Running to Havant parkrun and double breakfast

This weekend gone was a busy but good one! Through work I’d gotten a place at the New Forest 10k for the Sunday, but as I’m currently marathon training I still needed to get a long run in so I decided to run to parkrun on the Saturday to make up to 16 miles.

I haven’t done Havant before and after checking how far away it was from my house it was an almost perfect 13.5 miles away. So I could run there and do the parkrun and get the 16 miles I was after. Kyle very helpfully offered to cheer me on and then drive me back afterwards. He’s sadly not running at the moment as he’s being super sensible and giving his leg some time to get over its annoying niggle. But it was nice to know he’d be there and as he’d done that parkrun before he was able to give me some pointers and inside knowledge on what the course was like.

My alarm was set for the delightful time of 6.20am and at about 6.50am I headed out into the rather chilly morning to begin my journey. Though I’d sensibly put the route on my Garmin the day before I forgot to start my run using the route…and only realised about a mile in. I didn’t want to stop and restart my watch so I decided to wing it. The majority of the route I knew but it was the last bit when I’d get into Havant that I was a bit hazy about but I could work that out later (the confidence I have in my ability to find my way is probably unwise I know).

My legs felt tired and heavy as I set off…having been asleep not that long ago! But it was nice to be out in the cool fresh air and see the sun rising. It was very peaceful. I listened to a podcast which embarrassingly actually made me laugh a lot out-loud as I was running (a review of the new Nun film… “quiet, quiet, NUN” is basically how the film goes apparently).The temperature was perfect for a long run. Started chilly and then I felt fine.The nice thing about these sorts of runs is that because you have a destination to get to it doesn’t feel like too much of a slog. You’re running with a purpose to get somewhere, rather than just a loop.I did have the dreaded Portsdown Hill to go up though, which I knew would be a bit of a grind. It lasted for a delightful two miles but the views at the top were worth it. You can see straight over to Portsmouth (some might say that’s not a great view but ehhh).I did have to take a lot of care though (selfie taking aside…) as there wasn’t a consistent pavement along the road and the cars do come quite quickly down. But thankfully they all gave me a lot of space and didn’t make me throw myself into the ditch.When I got to the top of Portsdown Hill it then became more of a gentle decline which was nice for the legs! As I ran down the other side to Havant I then had to start whipping my phone out for directions. There weren’t too many roads to turn down so it wasn’t a stretch on my ability to follow directions. I passed a little girl riding her bike in full princess regalia and her dad and her both clapped me on as I ran passed which was quite nice.

Then I finally arrived at Staunton Country Park, which is where Havant parkrun is located. As you get closer to a parkrun around Saturday morning more and more runners start appearing, which is always comforting when you’re trying to find your way! Just follow the Lycra.Kyle was already there which was nice. He’d also packed me a water which I fully appreciated! Lots of brownie points 😉
I had about ten minutes to stand and chat before making my way to the start. I really wasn’t looking forward to this. I was feeling quite tired and I knew this parkrun was a tough one. One mini loop, then two big loops with a steep decline and a fair amount of undulation all on rocky trail. Okaaaay.We got going and my legs loosened up again after the standing around and I instantly felt a wave of tiredness. Ahh three miles really wasn’t that long…but then actually, it was in reality to my now very tired legs.

Photo credit: Martyn Garvey

I got to the very steep decline (it even had a sign beforehand warning runners) and tried to just let myself go but it was a tough ask. Bit of crazy pounding on the legs and feet… eesh. Just have to relax into it and not try to brake too much.

The first big loop really was a grind. It was nice seeing Kyle as I finished the first loop but it felt like such a slog to think I had to do that loop again – including the decline. I felt very much on the struggle train in terms of my legs. The ground was quite uneven as well which wasn’t comfortably underfoot. The marshals were lovely though, cheering everyone on and smiling away.

Photo credit: Martyn Garvey

As we ran round the final bit I turned my foot over which gave a sharp pain in my ankle and made me yelp out-loud. I tentatively  continued running and it felt fine after a few steps. I’ve actually done this a few times in races and it’s never amounted to anything. I must have strong ankles. The only part of me not injury-prone clearly!I found my footing and managed to sprint to the finish. Ooooof that was tough. My time was 24:04 and I felt every single second of it!I finished and sat down, glad to finally stop and chill.
It was nice to get another parkrun ticked off, even if it was a challenging one. There aren’t many nearby anymore that I haven’t done… except the Medina one on the Isle of Wight but that’ll take a bit of organising in order to get a ferry across. I foresee a day-trip in the future…

Anyway, after finishing parkrun I quickly put on some jeans and two layers of jackets ready for my journey home… on the back of Kyle’s motorbike!I mean, the epitome of cool right there yes? I’ve actually never properly been on the back of a motorbike so this was quite the adventure. I was a teeeeeny bit scared when we hit the motorway I have to admit. It was such a crazy experience being in the “open” going so fast (well, not silly fast but fast enough!). Kyle’s a safe driver though and I relaxed as the journey carried on.

After showering and getting sorted it was then on for some much needed refuelling. We went to Josie’s in Bishops Waltham. Now I’d heard great things about this place (there’s actually one in Winchester and Petersfield as well). I probably got a little bit too excited (and my grumbling tummy got the better of me as usual) when I ordered a fry-up……And also persuaded Kyle to share some fried chicken maple pancakes with me.The chicken pancakes were in the ‘savoury’ section of the menu but they were far from it! They were very sweet. The chicken was delicious and crunchy and the thick pancakes were fluffy and dense. SO good but very very sweet.The fry-up, of course, was delicious too. A very happy Anna!

Thankfully we went on a lovely long walk afterwards to help digestion. We went along the Meon Valley Trail in Wickham which was really pretty (and a popular running and cycling route).It was a lovely afternoon and definitely needed after all the food! We actually did quite a bit of walking that day as we headed down the beach to walk the dogs as well.Gotta get out while the weather is still nice!

That evening we went out for more food (I know, I know). My parents had invited us to our favourite local pub, The Osborne View, so we headed for dinner there.I had the chicken wings to start (let’s ignore they were a sharing starter)But balanced this with a lovely chicken and feta salad. All in the name of balance, eh?A solid day’s running, walking and eating! I was feeling good for the New Forest 10k the next day. On to that in another post!

Do you prefer savoury or sweet breakfasts?

Do you run to parkrun?

Have you ever ridden on a motorbike?

7 thoughts on “Running to Havant parkrun and double breakfast

  1. Savoury breakfasts most of the time for me which is weird as I have such a sweet tooth. I’ve run to parkruns when I’ve been abroad and have cycled occasionally to my local one although I only ever seem to cycle when it’s windy *facepalm*.

    I’ve never ridden a motorbike but love motorbike racing so it’s on the bucket list. Wouldn’t have the cajones to do it on public roads though!

    Great parkrunning though on what seems an undulating course after running the 10 miles!

  2. I really enjoy sweet breakfasts when I am at home BUT when I am out for brunch or something I ALWAYS order an omelet with turkey sausage on the side because I like to have the omelet FILLED with all kinds of veggies. I am not sure if I would be willing to combine sweet with savory though.

    Great LONG RUN … I only got in 14 miles last weekend and that felt like a marathon. I literally went home after the run and slept for 2 hrs. I don’t know how you do as much as you do on the weekend after a long run … all I’d want to do is sleep if I were you.

    • Ahh I do love an omelette! So many good choices to add in. I don’t really like a sweet breakfast as it doesn’t set me up right for the day, I’m always left wanting more.
      There’s no “only” about 15 miles!! Sometimes I do have a nap in the afternoon don’t worry 😉

  3. Well done on the run to that parkrun- I have run a couple of times but I always panic that I am going to miss the start, so end up leaving more time and then getting cold when I am standing about waiting to start. I did once run back from St Albans- my Dad picked me up and drove me there and then after running parkrun I ran home, and I’ve done a few parkrun sandwiches but both of my local ones mean a half marathon pretty much which is a bit far for me to do regularly (and just means I get back a bit too late in the morning).
    Those pancakes don’t look like pancakes- I thought they were English muffins!
    My Dad used to have a motorbike and I went on the back once and found it terrifying! I don’t know how people go on motorways and things, there’s just no protection if you fall off (even with the leathers).

    • Yeah there’s really only one parkrun I can run to that wouldn’t rack up huge distances. Lee parkrun is about three miles away so under 10 miles at least. But it’s handy for a long run anyway.
      The pancakes were very thick! I think I prefer thicker ones to thinner ones but pancakes aren’t my favourite things. I prefer waffles but I don’t really know why considering they’re basically the same batter?
      My dad had a motorbike too back in the day and he fell off and has scars all down his leg! I think it’s terrifying because cars can be a bit blind to them and the risk is so high for injury and death.

      • When it was really windy we’d have to get in the car and go and pick him up because he wouldn’t risk riding in it (that was back in the 80’s- although not the big famous storm).
        Waffles go crispier I think- I am pretty fussy about waffles and normally would prefer pancakes/ crepes unless they are from the actual Waffle House (St Albans or Norwich) because their batter is less sweet or goes less crispy which I prefer.

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