.

Preston parkrun week 4-132

It was great fun & it’s true the hill was a killer, and we walked it for lap 2 & 3. (THREE hills in a 5k run, that’s just mean!) We started about 5 minutes after everyone else, and walked a few times too, and still managed a 40 minute time. A few months ago, I was “Running” a whole 5k in 40 min, never mind run / walking it in that time, so there’s been leaps & bounds in the terms of my general fitness. Running parkrun was more fun than volunteering, but only just. Even though we were the final two runners through the finish we got a good round of applause, and not the sort of factitious slow clap, but genuine “well done, you’re awesome” claps, and not one person was bothered by us coming in after the back marker, (because we arrived late, but no one minded that we started late either)

Preston parkrun week 4-314

It was a lovely morning, and also the start of the Jubilee weekend and there were several people running in Union Flag shorts & the baked bean T shirt was my personal favorite.

Unfortunately, this parkrun is the sum total of my #Juneathon effort! and that was 2 days ago. So I’m not winning any prizes, but then I guess that’s what Juneathon isn’t about!

I’m thinking I’ll possibly going to get to go to the gym / running on Tuesday & will start from there.  Honest.

(If you’re not part of parkrun JOIN US also if you’re not on the Juneathon list JOIN US!)

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Here comes #Juneathon…

30/05/2012
tags:

You have to sing that title like it’s the Beatles song Here comes the Sun

It starts on Friday, and lasts the whole of June. So expect a whole heap of moaning, or some suspicious shameful silence.

How I’m going to manage over the bank holiday weekend I don’t know, we have friends visiting & I never manage to go out & run. Hopefully inviting some of them to come run Preston parkrun will keep me a little on the straight & narrow, and I suppose I could always blog from my phone.

Hmm I wonder if I could blog from my phone whilst running…

NO! There will be no stupidity during my #Juneathon, just boringly simple “Jogging, Logging & Blogging”

That’s all I’m blogging now, in a effort to save word for when I’m too exhausted fromrunning to think coherently.

I still haven’t ran @Prestonparkrun…

28/05/2012
Preston Parkrun week 3-2

Photo taken by Lynn Brown

But I have volunteered!

It was a gloriously hot morning on Saturday, and I’m secretly glad I didn’t run, but I will say that arriving at the park Pavilion at about 8:30 am I was a little nervous. Having only spoken with people in email & not too sure just what I’d be doing, I was a little worried that I’d end up with a deadly serious task & fail miserably.

Preston Parkrun week 3-12

Photo taken by Lynn Brown

But after a quick chat with Michael (the gent who stepped up & organised parkRun Preston), Lynn (who took all the lovely photos on this post) & some of the other volunteers, I discovered 3 things.

1) There aren’t really any difficult jobs when volunteering for parkRun

2) You can do as much or as little as you like, so if a job sounds too much, there’s always a job to suit

3) Even if you do, some how, mess everything up, there’s always a way around it & at the end of the day, it’s just a Saturday 5k run, not LOCOG.

So armed with a high vis vest & 300 place tokens, I was the numbers lady.

My biggest worry was keeping the tokens in order & not dropping them all over the park. I have to admit it was a little exciting, especially after a swift bit of maths made us realise that the 23rd finisher today would be the 200th finisher since Preston parkRun began. After only 3 runs I think that’s an awesome start to the Preston run, and it’s only going to get bigger.

It was good fun seeing all the runners cross the finish line, and really did prove that runers come in all shapes and sizes, and also that parkRun isn’t just about sprinting around the park as fast as possible.

It was also great to see the support of all the other runners for every

Preston Parkrun week 3-96

Photo taken by Lynn Brown

one running, from the amazement & well done for the 18:26 winner, and the applause for the runner who’s gotten a PB every week but quite happily sits further down the pack. It was brilliant to see kids racing each other & young and old running together, and everyone moan about “The Hill!”

I’d also say that volunteering would be a great way to dip your toes into parkRun, especially if you’re nervous about running in front / with others (as I know some ladies are) or just nervous about turning up on a Saturday morning to a load of strangers.  It will give you some faces & names to remember next time & there’s time for a chat with the others whilst waiting for the 1st runners to come through.

But it really was a great morning & I honestly had a laugh whilst handing out place tokens to the runners, and would suggest everyone gets their name down to volunteer, especially while the weather is nice.

I’ve obviously been going on at home about how brilliant parkrun is, as now my daughter wants to come run with me. She’s only 4 and after a short run on Sunday evening, I don’t think she has the attention span to run 5k, but I think in a few months she’ll be ready for a run, and hopefully she’ll enjoy it!

If you fancy volunteering for parkrun Preston then check out the Volunteer section on the parkrun site and give them an email.

If you somehow have been living in a hole for months & don’t know what parkrun is all about, then I’m shocked, and point you to the parkrun home page!

Preston Parkrun week 3-17

Photo taken by Lynn Brown

Lastly, proof that I was there, and proof that I didn’t mess the results up HERE!

There’s also a Preston parkrun facebook group and a twitter too.

Plus if you like the amazingly gorgeous photos in today’s post then head over to the Flickr Preston parkrun pool where you’ll find lots more photos by Lynn who kindly let me add these pictures to my blog.

AWESOME! #GreatManchesterRun 2012 report!

21/05/2012

Well, there you go, for me I think that was pretty awesome. Although I think I could have done better…

 

I caught the train down to Manchester & was at the front of the Green wave for the start, literally toes at the start line once we’d walked down behind the Blue wave.

I saw Gordon Burns, Sir Bobby in the starters box, and if I had slightly longer arms could have touched Haile Gebrselassie as he spoke to some of the charity runners who set off in between the 2 waves. While I was waiting for the start I  chatted to some of the runners around me.

There was a gent who was running his 1st Manchester 10k, and another gent, from Cheshire, who was on number 3 or 4, and a lady who lived in Manchester and her journey to the start was about 15 minutes. The chatting coupled with the support from twitter, certainly didn’t leave me feeling like I was running alone.

While we were milling about the start I spotted a lady holding a big sign with “Follow me for a 60 minute pace.” I’ve never seen pacers at the run before, possibly because I was in the last wave for the previous 2, but as I’d spotted her I thought I’d give it a go to try & stick with her.

Although she was quite a bit behind me at the start she quickly crept up on me & I managed to stick with her till about 1.5k, she was just that little bit too fast for me, and so was the 65min pacer who came past. The 70min pacer caught up on me & I stuck with her for the next few KM, till at about 6km, then  I slowed and walked.

Now I should know from training, that as soon as I loose momentum I just can’t get going again, but I just couldn’t get my head to force my legs to keep going, and it wasn’t till about 7.5km that I got back on my stride and started to run properly again.

The last 2km were awesome, I made an effort to high five every single kid with their hand out, and waved at every person who shouted my name.

After I finished I actually managed to bump into two of the people who I saw at the start! The gent from Cheshire managed to finish in 48min!

There were 40,000 runners but the streets were full of their families and it was a little while before I managed to find my Uncle, who was also in Manchester for my cousins water polo training at the aquatic center.  It was ace to have someone at the finish line, and also to take stupid photos of me…

No, both the brews aren’t for me, one of them is for my Uncle, honest, it was tea.

After the run I went down to the aquatics center & saw my cousin’s training session. Water Polo is hard core and a little vicious, and in a pool where no one is touching the bottom, and he’s only 14! I was seriously impressed, and also amazed at how these guys can catch a ball, about the same size as a basket ball, in one hand (practically with their fingertips) whilst fighting off the opposite team with the other hand and all whilst treading water.

So yes, I did awesome in my run, and then was out awesomed by a bunch of 14 year olds.

Great Manchester Run 2012!

18/05/2012

Whoo Hoo! On Sunday I run it for the 3rd year in a row!

This year I’m in the Green wave, I’m not sure if that’s promotion or relegation compared to last year, as they seem to have changed the colors.

I was supposed to be running with 2 friends, but one friend cannot do it because she hasn’t had enough time to train and I’m still waiting to hear if my other friend can do it after he injured his ankle at Tough Mudder last weekend. So it looks like I’m off to Manchester on my own, that’s not too bad, I tend to stress myself out about running with others as I think they’ll be 50 times fitter than me, plus you never really run on your own when you have friends on Twitter!

I’m not sure what time I’ll get this run, on the one hand I’m super optimistic because I’ve recently set an awesome 5k PB, but on the other hand I haven’t actually done much running recently, opting instead for the bike or the cross trainer in the gym & watching Pointless or The Great British Menu whilst I sweat.  I think I’ll just knock 10% off last year & aim for 1hr 15 or less. 

This year they’ve included a blank number to wear on your back, sort of like they do in the Race for Life 5ks, so you can write who you’re running for on, or something like that. This is how mine currently looks;

I couldn’t resist, but I’m not certain what to add into the big blank bit. I have a short TXT code for Just Giving, so that people could donate to Refuge, if they want to show some support & sponsor me.

RFTQ99 £1 to 70070 

(Just in case you didn’t know what it was, you can swap the £1 for £2, £5 or £10)

But that seems a little boring, and obvious, and so does a QR code, so I’m open to suggestions for something cool / geeky to write in it, or I might just not bother.

If you’re going, give me a shout or a wave, it will be greatly appreciated! If you’re not going then my “wave” starts around 12:10 and hopefully I should be done by 13:30, give me a tweet, they made me smile so much during the marathon!

Good Luck to everyone else running too!

I’m off to eat my body weight in pasta over the next 36 hours. You need to do that for a 10k, right?

#WeighInWed – Battle of Scales

16/05/2012

Last week I was feeling awesome. I was half way to my goal & feeling invincible, and 100% focused on getting to my goal before Tough Mudder in November.

This week, I’m a little behind schedule, but  honestly this wasn’t because I’ve just sat about eating cakes.

In order to keep me focused on Beeminder I bought some of my own bathroom scales. I’ve been using the ones at the local gym and didn’t want to use that as an excuses for not updating the graph. (You did see that I’m a little bit of a geek & obsessed by this graph didn’t you?)

I spent much more than I ever thought I’d spend on bathroom scales, especially at one point in my life I distinctly remember swearing that I’d never buy a set of bathroom scales. Dashed home and obviously stepped on asap.

I was 9lbs heavier than at the gym that morning. To say I was devastated is the obvious understatement. I know scales are all different, slightly, and that your weight fluctuates throughout the day, and that’s why you’re supposed to use the same scales & check at the same time of day. But 9lbs in a few hours?

This prompted a trip to the local Boots, whee they have a digital scales thing that also does the whole BMI & body fat thing too. This was 8lbs heavier than the gym, suggesting that I’d lost a pound through swearing & having a tantrum.

So I calmed down & zipped up the (wo)man suit, and realized that the gym scaled had probably been lying to me, a fact confirmed by an inside source.

In reality it means I have to loose an extra 0.2 lbs on top of the 1.4lbs per week to get to goal before Tough Mudder, which isn’t that much, it will just mean I have to be well behaved & not eat 3 Krispy Kreme like I did yesterday.

Awesome Stuff in a Park Near me!

14/05/2012

I’ve been meaning to post this for days, when taking the children on an adventure to a park a little further away from home, about 20 minutes walk (not really that far but these are little legs doing the walking)

The park & playground went down a storm, there were new & more dangerous ways for my son to try & jump to his doom & new things for my daughter to climb to the top of and get stuck.

But that’s not the point  of this post, next to the playground was something I have never seen before & I was genuinely & happily surprised and amazed!

The Outdoor Gym

Honestly an outdoor gym that’s completely free! I’ve never seen anything like this before & thought it was so AWESOME that I had to take pictures whilst grinning like an idiot!

The things that were most impressive to me were the “weights machines.” They have nothing to adjust so you are bound by lifting your own weight, and they obviously take some of the load, as there’s no way I can chest press 80kg, but it was still effort.

The thing I didn’t understand was the treadmill in the park. Couldn’t they have just painted some distance markers on the paths for the same cost? Ah Well, I’m not complaining, if it gets someone running then I’m all for it.

The pull up bars have become my secret enemy, I’ve tried two more times since I found them, and failed to get to one rep… I’m not giving up though!

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