My first post here. I''ve been inspired by all the other posts sharing success. I'd love to contibute to everyone else's post, but I'll content myself with saying "well done" here to everyone else.
I started going to parkrun in October. My wife had been going for a few weeks and thought I might like to volunteer. I went as a marshal for three weeks and loved it; then volunteered as barcode scanner, timekeeper, finish token keeper, number checker for several weeks. I'm recovering still from quite a major bout of depression which had me finding it very hard to take any exercise at all. parkrun has been fantastic in helping with this, although nobody involved knows quite what they have done for me. The sense of community, of teamwork, of sharing a common purpose is immense. The satisfaction in seeing the first runner finish and the last runner come in, and everyone in between. Everyone takes part at their own level. It is all completely free, and like meeting up with the most wonderful week.
So, I got into December, feeling like I was starting to recover. Then I wondered why I wasn't running myself. I had started to walk more as part of my therapy. I realised that I could go faster and started the c25k using Laura's podcasts. Boxing Day was my first go around the course at parkrun. I walked some, I ran some. I walked some more. There were lots of people finished ahead of me. The tail runner was always behind me. I got the same response from the finish team as the first runner, the last runner and everyone in between. The few who knew what an achievement it was for me came and congratulated me and welcomed me to the group of runners. Later that day, I was so proud to see myself on the results table online. It didn't matter where I finished, or in what time. All that mattered was that I was there.
I've now completed seven runs, have reached week 6 day 2 of the c25k, and had another personal best yesterday. I still volunteer because I love that just as much, but I'm running every Saturday at parkrun and a couple of times a week around my village. I can see me graduating in a few weeks- I can't wait for the satisfaction that will bring.
I've now set myself a challenge for when I do graduate. Today is my 49th birthday. I want to run my 50th parkrun on the weekend of my 50th birthday. That gives me 52 weeks to do 43 more parkruns. That is certainly achievable- allowing for weeks I'm not available, it still leaves plenty of time to volunteer occasionally. I'm getting used to the longer runs on the c25k. I'm now at the point where I've finished having the walk in between the runs. It will be ever longer continuous runs from now on. However, it has made such a difference to my mood, it has helped me deal with my depression and has now become part of my regular routine.
I'll let you know how the next few weeks go on- especially when I graduate. After that, it will be a case of ticking off the weeks until the 50th looms.