running blog




I nearly didn’t make parkrun today. I snoozed my alarm many times and while I lay there semi conscious I was convincing myself that my body ached too much from BMF yesterday (no mention of the wine I drank last night of course) and I was sure I could hear it was raining outside.

At 8am, the point of no return, I got up and looked out the window. Dry cold and sunny. One of those lovely mornings that I would regret not getting out there. Two cups of tea, run kit, 2 nurofen, a bit of toast and 40 minutes later I was wrapped up and dragging my bike out the door.

Thank god for my local parkrun at Wormwood Scrubs for being less than 10 mins away by bike and being, in the winter at least, reliably wet, boggy, ice and mud filled to make it not really matter (for the likes of me) what state of hydration, fuelled or hungover I turn up in, it doesn’t really affect my overall pace.

Bike and warm layers deposited at the finish I was off to the start and wondering what I was up for today and what bits of me really did ache after yesterday.

It was very soggy under foot, wet soggy grass and puddles covered in a crusty ice surface hiding the lovely mud underneath. I started trying to avoid the worst of the puddles and mud but once one foot had plunged completely into an ice bath most of us just ploughed straight through it all.

My legs didn’t ache too much but my hamstrings convinced my head that any attempt at pace was out. In the end I finished not too much over my recent ‘muddy times’ and went to enjoy a post run cuppa and flapjack. A lovely bright, cold, blue-sky morning to be out. I was really glad I made the effort. A bit of mud is always fun!

Afterwards I realised that some parts of my glute muscles got more of a work out during Friday’s tuck jumps and jump squats than I realised. Time to stretch and think about the foam roller.

It took longer to soak the mud out my feet and legs than run parkrun and my socks and shoes (once yellow) needed special treatment.

Janathon day 24. 29th parkrun done.

5K run, 3.4 miles cycled



Three parkruns, three weeks in a row! It might not sound that great, as many people run 52 in a year, but it is a minor miracle for me considering I’ve only managed 3 or 4 a year before!

I nearly didn’t make it at all. Those critical 10 mins dozing after the first alarm ( I assume everyone is like me and requires at least 3 alarms to get up in the morning) when you can either go back to sleep or fight it, mind over matter, and get out of bed. Thank goodness for Juneathon for helping me summon the determination to get going, it’s too easy to postpone it for another week, and another. I find it strange, when trying to get up, that I feel so tired and desperately in need of a long sleep in but if I do make it out of bed in 10 mins or so after a cup of tea I feel fine and have plenty energy to face the day. Sometimes I promise myself I can go back to bed later or have an afternoon nap but never feel like it! I must remember that for next Saturday when the first alarm goes off.

I was rewarded for my efforts in getting up with another PB. And most importantly my first sub 25 minute parkrun at Wormwood Scrubs on our slightly lumpy grassy course. I’ve scraped under 25 twice before a few years ago on faster courses but really wanted to do it at home.

It’s so true that the good runs happen when you don’t expect them and aren’t trying too hard. Not that I wasn’t trying, I did think about what I ate this morning (less) and drank (less wine last night and more water this morning) and I grabbed a gel with caffeine as I left for rocket fuel. I looked at my garmin starts from last week and noted the sections of the course where I ran slowest which I should concentrate on attacking this week. (Thanks @2coldfingers for the tip in your Q&A on Marathon Widows Diaries blog). I also decided to hold back more at the start and not overdo my starting pace as the first section is uphill gradually and leaves me hanging out when it flattens out if I start too fast. Apart from that I ran on feel. (Looking at my garmin makes me feel either tired, panicked or despondent so I’ve stopped looking!)

Being a small group we soon spread out and I ran alone for much of it, trying to keep the runner in front in sight. I looked back as I got towards the end of the first lap when someone overtook me to check I wasn’t last, and was relieved to see someone who’d left me for dust last week behind me. On the second run uphill I gritted my teeth and put my efforts into holding pace. Near the top I overtook someone who was a good minute or so ahead of me at the last two runs so I got a boost which kept me concentrating to the end. I knew I was possibly on track to get below 25 mins so I was very happy to find out I’d done so with a little time to spare.

Juneathon day 15. 3.05 miles in 24.23


Wormwood Scrubs parkrun


Happy 2nd Birthday Wormwood Scrubs parkrun!

There was a great turn out today, a record attendance, almost double last week  and a great atmosphere for the second anniversary parkrun.

I  was up and out and ready to run by 9am and very happy with my efforts to make parkrun a Saturday habit. Two in a row!  Go me!  I had plans to attack last weeks time.  Can’t be too much effort to take off 3 seconds can it?  It was not to be.  I was just plain tired.  I  tried to run as fast as I could but there was no speed in my legs, my garmin didn’t register the sort of pace I wanted and I found it hard going. Seven days of exercising for Juneathon must have taken their toll but the benefit of all the extra miles have not kicked in yet!  I still  finished only  30 secs slower than last week so wasn’t as bad as it felt half way round.

A sociable run. I talked to some regulars, someone running their first parkrun and met a fellow tweeter in real life before the start.  During the run I chatted (as much as my tired lungs would allow) to Florence, also running her first parkrun, before she disappeared into the distance and afterwards enjoyed flapjacks and tea at the local running club house while the parkrun awards for last year were announced.

I then came home and was sleepy all afternoon and am looking forward to my first lie in for a long time tomorrow!

Bar code race numbers for our run today


Juneathon day 8.  parkrun  3.02 miles, 25.33 mins.

photographs from Wormwood Scrubs parkrun.


Getting out of Bed

Getting out of bed at an early hour is not something I find easy.  I have to during the week, (actually if my Sons were better at getting up I strictly wouldn’t have to, but that’s another story),  so getting up and out ready to run on a Saturday by 9am doesn’t happen very often!  This is a bit of a problem because I really like parkrun.

Recently I’ve been more of an armchair parkrunner, following   abradypus‘s parkrun travels and reading my twitter timeline on a Saturday morning.  However the run reports from my local parkrun and twitter tales of PBs  have worked their magic and made me feel guilty and that I’m missing out by not dragging myself out of bed and getting to parkrun.

Along comes ‘Spring’ and I tell myself it’s about time I stopped doing parkrun vicariously and get myself down to Wormwood Scrubs.  When I noticed that Juneathon (jog,log and blog. Everyday) happened to start on a Saturday this year I definitely got the message! (I do also have to declare another pressing reason for my being up and dressed before 8.30am in the form of our efficient local traffic wardens because I failed to get my parking permit renewed)

I was rewarded for my efforts.  I ran the first mile close enough to my target pace, the second slower, because of (probably too much information), digestive issues (need to get up even earlier if I want to eat before parkrun) but I managed to speed up again for the last mile.  I wasn’t watching my Garmin too closely so was surprised at the end to see I’d got a new PB for Wormwood Scrubs. (I will have to go back next week and deal with a few pesky seconds.)

Later on I read the race report and discovered  I’d definitely chosen the right day to  return to parkrun because I was second female home (after a youngster of course) and first in my age group!

Juneathon day 1.  3.05 miles run. 25.02 mins