Today I got up the courage to finally go to my local park run. I’m all out of excuses – I know the route enough, I can do 5k easily enough, I’ve ran surrounded by bigger crowds, my mum always babysits when I ask. So yeah, I decided today was the day.
I got there 15mins early with my bar code in hand. I read the website last night but still couldn’t figure out how it worked, all I knew was I needed my bar code – and I had it. As soon as I walked on the park someone said hello and it took me so much by surprise that it relaxed me instantly. So much so that I even approached someone to ask where I had to go – that’s not something I do! I hide at the back, I clam up, I stare at the ground and don’t look anyone in the eye.
Not today though. I checked the print out of the route and went to stand near the start line. Not at the front but close enough to it. I knew I wasn’t going to be in the first finishers but I was hopeful I would get a good time for me. I didn’t even have my earphones with me as I had decided to try and just take it all in.
The hooter went off and away we went. Those at the front took off in a splurge of mud and were gone in a blink of an eye. It’s a flat route so I stayed comfortable. Past the first Marshall who is the wife of my running groups leader – she’s always smiling and I mean always! It was good to see a familiar face. Sure enough a little bit further and Steve was there marshalling also (running group leader). He shouted at me to keep my foot steps light which was what we were focusing on at the last run. It instantly made me more aware of the heavy steps around me.
Up and on to the muddy section and this bit I didn’t like. I had to slow right down and it just re-iterated that I like trail running but only in the dry! This section must have been over 1km long, felt like the full 5 though.
As it was an out and back route I came past Steve again who this time told me I could beat those in front. He thinks I’m competitive. I’m not. Not really. Well a little bit. But only a little bit. So I pushed. Not hard enough as I didn’t beat them but I refused to let anyone else past me.
I’m not competitive.
The final push and that was it done. My first ever park run! I got my token and the precious bar code scanned and stood at the side watching others come in. It was nice. A little awkward as I was completely by myself but I was almost ok. That’s an improvement trust me. Before I would have legged it to the car straight away. This time I lasted a good few minutes.
I was happy with that. Little steps and that. But when my results came in I was even happier! 6th female!! And first in my group. That’s an accomplishment I’m happy to get!