In the last 6 months I’ve tried to gear my self up to start running again. In some cases not bothered at all. And then one Saturday morning I didn’t have to start work until 11am and decided to try my local parkrun. I do try run in this park but I know the hills and give up quite quickly. Leeds has some amazing parks but it also has lots of hills in places. My local park being one of them. So when I decided to take on this run, I aimed just to finish it. I did by doing some running then walking and running again, encouraging others on the hills to keep going. My first one at this park was the first of this year and I surprised myself when I completed it in a time of 36 mins 21 seconds. Now my quickest time at Roundhay and my first was 34 mins 48 seconds. So anything below 40 mins is a bonus for me.
Then last week The last one of my 36th year I completed my local parkrun this time in 35 mins 47 seconds. Now this one will hold a place in my heart. Simply because I was allowed to help set up, and because of the wonderful people who volunteer to allow others to exercise. Parkrun is run by volunteers. I do it and I love seeing others achieve milestones however big or small. Plus you’re always welcome. This time though apart from helping set up, I struggled on the second to last lap and as I reached the hill jogging a man on the corner shouted ‘come on you’re doing well, you’ve got some power there!’. Now that’s stuck with me and when I did complete everyone was saying well done. That’s the thing with Parkrun, it’s like a big family and everyone is so happy to see everyone else achieve something.
Today I ran the 5k at the top of Leeds, where for me it all started. Mainly because of a friend and because it was a good place to catch up with her. I started in 2014 just taking photos then it lead to marshalling and finish tokens. Such a privilege. So I wanted to see it from the other side. I held at the back to go steady, managed 3/4 of the first lap before I had to walk then kept trying to push myself, which probably was a bad idea.
Again I saw some amazing people do some wonderful things. People of all ages, size, abilities giving it their all to do a 5k on a soggy Saturday morning. When I got to the second off last lap it felt like a zombie film, the fog was descending and I was waiting for someone to pop out of the trees at some point it was that spooky. On the start of my last lap I got past the finish line and then started walking again for two fast runners to come out of no where and start shouting ‘come on you can do it, last bit’ and I just replied ‘I can’t it’s to hard’. So they egged me on to start jogging. This I found to hard so both guys told me to slow it down even further and keep moving. They then went off to find others to motivate them. I carried on until I found I hit a hilly bit and stopped again until I got to the corner and slowly jogged in. Boy did it hurt. But I can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support.
We live in such a busy world these days and yet a simple thing as using our feet, brings so many people together. After Parkrun everyone meets in a local cafe to catch up and sort tokens. It’s such a lovely atmosphere. I happened to stand up and look around and just saw so much warmth. A lovely lady started talking to me, she told me she was 77 and said her husband told her to come down this morning even though she didn’t feel like it. I told her she did the right thing. the best place if you’re not feeling grand is surrounded by loving people. I told her it does me the world of good and it doesn’t matter what time you get as long as she’s doing it. She thanked me for this and then went off to chat to some others.
So you see, some things don’t have to cost the earth to make us feel better. We just need to get out and give something a try, however much we don’t feel like doing something. I must remember that on Tuesday when I want to sleep in instead of trying a run in the park.
Thank you for reading