Well, that was humiliating! I did my first Parkrun this morning. Turned up on a freezing cold day with a beautiful blue sky and bright sunshine. There were about 30-40 people. We waited for the countdown, the whistle blew and off we went! Well, they did. I was certain I WAS running, but either my legs are much shorter than I've ever realised or I've got some kind of in-built speed restrictor! Needles to say, I was the last runner - even some bloke who looked about 80 passed me. And I wasn't just last, I was last by several minutes, at least.
There was a point where the course looped round to the entrance to the park and I was tempted to run out the gates, back to the car and drive home.
But, I didn't.
I kept putting one foot in front of the other, didn't walk or stop, even though I wanted to and even though I felt like throwing up for the last two 2k.
Every volunteer I passed on the course, said 'well done' and so too did the runner who had completed the 5K and was running back along the course to join a marathon that was taking place a few miles away!
Then, just when I thought I'd come to the finishing area, I was waved on and had to run another circuit of 1k to eventually end up at the finish, where most of the runners had already left and there were only a handful standing round finishing their water and breakfast bars, given out by Asda.
And I know that the volunteer marshals clap and say 'well done' as you come in, but I felt embarrassed and would rather that they hadn't really.
So, yes. Humiliating. But I was also proud because I didn't give up and I did keep running (although not to the same standard as the others). On the drive home I wavered between thinking "Who am I kidding? I'm just a fat, fifty year old not suited to running. I've made myself look stupid." to "I did it, I kept going, and if I keep doing that, one day I won't be at the back, I might even be able to be in the middle somewhere."
I don't know if I will, though. I suppose the only way to find out IS to keep going and keep trying - my sons have said that they'll come with me next time. Perhaps then I won't feel like such a slowcoach or look such a tool!