Running (not so) Free

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Today like all Saturday's I attend my local parkrun. Unlike most other Saturday morning recently the sky's around Brisbane were looking just a tad wet. It had been raining most of Friday and when I woke up I was surprised to see that there was a break in the weather. I was actually hoping that there would still be some rain falling. Call me crazy if you like but I love to run in the rain. My thoughts then turned to my friend Helen who would be running while pushing her twins in the pram and then I changed my mind on the idea of rain as she then wouldn't be able to run.

Even though I was up earlier than required today and I had attempted to gather most of my gear together in a neat pile on the floor the night before disorganisation was going to get the best of me.  It had all started with my leaving my phone behind at work on Friday afternoon. This meant that I had to cancel my carpooling plans with Helen in case she was unable to make it as I wouldn't get her text to say grab your own car today.

After I managed to get my youngest back to sleep there was no point going back to bed myself. I got dresssed, grabbed my gear and headed out the door. The plan was to go via work and pick up my phone, more to stop me worrying that maybe, just maybe it had fallen out of my bag at the gym on Friday night.

Just around the corner from work it dawned on me that I hadn't packed my cap. How does one run without something on their head?  I came accustomed to wearing a cap last winter as I found that it stopped my ears aching painful in our (not so cold) winter mornings. As I pulled into the driveway at work I looked over into the back of the ute and low and behold in all of the miscellaneous stuff my husband keeps back there, there was a cap at the top of it all. Problem solved. Into work I hopped and grabbed my phone before heading towards to the city.

I managed to arrive rather early and strolled on down to the gathering spot to get ready. For some unknown reason I hadn't put my HR strap and watch on before leaving home and this was the real start to my undoing. I fumbled with my strap, and flashed my pregnant belly while talking to Roba and her daughter. I carefully threaded my ear piece down my back and under my arm and into my cleavage as I try and avoid having my iPod in my spibelt now as since I no longer have a waist it has a tendency to end up under my boobs. Next its time for the watch. I look for it and can't find it. I empty my bag and still no luck. I check the time on my phone and its about 10 minutes to we start so I head back to the car to find my watch.

I pass Helen on the way to the car as she walks down with her girls and say I'll make it back while handing her a belated birthday present.  Back at the ute I scramble looking for the watch - no luck. Oh well I'll be running without knowing my pace or heart rate. This is brand new territory for me. Back to the starting line now as everyone finishes their warm up.

I meet up with Helen again who has decided to start from the back of the pack due to her "handicap" today. As the other 122 runners (a far cry from 226 a couple of weeks ago) come and join us at the start area I feel strangely naked. I know people run without a GPS watch or even a HR monitor all the time but this feels worse to me than not having my music playing! Its not like I continuely check it, its just having that extra bit of back up to know how I'm travelling, that I'm not pushing too hard, how far I've come and more importantly how far is left to go.  The starter does their duties and we're all off and I'm running "free".

I won't bore you with the details of the whole 5km but what I can say is I found it so hard. I'm guessing most of it was a mental mind set thing due to not having my watch on but there was the other part of watching my footing due to the slippery pavements and the humidity. No kidding, it must have be 98% out there today - how I wanted it to rain just to cool me down but I know those two little girls sitting in Helen's pram would not have been impressed if it did rain. My official time was 36:18, 2:22 slower than last week.  Next week I will have my watch with me as I'm not a fan of this free running stuff!

The biggest hat's off today has to go to Helen who ran a unbelievable 38:23 while pushing the girls in a non-running pram into a head wind for about 2km. Now that's a Super Mum!


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