Saturday, 31 August 2013

4th Anniversary Normans Park Run

Hello Blog lovers.

Park run again today, and Nagging Sister and her little attachment JLo came along too, for their first Park run since their beginners course.  I saw one other from PhysioMikes course and also SingstarJo had her '50' tee shirt on, so it was going to be a run for her as well.  It's good to see her back running.

I am still chasing my PB, as Nagging Sister was going to stay with JLo to keep her motivated, I was going to try and see what I can do.  The fact that we are going in the opposite direction shouldn't make any difference to achieving that, that is what I was telling myself.  I was trying to remember if there are slight inclines, but it is generally a flat route.

The messages given, the 'well dones' to those that had reached their 100th park runs and 50th park runs, and then the run was on its way.  "Don't start off too quick Old girl" says SingstarJo. Of course, she is right.  I always do try and start off and get the first bit over and done with, but then I burn out and the second lap is a lot slower! 

We all started off together, me SSJ, NS and JLo, a nice pace to start out, just see how it feels.  Me and SSJ started to pull away from the other two, but it still felt ok.  I was not going to look at my watch, I wanted to just try and 'feel' that I am doing ok.  If I knew I was going out maybe a tad to fast then I probably would slow down, thinking that I will need all my energy for the each mile, even though I would feel comfortable a that pace. 

So I just switched it so that it showed the time, and relaxed.  SSJ said that if kept the pace going for all the way wound then I could be on for that coveted PB! That made me smile. Now, just keep the pace Old Girl, don't panic!!  As we were looping the pass the river I noticed the 35 minute pacer which disturbed me! I want to get in a lot quicker than that, under 34 minutes! 

The first lap done, and we did pass the 35 minute pacer, but on the second lap I was started to wane a bit.  SSj was in the zone, and I told her to go at her own pace and not stay with me.  With a "Catch up to me when you can" she started to drift up the course.  If I can I will try, I really will, but.....

I couldn't see NS or JLo, but the 35 minute pace was still behind me, but to my mind a bit to close, which means that I either have to speed up or she needs to slow down!  But I think it was probably me that needed to get a move on if I want that PB. 

The last couple of corners, I chose my race as I always do, but then someone passed me! I had to try and get that back!  But he was on a mission.  I think like me, the sight of that orange tunnel is a great sight, and just to get to it as quickly as possible now is our goal.  The sprint section starts, I see a girl in front of me, I am deffo going to over take her, that's my race, that's my goal, that and a PB!  I ran past the girl in black, one goal complete, now run through the tunnel, check the time, check the time!!

34:44 on my Garmin!! Darn it! I know I haven't got it this time.  Still, there is always next time!

Geeky stats.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Peace In The City!

Hello blog lovers.

I was planning to run with my friend Naggy Neighbour, but she seems to be out for the day, so I decided to just plod out by myself.  I still wanted to go through the woods though.  It's just so peaceful there.  While it's still warm out, there will be plenty of people walking through.  So a pretty safe route.

I thought it was going to be about 4 miles.  My friend Smarty Pants has asked me to walk up to Pettswood, which we often do, and I said I would.  I should be back in time, after all "its only 4 miles" I thought to myself.

I got myself ready, after having a very lazy morning, and managed to get out before 11!  "Just through the woods, and back again, I should be back in time to have a shower and do my hair and makeup" I thought!

The sun was shining down brightly, and it was a lovely warm morning.  I headed up the road towards the woods.  My breathing always takes a little while to settle down, but I get into the groove and just plod away.  I have my tunes playing in my ears, keeping me company.  Rod Stewart, Garry Moore, Mari Wilson, Oasis, Deep Purple, Heart and Fleetwood Mac mixed in with some Bad Company in some really wicked country side! Whats not to enjoy about todays solo run!

Going over the three bridges I paused and just looked out across the fields.  Not just 10 minutes ago I was crossing a main road that leads in to Bromley Town centre, a Hive of activity, only 30 minutes away from the City of London! People beavering away at there desks, in tiny rooms, getting stress upon strees, looking for the clock to say 5 o'clock, where they can get out of the office and stuff themselves into trains to take them away from it all for the weekend.  I have the great privilege of coming here every day if I wanted to, even with the kids, to see all of this,

Looking towards Botony Bay, from the bridge

Todays run is not about speed (when is it ever?!) or miles, its about the fact that I am foturnate enough to be able to.  As I was on the way home today I was listening one particular song, and the lyrics are

I ain't got time
To think about money
Or what it can buy
And I ain't got time
To sit down and wonder
What makes the birdies fly
And I don't have the time
To think about what makes the flowers grow
And I never give it a second thought
To where the rivers flow
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else
I ain't got time to discuss the weather
Or how it's gonna last
And I ain't got time to do no studying
Once I get out of class
And I'm just a fellow
I got a one track mind
And when it comes to
Thinking about anything about my baby
I just don't have the time
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else
All the diamonds and pearls in the world
Could never match her worth
She's some kind of wonderful
People tell you
I've got heaven right here on earth
And I'm just a fellow
With a one track mind
And when it comes to thinking about
Anything but my baby
I just don't have the time
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else
Too busy thinking about my baby
And I ain't got time to nothing else

Admittedly he is thinking about the opposite sex, but when you look at the words, I feel as if I want to say, "well, take your 'baby' and show her Gods great outdoors on your own doorstep" and then "Sit with 'Baby' for a while and just immerse yourself for a while in the peace" Or better still "Take you 'baby' running through the woods 'cos you can"

This is what I get to look at, whenever I run this way, nothing but trees, not a pollution making car in site!

One of the paths that I ran on today.

Today I feel a lot better.  It was a slow run, but who cares, I certainly don't, I ran, I walked, I stopped and looked, I took pictures. I smiled at the people walking along with the dogs, I said good morning to them all as they smiled back at me! Life at the moment was good.

Geeky stats, only for the route, come and along and try it! It's brilliant

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Difficult Easy run!

Hello Blog lovers.

I expect you may be wondering about the title? Has the Old Girl gone totally do-lally? Not yet, but let me explain.  For the past couple of days I have been feeling quite......bleh! The Old Boy mentioned mussels yesterday, instead of a bike ride, and I jumped at the chance, and today, I had said to SingstarJo and Hitchy, (and by the way, I am changing her nick name to Jr, just cos it amused me, even though she is nothing like JR Ewing!) So, SingstarJo and Jr  mentioned that they wanted to run today, but I couldn't make the 6:30 start that SSJ wanted, and I hadn't heard from Jr, I hadn't got any other plan.

So I ummed and arrred, and the Old Boy asked if I was going.  I had noticed that he hadn't gone upstairs to get changed for his planned cycle ride this evening as well. When I asked him if he was going he said no.  I nearly said that as well! I sat on my chair feeling so .....bleh, and all I wanted to do was to curl up, cuppa, biscuits and to write!  But eventually, after much 'shall we, shall we not' the Old Boy and I decided to go for a very short loop of the woods! Just to try and shake of the 'blues'

We got changed, and even then it was still so easy to sit and say 'stuff it, I'm not going' but we did.  We took the car to the entrance of the woods, 'Dog Poo Ally'. I did a great impression of 'John Cleese, Ministry of Silly

Walks' as we walked through the ally ready to start our run.  Already I was feel at tad better, just for the fact that I am out, even if it only turns out to be 1 mile, I don't care, at least I'm out here trying.  The light was just beginning to fade making the woods just that bit more of a challenge.  Keeping our wits about us, making sure there was some space so that we could see the floor of the woods, and staying vigilante for those roots!

We were going in a clockwise direction, so we will be running up to Botony Bay.  The way that I was feeling, I was half expecting to be walking up to as far as the boarded up house, but to my surprise, I didn't!  Not only that, but the lovely house is not longer boarded up either! That cheered me up, for some reason.  It is a lovely house, and it would be a shame to see it just go to ruins!

I walked jogged up the next bit of hill until we turned right to go back into the woods.  It has some lovely down hill sections and a couple of up hills as well.  But strangely I didn't really notice the first slight up hill and before I realised it I was running up the next uphill section.  I couldn't quite make this in one go, but I made sure I was running to the last bit at the top.  From there I was running without any more walking sections.  Well, it is all down hill!

The Old Boy, who hasn't been running for quite some time, taking the lead, and urging me to go a bit faster.  I think I did manage to pick the pace up, and when I knew I was nearly at 'Dog Poo Ally' I picked it up a little more!

All in all I did 2 miles, well 1:98 miles to be exact! If only I had ran through the tunnel instead of stopping, oh, and it did pick up my mood a bit, not quite back to my usual self, but maybe another couple of miles tomorrow sometime will help with that bit.

So geeky stats

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Graduates and Seniors!

Hello blog lovers

Some of our beginners from the course just gone, are not quite confident to join PWR and run in the group 1 just yet, but we can't just leave them to 'go off the boil' So, those PWR's that could make it at 7 this evening turned up to put them through some more training, me being the senior, very senior, (probably the longest member of group 1 has ever had) I was there to witness them all achieve their goals!

My mate Tracy came along again. Now she has had a bit of a break, she missed the last 3 weeks of the course, Maderia was a bit too far to commute for an hour's long session.  She has been keeping up with some of the homework, and she was jogging for 3 mins and then rest for 2.  When she heard what we had planned today she looked a tad shocked!

Today we were going to keep the longer jogging going, so it was a 20 mins jog, 2 mins rest and 10 mins jog.  "Don't panic" I said to her as she looked a though she was about to head out of the rec! "I will be there with you, we will go at your pace" She felt a bit better then.

After the warm ups we all set off together, there were four beginners and 3 Coaches (as PhysioMike calls us all, which I kinda like) so it was almost 1-1 for our beginners.  The group sorted it self as we jogged along and Physio Mike took the faster 2 to find the best in themselves, Peter took the middle lady under his wing, and I stayed with Tracy.  I think I know what she can do.  She has surprised herself over these last 8 weeks, so I was going to help her to achieve something she though impossible just a few short weeks ago.

It was a straight out and back, the same as last week, and to add an extra booster for Tracy the Jubilee Park section is part of her 'homework' runs. So she knows the little up section, which is always good as you know how much effort to put in. Although sometimes it's good not to know! Just get on and do it as it arrives!

We had run to the gate at the other end of the park and it was time to run back again, just over a mile non stop for her.  The longest time she has ever run.  Another 5 mins jogging and the the 2 minutes of walking.  She was deffo ready for that!  She smiled when we had done the 20 mins jog. She couldn't believe it of herself.  Even then she wasn't quite sure if she could jog for the last 10 mins, but I think she could.  The 2 mins walk had finished and we started on the 10 mins jog back to the rec.

On the downhill section I noticed that she was going a tad faster, so I thought I would encourage that a bit more.  I said that we would run faster to the next lamppost, and the take it down again.  She looked at me as if I was totally crazy.  But the great thing was is that she did it.  I followed her pace, kept at her speed, but she deffo put on a spurt there. Not just once but at least 3 times. 

We got to Towncourt and we turned down there, it's a slightly steeper hill, keep the heart rate going. She almost gave up, but I gave a a bit of encouragement, "It's not that far now, just up here and into the rec"  She kept going! I think she really wanted to finish this 10 min jog off.  We started around the gree, just as we got passed the tennis courts the 10 mins was up, and we just walked the rest of it to get the heat rate back down

A fantastic effort.  She was totally thrilled with what she did! I was totally thrilled with what she did.  When all the others came back, all the leaders were totally thrilled with what all of them had achieved!  Fantastic effort from all of them! Just so proud and privileged to see them all prove something to themselves that what they thought was impossible has now become a little golden nugget in the belts!  Park run next!

Geeky stats.

Next it was group 1 run.  Sue was taking the lead today, and she chose a fantastic route.....with hills! You all know me with hills, would rather ride or run a mile out of my way to avoid them! But we did have the fantastic bit of down hill as we were running towards Orpington, so I can't complain!  We set off a tad quicker that what I had been used to, it was a warm day, and I had been with the beginners so I was pretty much warmed up anyway.  But my old body was in a bit of shock, I shouldn't have looked at my Garmin! 

Yes, I am back with my Garmin.  I have handed the TomTom to Hitchy to road test, I was still pretty mad at it for 'losing' my ride yesterday, (even though I think I probably did something wrong) but if that was the case then why did it keep me informed as to how I was doing!!! GRRRRR. anyway, my Garmin was saying that we were doing under 11 minutes for the first bit, but I kept up with them, I was at the back doing my usual sweeping! Even though I think that is where I would have been anyway.  33 miles on a bike and 30 minutes jogging this evening would keep me there!

It was a great run, and a great route! Yes, I said great, it is good to have hills, I have to learn to embrance them, let them become my friend!! And I did put Tracy through that last bit of hill on Towncour Road! 

We got back to the rec, I even had a little bit left to put on a bit of a sprint up Crossways!  Back into the rec and then wait for everyone else to come in.  I am 'hall monitor' as Jez called me today, I still have the box and key. So I had to do my 'PWR Warden' duties, as John called me the PWR Warden, and had to make sure that I locked up the gate after making sure there were no cars left in the carpark!

Geeky stats!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Playing TomToms

Hello blog lovers.

Most people can multi task, but running and playing the TomToms, is one thing not many can do! And to be truthful, neither can I!  I am actually testing out a new gadget for the annual awards.  My club tested out quite a few bits and bobs last year! 

This year, I am only testing out some gooey gel thing, and that really isn't something that I will ever get into, and also this TomTom sports gps watch.  It's a nice looking watch, easy to use, and easy to upload into the computer.  Maybe if my Garmin ever packs in this will be one to think about.  Also I like the fact that the 'gubbins' comes away from the strap, so that if the strap ever wears out or gets broken, I am sure you can buy a new one to replace it.  Maybe even get different colour straps to match your outfits! Now that is a typical girly thing to say! But what a brilliant idea!

Also today I had my brother coming over for lunch.  But I so wanted to go out for run.  The whole of yesterday was just nothing but rain. If we didn't have that fine misting rain then it was big think fat rain, and every other sort of rain in between!  I really wanted to go for a long cycle ride yesterday with the old, but that didn't happen, so today was a much needed tension releasing run!

So after a great time a church, one of our congregation was being baptised today, and a brilliant time it was too! I picked up my brother from the station and went home The Old Boy had already prepared dinner this morning, so all I had to do was get into my running gear and get out and do it!

I put on the new gadget and then tried to find the satellites.  It kept flashing 'Please wait' so I waited. And waited! I saw a little heart flashing, so I delved into the watch and noticed that the heart rate monitor was switched on, so of course I switch it off.  And then waited.  And waited a bit more.  Just then it said "Go!" So I went! There was no pushing the start button, I had no idea if it would turn off after the programmed time and distance I put in to it. Or if it will send 2,000 volts into me if I fail to reach programmed target!  I guess that is what testing is all about!

It felt good to be out running! The sun was shining, unlike yesterdays 24 hour rain fest! And it was quite warm, I was only planning on doing a 3 mile run.  I can't believe life and weather gets in the way of running and cycling, but I am sure I will get further afield soon.  I need to find a local half marathon again! That will do it.

I chose to go up a little hill, it's always good to have a hill (so everyone one keeps telling me) just a short hill, I was heading up to Pettswood, I would like to have gone through the woods, but the rain would have made it a bit of a mud fest, and today wasn't the day for mud fest, (although I do like a little bit of mud) today was just to get out and run because I want to run before I have to do the 'life' things.

I kept looking at the watch and playing with the buttons, there is a screen that shows you how much of your programmed target has been reached.  It buzzed on my hand, and I thought immediately of the 'self destruct timer' on bombs! but then I saw a little clock type thing showing the half way mark.

I flipped back to the other screen and and saw how long I had been running for, looked at the mileage and pace.  At least I think that is what I was looking at. And then I concentrated on my running again.  I promised myself I wasn't going to look at it again until I had finished.

I was just going through the park and it buzzed again on my arm. This time it said 90%. I was thinking "I still have a bit to go to get home,what happens when it says 100%?" I was wondering if it will just stop as when it started it just told me to go.  It did reach a 100% and it didn't tell me to stop! I was heading down Whitebeam by this time. I presumed I didn't make my target time! (lazy mare) and so just carried on jogging along, but then I looked at it again, and it said 103%, so at least that answer the question about if it switches off!

I got back to the start and just switched the screen to clock hoping that will be the way to stop the timer and GPS.

It seems I was right! so here is the geeky stats if I can actually get them from the Internet!

Ok so I can't get into my account just yet, but I will do so tomorrow :-)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Club Run and Last Beginners Group!

Hello blog lovers.

Today is the last week for the beginners group.  Eight weeks have passed since a group of 25 - 30 people first met up in the rec, thinking to themselves, "I don't know if I can do this" Today there is only 6 left.  6 very dedicated people who want to carry on and do more running, get fitter and healthier.

We lost some people because of life getting in the way, some felt they just couldn't cope with it, holidays took a few more from us, and I think one had to pull out last week with a calf issue.  These six that were left were looking a bit worried about the 20 minutes of nonstop jogging, with a two minute break, and then a 10 minute jog. 

But we knew they could do it. PhysioMike, Hitchy, Peter and me, all knew they could do it, at their pace! There was no pressure to run fast.  Our route today was a straight out and back.  Run for a full 20 minutes, in just once direction, taking us through the park.  We were to run heading away from the rec, for 15 minutes then turn around and head back, still running, for another 5 minutes. Then we were going to take our first walk. For 2 minutes, walking back the way we had just come.  It will be a time to reflect on what they have achieved so far!

They all did so very well, the two minute jog was well appreciated by my group.  I could hear them all talking about the fact they didn’t believe they could do that, “I couldn’t even run for 1 minute without getting out of breath, only 8 weeks ago” said one lady!  I think she was very proud of herself.  And so she should be!


Going back over the bridge we saw the same lady as the first time, with her dog.  Her dog had a great time trainspotting!  She had three trains to ‘chase’ as she barked at one, then the other and then raced back to bark at the other one. 


The next time we see the beginners will be on Saturday,


Here are the geeky stats.


After it was time for group runs.  There were quite a few leaders away for their annual holidays, and there were quite a few groups with new leaders, some that only found out just as the announcements were going on, that they were leading a group!  But it all worked out well!


The weather was quite warm this evening.  I didn’t bring any water with me, but I felt sure I would cope ok.  Sarah was leading group 1 today. And we were staying on the roads today.  The nights seem to draw in now, and it was quite dark by the time we got back to the rec.  There were a couple of the group that wanted to go back to the rec early, and not do the last bit up Birchwood road,  we came straight to crossways as one of the ladies was having terrible time with her hamstrings! 


But we still ran for 3 miles.  That’s nothing to be sniffed at, probably just as well, as I am sweating now!  A great run though, I do love my club runs.


Geeky stats

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Park Run - Chasing A PB

Hello blog lovers.

I am desperately trying to get a PB on my Parkrun time.  I must have been on some sort of mission when I accomplished my last PB, 33 minutes and something! I will need to check what is was when I receive my email later confirming my time.

Today was going to be the day! I really want to get somewhere close to it at least (see already being a defeatist).  I just have to be really tough on myself, push myself hard. But....(oh blimey, book of excuses coming out) it is warm, and that wind is a bit yuck, and they did say it may rain.....although that would be good!  I think I need to start off thinking positive thoughts from the very beginning!  Running with my mind as well as this old body of mine!

Of course I didn't do that today, I was already beating myself up that I wasn't going to do it.  And then on the way to the park I trawled through the book again and came up with two more excuses of why it may not happen today, I cycled yesterday for 10 miles on the B-iatch, and I am cycling to the park now, and that's only so that I can meet the Old Boy for brekkie at the Old Village cafĂ©, a nice cuppa and bacon sarnie!

I arrived there and saw some running mates.  I saw Helen as well, she is one of the people that inspires me to keep on running, a great athlete, and I hope to be able to continue to run as she does when I have said good by to my 60's. Its always good to see some running mates, mind you Norman Park is usually packed with PWR's. but also Brian, from So Let's Go Running Mag decided to give Normans Parkrun a run ('scuse pun, very much intended).  It is two laps of the park, doing this 'B' shape of the park, and if his knee gave him any gip then he can easily just walk over to where the finishing tunnel is and enjoy a cuppa instead.

We had the announcements and then SingStarJo (how I have missed writing her name - heal quickly Jo X) started the run.  I decided to start from the front today, I know I am going to be passed by most of the field, but I just want to get that initial first bit done.  It was a quick start, maybe I shouldn't have looked at my Garmin, I think next time I will keep it showing my heart rate instead, that way I won't be obsessed with the pace and just look at how hard I am working out! Maybe that is another strategy I need to do.

Brian was next to me at the start, but I kind of flew off, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep that pace going,  I was hoping to 'trick' my body, get as far as a I can before it realised just how far I had gone before it decides to collapse on me!  Maybe the Thursday core and strength sessions will have done some good for me.  These were the thoughts going through my head as I completed the first half of the lap. Just then Brian caught up with me.  He had found his stride, sorted out his breathing and could chat away to me.  The thought we were going at a good pace, but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it going. The next minute he was pulling away!  He was on a mission!

I kept up a reasonable pace but I started to struggle a bit, I knew I took off too quick. I should stick to my usual thing of easing into a run. It's only two laps, I should just stick to what I normally do!  I remembered when I first done this park run, I really did struggle and it seemed a long way.  But now I was thinking, "Good, I'm on the first long straight"  My first park run I was thinking "Blimey, I've not even reached the start yet"  So I think there is some improvement.  I kept looking back as well, I wanted to see how many people were behind me, and there were, which kept my morale up.

The first lap done, and for the life of me I can't remember if I was overtaken by the fast runners.  Surely I must have been. Usually they are steaming past me, you can hear them as their feet hit the gravel or thump on the grass, their breathing heavy yet very controlled.  Was it that I was just concentrating to much on my own run?

The second lap started and I was feeling good, if a little tired.  The excuses crept into my mind, the bike ride yesterday, the bike ride to get here, the two pints of beer I had last night at the pub, not to mention dinner at 'Big Als' ....(also with a couple of Bud's) mmmm, yes, maybe next time I chase a PB I need to be a bit more disciplined the day before!

I couldn't see anyone I know in front of me or behind me,  I had my eye on 'my race' she had overtook me at the river, I kept her in front of me as I just paced myself, not letting her get to far ahead, staying at her pace.  She was going a tad slow, I was catching her up fairly quickly, so I decided to pass her and then choose another race. 

I couldn't believe how quickly this run was going, already on the long straight again.  I can push it a little bit more, I tried but I stopped running (again) I took a bit of a breather, I checked my Garmin, I could do this if I push it just a bit harder "Come on old Girl, move your arse, you can do this if you move"  the penultimate left turn, I was looking ahead for my race, but then I decided that I was just going to run, not chase anyone, not look for my race,  just go for it,  me and that damn clock!

 I decided to switch the Garmin to read Heart Rate,  I didn't want to see the seconds ticking away, I didn't want to become disillusioned. I didn't want to see I wasn't going to get a PB  "Come on Old girl" a voice called out from the people walking back to their cars, it was Spider, he had finished his race.  I could see the tunnel ahead of me, "just push a little harder, come on, come on" I thought and I started sprinting a bit more, "That's it, a sprint finish" cried out SingstarJo, she was doing the timer today, I picked it up just a little bit more through the tunnel, switched off my Garmin collected my token.....and breathed!  Just then I got a waft of something not very nice, obviously someone had tried even harder than me to get around quick and had thrown up somewhere.  It almost had me running for the bushes! 

I checked my Garmin..............DAMN AND BLAST! it read..... well take a look and see what it read!

Missed out on my PB!  Still, at least I still have the challenge for next time! Oh and by the way, Brian thinks he is onto a PB, being as it's only his second Park run, there's a good chance of that, and Helen did her's in 42 minutes and something.  Fantastic efforts, well done! 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Last Core Training Session!

Hello Blog lovers,

I can't believe how the year has just flown by.  No sooner had I started to go to Core training sessions and now its the very last one!  Totally unbelievable! the year is just running away!

But todays session is all about teamwork.  There is no coach there today, but we do have Sue and her LiRF certificate.  But it was still all about teamwork. "Let's start the warm up laps" Said Simon, and we all set off. After that "Right 'Wall sits while Simon puts out the cones said somebody else.

Great teamwork!  The cones were for the pyramid running.  The two sets of cones did seem to be a long way away from the start! Two lines of three cones. I was number 2 to Sue and Dawns No.1 (we had an add number of people today)  And also we were running up hill as well.  Running almost as fast as we can to the cones and then a nice easy jog back to the beginning.

We did that 2 and half times, the half a time we just ran to the third cones and the number 2's picked up the cones, and that was me! so a little bit of bending 'hitting the floor' to pick the cones up! Extra little bit of work out.  If only it was ice cream cones I was gathering, I'm sure

After a little breather we went straight into the core training section. a bit of planking, cat type stretching, push ups and cycle crunches or sit ups!  The way that I have just listed them you would think that I just breezed through them. But I didn't!  It was all pretty tough, and I didn't quite manage the full minute of the planking today.

There was one other visitor to the park today, and he took a picture of us, and this is it.  Unfortunately he saw just between sets! We were stretching out or had just finished stretching out after a push up or a planking, so this is what he captured. Oh and by the way, it was the Old Boy, not some mad stalker guy, honest!

It's a pity he didn't capture us running, or maybe doing the Fartleks, We were running pretty fast then! Of course when we were waiting for our tags we were still!  But it was a good session, we worked hard. Did we work as hard as when the coaches are there? Well, I'm sure we did, right team!

A great session, thanks peeps.  No geeky stats today I had forgotten to put it on!  It's me age you know.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

New Season Beginning!

Hello blog lovers.

I know we are in the middle of the summer season, but now that I have had my summer holiday, I need to get back to keeping fit and staying fit! Losing weight is a big part of my plans maybe that will help me run a tad faster, and not to get so tired through my runs.

It's back to normal though with the beginners group.  Holiday season has effect numbers here too, with only 7 beginners and three PWR leaders.  Even PhysioMike was opting out today, some family and friends time for him, down at the Local Raj Doot! Who by the way supply some yummy samosas at our Clubs annual 10k Run, which this year is on October 13th. My dear readers, I suggest you all jump in there and come along, its a great atmosphere, a fantastic race, and brilliant bit of bling to add to your collections! Not only that but there is usually always some yummy stuff in the goody bags as well :-) (Shameless plug there, but I am rather proud of my running club! 

So today, I did a couple of warm up drills while we waited for a couple of others and for the ladies using the loo. Then we made up three groups, the faster two people were going with David and the Peter was taking Nagging Sister and my niece JLo.  I took the other three. We started our walk (in the rain!)  for the first 2 minutes and then we started the running. The schedule today was 2 mins walk 10 mins run x 3.

The first two groups were already in the stride my group started out slowly. Sonn my group started to split, with two of my ladies getting head and one lady slowly bringing up the rear. I was running between my now two groups.  I didn't want to slow the two ladies in front of me down too much but neither did I want to nag the other lady to run faster, to put pressure on her. So I tried my best nipping between my 2 groups!  Talk about a work out!

At the other side of the walking bridge I ran up to the front ladies and told them to run straight up until the come across Crossways again, and then to run down there, I was going back to my other lady and take her the shorter way and maybe a loop around the rec when we get there. 

So there I was, two groups, one group with out a leader, but on of them did know the way, and the other lady, plodding along, she hasn't stopped the running bit at all, she has been steadily just plodding away!  I tried to encourage her to pick the speed up a tad.  We had a race with a 'walker' "Lets get passed him, lets buzz him" I said to encourage her. She just smiled but she went with it and picked up the pace just a tad to over take the man.  After that I used the very tried and tested method of counting lampposts.

We were first to arrive in the par and began our loop around to finish off the last 10 min run.  As we were getting to the other entrance I saw Nagging sister and JLo come in with Peter behind them.  So I said to my lady to continue running around the rec with the others while I go see where the rest of my group was.  I just got to the top off Crossways they were just arriving at the same time.  Perfect. I ran back with them to the rec and we continued to run around the rec to finish the remainder of the 10 mins. 

We waited for a few minutes for the faster group to get back to the rec, and David had lost one.  One of his group had a pain in his calf, so David said it would be best to stop running and heal up his calf first.  I finished off with the usual group cool down stretches.  A great session, and I was well and truly warmed up for my group 1 run.

Geeky stats  I couldn't wait for the satellites to find us, but pushed the start button, so there is a bit of the route missing.

Group 1 Run

Our usual running leaders are either away on holiday or suffering with an injury, so Sue will be taking todays lead role, I will deffo be in the sweeper position!  It was good seeing all the girls again. And to hear they are all still keeping up with the park runs.  Our Kay though has to take a backseat from running for a while, but it was so nice to hear that two of the group one ladies go out walking 5 miles each week with her to keep up her fitness, and also Kay has volunteered at park run as well.  Now that is the sort of commitment and friendship and camaraderie that we have at Pettswood Runners (that's why, readers, you should enter our Pettswood 10k, its been voted one of the best in the country!

Our route today was going through 'Dog Poo' ally and then turning left to and following the railway lines. We were going to go up to Botony bay.  I didn't think my legs would keep on running up hill, but I was determined to try.  I failed! I beat my self up about it, and I hid it behind a joke when I got to the top. "All up" I said to Sue.

There was still more of the 'incline' as Sue called it, she was trying to disguise the hill.  But we all know its a hill.  I think there was probably one person in our group who maybe hadn't been this way before!  I was glad I was not the only person doing some walking today.  It was tough going! I was hoping the rain that had come down earlier would make a reappearance!  I was sweating buckets! 

After Botony Bay we headed towards Scadbury park.  The nights seem to be drawing in, and it doesn't feel as if we have hardly done any running through the woods.  This last bit of woods the light was fading and I was really having to concentrate on the ground.  I think maybe next week I will bring along a torch!  We then ran along Chislehurst road and passed Birchwood. Normally we would run down here at whatever pace we wanted to, but Sue was taking us down the next turning, and we will be enjoying a very enjoyable run down Woodrise.  In fact JJ really enjoyed herself and had her hands up yelling "Weeeeeee heeeeeeeeee" as she ran down.  Now that's the way to enjoy your running!

Into the rec, collapse and then do the warm down stretches!  A good run. And one of the things that we talk about when we run is "Why does it never get any easier" and "We all moan about how hard it is while we are running"  But there is also one thing we have in common, and is that we all keep coming back for more, we all do runs during the week, park runs, races, solo running! It may never get any easier, but we will never give it up!

Geeky stats


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Early Morning And Me.

Hello Blog lovers.

The Blurb

It's been a while since being acquainted with early morning, (well apart from when I was up at a sparrows to go on holiday a couple of weeks ago!) only this time I am not going away on a luxury holiday, there was nobody else getting up with me, and the house was quiet!

The reason I am saying "hello" to 6:30 on a Sunday morning, is because I entered a race, the Mid-Kent 5 in Staplehurst. Staplehurst! It's in Kent, I live in Kent, so when I entered it, I thought  "it can't be that far because it is one  of the races for my clubs Grand Prix, so it's perfect"  I  asked the Old Boy exactly where it was! After I picking my jaw up of the floor, I decided to find out who, from my club,  will be going  so that I can tag along with them.  Even if it was on the train for company, I didn't mind.  Unfortunately the earliest train didn't arrive at Staplehurst until after the start of the race, so that was not an option anyway!

But with loads of PWR's heading that way there were plenty of car spaces. And of course it makes sense to cut down on our carbon footprints and do the whole car share thing, and boy was I pleased I got a lift! I would have been a total wreck before I got there if I had to drive! Going on a motorway! Me! It's unheard of.

Anyway, back to me meeting early morning. I feel I need to explain this bit and it can be added to my long list of excuses, and you will see why later.  I had little grandson over for the night. Usually he is very good and sleeps in the big bed with his uncle Michael, but last night, (or early hours this morning!) he decides to climb in bed with me and his granddad! So from 2:30 onwards I had little legs and little arms digging me, draped across me as well as him talking away in his sleep!

I managed to catnap till 6:30 until the alarm went off. I got up and I began to ready!  I was almost done when the doorbell went, and Sue was standing there, and by the look on her face I think she was relieved  that she had pushed the right bell! It's still ridiculous o'clock in the morning! I grabbed everything, and even remembered pins for my number.

I sat in the car as Sue turned it around, I then realised I had my HR monitor but no Garmin watch!  I apologised to Sue and she stopped the car.  I ran back to my house, I presumed I left it where I had always left it, near the plug as I had charged it up last night! But it wasn't there! I must have dropped it on the grass outside.

I ran back to the car looking at the floor, but didn't find it and told Sue. There was no more time we had to go as we had a schedule of pickups to do.  As we were going I realised that I hadn't picked up my hat  either! So no Garmin, no hat, and no water! Plus lack of sleep, but at least I will be there on time, thanks to Sue! I just hope they didn't want a copy of the email to say that I had paid! That would just be the 'ticket on the car windscreen of life for me'! (by the way, I did find my Garmin in the end, after I got back, I had put it on the kitchen table!)

Once we arrived there we met up with all the other PWR's and there were quite a few of us there.  We all collected our numbers and chip for our shoes.  Brian, the  Chief editor of so Lets Going Running Magazine recognised me, (I'm hardly inconspicuous with my name emblazoned across my chest), this is the first time we have actually spoken in person! He was there as spectator and photographer today, although he really wanted to run. Typical man, typical runner, with an injury its best to have lots of time off,  usually all of what the doctors say and then add a week! But he has done the sensible thing this time, so at least I can badger him for some photos later (I'm not daft!)

Here is one I pinched off him, just a few Pettswood runners, chilling before the race.

The Race

Blimey, I still do go on and on! So to the race.  We had to walk about 100 or so metres to the start. Just then I remembered I had my iPhone with me, I saw Orla setting up her 'Run Keeper' on hers, and I remembered I had an app on my phone that can track me around! Yes Geeky stats for later! I quickly set up 'micoach' app as we were waiting. The mats were laid down and all of a sudden we were off!  The route was on tarmac roads, going through some very pretty countryside.  Unfortunately the traffic wasn't stopped, but at least these roads are not busy with traffic.  There were shouts of "Car coming up" and "Car coming down" as we progressed along the road.  It was well marshalled and needed to be, as there were a couple of roads leading off the main route. 

The sun was shining, it wasn't overly warm, not at that time at least, and  there is no sign of the promised rain. The first mile went by, and my phone started to talk to me, I couldn't remember exactly what it said, but it was something like 5 mins passed, distance 1 mile, average pace 4 mins........ok I may not have quite remembered the exact same numbers, but I'm sure when I download/look at them, it will show each mile. I could hear people behind me, people who I overtook in the first mile. I really hope to keep them there! But this is me, early morning start, no Garmin, no sweat catching hat, and still podgy from my holidays! Plus lack of sleep and no water. (quite a few excuses from the Mighty Moosh book of excuses today)

The second mile and we were still running along the same stretch of road.  I had slowed down a bit,  I think I had pushed out a little too fast for the first mile, just like everyone does, even though it just didn't feel like it.  There was a water stop as we turned the first corner, about 2 and half miles in! I was pleased with that, being as that I left my water behind this morning.! At least now I know that we are half way round! I  knew that anyway, because of  'micoach' yelling from my boob (it's where I keep my phone, they only safe place so I don't drop it!) Three miles (so as I was told by my boob) soon came up, I carried on a little further and then I saw the 3 mile board.  Now who is wrong here?! Not long to go now, I can still here people catching me up. I tried to keep going but there was one young lady that overtook me. Then I heard, "GPS has been lost" Well it's a good job it's not an orienteering race! (are you allowed to use GPS in that sort of race?) So for most of the next mile nobody knew I was there! Well, yes, the organisers of the race did, and my racing club buddies did, but you know what I mean, I was undetected by the satellites. (Maybe I should change my mobile provider) but I plodded along, under the trees enjoying the scenery.

Then I heard 'GPS has been reconected' and best of all '4 miles' etc etc. But just then, I head someone say "Come on, not that far now" as she overtook me! Aggghhhh, NO!, I tried and tried to get back in front of her, which I did, but I still let her get back in the lead. Darn it! Then I heard another runner coming up from behind. "Not far now" I said to her, trying to be as cheery as the girl in front, "Where's the gate?" she said. She was beside me running and I noticed that she was a.....tad older than me. As I watched her slowly getting in front I started to feel a little dejected with myself. Just then I saw the cricket scoreboards thingy. That really spurred me on. I put in a bit of effort and overtook the older woman and headed for the finish line inside the cricket grounds. Just outside though was a welcoming committee, PhysioMike shouted "Come on Old Girl", and Brian was there too, to capture  me entering the grounds.

Me with my 'in race' race behind me

Just through the car park now, I didn't quite catch up to the other younger lady that had passed me, but I was still pleased that at least I hadn't let anyway else overtake on this last little bit.  By the way the older lady was awarded a prize for first woman back in her age group! Brilliant effort!

I think Brian must have put on a bit of a sprint as well, as he was at the finishing line to capture me on camera, coming over the mats! Well done Brian, (we won't say that I was probably running at about 24 m/mi by then)

Epilogue and Photos

A great race, a great atmosphere, and PWR's made a noticeable patch of black and white shirts! Here is some screenshots of my geeky stats. Oh and one more thing, about the whole 'I don't do early mornings' scenario, a little bit of fun,  lets see who is reading and paying attention!

Do you  remember me saying that I had to explain why I was talking about my grandson? Well, as you can see from the very last picture, I grabbed a 'pair' of shoes, and did the race in those. Remember it was early morning, lack of sleep etc, and to be honest, there is not a lot of difference between the shoes. But those that don't do 'Spot the Difference' The right shoe is my old Asisc and the left shoe is my new Adidas.  So as the title suggest, me and early morning? We don't mix so good!

Also, I did my usual thing of forgetting to switch off my tracker! The official chip time for todays run is 1 hour and 58 seconds!

The End!

Photos used with permission from Brian Page,
Editor So Lets Go Running

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Post Holiday Run!

This is me with Assos in the background
Hello blog lovers!

What a fantastic holiday I have had, sun sea and ouzo! I was on the beautiful island of Cephalonia, one of the Greek islands in the Ionian Sea!  Stunning scenery, fabulous people and delicious food!  And so very, very hot. I was kind of glad I didn't take my running stuff with me, I just wouldn't have made it to the first kilometre! The heat just turned me and the Old Boy into sloth like creatures.  In fact the only bit of exercise we did was a bit of bobbing around in the sea, to cool down!

So my first run was really going to be a test to see how much 'damage' I have done to my 'temple' of a body!  And  the way I am feeling at the moment, my temple is a huge metropolis of a place! But I was still itching to get out, (and I really do mean itching, the mozzies had a feast on my legs, I look like Mrs. Blobby!)  As soon as the kids had been picked up by their mums, I tidied away, and got myself ready for my first run since coming home.  I made sure I had enough juice in my Garmin and on my phone, as I wanted to some tunes to run to, and then I was out the door.

Satellites were found while I was faffing about with shoes and hair ties, so I started running as soon as I was out of the door.  A huge smile came across my face as I ran towards the road, ready to turn left to run up it.  Yes! It felt great to be out running again! Just one week off running and I now I am smiling as I run along. 

But I knew all too well, that this smile will turn into a grimace later on.  I am keeping it to a short run, but I am going to try as hard as I can to get around it as quick as I can.  I know.....that's not like me at all, but sometimes after a little rest you feel you can do miraculous things (or is that just me?) 

I need to keep the hill theme going (I should really have tried running in Cephalonia, talk about hills!) so my route was going up the short hill near me, and then I was heading through Pettswood and under the railway bridge to run past the pub.  When I got to about Shepperton Road, I noticed that my 'bat wing' arms were started to feel a bit sore, a bit of chaffing going on there.  I was wondering if it was my top that was causing it.  I had one of my old tops on, sleeveless, well, I have to show off my tan!  Either it was that, or I really did over indulge while on holiday, and my arms have grown to epic probortions!

I had noticed my 'budha belly' too!  Somewhat particularly noticeable in my skintight jog pants and top!  I must have looked a right sight running along, especially with an inane smile on my face! But I was still smiling! Every time I thought about what I was doing then the smile came over my face! I love running, I love keeping fit! I love the feeling I get after I finished running or cycling! There is nothing like it! No amount of alcohol or food or indeed chocolate can give you that feeling!

The chaffing arms (sounds like a good name for a pub for runners!) got me a bit distracted at times, I tried all sorts of ways to try and overcome it, keeping my arms against my body, running with my arms out wider, blanking out the soreness! Nothing worked!  Maybe I will have to keep to short sleeves for a while, just until I am back to pre-holiday weight and fitness! And then some!  I have realised that I need to sort my weight issues out. Diet! Something that I dread doing, but I feel it has become necessary!

But.....Yes!..... I am back to running. And loving it!  Oh and by the way I have a race booked for this Sunday! A 5 miler at silly o'clock in the morning at Staplehurst!  Oh the joys of a an Old Girl Athlete!

Geeky stats for you......and ok.....not speedy, but for my bloated body, I think I pushed it around pretty quick! (smiley face) :-)