Race Report: Walsall Arboretum parkrun

After a break of well over six months (at this rate I’ll get my 50 t-shirt in 2020) I finally dragged myself to the nearest parkrun. Although I haven’t completed the C25K plan, I wanted to see if I could drag my fat arse around a flat 5k course without stopping. Secretly I wanted to get a sub-30 minute time as I wanted to tick off one of my initial running goals for 2015. When I saw the weather on Saturday morning (really, really, really windy) I knew that I would be happy with anything around the 30/31 minute mark. Did I mention the wind?

I have asthma and sometimes struggle to run when it’s windy. On Saturday I almost psyched myself out of even attempting to run but gave myself a talking to and told myself to H.T.F.U. Paula Radcliffe has had asthma all her life and hasn’t let it stop her destroying world-class marathon fields. I was just trying to use my asthma as an (another) excuse.

As I stood surrounded by 250 other runners waiting to start, I realised just how much I had missed spending time with other like-minded people. Nothing beats the pre-race banter and camaraderie between runners. I always run alone, parkrun on Saturday made me realise that this has to change.

I also realised that old habits die hard… I set off too quickly and started to suffer towards the end of the run. I wore too many layers and discovered that getting undressed while running is harder than it looks. My asthma made an unwelcome appearance on the final lap and I was forced to walk so that I could (literally) breathe. I bailed out.

Negativity overload alert.

I need to stop dwelling on the negatives and remember that a couple of months ago I was struggling to walk.  On Saturday morning I finished my first 5k run since September and my first race as a V35 *sobs*. In the end I finished in 30:59 so although I missed my sub-30 target I finished in under 31 minutes, just! I now have a 5k time to beat andnext time I make it to parkrun I will make sure that I get that sub-30.

As an added bonus the photographs from Saturday’s run (included here to shame myself into action) have given me the kick up the arse I so desperately needed.

Source: Ron Reynolds

The camera doesn’t lie, at the moment I look like a mess. After playing the violin I can’t lose the chins. Thanks to my father and his dodgy genes I am also stuck with grey hair. I can, however, lose the spare tyre and muffin top.

Now that I have submitted my PhD thesis I can get my diet sorted. I can also make a start on my 2015 goals.

I’ve added a new page to this blog where I’m going to share my race times and (hopefully) progression as a runner throughout 2015. I want to make myself more publicly accountable and I want to have a record of my latest return to running.


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