Park run disaster! :(

Well it was a nightmare! I dropped out. I was shocked at how competitive it was. Not me at all. Everyone took off so fast. I tried to keep up and it was too quick so exhausted myself from the start. Ended up at the back. Then the steward decided to join me and I felt like I was back at school again. The fat unfit one at the back being urged to run. I told her to go ahead without me and went back to my car feeling like a complete failure. And yes! Cried! Came home to a lovely hubby who reminded me how far I have come and told me how proud he is of me. But feeling still a bit shite if I'm honest. So conclusion Is park run is not for me. Well not yet anyway! :(

Would also like to say huge congrats to marlyparly who finished it in a really good time. Sorry I couldn't keep up with you pet! :(


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82 Replies

  • hey Toon :D yup your hubby is right , you should feel proud of what you have achieved so far :) today was just a minor blip :D big hats off for going out and giving it ago, havent plucked up the courage myself yet ..

  • Aaaagh thanks slow rob. I really thought I was a bit more capable than that. But then I didn't like the atmosphere. I just got my negative head on I think.

  • another time on another day toon :) you will do it

  • Yeah I will! Maybe not for a while but one day!! Thanks slow rob!!

  • :D you're more than welcome Toon :D will let you know if i manage one :) i want to :) but have read a couple of people say they can be a bit elitist !!

  • Yeah know what you mean!!! Dont think it's me! will see how I go too! Won't be the end of the world if I don't go again as long as I keep running!!

  • like wise Toon :) just happy tp be running and improving slowly but surely :D

  • Me too! Let's hold that thought!!!

  • :D :D

  • Ah bless you, Toonlou.

    I've just posted on MarlyParly's about the Solihull parkrun which is quieter and flatter. When you fancy giving it another go then come over to the dark side of Brum where I promise we are all friendly.

    Big hugs, huge glass of wine/cup of tea and, your husband is right, you have come a long way xx

  • That's frocky! Think it will be a while before I give it another go! That wine is calling me now!!

  • Aww so sorry you had a rubbish experience today, I wish the steward had left you to your own devices more... As I said earlier just focus on getting the joy/confidence back, the Santa dash will be a much more relaxed event I'm sure. You can do this, you just didn't feel comfortable to do so in that environment today, it was a bit daunting wasn't it! Let's just look forward to giggling as we run/ralk/walk in Santa suits for a good cause next month:) you take care xxx

  • Thanks Marly Parly!! Yeah was a bit over whelming. Nevermind. I tried!! Maybe I'm destined to be a lone runner!

  • Lots of people saying they've never even tried yet, so absolutely it was a feat just to give it a go today! I'm not sure I was a very helpful running partner, sorry, I'm also not used to running with others & maybe I didn't adjust pace, etc sufficiently... We'll get both get better at this at some point, bit for now, we both gave it a go at least! X

  • Don't worry! I don't think my head was in the right place today. I didn't want to hold you back. im glad you went on and finished!! Yes I tried. That's a huge first for me!!!

  • Marly and Lou I'm also doing a Santa Dash and definitely won't be running it all. Blimey I'm only on week 4 and the Santa Dash is on my week 7.

    Now I will be the one walking with the children and I'm not proud!! Xxx

  • Which one are you doing!? WalkIng and running sounds like a goOd plan to me! its supposed to be fun after all!!!

  • Hi Lou, it's one local to me in Macclesfield. Set up by a friend of mine whose husband died 2 years ago of cancer. It's part of the 505050challenge and it's another Santa Dash :)

    No way am I ready for 5k and I won't be in 4 wks but may be able to do 20 mins. Hope so xx

  • That sounds great. What a lovely thing to set up. Yes I am trying to tell myself it will be ok to walk. I am doing it for my mam. It will actually be her first anniversary on the day so will be very emotional. :( xx

  • Aww toonlou, didn't realise. You just enjoy that day & enjoy it for your mam. Running, ralking, walking, who cares? It's about getting out there, raising funds & remembering loved ones. Hugs oooooo xxxxx

  • Aww Toonlou, sorry to hearyou didn't have a good parkrun experiencetoday. Sounds like you have a lovely supportive husband there :-)

    I had a bit of a disappointing run today too and have been thinking I'm never going to make much more progress. But even if I don't, 3x 30 mins a week will have to do. I think you're a fair bit younger than me, I'm sure you'll get there in your own good time. FrockyHorror's invite sounds good too! Enjoy that glass of wine and next time your out for a run forget all about today and enjoy your own thing :-)

  • Aaaaw thank you. I'm going to run tomorrow and hope I have a good one to make me feel better.

  • That's the spirit! You go girl!

  • Thanks BabsB!

  • Argh that's such a shame you didn't enjoy today . Please don't let it put you off . Maybe this morning just wasn't your time - that's probably not going to make you feel any better but we all have 'bad' runs ie ones that just don't go to plan. And we should never compare park run times with other folks times . A lot depends on the conditions I mean you had grass / trail and hills for goodness sake!!! Absolutely no comparison. Your husband is so right and you should listen to him - well at least on this occasion ! The Santa run with Marly parly sounds fun so aim for that , completely forget about the time and have fun . Think about doing another parkrun maybe in new year but try really hard not to get swept away at start and if you are last that's ok Honest it is . I know it reminds you of bad experiences at school but this time you are running because you want to . If this running lark was easy everyone would be doing it Go on tell me how many of your family and friends are out there running like you . Ok so you had a blip today , you feel rotten but you are a c25ker and you won't give up . Don't be so hard on yourself and in next couple of days go out for a nice flat run at your pace and you'll feel great. Take care.

    Meant to say our edinburgh parkrun is on a wide prom and completely flat so no comparison with yours

  • Aaaagh thank you. All these lovely messages. Making me feel better!!!

  • Toonlou I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience at your first Parkrun but I do think you've got guts to have done it. I graduated over a year ago and haven't done one yet so hats off for even going.

    Your hubby is right you've come so far and you should feel very proud. Your self confidence has taken a bit of a knock but you're a C25K'er which means you're tough, you'll pick yourself up, say sod it and do it again.

    We're all very proud of you so there!

  • Thank you!!! I know I need to remember where I came from. 1 minute was hard going!!!

  • The more I hear about parkruns, the less likely I think it is that I will do one! I am not very competitive, except with myself, and I know exactly what you mean about feeling like being back at school - I would hate that! It's a shame they aren't more geared up to deal with people like us who are new to it all and just want to feel a bit more 'part of it' rather than feeling like embarrassing slowcoaches at the back. Perhaps a few fun runs might be a better way to get into running with lots of people ....

    Well done for getting out there though, and for meeting up with some C25Kers. They're such a lovely bunch xx

  • You are so right. I was shocked that there wasn't more people like myself. It was all very speedy professional runny club people in Lycra!! Beginning to think I like my own company!!!

  • Hiya Toonlou, I'm really proud of you giving PR a go. If I remember correctly you've not been running outside for very long, and PR Leamington is on trails with a hill. I looked at the results for today, and it shows a wide variety of speeds, from 17 minutes to well over 40 minutes. In my experience that is very typical of PR, and my local run - Newbury - has up to 400 runners per week, and today the last person crossed the line in just over one hour.

    A common first-time experience of PR is going off too quickly. For the first time, you are around other runners, and it is easy to pace yourself at their speed, not your own. I have done that too many times :-( I run with a running watch, and now make a conscious effort to run at my own pace. Too many times I have gone too quickly and struggled in the last couple of kms.

    I'm sure that is what happened to you today and I'm not surprised you got exhausted and disheartened.

    Sending you virtual hugs, and I'll encourage you to give it another go sometime soon. If you start near the back of the grid, all those competitive, fast runners will be out of your way and you can enjoy it at your own speed. (I think PR Leamington is 2 laps, so maybe you want to try another local one without the hill and just one lap??). You could also find out if there will be official pacers at some future runs. It is great to be able to run with someone who is planning to run about the same pace as you, or a little faster.

  • AAagh thanks Marky D! I need a virtual hug!! You are right I haven't been running outside for too long but have been really enjoying what I've done. At my pace!!!! Slow!!! I will just stick with what I'm happy with at the mo I think and when I feel fitter and a bit faster may give it another go and show them what a Geordie lass is made of!!! But huge thank you for your lovely words of encouragement.

  • Hi Toonlou,

    I'm so sorry you had a rotten time at the park run, it really is quite good if you give it a chance, if you are a C25K graduate you can definitely do it! Yes it is intimidating with the very fast runners, I never go anywhere near the front, tail end Charlie is me! I think, you have to remember, it's free, everyone there are volunteers and I am sure the steward was trying to be helpful, don't be put off, don't view it as a race, leave the club runners to their 'shaving off seconds' . I'm actually getting slower! Mind you, it was muddy and slippery today.

    And yes, look how far you've come, it takes guts and determination to follow and get to the end of the programme, you've done that, how brilliant are you? And am I a seasoned park runner? Not at all, today was my third, my goal today was to complete it without breaking into a walk, and complete I did, in 39 minutes, slow and steady.......

    I hope you'll give it another go, and well done for trying it.

    Big hug


  • Thank you so much. Lovely words.

  • Don't let this get you down. There are many other ways you can enjoy running. This is not a failure on your part. Whenever I run with others, I make a point of clapping home those that finish behind me (there aren't that many....) because it's only the professionals that are entitled to feel superior, the rest of us are all amateurs of one form or another and it's our mutual responsibility to cheer each other on.

    Get back out there as soon as you can Toonlou. This is one sport where it really is the taking part that counts and the only person you have to compete with is yourself...... But only if you want to.

  • Thanks. I will be back out there! I'm not letting all my good work go to waste! Don't worry about that!!!

  • It's really hard running with lots of other people and the temptation is always to try and keep up but guess what, you don't have to.....I have learnt the hard way, like you. Now at Parkrun I always start at the very back and if I can overtake the person in front of me its a bonus, if I can go faster than the person in front of that it's a double bonus etc etc. I am not an expert by any means but I have done 11 park runs now getting my time down slowly from 38 mins (34 ish now) I don't care if I come last (although I never have) its MY Saturday run. The aims of park run say its for EVERYBODY and that means you and me....I do hope you give it another go and don't be discouraged, you have got off that couch....chin up....

  • Thanks. I know. I'm on the couch now mind!!! Hee hee!!!

  • Oh no! Poor you, this is exactly why I've been too scared to attemp a Parkrun, despite all the encouraging posts on here. Having read Marlyparlys post, it does sound like a scary course, so be gentle with yourself and don't feel too bad. You gave it a go, and that's more than I can say. It must have been lovely to meet up with other people from the forum, so that's a big positive for the day. Chin-up Sweetie, I'm sending virtual chocolate cake your way. Make sure you take the biggest slice xxx :)

  • Oooh virtual choccie cake!! Yummy!! Ta!!! Yeah don't think the mud was a good start on my shiny new trainers!! Yes it was lovely to meet up with others. That was the good bit!! And look at all the lovely words of encouragement I have received. You people really are the best!!!

  • Aw, so sorry you had a bad time. I'm nowhere near graduating but I think you were brave to go anyway. I'm one of those that really enjoys running in the dark when it's quiet and not so many folk around so a Parkrun sounds quite daunting at the best of times. And for me, you are still one of those to be looked up to.... you've graduated! So a parkrun is not for you (at the moment) but at least you gave it a go. Put it behind you and think of everything you have achieved. Your hubby is right to be proud of you. Keep running and keep smiling :)

  • Aaaagh thanks hilbean. I'm like you. I like running alone in the dark too!!! Think today was a shock to my system!!! Yes will be back to what I do best ! I still remember that graduate feeling. It's brilliant. Be you soon!!! Thanks for your lovely reply.

  • You're welcome. Really looking forward to that graduate feeling :)

  • You will get it!! It's fab!! Good luck with the rest!!!

  • You will get it!! It's fab!! Good luck with the rest!!!

  • Oh darling thats not good....what kind of hardcore Parkrun did you do?? I so get that feeling on my 3 visits to running club..the coach had to sort me out as I was in floods of tears as they were sooooooo fast! You are doing brilliantly, don't let this get you down...

  • Thanks juicyju. Was Leamington spa. Couldn't tell you much about the course as I didn't see much of it! Good car park!!! Never been so pleased to see my car in all my life!!!!

  • I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I've done it twice and always ended at the back. But I have always said my favorite place is second to last. But like everyone says feel proud that you went and definately don't forget how far you have come. Happy running regardless of park run.

  • Aaaagh thank you. After all these lovely messages I am putting it behind me. Was a good learning experience. I am certainly not competive. And am going to pour that wine. Thanks so much everyone. Every message means so much.

  • So glad you feeling bit better Go an enjoy that wine now

  • I am! Cheers!!! ;)

  • Well done Toonloe for attempting it you were very brave. A lot of this running is a head game and today your gremlins came out but don't be disheartened. You have graduated. You have run for 30 mins and you have changed your life. Put it down to a one off and don't forget any run is better than no run. Go celebrate your achievements with your hubby who sounds like a top bloke!

  • Thanks getting fitter. Yes the gremlins were definately out today. Strange how it happens isn't it. Yes I have run for 30 minutes many times!!! I need to remember that. I still do t feel like a runner though no matter what "Laura" says!!! Yeah he's a canny bloke!! We are goIng out for some yummy grub later!! Do me good!!

  • That's appalling ing in my opinion! I'm so sorry you had such a s*** experience.

    I am aiming , (hopefully should I finish the program) to do a parkrun. I wondered whether it would be like that - 'fast runners' barging past you etc.

    If that's what it's really like - f*** 'em.


  • Wish you'd been with me today!!! I don't often swear but a few choice words were muttered today! I almost told the steward where to go! They didn't need to barge past me though! I was just going over start line and they were round first bend!!! Aaaagh well!!! Nice wine this!!!

  • Wine conquers all.

    Pinot grigio is my god!

  • Ha!! That's what I'm on!!!

  • Just waiting for curry to be delivered, and will be in non running heaven.



  • Lush! Enjoy too!

  • Oh bless you Lou, that's is nothing to be upset about at all. You have come so far and are doing so well. I've been told that some of the Park Runs near me are very competitive so will avoid until I feel more confident. At least you tried. Maybe a fun run of some kind. That's what I'm going to do first in a few weeks, so I can walk some run some.

    Good on you for even turning up. You'll look back and laugh one day. I bet ya.

    Now large glass of something and maybe some chocolate too is what I prescribe lovely

    Barbara xxx

    Reminds me of when I went to a step class about 20 years ago and the instructor stopped the whole class to show me what to do because I'd got a bit lost. I was beetroot with embarrassment and because of what she did to me I've never ever been to any kind of fitness class ever again. Hideous experience.

    That's why I love to one to embarrass me but myself :) xx

  • Thanks Barbara. Another lovely reply. You are all amazing on here. I'm getting so much support!! It's fab. That step class sounds horrendous. You poor thing. I think I am like you. I'm realising I actually like to be alone and do my own thing. No embarrassment. I know what I can and can't do!!! Yes I have a Santa dash coming up hopefully will be fun, not like today. I am getting sponsored for that too so big reason to run which I will post about nearer the time! Thanks for your lovely words. Am feeling better.

  • Thanks kitty Kat!!! You have read my mind! I'm doing a Santa dash soon and was thinking I now need to go and see the route, run it. And get my confidence up before hand. And guess what! Me and OH have decided to go for a run together in the morn as my dad is staying with us at mo so he can Look after the bairns!!! Normally we couldn't! Be a first. We have never run together but I think he's keen to show me I'm doing well. He hasn't run for ages. Started a while back and was quite competitive with me but dropped off, as many of you predicted!!!! So. Here's to a good run tomorrow I hope. I'm a bit like you I think though. I like being alone and doing my thing! And yes. I knew today wasn't working so I stopped. I thought if I forced my way through it, hating every minute, may put me off for life. so I stopped. GoOd decision!! thanks sO much for a lovely reply.

  • Thank you. Be a slow plod!!!

  • Sorry to hear it didnt go well for you Toonlou24 :(

    The hill was a real shock. I think it was easy to be intimidated by the pace a lot of the runners set off at, although quite a few slowed down quite a lot later. I just found someone who was going at my kind of pace (he had a little boy with him who was jumping in all the puddles :) ) After the hill I found some were slowing down and I was overtaking them. Then there were others that were sprinting and walking so they would pass me, and then I would pass them.

    It's a real shame that you were harassed into stopping, it would have been much better if you had completed it at your own pace. I'm sure you'll be doing one happily soon.

  • Thanks zev. Was lovely to meet you. Yes was all a bit much for me I'm afraid!! I think that hill would have completely finished me off. I'm glad I didn't see it!! Well done though. You did brilliantly!!

  • Hi don't give up, there is often a Marshall at the back of Parkruns and their job is to encourage you. I sometimes do the Shrewsbury PR but must admit been out of running for a while. It has one incline and that is a killer, but you just go at your own pace and block out everyone else. Give it another go but try and find a friend to do it with you!

  • Thanks Alex. It has totally put me off! It will be a long time before I attempt that again and like you say, think it will be with a group of slow coaches like myself!!! I know the Marshall was trying to help but I was past help!! Poor woman!!!

  • Sat here on my mini break in Edinburgh with tears in my eyes - that's a really sad tale, I'm so sorry.

    I haven't done my first one yet - when I do I kmow I'm gonna feel a bit aprehensive.

    I really hope you manage to have a good experience another time.

    Chin up hun, hugs xx

  • Aaaagh thanks pink angel. I've been out this morning to try to get over it!!! I have a Santa dash coming up! Feeling nervous about that now but hopefully will be a lot less competitive!!!

  • sorry to hear that Toonlou, our one here is friendly and i stay between half way or the back depending on my mood, there are plenty of non competitive runners and they are always well supported. Hope you will give a 2nd chance eventually, but well done for going, and you're progressing so well that i know you will go on to better things and have your santa dash to look forward to :) Hope the wine went down well last night :)

  • Thanks aliboo! The wine went down very well and I even managed to run this morning!!! That's so lovely. Thank you. I just need to remember the progress I've made and so what makes me happy!! That didn't!!! Simples!!!!

  • do whatever makes you smile and you can't go far wrong! I'm impressed with running after wine! :)

  • So was I!! Ha ha!!!

  • Oh Toon, so sorry you had a bad time. I don't know if you read my post a couple of months ago, but I hated it too! I was over taken by a toddler on the first stretch! And the marshall misdirected me and I got lost... I too found it really competetive...I cried too! I' ve decided it's not for me, I'm happy , very very happy with what I've done so far, you should be too - we're amazing, never forget that! Lots of runners do love it though, give it another go in a while...I'm certainly going to, if only to prove I can, just not yet..hugs xx

  • Aaaagh thanks curlygirly. It's nice to know I'm not alone! Think I may have read your post. Will have a search for it. No it's not for me either. glad I tried as I would always wonder what it's like. Now I know!! Maybe one day I will try again but no rush!!!

  • I found it. I hadn't read it. If I had I wouldn't have gone! Sorry you had such a horrid time too but well done you for finishing it! Better than me sneaking off to my car!!!

  • Curly gurly that sounds familiar, it took me over half the course yesterday to bypass a guy with a massive double buggy, talk about denting your self-esteem! X

  • Omg just read your post too. Tbh sounds much worse than the one me & toonlou were at at the weekend. The marshals on the whole were nice there & at least it was a circular sort of route so no- one could push you out of the way. I got lost too!! I'm just rubbish at directions & had to actually slow down & ask someone behind me where to go as I'd lost sight of everyone upfront. I'd need more signs & markers to be comfortable! It's definitely not for everyone, but also all the runs sound very different, so I might try a different one at some point. But I will go back to that one too, when I'm faster, just to show em I can.

  • Oh Toonie! You had a bad day. Shi* happens babe but we're grown-ups and we can handle it. I was at the back on my first park run but I didn't give a stuff as I was THERE and my little legs were going like pistons (well, in my head) I clocked that I was at the back but moved up as the proceedings went on. I don't see the problem with being at the back. You start where you start. The rest of the field had to start somewhere and they sure as hell didn't start at the front. As for Lycra! You 'd expect to see Lycra clad bodies, so I don't think that's a factor at all. You can't hold Lycra against em. LOL

    Parkrun is not about speed merchants! It's not! It's meant for folks like us, yes it is!, so don't you be put off. Far from it! Go to the next one! The fast runners use Parkruns as a training run for races; time trial if you like. That's fair-do's. They shouldn't jostle you out the way though. I tried to keep left as I was being lapped.

    You can pack in and not go again, sulk or kick the cat, or you can gird those loins (with the brighest lycra in Christendom, and go out there and have another stab at it.

    MissWobble x

  • Hmmm thanks for that. Sulk and kick the cat sounds about right!

  • Well done for being brave and having a go Toonlou24 but sorry it wasn't a particularly positive experience this time.

    I do plan to sign up and have a go at the one that's local to me when I can eventually run 5k (a while off yet, I'm just starting week 3 tomorrow) but I'll definitely be starting from the back and sod everybody else who races off. To be perfectly honest I'll be overjoyed just to be able to complete the course, no matter how long it takes me. X

  • Maybe running is not for you. It wasn't for me either. I tried cycling and that worked so maybe if you have a bike it may be an idea to go for a cycle when you can and you will soon see the difference in your shape. I cycled regularly over the 12 weeks and my waist went from 36" to 30" obviously combined with calorie counting. I hope you find the exercise that works for you. Don't give up you will be pleased at the end of the 12 weeks when you reach your target weight :)

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