On Saturday I managed to get out running for the first time in ages. I was staying with my parents in West London and I had optimistically taken my running gear should I feel brave enough to test my calf out. It just so happens that on Saturday I felt confident to try it out, mainly because I’d run around with my children on Friday afternoon with no calf pain retribution. This odd little subjective measure felt like it was a green light to get out again.
As I got changed into my running gear on Saturday morning my Mum spotted me and asked if she could come running with me. I looked at my watch and worked out that I could take my Mum to the park across the road, do her walk run with her and still have time to jog up to the start of the Crane Parkrun.
Mum had kindly loaned me one of her sports bras as I had been a doofus and forgotten mine (interesting situation considering she’s an ample 36D and I’m a 32 *whisper whisper*). The least I could do now was help her with her running. We walked across the road to the park and we got jogging. We did a minute on, minute off and during the minute on I would chat to her, making sure she could still chat to me and wasn’t going to quickly. At the ten minute mark she was ready to quit but I suggested one more go, I stretched this minute to a minute and a half without telling her.
‘That was a long minute’, she said when we stopped to walk.
‘That’s because it wasn’t a minute’. She laughed and we walked for a minute. Then we jogged another minute, walked and then when we were nearing the gate I got her to keep going until we’d run another minute and a half. All told my Mum had managed 17 and a half minutes of exercise. I was thrilled for her and so so proud. My Mum is 64 and from a generation where exercise was something that men did. When she was at school she wasn’t allowed to do sport because of her asthma and when I was a teenage athlete she was always perplexed that I enjoyed running, fascinated that I wanted to train rather than stay at home. Maybe now she’ll see why I love it so much.
I walked Mum home and then headed up to Crane Park for my first Parkrun there. I joined 68 runners in a lovely park tucked away in suburban West London, an event that is shadowed by it’s much larger and more established neighbour in Bushy Park. It was a pleasure to help support a smaller event and I really enjoyed it, despite feeling the burn of having done so little running of late. I even slowed to help a young lad who had a stitch. His thanks to me was to run ahead of me in a burst of speed.
When I got home I felt the glow, not just of running but of the fact I’d been able to share running with other people for the morning. I’ve got so used to training on my own I’d forgotten how good it feels to help someone who is getting into running or to be surrounded by the running community at Parkrun. Saturday’s running wasn’t all about me and it felt good not to be looking so inwardly, something of a bad habit of mine as a runner.
If you want more information about Crane Parkrun, perfect if you’re living in Whitton, Hanworth, Feltham, Hampton (take the 111 in the opposite direction to Bushy) or Twickenham then go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk/crane/. I also heard that they’re desperate for volunteers at the moment (they had no marshalls on the course) so if you want some good running karma then maybe try and help them out (bit far for me in South Wales but I might give them a shout when I’m next up).
P.S I managed a 23.40 5k on Saturday. So chuffed after my lack of running lately.