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Monday, 21 November 2011

The enticing pull of parkrun

I am injured. I have been on and off for months, but I still can't get parkrun out of my head.

I can't resist the thought of turning up on a Saturday morning, seeing the same faces of the like-minded people of Coventry who just can't resist a Saturday morning parkrun and pushing myself to the limit.

For me its about being the best I can be on any given Saturday. Its also just about being there and doing it, "because its there". I have always been the type to try and do something (anything you can think of), take note of how well I did and then try and do better the next time. Whether that be something physical, mental, or anything else you can think of, that is just the way I am. Competitive!

Its only over the course of time that I have found out that not everyone is made like this, and most people would probably think its strange to know:
- how many keep-uppys you could do 15 or 20 years ago.
- how many miles you have walked during work lunch hours (oh and which route you took each time!).
- how long you spent and how many calories you have burnt each and every time you have got on a static cycling machine.
etc etc.

Reading that back I admit it, I am just a little bit odd!

Anyway, its this element of my make-up that finds the nature of parkrun so enticing. Every single week I can step up to the line against my greatest competitor: ME. I love beating myself (not in that way!). I love doing better than I have before, and knowing how much better I was than before. And the fact that the timing is unbiased, and therefore not subject to cheating, is even better.

And the parkrun website is made for people like me. Your entire history of parkruns (and freedom runs - a feature you will not be surprised to hear that I make very good use of) at your fingertips whenever you want it.

Unfortunately, through injury, its been a long time since I could compete with my best times of early this year, but still there is that competitive element (in me at least). I know that each week, during each of my comebacks, I use the time from the previous week minus a minute as my target time and try to get as close as possible. Perhaps this is part of my problem, religiously sticking to a target time, and being disappointed if I miss it (no matter how fast or slow the target), rather than listening to my body.

And so to this coming Saturday....I know that even though I should really be resting and recovering from the injury, that I will still get that nagging feeling to turn up and run Coventry parkrun. The fact I have "committed" by nagging my sister-in-law to come and do it with me the next time they visit is as good as a contract in my eyes. How rubbish would I be if I have to turn down a jog in the park because of this injury. So no doubt I'll be there on Saturday and by Saturday lunchtime I'll be regretting it. I just can't resist Coventry parkrun!


  1. Wow! I thought I was on my own. I have done 30 parkruns and I am addicted. Cant wait for Saturday mornings. But I love numbers and stats. My main sport is golf, that's all about the numbers. I also do triathlons even more numbers (times and distances) to dwell on.

    I love the blog, hope you get back to running soon. Why don't you try training for  a triathlon, since I have been doing them I have less injuries. My  swimming needed improving, but there are many pool based Tri's events out there.The cross training is really good for you.

    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers Reggie

  2. Cheers Reggie,

    parkrun is great isn't it, such a simple idea but so well implemented. I love the stats too.

    Thanks for your comments. Jogging will do me for now, but I hope that will turn to running soon.

    I have thought about triathlons before, but the swimming bores me a little and my bike is not the best. Its certainly a challenge I'd like to take on at some stage though. My statics bike is certainly something I am benefitting from.

    Thanks again,


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