Saturday, 15 March 2014

Worth getting out of bed for.

Hiya bloggy pals. I rolled out of my pit a bit earlier this morning, to get myself down to the start line for the 5k Park Run. If anyone is wondering what this is, read up on it here. It's for anyone, young or old, singles and groups, runners, joggers, and walkers, dogs and buggies allowed. Best of all, it's free. You know me, I like free stuff. 
My day started at 7am, (start time is 9am), with a mug of coffee and a pan of porridge. Half way round I wished I hadn't had such a big portion of porridge. I faffed about getting dressed as I wondered what the best attire would be. First I had to select a well fitting bra. I may have mentioned this before, but my chesticles are definitely not the size of melons, or even satsuma oranges, I would describe them as two fried eggs that disappear under my armpits when I lie down. Nevertheless they do need some support if I am to hurtle round a course at 90mph, only joking. No, small as they are, it's chuffin uncomfortable if I run without a bra. 
I don't have any fancy pink or green running gear, and it was a bit chilly first thing, so I opted for a vest and three layers on top, and a thin pair of cotton jog bottoms. I didn't want to shiver while standing around waiting for the start. As it was, I arrived five minutes before the start, just enough time to ask someone what happens. 
There is no checking in, what you have is a card with a bar code on, which you print off yourself after putting your details into the web site. I thought that was a good idea, saves waiting in a queue to report in. There is no need to carry anything apart from your bar code, and any essentials. I didn't need a drink, though some did carry bottled water. I had a small pouch with my camera, phone and car keys in it. There was ample parking at the start, if you are going to do this check out the parking where you are. You don't need to turn up early, a few minutes before the start time is OK. 
Everyone getting ready for the off. 
A few announcements were made. There seems to be regulars that go, some of them have a competitive edge, but most seem to just do it for the fun of it. Some were limbering up, others stood around chatting. Everyone seemed friendly, and I think if you went every week you would soon get to know people. At the end I had a lovely chat with a young lady who pushed a buggy around, complete with sleeping baby.

The course was all on the park, mainly on tarmac, with a short distance through woods. There was two laps to do. I set off at a steady jogging pace, and let others streak past me. I like to pace myself from the start, I am not a sprinter. I checked my watch as I started. At the half way stage I had done 19 minutes, but at that point I felt a stitch in my side, which got quite painful. I went into walking mode for a few minutes till it wore off. Damn, I wish I hadn't eaten so much porridge. The second lap was intermittent walking and jogging.
I checked my watch at the end, 41 minutes.

When you arrive back you are handed a plastic tag with a bar code on it. You pass the tag, and your printed bar code, to the next checkpoint which clocks you in and puts the information on the web site. I have just checked my account, and it tells me I took 41 minutes and 18 seconds. I was number 235 out of 260. I didn't enter it to win any races, so I am pleased with that.

My impressions are I think this is a great way to start getting fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. You don't have to finish the whole course if you don't want to. I would say don't be afraid of 5k, it sounds a lot but isn't really. Have a go and try to do the distance. There are marshals along the route, if you start to feel unwell they are there to help. I did the Race For Life when I was 47, and ran the whole distance, I thought it was a doddle. Now I am 64, I am not going to be as fit now as I was then. However, I can begin to work my way up again, and this seems a good way of getting started.

What I have learnt today. Wear less clothes than you think you need. Turn up five minutes before the start, leave some warm clothes in the car to put on when you have finished. Don't try and keep up with anyone, even if you are with a friend and they want to go faster. Let them get ahead and meet up at the end. I don't have proper running trainers, mine are more fashion trainer boots, but they are comfortable for this distance. You don't need the right gear, wear anything, it doesn't matter what you look like. Listen to your breathing, choose a pace which is not going to knacker you in the first ten minutes. Stop and walk if you have to. Concentrate on your breathing and what you are doing, shut everything out around you. Watch where you are putting your feet, don't want to trip up. If you are doing it for fun, relax and slow down, but try and push yourself in short bursts. If you are going to walk the whole way that's not really fair as you will get in the way of runners. You can walk anywhere at any time. Try a bit of running.

Have a look on the web site and see if there is an event near you. I shall keep going and try to improve. I can monitor my progress on the web site. If you already do the Park Run, let me know your times. We could all meet up on here at the weekend and check in with our times, and compare notes. It only takes up a couple of hours to do it on a Saturday morning, worth getting out of bed for I think.  
Have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.

18 comments:

  1. Good for you! What a great way to kick off the day! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! Cheers, Nnanny Anny

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  2. Very inspirational, Ilona. I`d love to do this but my asthma wouldn`t let me. I`ll stick to cycling, I think, as I can pace myself much better with it. The weather is improving, my garden is prepared and doesn`t need much attention, so a couple of hours cycling at the weekend is going to be the plan from now on in.

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    1. I have a colleague who has severe asthma but who was recommended to take up running to strengthen her lungs. She joined a ladies group and has gradually progressed with great health benefits as she has not been hospitalized for quite a while now. She has built up to 5 and 10 km runs for charity and loves her running so much and looks so well.

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  3. Good for you, and some good tips there for potential runners. You look like you enjoyed yourself on that photo, was that taken before or after, either way you look good :-)

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    1. Hi Sue. That was the after photo, there wasn't time to take a 'before'. The scarf tied round my middle started off round my neck. I'll leave off that top layer next time. When I finished I felt I could do it again.

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  4. Well done, I have yet to do it in less than 45 minutes.

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    1. Hi Justine. You will, maybe next time. Good luck.

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  5. Well done Ilona, you put me to shame :)

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  6. Great exercise ~ you smiling face lights up the page! I thought this baby crinkle toy might be fun to make using recycled material and cereal box paper. What do you think?

    Liz

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    1. What a great idea! I bet the little ones love playing with it and it looks easy enough for anyone to make!

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  7. What fun! I'm an ex runner, but every once in awhile i try a few yards. (My bad back and knees got the better of me. Running is something i truly miss.) Good for you! You'll meet lots of like minded people and stay in shape at the same time. And, your scenery is always gorgeous! Bonus!

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  8. Well done - it sounds fun and a great atmosphere too.

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  9. Yes we'll done I've just started doing a walk jog then walk and so on I've always been a walker but I use to say I hate running I couldn't do it now I love it and I'm running for longer at a time and it's given me more of a waist being an apple shape I'm pretty pleased with myself it's something I thought I would never do and I don't mind if others see me now before I would stop if I saw someone coming cause I felt clumsy and awkward :) Louise

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  10. Funny description of your chest! I'm now a Nigella in that zone, so running is quite hard with all that, after kids.

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  11. Well done! I do them aswell, it is true that when you go regularly you get to know people and some of them meet up and go for coffee and cake each week! And it is all FREE!

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  12. Well done , you are much fitter than me. I shall have a look if any are local to me.

    X x

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  13. Thank ou for the link Ilona to the Park Runs. My son has been looking for something like this and ther seem to be two close to where we live so will pass on the info.

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