January 1st brought the opportunity to take part in two parkruns as venues are permitted to schedule an alternate start time. There were a few doubles to choose from in my local area, however, NY eve saw me going to bed with ‘a bit of a cold’ so I was uncertain whether I would do even one parkrun, leaving it to see how I felt in the morning.
As it happened, I woke up and felt ok so headed off to Delamere Forest for a 9am start, and wondering whether I’d made a big mistake! It was a chilly morning but I soon settled into my run, taking just a couple of short breaks to drink some water, I finished in a decent time of 32:37 – a minute slower than my last run there but I was taking it easy! I walked back to the car chatting to some friends who were heading off to Northwich for the double, I was planning on going home. I sat in the car and thought ‘Hey, I actually feel ok’, ‘Maybe I could do another parkrun?’, so I texted hubby and headed off to Phoenix Park for their 10.30am parkrun.
At no point did I consider that I’d be running 10k and that maybe I wasn’t actually ready for it. I started Phoenix at a steady pace with the intention to try and run it all – even the third time up the same hill which I’ve never managed before. I felt good and kept going, so, so slowly at times (up the hills), sprint finish and I crossed the line in 32:03 – actually faster than my first run! And yes, for the first time I ran the whole course.
The rest of the month I’ve been in running heaven and running hell – heaven because I’m finally at a point where I can run without pain in my calves, shins, thighs, although my right hip still bothers me sometimes. And hell – because of the 4th Borders League race along the seafront in Abergele.
Borders League 4
On paper this sounded like an easy race, out and back along the coast at Abergele. It was flat and generally flat means fast. However, it was also January which is always a bit unpredictable weather wise. This particular day was cold. Cold because of the wind which we had to run into for the first 2-ish miles, after which we had a bit of respite as the wind was then behind us until the last half a mile where we turned back into the wind. After already running 4.5 miles, this last half mile was almost too hard and the finish line seemed so far away.
I’d hoped to finish in around 50 minutes and was amazed when my time came through at 50:33 as it most certainly wasn’t an easy race.
Warrington 5 mile trail
I’d first heard of this series in 2018 and my plans to run last year were scuppered through injury which left me even more keen to sign up for the 2020 races.
This four race series is held at Colliers Moss, near Warrington. It’s chip timed and the medals are themed around the seasons with the remaining races being held on 28th March (spring), 27th June (summer), and 17th October (autumn). It was fairly pleasant weather for the winter race, not too cold, not too windy, not too bright, and an added bonus is that it wasn’t raining.
The series Facebook page had promised mud and they certainly weren’t kidding. The race began along a nice solid track but soon had us slipping and sliding along a single file path, up and down hills and through muddy water troughs with plenty of marshals on hand to help if needed. The 5 miles seemed to pass by relatively quickly because we were having so much fun! The camaraderie on course was great with loads of encouragement from race marshals, other runners and spectators, I especially liked the young girl on the last hill climb shouting that we’d conquered all the mud! I finished in a time of 01:02:30 and am very much looking forward to the next race.
- no. of runs: 11
- (including 3 parkruns)
- total distance: 43.4 miles
- total time: 8 hrs
- best parkrun time: 31:59