Saturday 28th March 2020
How strange to sit and try to report something that didn’t happen? Really, this report should say, ‘Saturday 28th March 2020 – Fareham parkrun didn’t happen due to Covid-19.’ And who would want to read something about something that didn’t happen?
When I saw the Fareham parkrun ask for a ‘Runless Report’ I thought I could write one. My mind has been whizzing with what I could include, how deep to go. I’ve decided to keep it exercise focused, but that is not to ignore those who are unwell at this time, fearful of becoming unwell, self- isolating or working super hard to keep essentials going. I’m sure I’m not alone in sending you love and thanks.
So I’ll give writing the runless report a go…
The first parkrun took place on 2nd October 2004. If I’m correct, Saturday 28th March 2020 was the first Saturday that there hasn’t been a parkrun since. Each week, thousands of people take part in these events all around the world. They come together. Volunteering, walking, jogging, running. Some in buggies. Some aren’t even people and take part on leads! For many people it’s social. For my family park run can mean many things and happen in different places - my husband or I run, I might volunteer, my husband might take our older girls to the park, our baby might have a nap as she travels round in her buggy. It usually means coffee and a cake after. Sometimes, it’s a bit of time out for me and straight home. I’ve celebrated my birthday with a parkrun and cooked breakfast with friends and family after. I’ve chatted my way around with a friend from running club. I’ve done a ‘parkrun sandwich’ as part of a longer run. I’ve chased a pacer for that 25 minute PB (I was 33 seconds out). I’ve dressed as an elf. I’ve walked it after the birth of our 3rd baby. I’ve forgotten my barcode!!! I wonder what parkrun has meant for you? One thing I’m sure of, there is nothing socially distant about park run.
What did we all do this Saturday at 9am? We’ve all been strongly encouraged to not do our usually parkrun time and route and this totally makes sense. We need to follow the advice from the government and practice social distancing. We all need to do our bit to protect ourselves, each other and the wonderful NHS. I did some housework. I pulled out beds and had a proper clean. It wasn’t timed and I don’t think I got PB. I had planned to get out for a run. I find it harder to go for a run when running alone or not having a set plan. Although, in saying that, the once a day permitted exercise outside of home has become really important to lots of us – and is something that I’m sure we are not taking for granted. In the midst of anxiety created by constant news (which I am now keeping up to date with but not on a constant feed) and the busy-ness of creating a bit of a home school for 2 children, caring for a baby and doing all the other normal household bits, 30 minutes outside to run is massively helpful in giving me patience and energy. My metaphorical hat goes off to those doing all this and working from home too.
I’ve been for a few 5k runs this week and seen quite a few people out and about walking, running or cycling. Most of the time, we’ve all gone out of our way to keep the 2 metres. Most people have smiled or said thank you. I have crossed the road numerous times. My sister in law (in Forest Hill) and I went on a socially distant run together – setting off at the same time and video calling as we set off and when we finished. In the running club I belong to we have been sharing our daily activity with one another. Having that contact has been great…and motivating! I’ve also developed a new love for my exercise bike. I had made it no secret how boring I found it but now I’m thankful that I can do some exercise at home. I’ve also run 5k in my garden – 5 laps is 100m so it became dull but that isn’t a complaint; I know not everyone has access to private outdoor space. Joe Wicks has also kick started our mornings with his P.E lessons – spiderman, kangaroo jumps (complete with joey) and the plank have kept us going - and made me realise my strength could do with some work!
I think we’ve managed to keep active this week but I am certainly looking forward to parkrunning again. Until then, keep safe, keep well.