Two of my old school friends who are identical twins and are both very experienced marathon runners offered to go with me on
my first ever park run today. It is local to me but isn't the closest one to home, although I am lucky to have quite a few near me, so wasn't one I had considered for my first one but I agreed to run under their very experienced wings.
Today the weather seems to have gotten worse but as we stood queued to start in the driving rain and wind, I could hear people saying that some guy called Thomas was running with us but being like a deer caught in the headlights I didn't fully pick up on what they were saying until I was greeted with Ewan Thomas standing right next to me!! I was completely stunned! My first ever parkrun and I have an Olympic athlete running next to me, albeit for a few seconds as he left me for dust!!
The route was three times around a very water logged gravel, grass and mud bogs, oh not to mention the puddles, route with a steady uphill climb for at least half of it! By the first lap my legs were burning! Not only was I not use to continuous up hill for that amount of time but the mud was vacuuming my feet in and was a lot of effort to get out of. My marathon running friends ran like they were floating on air, it all seemed so effortless for them as they offered me words of encouragement as I plodded round
I did have two 60 second walking breaks to catch my breath on the second lap and as Ewan lapped me for the first time he patted me on the shoulder and told me to keep going and that I am doing really well! That gave me such a boost as I waded through the mud and leaves.
Final lap and I feel ok, I do take another 60 second break at the top of the hill to ease my calves then was off again. As I rounded the bend on to the finishing straight I felt amazing!! And crossed the line with my friends applauding my efforts
I did it in 37.19! Which given the off road running and weather conditions is better than I thought I would be, and I wasn't last, coming in 83 but with at least 20 other people still behind me!
I cannot wait for my next parkrun on Saturday