Tag Archives: parkrun

Caught in a predicament as race started…

27 Jan

Did I get your attention with that headline?

It was quite funny looking back now, but at the time I was stressed!

The last week has been great and on Friday I popped up to the coast to see family and decided it would be good to run a ParkRun up there as well – not noting the weather forecast! So I settled for the Noosa ParkRun. It sounded perfect and the route looked great.

Caught on the loo! 

Noosa Park Run January 2016

Not a huge fan of this photo – running photos always make me look chunky!

On the Saturday morning I jumped in my car on what I can only describe as a boiling hot morning at just before 6.30am and figured I had plenty of time to get to the start and go to the toilet and prepare for the race. What I didn’t allow for was the slow drivers on one long one laned road into Noosa!

By the time I arrived I had a couple of minutes to spare and simply had to go to the toilet. I asked a runner where the toilets were and dashed off – I swear I have never peed as quickly as I did. I raced back outside of the toilet only to discover that the run had started!

I had a nasty hill to sprint up to get to the start and must have looked like a wild woman sprinting up the hill and puffing and panting. Someone shouted out I was 26 seconds behind so I was determined to push as hard as I could to get to where I was comfortable in the race and then slow down to a slower more durable pace.

By the time I was a kilometre in – the humidity hit me as well as that sprint to the start and I was shattered. I ended up doing an ok time and was very glad to finish as it was so sticky! The group was quite small and everyone seemed to know one another so I didn’t hang around afterwards and I drove back to where I was staying and my lovely husband had breakfast waiting for me 🙂

Sizzling heat and snakes 

running in the countryside

It was lovely running in the countryside – on a cooler day I would have appreciated it even more but it was so hot!

The next day I intended to run 10k in the morning,  and again it was hot and sticky. I hadn’t had a great nights sleep, and I hadn’t eaten great food the night before or taken on much water so it was a battle all the way round.

I took it easy and eased into the run and took in the beautiful scenery around me. I was jolted out of my daydream when I spotted three snakes consecutively. I am pretty sure two out of the three were dead – I did think the third was dead and took a photo but my husband isn’t sure whether it was dead or not – I’m glad I had convinced myself they were dead as I jumped out of my skin anyway when I saw them and may have screamed my head off also if it had moved!

It always reminds me of the first time I came to Australia and my husband was playing around with me I think when we went for a walk in the rainforest and he told me to watch my feet all the time if I heard rustling as it might be snakes…. I don’t think I have recovered!


So what do you reckon? Dead or alive? My husband thinks it is alive… I am very glad I didn’t hang around to find out. I think it is only a tree snake but even so it is a SNAKE!

Anyway I ended up managing 7.5k instead of 10k but it was so sticky I just couldn’t handle the heat. I was annoyed as later on it started to rain and it was much cooler but it was just one of those things. Maybe I need to toughen up more!

So that was my weekend. I don’t think it was 100% successful running wise as I didn’t run as much as I would have liked but I’m thankful that I am able to run again. My hip is coming good and I am feeling stronger.

Anyway I hope you are managing to run lots and still enjoying it like I am 😀 Have a great week….until next time!

On another note I was emailed by a company that has compiled a list of 100 blogs for fitness inspiration and I was 32nd 🙂 You can see the list here and might find some other blogs that tickle your fancy too 🙂


A week of lots more running and finally some good news!

19 Jan

When I look back over the last week I can say it was a great week on many levels.

Hip hip hooray!

In a previous post I talked about how frustrated I was at sitting on the bench. I am pleased to say my hip is finally coming good and I ran 11k on Saturday, 4k on Sunday and 12k today and had no major pain. I went to see my physio, Casey  yesterday and he said things are looking good and I am good to run more and train for my half marathon – but not to push it.

The first thing I did was to email Roger my running coach who is starting to crank things up a bit ready for March – so today I ran 12k. It was a slow 12k as it was very warm and hilly – it was meant to be 13k but it was just too warm for me but I was still happy with that.

I met Pete!

meeting Pete

Pete Evans was lovely. Very chilled out and happy to have a photo taken. We talked about recipes and transformations – glad I popped into the Paleo Cafe that day!

I tend to follow a fairly low carb regime with my eating. I know that’s pretty nuts for a runner but it has been great for getting me in shape again and I generally feel healthier not having bread etc in my diet. Obviously when races come around then I do incorporate some grain and increase my carbs such as sweet potatoes into my diet. But anyway I am not paleo but I do agree with some of their eating principles so I have a few Pete Evans cookbooks on my shelf, and by a complete chance I happened to be in Hawthorne and remembered that Pete was going to be at the Bulimia Paleo Cafe half an hour later so I hightailed it to the Cafe and got to say hello, and have my photo taken with him – highlight of my day on Friday :-D.

Volunteering at ParkRun 

volunteering at park run

Volunteer pacers at the Southbank ParkRun – I am on the one on the left holding my balloon. I didn’t realise when I let it go that I was whacking the guy in the black in the face oops!!

I run with Intraining on a Thursday night as part of their Wife Night group 🙂 and Ingraining appealed for volunteers for the Southbank ParkRun and I decided I would volunteer as a pacer and go with the slowest pace so I knew I wouldn’t push my hip. My friends and I ran 6k beforehand so I got a quicker run in and I ended up having to sprint back to where the ParkRun started to get back in time.

It was actually great fun. I have to say though I had no idea how hard it is to pace a run. I was to run the 5km in 35 minutes and it was hard. I kept glancing down at my watch ever conscious that I had to try and be on time as people were sticking with me to do their best time or for some support and I had never looked at pacing that way.

I met some lovely people and encouraged them along, I screeched ‘1km left -7 mins left to run – you can do it!’ at one group of girls and it was great to be able to run and encourage people at the same time (hopefully that came across as encouraging lol). So I think it is definitely something I will do again. Not all of the ParkRuns have pacers so I guess it will be the larger ones which I have tended to avoid!

So all in all I have had a great 7 days which is a vast improvement on the week before! I’ve entered the International Women’s Day 5k with my friend too which I am looking forward to 😀 so here’s hoping things keep on improving!

Have a great day 🙂 and Happy Running 🙂

Race recap – Birkenhead ParkRun, UK and getting lost in the Wirral

29 Oct

I have been a bit quiet of late as i have been overseas on a trip to Macau, UK and Singapore. It was a real bootcamp travelling with an 18 month old but great fun to see friends and family. The one thing I did find a challenge was squeezing in time to run without literally dumping bub on my husband and running out the door! So I didn’t manage to run as much as I would have liked but did manage to run a couple of times a week and fit two races in including a ParkRun in the Wirral and then a Half Marathon in Birmingham.

The ParkRun I ran was in the Wirral, Merseyside and happened to be just down the road from where my friends were. I was quite excited as it was my second ever Park Run and it was great weather conditions – being English I find running in Queensland hard but running in the UK was great.

What are ParkRuns?

If you haven’t heard of ParkRun’s then to sum it up they are basically an initiative firstly set up in the UK and are free timed 5k races run by volunteers and supported by brands such as Adidas. Great idea when you don’t want to have to pay for race entries all the time but want to run races regularly.

Anyway my ParkRun in the Wirral ended up being a real adventure. 

The night before I printed off my bar code all ready for the run the next day, and  I laid all my kit out (see a previous post if you want ideas of what is needed for a race). I was very thankful I remembered my Nike gilet and long sleeved running top as it was very cold for me in the UK.

Race day
I woke up ready for the race, grabbed a banana and my friend dropped me off at Birkenhead Park. My husband lent me his phone to take with me as the batteries had run down on my phone and I’d forgotten to charge it and needed the gps to know how to get back to my friends after the run.

I turned up at the race and it seriously was cold and very foggy. I found out it was the 11th week of the ParkRun at this place so it was a new one. The people were very friendly and I chatted to a few of the people whilst I was waiting to start and it was great to see so many people turn up in the cold to run. The ParkRun process is so well organised it is a well oiled machine now it seems – wherever you go to run it. I like the fact that you can take your barcode with you to any race and it will be logged.

ParkRun Birkenhead Park

As you can see it was cold! A bit different to my usual runs but great conditions and route.

The Race

The race started and I was running well. It was so refreshing to run in the cold weather rather than the heat I have grown accustomed to in Queensland.

The route was a few laps of the park and very well organised and mapped out. I ran as strongly as I could considering I hadn’t done masses of training but I was starting to feel it as I came to the finish. The 5k race is always a tough one as whilst it is a shorter race you tend to push harder and go faster as it is a short distance.

I did a reasonable time of 25:28 and 6th in my age category which was ok. I was just happy to be out running and feeling good.

My adventure was not over just yet….I was lost 

My adventure it seemed wasn’t over. I switched my husband’s phone on and started google maps to get me a mile (1.5km) back to my friends house. I started running and glanced down and noticed that his batteries had gone completely! I didn’t know where I was and I was lost with no phone number to get back to my friends place!

I tried not to panic as I remembered my friend said whilst the area was nice there were a few surrounding areas that were not so and I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know where I was going. I spotted some girls who looked like they had just finished ParkRun and I asked them if they knew the road I needed to get to. One of them looked it up on her phone and said it was just up the road – gave me directions to run up a hill and off I trotted. I realise now there was an easier route but I was following their directions and was running blind!

Useless without GPS!

I seriously have no sense of direction and without my GPS on my phone realised I was useless. My watch unfortunately doesn’t have those capabilities in terms of showing an actual map.

Anyway, I ran up a giant hill for what seemed like ages and still had no idea if I was on the right track, so asked a few people the way to Oxton Village which was near where my friends were and they all said yes but somewhere along the way I went off the track. I looked around me as running and realised this area didn’t look that great and my friends place was only meant to be a mile away……I was lost.

I tried not to panic and casually asked a guy the directions to Oxton Village and he ummed and ahhhed and asked me if I want to use his phone but I said I didn’t have a number to call. He pointed me in a direction and I bolted as I didn’t feel that comfortable. I suddenly realised I felt quite vulnerable as I had no idea where I actually was, no phone, it was cold and I was tired. I’d put everything into the race and I’d spent what felt like a lifetime running around.

Finally back on the right track!

I ran for a while longer and finally saw signs to Oxton Village and the spring in my step came back. I reached the Village and then suddenly realised I still didn’t know where to go – so I wandered into a shop or two asking for directions and it was only when I went to a grocery store that a guy paying for his newspaper gave me directions.

I trotted down the hill and found my friends place and they were all looking very concerned. I realised I’d run over 12k when I was supposed to do 5k and I’d been out for ages as I’d had to stop and talk to people and wander around. My husband just rolled his eyes as if to say ‘nothing you do surprises me!’.

I sat down, had a well earned breakfast and then shower and I recounted my adventure to my friends and husband who had a good laugh! I’m now sharing it with you and think I will remember this ParkRun for a very long time!

For ParkRun Australia go to http://www.parkrun.com.au and for ParkRun UK go to http://www.parkrun.com