Saturday, 28 December 2013

South Shields Park Run

When my alarm went off at 7am this morning I was so tempted to turn it off and go back to sleep! I couldn't understand why I had agreed to do another parkrun when I could have stayed in bed where it was nice and warm. I'd agreed to pick my friend up and meet my sister and some other Great North Run Beer Tenters at the parkrun in South Shields so going back to sleep wasn't an option!

Rachael and I arrived in South Shields bright and early (8.20am) and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful sky as the sun was rising! It made getting up so early on a Saturday much more worthwhile :-) Joanne arrived not long after us (I text her to tell her we'd arrived) and she came and sat in my car with us while we waited for everyone else to arrive and the Parkrun to begin!

Pretty sunrise
As more people started to arrive I began to get excited to be running at the coast. I recognised Sarah from the Facebook Group (who suggested we do the South Shields parkrun today - thanks Sarah!). I also saw Kelly so we got out the car to say hello. Andy also arrived and we took some group photos. We knew Dawn and Alex were coming too but they hadn't arrived in time for this photo - they're always fashionably late ;)

Group photo before we began! Thanks Joanne for taking the photo :-)
Joanne and I headed to the back of the runners and waited for the whistle to blow! I set my Garmin and began to run! Just as we started, Dawn and Alex got to the back and went running quickly past us - just on time! :) Joanne and I set off slowly - I'm still not fast and Joanne said she would stay with me. South Shields is Joanne's local run and it was nice to be able to run it with her!

There were lots of puddles and mud and a few more inclines than I was expecting, (I thought maybe I'd got lost and ended up doing cross country ;) but Joanne's persistent encouragement kept me going!  She reminded me of the cup of tea waiting for me at the end of my run which also helped!

The little bit of hill training I did at my last running group session helped with the inclines. The run is currently in reverse for the winter so there were more downhills than up. It was a difficult run and at times I felt like giving up. If it wasn't for Joanne's encouragement I think I might have done as there weren't many volunteers today so I wouldn't have known where I was going and it would have been quite lonely!

The scenery is beautiful and I am glad I decided to get up and run this morning! Joanne told me when we could see the finish and I've never felt so relieved in my life! It still felt like quite a way to go but I was glad I could see the finish line! We were right at the back (Joanne was my very own tail runner - there wasn't one today) so we were last across the finish! The final stretch was the most difficult - running through sand! I didn't think it was ever going to end!

We met up with the others in the club hut and got our bar codes scanned. I came in 86th place (out of 86!) with a time of 39.40! This is quicker than the last Parkrun I did which I wasn't expecting as it was a more difficult run. I think I did better as I walked less (due to Joanne's brilliant encouragement). I am so proud of myself and can't wait for the next one!

After the run we went for a cup of tea!  I also had cake (as a reward for running!) - I'd like to point out that I had already had breakfast and this was my mid-morning snack ;)

We got another group photo and chatted about the morning's run! I had a brilliant morning and am looking forward to running again soon. I still find running difficult (and my left knee has been sore all day) but the sense of achievement I feel is worth all the pain!

Group photo (this time with Dawn and Alex :)

Well done everyone! Lovely location, lovely people and lovely morning :-) hope to see you all again soon!

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