This week I decided to run Lee on Solent Parkrun having ran Havant and Southsea the previous weeks. Southsea is my actual homerun but my favourite is Lee on Solent. Both are close to the beach and windy as hell –but my PB has always been with Lee – so that’s always stuck in my mind. To be fair, I love all the parkrun locations as – like it says on the tin ‘it’s not a race, it’s a run!’. Today was a rather exciting day for me as I had planned to meet up with fellow March covergirl for women’s running, Karen Andrews from Hedge End Running club. Each week, myself and some of the Crusaders have been doing a mini ‘Parkrun tourist trail’ around Hampshire, but this week most of the guys were either ill or had childcare responsibilities. So this week, I made my way on my own. My fear of arriving solo soon vanished when I saw two of the Crusaders running towards the venue from Fareham Town Centre.
Upon arrival, I looked up at the sky and saw a the blackest blanket of cloud heading our way and prayed that the rain would hold off, I wasn’t wearing waterproofs, I also was wearing my new Mizuno trainers! nooooo! For this particular Parkrun, I always like to get here early to admire the sea, again this morning it didn’t disappoint, it was as flat and as beautiful as ever – albeit too cold for a swim!
I arrived so early that I accidently joined the marshals having their pre-chat about the race. It was so cold and I ended up jogging on the spot just to keep warm – ‘You’re going to be tired before you start!’ Gary (Lee Parkrun organiser pointed out!). Good point! After the pre run chat with Gary, I met with some of the Crusader boys – high fives all round. Mike Gilmour is unforgivably happy at this time of the morning…. see his selfie…
I then had the pleasure of meeting Karen, who was also was lucky enough to be on the cover of Women’s running mag for March 2015. After exchanging cover girl stories, I casually asked what speed Karen was running at – ‘oh only about 7 min miles’. Just. let. that. sink. in….
I looked to my right and realised that there were a whole new bunch of lady runners who were doing lots of stretches which made me really guilty about not warming up – maybe next week…Not sure where the ladies were from but they had the hugest smiles ever and brightened up the dullest morning. Thankfully it was time to take to the start of the run as it felt like we were in well below freezing figures and I was thankful that I had brought my gloves….
This week I actually remembered my garmin having forgotten it last week, including forgetting my ear phones and gloves! I’m really not good at this time in the mornings. The great thing about forgetting headphones at the Lee run, is that runners are quite tight together at the start and so you hear lots of different conversations from stories of shenanigans from the night before, lots of gossip and discussions about what PB’s people were aiming for.
On the take off, you couldn’t miss the friendliest photographer perched on top of the hill and everyone slowed to give him a little wave. The first mile went so quickly but I had the unfortunate experience of not looking where I was going and running straight into dog poo…. fabulous. This is good luck though right?!
During the first mile, the runners start lapping, this can be a bit soul destroying if you haven’t run this parkrun before, I’ve learnt to deal with this by smiling and high fiving my team mates! During the approach of the ‘slope’ I was running behind two runners called ‘the lazy gits’ (or something like this!), I had a little giggle to myself and thought this is what running should be about- having fun and not taking it all too seriously!
My approach to the first slope is small but quick steps and then just let my feet carry me down on the descent. Next were the pebbles, probably my least favourite part of the race… but a necessary evil to enable us to have this lovely location…. My gamin beeped at me to tell me I was already at 2 miles…. cue waves and whoops to fellow runners lapping… The first boy in was extremely fast…A fellow Crusader (Mike) mentioned to me that he had thought to himself – ‘that guy has taken off too quickly’ – Unfortunately for Mike, the first guy in was still running at the same speed 2.5 miles in!
Randomly there was a roller-skater who joined us today equipped with a remote control toy doll on a bike. he seemed to be enjoying the crowds and the attention his mini motorcyclist was getting!
A high five to the lovely Marshall ‘Amanda’ who shouted words of encouragement to me as i was on my last stretch, I gathered my energy for the two small slopes and tried to encourage another runner who had given up half way. ‘Come on’! I screamed to him and myself as I was well on the way for a PB. by now I could see the lovely marshall’s encouraging everyone home…. time to bring out my little signature sprint at the end which I like to save in my reserve…. and I was home. I was delighted with my PB of 28.10 – the dog poo theory is definitely true…. not a bad effort having spent two months out injured the month before….
I caught up with some fellow runners and cheered a couple of guys in and it was already time to go. Only 7 more sleeps for the next one :0)