I am a rare attendee at parkruns. They usually coincide with either an Athon or the attendance of Louise doing some Northern tourism. I thought that I’d run Preston twice before today, but it turns out that meeting up with Louise for a brew and a chat didn’t actually count.
In a spectacular bit of miscommunication, neither Ginger or I took our phones, so the opportunity of lots of lovely photos was lost. Sigh. But this is what happened. Actually let’s skip back to before we left…
(imagine some wibbly wobbly flashback thing going on here)
At work I always joke (kind of) that as long as I’m there and I’m dressed, I’m doing well. For today’s parkrun, I nearly managed to fail on both counts. Organisation is a key part of survival when you’re a parent (so I am told) but unfortunately this is is gene that I lack. I love the theory of organisation and truly believe that the next notebook/diary/filing system/set of boxes will be the one that redeems the last 35 years of chaos. I am nothing if not optimistic. When it came to getting dressed this morning, I spotted my tights escaping from some clean washing, but then couldn’t find a sports bra. I unearthed a clean one but then couldn’t remember for the life of me where I’d seen my tights. Scrabbling through the washing baskets like a deranged mole, they eventually turned up only narrowly avoiding me recycling a pair from Thursday. Then I lost Mini-Ginge’s coat, but I did know where his shoes were, which is an improvement on most days.
I was all set to sack parkrun off and go for a grumpy run, but was shepherded into the car by Ginge (who does not get the credit he deserves for motivating and putting up with me) and whisked off to Avenham Park. Arriving with minutes to spare, I was in time for the introductory chat and was reminding that mass applause and niceness brings a lump to my throat every time.
Preston is a three lap course with a hill fairly early in the loop. I chickened out of trying to run up it, even on the first loop. My legs felt heavy and as I glanced over to see the front runners at the start of their second lap, my ridiculously negative head kicked in. I can’t do this once let alone three times. And if I can’t do this, how the hell am I going to do a marathon. Oh god. Luckily the headmistressy part of my head took over and gave me a brisk talking to.
As I completed the first circuit, I was lapped by a chap saying “I’m doing the Rock n Roll marathon in Liverpool tomorrow, so I’m saving some for that” AS HE LAPPED ME. Git. Just after the hill of the second lap, I spotted Ginge and Mini-Ginge. The smaller of the two looked a bit bemused by the whole thing, but hearing “It’s Mama” as I lumbered past has to be the best bit of cheerleading EVER.
The third lap saw a bit of walking creeping in. I know full well that this was the negative brain as I had enough in the tank for a sprint(ish) finish past a woman who I had been hovering behind for most of the route. I did feel a bit guilty about this.
When the results came in, I found that I was nearly three and a half minutes slower than when I last ran Preston (January 2013, about three weeks before I found out that I was expecting) which certainly gives me something to aim at. Especially as they let you ring a bloody great bell if you get a PB. Ding dong!