Run Roses, Run!

On Saturday, I ran with Norwich parkrun. For those not in the know, parkrun is an international movement to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run 5k against the clock. It's held in parks all around the world, is free to runners and supported by volunteers. All a runner needs to do is to register, print off their barcode and show up Saturday morning.

I was nervous. I felt underprepared and unfit and really was not up for it. The week's running had been hard going. The temperatures were in high 20s when I made it out the door and the pollen count...the least said about that the better. My definition of hell is running without a tissue, a streaming nose and proper running gear. My heart rate monitor warned me that I was about 30 bpm faster than normal, which could have been down to the heat and the fact I taking hardcore decongestants at the moment. But it did mean I had to be careful. In my training sessions I walked far more than I would have liked. 

Saturday dawned cool and gloomy. It's probably the first time I've ever gone out my door and said with genuine enthusiasm "it's drizzling!"

There were 402 runners gathered for the run. And they really were all shapes, sizes and ages, squeezed into lycra. There were mums and dads running with buggies, parents running with small children, people running with dogs. Because this is Norwich, I recognised quite a few faces. I was greeted by a good friend of Dave's who took up running a year ago. She's been so encouraging and so sweet. She said I looked petrified. Yes. That's because I really was. 

The 5k has been carefully measured out in the park. I figured I'd be following everyone, so I wouldn't get lost. The newbies and I had our instructions and then we went down to the starting point. I made sure I started at the back, I didn't want to be in anyone's way. I had a great view of everyone's backside as they disappeared from my view. 

I focused on 3 people who seemed to be of a similar ability to me and I paced myself with them. Occasionally, I'd pass them, occasionally they'd pass me. I reckon I ran about 75% of it. I did my best not to get in anyone's way. It was hard. It was really hard. I got passed by everyone. I saw a lot of peoples' butts. Doing the run in laps was quite good because it broke the field up into portions that I could count my way through. Once I had done the 2nd lap, I knew I was half way done. I knew I had another 20 minutes to go and that I was on the count-down to the end. I found myself counting in 8s in my head. I have no idea why. I just kept counting up to 8 and starting over again. 

When I was on the home straight, there was me and an older guy who I'd been pacing to and we encouraged each other over the park bridge and then he sprinted off down to finish. I honestly don't know where he got it from, I was done. That was it. There was no more.

According to my heart rate monitor, I had done it in 39:06, but I had been slow switching it on. My final result was: 39:20! In a field of 402, I was runner 400! I am so pleased. It's my first ever 5k run. This run sets the marker. 

A year ago, if you'd have said I would be running regularly and would run 5k, I would have laughed at you. But I did it! Tomorrow morning I've got my recovery run all planned and as long as it isn't chucking it down, I will be out there.

The best bit of Saturday was yet to come: Zoe's BLOG PARTY! (but that's another blog post)


  1. Congrats on the first 5k!

    1. Thank you sweetie...the first of many I hope! x

  2. Congratulations on your first official mass timed run! It is an incredible accomplishment to complete the race your first time! I am so proud of you for getting out there and doing a great job! Even feeling ill and for your first time, you did fantastic! And it really is amazing and uplifting to get encouragement from your fellow runners.

    Now you've got experience and you're going to be even better from here on out!

    1. Thank you darling. It was an amazing experience.

      My goal now is to be able to run the whole course. Speed work will come. But not right now.

  3. Happy Summer Solstice! Celebrating at Stonehenge?

    1. Blessings of the solstice to you too my darling! xxx

      (It was Dave's birthday and we celebrated with high tea and a meal out after)

  4. Roses, you did an amazing thing. I feel nauseous just thinking about doing something similar. It's of no consequence, but I'm proud of you. Indigo x

    1. Thank you honey.

      I wouldn't have believed it myself last year, so who knows, it might be you next year!

  5. Congratulations Roses ! Really impressive effort and achievement !
    One day you can tackle the marathon.

    1. Thank you my lovely.

      I'm not sure about the marathon just yet! :)


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