Despite still having his finger splinted, Stu took part in the Serpentine Swim on Saturday. To help him avoid rail issues and for a faster journey, I agreed to drive him to Basingstoke. This meant that I was able to do some parkrun tourism… something which Stuart tolerates rather than appreciates! Fortunately, my running buddy Ellie is much more appreciative, so she agreed to come on a road trip to Dinton Pastures parkrun with me.
Earlier this year, I started compiling my parkrun planner as I was feeling demotivated by my inability to train. Attending a new run means that my previous PBs are irrelevant and I don’t feel any pressure as no-one knows who I am.
I had originally thought that I might do Upton Court parkrun, but then I realised that Upton House parkrun is only a couple of miles away from Poole, which makes it a much easier venue for me to get to at some point in the future… and I was missing a ‘D’!
Getting to the start of Dinton Pastures parkrun
M has become quite particular about her clothes recently, so leaving the house on time can be challenging. She was tired and didn’t want to get up, so it was hard to get her dressed. (She kept curling up into a ball and closing her eyes!) Fortunately, Ellie agreed that she would drive to my house, which meant that we didn’t have to add on another 10 minutes to our early start.
We dropped Stu at Basingstoke Station and then Google Maps/Ellie directed us to Dinton Pastures.
After parking, we managed to find a loo and then walked to the start of the run. It was nice to be at an event that only has a couple of hundred runners as it has more of a community feeling.
I’d love to be able to explain where we went, but it’s quite a complicated course that involves running around a lake (some lakes? I’m not sure!) and some parts of the course are repeated. It was really pretty. As we’d had a night of strong winds, there were a lot of leaves and sticks underfoot which meant I had to concentrate quite hard with the buggy, but in summer I think it would be fantastic.
Ellie and I chatted a bit on the way around, but it’s hard for me to run and talk. It was lovely to have company. It was also nice to see that there were quite a few other buggy runners.
We stopped a couple of times to get things for M who was feeling hungry. We also had to stop when a marshal called out to us. I misheard and thought he was explaining that we needed to be on the other side of the path, but it turned out that M had dropped her pot of chopped pears!
The finishing straight
I was so glad when the finish was in sight. I’m so unfit at the moment that a 3.1-mile run feels like a marathon!
How did we do?
When I looked at previous results, I set myself a goal of finishing in the top 100/under 30 minutes. (At event #10, finisher #100 had run it in 29:59).
As you can see, I didn’t achieve that goal. I was just too tired and decided that I’d rather enjoy my run.
An advantage of attending a small parkrun is that even if you are slow then you have a high finishing position. (In comparison, the runner in position #115 at Southampton parkrun today finished in exactly 22 minutes!) It was also nice to see that I was 4th in my age group!
After the run, Ellie met one of her brothers in the nearby coffee shop, whilst M and I visited the fantastic playground at Dinton Pastures. It’s definitely the best one I’ve ever been to.
There was a wide range of play equipment that could be used by children of all ages, sizes and abilities. I really wish that the new layground in Southampton were more like this!
Even though it was cold and rainy, M didn’t want to leave!