After a rather cold week, it was lovely to wake up Saturday morning to a reasonably warm day. It was a bit muggy but otherwise promised to be a good day so not too shabby!
I started the weekend off by going to Lee-On-Solent parkrun, which is just down the road from my parent’s house. My dad had said he would try another one and another one of my friends, Fiona, who’s just getting into running, said she’d go too so it was a nice change from Netley. It also meant a bit of a lie-in as I didn’t go and set-up and we didn’t need to leave until 8.25am (and even then we were a bit early).
I also got to meet in person Rebecca who I’ve been chatting away to on Twitter. She’s so lovely and volunteers most week at Lee parkrun, having acquired an injury a few years ago that she can’t seem to find any cure for She was lovely and very welcoming to both my dad and me, which definitely helped. My dad wasn’t quite as optimistic this week. He knew more people at Netley through association with me and knew they’d be less people at Lee who’d cheer “Anna’s dad” along. He was also aware he would be the last person finishing (having checked previous results). But anyway, Rebecca was lovely and bubbly and she promised to cheer us on.
Despite it being Fiona’s first parkrun and her being relatively new to running (she’s another friend doing the Couch to 5K programme) she was really happy to be there. I was so impressed, she was so raring to go.
I had every intention of running parkrun and decided to take it nice and slowly (I even wore my HR monitor to make sure I was actually running VERY slowly – more on that another post). But as I went off I could feel my hamstring nagging me and it just didn’t feel good running. So I decided to play it safe and walk the parkrun with my dad. My hamstring has been feeling better but I had quite a deep massage on Thursday evening and was advised to let it settle for four days so really I was jumping the gun a bit.
My dad was quite chuffed I was going to walk with him and it was nice I had that option because I’m not sure I would have walked on my own.
Initially we weren’t the last people but eventually two powerwalking ladies overtook us on mile two which got my dad down a bit as they were nattering away and “not really trying” as my dad said But he was out there, working hard and doing it so I’m proud nonetheless. The marshals, as usual, were very supportive and cheered us on and lots of people said well done – and even “well done, Anna’s dad” from some fellow Hedgies and Twitter friends.
My dad found it harder this time. I forget that 5k is actually a long way if you’re not used to the distance and for someone like my dad (no disrespect to him of course) who does hardly any exercise at all other than a few dog walks in the week, it’s a tough thing to do and he was only just getting over last week’s parkrun.
Because Lee parkrun is basically two out and backs we saw Fiona twice and both times she was smiling away and pushing on. I was seriously impressed and chuffed she seemed to be enjoying it.
At the end my dad pushed on for a little jog to get to the finish. Everyone cheered him in.
And he wasn’t last. I was! Rebecca was lovely, saying he did so well and he was over the moon with himself again. We’d hoped to be faster than Netley but we weren’t sure… Frustratingly he was ONE SECOND slower than last week (51:12). Fiona did a very stellar time of 45:48 for her first parkrun. She was very pleased
For me it was my slowest parkrun, but I still very much enjoyed it. I couldn’t be more proud of my dad – OK he’s not running it or barely any of it at all, but he’s making a step towards getting healthy. He won’t go every week but he’ll be going again at some point for definite. He feels accomplished afterwards and it’s given him something to work towards on improving – a tangible measure of health that’s not just the scale.
My dad said had I not been walking with him he’d have slowed down as he had no one behind him he wanted to make sure he beat. He also found it mentally tough because the course is very flat and you can see where you’re going the whole time – rather than Netley which is a bit more interesting. Though Lee does have the sea…
My sister came over later and brought Ellie and Meg too, my little nieces. As it was such a lovely warm day I offered to take them to the park – ON MY OWN. Now if you’re a long-time reader you’ll know kids and me aren’t a great combination. I have no maternal bones in my body and I struggle to know what to do with children…how to talk to them, to look after them, etc. I’m just awkward. But they’re both at that age where I don’t need to change any nappies or carry them or anything life-sustaining. So I felt up to the job.
After a quick pep talk and rundown of essential information from my sister (don’t go near fire, hold hands crossing the road, don’t let them eat weird things) I was good to go. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the park and it went swimmingly. At the park it was a lot easier as I was around more responsible adults and I basically just copied them. I followed Ellie and Meg around but stayed at a distance to let them play.
I was quite impressed with the park. It had all the usual stuff along with a mini climbing wall and a trampoline! Obviously I had to have a go…
And Ellie amazed me by being able to use my phone to take photos. Well I suppose this is hardly surprising, kids as young as three seem to be able to use technology without any issues these days.
Sunday was another day spent with my family. I was a little sad not to be going to the Romsey Beer race as I’ve done it three years previously but it was the best thing. I didn’t fancy running it, I wasn’t able to race it and my hamstring probably needs more time. To be quite honest, I’m quite happy to give running more time off as I know when marathon training starts it’ll be full-speed ahead. I’m still going to the gym (which I did in the morning) but the desire for running is still pretty low at the moment in general.
Instead I went to Winchester for a little mosey round the shops, not realising a cycling event (CycleFest) and a race (Winchester Criterium) were taking place making it a little busy and tricky to actually swap sides of the road to see different shops….
But it was fun to feel the racing atmosphere and see the cyclists whizzing by so fast. It was a lapped event so we were never short of seeing a lycra clad person zoom past us. And then we enjoyed a beautifully sunny BBQ.
I made up some chicken skewers with my buffalo marinade which were just delicious! There were burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, pork kebabs and steak. Delicious!
How do you like to spend your time in the sun?
What’s your favourite thing for a BBQ?
Have you ever walked a race/parkrun before?