Yesterday was my first proper test of just how slowly I am actually running. I took part in the Newport Park Run. Park Runs are a series of timed 5km runs around various locations throughout the UK. Best of all they are free.
I did quietly question my sanity when I got up at 7.30am, while it was still dark outside, to run around a damp field following about 10 hours of non stop pouring rain the night before. However, once I arrived at Tredegar House where the Newport event was held I was actually quite proud of myself for making the effort.
The actual event wasn't too bad. I surprised myself by just how far I was able to go without stopping, even if at times it was very, very slow. I did panic slightly half way round when I realised that there are two laps to the course and had only done one. I didn't come last though and probably was a bit slower than I might have been because I was very wary of falling over in some of the muddier parts of the course. And I also got over my fear of appearing in public as a wobbly, red puffing blob.
The results came through by email later in the day - they have a barcode system where everything gets scanned and timed accurately, all quite clever really - I finished in 37.55. Not exactly breaking the land speed record but not as bad as I thought it would be.
I'd recommend the park run events to anyone who is thinking of taking up running. The atmosphere is great, with all kinds of people taking part including children and dogs, and no one seems to mind if, like me, you are actually a bit crap.