parkrun tourism @ darebin

What do they say about parkrun launches? Not one for ages then 2 come along at once! (Yes, I know. That’s really about buses but whatever!). I’m a bit behind in my blogging so stay tuned for launch #2.

However, back to launch #1….last week, we headed to Darebin for their parkrun launch – about an hour’s drive from home so not too far. Making it even better was the fact that a whole bunch of us had decided to do the tourist thing so I it felt like a home parkrun even though it wasn’t.

We arrived in time to get a car park in the main car park (although it was a bit touch and go!), queue up for the toilet and still have time for a chat before briefing. In fact the briefing was also very efficient as, even allowing time for the welcome to country, greeting by the Territory Director and briefing by our Run Director, we still had breathing time before the start time. Tick. This is another run supported by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service so it was particularly pleasing to see so many parkrunners attend.

The Darebin course is an out and back course along the Darebin Creek Trail. It has some undulations although nothing terrible and the scenery is pretty – another hidden treasure amidst suburbia. For this event, I had plenty of time to experience it – I was walking, having injured myself a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends who were also walking so the time felt like it moved very quickly as we chatted our way along the course.

The crowd of parkrunners were very encouraging and supportive with cheers and smiles all the way along from runners and walkers. It was also great to see such a diverse range of participants – I love how launches bring out speedy runners, beginning runners, Saturday strollers and everyone in between.

Overall, another great parkrun kicked off with a very successful launch with 252 parkunners. Well done to the event team for both a smooth delivery on the day and for the months of work behind the scenes to pull it all together.

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Lucky to be able to walk the scenic course with these 2 fabulous friends

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Dopey challenge – here we come!

My alarm went off at 3.45am on Wednesday morning and I actually bounded out of bed. This day had felt like a loooooong time coming; something I’d been thinking about for over a year. I opened up my computer and headed to the Run Disney site……to register for the Dopey challenge (insert freaked out emoticon here!).

To say I felt nervous is a large understatement – my butterflies rivalled those I’ve had at the starting line of major events. It’s a just another event, surely. Why the nerves? There are so many reasons, many of them not particularly rational. We’ve booked in nearly a year ahead so that’s a long time for things to go wrong. I’m not actually running at the moment because I’m injured. The furthest I’ve run is 23km, yet I’ve signed up to nearly 4 times that over 4 days. I haven’t booked the airfares or actually figured out how I will pay for them. But, in the end, these felt like minor details. This event has been on my bucket list since I started running and, if not now, when?

So, it’s done. I was so ridiculously excited that I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and must have annoyed my workmates with my constant chatter about it. I have a long journey ahead but an exciting one. Bring it on 🙂

Everything to live for by Turia Pitt- book review

As you may have read in my last blog post, I’m injured. For the record, that actually got worse today as I, without thinking, went to run up some steps to catch a train. The fact I actually heard something tear in my leg might tell you that it wasn’t a good outcome. I stood shocked for a little while before gathering myself enough to hobble to the train. Bleurgh. I’d already planned to take a couple of weeks off, now I’m doing at least that on doctor’s orders.

The ‘wallowing in self pity’ thing was threatening to take over as it had already been brewing since Saturday. So I searched for a remedy – one that would help me balance and remember that this really is just a little injury and not the end of the world. Hence why I found myself re-reading ‘Everything to live for‘ by Turia Pitt.

For those not familiar with her story, Turia (along with several other runners) were injured during an Ultramarathon in the Kimberley in Western Australia in 2011. ‘Injured’ really is a completely inadequate word – Turia received burns to 65% of her body, resulting in four fingers and a thumb requiring amputation, extensive skin grafts and ongoing operations.

The book opens with an introduction to Turia’s life and leads you up to the event. The account of the event itself is nothing short of horrific. It’s the second time I’ve read this book and I still cried – that they lived through what they did is simply incredible. The remainder of the book is dedicated to her long and painful road to recovery, surrounded and supported by her wonderful family and friends. I found myself willing her on, joining in as her personal cheer squad. For someone to have been through so much but to continue to aim high and push towards her goals is beyond inspiring.

If there is one book capable of making you grateful for what you have and aware of how cruel, painful and torturous life can be, this is it. What stands out above all of that is Turia’s spirit – never broken. She is one of my heroes – someone whose tenacity, perseverance and sense of gratitude I have often drawn on during long runs. Now I’m drawing on it when I can’t run. What Turia has been through is unimaginable and yet she’s come out the other side and conquered things I only dream of. She’s an ironwoman! In comparison, my ickle calf tear really is just a blip and not worthy of the theatrics I wanted to give. So, yet again, I’m in her debt for providing me with a sense of perspective.

If you haven’t read this book, you must. Probably with a box of tissues. Just don’t expect to come out of it the same as you went in. (And I’m really, really looking forward to her next book.)

meh

Today should be my long run day. My brain clearly knew it as I was awake at 6am and feeling enthusiastic and eager. My body, unfortunately, has other ideas.

From the first few steps at parkrun yesterday, I knew that my calf was still not quite right, despite a great morning run on Thursday without pain. By 1km into parkrun, I was walking and not happy. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve contemplated not finishing a parkrun – yesterday was one of them. I did finish it and managed to walk pretty quickly (45 minutes with 4km of walking isn’t bad) but really had to work on not feeling miserable the whole time.

So I’m not doing a long run today. And have decided to take 2 weeks off running. Even typing that hurts. What will I do if I don’t run? Early apologies to my husband and cats for my moods that will inevitably result. The only consolation is that at least this is now and not when I’m halfway through my marathon training plan. My next event isn’t until early April so this really is a blip and not a major setback.

Here’s to fast healing and a quick return to running!