1st January 2017 – New Years Day
I must be mad! It’s New Years Day, it’s cold, I am up and running.
The journey is beginning. Last year I resolved to run 12 races in 12 months during 2017 to raise money for St Clare Hospice, who cared for my Nan – now I have to actually do it! I need to put one foot in front of the other and run, training for 2 marathons whilst completing half marathons and 10km races in between. I can run, I am not fast and it doesn’t come easy to me but I run. My current long slow runs are normally around 10 miles so from January I will be starting to increase my mileage and time spent on my feet. Surely no better way to start than with a parkrun…
Pangshanger was my parkrun of choice, along with 339 other runners. It was a lovely morning as we headed out along the 5km route, a little chilly but almost perfect conditions for running. The great thing about Pangshanger is the terrain: off road, trail and – in places – a mud bath!
My trainers definitely relished sliding around and squelching in the mess, although I’m not looking forward to cleaning them (just as well I got a new pair for Christmas). One loop of the very scenic Pangshanger park, our ‘course’ starts with a gentle incline into the first wooded area and finishes with another incline. If you are feeling a bit ropy then this route is going to be testing. Luckily I hadn’t consumed too much alcohol the night before, I can image there were plenty of runners heading back to bed to continue their recovery after completing their 5 km…
There is something great about running with other people, having your fellow runners around you and being part of a group. Whilst most of the population are recovering from the various excesses of New Years Eve, you are there with all these runners, young and old – all there to run 5km at 10.30am. You can’t help but feel part of something amazing.
Considering I had completed an 11 mile run on Saturday and suffered from the cold from hell for two weeks, I felt pretty good and my legs did not complain at all. I have a weakness in my right calf and when fatigue strikes it niggles and grumbles like a grumpy old man. I wasn’t running for a time, I was running for me, for sanity and to celebrate the New Year. This meant that I didn’t need to push it, I could enjoy a plod about the beautiful park and welcome in 2017. Today my calf behaved! I love you right calf, I promise to foam roll you later ♥.
Before we commenced the run, I got to say Happy New Year to some of the lovely runners who I have met through the fabulous #ukrunchat community: @AdamPrav, @ohhollygosh and @runninggem. We didn’t take the almost obligatory selfie today (too busy chatting) and all three of them were going for the ‘double parkrun’ experience today whereas I had decided I would just be doing the one, taking advantage of the extra hour in bed.
So I have now officially started my marathon training. The road to London is going to be a long one but first stop on my challenge is the Benfleet 15 on January 15th. I have a feeling that this race is going to be putting me through my paces. It has been described as a ‘very challenging course but lots of fun’ so I’m heading off to Benfleet for some fun. I will let you know how I get on!
Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May 2017 be full of love and excitement.