This morning, we were staying at my grandparents house in Staffordshire – after returning from our stay at Warwick Castle. One of our favourite things to do when we are on holiday any where is to check out the nearby Parkruns. We really love Parkrun tourism (we referring to my dad and I). It is always really fun to explore new courses and meet new people and brings great running excitement to the trip.
We have visited Wolverhampton Parkrun twice before. Once was last summer when I was just starting out running and the second was during the most recent half-term. It is quite a fast course but I certainly wasn’t planning a very fast time. I had missed my usual Thursday training run and our Tuesday club session had been sabotaged by the heat forcing us to do sprinting (definitely not my strong point) so I wasn’t feeling particularly confident. I rolled out of bed at about 7:30, had a little bit of smoothie and got ready to run. We drove up to Wolverhampton Park which is a lovely park, complete with a lake with swans and an old-fashioned centre with a cool bandstand.
Although we were very early, there were already a fairly large amount of people there! After a nervous queue for the toilets and a few very brief drills, we were ready to go. The start was positioned next to the bandstand and was very busy. There must have been about 300 people in the smallish space! I had to start of relatively slowly because I simply couldn’t get through but it was well organised and soon thinned out, allowing me the pleasure of over-taking a good amount of people. I caught sight of the second women and gradually tried to make my way towards her – however, I wasn’t feeling very motivated. For some reason, I wasn’t no where near as hyped up as I usually am for runs and because I had no rivals, I didn’t really feel like pushing myself. By the end of the second lap, my shoulders had started to hurt and I could feel the twinge in achilles but I was less physically tired than I thought I was. I was running somewhat easily but my mind seemed to have tricked me into thinking I was tired – I know this because my dad caught up with me towards the last 500m of the course (my brother had dropped out due to knee pains so he had been making his way towards me) and I started to sprint straight away! I finished much faster than I have for a while.
It certainly wasn’t a great run and afterwards I was slightly annoyed at myself for not putting a little more effort in as I had had so much energy at the end but I managed to convince myself that that was ok. I had been running fast times for the last few weeks at my regular Parkrun and it is always good to take it easily occasionally to make those hard runs special. Also, I had had pretty awful preparation so it really wasn’t that surprising. The funny thing is though, the last time I had ran Wolverhampton Parkrun, I had gotten a better time but I had been upset afterwards! I can’t even remember why I had been disappointed. Perhaps it was good that I didn’t do an excellent run because it allowed me to see how much I am improving with positive mentality in running and I hope I can continue to improve through time so that someday I can be relaxed and run happy no matter what 🙂
Tomorrow, my parents are run directing at junior parkrun so I will be running that as always. I think I will also be scanning after I finish: we are slightly thin on the ground for volunteers in the summer as expected so I often have to multitask- but it is great fun and I am really getting the hang of it (if I do say so myself). In addition, I am incredibly excited because I am running my first ever 10k race!!! I am not entirely sure how I will do because I haven’t been preparing very well but I have comfortably run the distance and more before so I reckon I should be able to do it. I don’t think I am planning an amazing time but I just want to focus on running consistent and negative splits and just enjoying the experience. I will definitely write a blog post about that! Along with that, this run was Parkrun 49 meaning that, in two weeks, I will be joining the illusive 50 Parkrun club (two weeks because, unfortunately, they do not have a Parkrun Greece!)
I hope you enjoyed reading! If you are up in the West Midlands, be sure to check out Wolverhampton Parkrun as it is a really lovely run. Let me know your favourite parkruns to visit (or just your regular Parkrun) and maybe one day I’ll check it out 😉