|Butter wouldn't melt|
A few weeks ago, our local regional news programme came to record Parkrun. I didn't notice the cameras until someone pointed them out, then one of our running buddies appeared saying he'd just been interviewed. We all had a giggle about it, the run started and apart from checking the news that night to see if we were on it, forgot all about it.
This week we had a call from Ma to say that she'd just seen me on the news, running. We watched it that night but it wasn't on, so M found it on iplayer. To our amusement, our friend's interview was screened along with a few shots of me coming in at the finish. Fortunately, I didn't look too shabby, sweaty, red faced or out of breath, which was a small miracle and frankly something of a relief.
On Saturday we met the gang at Parkrun and had a good laugh about J and my new-found fame. There was talk of signing autographs and of us being too famous to consort with the rest of them. I have to say the thought of being famous for real turns my stomach. I would hate the loss of privacy and anonymity.
The day before Parkrun I'd had some treatment with a sports therapist to switch on various muscles that weren't working properly. It was an hour of excruciation, but to my amazement I knocked another ten seconds off my PB on Saturday and shifted considerably higher up the field as a result. I could feel the relevant muscles working properly up the hills in particular and was able to overtake people there.
The treatment uses trigger points on the body that correspond to specific muscles (in my case it was hams and glutes that weren't engaging properly. The trigger point for the glutes is behind the ears and for the hams around the jaw!) to switch on the connection between brain and muscle, and the result was a faster, smoother run. Particularly pleasing was that I managed to hold off a man who tried to overtake me on the final stretch and pulled away from him to cross the finish line with a respectable gap between us. I couldn't catch the man in front however, but we had a nice chat while we waited to collect our tokens about the benefit of following someone in who's running faster than you. This is where Parkrun is great- if you get to a point where you want to compete there are plenty of people happy to give you a run for your money and a race up to the finish. This great energy infects everyone involved: one of the regular volunteers was recently handed a letter from a runner with his thanks for her help and encouragement because she always cheers everyone on. In it was a cheque for £100. I think that sums up the spirit of Parkrun perfectly- folks giving up their time for free to help encourage others to get fit and to feel better, and the people who benefit from it being genuinely grateful.
This morning we've been out for a five mile trot round which includes a big hill up through leaf-littered woods and for the first time I ran all the way up it (slow as a snail, but running nevertheless). This is good because we've just signed up for the Stonehenge Stomp, a 20km (12 mile) run round Salisbury Plain and the Stones in late January, which will be a noticeable step-up for me in terms of distance, but a good marker on the way to running a half marathon which is 13.1 miles. I'm now running between fifteen to twenty miles each week and feeling good on it, even if yoga brings me back down to earth with a bump because everyone else there is supple as willow wands while I feel like a stiff, weak old board in comparison :o)
Before I go I just want to draw your attention to my friend Veggie Mummy's fantastic achievement. I am SO PROUD of her, she is a perfect example of what you can do if you set your mind to it. Do pop over and have a read, and encourage her to enter a Parkrun, because she'd definitely smash it now and it would be a great thing to have chalked up before the year is out :o)
Hope you're all well? Our Christmas Tree is up and decorated, a new cushion (Guinea Fowl) has been purchased for the Reading Chair (M: but you move it away every time you sit in the chair, so why did we need it in the first place?), Ted wants me to let you know he survived a house full of hearty runners here for lunch yesterday, and Pop says she's been exceedingly well behaved all weekend and done nothing naughty at all :o). Give it time....