I finally feel like I’m making some real progress in my running.

During September, we had lots of volunteers and I ran at Lloyd parkrun three times. I’m pretty sure I’ve never managed so many parkruns in one month before. The last one I finally made a small improvement in my run time. The first Saturday in October I went down to Bushy Park for the Bushy parkrun Tenth Anniversary, which was amazing. I wasn’t pushing to run fast, and slowed down several times to take photos, but I still dipped under 24 minutes on the flat course, making me 502nd finisher – out of 1,705!

All 13 of the people who ran in the very first Bushy Park Time Trial were there, as were the first volunteers. Paul Sinton-Hewitt started the run and turned out to be one of the volunteers barcode scanning – by chance I was in his queue. A little way behind me in the same queue were two Cardiff parkrunners whom I last saw when I ran Warszawa-Praga parkrun! It was a fantastic morning and felt really privileged to be there and taking part in it.

Last Saturday I took part in the Surrey Cross-Country League and helped Striders of Croydon to fifth place out of 29 teams in the B division. I didn’t feel that my running was great, and I had to slow down for a while due to gut cramps, but my ankle didn’t hurt during the race, even on the uneven ground. We were supposed to complete a short loop and then a long loop but a marshalling error meant we were sent off on the long loop first.

On Sunday I extended the 90-minute club run with some extra running in Lloyd Park, ending up with 14 or 14.5 miles under my belt (I’m not sure of the exact distance because I accidentally stopped my Garmin for one part of the run). It was particularly pleasing to find that, for the first time since the accident, I could enjoy the long downhill sections without getting ankle/foot pain. I also felt like I was running a lot more freely. Based on the pattern of the pain I had been getting and it becoming suddenly sharper then disappearing, I think it likely that a bit of adhesion/scar tissue has broken down. I will be extremely pleased if I can keep improving.

We’ve got lots of volunteers lined up for this Saturday (not surprising with the Croydon 10K on Sunday), so hopefully I’m going to run, which should take me to 37 parkruns (of course, I’ve also volunteered on 185 occasions).


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