It might have been a chilly overcast day at Renton parkrun #115, but it felt like the wind was coming from the west and had brought with it the warm Hawaiian spirit of 'ohana as our parkrun family gathered together. As the day's volunteers arrived early to set up, the tasks were made easier by a number of early participants who also pitched in and we were ready to go in record time. Which is lovely because it meant there was time to chat with one and other as we waited for start time. A package of yummy cookies appeared on the gear table, thank you mystery benefactor, they were delicious. And after months with little action on our self serve volunteer sign up whiteboard we had nine upcoming positions filled in advance, yaaaaay!
Speaking of volunteers, a big giant thank you to our volunteer crew Abby RUELAS • Bennett RUELAS • Cam KENNEDY • Gracelynn RUELAS • Heidi HORN • Karen GATES • Matt MORGAN • Patrick WARD • Ray ARRINGTON, you're all Renton parkrun rockstars!
Last year one of my goals was to run the parkrun course non-stop! Long story short, I didn’t make my goal. I did receive my red shirt (50 runs) and not once did I run the full course - so for anyone who thinks they have to be a runner to participate - uh - no you don’t!
To be honest, I really didn’t put a lot of effort into this goal. I didn’t ‘train’ during the week, in fact, it wasn’t until about June that I started doing that, and I was doing pretty good up until November when I went on vacation, and then it took me a full two months to get out of vacation mode!
Then 2020 rolled around and I told myself that 2020 is the year I run the full 5k! They say that you're more likely to stick with a goal if you share it. So, I told Cam and Cathryn during coffee one day. Cam suggested that I run as slow as possible, as that seemed to work for her the first time she was able to run a 5k without walking. I’ve also been making more of an effort to run during the week (at least a mile a day 3-4 times)
So with Cam’s advice I decided that this is the week I run non-stop! I purposefully started near the back of the pack so that I was pacing with the walkers. The Renton course was recently changed so that instead of two turn-around points there is only one… and that seems to help me mentally. I know now that at the turn-around point I am halfway, and I can run the first 1.5 miles most of the time without walking. It’s on the way back that is the struggle for me. I start to think of how sore my legs are getting, how hard it is to keep running, how if I don’t stop and walk my lungs will explode! But this time I didn’t let those thoughts get the better of me. I just kept (slowly) running. I have to say that when I saw that finish line I knew it was MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! It felt SO good to finally run the course NON-STOP, even if my pace was slightly more than a walk!
I didn’t set a PR - that was not my goal!! My goal was to keep running - and that’s exactly what I did! *GOAL MET*
Way to go Nikol! And way to go to all 33 of our inspiring participants! Most of us have some sort of goal we're working towards at parkrun. Within our parkrun family we've a huge variety of personal goals: First among them remembering to bring our barcodes :P Maybe your goal is walking the entire course for the first time, or earning a parkrun volunteer or participant shirt, making a pb, committing to get up and get there on parkrun day x number of times this year, finally talking that fence sitting friend to come walk with you, or like Nikol, running a non-stop 5k. Whatever your goal is we celebrate you on your journey there and hope this is the year your goals shift into the *GOALS MET* category.
Looking forward to seeing you on parkrunday! It's going to be AWESOME!