That Was a Chilly One

I was determined to do the Parkrun at Wardown Park in Luton, as I had been on the injury couch last week and couldn't run. So when I got up this morning and realised the temperature was still subzero the gremlins tried to make an appearance and put me off. Even Mr R (who has been know to be taken over by a gremlin from time to time) sounded doubtful. "It'll be icy out there. You don't want to fall and break something like your best friend did."

I was tempted to go back to bed, but I'd prepared all my running kit last night and had it warming nicely on the radiator. So off I went after an impromptu warm up of the biceps and triceps as I scraped the ice of my car windows.

The park was FREEEEEZING ❄️️and as I left the warmth of car, leaving my cosy jacket on the front seat I was wondering if it wouldn't have been better to have stayed home. Then of course, the cold brought with it my second gremlin of the morning - plays havoc with my waterworks - and I was worried that I would need to go 🚽 mid run. Fortunately one of the other runners was having the same thoughts as me, and her running buddy fortunately pointed out that the public loos were (unusually) open and clean!

This meant a very brisk walk across the park and back again to ensure I was in time for the pre run briefing - but at least trotting along had given me a chance to start warming up.

I met a couple of ex-colleagues and we huddled together during the briefing to try and prevent frostbite, and then we were lined up ready to start. Unfortunately, being deaf, the third gremlin saw this as a great opportunity, and made sure that I couldn't hear the instructions to start. I was right in the middle of a crowd of runners so couldn't see the person starting the run, and got taken completely by surprise when everyone around me started moving. Not great for my vertigo, and I feared I'd be over before I started, but fortunately one of my colleagues spotted me and came to my aid, giving me a steadying arm until I got stable.

And then I was off. Running when your toes have turned to blocks of ice is not that easy (another gremlin at work I fear), but I wasn't going to let that stop me, and a jogged on regardless. There were a few interesting icy patches and puddles along the way, and I wondered if I'd have been better in my skates⛸️ than my runners. But by the second lap most of the icy patches had either thawed, or I'd become well aware of their location.

I got to the end and attempted a fast finish (not easy as we end with an upward slope) hoping that this would make up for my poor start.

So I was really pleased to find out that I was only 7 seconds slower than my PB for Parkrun (26.58) and I was the 8th woman to finish (1st in my category too). So as a relative newbie runner I did a lap of honour of my front room to bemused looks from Mr R. I'm so glad I braved the cold, as I'm feeling great now. :-)


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10 Replies

  • Well done! It was freezing here too but a lovely bright sunny day :) Glad to hear you stayed upright AND got a great time too.

  • Well done! You beat those gremlins back into their place! :)

  • Well done for braving the cold!! (and staying upright!!) :)

  • Impressive to be out in this weather! Beating all of those gremlins must have felt great.

  • Hi. Tried to let you know I was heading to Wardown today but for some reason I couldn't post. I tried twice but both times when I pressed 'submit reply' nothing happened.

    If you spotted an exhausted looking woman panting for breath coming in at 33:20 (I think) with a black Labrador, that was me.

    It was really cold but over 260 runners - fab!

  • Oh Donkeywhistler I wish I'd known. I would have looked out for you. I was panting for breath too, with steamed up glasses. Let me know if you come over this way another time. :-)

  • I'm a Luton oldie, just trying to work my way through C25K (at W3R3 tomorrow, for the second time, having given up completely in W4 last time around: I let my gremlins convince me I couldn't do it) I've been looking on the net at Park Run Wardown Park but I'm not ready for it yet. I can brisk walk 5K, maybe even break into a jog sometimes along the way, but it's hardly fair to have volunteer marshalls there until darkness falls (well, slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean!). Aiming for later in the year, maybe around my birthday in May. In the meantime I think I might go over one Saturday morning just to have a look what goes on. What a fabulous time you did - well done you, you're a star X

  • There are quite a few walkers at Wardown, and also some who run and walk. But I know how you feel. I wouldn't even contemplate Parkrun until I'd completed the programme, but you don't have to be able to run the whole way. And they are a nice bunch of people. Let me know if you're going there and I'll look out for you. 😀

  • Thanks, I will let you know. I thought I'd go and look at the course one Saturday morning, see how the Parkrun thing worked, even maybe then another day afterwards just have a "sneaky go" on my own, running and walking. I'm fairly close to the park so no big deal. It really would be great to actually meet someone who has done this stuff. I've decided on May as my target because that gives me enough time to have some practice runs along the way. It also ties in with yet another birthday! Hoping to see you before too long.

  • That sounds like a plan. I was really very nervous before doing my first Parkrun (in the beginning of December) as I had no idea how it all worked. I've done 5 so far, and it's all fairly straight forward. But I can totally understand you wanting to suss the thing out in advance. Let me know when you're thinking of going along, and if I'm planning to be there we can catch up either before or after the run.

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