Wednesday, 15 February 2012
New Contributor: Catherine Avadis
Name: Catherine Avadis
Home parkrun: Bushy park, Teddington
Date of first parkrun: 18/06/2011
Total Number of parkruns: 7
Number of other parkrun locations run: none, yet...
Number of times volunteered: 2 - 1 marshalling and 1 as a barcode zapper!
My parkrun history: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bushy/results/athletehistory?AthleteNumber=158209
My Blog: 42lbstolose.blogspot.com
I consider myself very lucky indeed to have the majestic Bushy Park pretty much on my doorstep. I ran my first parkrun there quite unintentionally.
In April 2011 I decided I needed to change my lifestyle as I was 3 (maybe 4) stone overweight, very unfit and lazy, not to mention the wrong side of 40 too!. Firstly, I decided to take up running and started the 9 week Get running Couch to 5k programme. By week 7 I started to look around for a 5k run as my finale and came across parkrun. My husband is a runner so I signed us both up for it and went along a couple of Saturdays later. The plan was that my husband would run the parkrun with all the proper runners, while I did my week 8 run 3, which was 28 minutes non-stop running with 5 minutes walk either end, some where else in the park on my own, so I didn’t get in the way.
Somehow, it didn't work out like that. Once I saw there were children, people with dogs and parents with kids in pushchairs, I thought it looked more inviting, less formal, less elite, less scary. So I decided to join the crowd that was gathering and do my run as part of the 5k and see how I got on, highly expecting to walk half of it or even duck out once my 28 minutes was up. The run started, so I got my iPhone out and on went the runkeeper to track my pace and calories burned and on went the getrunning week 8 run 3. I looked up and well, as I started my warm up walk, I quickly found myself almost alone in the park with just a few stragglers with push chairs, a dog deciding it was an appropriate time for the toilet and a child doing up their laces at the back while the main body of people disappeared like a herd of Buffalo into the distance! I felt a surge of panic that by the time I finish they would have all packed up and gone home for lunch! So about 30 seconds later I started to run.
I ran and ran and ran. I overtook children, I overtook a grey haired lady, she overtook me and I over took her again, kids with dads overtook me and I overtook them. I kept my steady pace all the way through. I ran 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 28 minutes done "should now be stopping and stretching" (getrunning commentary) but I still had further to go. The end was in sight, my legs where good, my breathing was fine, marshalls along the route where shouting encouragement, other runners who were finished lined along the last stretch to the funnel where clapping me,my husband was there cheering me along to the finish. I only bloomin' well ran the whole 5k!!
My first ever 5k!
Looking back I am so glad it was a parkrun 5k. Everyone is so encouraging and so friendly. Running with a crowd of people, and Bushy parkrun is a big crowd regularly attracting 800 or more, is thrilling because of the buzz yet comforting because of the people and something I very much look forward to.