Posts Tagged ‘5k’

I nearly ran a 5k last weekend with my son in a park near our old home.

It was part of the Decathlon running series. A free event put on by the sports store. If you have  a Decathlon near you, it is worth checking out. It’s not chip-timed or anything, but it was friendly and well organised and a very pleasant morning. It wasn’t quite 5k, hence the ‘nearly’ but more of that in a bit.

I might be NotMuchOfaRunner, but my son is even less of one, so when he agreed to do this one with me a few months back (swayed by the free t-shirt and goodie bag ‘worth £10’), I signed us both up straight away (there was persuading my wife or daughter though). He has been out on his bike a few times accompanying me on a run, but hasn’t run himself since May when he managed just under 30 mins for his school’s 5k.

Here’s a couple of photos of him doing his stuff during the race. None of me… but just imagine a slightly taller version with less hair and generally more tired-looking if you want an idea.


He’s a funny one, my boy. I made sure he knew that it was fine to walk… that we weren’t going for a time… that it was a hilly course…etc. Basically  no pressure. But he wanted to get sub 30 and really beat himself up when he struggled to run up the hills or had to slow to walking pace. Thankfully, the end came in sight before I’d expected it and all of a sudden, his energy had returned as he pulled off a strong final straight into the finish.

Knowing the park quite well, I took him to an outdoor tap at the edge of the field and he soaked his head for five minutes afterwards to cool down. He was fine after that and didn’t again mention what a ‘terrible run’ it was (his unhelpful mantra for the last 2 kms).

It wasn’t just me who was surprised by the early finish. Here are a few of the titles from other people’s Strava runs that I saw later on.

“Shipley Park 5k (only 4.65k so I ran to end of field and back)”

“Decathlon 5k (that wasn’t quite 5k!!) Run with Jane”

“Decathlon nearly 5k”

“Decathlon short 5k series”

And my own, “Decathlon running series (?)5k(?)”


Ha ha. So don’t target this race if you are going for a legitimate PB… but for  our purposes of a ‘fun run’ it was very welcome! Don’t tell my son it was short, though!

We thanked the officials and headed off to the Decathlon store to collect our goodie bags…


…Mmmmm…. NEARLY £10 maybe….Stretching it perhaps? Here it is…

Energy drink – £1.50
Bottle of water – £1

Energy bar – £1

(These are educated guesses, by the way)

Decathlon lanyard thing – £0.50 (not that I think I’d buy one for 50p but it makes the maths simple)

Fabric P.E bag advertising decathlon – £3 (pushing it)

Which means that sticker that says ‘run power’ is worth £3 ! Apparently. Who knew?!

Haha! I don’t mind really because…

1)It was a well organised event (though I did get an email a short while back telling me I’d been signed up for the Bolton event! …someone must have clicked ‘send to all’ by mistake).

2)It was free.

3)It was a lovely morning.

4)I was with my son.

5)It felt very inclusive.

6)We got a decent T-shirt each upon sign up (yes that bright yellow one!) but I won’t be able to wear it on a trip to my local Decathlon store for fear of being stopped to ask where the goggles/archery equipment/football shirts/bike locks/etc are…

Maybe that makes up the value of the goodie bag 😉

No matter. The run was worth it (for me) even without a goodie bag because I was with my boy.


I hope he forgets that he doesn’t like running very much quite soon, because I’d like to go out again.


Saturday 13th June 2015

Last night, the plan was to get a parkrun PB for the third time in a row at my ‘local’ (15 minute drive away) event this morning.

This morning, due to time constraints (wanting to get the washing done first), that plan became to go 5 minutes down the road and complete the ‘Colliers Wood Canter’ which is a 5k run organised by a local running club (Kimberley Striders). They had originally applied for this to be a ‘parkrun venue proper’ but it was turned down, they inform me. Nonetheless, once a month (second Saturday, I think) these guys do their own version using the less technological methods of stopwatch, pen, paper and place tokens and to their credit they do a great job.

I’m sure there were good reasons for the parkrun team to turn down the venue but for folks that can’t make the journey to Nottingham, this event is a great free 5k timed run…

…except I didn’t even make it to this event either.  A very hard working wife with a million school reports to write and check, and high-spirited early-waking children meant my highly tuned parenting skills were required at home.

I took Child1 to his tennis session. It was raining. He played anyway and enjoyed it. I ran my own 5k around the local roads. I didn’t get a PB.

Child1’s tennis tournament in the afternoon was cancelled so I took Child2 to her dance lesson instead and allowed hard-working wife to continue working hard.

It rained all day. Got nothing done of any use in the afternoon. Was looking forward to the tennis tournament and then felt flat.

Good job I ran in the morning.


The weak updates continue with further information about nothing in particular.

Good news: I wasn’t totally done in by last week’s activities of tennis and 5k runs.

Bad news: I was still a bit done in. Didn’t need any days off work but I was unusually tired and the left ankle was complaining at me.

Good news: I completed my son’s school’s 5k fun run in a reasonable 25:24

Bad news: I looked like a bit of a plonker in an attempt to promote my local tennis club’s open day…

Good news: I’ve lost a bit of weight at last.

Bad news: Because I had put on some weight after deciding originally I would lose some weight, I now still weigh some more weight than I did before the initial ‘I need to lose some weight’ weigh-in weight.

Good news: doughnuts taste nice.

More good news: I ran a parkrun for the first time in ages yesterday and got a course PB, breaking sub 23:00 for the first time at Colwick.

Bad news: I was annoyingly just 6 seconds sort of my all-time, anywhere PB. Maybe next time.

Good news: If I am heavier AND faster then my extensive knowledge of physics – which includes words such as force and distance moved suggests that work done is dramatically increased and my training benefit is thus also dramatically increased. Extrapolating these findings, I am therefore going to also start smoking – to give my lungs a good workout too (working on the same principle as above).

Bad news: I’m not actually a scientist and there may be an unforeseen flaw in my immensely well thought out plan. Also my wife would chuck me out.

Good news: I’ve just been to the toilet and I’m now much closer to my original ‘I ought to lose some weight’ weight.

Bad news: That last bit was probably over-sharing. Sorry.

Good news: I eventually got back to the New Balance people with my detailed waist, chest, inside leg, head circumference etc measurements so they can provide me with my ‘head to toe’ prize package for having written about my ‘rubbish run’ or ‘another rubbish run’ (I still don’t know which one it was that they liked).

Bad news: they got back to me to tell me they just neded to know small, medium, or large? (It could still be a onesie!)

Good news: I’ve finished writing this blog post now.

Bad news: …apart from this bit of course…and I’ll be back at some point soon too.

An alternative title today could have been, “I think I need more sleep”.

(Scroll past the following drivel to the relevant photo, if you just want to know what the title is all about)

I won’t bore you with ALL the details of our little Devon holiday, but I have managed to keep up with the running training, although most of it has had to take place in the rain.

In the style if ‘Granny Murray’* from ‘Me Too’* here is a holiday summary:

Well there’s been… walking, running, shopping, haircuts, building, splashing, bouncing, drawing, football, singing, dancing, caching, eating, drinking, dragon-hunting, birthdays, colouring, bush-whacking, music-making, sticking, balancing, sleeping, caving, soaking-wet clothes, swimming round, slipping up and falling down.

*apologies to the majority of my readers not initiated into the ways of cBeebies (British children’s television channel). Here’s what I was trying to copy…ish

I love too, that even though I was brought up in this area, I still get to discover previously unknown areas for childish exuberance. Apologies for the quality of the next pic, it was taken by my son after I had done a basic assessment that the rope swing might possibly be able to support my 93kg frame… It did… Thankfully!


Then, yesterday – Saturday 17th August – I did a few things I’d not done before.

1) I became a parkrun tourist – doing Killerton, near Exeter.

2) I ran the furthest with my boy that I have ever run (5k).

3) I met in real life, a blog-buddy (hello again Sharon)

Here is NotMuchOfaSitStiller listening to the pre-run instructions…

Have you seen it yet??

Sharon was being the volunteer tail-runner today so we only got to chat a little at the start, then we saw her again briefly as she was on ‘please-nobody-run-into-this-post’ duty by the first gate). She and the other volunteers did a great job.

I need to make it very clear that this final photo is in no way intended to be derogatory, but I couldn’t get it out of my head that the run was introduced by a man very cooly sporting a fantastic pair of dungarees (Super Mario style)…

…and… although I didn’t notice at the time, he was supported by a slightly ghostly looking turtle playing the bongos!

I told you I needed more sleep!

Oooo… Lots been going on here:

Firstly, Last week I recently ran a 2k with my son, which I then followed by a 5k myself.
As he is 6 years old, he is in the fortunate position of getting a PB pretty much every time he runs.
I, on the other hand, am not
(…but I still got one – knocking 10 seconds off my previous. Get in!).

Secondly, I have actually, genuinely, properly-like, been getting into a training mindset. I have shunned the car in favour of biking to/from work. It’s 12 miles each way and takes me about 50 mins (although I cycle away from work about 5 minutes quicker!). Admittedly, I only do work there two days a week, but it’s better than nowt.

Thirdly, tennis season has restarted so I have been enjoying a few hours on court this week (and got the opportunity to get centre court Wimbledon tickets for men’s quarter finals day – yes please!).

Fifthly, I have forgotten how to count properly.

Fourthly, with big thanks to some advice from Cathy ‘I’m not all bad’ White – aka JogBlog I have actually become a member of that select (I don’t know how select if I’m a part of it) group of people who get sent decent free stuff to review on their blog so here goes…

It’s running shoes. A pair of New Balance 1080v3 running shoes. A proper, decent, bright blue, full-on pair of genuine, good quality, meant for mileage, made for running, bright blue running shoes.

Did I mention they were bright blue? Maybe this is why I got sent them. Look… Here is their bright blueyness…



Maybe it is actually a very cunning thing to do. I mean, if I have a bright blue pair of running shoes (and I do now), I am less likely to wear them down to the pub on a Friday night, thus avoiding the risk of inadvertent beverage spillage and so increasing the lifespan of the shoe. So… Good idea… I have come around to liking the bright blueness. They do look well-smart.

I confess too, that I have never before worn a pair of New Balance shoes. I know they have a good reputation for running stuff but I have tended to stick with what I know, which is the ‘not-going-for-the-cheapest-option-but-waiting-for-the-expensive-ones-to-be-superseded-by-new-models-and-buy-them-when-they’re-on-offer’ formula.
I have to say, generally, this method has served me well, but when spending money on shoes, even post-discount, you still want a pair that you know will do the job so I guess that’s why I have tended to stick to brands and fittings I am used to. I tell you what though, change is good!

I was advised by the lovely (she is lovely – she sent me some bright blue shoes) Fay at S&X media that although I’d informed her I’m a 10.5 UK size, she’d send me the 11s. She was right. Perfect fit.

(Incidently, I noted recently that Liz Yelling is a size 7.5 but takes a size 9 running shoe. A little fact for you there. You’re welcome.)

These shoes are light too.
Considering the bumpf says they are well-cushioned for high-mileage, I was expecting something heavier. A nice surprise.

I have been told I slightly over-pronate when I’m running (has anyone actually ever really been told anything different?) but on advice of helpful, running-shop-types, I have stuck with a neutral shoe because, as yet, I have not suffered any injury or running related complaint as a result.

(That ^^ up there ^^ was just in case you have my sort of attention span and needed a dinosaur chasing a person to keep you going)

You can read the official blurb on the shoes here but as I have no technical knowledge myself to back up the claims, I will just tell you how it felt…

I ran 7 miles with them last night – comfortable, no injuries, and another 5k PB in the process! Woo hoo, it’s like I’m 6 again!…

…Having since checked the details of the run, I think it’s a bit optimistic actually to have got a PB by two minutes as it registered my penultimate mile as my fastest ever too. Unlikely perhaps, but not impossible as I was running while my boy was at Beavers (young scouts… pre-cubs) and I realised if I didn’t really kick it, I’d be late collecting him.

Well, regardless of the above, I has a great run, like I say. I felt supported and there was a little spring I’m my step which, admittedly, may have been partly due to the fact that I had just been saved the expense of buying a swanky new pair of trainers.

Now I probably shouldn’t say this, purely in case they ever offer to send me more, but I could definitely see myself buying these in the future.
Today, I’m a happy runner.

Till next time,


P.S. I swam 2.5km after than run too. Bring on the triathlons.

I am so ‘all or nothing’!

P.P.S I am pretty sure the postman looked at me in the sort of way that he thought I had ordered something else from the internet…