A few years ago I used to run, all the time. I was part of two running clubs and some weeks I'd run 5km, other weeks I'd be doing upwards of 15km. I loved it, it was hard but fun and rewarding. I even did some 10k runs in order to put all that training to hard work. Unfortunately I then broke a toe in my left foot and things fell of course. The toe took what felt like ages to heal and once it had I'd been out of the routine so long it was impossible to get back into it.
However, in September 2018 I got my mojo back and re-joined my gym and started working out on the treadmill and doing some strength training. Que me buying some new running shoes, inspired by reading Shoe Dog, I bought some Nikes.
And encouraged by the times and training I had done on the treadmill I set myself the challenge of doing a month of Parkrun events... I want to build up my fitness again so I can attempt to run in a 10k later in the year. I've assigned January as the month of trying to build up a routine and the month where I just get the miles in and not worry about the times I put in...
I want to have that right work life balance in my life, and trying to say fit and healthy physically is my attempt at trying to strike that balance.
For those of you not aware of what Parkrun is, it's a free, weekly, 5km timed run that has events all around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. Check out their site, as I'm sure there is one near you.
Strathclyde Parkrun - 5th January 2019
Strathclyde Park is a local park to me and I've ran and walked round it more times than I care to remember so I know the layout well and wasn't nervous about the that part, but I was nervous about how I'd perform outside for the first time in 18months...
The Strathclyde event got a new attendance record with 510 runners...
😮 510 runners today. That deserves the biggest thank you to our volunteers 👏👏👏. How was your parkrun today- remember 3 words only.— Strathclyde parkrun (@scparkrun) January 5, 2019
Andrea’s guide today.
And the entire Parkrun got a new attendance record as well...
💥 NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD 💥— parkrun 🌳 (@parkrun) January 6, 2019
This weekend was officially the biggest in the history of parkrun!
More than 340,000 walks, jogs, runs and volunteers across 1,650 events in 20 countries!
🔄 Retweet if you were one of them
🌳 #loveparkrun pic.twitter.com/Y9UU1iYgmz
It was great to be a part of that and I managed to get a good time for my run. I did fell tired at the end but positive. Well worth attempting.
Tollcross Parkrun - 12th January 2019
Buoyed by my successful run last week I decided to do a bit of Parkrun tourism and try another event. I've never been to the Tollcross park but had read some information the course was hilly and I wanted to attempt some hills, I used to love them...
I chose the wrong day to tackle hills, the wind was strong and against me the whole time round the course. I did have to admit defeat in some places and walk but I still put in a respectable time and the important thing is I got out there and ran.
I had completely the wrong playlist playing in my headphones so that didn't help with the hard slog! lol
Strathclyde Parkrun - 19th January 2019
Back at Strathclyde today... It was a cold one, no snow but some black ice on the paths. I never run well when the air is cold, my lungs don't like it and true to form I struggled for the first half until I truly started to get warm. It didn't help that I'd made the school boy error or not double knotting my shoe laces so I had to stop within the first KM to re-tie my lace.
My time was solid and within a few seconds of my previous Parkrun times, so that is good. Although I am starting to get competitive and want to start getting faster. I've been watching a lot of CrossFit vlogs and learning about how they programme their workouts and am going to try(!) and apply some of those learnings to the work I do in the gym when I'm not running to help build up my strength and stamina.
I did remember to play the right playlist this week, there are a few weird songs in there so it's going to be a work in progress.
Strathclyde Parkrun - 26th January 2019
I was planning on try a different Parkun course today but I decided to stay local and I'm glad I did. I got a PB! I managed to shave 51 seconds of my record so I am really pleased with that, hopefully it's a sign of progress being made.
It was extremely mild at the event and at the 4k mark I had to peel off my beanie and jacket and run just in my t-shirt! The ever changing Scottish weather, eh? There was a wicked wind during the event as well, at certain parts I struggled to stay on my feet! lol I loved the vibe at this week's event though, there was one marshall that was high fiving people and I got such a buzz out of that. It reminded me of a time when I was doing the Troon 10K and lots of local kids were out watching the race and high fiving runners as well. Those wee moments of encouragement are great for the motivation.
I've really enjoyed doing the Parkrun runs this month and hope to continue on this journey, and smash even more PB's over the year. I think being active again and having that challenge is helping me overall, my body does feel like it's taken a beaten after some workouts but mentally I feel strong and positive.
What are you challenging yourself to this year?