Thursday, 19 February 2015

Park Run Number 9

Back in December 2014 I joined in the Park Run movement and If I'm completely honest it's rather addictive. Last weekend I bounced out of bed at 7.00am on a Saturday morning and kitted myself out in my running gear, had my breakfast and started to contemplate, whether on Valentines morning I should really be up and out of bed and heading to a National Trust Park to run around a 5km route, rather than stay in bed or even produce breakfast in bed for the other half.... After about 3 seconds of thinking I was clearly not going back to bed nor making breakfast in bed and was in fact in my car heading to Lanhydrock.

As I drove into the Park the heavens started to open and the rain poured down, I didn't bring a waterproof coat for running in and contemplated running in my ski jacket but knew I would be far to warm so sat there for a minute debating whether to simply start the engine on my car and turn around and head straight back home. I had been running in torrential rain a few weeks previously and it wasn't the most enjoyable run I have taken part in. I reluctantly took my coat off as other runners were arriving and jogging down to the start of the run and thought I really couldn't head back now.

With my warm snugly coat now on the back seat I pulled the thin hood up on my running top and headed to the toilet block for my pre run wee. The wind was really quite cold and the rain was still coming down. As I got to the toilet block to my horror the toilets were all locked up bar one disabled loo and there was a queue a mile long for this one loo. I queued for a bit but realised there was no way I could stay in the queue and be at the start of the run at 9.00am and I wanted to get a time after all that effort of actually taking part rather than heading home.

As more and more runners arrived it looked to be a pretty busy Park Run this week and as we huddled under the trees for shelter from the rain we were called to the start line, briefed by the volunteers about the conditions and all cheered the tourist runners that were taking part in this weeks run as well as thank all the volunteers for putting on the event each week.
Lanhydrock Park Run
Image from https://www.flickr.com/groups/lanhydrock-parkrun/
We were off, and almost immediately I had forgotten about how cold I was and how the weather wasn't particularly lovely. Heading into the narrow paths of the wooded section of the run I realised that it was in fact a pretty busy week as I was usually jogging along pretty much on my own by this stage as all the fast runners disappear off into the distance but this week there was still lots of runners jogging along beside me.
Park Run Cornwall
Image from https://www.flickr.com/groups/lanhydrock-parkrun/
I must admit I felt like I struggled this week, the wind was strong and cold, the ground was back to it's typically boggy deep sludgy mess unlike the previous week of sunshine and frozen ground but I pushed on around the course. I tried to keep up with other runners around me and attempted not to get too upset when people went speeding past me.

The last mile of the course is an uphill battle and as fast as my feet were pushing forwards up hill the mud had other ideas and I was sliding back down. The muddy uphill section was zapping my energy and the wind was also pushing me back. I pushed on through and was relieved to hit the downhill length to the finish line.
Bodmin Park Run
Image from https://www.flickr.com/groups/lanhydrock-parkrun/
Once finished I scanned my barcode in to gain my time and headed back up the hill towards the car park, Runners were still pouring down the hill towards the finish line and I thought back to my first run where myself and my sister were the last two runners around the course and there it was. That overwhelming sense of achievement. Getting up early on a cold, wet, dark, muddy, soggy Saturday morning all forgotten. I headed back to the car and began the journey home and with the law of sod clearly at play the sun started to burst through the clouds and the strong wind that was keeping me so cold started to blow the clouds completely away.

Arriving back home, showering and returning to the bedroom I find my other half still asleep he grunts a good morning and suggests, with the sun now streaming through the curtains that we should make the most of the lovely day and head out for lunch together. After all it is Valentines day!