Smashing goals out of the park(run)

Juneathon Day 7: The one where I raced a dog.

Otherwise known as my first parkrun in…forever.  Where I not only raced a dog – I won!  Goal = smashed. 5k done. Thankyouverymuch. The end.

So there you have it.

 

…but if you want specifics, I guess you can read on. Spoilsports.

The starting line

Feeling a bit nervous (as it’s been a while), but also excited to be back running again.

And we’re off…

Around 500m in

“Umm, this actually feels kinda OK. Breathing is easy, legs are fresh(ish).”

Checks Garmin: “Woah – great pace.”

Excitement starts to rise: “I think I might beat my parkrun PB today!“

1k

“Goodness, is it really only 1k? That last bit went kinda slowly. Never mind, I have a goal to reach: Onwards to the finish line and a new PB!”

1.1k

“I’ll just stop for a little breather. Just a short walk won’t hurt.”

2.1k

“Have they lengthened the course? I think my Garmin is broken.”

2.5k

Spots teeny-tiny dog.

Hatches new plan.

Pretends it was the plan all along.

3k-4k

“The dog has only overtaken me four times, but that hill is my chance to take the lead again.

I got this.”

4.1k

“I don’t got this.”

4.2k

“Never mind the parkrun PB – please just let me beat the dog.”

4.5k

New burst of energy found.

The finish line

(Internal) applause.

Sense of relief.

 

I did eventually win’ (cough), but for a teeny-tiny dog, she really had some get-up-and-go!

Here she is crossing the finish line:

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(Yes, I waited around. Yes, I snuck a photo. Yes, they both had no idea they were involved in my plans)

Then after finishing, off she pranced without losing a breath!

 

…I wonder if she wants a training partner…?

 

So there you have it. Ruby Sneakers: smashing hastily revised and slightly ridiculous goals since June 2014.

 

It was actually a great morning, and we even broke the attendance record.

Congrats, Launceston parkrun! (photo from their facebook page)

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I’m already looking forward to next week.

 

Previous Juneathon (micro)blog: Day 6

Catch me if you can

I’m not big on having my photo taken (you’re shocked, I know), so was quite surprised to find myself looking forward to seeing some from the 10k last week. It was my first ‘big’ event, and having a snap or two would have been a bit nice.

For memories and…stuff.

Or at the very least, something to whip out for extra motivation (ie to ward off the diddly-squats).

So when an email came from the official photographer a few days ago, I excitedly clicked on the link.

Umm…

“What are you doing? Why are you staring at the ground?! Are there coins or other valuables down there? A treasure map, maybe?”

All (bar one) were of the top of my hat, and with my head tilted sideways in some weird pose. Like I’m not only looking for coins or valuables, but listening (intently!) for them as well. I’m almost certain that without the help of the crowd, I would have ended up completely lost and going the wrong way (but rich, apparently!). 

The photos are actually quite good for a bit of a laugh, but alas, could have been of anyone in a red hat and white top. The only difference being that I’m clutching a wad of used tissues in my headband thingy that I’d taken off earlier (so not only rich, but classy as well).

Being a race novice, I also figured that if there were going to be photos taken it would happen right at the end. 

*Cue over-the-top, I’m-not-puffed-at-all smile*

So, yeah… I do want to apologise to the unsuspecting family and friends of other participants who were greeted by a grinning loon at the finish line. Turns out, the photographer was placed 30 or so metres before this point (whoops) so my well-timed ‘finish face’ was probably a bit over the top / scary.

I actually feel a bit silly now for wanting an ‘action shot’ (not to mention embarrassed by admitting to the whole ‘finish face’ pose and subsequent let-down).  I should really have known better.

First, there was parkrun:

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Then, the Women’s 5k:

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(Sorry Tasrunphotos – I would have paid $28.00 for the real thing; if only you’d captured my ‘good’ side)

So last Sunday was nothing out of the ordinary, really:

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And another. So fast I was a blur:

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In fact – on looking back over the ‘evidence’ of my running, I may have discovered something so much better: a new game to play!

‘Spot the wannabe runner’ (not dissimilar to Where’s Wally?).

See – there’s always a silver lining.  It’s actually right up my alley, and something I could definitely have fun with.

Or ‘run’ with, if you will (sorry).

So here’s to the next challenge – I think it’s white hat’s turn to partially shine. 🙂

It’s all in the interpretation

Email from the lovely organisers of parkrun after today’s 5km event. 

(It’s OK if I edit to my own liking only pay attention to the important bits, right?)

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Sure, I came last. 

I also still struggled with the whole breathing thing again, but there were definite improvements on last week’s effort:

  • I jogged for 2.5 km before Smoker’s Lungs and Legs insisted on stopping for a time-out
  • I reduced my time by almost 3 minutes
  • I actually talked to the volunteers / officials as they passed on their encouragement at each checkpoint (instead of nodding and panting breathlessly). Admittedly they were only one-syllable responses, but still…

…and most importantly:

  • my track pants stayed up unassisted
  • my lungs were thanking me (quitting smoking is still a work in progress, but there’s definitely been a big improvement).

 

Being the last person to cross the finish line does have its benefits though.  In this case, in the form of a can-we-go-home-yet crowd cheering and clapping and generally making you feel like a rock star.

That bit was pretty neat.

In reality they were all probably thinking, “Thank goodness!  It’s cold / raining out here and now we can leave”.

But in the spirit of it being all in the interpretation (ie positive spin), I like to think it was more: “Yay to you, stranger we’ve never met!  Great finish, good on you for taking part, and hope to see you next week”!

So overall, it didn’t suck as much as last week, and my goal of actually being able to run 5km is looking more achievable.

It’s still early days (and there’s a long way to go) but I guess it’s not a bad effort for someone whose exercise 6 months ago used to be limited to walking the dog, occasional energetic bursts of can’t-find-the-TV-remote-so-have-to-get-up channel changing, and this:

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So here’s to persevering, to making slow-but-steady improvements, and to ‘chipping away’ at achieving goals. 

Good luck to you and to whatever yours may be!