Reaching a milestone

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know how much a part of my life parkrun has become. Today, I reached a significant milestone in my journey – my 50th parkrun.

It has taken me 1 year and 8 months to reach that goal, not to mention having to get myself up at 6.30 on Saturday mornings, 50 times (not always easy after a tiring week at work!). Over the 250km that I’ve covered in the name of parkrun, I’ve also managed to run at 18 different courses across Australia including one in every state/territory except Northern Territory (Darwin – I’m coming!). I’ve made incredible friends, shared great times and made amazing memories that will live with me forever. I’ve endured a -2 degree parkrun as well as a few hot ones (and I much prefer the -2!!). I’ve been last and have got over my fear of it, realising it doesn’t mean anything nor is it reflective of how much I put in.

Most importantly, I’m a happier person than I was when I started and have a lot more balance in my life. Quite fittingly, a lyric jumped out at me from my playlist while I ran this morning which summed up perfectly where I am on this journey –

I am the person I’ve been looking for

Here’s to a long and happy parkrunning future!


Happy birthday, Balyang Sanctuary parkrun

Happy birthday balyang sanctuary #parkrun #running #runhappy

A post shared by Gill (@macgirl_19) on

Balyang Sanctuary parkrun turned 3 today and I was very pleased to be able to join in the celebrations (as was my teddy bear)!

Parkrun has been such a great thing for me – not only ensuring that I fit at least a 5km run into my weekends but also introducing me to another supportive running community who I now count as great friends. Attending parkrun is a big part of my regular weekend routine and it doesn’t feel right if I’m not either running or volunteering.

We were lucky this morning to have perfect weather – not too crisp and just right for wearing our pyjamas! I felt really good on the run with only a few small niggles from my calf. I stuck to my 3/1 run/walk segments and managed to keep up a fairly consistent pace throughout. In fact, I was only 1 minute off a personal best which makes me feel like my speed is coming back up – I certainly felt strong out there today and not as tired as I have been.


My teddy bear enjoyed the run too! And the cupcakes at the end were another good incentive to get to the finish line – yum!

Bring on another year of parkrun awesomeness 🙂

mega running weekend – pt 2 – Mother’s Day Classic

It’s very unusual for me to do 2 events on one weekend, especially since my achilles started to make its presence felt. Usually, if I’m running at something on Sunday, I’ll volunteer at parkrun so I have a rest day. However this weekend, it was hard to choose between the parkrun launch and Mother’s Day classic….so I did both!

My alarm clock went off even earlier than on Saturday and I was out of the house in the dark, heading into town to meet up with my friends. I arrived early so sat in my car, watching the rain fall down, when a police car pulled up alongside me. Not that I was doing anything wrong but I swear I have an inbuilt guilty conscience – what had I done!? As it turned out, I hadn’t done anything – it was a parkrun friend who knew we were meeting up and wanted to wish us all luck.

2015-05-10_Mothers_day_classic3After a quick photo stop, we headed off for the usual pre-race toilet break then joined the masses at the waterlogged Eastern Beach and tried to keep as warm and dry as possible until the start. Shedding our waterproof layers was hard – I don’t mind a bit of rain but the rain, wind and general coldness might have been enough to keep me away if I hadn’t been with friends.

We actually managed to miss the starting gun – the warm up and festivities at the stage area were still going on while the starting gun went and we turned at the noise to find a small group setting off across the line. We headed over and started in our own time. As the walkers and runners start together, there was a little ducking and weaving but there was plenty of room to spread out.

I ran with my friend for the first 1km and was impressed with myself as I managed to keep running, despite the steady hill heading up to Eastern Park. Knowing I didn’t want to push my foot, I switched to a 3/1 run/walk strategy after that. The rain had held off and it was just a very light drizzle which kept me cool without being annoying. And few things could take away the joy from running in this spot – Eastern Park is one of my favourite places to run in Geelong.


The last couple of kilometres were the hardest as we came out of the park and headed down towards and beach and the brutal sea ‘breeze’.

I was pleasantly surprised at my time as I crossed the finish but then looked at the other part of my watch and realised it wasn’t really the 8km run that was advertised – my watch was registering a bit over 7.6km. I checked with my friends and found similar results – definitely shorter than intended. But an enjoyable run nevertheless.


We stayed around a little afterwards to cheer another fellow parkrunner over the start line which is exactly when the heavens opened, ensuring all 4km runners and walkers were well and truly drenched. My walk back to the car felt more like a swim which just caused me to giggle – who the heck would not only choose to do this but pay for the privilege?! Me, that’s who 🙂

Overall, a great weekend, made even better by the friends I ran with and chatted to throughout. As much as I love my ‘alone time’ when I run, there’s definitely something to be said for being part of a supportive team of runners.