Addicted to ParkRun

Spot the Dennis! #hovepromparkrun #BM10

My ParkRun inspiration

A post shared by Sarah Booker (@nimmykins) on Apr 9, 2017 at 12:39am PDT

When I put my mind to it I can do things.

This year I’ve cut out dairy after saying goodbye to cheese at Christmas, and in January took up ParkRun.

So far I’ve attended ten events, completed eight runs (power walks) and volunteered once.

I shaved three minutes and 24 seconds of my first time.

Like a loon I’ve signed up to the 2018 BM10. I know I can finish within the required two hours.

Pretty sure I’ll be last. I’m nearly always second to last, but I DON’T CARE!

Nearly every week it feels great to take part.

What makes ParkRun so special is the positive attitude.

People cheer me along at the back. I cheer people lapping me.

This weekend I scanned the finishers (I’m not well).

Some of these people are really fast, but what made it very ParkRunny was the number of them who thanked me for volunteering.

It makes you feel warm inside.

This week I start my introduction to running course with Brighton and Hove Women’s Running Club.

I feel better in myself and much healthier.


Time to get moving – first Parkrun experience

Hove Parkrun on the prom. Image by EnKayTee on Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Hove Parkrun on the prom. Image by EnKayTee on Flickr, licenced by Creative Commons

Four years ago I felt tremendous.

I had lost nearly five stone thanks to determination and a combination of Weight Watchers and Zumba three times a week.

Then I fell pregnant at 41, 13 years after being told it was unlikely I would conceive naturally due to PCOS.

I didn’t put on much weight during pregnancy.

As a type two diabetic (thanks PCOS), I had to watch what I ate to keep my blood sugars at the right level.

By the time my daughter was born my sugars were normal. I mean normal human being normal.

As time passed they crept up again but were still within the normal range.

While I was exclusively breastfeeding I could eat ANYTHING!

I felt hungry constantly. I still reached my WW 50lb target (should add I always work in metric so was weighed in kilos every week. Why do people still use Imperial when metric was introduced in the early 70s?), taking me down to a size 16.

When we weaned on to solids at six months I didn’t change my bad habits.

It’s all gone back on again and my blood sugars have gone up, not to what they were but back into type two levels. (Imagine weeping and grinding of teeth).

I had to do something so I’ve stopped eating dairy. This was no biggy in the end as it wasn’t agreeing with me, and pushed myself to take more exercise.

As I couldn’t afford £100 a month for  Zumba classes three times a week(how I miss them). I decided to try out Parkrun.

My old friend Sue volunteers and takes part every week, sometimes with her daughter and grandsons, too.

I took to Facebook to ask my friends if anyone else did it and what they thought.

After a positive response I decided to go for it. After all it’s free.

It was freezing cold on Saturday morning when I dragged myself to Hove, seafront.

I had three layers including my coat. I must have looked odd with a coat and handbag.

The encouragement was tremendous. The runners lapping me cheered me on as I plodded on with the tail walker.

Even though I didn’t finish as my ankle and knee were hurting, I knew I’d done the right thing.

It wasn’t forced. It was friendly and welcoming. I didn’t feel like an out-of-place weirdo.

I will be back, I will go further and eventually faster.

In the meantime I’ll keep up with a daily constitutional.

One week on – musings on being among a million miscarriages

It seems strange two weeks ago I was pregnant, now I’m not.

After the catharsis of my post loss blog I had an overwhelmingly positive response.

Maybe not negative is a better word.

One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and I am reminded this is not one in four women.

As so many people I know share their experiences with me it seems more than half the women I know have lost at least one pregnancy.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared the miscarriage problems he and his wife experienced before finding the confidence to share what looks like a successful pregnancy.

It’s breaking a taboo. 

The more people talk about it and share, I’m sure more people won’t feel so alone.

In many ways I feel luck, I’m okay. It didn’t happen out of the blue. I have a healthy, happy child. There wasn’t much to see.

Sometimes a wave of sadness suddenly hits me. Generally I’m okay. I feel much better, apart from a migraine as the hormones crashed.

The pain experienced by people who suddenly find they’re losing, or lose a second, third or more pregnancy, is so much more than mine.

It seems so unfair when people don’t want children and other potentially wonderful parents are unsuccessful.

Joining the one in four women

Embryo at seven weeks

Embryo at seven weeks

Last night I joined a statistical group.

One in four known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. I italicised the known as goodness knows how many more may go early on.

The posters in EPU prepare you for the worst. 

During our first visit for a viability scan I thought it was a bit doom and gloom.

Our unexpected little bean was alive but not yet kicking.

Less than a week later it was dead.

On Friday (September 4) we were back in EPU after I became concerned.

When the sonographer passed the sonographic thing over my stomach I could see it didn’t look like a nine-week embryo.

More searching and she called my husband over: “Here is your baby, I’m afraid there is no heartbeat.”

I felt an overwhelming sadness and guilt. Having a second child wasn’t something I wanted at 44.

I felt bad for not wanting it, but I had got used to the idea so my love was growing.

“It’s not your fault, there’s nothing you could have done,” Claire the EPU sister told us.

Just two weeks earlier we had joked about our unexpected middle aged pregnancies and how we should know better.

“We’re old, our stuff isn’t high qualify,” I replied.

“Not old,” she responded, “We have extensive life experience.”

It made me laugh.

The rule of thumb is don’t tell anyone until you’re 12 week, but I told loads of close friends and family.

Passing on the bad news was not great. Mostly by text after short calls to my mother and sister. 

I wasn’t in the mood for conversation.

Four days later it decided to leave at 3am.

It’s been a rough night.

Even though it was tiny and didn’t look like much, I wasn’t going to flush it away.

We’ll bury it in the garden. At least it didn’t feel or know anything.

Now we press on and love our two-year-old even more.