Monday, 5 March 2012
Newby Huddersfield parkrunner
So here goes: blogging, the psychoanalysis of the 21st century. I’ve almost reached 34 without having bared my soul on the internet (ok, maybe a few facebook rants and that dire attempt at a self-sales pitch on an internet dating site) and without doing much exercise.
I’ve never been into fitness that much. Like most teenagers, PE lessons were spent smoking cigs behind the prefabs. In my early twenties I had a ‘fit’ boyfriend who lured me towards the ways of the Runners, but I soon lost interest after we decided to part company (well, yes he dumped me).
I’ve always been slim, therefore in the majority of people’s minds: healthy. However, after popping out a couple of kids and stuffing in plenty of cake, junk food and basically anything from the ‘this is not just food’ M&S range, I found myself at the beginning of 2012 in need of a healthy boot up the bum.
So my good friend Debs and I decided we should take up running. More accurately, slow jogging. Our aim was the Saturday morning Parkrun (a phenomenon I’d never heard of). We started mid-January with a few painful and self-conscious 1.5 mile runs. Trying to commit to at least two runs per week.
We stuck to it and after 8 weeks we braved the Huddersfield Parkrun.
Still self-conscious and slightly embarrassed by the lady in baggy white shorts and rabbit ears; we acted like the cool kids during lovely-Kerry’s first timer speech: yeah right, run there, do that, etc. We then, as cool kids do, went to the back of the class, only to find the bunny lady again!
Then we were off; we lolloped our way around Greenhead Park, commenting on the new fixtures and fittings like a pair of tourists. Only when we were lapped by the duck pond (obviously not by the duck pond) did we realize that we maybe should stop chatting. We finished in a respectable 31 minutes (seconds don’t matter on your first run), proud of ourselves and very impressed by the friendly aspect of the event.
After collecting the kids, having a shower and my Mum phoning to say how proud she was that I’d just ran 5k; I got my first results email! At this point an unknown feeling arose: a competitive streak kicked in. All I could think about was my next run. How could I improve my time, run faster, get a Garmin, mapmyrun … anything! I was like an addict.
The next week (my second run), I had to make it around in less than 30 minutes! Feeling a lot less embarrassed and more at ease with the running community, I put all my efforts into getting around the park quicker than the week before. After losing the 26 minute pacer-bunny (I’m sure he was quicker than 26 minutes) overtaking Brett and his amazing 5 year old son (the 35 minute pacers), I made it in 28:48. Post-run coffee was spent chatting to other runners about how friendly and encouraging everyone is.
So to conclude my ‘Kerry inspired ramble’, we reached our aim to do the Huddersfield Parkrun and met some lovely people. The next step for this newby runner is to do the Parkrun in 25 minutes, Sport Relief, volunteer to help out, Warrior Dash, Leeds 10k (and so much more)… and save up for that Garmin (mapmyrun is on my phone, with my all important running stats).
And now ... seconds do matter!