Monday, 8 April 2019

Club Run - Group 2

Hello blog readers

Yesterday (I am a bit late writing up) was club run day.  I was aching so much from my fun and games days with family on Saturday.  Me and my family ate and drank and played games.  Not nice quite board games or cards we played a game or two of rounders,  then a couple of games of British Bulldog!  These are games I haven't played for simply ages!  Using muscles I haven't used before in ages.  Well, of course I have used them, leg muscles for running, and arm muscles......helping to look like a runner!  But running short distances, from home base to first base, or running across a 'playing field' trying not to get tagged makes me use my muscles in a completely different way!  My swinging arm ached so much, my back was hurting like crazy after getting rugby tackled to the ground by the kids or just by falling down a hidden pothole!  Well, thats entirely my excuse for a rather slow group 2 run from me!

Of course as I am trying to tell the beginners, there are not bad runs, only fast runs or slow runs!  Every run you do is just perfect!  I really am trying to be positive about my club run!  Ruth was leader for the evening, she took us on a nice gentle route.  It was move up week!  So thankfully it was gentle. 

The route was one that I hadn't done for ages!  Up towards Crofton with a turn left to run through the estate.  I was behind, just as well as I offered to sweep, best place for me! 

I am totally late in finishing off this blog! I do remember it was a great run, and  I really enjoyed it.  I did have to excuse myself from the main group as I really slowed down due to my back hurting me more than it was at the beginning, and CarolWithAnE ran with me for the rest of the way from Balmont road.  We weren't too far behind everyone else!

Monday, 1 April 2019

Progress On The Beginners

Hello blog readers

Our beginners course has just finished the 5th week.  Can you believe it!  I am so enjoying doing the course again with RefMichael and ZippySherry.  I can't believe we are already into week 5 homework!   It's going just brilliantly.

We had a handful of our PWR's to help them all through the 6 minutes of running which we did 4 times with a 2 minutes walk between each rep.  I was leading this week, I think everyone has come to know about my chatting and not keeping an eye on the time!  All I kept on hearing was "Nearly time Old Girl, don't forget".  I blame my Garmin, it has this tiny little beep that I just don't hear!  And I think I have just got used to the thing vibrating on my wrist that I completely ignore it! Ooops!

I think I managed to keep all four running sections to the time I said, well, maybe just about 15 seconds for the 2nd rep, or was it the third?  Of course we don't go straight into the running, there is the brisk walk around the rec for a couple of laps and then the warm up drills!  We can't have them going off without being totally ready!  We are now at that stage where those important drills and warm up are really necessary.  Stretching out the running sections each week.  This week it's running for 6 minutes with just 2 minutes of walking.  It's just fabulous watching and listening to them all as they complete each rep!  Heart warming to say the least!

Anyway,  it's just a quick blog!  Mainly because I am writing this late, but I still remembered to add a picture in here, take a look, done by our resident SnappyH!

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Club Run - Out In Front!

Hello readers.
Group 1

It's club night, the night we can all meet up and chat and run and chat!  Brilliant stuff! You like the title?.....Me....out in the front!  Yup, I was right up in the front of the pack!  Mind you I was leading!  I also wasn't always in front as I let some of the faster runners do their thing!  I was quite pleased about leading, because I think I did say that I would be running in group 3 again this week, RefMichael was leading but he was planning a particularly nasty little hill!  So I was relieved!

Mind you, I had a nasty little hill in mind too, not as bad as St Marys Cray where RefMichael was taking his group 3.  My group were heading for Tillingbourne Green!  We needed some hills.....ok I needed some hills!  Did I mention that I have a half marathon not far off now?  So anything that can just push me out of my comfort zone has to be good.  Which is why, if I wasn't leading I probably would have gone with RefMichael, even with that awful hill!

It felt like old times with the most of the old crew back in group 1, we also had one of the beginners in our group, just to have a look and see how it all goes.  She hadn't been on Saturday so thought she could do some 'catch up' running.  I think she enjoyed it! She had a smile on her face when she left!  Our first hill was of course Birchwood.  The council have been busy up their doing things to the pavements and stuff, but we still managed to get up there without going on the road for too long.  It's all up hill, we came straight out of the gate, ran along Crossways and then up to the top of Birchwood.  It took nearly 7 minutes, I made a note as I wanted to let the newbie know just how long that first bit of running took, going up hill too!

We were quite nicely together, not to far apart from the front to the back.  We had a bit of a breather and then turned right, we walked for a bit to stay nice and warm and then continued with our running.  I could feel my knee hurting a bit.  I am sure it's where I fell over on Saturday, tripping up a step.  I think I must have short legs or the step was particularly higher than the usual steps!  It wasn't so bad, but I cracked my knew on the next step, I managed to use my hands to stop my whole weight coming down on my knew.  I laughed it off, but I am sure I can feel it!

I was strangely looking forward to Tillingbourne Green.  It's a nice longish slope down before you got to go up.  So you can really get warmed up before running back up it!  That down hill bit really does feel good, you just don't have to do anything, the slope down does all the work.  It helps to get you all ready, warmed up, psyched up, ready for running back up the other side.

We did it, I did, I didn't quite get to the very top without a little walk, maybe next time!  Once we got back to the lamppost at the beginning of Tillingbourne we had another breather.  "Who wants to do some hill training" I asked.  Well, there were seven of us in the group, only 3 of us did two reps of the hill, Church Hill Wood, is the name of the little short hill that we ran up twice.  The newbie just flew up there!  Well, she is a lot younger than me!  Mind you Auriol was also in front of me as well!  So now you know which three braved the twice up the hill!  Not that I am bragging of anything!

After that its the long straight road, its flat with a nice down hill and then.... just because we needed the extra distance to make a proper run we ran up the other side too.  To the memorial hall.  We all did it.  Ok, it's not easy, nothing in this world is easy, you have to put the effort in if you can.  I know I have been totally guilty of not putting an effort in.  Sometimes it was because I was ill, and probably shouldn't have been running, other times, most times, it was because I was feeling lazy!

When we got up to the top we had a breather and then we ran all the way back to the rec as a nice tidy, tight group!  I enjoyed it, even those hills, it wasn't a particularly fast run, but I still had fun!
Snow Leopards seen
in Tillingbourne Green

Here's our geeky stats.

pictures will follow soon :-)

Monday, 18 March 2019

Run For Running Sake

Hello readers

On my way home this evening, sat on the train, battery on the phone down to 10%  I could have quite easily just played my game on the phone but I decided to save it just in case I get a phone call before I get home!  And indeed that very scenario happened, it was Naggy, "I am on my way home, not far now, where are you?"
"I am on my way home too, near at Petts Wood" I informed her.
"How about as soon as you get home, you get your running gear on and we go for a run?"
"Well, that sounds like a brilliant plan, I could do with a run"
"Just about 3 miles, nice and easy, your pace" Said Naggy
"Perfect" I said and then I couldn't wait to pull into Petts Wood to get off the train!  Just to get out and run with your mate is all you need......well, sometimes chocolate, a pint and maybe a packet of pork scratchings will help as well, but deffo the the run! 

I did exactly that, I picked my car home and drove home, I went straight in doors and said "Hi" to the Old Boy and the went up stairs to get changed into my running gear!  No need to think about anything, no need to plan where to go, we know exactly how far 3 miles is, we have several routes that we could use.  I knocked on her door and she was almost ready, what she had been doing I don't know, Naggy was home before me!  But there I was waiting while she put on her socks! She also put one of her lights on my arm!  I couldn't understand why, and then I realised, I was all in black!  Although it was still quite light out I knew it would get dark before we got home! That done we just left the house.  "Right then," she said "Come on" And the we started running.  We ran towards the ally, the one that leads to Turn Around Lamppost!  Now there's a blast from the past!  We were stopped in our path though, just before we turned left towards the beginning of the path.  My Middle Child was there walking her doggies.  Little Dexter and Chico!  Oh they love their nanny!  But after a quick pet and cuddle we were off again. 

Naggy kept to my pace as we ran up the path, we didn't go as far as Turn Around Lamppost, we cut through the park.  I wasn't going to go through the park as I had my good trainers on!  But she reminded me that there was a path that cuts through the middle.  We ran through there, running side by side!  Just like the the first time we ran together.  Naggy is a much faster runner than I am, and she doesn't like to stop either!  I know some where along our route she will start nagging.  But for now, I am feeling quite comfortable keeping pace with her, or at least she was keeping pace with me! 

Running over the very uneven ground towards at the end, by the exit gate, is a challenge.  the challenge is to make it without twisting your ankles!  I wonder if doing things like that strengthens your ankles?  I made it through, ankles totally fine, thank goodness, because I was not ready to stop running!  We chatted and chatted and put the worlds to right as we ran along side by side.  I wonder if she thought that it was a really, really, really slow run!?  For me, I was trying my hardest not to be too slow!  I kept an eye on my Garmin, it felt like I was running faster than it was showing on my watch.  So I decided not to look at it until after my run!  As long as I can keep up with Naggy, without her nagging too much, then I maybe it wasn't too slow for her.

We ran along the A21, Naggy giving me little goals to get to.  "Run to that lamppost, then you can have a rest" and "ok, walk to that post and you're running after that" Most of the time I was doing exactly what she said, there was a couple of little walks that I snuck in when she wasn't looking.  All the way along to Crown Lane and then we turned right.  On the way home now.  We were still chatting away, about this and that! Mind you most of the time by then I was just answering, with a 'Hhhu" or a "Yeah"   

We ran through our local park, again Naggy gave me goals to get too.  With about .75 mile (give or take a couple of fee!) after a little walk she said, "now we run all the way home, no stopping!"  She kept an eye or an ear I should say, on my breathing.  She was telling met to concentrate on my breathing, make sure I am being steady, constant, proper breathing!  I know I tell the beginners to do exactly that, but I was kind of losing it a bit, getting out of whack with my own steady breathing, a reminder is exactly what I needed.  I did manage to run the whole way, no cheeky little walks behind her back.  We ran side by side all the way to her door!

Here's my geeky stats.  Not speedy, by not ultra slow either! 

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Track Thursday! - Tough But Fun....?

Hello blog readers

When I am not doing enough training miles for my half marathon then I need to make sure I get out to as much track sessions as I can. Not only that but to do my hardest to do the best running I can!  PhysioMikeTheMod had this cunning plan, it looked horrendous all written out nicely on our facebook page.  A tough session.  I couldn't even fathom the mathematics and the laps and the times this and that!  I just knew it was going to be tough.  I looked a little further down the post to see what Jane had planned for us and I saw that it was a little less....just. 'A devious plan', PMTM had said on the post, he also said that there was far to much 'rests' between the laps! Oh my goodness, this really is going to be a tough one!

SnappyH wasn't with us this time, she has parents evening again, so it was just me and Naggy, the temptation to just sit with a cuppa and a blanket was quickly kicked into touch and we were on our way to the track with our cash and determination!  There seemed to be so many people there, I think there are a lot of them training for marathons that will be happening very soon!  And theres me and Karen training for our half marathon.  We really need to get our finger out, I think SnappyH has done more miles than me and Naggy and she signed up to the Paddock Wood Half not that long ago!

We start our session as we always do with some warm up jogging laps on the bit of tarmac, followed by some drills, while the fast runners do a lap and then straight into their gruelling session.  My first rep was a not quite the full rep, I was being 'clock monitor', I ran half a lap from our start at the 200m mark and then I had to run half a lap carrying the clock, which somehow I had turned off!  It wall went a bit 'Pete Tong' but my next rep I was deffo on it!  Two laps at a fast pace, (oh I really hope it was a fast paced)  I really did try, I thought about my move up to group 3 on Tuesday, if I can go at that pace then it will be what I should be doing this evening. Run at a pace that is a bit uncomfortable.  I was guessing that meant not running with your shoes on the wrong feet, but running so that you can only answer yes or no if someone asked you a question!

After two reps, (mine having one less lap than everyone else) we have not a 90 minute rest but a 3 minute rest.  We had to do that two more times!  Run 2 laps, rest for 90, run 2 laps rest for 3 minutes.  It was a very tough session, I didn't have time to complete the whole session before we had to do our cool down stretches, which of course is most important to do! I can't be telling the beginners to do it if I don't do it myself!

I thoroughly enjoyed it today, I felt like I worked hard, I'm still annoyed at myself for not doing that last lap, or even just half of the last lap!  Next time, next time I will try my bestest best! Being with the best club around is also so good, everyone saying to me 'Go Old Girl' and "You're doing well Old Girl".  This week though, I also got compliments on my jog pants.....I had on my 'snow leopard' Christmas present jog pants.  Maybe they had helped me run 'a bit more uncomfortable' today!

Here's my geeky stats!  I think I am pleased with them!

And yes, I am pleased with them!  Avg pace of 11:25  Lets see if I can improve new week!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Beginners March 2019

Hello blog readers.

Saturday 2nd March saw the first of our beginners sessions of the year.  To say I was excited was an understatement.  I do love doing leading these sessions.  I just love being able to give back to this running malarkey of some of what it has given to me. And what is that?  For a start health!  Ok, so I am not the leanest of runners out there pounding the streets, but I know for a fact that if I didn't run I would certainly be a roly poly nanny! What else has it given me?  A sense of achievement!  You know every time I do some running, I feel good.  There has never been a run that I am disappointed with.  Of course there are the PB's that I have failed to get, of course there are the extra miles I didn't complete or been annoyed at myself that I didn't put enough effort in.  But the fact I went out and did something is so much better than not doing anything. And being  a PWR is really the cherry on the top! Because right there is where I have made some incredible new friends, as well have some of my best mates be apart of my club!

That first week, DiscoRich introduced himself and all us leaders as well as all the PWR's that came along to help out.  There were 47 anxious looking faces looking back at us!  So when DiscoRich handed over to us I was the first up front to do the session.  We, that's me, ZippySherry and RefMike take it in turns to lead each week.  I don't think all those people looking at me realised just how nervous I felt standing there!  It's amazing how I panic when it's my turn to lead, will I remember everything?  There is usually something that I forgot, but fortunately having 3 of us to lead is actually very comforting!

The first session was really a nice gentle 1 minute of running with 5 minutes of walking.  People who are fit, who hit the gym for 4 hours a day would probably think that it is way to easy and that beginners should start out at 5 minutes running straight away!  Well, we don't work like that.  When I first started running way back in 2008 I had no one to help me, it was just me and my sister trying to get fit for a 'Race For Life' in memory of our mum.  We just ran until we couldn't run anymore! Oh my goodness, that is deffo not the way to do it.  I was totally demoralised that I couldn't run a mile!  A mile, I really expected to be able to do it.  I could have quite easily have given up!  Thankfully I didn't, but there is a bit more to my story just click HERE if you want to read it!

There I was acting all cool like, well in my head I was, but in reality I was stumbling over my words and trying to make jokes.  But I think I broke the ice.  At least all 47 faces looked relieved when I said I was only joking about doing 10 push-ups!  We actually started with two laps around the rec at a brisk pace, followed by the drills.  I feel pretty sure that everyone loves skipping along like were invisible.  Just like being a kid again, right?!  A few butt kicks and side skipping and some other bits and we were ready for the running bit.  One minute running, not at speed, just enough so that we could all chat, followed by 5 minutes of walking.  We did that five times....well not the walk and drills of course, just the run/walk sequence. 

Everyone looked really pleased with themselves that they did it!  And that's the best bit of course, we do it slowly, building up slowly so that it is achievable, even for those who have never ran before! And do you know what the best bit was?  Well the best bit was they all came back the following week!  One was away, but we had another new comer, so still had 47 runners, and the runner that was away wanted to know what we were doing so that she could keep up with the homework!

Last Saturday we had them running for 2 minutes, so twice as long as they were running the week that I lead.  Running twice as much is always such a huge psychological boost!  It's wonderful to watch them as they slowly realise exactly what they can do!

Anyway, I think I have caught up with my blogging!  Here's some photos of the first two weeks of our beginners.

Here we are doing our brisk walking.

Running! Well, we are a running club! It
says so right on our tops!

Follow the leaders!  Doing our stretches

Ok, so this is me arriving late for
the second sessions!

Taking over the stretches for Sherry while Sherry
collected in the cones!

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Club Run - Move Up Again!?

Hello readers

So this evening, I really, really needed a run!  The weather had been horrendous all day long, I had been to a funeral and generally feeling just meh!  And you know, sometimes you just need to get out to run, whether it's a nice slow steady one, a solo run, a race that you booked, or like today, club run.  I am so glad I have my club to go to, mates to nag me to go running, AND mates to say, "Oi, go in group 3!" I was so glad that the weather did change, the sky cleared up, there stars up there!  Yup, I really need a run!

Yup, that's right, I ran in group 3.  I think I vaguely remember saying to Naggy last week after quite a fast group 2 run, that when RefMichael is leading only then would I try group 3.  Well, he was leading today!  Sometimes, in fact a lot of times, I should learn to keep my mouth shut!  I was a bit apprehensive, I just didn't know how I would do, if I would slow the pace down, how I would feel if I had to keep them waiting for me at catch up points or indeed if they all get a bit miffed at waiting for me.  It was all very worrying to me!  It felt like the old days, the days when I first started with Petts Wood Runners. I was always apologising for being slow.  IllustriousLeader always saying 'It's fine, you're doing well".  Yup this is going to be tough, but sometimes you need to push yourself, just to see if you can!  And generally, you can, you can do it, I can do it, I did do it! Oh, by the way, no one was upset with me for making them wait!  Phew!

RefMichael had a route planned, thankfully it was one that I knew well.  I knew all the little undulations, the ups and downs. I knew them because they are part of my group 1 and 2 routes!  RefMichael was squishing 2 routes into one making it a group 1 distance! 

We head out of the rec and turned left and at the end of the road turned left again.  We were going along Hazelmere and Great Thrift, all the way to Petts Wood memorial.  Running this way along Hazelmere is the hardest way to go, it's just as well its at the beginning of our run, mind you, I can't see how you would run up this way at the end of a run!  I offered to be sweep, well, it was obvious I was going to be at the back anyway so I might as well make myself useful!  It was just as well though.  Let me tell you something, just between you and me, running is  not glamorous, you don't look like a supermodel and, for me, I don't sound like one either!  I should not eat bread on a Tuesday!, lets say no more about it!

We ran all the way non stop, (of course, it is group 3) but being at the back I could take some sneaking walking sections up the undulations!  So this is where the first guilt feeling started.  "Maybe I should have stayed with group 2, I am not ready for group 3, get comfortable with group 2, make it look easy first before moving up to the next group" were all the thoughts going through my head as I looked at all the runners a head of me.  But I continued, I even though that if I saw group 1 or 2 on the way round I would join in with them, admit defeat! But I continued. At the top of the hill by the memorial hall we took a break, the first one.  My eyes filled up, I stifled a sob, and sucked it up!  It has been a hard couple of days!  I am just glad that I can go running, run it out, feel good!

RefMichael asked how I was doing, I gave him a thumbs and I sure I gave him a smile too!  We then ran over the bridge, to go on the not so posh side of Petts Wood.  We ran all the way around Crest View to Southborough Lane and took another break. This is where RefMichael said that we had finally reached the highest point, meaning no more undulations.  I think he forgot that I know where he's going.  There is another undulations, and for me, that undulation is going to feel like a mountain!  It's Shepperton road, the first half is great, but going up it to the main road is going to hurt.

We ran along Crescent Drive to the beginning of Shepperton, had a quick catch up stop before we headed down.  RefMichael had a bit of a recruitment speech here to see if any of them would like to come along and help out at our beginners course at anytime for these next few weeks.  When he asked for a show of hands about how many had come up through the ranks of the beginners there quiet a few going up!  I felt quite proud actually, our beginners group does work a treat!  But because we had a bit of a longer break there he then said that we would be stopping at the off-license, which is further along the road!  What a task master he has become! RefMichael, from student to leader! Only joking, honest, but my goodness it felt a long way.  What I did find though, was running up Shepperton didn't feel as hard as I thought it would do!

After that it really was the last few roads, we were on our way back.  Now, either they were slowing down a bit or I was managing to keep up with them just a bit more as we ran along Beaumont.  We crossed over the road on to St Johns and ran towards Tudor way.  So nearly back, just got to run all the down Tu........ What..? No, RefMichael didn't take us down Tudor way, we turned left to go to the Fairway and then along Woodland Way again, till we got to Towncourt, a short run along then to Kingsways and then a left all the way to the finish at the rec! 

Marvelous, I even had a bit of a sprint along Crossways, Littleton was with me at the back but I kind of left him behind!  I really didn't think I had it in me to have that last bit of sprint left, it kind of surprised me as I ran along to the gate!  Blimmin pity my Garmin ran out of juice!  I thought I had ran out of battery along the fairway, but it actually ran out of juice at the bridge!  Oh well!  Hopefully one of the other runners has strava!  I can see how we did on that one!