As JogBlog has been blogging and Tweeting and Facebooking for the last day, today was to include a first ever parkrun. Whitstable was the venue, we got up and arrived on time having bumped into another newbie and all (except not knowing where the start was and running around half a mile up and down the slopes around the start area beach huts to check we were in the right place) was going swimmingly.
I haven’t been to Whitstable much. Worked loads on a house in neighbouring Chestfield; run along the front once from Chestfield to the far end of Whitstable during my marathon training after a day working, visited his mum and dad’s house a couple of times and worked on Whitstable and Tankerton hospital nearer the bypass than the sea. That’s the limit of my experience. I can now add a slow meander along the front again as well as a drive through the main roads.
The run seemed quite nice. Despite wanting to hold prejudices regarding my dislike of brands trying too hard and protecting themselves and seeming pretentious from the outside (the whole lower-case thing I mentioned yesterday. I just like simple. I am old.), the volunteers all seemed genuinely enthusiastic. The runners weren’t very chatty as we ambled along but maybe they were racing rather than running. I know not, I didn’t ask them. The course is interesting enough for a one-off run but is apparently not the usual route. We did a loop at the end of a bit of muddy field. Usually it’s two laps based around the finish hut and the boat ramp. I found this out both at the end while chatting and while on the loop at the midway point with a man in his 50 parkruns shirt who did actually engage in brief conversation as we jumped muddy bits together. He’s done all his runs at Whitstable. He must be way bored of the route, the fierce side slopes on all but the concrete shelf on the beach edge and the wind. Seemed happy enough, though.
I planned to stick to my 8ish minute mile pace instead but slipped up by speeding up a tadge for the last mile. Must have been the wind assistance. Or maybe the desire to warm up. It was a bit chilly.
Fun enough, though. JB wants to go back later in February; assuming I’m uninjured and it’s a bit warmer I’ll enjoy another outing, as well as the probability of knocking a few minutes off my time.
While waiting for JB to finish I jogged back to meet her and get rid of her barcode as well as getting rid of a bit more mileage before the afternoon and it’s a good job I did, but a shame I didn’t go further.
This afternoon my run was one I’ll try to forget.
I was in two minds about a 3 mile route and a 4.75 one. It was raining lightly (hard style rain, ie. big spots in the wind, but not many of them so it took a while to get properly wet) but with the wind and the first uphill I couldn’t relax despite trying to and by half a mile I had a stitch right across my midriff. Once I’d elected to try for the longer route things seemed easier. For about a mile. But just short of 2 miles I cramped right up. Stopped in my tracks I simply waited for some pain to ease, turned around and headed for home feeling a bit deflated. And proceeded to stop a further 4 times along the way, feeling awful as well as getting rapidly chillier as home got closer.
Ah, well, Janathon was never meant to be easy. Fingers crossed a couple of pints tonight with a lie in tomorrow will regenerate some plodding ability.