p minus 7 weeks and counting…

Tring virtual parkrun #57 challenge

So, with the weather warming up, how is your running going?”, asks our Event director. ” Are you still managing a weekly 5k? Has working from home allowed you to increase your running, or has the couch become your friend over the last year and running become a distant memory? Tomorrow morning looks chilly but very sunny – ideal for a run whether you’ve been running much or not. Back in Tring Park, this period was full of PBs as, the course mud dried and we all had more of a spring in our step. So this week our theme is “PB or just P or B” – Take a selfie of you tomorrow running a PB or simply find the letters P or B or for double points find them both at the same time! – Number plates, Street signs, shop signs, a tub of peanut butter, the chemical symbol for lead. They all count.

Public Bridleway and Post Box were our entries for the challenge this week. Note the timing of the next collection on the post box were in synch with parkrun.

Keeping on track
(to run 16km in a single run by the time parkrun re-starts in England)

This week’s “long run”:

“Recovery run” this week: distance – 10.26 km ; time – 1:08:41; pace – 6:42 min/km (elevation gain 34m)

Glad to have got back out on a level track with no pressure on time or distance. Also, I am trying to make my virtual (not)parkruns each Saturday more than the obligatory 5k: mostly between 8k and 10K, to keep the stamina up. We have a favourite course near us with some undulations (elevation gain 121m) that we hope will go some way to prepare us for the Sheffield-flat slopes of RSR in June. I am still finding it a struggle to actually get out of the door and start my runs, but happy to report that I always finish a run thinking : “Glad I did that“! Fine weather helps, particularly on a crisp but sunny morning like we had today.

In other news this week

Junior parkrun restarted this week, as reported on the “With me Now” podcast. Listen to the live recording of the Harrogate junior parkrun where Event Director Helen Williams is talking with WMN’s Nicola Forwood (With me Now podcast 13th April – start from 21:38) and then hear Dany Norman’s reaction to an interruption by one parent in attendance that took place at the top of that interview.

In other news it looks like there will be a few local parkrun communities that will need to find another venue, as the land owners concerned have withdrawn their permission. (For example Cuerden Valley parkrun, also mentioned on this week’s WMN podcast (05:10) ). Hope they find somewhere else – feel sure that they will. I also won’t be surprised if there will be a some inaugural parkruns in the pipeline this year.

On reflection

I am beginning to think that I was being a little naïve in believing that, post-lockdown, we would all just pick up things where we left them. Of course parkrun is going to be as great as it ever was, and also it will be great to see our friends and family in 3D again (and I am not talking ZOOM holographs here!)

However, there are going to be many changes which we will have to come to terms with as restrictions (hopefully) fade away. Many families have lost dear-ones and will be feeling that they have had insufficient opportunity to grieve for their loss; familiar shops on the high street will not be reopening their doors ever again; annual vaccinations, for all of us, may well be a part of “normal” life for years to come; societal problems may well be exacerbated by the economic impact of the pandemic.

That is not to be maudlin about the future but, when the finite things around us that used to give confidence for the future are no longer there, then perhaps it’s a timely reminder to ponder on the things that are of eternal significance.

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