Busy parkruns

I finally feel like I’ve started to regain my fitness levels following the really bad batch of flu I had mid-February.  As someone that rarely gets sick and is used to powering through when beginning to feel a little run down, it was such a surreal situation for me to have to call in sick to work for two days in a row.  In fact I had lost my voice almost completely and had been up half of the Sunday night so when I called in to work on the Monday morning somewhere around 5-6am in the morning I struggled to croak out to the school answer phone that it was ‘Mary Moore’ and that I wouldn’t be in that day but would email across cover for my lessons now.  I was finding it really difficult to get much sound out and it wasn’t until I was about to end the phone call that I realised in my ill and half-with-it state that I had given my maiden name instead of my married name, despite having been married for eighteen months now.  When I headed back into work on the Wednesday the cover office told me that they had barely been able to make out my voicemail message but had heard the name at the start so sent cover for a teacher called Miss Moore  (in a different department) instead!  Whoops!

Anyway, despite having been back for three full weeks now my energy levels have struggled to return and I was left feeing pretty run down.  My cough was so bad for the first fortnight that the one or two runs I did head out on were followed by severe coughing fits so bad that I had to head straight to bed on my return home as I gave myself such a bad headache from coughing.  There have been several nights when I’ve been in bed by 9-9:30pm and my usual 4:15am alarm has been swapped to 5:30am so all school work has been completed in the evening instead of some getting crossed off before school begins.  I haven’t had the energy to fit in many runs or felt creative enough to get much writing in either and I’ve struggled to concentrate to read much online at all.  :(

Like I said though, I’m finally beginning to feel more on top of things again.  It has been nice to tick off a few more parkruns over the past couple of weeks and not have the pressure of time at them, knowing that I wasn’t 100%.

Last week I decided to head to Peterborough parkrun for a change.  I needed to nip into Peterborough to see a friend whose birthday it had been during the week and really didn’t fancy a third week in a row of getting stuck in roadworks on the way to the Northampton parkrun.

It’s been a while since I have been to the Peterborough parkrun and for the first time they were operating a new charge to park at Ferry Meadows – the parkrun venue.  The parkrun team had done a good job of negotiating a discount for parkrunners with the car park team but it was still a bit off-putting to have to pay for parking at a parkrun, although I can understand why it is necessary in some places.  Still, I would prefer if the money, or some of the money went to maintaining parkrun.  The Race Director made sure to explain how runners could access the discounted prices by entering a parkrun discount code when paying for the parking at the end of the run and it ended up costing runners just £1 to park in the car park that day.

We headed down to the start of the run on time and I moved myself closer to the back than I would normally place myself, aware that having been ill for so long my times would not be up to my usual standard.  When we began though it actually took 22 seconds for me to cross the start line!  Even after I crossed the line the route was so tightly packed of runners that I struggled to get past anyone or extend my usually quite long stride.

It took until my second lap of the park before I felt I could really stretch my legs out a little.

Peterborough parkrunAnd even then it was still fairly crowded.  The second lap went by marginally faster, probably because I wasn’t having to force such a choppy stride and dodge in and out of other runners as much as I had been.

When I headed up the slight incline that leads through to the finish funnel I decided to push it a bit and gave a sprint finish, but my lungs, head and chest regretted it as soon as I crossed the line.  The hard finish caused me to cough violently making both my head and chest pound for several minutes before calming down.Peterborough parkrun finish

Annoyingly, when I checked my watch I hadn’t even hit the 30 minute mark, finishing slightly over.

Garmin time: 30:12 (over 3.22m)
Official time: 30:15
Position: 257/426
Gender position: 72/189
Age category position: 13/29

There were 426 runners at Peterborough parkrun last week which I thought was quite a lot, but as I was listing all the parkrun results on my running club website on Monday afternoon I checked how many had run at Bushy parkrun, as one of our runners had made his way there for a bit of tourism. – 1060 runners!  That is insane.  Apparently the highest number of runners they have ever had is 1705!

I have felt rather envious of everyone out completing their 20 milers over the past couple of weeks but my body won’t be ready for a marathon this Spring now.  I did spend a spare twenty minutes earlier in the week logging all of my marathon and ultras to date onto the 100 Marathon Club application form ready for the day (way in the future!) when I apply though!

100 Marathon Club

What is the longest distance you are running at the moment?
How far has being ill put your training back in the past?

10 thoughts on “Busy parkruns

  1. It takes a long time to get better sometimes- glad you are coming out the other side now. Last year I had a cough and got very run down, not helped by Ofsted and a bereavement on the same day- I had a few days off work here and there but only managed to get rid of my cough when we went to Spain over Christmas.
    Parkruns get so busy now -it’s brilliant and shows that there is such a need for communities to get together and do something positive. The St Albans parkrun has car park charges- they charge from 9.30am so in theory you could run it (it’s flat and fast) and be scanned before the payment begins, but I never liked to chance it, especially as it’s so busy now that even if you run quickly you may be waiting to be scanned for a while. I do think that the councils should allow free parking because in the long run the benefits to health and boost to the local businesses must bring more to them.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Parkrun graduation!My Profile

    1. Oh that’s a pain that charging starts at 9:30. It would be nice of them to not charge until 10 so that it gave ALL runners a chance to finish. I agree about the benefits to people’s health. I’m sure all of the local cafes get a nice extra income boost on a Saturday morning as well!

  2. That sucks about being ill, I hope you are recovering now- I think in that sort of situation rest is best, and it just takes time to get over things. Cardiff parkrun is massive now, I’ve been when there’s been 6-700 runners, and like you say it takes so long to get across the line, it’s great to see that many people out and enjoying it though. I am currently on taper, so my long run this week was a half yesterday-bliss!
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…My First DNFMy Profile

  3. Ahh glad to hear you’re on the mend. My mum has a chest infection so she’s constantly coughing at the moment and I feel so sorry for her. Her voice all but disappeared too. Ironic really considering she’s works at the Ear, Nose and Throat department in a hospital!
    Our local parkrun charged about a £1 as well for parking. Luckily because I always set-up and close-down I have a pass on my car so I don’t have to pay. There are other places to park for no charge but they’re a bit of a walk. I think the most I’ve ever paid was at moors Valley when I was too late leaving the car park and got charge over £6 for the parking as I’d gone over the time when it was free.
    We only have around 150-200 runners at Netley which is nice!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Easter WeekendMy Profile

    1. I hope your Mum is feeling better now. :) I guess if she works at the Ear, Nose and Throat department she is probably subjected to people who have ear, nose and throat problems all day, meaning she is more likely to pick up any of the bugs going round?
      £6 for parkrun parking is a crazy amount! Here’s me whinging about £1!

  4. Glad to hear you’re on the mend! Don’t worry about the maiden name thing – we’ve been married for 2.5 years and I called myself by my maiden name during a seminar last week. Oops!

    I can’t believe Bushy has so many runners! That is completely bonkers!
    Steph recently posted…Easter weekendMy Profile

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