I've been spending a lot of my time running recently.
During the week I get home from the school run, put my running gear on and get out and about.
I've been working on a Strava training plan to improve my 10k time every eight weeks.
I've often thought it would be nice to run a 5k ParkRun some weekends too though.
There's something intriguing about being part of it and running with lots of others.
I run on my own.
I've thought about joining a running club but I'm not sure I'd be up to scratch yet.
It would be good to run with others and have that social side available.
I see other runners round and about but it's not the time for introductions.
So until I decide I'm ready for a running club, I thought the ParkRun venue might prove to be a good alternative.
Their website suggests it's for all ages and abilities so I figured I'd meet some like-minded people.
As the venues are reasonably local I might find some more regular running buddies too.
Sometimes it's nice to run alone but when you're running for several miles a but of company wouldn't go amiss.
Measure My Progress
My Garmin Forerunner 735XT measures lots of things about my run and it allows me to have my training schedule on my wrist.
And with my eight week Strava Plan, I measure how I'm doing every two months with a 10k time trial.
I push myself as hard as I can but I'm wondering whether I'd try harder if it was in a ParkRun situation.
It's only 5K, not the 10K I usually train for but it would allow me to measure progress at the shorter distance too.
And you can take it as seriously as you like it because it's supposed to be accessible to all abilities.
I like the fact that they record your times and give you a finishing time and position which is placed on their website.
I don't care too much if the time isn't completely accurate because I can rely on my trusty Garmin Forerunner for accuracy.
I'm Not Ready For A Full Race
I've toyed with the idea of signing up for a 10k or even a half marathon organised race.
A lack of confidence holds me back from actually entering for a race however.
I look at the race times of other guys my age who have competed in local races and know I'm at least as fast as the average bloke.
If I could get a few ParkRuns under my belt I might get over my stupid anxiety of entering a proper race.
Heck, one of them even starts and finishes at Musselburgh Racecourse right on my doorstep.
Get Me Motivated At The Weekend
For most people, weekends are when they have the most time to do stuff but for me as a stay at home dad it's the opposite.
Everyone's at home and there's less opportunity for me to get out for a run.
It's a great time to catch up with the wife and kids but it turns me into a bit of a couch potato.
I play football with my son and there's usually some console gaming going on during the day.
I don't feel motivated enough to go for a run though because I have my family around me and want to spend quality time with them.
If I could get out for a run first thing, that might solve the motivation problem.
But I Can't Do A ParkRun Unfortunately
As much as I'd love to do a ParkRun, I can't.
They only hold them on a Saturday morning and my wife works on a Saturday.
I thought it might be a religious thing that they don't want to hold them on a Sunday.
I asked them on Twitter whether they'd consider holding them on a Sunday but they never responded.
On delving through their website, I discovered it's to do with it being run by volunteers.
Saturday is better for the volunteers so their whole weekend isn't taken up which is fair enough.
So I'm stuck between a rock and my own confidence in signing up for an organised race.
How About You?
Do you take part in ParkRuns or are you in the same situation as me?
Have you signed up to an organised race and if so what's your experience been of that?
Or are you just too chicken at this stage like me?
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