My sister Fran (my big sis who took up running aged 48 & has since done 7 marathons INCLUDING Snowdon!) suggested we do the inaugural Bryn Bach parkrun today. This is near Tredegar, South Wales, just off the Heads of the Valleys road.
It is a beautiful venue, 2.5 laps of a lake, and I had intended visiting the park some time soon with the dog anyway. So I agreed. She said she was going to run slow as she had to carry on running afterwards - 16 miles in total - eek! - as part of her training for Snowdon again.
She was going with her husband driving plus 5 of the 6 dogs she is currently responsible for (dog sitting her daughter's 3 and 3 of her own) so there wasn't going to be room for me and my dog! But I am very glad I made my own way, as I arrived in time but she didnt!
It was a small turnout (maybe 50) and friendly as you would expect. We started off walking round the lake from the visitor centre where the finish would be, to the start. I was really nervous, especially as at that point I was wondering where the heck my sister was. I was having trouble breathing!
We set out and I kept up with the back of the pack but breathing was a problem. Then I realised I had gone off far too fast for me, so tried to slow down a bit, but it was very lonely at the back lol!
My sister had arrived too late to start so they were cheering me on near the visitor centre. I really really struggled on the first mile, kept having to try and steady my breathing and slow down lol!
I then got into my groove. But I DIDN'T like running past the car twice! And I got awfully hot. At one point I asked a marshall if I could just swim across the lake to the finish as it seemed so close as the crow flies (or as the wannabe runner swims?) and that seemed a much nicer idea than running a further .75 of a mile! I did have three very short walk breaks on the last lap but no more than 15 seconds each.
I then realised that I had actually caught up with a few of the ladies that had gone out fast and who were now walking/jogging so that cheered me up! Halfway round the last lap the marshall shouted at me to give a big smile and a victory salute as he was taking photos! I suggested he keep that one for the post mortem!
My sister joined me about .3 of a mile to go (I was just thinking of walking fast to finish as I was pooped ut she said she had seen I had been exchanging a few words with a young boy who I felt could do with some encouragement, and she said if I could chat I could run faster lol!) and ensured I kept up the pace and also did a bit of a faster finish than I would ever have done on my own!
My time according to my Garmin was 36.25 which is a lot better than my previous attempt which was 38.24 officially. My official time will unfortunately reflect the fact that I had to queue for at least a minute before my barcode was read
Cant wait to go back there