It’s ok to push yourself


I’ve had a crap week.

It’s been long. Travel, meetings, late flights home, early starts, dementia grandparents, babies that wake up even earlier than early starts. Babies that don’t want to go to sleep at bed time. Anyone balancing work and family with one child, let alone three, will know exactly what I mean.

So, just before my second flight of the week on Tuesday, when RunPal Jon said “what time do you want to hit this week?” I optimistically agreed to 1.5 minutes off my PB.

As the week went on, well, to be honest I hadn’t even really thought about it again. Only last night after a long call about dementia grandpa did the task at hand dawn on me. Not in a bad way I might add, in a way that made me think, ah well, let’s just see what happens.

Family loaded into van, surprisingly on time, we arrive at Hove Prom Parkrun, to the smiling Mylene, Naomi and Alyssa pulling up right next to us. I’ve already forgotten about the week I’ve just had.

To be fair all the pals that turned up were there usual vibrant, happy, chatty, fun loving selves.

It turns out, this was my 23rd parkrun, so a perfect opportunity to hit a 23minute Pb here. Leigh was dragged into it as well.

Pace started well. Jon was holding us steady. I felt strong. I moved forward pushing it further. I have no idea what even happened last week. Life is good right now.

I pass my cheering family. I high five lots of RunPals. We are doing it! And it turns out, lots of the pals are smashing their PB’s today too.

Just getting out of bed and getting a here was a personal best for me today, but my running was feeling good. I was running for me today.

4km in, everything was pushing. Everything was working. Lungs were breathing. Head was counting. I FELT ALIVE.

And also slightly battered.

Jon’s encouragement is phenomenal and kept me going even though it hurt. Before we know it, it’s over.

Turns out, I finished with my personal best here, having last completed this course a year ago to the day, by 1 minute 45!

My 23rd parkrun finished in 23.03. Pretty chuffed with that.

It's amazing what you can do when your start to really push yourself.

Chatting to the pals, kids playing with each other, sharing run stories over a warm cuppa - this is the best way I could start a weekend.

Thank you so much to my wonderful family and you wonderful pals for, well, being the best RunPals. Thank you also to the awesome Volunteers at Hove Prom Parkrun for helping make it happen today.

Matt Coyne