Do I need to bring the mud back?

Way back in 2019 before things went a little crazy I was lying on my sofa (literally, I was really good at it) my exercise included those high impact sports such as TV channel hopping, walking to the kitchen to liberate an emergency pork pie or walking all the way across the lounge to the CD shelves to find a suitable album to play! Yes, I know, I’m old and don’t get this new-fangled download thing – where you buy music and then don’t have a new shiny CD to look at and file … alphabetically of course… in the library – I mean what is that all about?

Anyway, sorry back to my story, I had been away with my partner Alyson and I happily watched her run off into the distance every other morning whilst I strenuously opened my laptop and vigorously hit key after key. She eventually introduced me to Couch to 5K, at the start of 2020. I remember being told by my mother that I would stop growing when I got to early 20’s, but my friends I can confirm that despite being considerably well passed my twenties, this is not true. During 2019 I did in fact continue to grow and piled on around 3 stone, which was most unhelpful. How did that happen?

Initially I could not even do Week 1. I had regular arguments with the App and answered back to the helpful support voice! However, with brilliant support, I did persevere and eventually I manged to “get with the programme” and move forwards. It took me from the start of January 2020 to April 2020 to complete the 9-week programme, eventually completing my very first 5Km on 6 April 2020 – I was very happy and found that my legs actually didn’t detach as I had always feared.

As a couple, we had always planned to do a parkrun together once I got to 5Km but events overtook us, so we focused on our own challenges and have so far completed a number of monthly virtual run challenges, with me running up to 75 miles per month for which the nice people send me a medal through the post and plant a tree on my behalf – which is awesome. My pace does often actually allow me to watch the tree grow as I run past which is helpful.

So, it brings me to parkrun. I’ve just completed my third Hogmoor parkrun this morning and I am well happy…….although my run this morning was not without issue, it wasn’t an event free run.

The other 149 runners this morning will testify that it was a little damp this morning and as we approached the start my partner turned and said “ it will be wet this morning (it was!) and it might be slippery”

Now I believe the International Confederation of Commentators call this the “kiss of death”! Any sports person about to achieve something amazing always hopes they will not suffer from this curse. The test match cricket player at Lords about to hit the winning run, as the Commentator states “he has looked so calm and composed today he hasn’t given any chances… only then to see, with the very next ball, his wickets cartwheeling out of the ground…. The footballer about to take a penalty in the European Cup final who hears the commentator say – he has never missed – only to then blaze the ball over the bar and into row Z!!!

So anyway, how is this relevant?

Back to parkrun – as I started, I still had Alyson’s words ringing in my head ….”it will be slippery, make sure you don’t fall”.

You guess it correctly – yes it was slippery (very) and yes I tumbled just before the start line as I started my second lap……

So, the international convention of falling over requires the immediate action for the faller, in this instance me, to look to see if anyone saw the fall…. luckily no one had, phew. Second action is to check the phone and glasses…they were both OK (incidentally I have discovered that my ear buds still work with an ear full of water and sand…. I’m sure that will be useful information to some.

The final thing to do is briefly lie on the fall and then get up (the word “attempt” can be used here as well if required – it was required). So once back vertical the faller counts the limbs….yes all four still attached and then and only then is it OK to restart running.

For those interested it was a full-face plant followed by a shoulder roll (left side) to protect phone and glasses and it was all concluded with a small lie down, obviously in a puddle.

This was my third parkrun – I love parkrun and Alyson didn’t laugh at all when she enquired why I had mud between my eye and my glasses lens, why I had sand in my beard and approximately 3.2 kg of sand / mud inside my running vest. (Do I need to bring the mud back?)

Have a good day folks – be careful out there it might be slippery, and beware of the commentator’s curse.

See you next week. Mark Johnson