Posted by: stokiecat | January 11, 2014

No Run at Hanley Parkrun – Janathon 2014 – Day 11

It’s Saturday and that means, like many others, Parkrun day except that today for me it wasn’t a run.

After 10 days straight I have been start to feel a slight pain in my shins. I used to be a big rambler and I often suffered from shin splints, especially when completing big climbs, so I recognise the symptoms. As much as I want to go with the Janathon target of a run everyday I’m not stupid. I hate these “if it ain’t hurtin’ it ain’t workin’/no pain no gain” type motivational statements. Niggles, soreness, stiffness all come with exercise but any decent athlete should be well aware of their own body and know when pain equals damage and, consequently, remedial measures need to be taken. I should add I’m not a decent athlete but I aspire to be one, even if I never get there 🙂  Running every day has meant an increase in my mileage, a very common cause of shin splints, and I haven’t had a rest day when prior to this I was taking two or three a week. Plus I’ve got another (private) health issue that sometimes affects me physically so all in all I decided the best remedy was to take a running rest. Instead I decided to volunteer at Hanley Parkrun.

I really enjoyed volunteering today. As Hanley now has a larger field of runners I was with another two people on the scanners/bar code bucket. Our job was to scan the bar codes that ensures everyone gets their time and place results. I was a bit nervous but all the results have appeared on the web site so I don’t think anything went wrong! I’ve said it before, Parkrun is a great event. Everyone is really friendly and supportive. You get to know the regular runners and the scanner was good fun because I got the chance to speak to loads of different people.  Our first finisher was 18.20 and looked like he hadn’t even broken a sweat (he did claim it was hard work when we moaned at him about it) and our last finishers were a couple of walkers (one of whom even managed a little sprint at the end, so good for her) on 48 minutes. Today we even had a barefoot runner taking part, I find that amazing!

I have only mentioned the time above to show that we have all abilities taking part, it isn’t really important, it’s Parkrun not Parkrace. It really is the taking part that counts. Other regular runners will join in with the slower runners to help them finish and make them feel like they aren’t on the course on their own and many runners stay till the end, as well as the volunteers, to cheer over the last finishers. As someone who is regularly in the last third of the field when competing I know that just hearing someone clapping can make a difference.  Makes up for when the guy pushing a buggy runs past me, sigh. So to anyone who wants to experience Parkrun but maybe doesn’t want to take the plunge and run I would recommend volunteering to see what it’s about.

standing still

(Photo credit: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/dulwich/news/2013/03/09/9th-march-2013/)

But I wasn’t completely without exercise. I cycled from home to Hanley Park and back (about 8k total) so I think I still meet the Janathon criteria. Back to actual running tomorrow.

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