Festive 5k in Greenwich Park

Festive 5k in Greenwich Park

It’s become a tradition for me to run a festive 5k every Christmas – or at least, I’ve done it for the last few years and loved it so much I wanted to keep going!

This year, instead of the Team Naturally Run ladies, I roped in a couple of my new work colleagues. For one of the girls it was her first ever race, and the excitement was off the charts. I couldn’t blame her really- the appeal of a Christmas pudding medal, mince pies at the finish line and a fun festive atmosphere was definitely a great reason to get up early on a Sunday!

We arrived at Greenwich Park for the impeccably organised Run Through 5k at around 9:30, in time to collect our race numbers and pose for a #SantaHatSelfie before the race start at 10:00.

I knew that I was nowhere near as fit as I had been when I got my 5k PB at the same race last year, and was intending just to round of the year with a fun run with friends. The terrain in Greenwich Park is particularly challenging if you’re a bit out of shape and with a dodgy knee anyway, so I opted to speed down the downhills and walk up the last of the horrible hill! At least by doing the 5k I only had to tackle it once.

Greenwich Park 5k 4

It’s steeper than it looks in the photo, I promise! I made it to the 3k before walking to the top, and then from there it was a final push to the finish line to collect my medal. Lauren and Steph who finished a bit before me, having not had to stop and walk up the hill, caught this fun video of me crossing the line- hilarious!

After grabbing some of the homemade mince pies I bumped into my friend Jo who I did Run Hackney with earlier this year – it was lovely to end 2015 with another race together! And we all imediately started talking about which one to do next of course. It’s so true that however tough you may find it while actually running the endorphins will invariably make you want to do it all over again 🙂

 

Greenwich Park 5k with Jo

And of course we celebrated afterwards with an amazing brunch at The Green Cafe in Greenwich– French toast with fruit was the perfect choice for refuelling after a festive 5k, and for catching up – it turned out that Jo knows one of my work colleagues when they used to work in a library together in Sixth Form. It’s a small world isn’t it?!

Greenwich Park 5k 7

Later on Sunday I got an email with a link to the race results, which told me that I’d probably got a personal worst! 36:30 compared to 31:31 the previous year – slightly depressing, but at the same time I’m fully aware of my situation at the moment, recovering from injury and barely running. If anything it just made me even more determined to get back to where I was, and to become even stronger and a more fully-rounded “athlete”, if that doesn’t sound too ridiculous! Doing my exercises at the gym these last few weeks has made me realise that to become a better runner, I need to do more than just run, and to take those strengthening sessions as seriously as each mile on any training plan.

I’m eyeing up races in 2016 and trying not to get sucked in. I’m going to take it steady, but am thinking about targeting another half marathon towards the end of the year, and then the London Marathon the year after, so watch this space people!

Greenwich Park 5k 1

Have you taken part in a Christmas race or parkrun this December? I will hopefully be heading to a New Years Day parkrun too which I’m looking forward to as well. 

Beki x

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8 Comments

  1. Anna @AnnaTheApple December 22, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Nice work! Don’t be disheartened by your time though. Injuries suck but it’s sensible taking the proper time to recover and heal fully. I lost so much fitness with my last injury but it’s a great goal to push me forward to try and get back to where I was.

    • misswheezy
      Author
      December 30, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      I hope you’re fully recovered now Anna! It is definitely an incentive to keep going, trying to get back to where I was fitness-wise, and hopefully move forward too 🙂 Happy Christmas x

  2. Maria @ runningcupcake December 22, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    That medal is brilliant!
    Don’t worry about the time either- like you say you have had an injury and so you need to give yourself time to get back to your normal speed. That’s why I like tail running at parkrun- now my slowest 5k is officially something like 54 minutes, so even if I am not feeling great I know I can beat that!
    I did a kids reindeer run the other weekend, which was good fun, and then a festive 5 where I got a chocolate Santa at the finish line! I am hoping to go to parkrun on Christmas day too.

    • misswheezy
      Author
      December 30, 2015 / 5:53 pm

      Oooh chocolate Santa at the finish line sounds good! Hope you had a good Christmas Day parkrun too 🙂 x

  3. Mary December 24, 2015 / 6:52 am

    I love that medal…and the look of that brunch!
    It can be so disheartening running races you’ve run in the past and not achieving a time you were once capable of. I find the best way to deal with it is to take the pressure off, take some friends along and clearly adjust my expectations before starting, and it sounds like you did all those things anyway and had a lot of fun. Times aren’t everything!
    I haven’t run any festive races as such before, but the extra parkruns over Christmas week have started to become a tradition now. The atmosphere at parkrun on Christmas Day is fab!

    • misswheezy
      Author
      December 30, 2015 / 5:52 pm

      Haha yes the brunch was great! I definitely tried not to let it get to me that I was so much slower, running with friends always helps 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed parkrun! x

  4. Andreea December 24, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    Such pretty medal! Don’t worry about the time, sometimes all it matters is having fun! I couldn’t join a Christmas themed race this year, but I did a virtual one together with my husband and made a day out of it. We personally delivered some Christmas cards to our friends. We had lots of fun, didn’t even care about the time.

    • misswheezy
      Author
      December 30, 2015 / 5:51 pm

      That sounds like a lovely Christmassy run Andreea! I agree that enjoying yourself is just as important 🙂

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