Every time I’ve considered doing Grovelands parkrun, I’ve changed my mind at the last minute, not because the course looks evil or dull, but because the parking is limited and weekend engineering works usually make the journey look tortuous.
But this weekend, I girded my loins and headed off to catch a train to catch a tube to catch another tube to sunny Enfield. And to my delight and surprise, I ran into two parkrunners I met at Gunpowder parkrun. It seems that despite my nomadic tendencies, I have still found a parkrun community.
Grovelands is just under three laps, and on the course description it is described as “flat/slightly undulating”. This, my friends, is a lie. While I would not go so far as to call it hilly (at least not while Bolton and Hampstead Heath parkruns remain seared into my memory), the lap contains a very definite rise that reduced more than one runner to a walk.
I’m not too keen on three lap courses, as there are usually fast runners finishing as I embark on my final lap, but Grovelands is pretty enough (lake, trees, ducks, swans) and friendly enough to make up for that minor drawback.
After the post-run chatting was out the way, I set off home. Running. Armed with directions to London Waterloo, I pootled off but I only made it as far as Finsbury Park (about seven miles with a couple of wrong turns and an interesting diversion in what turned out to be a very large dead end) before my knee called time.
Apparently the complete absence of long runs since early October and the flare-up of my chocoholism have made my knee resistant to anything over six miles. I feel some slow and steady building back up-ness may be called for.
PS: Congratulations, Ron!