Banbury Parkrun 27th July & 3rd August 2019.
I didn't do parkrun last week 27th July because I was having my hair done. I'm sorry if I have shocked all those people who thought my variegated red/ginger/purple hair was natural (!) but I'm afraid it is all down to the skill of my wonderful hairdresser. But while I was being pampered and my youngest son was 'borrowing' blue hair dye (it will wash out before the beginning of term, I promise!), representatives from West Bar were not idle. Mandy (sadly no longer one of our receptionists but we still count her as ours) did her FIFTIETH parkrun - very impressive. James Kennard who is joining us soon, and Abbie from the PPG both volunteered and cheered everyone round.
This week 3rd August, being the first Saturday of the month, should have been a good West Bar turnout. But - lots of people are on holiday and I haven't sent as many enthusiastic (some say nagging) emails. But - even so - Stephen ran (his 8th parkrun), which was very impressive as he was at the cricket yesterday and had a late night - not a personal best this time. Sarah ran - her 22nd parkrun and a Personal Best of 31:40. Fantastic! I was Number Checker, an extremely important and crucial role - with a clipboard! And Abbie (plus Jade) and Kelly from the PPG were marshalling. It was quite humid so a lot of people had sensibly brought water bottles. I really enjoyed my volunteering role - I've not been number checker before; at the end you get to hang all the barcode tokens on the board in number order, strangely satisfying!
It was great fun with lots of good humour. A brilliant way to set yourself up for the weekend. Do come along to spectate so you can see for yourselves. Spiceball Park every Saturday - run starts at 0900 am so aim to be there a bit before. It's fab!
Everyone is welcome
Banbury parkrun 20th July 2019
At the PPG (Patient Participation Group - new members always welcome!) on Tuesday, Paula and Kelly said they would like to give marshalling a go. I'm a great believer in striking while the iron is hot, so when I had an email from Banbury parkrun requesting marshals, I volunteered us to go along! Paula tells me she was experiencing quite some negativity towards me as she left home and, I quote, "the rain was bouncing off the roof". I have to say it looked pretty grim when I set off too. Being British I had put on my Factor 50 as well as packing my waterproofs, which was just as well, because the sun came out, and apart from brief relief from passing clouds, it was HOT!
We had a fab time cheering people on and having a lovely natter in between. Paula and Kelly are tentatively planning to participate next time, walking. But, as they were able to see, lots of people do walk it and get just as much out of it. It was great to see colleagues from other practices, hospital staff and many patients. It's so much easier to spot them when I'm not using all my energy to put one foot in front of the other! Who would have thought?
I was delighted to see Mandy, formerly of reception, doing her 49th parkrun - which means the next one will be FIFTY!! Very impressed. Sarah is continuing to run well, having completed her 'Race for Life' last week with her family. Abbie from the PPG, with Jade in the pushchair, has improved on her previous time, despite the wheels doing that shopping trolley thing when she tried to propel the pushchair over the bridge, and despite having to console Jade who was DESPERATE to run. Maybe when her legs are a little bit longer!!
So it's TWO WEEKS till the first Saturday of August which is the 3rd. Plenty of time to find those trainers, stretch those legs and get ready for a big West Bar turn out! I hope to see you there!!
Banbury parkrun 13th July 2019
I didn't do parkrun this weekend! We had 3 day tickets for the British Grand Prix. I couldn't go on Friday because I was at work, but luckily there was still West Bar representation as Darren went instead. We left the house at 7 am on Saturday (and even earlier yesterday!) so at 9 am when I should have been doing parkrun I was walking around the outside of the circuit. I'm pretty sure I managed at least 5 k but obviously not in any kind of recorded time! It was a totally amazing experience and we had a fantastic time. I do have to report a slight sore throat and hoarse voice as there may have been a small amount of very genteel hollering going on. Back to normal this week though so I plan to be at parkrun this Saturday coming (20th July) - in Banbury as my sister is busy. Don't worry, I didn't abandon her when I went to the Grand Prix, she was on a Thai cooking course. Can't wait to try some samples. So, if anyone wants to experience the parkrun love, come along!!
Banbury parkrun 6th July 2019
There was a good turnout for the first parkrun of the month. James Kennard, who worked with us for a week, and is hopefully coming back later in the year, achieved a new Personal Best of 23:51 - very impressive! Sarah McAllister, who has been in training for the Oxford 5 k 'Race for Life' next Sunday 14th July, raising money for cancer research, completed in an impressive 32:08, ANOTHER Personal Best. And Ann whizzed round in 33:08, despite dropping her mobile phone and, mistaking parkrun for the gymnastics bit of the Olympics, nearly doing the splits retrieving it - a Personal Best time also. Nicky, with Jasper the dog, completed the course in 34:17 which I suspect is also a Personal Best. I do have to say that I think having a dog, especially Jasper, is an unfair advantage, as he pulls you round with his enthusiasm!
I did a careful scientific study with my run and can conclusively say that running all the way, even as slowly as I do, is still faster than fast walking sections of the 5k, as my time of 38:16 was better than last week! Also speaking scientifically, as I have to carry more weight around, AND for longer, I am quite sure I burn a LOT more calories than those speedy people. Which is fortunate as my husband gave me Lindor chocolates for our wedding anniversary today. So I won't feel QUITE as guilty when I scoff them! Actually, I must burn off even more calories from my excessively red face as well. I'm practically in negative calories....
Robyn came in at 47:24 shaming hubby Dave who stayed in bed! As did my hubby to be honest. I was delighted to see Abigail from our Patient Participation Group with daughter Jade in her pushchair coming along too. The grass was long, wet & some had been recently cut so I imagine pushing a pushchair through it was no mean feat. Fantastic effort! So good to see so many of our other patients there too. Also, an increasing number of healthcare staff who have previously looked after my oldest son James at various times during his life. I was hoping to show off my photos of him in his dinner suit going to his end of school prom - but they had long finished and gone home by the time I crossed the line!!!
The parkrun organisers have suggested that we might want to do a 'parkrun takeover' where all of the volunteer roles (marshals, time keepers, barcode scanners etc) would be done by members of the surgery community - staff and patients. They would help us with the Run Director role! I think this is a fab idea. It'd be a real opportunity to generate some publicity and enthuse more people to attend. I'm not sure if we might want to wait until after the Summer holidays. We'll have to give it some thought.
Now, where are those chocolates...
Cutteslowe Parkrun 29th June 2019
David has just brought me a cold Sanpellegrino Limonata - bliss!
Hot hot hot! I met with my sister to do the Oxford parkrun at Cutteslowe. It was very hot but I survived, although I did have to walk a couple of times due to cramp. I'm sure if I exercised more, and ate and drank more healthily then I wouldn't have got cramp - lesson learnt! James Kennard was there, at the front of the field. He worked with us this week as a taster part of his registrar training. Sam Hart, one of our previous trainees, streaked off into the distance. And, Gracia, James Connor's other half, was looking admirably elegant and happy at the end - having posted a much better time than I could even dream of. My time was 39:26 - that walking! But appropriate as it was my 39th parkrun. Which is, in itself, amazing. I would never have believed I would have managed to keep on doing parkruns back when I started. But I feel so fantastic when I finish and everyone is so supportive and encouraging. And it's fun!!
Don't forget - next Saturday 6th July is the FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH!! Which means it would be brilliant if we could get a really good turn-out from West Bar. Even if you just come along to spectate - everyone is really friendly and it is such a happy event!
Banbury parkrun 15th June 2019
I did go to parkrun last weekend (15th June) but I was marshalling. They had sent round an email asking for volunteers and, although I am DETERMINED to hit 50 runs this year & to get below 35 minutes, I also know that I should volunteer from time to time as well. And - I do really enjoy marshalling! I was on the island side of the wooden bridge clapping and trying to cheer everyone on. In the moments between runners I was nipping off to take photos of flowers and plants for my 'learn to paint' course. I'm sure the other marshals and runners seeing me must have thought I was bonkers. And I have discovered a new medical condition "marshal's wrist". On Sunday & Monday both wrists were really quite sore. It took a worryingly long time (given that I AM a doctor and all that) to realise that it was due to doing about an hour of continuous clapping!
I can't go this Saturday as I have a hair appointment. Spoiler alert - it's not my natural colour...!!
But - don't forget, there are only two more weeks until the first Saturday of the month - 6th July!! I'm hoping for a keen turnout - it's bound to be lovely weather and it is fantastic fun!!
Banbury parkrun 8th June 2019
The kitchen window thermometer was on 10 degrees so I went for shorts. Which may have been an error as I hadn't factored in the wind and the rain. I was at Cutteslowe, Oxford as my sister is now back from her holiday. She was wearing longs AND a waterproof running top. Maybe the thermometer read less at her house. She was shocked when I took off my hoodie before starting but I KNOW that I am hot to the point of spontaneous combustion after about 20 steps so I just had to brave the run briefing clenching my teeth against the windchill factor of at least minus 10. She was too hot after about half a lap. I was very restrained and grown-up and didn't say "I told you so". Actually, that's mostly because I was just doing breathing.
It was lovely to see Sam Hart (who was one of our trainees many years ago) and his family on bikes in the park. He cheered us on which was kind - and extremely necessary, at least for me. I managed to get round in 35:14 which is very pleasing for my target of getting sub-35. There were fewer runners (likely weather-related) so we were able to scythe through the field (well, in my slightly delirious state we did...). And - having worn shorts, I had PROPER mud splatters on my legs like a real runner! Clearly the right decision after all.
June is a short month so it will soon be the first weekend of July for a big turnout of staff and patients. Put it in your diaries - 6th July! It's really good fun, everyone is very friendly and it's a fab way to start the weekend. You don't have to run - you can walk, jog, spectate or volunteer. It's all really beneficial and gets you out & about in the fresh air and meeting lovely people.
Banbury parkrun 1st June 2019
Well, that was hot! To celebrate the first anniversary of RCGP linking with parkrun to create parkrun practices, GP practices everywhere were encouraged to pledge to do parkrun this Saturday. Which neatly coincided with our usual plan for West Bar to turn up for the first Saturday of the month. Hightown Surgery had an amazing turnout all in blue T-shirts with the surgery name on. There were also doctors and staff from Bloxham and Deddington surgeries. I was joined by Mandy, Stephen, Ann and Sarah who all ran very well.
Nicky also did the parkrun in Weymouth, in her West Bar T-shirt and.....did EXACTLY the same time as Ann here in Banbury - 34:54. Very impressive.
Stephen came in at 25:21. He is trying to beat Darren's Personal Best - respect! I managed 36:49 so my theory that my bright white legs would make me go faster was clearly incorrect! Never mind. At least I managed to run the whole way round, although one of the marshals, with the kindest intent, did suggest I was allowed to walk if I wanted to. I think I was looking particularly exhausted and slow-moving at the time!
When I first started running, my sister explained the 10 degree rule. If it is warmer than 10 degrees then you wear shorts, if it is colder then you wear longs. It was 16 degrees by our outside thermometer (stuck to the kitchen window) so shorts it was. I am optimistic that my fluorescently white legs and arms will have made me go faster but I don't know yet. There was a fault with the bar code reader so I didn't register. The poor organisers are now trying to work out who finished where according to what we tell them. I can't remember who was in front of or behind me, apart from people shouting "come on babe!" and a bloke ran past. Thinking about it now that I have the normal level of oxygen going to my brain again, I'm guessing it might have been "come on Dave!" but I don't think that is going to help! I didn't look at my numbered token either, so I can't work it out from that.
Obviously, this leads me into temptation. There are quite a few "unknown"s in the 23 minute times. I could tell the organisers that I think that's where I finished & they might credit me with an amazing, and quite unprecedented Personal Best....But, I'd never ever be able to achieve it again, unless I missed out a couple of laps, and...I'd only be cheating myself! So, I've texted other finishers to see if they remember who finished near me & we'll see if we can work out some kind of time from that. I came in last out of West Bar staff, Deliberately obviously. Nothing to do with fitness or lack of speed, I like to make sure they are all safe and can stop and help if any of them have any problems. Honest!
Anyway, in spite of being very hot and sweaty, it was a real pleasure to be there with lots of people cheering us on and such a positive attitude. I can't recommend it enough!!
Please ask me if you want to know any more about parkrun or starting the 'couch 2 5k' free NHS app to get you running 5 k and possibly participating in parkrun. The next 'first Saturday of the month' will be 6th July - why not aim to come along then? It's our wedding anniversary so maybe I'll get David to come. He'll be faster than me though.....
It's such a fab way to start the weekend. I came home and had a lovely sit down with a big mug of coffee. Bliss!
So this Saturday (11th May) I met up with my sister at Cutteslowe Park for the Oxford parkrun. It was slightly fresh so Lynnette was worried that she should maybe keep her jacket on. I knew I would be instantaneously hot as soon as I started running so had no concerns about tying my hoodie around a handy tree. She saw reason and added her jacket. We were delighted to see James and his son. Out of sheer politeness and consideration we let them go ahead and didn't cramp their style. Which is obviously the whole reason why their times (29:54!!) were really fab.... Mind you, I was very pleased to get to 35:19 which shows that eating fewer biscuits and cake and actually doing a bit of exercise in the week does make a difference! Who knew?
The RCGP want to celebrate a year of parkrun practice on 1st June and are encouraging people to pledge to do parkrun that week. This is for staff, patients, whoever. You don't have to run, you can walk, spectate or volunteer. My James is quite keen to come along one week but can only walk really short distances without needing oxygen/having to stop so I might push him around in his wheelchair. Please do click on the link and pledge. The more the merrier. It is brilliant fun!!
For more information and to pledge to parkrun on 01 June 2019, Please click HERE
Banbury parkrun 04/05/19
May the 4th be with you
So - as it was 4th May, lots of park runners and volunteers turned up in Star Wars themed outfits. You can see some of the photos on the Banbury parkrun facebook page:
I was overtaken by Princess Leia complete with the hair AND pushing a buggy! Respect. Despite lots of people having other commitments there was a good turnout of West Bar staff - Kerry came to cheer us on, joined by Robyn (who was worried I might be on my lonesome, thank-you Robyn) - both wearing their West Bar parkrun practice T-shirts. Dave was running, having had some unintended practice running for a plane (he made it). By some weird reverse psychology, I promised NOT to nag Sarah to come to parkrun and this caused her to feel she had to come. I wonder if 'not nagging' could work in other areas of my life?.... Mandy was also there, keeping everyone company at the front of the field.
I also spotted 2 paediatricians, one of the nurses who used to look after my son, a couple of GPs and MANY patients which is utterly fantastic. On the list of runners I saw Jane Charles-Nash who some of you may remember used to work with us. I didn't actually see her in the flesh as she was a LOT faster than me.
There was quite a cold wind and I was quite chilly initially but soon became hot and sweaty, as per usual. I was actually grateful for the cold wind when I finished - it helped cool me down. I was talking with another runner who told me he was a MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) and I was proudly able to say that I am a WILMA (woman in lycra - middle aged).
I got round in 36:49 so my aim for this year is to get under 35 minutes. Looking forward to the 1st June which is the next target - the RCGP is having a big push to try to get as many as possible to sign up & come along. Even if you don't want to run or volunteer, please come along to cheer us on!!
Cutteslowe parkrun 20th April 2019
It was a gorgeous Saturday morning at Cutteslowe Park when I met up with my sister to do parkrun.
Lovely to bump into James and his family too. In fact, there were quite a lot of doctors there, including a GP from Deddington, a couple of cardiologists and a rheumatologist.
All faster than me, obviously! But I am pleased to say that I managed to run the whole way round without having to stop to walk - I think this was purely because my sister had absolute belief that I could still do it - which goes to show the power of brain over legs! It was my 34th parkrun and I did it in 36 minutes and 42 seconds.
The time doesn't matter, doing the 5k is the amazing thing. As always, lots of cheerful, friendly people cheering us on. It's so lovely when someone who is lapping you, or who has already finished and is nonchalantly running home, pauses to encourage you and build your confidence.
parkrun is such a positive supportive organisation. Only 2 weeks until the first Saturday of the month 4th May when I will be encouraging a good turn-out of West Bar staff and patients to run, walk, watch or volunteer at Banbury parkrun in Spiceball Park. Make a note in your diaries!!!
Banbury parkrun 6th April 2019
Well - it was a slightly fresh start but the beginning of a gorgeous day. And a good turn out from West Bar. Lots of patients there, as always, but also a cluster of chilly individuals in West Bar T-shirts. Maybe it was because everyone wanted to warm up a bit but there was a very impressive clutch of PBs (Personal Bests) for Darren, Stephen, Mandy and Ann - really excellent effort by all. I came in last of the West Bar staff with a time of 37 minutes 32 seconds and, as ever, a sense of amazement that I did it at all!
We were all cheered on by other runners, walkers, marshals and spectators. It's such a good-hearted event.
If you are interested in having a go, please ask any of us. You can always start by downloading the free 'NHS to 5k' app and going from there, that’s how I did it, and if I can do it, then almost anyone can!
Banbury parkrun 30th March 2019
My sister is away this week so I did Banbury parkrun rather than Oxford. I did have a degree of reluctance to come out from under the duvet, especially as nobody else was up yet. But it was SO worth it. A totally gorgeous Spring day. I saw a few familiar faces. I tried to be friendly and say hello but may have missed people - as I stagger around I'm not able to do much other than wave and smile! My time has dropped from 37 minutes 50 last week to 37 minutes 16 this week. Last week I started off wearing a hoodie which I almost immediately had to remove & tie round my waist - I reckon it must have impaired my aerodynamics....
Next week is the first Saturday of April so time for a good West Bar turn out. Please come along - you can walk round, jog, run, spectate or volunteer. It's really good fun and a fantastic way to start the weekend! Saturday 6th April 2019
Banbury parkrun 25th March 2019
I did my first parkrun in over a month since breaking my collarbone. Luckily my sister had a LOT of stuff to talk to me about so she hoppity skipped along next to me, chatting, and I lolloped along unable to speak (ideal listening partner!!). 37 minutes 50 seconds. My times are getting longer!!! But I felt on top of the world afterwards - once I was able to speak and stuff... Gorgeous day for it and we had so much encouragement and cheering on as we went round.
2 weeks until the next West Bar turn out at Banbury parkrun!!
That will be Saturday 6th April 2019
Banbury parkrun 5th January 2019.
Well - we certainly made a West Bar impression on parkrun this week! Well done everyone who came along on Saturday 5th January - lots of people were asking questions & being interested which is excellent. Bev and Christine from admin cheered us all on from the bridge which was much appreciated. Possibly Bev may join up for next time. Sarah from reception sprinted around despite reports of having been at home in pj's. Mandy (reception) disappeared elegantly into the distance despite rumours that she was marshalling... Kerry (reception) glided past me, chatting away (I don't have any breath for conversation!). Robyn (nursing team) and Dave were a force to be reckoned with - Dave showing off his tanned muscly legs & Robyn showing grit and determination. Suzanne and Pip (secretarial team) came round together channelling Miranda as they did horsey cantering to the finish. And huge cheers for Jane and Janice (reception) parkrunning for the first time, wearing their West Bar t-shirts with pride, crossing the line with poise and dignity. I also spotted some patients doing parkrun for the first time! I don't know if it is because of us promoting it or not. Either way, really fantastic to see.
Next big turnout will be the first Saturday in Feb which is the 2nd. It was fantastic fun, there's a really lovely atmosphere and it's very friendly. Do come along, even if it's just to spectate. Fresh air, friendly people, green spaces, what better way to start your weekend!
Banbury parkrun 3rd November.
As it was the first Saturday of the month we had a good turnout. I was handing our bar codes but will definitely be running (lolloping really) next time. Thanks so much for turning out Darren, Stephen, Mandy, Dave Baird, Lucy & Robyn + various patients.
Raj's patient was sad not to see him & will be nagging him when he next sees him. One of Nicky's patients claimed a T-shirt for her husband who was running, so lots of positivity!
Thanks everyone & keep on going those who aren't quite there yet! You can always come to spectate or marshal. It's really good fun & it was GORGEOUS on Saturday.
The West Bar team had a fantastic turn-out on Saturday 15th September. Thanks so much to everyone for coming, whether running, walking, cheering on or playing a supporting role. The T-shirts were fab - special thanks to Andrew and Tom.
Banbury parkrun were very welcoming and pleased to have us there. I note that several people achieved personal bests which is extremely impressive!
For those who were unable to make it this Saturday I plan to encourage another group to go again on the 22nd. I think/hope everyone enjoyed it so we might try to make it a specific regular event.
I recorded a Personal slowest time for me - stopped to help someone having a seizure!!
West Bar Surgery is now a parkrun practice. What does this mean? We will be encouraging staff and patients to attend the Banbury parkrun as volunteers, runners, walkers, spectators. There's evidence that whatever level people participate at there are positive mental and physical health benefits.
free, outdoors & accessible to all; the opportunity to socialise, make friends and be part of a welcoming, supportive community; improves health and wellbeing through physical activity, including volunteering; NOT a race - walk, run, jog or spectate: parkrun are proud to say that their average times have gone UP since starting - as in more 'less speedy' people are doing it; 5k based around a park.
We will try to get a whole lot of staff and patients doing the 'NHS couch to 5k' app & once they are at 5k (theoretically in about 9 weeks) a big group will do the park run.
This is general info about parkrun
This is info about parkrun Banbury
This is how to register for parkrun
This is info about the NHS couch to 5k