Mark Snell . com

50th Parkrun & Sub 25 minutes

Parkrun 50

Yesterday was a big morning for me at Parkrun.

It was my 50th Parkrun (earning me the shirt to the right), and at the same time I’d set myself a goal of running the 5km in less than 25 minutes, despite the fact that my PB of 25:22 had stood for over 12 months. In fact that 12 months was beginning to feel like a lifetime ago, before my failed snorkeling experience off Mystery Island in July 2016 and before tearing my knee in December and having surgery on it in February. That said, I knew I’d done a lot of work, and as recently as last week, surprised myself by getting to within 7 seconds of that PB. The thing is, I’d set a goal to break 25 minutes a number of times, and never made it.

I was buoyed by the offer from Tony to pace me through the distance, a ready eye on his watch the whole time. I was not helped at all by the fact the I had a shoelace come undone about 200m in and the other at about the 1.5km mark. I deliberately decided not fix the second shoelace at the first stop, as it would mean I would end up further back in the pack, the lace might hold, and my fingers were too cold and numb to tie properly. 😃

In the end all was well, though in giving my all to get across the finish, I didn’t manage to grab my finish token and had to go back for it a minute or two later once I’d caught my breath. Position #41, definitely my best position number, but I had to wait a couple of hours to get the official time:

Lillydale Lake parkrun results for event #168. Your time was 00:24:40.

24:40! I’d sliced a whopping 42 seconds off my PB, made it under 25 minutes and survived!

Thanks Tony, and all the people who cheered me on on the day.

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Draw with Jazza

I’d never heard of Jazza until 3 weeks ago, when my daughter, 12yo Lizzie said “Dad, I want to go to Comic con, my favourite Youtuber is going to be there.”
She showed me this video, and I really think she was half joking, half hoping, but I thought, yeah, we might be able to do that..
She may have squealed when I told her I’d bought tickets, and that it was in 2 days time…
We had an awesome day, but the highlight by far was Lizzie meeting Jazza and both of us getting to watch him draw.
I even caught a t-shirt, but something happened and by the time we got home, and it was gone.. I blame the #ZombieBanana  🙁
So, Jazza, if you ever read this, There’s a few things I’d love you to know..
I’ve been so inspired that I’ve binge watched maybe 150-200 episodes of both the Daily Jazza and Draw with Jazza. I even picked up a pencil and found that with the help of your “How to draw – Facial Construction” video I can in fact draw more than a gender specific stick figure (which is what I’ve been saying for the last 20 years…)
I also really enjoyed the Pictionary episode, and totally commiserate with you Jazza, because my drawing may not be artwork, but I do tend to rock at that game.. BTW, I think you might have had the kids version, Pictionary Jr??
I’m also really impressed by the bits I get to see of the real Jazza, the husband, the father, and the teary triple+ funded Indiegogoer. I was somewhat of an absent father in the younger years of my kids lives, and I so totally regret it (and try and make up for it with memories like the comic con trip). I was building a business and working upwards of 90 hours some weeks and making a mess of my life. I’ve since got my act together and now have a job that leaves me some family time, but just wanted to reinforce with you how important family is. 🙂
The point of this post, other than to share my man-crush of you with the world, is to say how sad I am that I really can’t contribute to the funding project. At some stage, I’ll find a way to contribute, if you ever need some man-power, let me know, we are only 1.5 hours away. Also if you need a tech crew for something like comic con, so you can spend less time setting up and checking cameras and more time interacting with your fans, let me know.
Jazza, Your community is awesome and I guess I’m now a part of it. Thank you for being you. Stay cool, stick with that beautiful blend of braggadocious humbleness, keep Mrs Jazza close, she’s clearly a keeper, and look after MJ.  Above all, stay grateful, it will take you far!
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Parkrun goals.


I shared in the Five months post surgery knee update that I’ve been whittling my parkrun times down over the last month, (though not nearly in the same way as my nephew who has recorded 13 PBs in a row, go Zach!). Tomorrow will mark my 50th Parkrun, which is an exciting milestone, 2 years and 4 months after my first run on 21/3/2015. That first run was 36:47, and I’m hoping to celebrate my 50th with a new PB under 25 minutes. My current PB is 25:22 and best for the year is 25:29 so I think I can do it. Tony, a running coach and fellow member of Up ‘n Active Lilydale Lake Running Group has offered to pace me at 25 minutes, so we are going to give it a red hot go.

Wish me luck.

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Knee – Five months post

Parkrun June 24

The knee is now basically as good as it’s going to get, which is pretty good but still a little painful when I run. It’s amazing how much difference there is between running on concrete, running on asphalt and running on gravel. There is noticeably less impact on the gravel especially. My time has been taken up by other priorities on and off over the last couple of months but I’m trying to get two to three runs in every week. I did my first Parkrun for the year in late April with a time of 35 minutes and and have progressed through 32, 28, 28, 26 and last week finished in 25:29, just 7 seconds outside my PB!

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Knee – 7 weeks post Op

Support me by supporting Beyond BlueIt would be safe to say that my knee has now healed to the best it is going to get. There is less shock absorbing material between the bones and I just have to live with that. I’ve been given some extra hoops to jump through by the Sports Physio, Ross, from Freedom Sports Medicine, so I’m keeping up the Bulgarian Lunges, added in some Pistol Squats and a bunch of Spin bike work. It’s all about building the strength back up in the Quadriceps and Hamstrings to give the knee the support that it needs.

My goal now is to complete a spin class on the 1st of April and then see Ross again on the 3rd where he will put me through a series of tests and hopefully give me the all-clear to start running again.

From then I’ll have just a little less than 17 week to prepare me for my first 1/2 Marathon on July 30. I’m supporting Beyond Blue, and I’d love if you helped me by supporting them:

Thank you for your support


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Knee – 3 weeks post op

Before the stitches came out

Three weeks on and I’ve done hundreds of exercises, seen the Physio twice, seen the surgeon once and had the stitches taken out. Basically it should be as good as it will get now, I can do pretty much anything except run/impact, and I’ll be able to that again in another 3 weeks.

I’m really happy with how it’s all gone, I’m doing a bunch of specific exercises in the gym (mainly Bulgarian Lunges) and trying to get my hamstrings and quadriceps back into shape.


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Knee Surgery Success

Knee Surgery was done on Feb 3 and was a complete success. The surgeon did come in and talk to me afterward, but I’m not really sure what he said, but he did leave me with some pictures to look at.

Photos taken by the surgeon through the Arthroscope

This is what it looked like with the ice packs when I woke up

Under the ice pack before they put tubigrip on.

The good news is that I’m not in any pain.

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Knee surgery booked

This picture is from the MRI of my knee, showing the actual tear.

Because there is no blood flow to the meniscus (but lots of nerves!) it won’t heal (but lots of hurt), so they slice away the rough bits and leave it nice and smooth. I’ll have a bit less shock absorption on that side but otherwise it will be fine. It’s done via keyhole and I’ll walk in and walk out the day of surgery with no crutches required. Rest over the weekend and back to work on Monday.

Surgery in 2 weeks on the 3rd of February at Epworth Hospital in Richmond. I’ll take advice from the surgeon when I see him on the 20th of February and work with Ross from Freedom Sports Medicine for rehab. Likely 6-8 weeks off running, probably lots of bike and swimming.


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Knee news

Not my knee, but mine looks a bit like this, with a smaller tear

I’ve been having some issues with my right knee for about the last 3 weeks, and was finally able to get in and see the physio last week. Ross agreed that it wasn’t good and sent me off for an MRI. It turns out that I have a small tear in the cartilage, causing pain when I pivot right or apply any sideways movement on the lower leg.

I’m living with it ok, and will be seeing a surgeon on the 20th Jan. He will probably just want to go in and clean it up a bit, but it’s a pretty simple operation.

I’m not having a lot of luck with cartilage at the moment, after 2 bouts of cauliflower ear. 

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