The calm after the storm… no parkrun tourism this week!

A row of Autumn leaves in colour order from green, through yellow to deep red.

After last week’s wet and windy run, I was so grateful that it was dry yesterday morning. However, it definitely wasn’t warm. I’d seen that it was predicted to be about 6C. I’ve been struggling with a heavy cold for over a week and haven’t been exercising much, so I knew I would be slow. The weather meant I also decided not to do some parkrun tourism to Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

parkrun volunteers huddled under a tree.

parkrun tourism update

It’s my aim to get to 50 different parkruns this year. That means I need to get to four new venues. I’ve managed 13 ‘new’ parkruns so far this year:

34Mountbatten School09/03/2019
35Moors Valley23/03/2019
37Eden Project20/04/2019
40Kingsbury Water06/07/2019
41Portsmouth Lakeside13/07/2019
43Mount Edgcumbe31/08/2019
parkrun tourism! Stuart, M and Tamsyn with the Shellharbour parkrun selfie frame.

Land’s End parkrun started yesterday. It’s exactly 20 miles down the A30 from my mum’s house, so I’m hoping to run there when I visit Cornwall at Christmas. I’d love to get to Tamar Lakes at Christmas… however, I may be more likely to take in a parkrun on the drive down, in which case Yeovil Montacute, Henstridge Airfield or St Mary’s (Bridport) may be options.

Queen Elizabeth parkrun is my NENDY and also a letter that I need for my parkrun alphabet, but probably not a good choice with a buggy. Then my next NENDYs are Havant, Hogmoor Inclosure and Chichester.

Vaccination disaster

On Friday, M and I were scheduled to have our ‘flu vaccinations. I agreed that I would run to the clinic with her in the buggy and then planned to run home before going out for a run with a friend. My first hurdle was that when I got our running buggy out of the car, it was mouldy. Then I was told that M was too snotty to have her vaccination (toddlers receive a nasal spray), so it’s been rescheduled for next week. Fortunately, mine wasn’t rescheduled, but I was told that I couldn’t exercise for 24 hours. That meant I had to walk home and my run with a friend was turned into a calm stroll.

After all that, I figured I should take it easy at parkrun, so I dug out a pair of running leggings, a headband and some gloves. (I also got out our Mountain Buggy Terrain that we bought secondhand in Australia so that M didn’t have to spend time in an unclean buggy!)

Enjoying running again

I started off at a reasonable pace and was enjoying myself. I felt like I was running better than I had for a long time.

When I got to the playground, I bumped into Nikki Rees, one of the organisers behind Cycle Southampton Sporterium. It was lovely to see her, so we continued running together and chatting until we were almost at the top of the Common. At that point, Nikki urged me to pick up the pace and go on without her.

Which pacer can I catch?

When we’d started chatting, we were just by the 29-minute pacer, but the 30-minute pacer and then the 31-minute pacer passed us whilst we were talking. I decided that I would try to catch up with the 30-minute pacer, but I knew it would be a difficult challenge.

Partway down the hill, I managed to catch up with the 31-minute pacer. I was quite pleased to be picking up the pace but was having to weave in and out of some quite large groups of people.

By the time I got to the Flats, I could see the 30-minute pacer but wasn’t convinced that I could catch them up and certainly didn’t think I’d manage to finish the run in under 30 minutes.

Final effort – keep calm!

I kept targetting the runners ahead of me, picking them off one by one.

Eventually, I crossed the line and looked at my watch.

29:48! I’d done it. I felt so pleased, but also a little annoyed with myself for not pushing harder.

Tamsyn's result from Southampton parkrun #383 on Saturday 09/11/19: 29:48.

Positive splits!

I looked at my splits after the run.

The details surprised me. How quickly did I manage to run the last 2km?

Tamsyn's Garmin splits for each km: 6:17; 6:00; 7:01; 5:29 and 4:59.

I definitely didn’t think I was capable of doing a kilometre in much under 6:00, so I’m completely shocked that I managed the final kilometre in just under 5:00!

After the run, I had some brief chats with friends, including fellow parkrun ambassador, Lucy, before getting scanned. M was quite cold and grumpy, so we didn’t head to the pub for drinks with others; instead, we went home to shower and warm up.

Strava report. 10 active days in October. 37km. 4h 54m. 337m. 1 new PR.

Are you planning any parkrun tourism this year?

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