I haven't taken photos for the last two Parkruns intending to really focus on improving my walking ability and of course, my time.
Three weeks ago, I was doing quite well at between the 3 and 4km marker when a visitor overtook me and called out a greeting. She had been jogging and walking and would pass me and I'd then pass her. It ended up we walked together and of course, as women are wont to do, chatting. Now, I LOVE chatting but on the Parkrun I prefer to get out onto the field on my own and to WALK - silently with my own thoughts and concentrating to get to the end. That's just me...
Angela (we introduced ourselves) hailed from Johannesburg but has moved to a smaller and quieter suburb of Pietermaritzburg for her young children's sake. She's also recently been widowed and had come to the berg for the weekend to scatter her husband's ashes. She also has a son working at sea and he knows our son, John.
When we got to the end, Pieter told me my time:
45 minutes and 52 seconds.
Mmm, my previous week had been my Personal Best at 45 minutes and 30 seconds. I thought walking with this younger woman, I would have improved my time. OK. So I'd look forward to next week to improve.
The next week, I'd also reached the part between 3 and 4km, when a man pulled up beside me. He had always run the Parkrun and finished in under 35 minutes according to the report every week. He struck up a conversation with me; I asked where he'd been as I'd not seen him since end March. He'd been on leave. I thought well, if I walk with Dave, I will finish in 45 minutes or less.
He asked where I lived and when I told him, he said: Oh, that's near where John Hedges lives. I told him we live ON John's property and that I',m John's mom. It turns out he has known John and Debbie since 2008 when they first moved to the Drakensberg.
When we reached the end, I asked Pieter my time:
47 minutes and 11 seconds
Dave came in just behind me and while we were having a drink of water, he thanked me for my company - said he'd taken it slow being his first day back in three weeks!
This Saturday past as I started out jogging the first 700 meters, I felt a lot better than I had the previous two weeks. There was hope...
I continued to walk hard and managed to run once between the 3 and 4km mark. As I slowed down while walking on the dam wall, I heard firm steps behind me. I don't ever look around but imagined they were a man's but soon two younger women (40-ish) came running from the front and called out to the person behind me:
Well done Dad!
They fell into step with the man behind me who thanked them but said: Just watch this lady in front of us! I chuckled and called over my shoulder: you're looking at a granny of nine!
Another half a kilometer and the elderly gentleman overtook me. His daughters decided to run back to the end again. I kept in step (with great difficulty, I might add) with the man in front of me. At the last 200 meters, I broke into a jog and overtook my elderly challenger!
As I passed him he called:
You go, granny!
At the end, Ann clocked us in; she told me my time:
45 Minutes and 47 seconds
Not quite my personal best but at least I was improving. The elderly gentleman came in at 46 minutes. At the water fountain, his daughters, he and I chatted. I said to him: we're not fussy about telling our age, so please tell me how old you are? He said he's 83 ! I told him I aim to be an 83 year-old like him!
Anthony was walking (and talking to Jenny, my hiking partner) and came a little after this. Grant was walking with Roy who had major surgery in December and is in remission from cancer of the stomach and they clocked in at 59 minutes!
I end with the beautiful sunrise over the maize fields as we drove out to the Parkrun on Saturday.
I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here
HAVE A GREAT TUESDAY EVERYONE!