For the second part of our trip, we headed up north to see the Husband’s parents. They have a static caravan in Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast, so we went there to see them. (For US readers, this is kind of like a trailer on a trailer park, but without any connotations that such a thing would have in the US; it’s a common place for UK families to spend summer holidays). We had a great time with the in-laws. We visited seal sanctuaries, played neon-lit indoor mini-golf (uh-huh!) and ate a LOT of bread (oh UK bread, you are amazing). But there was some running too.
I join a running club…briefly.
On the Tuesday, I joined the local running club for their regular run. It was the first time I’ve done such a thing, I was inspired by Running The World, to be honest. The Skegness Coasters were perhaps the friendliest bunch of people I’ve ever run with – they were so kind and welcoming. It was a pyramid/interval night – I joined the middle group and a lovely girl called Martina basically volunteered to run with me the whole way so I didn’t get dropped! In the end, we were pretty much exactly the same speed so now I’m gutted we live so far apart and can’t train together more often! We ran 5.3 miles around Skegness, mixing fast periods of 2,3,4,5 minutes with slower periods and got back feeling pretty awesome at the end. No photos were taken, but if you’re in Skeggy on a Tuesday night, these guys are the nicest. They invited me to their Summer Wednesday night races (5 mile race for 3 GPB/$5) the next night but I couldn’t make it.
Easy miles by the sea
On the Thursday, I headed out for 6 easy miles by myself. Skegness is flat so I cruised along and had a lovely time really.
I race a mobility scooter
On Friday, I took part in a very important race. The Dude and the MIL on her Mobility Scooter versus the runner. I won! The Dude is still disputing this.
For the weekend, we headed to Leeds in Yorkshire, where we used to live, staying with my best friend and seeing most of my other best friends. It was pretty amazing really. On the Saturday morning, I ran my first parkrun. (Yes, I get very angsty at proper nouns that don’t take capitals). We tried to do Roundhay Parkrun last year but it got snowed off. This time, the weather was perfect. I was joined by my friend Andy who came to SF last year to run the SF Marathon.
Roundhay parkrun 5k
I was hugely impressed by parkrun. It’s a free 5k (and they’re held in many many towns across the UK). You print a personalised barcode, run the race and at the end they scan your barcode, scan a finish-time barcode and boom, there’s your result. 224 runners turned out and the atmosphere was great.
The course is brutal. 3 laps of a hilly route. You start at the bottom of a hill, run up it, run along, run down, run along and run up again…and you finish at the top of the hill. I knew this wouldn’t be a fast race for me as I’m not in shape and I knew the course, but I wanted to get under 27 mins. In the end, I scraped in at 26.43 (official time 26.53 but there’s no chip and I started at the back talking to some friends with a stroller). I was actually pretty happy with that time and ended up 19th out of 81 women.
Some more gratuitous photos of our time up north…
And that was actually it for running in the UK. I flew back on Thursday (five days after parkrun) and basically ditched running in exchange for time with my friends and my family…and it was great. It’s lovely to be back, snuggled up with the Husband and the cat, and I am all fired up to start running and training again…but I do kind of miss the UK.