Today, I did my first Parkrun at Forest Red Nottingham. Yesterday I went to my usual fitness class and I got speaking to my instructor and another girl who was in the session. We were talking about the possibly of doing The Wolf Run which is a 10k run across natural terrain, lakes and mud; I’m still debating it! I was then told that the two of them were doing the park run in the morning and encouraged me to join so when I got back to my flat I registered myself for the run.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, Parkrun organises free, weekly, 5km timed runs all around the word. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in.
I haven’t don’t any running while I’ve been at uni and only go for a run while I am at home with my parents. This is mainly because I hadn’t found anywhere to run that wasn’t so built up and along a road; I have just been sticking to my fitness classes at the gym. The parkrun was held on a pleasant large open public field with country-park surrounding.
Myself and Katie met at the uni and walked up the hill to the park and headed for the starting place where we waited for Vicky and her partner. We got there really early as it was both of our first times and so we weren’t sure exactly where we needed to be. We must have looked very eager!
It was extremely cold this morning and I haven’t got any running clothing appropriate for such cold weather with me at uni and so I had to layer up tops but I was still frozen. I couldn’t feel my feet, hands or ears! I was very worried that everyone there was going to be serious runners and racing against each other. Although yes there were some of these, the others were like me, wanting to run in a community environment, but focusing on doing our own personal best.
We started off running as a three while Vicky’s partner sprinted ahead. Vicky soon sped up which left me and Katie running together; we have quite balanced running styles and so we were able to match each other’s pace which was great. I was so worried I was going to be left behind. I really enjoyed running alongside someone to push me through and run quicker than I’m typically used to.
The time and distance actually went really quickly. The toughest bits for me were running on the grass and also there were so many quite steep inclines around the park. I’m not used to hills where I come from so I’m used to just running on the flat. Having said this, it was lovely on the way down! I also had to stop twice to tie my shoelaces which was so annoying. I have never worn these particular shoes for running before and I didn’t think they would be a problem. This meant I had to run even faster to catch back up to Katie.
When we are running towards the finishing line, Vicky and her partner kindly waited at the side after they had finished and ran the last bit with us, cheering us on and encouraging us to speed up for the last tiny bit. Me and Katie managed to do the 5K in around 29 minutes which I feel is quite reasonable considering it was our first time and I usually run a slightly shorter distance at home.
I’m hoping to do the run each week with the girls and there was even talk of us going to the cafe together after the run another week. I walked back to the car park with Vicky and her partner and they talked to me about maybe driving us another time to run around a different park/location to mix things up. I really enjoyed spending the morning with new people that I haven’t properly spoken to before and the run wasn’t half as bad as I was expecting. I would really recommend giving the run a go even if you walk the distance like some newbies did today; everyone is so supportive.