What a lovely morning for a run at the later than usual time of 9 o'clock, in the company of about 200 other heavy breathing Park Runners. My local run is in the beautiful grounds of Killerton Park in Devon and it looked a picture in the morning sun. My plan for this run was to take it easy so as to not exacerbate my niggling heel, which I believe was caused by striding out too much. So, on the whistle let the speed merchants tear off and just follow along in their dust. I was running without music and any tracking, relying on my trusty watch to give me some guidance. I settled into a pace that seemed about right and looked for others who were at about the same pace to latch onto. I found to my surprise that I could pass people on the uphills, (that's my hill training paying off) and on the downhills (where my trail running shoes gave me a confident grip over those in road shoes). Ok that just leaves the level bits, where I could just about hold my own. There are no distance markers and I only knew roughly how far we'd gone by studying the route map beforehand, but I reckon that it was at the 3k mark that I began to think I ought to stop. Yes, I definitely ought to stop!!

Get behind me,Satan!!

Without anything in my ears I could hear my laboured breathing and at one point felt the first signs of a stitch. Laura says slow down and breathe deeply. It works. I think I probably pushed too hard in the first 2k, because I had to dig very, very deep just to keep going, but with Mrs da Truffe waiting on the finish line with a camera, I couldn't stop. As we approached the finish I was passed by lots of runners who had something in reserve. Not me...I was on auto pilot.

I hadn't looked at my stopwatch once en route, but when I crossed the line I realised why it had all been so hard. I was aiming at 30 mins as a time, but my unofficial time was 27.28.

Excuse this ramble, but I know you are a very tolerant bunch, and you know, I am really proud of that time. Way better than I expected.

Park Run is a wonderful, free, informal and friendly celebration of running with participants of all ages, shapes and abilities out having fun on a Saturday morning. It really is worth experiencing. The strange thing is that three months ago I would never have considered that pushing myself physically, to such a limit, was fun. My body (and heel) took it all and I am sure that I am better off for it all.

One life changed forever......

PS. I am sorry, guys, I clean forgot to do the conga!!

PPS. Well you asked for it, but it ain't pretty. Here's the photo. That's what 5k of sweat looks like;

Thanks guys, I did it for you. I did make sure that my club name was down as NHS C25k, just to make sure they know where I come from. They haven't barred me yet. I am looking forward to seeing the official time and hope that I did n't misread my stopwatch.

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29 Replies

  • Well done. A fantastic time and sounds like a totally memorable experience. I saw my first park run today and it looked fun. I am sure you will be forgiven for missing the conga. Just this once though. Have a well derserved celebratory day today.

  • I so get what you are saying and flipping heck that's a great time!!! We had parkrun today- me, my friend and my son Leon and I haven't a clue about our times but we enjoyed it!! Well done I bet you feel amazing?!

  • Glad you enjoyed your first parkrun :-)

  • That's a brilliant time, especially given that you had heel pain. I almost feel like doing a celebratory conga for you but there's only me and the cat in the house today so we'd be a bit short on numbers :) I'm at the point you were three months ago where I'm not sure it's for me yet and would like to get my speed/distance up a bit first, but so many people on here really enjoy it that I'm tempted to just give it a go and see. Enjoy that celebratory feeling for the rest of the day and it would be great to see Mrs da Truffe's photo that she took.

  • That is UN-BERRRR-LEAVE-A-BLLLLLLLL!! What an amazing time. Bloody well done Signor Truffe for pushing past the pain and digging deep. Tell me this, did it help that there were others around you that made you find that extra spurt of energy? I haven't done a Park Run so am not aware of the "community" style vibe, but I'm sure that must help.

    Now where's this picture of your *ss on the finishing line?!!!

    I just did a short conga for you. But that's it. YOu'll have to do your own from now on!

  • Great pic Dan!!

  • Thanks JuJu.

  • Thanks Dan. The time was a total surprise. As for spurts of energy... there weren't any of those in the last 2k, it was a slog. With lots of runners ( over 200 today) there is always somebodiy's *ss to follow (to use your terminology) and that can be a great help to pacing, if you pick the right one to follow.

    As for the pics, the one showing me crossing the line only has the back of my head leaving the frame, I was going so fast, or maybe she was yawning. I'll try to get the other sweat soaked image off her tablet some time today.

    I am off to set up a conga interval on Runkeeper.

  • Great time and well done for taking part.

  • Great time! Kudos to you!

    I can't run without something to drown out my panting and the slapping of my feet on tarmac, so you did well to drown out the voices in your head. :-)

  • Well done. I find park runs distract me from time watching and I try harder than on my own. Great time! I'm hoping for a pb today as well. Rats, I forgot to conga but I did chat with Oldgirl. Great to finally meet her.

  • Well done on the time, you've totally sold me on the whole park run idea (not that I was far from plucking up the courage) but definitely going to go for it!!!

  • Congratulations - what a great time - very motivating:-)

    I want to do the parkrun - I am mostly fearful- but also my nearest one is a hour away - and it seems mad to drive an hour to run for 30 mins. Maybe I will do it as part of a longer run.....we shall see - might pluck up the courage one of these weeks - I have got as far as registering....

  • There is nothing to be fearful about being surrounded by a bunch of other runners. You are only running to get fit, not like the guys who finish in 17mins, they are on a different planet. Look at the times that other people are running on your local course website and you will see that you won't embarrass yourself. Even those taking 50 mins had big smiles on their faces as they were cheered home. It really is a big friendly running family and we are just a little corner of it.

  • okies - maybe I will pluck up the courage. And good advise on looking up times to settle my nerves....

  • Suzybenj - I know where you are coming from, I am about 45mins from my local Park Run but it is a good way to see progress. I did my second one today - a little improvement so at least can look on it positively. It gives me a different test as it is described as undulating where as I usually run on a cycle path which follows the route of a disused railway line so pretty flat.

  • Thank you- Nearly tempted.......I have looked at times at my 'local' parkrun - and I wouldn't shame myself!

  • totally agree with Lanoda Truffle, I have been doing park runs when I can, from week 1 run 1. I did one today which was my week 8 run 3. At the end of the podcast I just have my warm down walk until I get my breath back, and then do intervals of walking and running until I get to the end. Everyone is supportive, and claps and gives support as you are coming in to the finish, my best time upto now is 42 mins 40 secs. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you are, its all about your personal goals and trying to get a bit better each week. Also, not forgetting the coffee afterwards in the cafe, and usually cake because it is someones 50th or 100th run. Go for it x

  • Well done you! That is impressive, a great time & you did yourself proud.

    Love the photo!

  • Well done. Fantastic time.

    I'm like suzybenj, I've yet to do a Park Run but I'm going to try it in the next few weeks.

  • hi

  • Well done, I did my second Park Run today, much slower than you - 38.14mins but a bit faster than 5 weeks ago, have you got your official time yet, my course is 3 laps of a park so you kind of know where you are and I jog round with Laura and Week 9 in my ears so I kind of also know where I am with the timing.

  • Thanks. I keep checking like a child on Christmas Eve, but no, nothing yet. I quite like covering ground, unlike my wife who is happy to run round the playing fields, so the Killerton run through the parkland, woods and farmland is great and not dissimilar to my usual route. Wherever it is, it is good to be surrounded by like minded people, isn't it?

  • Well done, excellent time. I'm hoping to do my first parkrun next week as my graduation run, but not going to worry if I can't run all the way around it. Hope you enjoyed you conga, you deserve it, are you still congaing now?

    Oddly enough I was at Killerton a year ago tomorrow at my friends wedding - I usually live in Glasgow.

  • Congratulations on your first parkrun:) I wish I had those where I live. Way to go:)

  • Well done!! I was there, huffed in at 32 mins, it's my second park run, Killerton is great!! I'll look out for you next week!

  • Hi Cloudchaser, you did a good job, wasn't it a lovely sunny day. I am probably only going to do Park run once a month as I want to do some extending runs towards my 10k target, at weekends to allow some recovery time before the working week. It will probably be the last run of each month that I do. I will pm you when I am going next, it would be good to meet another C25k er. Enjoy your runs.

  • Well done Iannoda Truffe - 5k sans conga in 27.28 is superb, and many thanks for the support you and the other grads give to us newbies slogging through the programme with aims of unimaginable times such as this.

    Has the parkrun Santa delivered his pressy yet?

  • See my other contrite post.

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