The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
If I hadn’t been woken up by Dominic before 7:30 this morning, I might not have been up in time to go to the parkrun. The weather was great too, it couldn’t have been better for running so, in spite of the fact that Peter was still asleep, I got myself ready to go to Birkenhead Park for the parkrun.
I haven’t run a parkrun for nearly 7 months, the last one was back in January in Princes Park, Liverpool. I had intended to go every week but we moved, I got unwell and subsequently unfit and the nearest parkrun was 30 min drive away so I didn’t go. But this week I found out that they had just started a new event in Birkenhead, about 3 miles from our home so since I was up and the weather was nice, I decided to go.
I couldn’t believe how many people were heading for the start at ten to nine, they were coming from all directions. It turned out there were nearly 200 runners. As we stood on the start line, the sun was beating down – anybody would think it was summer or something.
The first lap went OK although about half way round I did wonder how I was going to make it round 3 times. I am certainly not racing fit. I overtook the only woman in front of me after about half a mile and ran with a young lad from the Wirral club for the remainder of the first lap. We helped each other round but he couldn’t keep up after that. We went through the first mile in 6min 10sec which is pretty quick for me so perhaps it was a bit quick for him too. Without somebody to help me round the next two laps I found it really hard work.
Just after we’d gone past the start/finish the first time, I looked down to discover my shoelace had come undone! How can that happen to an experienced runner? I wouldn’t mind but this is the second time that’s happened with this pair of shoes and the third time ever in a race. The last time was in a 10k for the club on a vey muddy track and my shoelace flapped about covering my lower leg with mud. It was not pleasant. The other time was in the National Cross-country Championships and it was awful because I thought that the thick mud would completely suck my shoe off and I ran about a mile or two with my toes clenched to stop my shoe falling off.
Anyway, it was a bit of a dilemma because I didn’t really want to stop to do it up (it would probably have come undone again within half a mile with my inept shoelace tying skills) but I didn’t want to trip up either. Helpful people kept telling me that my shoelace was undone, as if I hadn’t noticed! I ended up taking a wide berth round the back markers in case they accidentally trod on my stray lace and tripped me up. It did take my mind off the pain of running though – you’ve got to look on the positive side.
Inevitably I slowed down on the second and third laps but I was happy to set a new course record of 20:02 for the 5km course, which I sincerely hope I might be able to break soon. Without the shoelace debacle I reckon I would have sneaked a sun-20.
The great thing about having a local parkrun is that you can be home by 10am. So, when I’d got changed, we all got in the car and headed for the famous ice-cream parlour in Parkgate.
I hadn’t realised that Parkgate was actually a place. Strangely I presumed it was a park gate. Anyway, it is a rather quaint village on the Dee Estuary which doesn’t have much apart from good birdwatching on the marshlands, ice-cream and various other eateries.
The ice-cream was definitely worth going for. We all got covered in Daniel’s lemon sorbet, which was very nice but which melted quite a bit because Daniel’s licks are rather small and the sun was rather sunny.
The grass on the marshland was rather long and scratchy for walking through but Dominic liked running in ahead and then climbing back onto the pavement. Naomi and Daniel found it a bit more challenging.
We decided to stay for a bite to eat and found a lovely cafe called Moskito’s where we had lunch.
Dominic discovered that he quite liked black pudding but that there was no way he could eat a whole full English breatkfast. His spare bacon and mushrooms supplemented my excellent pepper and tomato soup nicely. Daniel cried because his beans on toast was beans on toast. After a short while I worked out that he actually wanted beans and toast, he didn’t want the beans to be on the toast. Kids!!
We went for a brief walk to see what else there was in Parkgate apart from food but then Naomi got stung by a wasp so we had to search for a chemist for something to spray on it! She is amazing though and creates remarkably little fuss in these circumstances. It must have really hurt but she was very brave.
Since we ended up coming home a bit earlier than planned, I decided to do the 6 mile run that was actually scheduled for today. It was still quite warm and it was a rather belated and rather relaxed warm down from this morning’s parkrun. At least my shoelaces didn’t come undone.