Packing and parkrunning

Are a bit of a tiring combination!

This weekend was the inaugural Ellenbrook Fields parkrun (look it up if you are in Hertfordshire)- our running club had a lot to do with setting it up, particularly our super coach Carrie. A lot of our club were going to be there, whereas often there are only a few of us at parkrun each week. It was novel for me because the start is jut over a mile away, so I could run there instead of driving. I got up a bit later, pottered about and then jogged up to the start. I wore my hat because it had been raining, but I didn’t need it in the end. There were loads of people swarming towards the start- I knew it would be busy as word seems to spread quickly through our running community- there are lots of running clubs nearby, and plenty of towns with clubs but no parkruns (Welwyn, Ware, Harpenden to name a few), plus they had mentioned it a lot of times at Panshanger as the Panshanger team had mentored the Ellenbrook team and been involved in helping with the start up too.

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Our club had a banner out near the start. We love a bit of extra support.

I was there at about 10 to in the end, so had a quick chat with a few of the marshals and runners from our club, before Carrie did a super welcome speech from a fence (as it’s so flat there- no nice hill for her to stand on).

Then we were off! I realised right away I had started a bit too far back, but I wasn’t going for any pb (of course the first official one would be my pb for that parkrun)- I quite liked the idea of beating my time from last week but as I had already run up (and used my Garmin) I could not really work that out. Anyway, the course starts with a little loop (around a km I think), and so during that I took my time overtaking a few people at a time. It was so lovely because I knew most of the marshals (by name too, not just by sight) and so they were cheering all of the OH runners on by name too. I saw a few OH runners up ahead so ran to catch up, and the after chatting for a bit heard someone else call my name- it was someone I used to run at Sweatshop with- I don’t think we had seen each other for over a year, so it was good to have a little chat. Once the first little loop is done, you do the first part of it again before carrying on in a much larger loop.  By then it had thinned out and so I could focus on where was best to run (the ground is a bit uneven). I may be biased but the best marshal (the lovely Donna, my run leader) was yelling at the top of her lungs at around the half way point. Her opinion (which I agree with)- no point being a marshal unless you’re going to encourage people on. She certainly did!

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Nearly both feet off the ground I think!

Then it was through the cow field, and along a very rutted bit of grass, where I caught up with someone I know a bit through the facebook DRYT (Did You Run Today?) group, and Strava, so we said a quick “hello”. Then (passing two more lovely OH marshals) it was onto the old taxiway (Ellenbrook fields used to be an old airfield) to the finish. I ended up running next to a guy who chatted to me for a bit, and then up ahead I could see a few more OH runners (one of them is a very fast runner so I did wonder about my time at that point) so I decided to try and speed up a bit to catch them. I could not quite manage it, and crossed the line 2 seconds behind one of them (and 10 seconds behind the speedy one) with a time of 27.52. I am rather pleased with that- I have only run quicker than that once this year (my pb at Panshanger) and because of the crowds at the start I wasn’t pushing it as much as I could.

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Look at the huge queues for scanning! There ended up being 273 runners, not too shabby for the first event. The tail runner came in at 41 minutes too, so a very speedy one (I think I have been around 55 minutes for my tail running).

I stayed around until the end, chatting to people from my club, and cheering in the other runners. One person gave the RD feedback about there not being any km markers (I had wondered but I also thought perhaps they were there and I didn’t notice them- Carrie said that they didn’t get any as they are not included, but they are in talks with the owners of the land to have permanent ones- I think I have seen pictures from a few National Trust ones which have them, and I think it’s a fab idea. When I decided to head home (packing loomed) I passed Neil and Eleanor Draper (they are from Garden City Runners and I often see them at Panshanger- they were interviewed on marathon talk before – lovely and inspirational people)- so I asked them how they had found it they had really enjoyed the route which was good to hear. It’s strange as since running around those fields with Sweatshop it’s one of my favourite summer running places, but I suppose lots of people still don’t know about it.

Also, I love looking at the results, and it was great to see that it was parkrun number 1 for so many people- hopefully one of many! That was my 8th different parkrun venue (70th run)- I heard someone say that once you have been to 20 different ones you count as a parkrun tourist! A few more to go then! Although there is one at Stevenage starting next weekend, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get up there until July as I am either away or volunteering at St Albans, Panshanger and Ellenbrook. Busy times ahead!

So, onto the packing. We’re moving house on Tuesday this week, and some boxes were delivered on Friday so that was basically our weekend planned for us! We had packed up a few boxes before, but had soon run out of space to store the packed boxes. Yesterday I parked my car outside so we have spent the day packing, and putting the boxes into the garage (I normally keep my car in the garage). We had to pop out to get a few bits of food for the next couple of days, and I bought us a cinnamon swirl from Starbucks to share as an afternoon treat after a lot of packing. This was very much needed- perhaps running 5 miles was not the best preparation. Mary’s page about moving has been very useful and I’ve been writing all the boxes down in a note book (although we are getting a company to actually move the things), and we are now up to box number 40. How do we have this much stuff? And where did it all fit? I’ve also been trying to do things like change my address for a few places- we have signed up to the Royal Mail re-direction as I am sure things will slip through the net.

Any moving tips?

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14 thoughts on “Packing and parkrunning

  1. We moved house at the end of January, but did it ourselves rather than using a company. My tip is to try to relax and not get too worked up – accept that you will eat takeaways on the floor or on picnic chairs, accept that you won’t be able to find things you want and accept that everything will take far longer than you expected! It will all work out in the end.
    Good luck 🙂

    • I think I am reaching that point now- it was very stressful earlier but now it’s nearly here I think I will just accept that I won’t have unpacked for a long time and will just have to do without things until I find them! Thanks.

  2. Good luck with the move, it can be such a stressful time. We had three moves in short succession including moving countries three times, I’m so glad when we finally bought somewhere just so we didn’t have to go through moving for a while haha. That’s a great turn out for new parkrun, well done on your time.

    • Gosh that is crazy! We have lived here for 10 years and that move was easy as we were moving out of our parents homes- all of this makes us want to stay in our next place for even longer!

  3. Good luck with the move! You know all about keeping the kettle near the top of everything…just make sure you have loo roll and spare light bulbs to hand too. Some people take the weirdest things away with them. Cleaning kit – no-one else ever cleans everything to your personal standard! And, if there’s a burglar alarm, get the code from the outgoing people. It took us days to prise it out of our previous owners, and they were totally bemused as to why we might want the code…

    • Thanks! I did a “open first” box with the kettle, but then it got put under a lot of other boxes so it took a while to find! At least we found it by the evening! And yes, the people before us cleaned up very well but it was still good to clean the surfaces ourselves just to check.
      Oh dear about the code!

  4. Yay for more parkruns 🙂 Sounds like a lovely course and super friendly. It’s so nice doing parkruns where you know a lot of people. That’s why I always go back to Netley because I know they’ll always be lots of people I know and can chat to. Though that said, everyone at any parkrun is always very friendly in my experience whether you know them or not. But it’s always nice to be cheered on by name!
    I don’t envy you with packing and moving house. I created a spreadsheet to make sure I had all my bases covered with who I needed to tell about change of addresses. I also found moving house was a great way to cull things I didn’t need and have a good clear out! Good luck with the move!

    • A spreadsheet! Very organised! I have a notebook with numbered boxes and what is in each one, and we are now ticking them off as we unpack them which is very satisfying. We did a lot of clearing out beforehand but are still finding things now that we don’t need and have a charity shop box that is getting more and more full.
      The change of address thing is being a real pain- I seem to find more and more things that I need to sort out. Ah well, the worst is done!

  5. 41 minutes was quick for a tail runner, especially with such a large turn out at the event too.
    Glad my checklist helped when it came to organising for your move. I hope everything went well on Tuesday! I was amazed at how many boxes we ended up with. It felt like we got rid of so much stuff before the move as well. Where did it all come from?! Because several of the rooms in our house needed a complete overhaul, we’re still not fully unpacked yet, despite having moved 9 months ago. Although the aim is now to be done by the Summer holidays, so fingers crossed!

    • Yes your list was so helpful- my notebook does not live up to your cross checked one but it has helped us with finding what to unpack first too, as we know where specific things are.

  6. How exciting about the move! Our move kind of felt a bit like a cheat, moving into my parents and then back out of theirs (with most stuff in their garage!) probably wasn’t as challenging as moving straight in somewhere. One tip would be declutter before you pack, but it sounds like with box 40 you’re beyond that stage now! Good luck with it all x

    • We did a lot of decluttering beforehand, but we have found more things since that we don’t use any more.
      There was a possibility that we were going to have to rent somewhere or stay with parents for a bit, but thankfully it didn’t come to that, although it may have been easier moving gradually instead of all in one day.

  7. I’ve visited 6 parkruns – I thought that was quite good going but maybe not if only 20+ counts as parkrun tourism! I have been to one in Wales and one in Scotland though so I think that definitely counts. Hope the move goes well for you!

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