As we sat there panting away in the grass, at a time when we mostly defiantly should have been stretching- It occurred to me and my flatmate Mary, that we were four months into the year and had managed to stick to our new year’s resolution!
Finsbury Park Parkrun felt like an easy new year’s resolution to make, not too intrusive, easy to register and its right at the end of our road. I’ve run for years but have been fairly inconsistent – Mary was a newbie with a history of ballet and casual gyming but no running. And thinking about it now, registering with Parkrun was more about finding some common ground with a new friend than actually running.
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Parkrun is an organised 5k community run that operates in areas all over Britain every Saturday at 9am. To find your local one click here. The run itself is organised by local volunteers’ who marshal the course while recording your time digitally. Allowing you to your monitor progress weekly.
Oh, and a key piece of information it’s completely free!
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When we first started I found running 5k fairly easy, Mary didn’t. The 5k was unconsciously divided into a running pace too fast for either of us and silent walks with obscenities thrown left, right and centre as Mary blamed her parents for never teaching her to run. And don’t get us started on the impossible hill. Personally I struggled most with going at a pace that wasn’t my own or feel natural to me,
Within the next few months… we commented on each other’s improvements, and practiced running up hills. We agreed that running is all about knowing your body and being aware of how fast it can go and for how long, tolerating a rise in heart rate, a change in breathing pattern and tension in muscles. But we always finished together, usually at the back.
Mary has just ran the first 3.5k without stopping, completed the 5k sports relief run in Highgate with her mum and conquered the impossible hill multiple times. And me? Park run has enabled me to stay consistent with running, and Mary’s kept me motivated teaching me the value of pacing so I don’t burn myself out. I’ve just done my first half marathon in 1 hour and 50 minutes and 13 seconds. I wonder where we’ll both be at in another 4 months? We’ve definitely got our eye on a 100 parkruns completed top that’s for sure. And one thing I want to share… sometimes a goal is better shared.