I'm not great with early mornings but this morning I was up and dressed and ready to go by 8am to get to Telford town park in time for the start of their first ever Parkrun.
Parkrun is a not-for-profit organisation that arranges weekly, timed 5K runs all over the world. They are open to everyone and free to enter. It was exactly what I needed to get me on target for my goal of running 40 miles between now and Easter for my slightly modified Lent commitment.
It was a beautiful sunny morning (not exactly warm by any stretch of the imagination... but uplifting) and the route through the town park was lovely. One hundred and seventy eight runners turned up to take part and there was lots of support on the way round from the marshals and other park users. I ran with my daughter and my husband (while my daughter's boyfriend shot off to run it in a time that put our efforts to shame!)
I am still recovering from a horrible cough and cold and the exertion made it very difficult to breathe properly but I battled onwards and ran the whole 5K without stopping. Just under 36 minutes was a pretty rubbish time but I was delighted to have survived it and felt a great sense of achievement.
I'm sure my husband could run much faster than me if he really wanted to but he is more used to running on a treadmill and he does suffer with a niggling pain in his hip and calf tightness so he ran at my pace all the way. We crossed the finish line together holding hands (a little lingering Valentine's romance).
It was a friendly, well organised event and I really enjoyed taking part. Hopefully, it will be the first of many Parkruns for me and although I know I will never be in the top half of the field, not coming last and making small improvements to my personal best will make me a very happy woman.