Couch to 5K
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W5R2 “There is nothing like a Dame”

W5R2 “There is nothing like a Dame”

Wow! Today had it all. Joy, adulation, shock, cake, nurses, a Dame and an impending lovers tiff! And it’s only 10.30am.

I was a little apprehensive arriving for my first ever Park Run, but I shouldn’t have been. There were plenty of virgins amongst the field of 641!! And I can honestly say that the human (and canine) running community are almost as lovely and supportive as you virtual lot. If you haven’t done Park Run…DO Park Run. It’s like they secretly slip you performance-enhancing drugs at the start line.

Today, my local Park Run had a special event, celebrating 70 years of the NHS and thanking everyone who works for that special organisation, and it was optionally a medical themed fancy dress, though I opted to stick with my usual Nikes, running bra, spandex pants and mirrored shades. Dogs are also welcome at Park Run, but they have never met my Border Collie, ASBO, so he was left at home.

Well, if it wasn’t drugs, the sight of lots of athletic ladies in nurse’s uniforms ahead of me meant I was in danger of setting off like a greyhound after a rabbit. But with the wise words of Oldfloss and Laura in my ear, I controlled myself and when Dame Kelly rang the starting bell, I marched into battle at a brisk walk for the standard 5 minutes. Just as instructed.

With the manic ramblings of a Russel Brand podcast in my ear to keep me distracted, it was soon time to set off for the first rep of 8 minutes. This is about the time the trouble started – I was going along really nicely, the large crowd in front (obviously I opted to start right at the back) keeping me from going too quickly, and all of sudden Laura told me that 8 minutes was over. What? We’ve only just got going.

I’m so sorry Oldfloss, but I was just physically unable to stop – I’d have hindered the runners behind and that didn’t seem fair. “I’ll just go to the end of the break – that’ll be 12 minutes. Then I’ll walk.”

After 12 minutes, the initial pains and panting were long gone and I was in a good rhythm, the colourful fancy dress and the applause of the marshal’s encouraged me on, so I thought, well just go slow and steady and try to get to the end of the next 8 minutes. I did!!! 20 minutes clocked!!

Then something really bonkers happened. Inexplicable. Counter to the laws of physics and the universe. I kept going.

I do love Oldfloss a little bit and she had warned me against this, just as my wife had warned me against catching up with any of the rabbits. 5 minute warm down. “I can’t be that far from the end now – perhaps I’ll just see if I can jog gently to the end of the warm down. There will be plenty of walking left to do afterwards to cool down. 25 minutes done.

Well, hell with it! I can almost see the finish. The elite athletes had finished, had a shower, changed had a cup of tea and walked back onto the course to cheer on us old wheezers at the back…and it felt good! “I’m going to bloody finish now” – sorry Oldfloss, I realise this is reckless, the IC is hiding just behind the finish line, and our fledgeling virtual romance is in the balance. Do I risk our relationship for just 5 more minutes of running? Hell Yeah! Dame Kelly is clapping me now, I feel incredible. I strove on passing a child being pushed in a buggy by a runner Mum – this is something that Ovett, Coe, Cram & Farah have rarely had to contend with - the kid looked terrified going at pace past the lake, like his first trip to Alton Towers!

And the finish line was in sight. Crazed by the depleted oxygen…“Push on. Push on. Not far now. Finish it!”

And I did!!

Pats on the back, a finishing token and a large lungful of air and it was all over. 5k done. I simply can’t believe it. I’m in shock. Total shock. And happy. I feel GREAT. I feel bloody GREAT! I swear I could NEVER have done this running my usual solitary route. The energy from being a part of something is incalculable. If you haven’t done Park Run…DO Park Run.

Nice touch at the end. Free cakes for all in return for a thank you note to someone special in the NHS. Hundreds of notes of thanks were pinned to a huge board for various nurses, doctors, paramedics, wards, hospitals, etc. for all manner of help given. I made sure I wrote a very heartfelt message too. My son was born with downs syndrome and congenital heart failure. At 6 months old he survived 8 hours open heart surgery at the Evelina Children’s Hospital. THANK YOU to those guys for saving his life. I probably would have done this note even if they hadn’t offered a cupcake in return.

So how did I get on in the end?

Tonbridge parkrun results for event #234. Your time was 00:37:34.

With 5 minutes of walking at the start, I make that 32:34 MINUTES RUNNING!

Sorry again Oldfloss, but I just COULDN’T stop! Hope you can forgive me

Right, off for a hot bath, a smug grin and a celebratory beer and a fag*.

*NB - For those of you from North America, please be assured that I am referencing the British usage of the word ‘fag.’ Although it’s fair to say that having a homosexual in the bath with me, would likely be less harmful to my health than a cigarette. Until my wife caught us.

Good luck this week all -

#youcandoit

#lovetigerbalm

#loveNHS

34 Replies
oldestnewest

I was a good girl and did exactly what Oldfloss told me 😇

But my post post about my first Parkrun was not nearly as entertaining as yours - think there's a moral there somewhere!?! 😂

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The moral is.. sometimes..you can get away with it..maybe:)

You did really well:)

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Well done! I wish everyone would do a ParkRun! As soon as someone does, they’re addicted!

I too pushed on to the end from week 7 and I think that’s why I reached 10k 2 weeks after graduation.

Congratulations! BTW that is one huge ParkRun! I thought mine was busy with 300+!

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Absolutely fantastic!!! What an achievement! I'll bet you're still buzzing!

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I forgive you...a great post..a great photo and a great run...I have to say, also..very emotional...😊

You did well...really well...and I know that you do understand why, as Admins we need to advise caution.😊

So..celebrate..bask in the glory..and then get back to the blinking programme !!!!😉

PS

I hope you stretched well..and one singel moan about any aches and pains and I will be around there to sort you out😉x

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Well done marvo69, not only is this the longest post I’ve ever read, but the most entertaining. You carried me along with you and you brought tears to my eyes. I am saving my Parkrun until graduation, hopefully next week and hubby has warned me what happens when you get amongst that lot. I hope you don’t ache to much tomorrow, but I think you’ll be on a high for weeks. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

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Thanks, Dexy. Glad you enjoyed the post. Good tears I hope. Ironic that it took me longer to write this than to run the 5k!!

Buzzing. #youcandoit

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You are an absolute bloody marvel Matthew!! Now get down from the ceiling love and get back to the programme!! (Just kidding tiger..) Fab post my friend :-)

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Thanks pal! Your turn next week. You'll smash it too

#youcandoit

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Ha ha! Well done. I've met dame Kelly - she's really nice & down to earth. I'm not confident enough yet to do a park run but it's something I've been thinking about for a while. Maybe after graduation- I've a way to go yet W5R3 tomorrow.

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Thanks, Witchy! You don't need confidence to do Park Run - everyone is so supportive and encouraging! Go for it! Good luck tomorrow - tell us how you go...

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Hey - I've just seen the Tonbridge park run on the news! I'm not a million miles away from there....

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I can feel a post graduation park run coming on for all us current Week 5s!

I supposed you were in Wales, but South East?

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No - I'm half Welsh- my dad was Welsh. I would've loved to live in Wales but was born & brought up in South East London. Yes I'm now in Tunbridge Wells. Ha ha! Yes it would be quite amusing if we all ended up at the park run.

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We could rotate between Tonbridge for Matt, Twells for you and Bedgebury for me!!

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Indeed! However all my runs have been on a treadmill so far.

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Oi don't forget Hastings 😂

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I'm defo up for that! And could never forget you hon. The others will need their passports tho...xx.

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Haha! My son actually boo's everytime we cross the border into Kent - I blame his father :-)

Seriously though it's a lovely flat run here so you're all welcome x

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It was pretty miserable down there this evening! Tho I was eating steak and not shambling around pretending to be an athlete....

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I'm a Kentish man living in Sussex! Ok Hastings is on the post grad circuit if you'll have us!

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Matt's still high from his morning and keen to push us all to Tonbridge :-) Right now I just want to get W4 under my belt. (Which is two notches tighter than it was before W1 btw :-) )

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Ha ha! Yes I think I'll wait until I graduate - hey I'm a poet!

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This is all about uncovering new talents we never knew we had!! Our Sussex Pam Ayres in waiting :-)

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😂😂

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I really ought to calm down now. :)

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Deep breaths mate. You'll get there. Go and eat donuts or something :-)

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Sounds like you had a great time and just got completely caught up in the moment. Well done, and what a good time!!!!:)

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Legend! And Kelly Holmes is pretty good too.

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Congratulations and look at you hanging out with the dame!

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Lol too funny!!

Congrats on the 5k!!!

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Hilarious 🤣 I loved reading that! And well done! 😀

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Well done Matt 👍disobeying Old Floss, eating cake, beer, a fag in the bath, you really have had the best day 🏃‍♂️

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What an inspirational read! Well done, Matt! 50 is approaching and you're kicking life's butt :) Can see how easy it would be to get carried away... omg your first 5K!

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