Feeling happy about going slowly

An image of a snail on a mossy branch with the slogan 'Feeling happy about going slowly'.

This week has been another busy week. I’ve got a lot of exciting projects going on at work and am also busy at home. after the week I’ve had, any progress feels like a step in the right direction and I’m feeling happy about going slowly.

Breathless run with Kate

On Thursday, I went for a run with fellow parkrun RD Kate. For a long time, Kate and I were of a similar running ability. We ran our PBs on the same day and probably ran 4.8km of the parkrun together. At the moment, Kate is running brilliantly and I am not, but she’s still a good friend who is willing to go for a slow jog with me.

We met on the Common at lunchtime and set off on a run. It started off quite well. I was moving OK and enjoying chatting. By the time we’d done about 1km, we had a short walking break, before continuing up Carriage Drive South, which gently inclines uphill. We ran down a few side paths and had a few more short walking breaks. At the top of the Common, we paused by a gate for a breather. Within seconds, my breathing went funny. I just couldn’t get any air in and started to panic. My asthma has been so well controlled by using fostair that I haven’t needed my ventolin for months. I started to panic a bit and was worried that I would faint.

When I felt a bit better, Kate and I started walking back. After a while, I felt well enough to run again but was quite wary. In the end, we managed 5.36km in just under 40 minutes, so although I had been going slowly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought! We stopped for a chat and then I got back to my car just in time as it started raining heavily.

My penultimate Friday ride

Pete and I planned to go cycling on Friday. It’s just a few weeks until Southampton Sportive 100km ride, so I knew I needed to get a long ride in. However, I was nervous that I would feel unwell on the ride. I messaged Pete and warned him that the forecast was for thunder, lightning and rain at lunchtime. Pete said he still wanted to ride, so I agreed to go along and got all of my cycling kit out ready.

As I was driving M to preschool, it started to rain and M told me that she thought I should “Phone Pete and tell him it’s too rainy to play today”. It sounded like sensible advice. I went home, filled my bidons and felt relieved that the rain had stopped. (I also packed a rain jacket – just in case!)

For the past 4 years, I’ve worked compressed hours and have had Fridays off, so I was feeling nostalgic. From September, I’ll be working 5 days a week, so I knew this would be one of my last Friday rides.

Beach holiday!

Pete and I often stop for a breather and drink break at the top of a hill coming out of Beaulieu. I checked the weather forecast and could see it had changed. The lunchtime storm was not going to happen. Fantastic! Pete and I decided to make the most of the sunshine and cycled to Tanners Lane beach for a snack stop.

Selfie of Tamsyn and Pete by the sea.
One day I’ll learn how to take selfies!
Tamsyn and Pete smiling at the camera. They are wearing cycling clothes.

Often, Pete and I have the beach to ourselves. The tide was in, so not much of the foreshore was visible. What little beach that was left was covered in windsurfing paraphernalia. I’ve always wanted to give windsurfing a go, so enjoyed sitting and watching the windsurfers (and wing surfer). It was a very windy day, so within seconds, the windsurfers were almost at the Isle of Wight.

After resting and watching for a while, Pete and I cycled back to Southampton. We had been cycling slowly, but I wasn’t feeling exhausted. The uphill drag into Southampton didn’t feel as bad as usual, which was positive. Pete and I stopped for a glass of coke each at the Bellemoor pub. There were a few spots of rain, but they quickly passed. When I got home, I’d just had enough time to put my bike away when it started raining torrentially. I was so pleased that we were home and dry!

M’s first attempt at a 5km parkrun

Saturday was going to be my first parkrun with M. She had been looking forward to it, but has been unwell for the last couple of weeks. She hasn’t had Covid, but probably had respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). As she’s also asthmatic, she has had a terrible cough and has been needing her reliever inhaler every day.

Stu has also been struggling with an ankle injury, so he’s currently unable to run. He agreed that he would take our running buggy so that M could run and ride. We knew M wouldn’t be eligible for a finish token, but we think it’s more important that she enjoys herself.

M ran the first 300m and then wanted a ride up some of the hill. She then got out and ran down hill before getting in the buggy and deciding that she would stay there. I knew we would be going slowly, but had hoped for a bit more running.

We were at the back of the field, so we took the opportunity to talk with some of the other people. Stu and I had a conversation with Abdullah Khan who was doing his first parkrun. He sounded really positive and was looking forward to meeting more people in Southampton, so I hope he sticks with it. We also had a lovely chat with Inez who is walking parkrun until her cardiology team clear her for doing more strenuous exercise.

How did we do?

We crossed the line in 51:51. It’s nowhere near my PB, but it’s also not the slowest parkrun I’ve done.

The most important thing is that M enjoyed herself. She loves matching sportswear and although I had persuaded her to wear a t-shirt, she insisted on taking it off when she was running… and went much faster when she had done that. M was so happy to wear her unicorns and rainbows running gear. She was also happy that ‘Olympic Peppa’ came along to cheer her on!

A small girl wearing leggings with unicorns and rainbows on them. She is posing with her eyes closed and holding a Peppa Pig toy.

What’ve I got coming up next

My next race is the St Ives Bay 10k, which I last ran in 2019. I don’t think I’ll beat my previous time and will be pleased if I’m not the final finisher.

I’m also doing Southampton Sportive and Southampton Half Marathon in September.

Pink cycling banner that says 'I'm cycling 100km at Southampton Sporterium'.
Blue banner that says 'I'm running the ABP Southampton Half Marathon'.

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