I love parkrun and this was the first of around 10 I will do this year – hopefully everyone being at a different venue and with as many friends and family as possible!
Today’s plan was to do Burnham on Sea parkrun as it is run on paths and less likely to be as muddy as some, unfortunately the weather gods had other ideas. So Taunton is was.
I have done many parkruns but this one was special as it was my sister Adi’s “comeback run”. She had abdominal surgery four months ago. This came about after some serious swelling in her legs during the Edinburgh Marathon weekend back in May. Despite a swollen ankle, which we thought was probably a reaction to a bite she ran a very respectable Half Marathon but the swelling got much worse the next day. A week in hospital and numerous tests and she was booked in for a hysterectomy which she had in October.
This is a serious operation with a long recovery period. Adi kept active, walking everyday from the start and doing gentle exercises. No running or biking allowed for 16 weeks . A few weeks ago she was allowed back in the pool and after a shaky start was quickly up to 60-80 lengths per session – Go Adi!!
So today at parkrun was a her third run, she has been following the NHS 5k running podcast – where “Laura” talks you through a run/walk programme hopefully getting you up to 5km.
As I said earlier we ended up at Taunton parkrun due to the weather. My lane was so flooded that Adi could not get her little sports car to my house. By the time I had come out to her in my big car and we had found somewhere for her to leave her car, not easy in the country lanes where I live, we had run out of time to drive to Burnham on Sea. The rain was hammering down and we wondered if we should abandon the idea all together. But Taunton is not far and we were out anyway. Funnily enough I had been saving Taunton parkrun as a backup for a weekend when I didn’t want to travel far or didn’t have much time. It was to be my “in an emergency event” . It’s only the beginning of January and I’ve used it up already 🙂
The other reason we didn’t choose Taunton today was because I suspected it would be a mud fest and indeed it was! Mud and huge puddles galore. Thanks goodness for trail shoes 🙂 and my practise run last weekend!
When we started the rain had finally stopped. Adi was not allowed to push herself too much so with the help of “podcast Laura” we ran for 90 seconds followed by a two minute walk. With the crazy mud and flooding this worked well and we adapted it a bit to run when saw a flat dry bit and walk through the thick squelchy stuff. We were both super cautious, Adi as she didn’t want to pull anything and me because I still have 47 events to go!!
The best thing about parkrun is that it’s for everyone, fast, slow, old, young, pram pushers and dog owners (one dog on a lead allowed). So despite our casual pace today there were other people around us and as always the marshals were super encouraging.
It’s a two lap course and we got lapped by the front two runners. First to whizz past for a young lady, storming along (she didn’t look like she has whimped about in the mud like us) , hot on her heals was a young lad who did not want to be “chicked” . I saw him overtake her just before the finish line. We still had another lap to go at this point.
More puddles and lots of splashing but it was cool to be back running with my sister. For some reason, despite crossing the finish line together our times were two minutes apart ??? The timing is done with a stop watch on the finish line – maybe it got stuck 🙂 Anyhoo, Adi got the faster time and although it was ten minutes slower than her PB it’s a great base time to start her come back.
By the way, Adi is responsible for the Go Paula Green tag line. She has supported me at many many events and the one thing that keeps me going is hearing the cow bells and “GO PAULA GREEN” “GO PAULA GREEN”
I’m still collecting for my charity Asthma UK (link in the side bar). Thank you so much for all those that have donated to far – it means so much to me. As parkrun is free I will be donating £10.00 for each one I do this year.