I'm not a runner. Never have been. In fact, I thought Dan was a little bit crazy. He's the runner in this house and in true Dan fashion he doesn't do it half heartedly - he's obsessed!!! But I went to watch him in the Great Manchester Run the other week and all of a sudden I got it! I think the nice weather helped but it was just a really lovely day. Great atmosphere, kind of a buzz around town and after the run spent the afternoon with lots of his parkrun friends. Loads of people, all different abilities and reasons for running but all having a great day together. Started to think to myself 'I want a bit of this' and decided to get in training so I could be there next year.
I've been lucky that I've got Dan as my very own coach. He's just the right mix of bossy and supportive to keep me going. He got me a training plan together and off we went. And then I saw this.
If you know me well or you read this blog, you'll know that World Vision is a charity I support. I sponsor a little girl through them and think they do fantastic work. I'm already doing some fundraising for them with my Great Manchester Swim challenge but this just seemed ideal. Dan is a regular parkrunner and has been nagging me to go along for a while. I'd already managed to get myself talked into going today so why not take on the challenge.
The idea of the Team World Vision 5k challenge is that you commit yourself to running a certain number of parkruns in a year. At first I was going to go for 12 but I thought that was a bit of a copout so I've gone for 24. I think going from absolutely nothing to 2 a month is challenging enough.
So this morning was my first parkrun. I was down at Alexandra Park with Dan nice and early. Too early for my liking, it just gave me more time to get nervous. Seriously, I felt sick and I was frightened to death. I don't even know what I was scared of, but I was scared! I was convinced I wouldn't be able to do 5k, we've not gone that far while training yet, and even if I did I was sure I was going to be last. So much so that when they were explaining the course route and said just follow the person in front I was convinced I wouldn't even be able to see the person in front they'd be so far ahead.
So the run - it was hard work!!! But I made it, and I actually quite enjoyed it in a I'm going to die kind of way. Oldham parkrun is hilly - VERY hilly and it was hot out there. I still managed to get round four minutes faster than my last 5k run (a long time ago!) though - and that one was flat!!! I was hot, tired, sweaty and looked a mess but I made it in 41 minutes 15 seconds and I was very proud of my little self. Oh - and I wasn't last!!!!!
There's even photographic evidence for those (like me!) who can't quite believe I spent my Saturday morning running. One down, twenty three to go - you can sponsor me here or by texting JANY£5 (or whatever you want to donate) to 70070. Thank you so much.