Couch to 5K
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Parkrun success

So there I was, making my way to Cuttesloe Park in Oxford.

I have to say my first foray into parkrun wasn't a good experience :( . It was a hot day in August, actually it was too hot so I overheated, I had taken the wrong trainers with my so I ended up with blisters and I was no-where fit enough to think about running. Consequently I was put off, especially when everyone went past me at an alarming rate of knots.

Fast forward 3 months and here I was, after completing C25K, ready to try again. Once again everyone was running past me at an alarming rate of knots, but this time I didn't care, I knew I had run 5K before, and so could do it again, despite the mud and grass (not something I'm used to). And, I was helped along by a wonderful woman called Sarah who paced me all the way :) We have never met before, and may never meet again as Oxford isn't her usual parkrun, but we kept each other going and finished together which was lovely as the only running buddies I have are my virtual buddies here.

I think our time was around 35 minutes, I know I won't set the world alight by those times, but driving back home I realised it really didn't matter. I am running for me, it would be nice to get there first, but I know that will never happen, it might have done when I was younger.... nah who am I kidding, I would never have run 5K in 16 minutes, I am a steady plodder and happy to be so.

Going to start training now for 10K, and continue to do parkrun when I can. Watch this space for the next big challenge.....

12 Replies

Absolutely brilliant Sharyn and well done you for having the courage to go back after your first experience!

As you say, just being able to run 5k is a great feeling and to feel at ease with the other runners even if they are faster.... To get a buddy too, how nice was that!

Cant wait to get out there again once my back is better and then go to my first parkrun - all these blogs are making me realise how much I am missing it - and its only been a couple of days!!!

Sue x


Great blog Sharyn and I'm glad your return to a parkrun was a positive one. I still have yet to make it to my local unofficial one - I don't drive so there's my excuse, but really I'm afraid of embarrassing myself. The group who do it regularly are all under 25 mins. But I will do it one day. See you on the virtual trail for B210K :D


Well done for getting back there and doing it!


Well - 5K in 35 mins - sounds pretty good to me. Well done on getting out and back to another park run. I keep considering our local one, but haven;t plucked up courage as everyone seems to have completed sub 30 mins, which puts me very much behind everyone else.... ho hum one day.

But well done you. Here's to your next one


Well done Sharyn-i was thinking of you :-). So pleased that you had a good experience this time round. How lovely of that woman to pace you? Shame you won't meet up with her again.

Now relax until tomorrow :-)



Hi Shaz,

I am doing the Oxford parkrun with Ironmatt next week, will you be there? It would be great for a bunch of us C25K-ers to join forces and take on the seasoned park runners! :)

I also have a couple of questions about it as I don't mind admitting, I'm a little nervous as it's my first time! Despite living and working pretty close to Cutteslowe Park, I don't think I've ever been. What is the course like? Is it flat or are there any inclines? Also is it on grass or are there pathways through the park that it follows? Did the runners and volunteers seem a friendly bunch?

Oh, and I think that time is definitely something to be proud of (It's exactly the same as my pace!) OK so Mo Farrah has nothing to worry about, but where were we a few months ago? I wasn't contemplating parkruns that's for sure!


Hi Rollertoaster, I can't make next weekend as I've something else on, let me know when you've been and whether you'll be going back :P

Its a bit of both, track and mud (and grass) so that's 3 things, there's a bit of a hill which can catch you out but it's only short. Volunteers are a friendly bunch, didn't get much chance to see many of the runners as they kept running past me! Some are really serious about it, and others do say hello and well done, and keep going so yeah the majority of them are friendly!! I have to say though, it was much better running with someone.

Looking forward to hearing what you think, and would love to meet up another Saturday and run it with you both :) Sharyn


Thanks Sharyn, that's really helpful. I have a little bit of a better idea of what to expect!

It's a shame you won't be able to join us this time, but I will definitely let you know whether after the experience I consider going back again :)


You're welcome :) Forgot to say that it's 3 laps, but don't let that put you off :p


Bit of a hill? So that's 3 hills then?! haha ;)

Sure it will be fine. I may just check the park out in my lunch hour (can't beleive I've never been!)


Errrr, yeah, sorry about that, but it is only little.... Tend to block out nasty stuff!! :)


Well done that is a wonderful achievement :-)


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