Saturday was my 99th parkrun. It’s taken me a long time to get there (more than 99 weeks, for sure) and I’ve done many runs in between, but it never fails to amaze me how the same old routes on the same old days can be so utterly different. I’ve been to other parkruns (about 9, I think), so we can discount those, but I can confidently say that, despite approx 90 slogs around that 2.5-loop route on a Saturday morning, I can never predict how I’m going to feel, how fast I am going to go, or even whether I will enjoy it. And that’s true right up until I cross the finish line. I can sometimes rock up feeling full of energy, bouncing around at the start, raring to go, and then flag completely within ten minutes. Or get stitch. Or feel sick. Then other times (like this week), I feel like I could do with a nap even before I get there. On Saturday I even stepped to the side to do some Pilates roll-downs as I felt so snarled up and tired. But then I zoomed around, consistently overtaking, and finishing faster than I have in ages.
I guess it’s an example of the benefits of just getting on with it, and I mean that for exercise in general (not just running!), proving that you shouldn’t let your mind tell you that it’s not worth bothering, or convince you to give it a miss today. Easier said than done, I know, but I have started to use good memories of my surprise parkruns to get me out of the door when I’m not feeling motivated. And maybe, if it helps, now you will too.