Now that my stupid neck is alright again (after discomfort increased for a couple of weeks, I was unable to breathe deeply, I caved and went to an osteopath who sorted me), I've been much happier. This is directly correlated to being able to work out in my full schedule, rather than just with my PT. Also, just generally not being in pain and horribly cranky, is great. Having said that, I fancied doing something different because I couldn't get onto any of the classes at the local branch of my gym, and remembered that there is a parkrun www.parkrun.org.uk/
in the city. I haven't been this conveniently close to one for a while *and* felt like running.
On Friday night, quite late, I managed to locate my parkrun barcode, last used in January 2014. Next, I sought out the armband that holds my phone (found it down the back of the winerack, obviously). Then I laid out my clothes. I felt committed to doing this.
This morning, Saturday, I obeyed my alarm clock, got up, put on my workout clothes and ate the sensible breakfast I'd prepared last night. I even put my shoes on before I had a cup of tea so that if time warped and I had to leave in an extra-hurry, I was prepared. I should have checked the location more carefully so that when I was approached en route by a fellow first timer, I could have confidently asserted that his GPS fix was for nearby, rather than the entrance of the place we should actually arrive, instead of following his inaccurately placed waypoint. Nevermind. We snagged a similarly lost parkrun tourist on the way, chatted away quite nicely and arrived in good time.
The race director welcomed everyone and briefed us on the directions. I'd looked at pictures of the course online but still wasn't sure what to expect. Last time I tried to run on the treadmill for 5k, it took me about 40 minutes and I found it really hard. I didn't know what halfway would look like, or feel like, so I decided not to look at my watch so I wouldn't get discouraged about my time and estimated distance. That meant that when I crossed the finish line, I was incredibly pleased to see it it was about 30 minutes after the start time.
I was so proud because I didn't stop or walk, I jogged the entire way! I'd picked a woman of a similar height to me, who looked like she knew what she was doing and kept my eye on her. I wake surfed on the motivational tidbits thrown for another runner by her more experienced, bouncy buddy. Hearing 'Great job', 'Shake it off', and 'Breathe' was helpful, so thank you springy trainer friend. Then I overtook them near the end. I didn't realise overtaking was so motivational. This must be why treadmill running is difficult, because it is just you. I definitely compared myself to other people. For instance, I remember thinking 'They're six years old - if they can do this, I can' and as I passed someone, 'They sound like they're working hard - hey, I don't sound like that, I feel alright, this is ok!'.
Enjoying the experience was an even bigger surprise than my time, which turned out to be only about 6 minutes faster than when I did it in January 2014. I wonder if I can improve my time next week?