How not to run your first Parkrun

I knew that when I signed up for the Couch to 5k that there would be a 5k run at the end of it, of course I did and having the focus of a local parkrun was brilliant.

So, it was the first time I’d run 5k without stopping and there was a real feeling of nervous excitement – this was our graduation after all.

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It honestly felt like we were preparing for a marathon, (I imagine anyway, having never actually prepared for a marathon!) I lay my kit out the night before, made sure my little laminated barcode was safely tucked away, had pasta for my supper and porridge for breakfast.  I made sure I had the obligatory 457 toilet stops and got there on time.  So far so good…

There were approximately 983 of us (60 I think) and we made quite an entrance.  Now all we had to do was run…  5k… Ideally without stopping.

The start was great, then my watch ran out of battery – this freaked me out a bit as how was I going to know if I was going too fast, or too slow or just the right speed for my target time?  I didn’t have the confidence to trust myself that I’d just know so, obviously, I panicked and ran too fast.  Then I panicked some more and ran too slow.  Then I ran in my comfort zone for a bit then panicked again right near the end and went to stop and walk (I know right?!)  Luckily one of the marvellous volunteers from my running club spotted me, grabbed my hand (yes really!) and quite literally dragged me to the finish line.

I then proceeded to have ALL the feelings.  I was incredibly proud of myself for doing it and also had that feeling that I could have done better, then felt that if I had been able to do it better on the day I would have done right?  Then I had a celebratory glass of fizz and some cake (elite athlete recovery fuel obvs) and we all congratulated each other again – we’d only gone and blimmin’ done it!

Now, a year on (which has been the shortest and longest year of running all at the same time), I’m helping out with the latest batch of C25K runners as they are about to embark on their graduation.  Going from no running (as in my case) to doing 5k is a massive achievement and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

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