Parkrun wins and a field of cows

This week has been busy (the start of term always is). On Tuesday I had a lovely run with the OH ladies (we did 5.85 miles, and so in the car park ended up doing loops to round it up to 6 to make our run leader happy), but on Wednesday I was tired, got home late, so just had tea and TV instead (and a little walk). On Thursday I had a late meeting, and got home after Pump usually starts, so on Friday I went for a run after work. I didn’t plan a route- initially I thought I would do an out and back, but once I got onto the fields I decided to try the loop (I have not done that since the time with the creepy man).

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It was only when I got to the cow field gate that I realised I was wearing a red top! (Although that apparently is a myth). I could not see any cows, so I decided to run through as fast as I could, and was very relieved when I got to the other side!

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It turned out they were in another field, and I did think about running through it to avoid a big boggy patch, but look how big the horns are! And it was right by the path! Instead I amused myself by taking some cow selfies (they are on the other side of a fence).

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That’s how I feel when I see them! I do not want to run in the same field!

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In the end the route I took ran along the side of the field (on the other side of the fence) and in the corner there were some calves- they took a big interest in me and slowly walked towards me as I took some pictures.

It was a really fun run in the end- I did around 4.5 miles, and although the overall time took longer (because of the stopping and taking silly photos) I managed some speedy miles according to Strava. And do you know what? I love seeing animals on my runs, and I love stopping to take photos, and it was just fab to have a run where the time, distance etc didn’t matter. I was glad no-one came past as I was taking my silly pictures though! Also, I saw so many blackberry bushes and was so annoyed that I had forgotten to take a sandwich bag with me. Next time maybe.

So, I was debating on my haircut last week. But in the end, the lure of parkrun was too great. So I headed off on Saturday morning.

One of the OH ladies was tail running, so I chatted her for a bit but after last week (where I did a lot of stop-starting at the beginning) I decided to start in the middle, but the RD wanted everyone to move up a bit, so I ended up being really close to the front. It was a bit of a sprint start for me, and the muscles around my hips/ glutes were burning after a minute or so. It took a good mile for me to get my breathing back, but then the sun came out and it was just so pretty so that helped take my mind off it. Often the middle mile is my slowest, even though it is mainly downhill, so I decided to follow one of the run leaders advice and use my arms- I normally only use them on hills (well, I forget to drive them properly) but as I was tired after the sprint start I decided to see if they would help me power through.

The final mile felt tough, but I told myself that I was close to the finish. I think I was really grimmacing as I ran up the final hill (well, attempted to run- it really feels like going backwards!)- one guy who had finished shouted some encouragement which helped.

As I got my finish token I was surprised to see number 110- I think normally I am around 140-170, but I did wonder if it was a smaller turnout.

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A bit muddy! May have to get the trail shoes out soon!

I felt pretty rubbish when I stopped, so I quickly got my chip scanned, bought a drink from the coffee van, and headed back to my car. The chai latte perked me up, and I noticed that an OH lady had parked behind me (we have the same car) so I waited for her to walk along and had a quick chat.

I was very pleased when I got my text though- my time was 27.55, which I think is my second fastest time. My pb for that course is 27.44 which I got on my birthday. Also, when I did the San Fran one, I did it in 27.45, and that was a totally flat course, so to be close to those times was pretty pleasing. Β There were 232 runners, so not really a smaller turnout. I don’t really do parkruns for the time, but a new pb (or getting close to one) is always good. Plus according to Strava (Strava is my friend right now as it takes out all the stopping time for me) I did my fastest ever mile effort, at 8.35! And a segment PB on “steep slog”, which according to the map is around the lake. Gosh lots of stats- basically, I was happy!

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I had some buckwheat pancakes + cherries for a celebration!

Then it was time to get ready for the wedding- of course it would have been nice to have two people dry my hair for me, but it was fine for me to do it myself.

The wedding was lovely- it was a uni friend, and so we picked up another friend and her husband on the way, got to the venue early so popped into town for a drink (and I ended up getting some boots from White Stuff- I saw them online but they were out of stock in my size- 20% off too!), then headed to the wedding. It was in such a lovely setting, and the weather was just perfect- sunlight streaming in through the windows, lovely photos outside.

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There was a meal after in a gorgeous country pub a few miles away, so we spent the evening enjoying dinner and catching up, before driving back home.

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Loved the cute little wedding favours.

This morning I took it easy, had breakfast, and then went out on a run at about 12, although it was rather warm and I realised after 2 miles that I had only had a cup of tea to drink- not the most sensible. I made up my route as I went along, doing a combinations of routes that we have run with the club (including that hill)- at one point I ran through a little path and got stung by stinging nettles.

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I was loving the sunshine! (Well here I was loving the shade as it was getting pretty warm and I was wishing I had worn a vest and not a t-shirt).

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7.77 miles! All the lucky 7’s! I was pleased with that too!

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Sadly I had already had breakfast, so could not have pancakes- I made do with a quick lunch of ryvita, tomato pesto, avocado, coconut water and half a flapjack (saved the other half for later) as I had to rush out to the shops before they closed.

Do you stop on runs or do you prefer to keep going? Do you plan out routes in advance? Did you have a good weekend?

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16 thoughts on “Parkrun wins and a field of cows

  1. Love that cow selfie! Haha! I’m a little nervous about running through cow fields now. One of our club runners was hospitalised with broken ribs and arm a couple of years back. It always amazes me how many footpaths seem to run directly through cow fields though. Surely there are loads of accidents?
    Well done on your speedy parkrun. I have been using parkruns as a mix between tempo runs and social runs just lately. But like you say, a good time is always a bonus! πŸ™‚
    Lovely weather for a wedding this weekend!

    • I was amusing myself too! Although it took a very long time to line up the phone (when the camera flips the other way if you move left it goes right- confusing).
      They just ask for dogs to be on short leads but of course a lot of people ignore that too.

  2. Haha that selfie is IMMENSE!! If it’s a long run I try to plan it out so I know I’ll deffo make the distance, but it’s also really nice to just get out and go. Depends what you’re training for I guess. And how many bulls in the field…

  3. That photo with the cows is hilarious πŸ™‚ I would be very wary of them too – I have a healthy respect for cows and horses too. They’re pretty unpredictable and it’s understandable how they would want to protect themselves from humans. I always hope they can sense vegans and therefore won’t hurt me, but I’m not about to test out that theory!

    I hate stopping on runs: it feels like cheating. I have to stop my Garmin at a couple of busy junctions though, because I found myself taking dangerous risks to avoid ending up adding time/messing up my splits. If it’s absolutely unavoidable and not my fault then I have to live with feeling dishonest as opposed to getting myself run over because I can’t stand stopping. I try not to do that route too often, but it is the most direct to my gym so if I want to run down there I can’t avoid it.

    Congrats on such a fab Parkrun, and also on ending your run with 7.77 miles. I absolutely love doing that and my favourite distances are always recurring numbers (11.11, 13.13. 20.20 etc.)

    • I was very pleased with the number! πŸ™‚
      I think if I stopped my Garmin I would forget to start it again- that’s why Strava is so good – makes me seem faster!

  4. I love not having to stop my Garmin with Strava!

    I tend to plan my route at the moment – marathon training (less than a week to go). We don’t so much plan it if we’re doing hills round the heath – that tends to be a bit “oh, we only need to do x miles, let’s just meander about…”

    • Oh yes when I was marathon training I had to plan out routes to make sure I went far enough. I love a meander though πŸ™‚

  5. Firstly that photo with you and the cows is SO good. It’s really funny πŸ™‚ I honestly didn’t think cows were dangerous (but I understand why people would be wary of them!) but then I heard on the news a woman getting trampled to death by one and now I’m thinking I need to be a bit more careful!!
    Secondly, I know what you mean about the berries! I keep seeing so many people picking berries and I often berate myself for not bringing a bag when I walk Alfie as my longer route for his evening walk has loads of them!!
    And yay to choosing parkrun! πŸ˜€ Definitely the right choice. I love all the stats! I think that’s the only reason I wear my HR monitor…to get more data hehe.
    And well done for your great time as well. Sounds like you’re having a good time with running at the moment! parkrun’s are really the only time I’ll ever be able to get a 5k PB as I avoid 5ks like the plague otherwise hehe.
    I much prefer to plan my routes as otherwise I can’t zone out and I have to do maths and calculations in my head which I hate. Though I do like taking photos on runs, especially if there’s beautiful scenery.

  6. Lately I’ve really been taken time to stop during my runs, especially if there is a beautiful view or something really eye catching. I used to never stop during any runs, but actually you realise that you miss quite a lot if you don’t stop to take it in. Well done on the almost pb!

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