On Sunday I ran past the entrance to Alice Holt. Alice Holt is our local forestry commission woodland. A beautiful place that plays host to the annual Bolt Round The Holt, picnics with children, walks with dogs and where many a local child has learnt to cycle. As I plodded, painfully and slowly, towards Farnham I mused that Alice Holt could make a good parkrun venue. There are loads of paths through the woods, plenty of car parking but the requirement for a place to have coffee left me wondering if the rather basic 'Forest Centre' would be able to accommodate the needs of many ravenous runners. From looking at the website, it appears that the café has had a bit of a makeover recently, so maybe it would be just the ticket!
Yesterday evening I received my 'parkrun newsletter.' In it there was a call for people who might be interested in volunteering to set up a new parkrun at Alice Holt. A parkrun 4 miles away from me sounds ideal! And being involved in setting up a new parkrun would be very exciting. But Basingstoke parkrun feels like home to me! I've made so many new friends there and been made to feel part of a community in a way I never imagined possible. Of course the same thing might well happen at a new venue that I choose to attend on a regular basis, but I'd always wonder what was going on over in Basingstoke.
I think I've decided what I'll do. I will be enthusiastic about helping to get this parkrun off the ground. I will tell all my local running friends about it. I will most certainly run the first run. After that I will run at Alice Holt once a month, and volunteer there on occasion too (how else will I get to know people?) but keep Basingstoke as my home run.
All this presupposes that I can still run! After an 8.5 mile run on Sunday, which was painful for almost every step of the way, I didn't run again until this evening. I had a sports massage on Tuesday and felt really good afterwards. I was advised not to run on Wednesday (by the masseuse) which was fine as I was out for supper, so tonight was my first run in what seems like a long time.
It still hurts. In fact my legs seem to be developing more aches and pains than ever before. I managed 3.3miles - just! It seems I have made the right decision not to run the Bracknell Half Marathon on Sunday. In fact, I don't think I'll get a long run this weekend at all, as it is my youngest son's birthday on Sunday. I may manage parkrun on Saturday, but whatever happens this is going to be a very light mileage week for me.