I knew how much I hated running cross country so the thought of waking up on a Saturday morning to run parkrun did not appeal to me at all. When all my running friends were clocking up parkrun milestones, I kept a low profile.
But it was the incessant nagging from another Running Junkie, Francis, which I simply could not ignore any longer and decided I’d run my first parkrun, but also to celebrate her 50th one.
And did I enjoy myself? Will I be back? In thinking of answers to these questions some things stood out for me from my parkrun experience.
Some positives and negatives which I’m calling “parkrun lessons to take into 2017“…
1. Don’t knock it ’till you try it: It wasn’t fair of me to have made up my mind about parkrun without ever having run one. Often what stops us from doing something is a preconceived idea which prevents us from giving things a chance. I’m going to take more chances in 2017 and be braver.
2. There’s always admin: If I must be honest, the whole barcode story of parkrun irritates me. With everything online nowadays, I wish parkrun had an app that would sync automatically with the likes of Strava, Garmin, Nike+ etc. to record your runs. But I guess in life, not everything is that easy. There are and will always be bloody admin; the stuff we all hate to do. Just do it!
3. Allow people to carry you when the going gets tough: A man ran to the finish line carrying his dog on his shoulders. Classic move! In chatting to him afterwards, he said the little guy got to 1km and was tired and couldn’t go on anymore. I don’t ask for help as often as I should. I carry around my stress and anxiety and don’t allow myself to acknowledge that some days, I need help. I know that I am surrounded by the most amazing family & friends who will gladly, and without hesitation, lift me up on their shoulders and carry me. Figuratively, of course! Don’t panic loved ones!
4. Push through the uphill struggles because the downhills come. Eventually: Delta Park parkrun starts with a crazy uphill but as you reach 3kms, it’s all downhill to the end. I kept hearing Coach Dave tell me this as we ran. I didn’t believe him, but when that downhill arrived, man it was glorious and I picked up my pace. When the going gets tough, be patient, the downhills will come Bron.
5. Make time to celebrate: To celebrate her 50th parkrun, Francis arrived with bottles of bubbly and cake. Dressed in her well-deserved red 50th parkrun t-shirt, it reminded me that we don’t take time to celebrate our successes anymore in life. We don’t stop to acknowledge what we’ve accomplished and we don’t reward ourselves for the hard work we put in. We need to do more of that! And we need to celebrate with our family & friends more often!
Here’s to an amazing 2017 year ahead, and yes, more parkruns!
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I was also a bit reluctant to get involved in parkrun (despite living over the road from one!) but have embraced it now. I know what you mean about an app. I think someone else said this in a comment above, I guess not everyone could get the app. Maybe they could have both though and then people would have the option.
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Everyone has a cellphone (well almost everyone), so maybe it’s not an app but something like Snapscan? But yeah, I like the best of both worlds thinking. And loving across the road must mean you get to sleep in a bit! Lekker!
I love that you FINALLY did a parkrun and that you enjoyed it – one of my goals this year is to just focus on getting back my love of running, I think 5km distance is a great building block and parkruns are a great way to make sure you get a run in every week!
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I’ve run shorter distances lately and I’m actually loving it! The 5km is a fab distance!
I love reading your posts! I still haven’t done a park run – I never seem to be in the right place at the right time. Maybe 2017 will be the year 😀
I’m amazed at how popular they are. Even overseas! So they are pretty easy to find (my way of saying, no excuses! LOL) Yes, let’s make 2017 the year of doing new and exciting things! Even if it’s a 5km parkrun!
ps: thanks for reading my blog and the lovely feedback!
Which begs the question…..when is your second Parkrun?
BTW, Parkrun is meant for everyone and has to be accessible to everyone hence the barcode system. An app might be a way off still.
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