Monday, 30 September 2013

Path Finding!

Hello blog lovers

This morning I wanted to measure out a route that I have not been on before, well not by myself.  It's a straight loop, with just a bit of twiddly bit  in there, just to make it a little bit more interesting.

It was a slow jog around the woods, just so that I can try and remember the way, and which path I took, and try to remember what the paths were like so that I can relay that back through my group on Thursday, that's if they still want to go through the woods then.

The paths were not too bad, a couple of sticky patches, but nothing that the group has not gone around before, or through, which ever they chose to do! The route I chose had a couple of the paths that the Pettswood 10k will be going, did I tell you that my club hosts one of the top ten 10k in October, in the country? It's always good to run through our woods, along our paths.  You can breathe so much easier, and the kilometres just seem to disappear. And it's famous!  William Willet, he helped with the whole British Summer time thing.

I'm so glad I got out this morning for a run, and I'm sure the Thursday group will be pleased with this almost circular run.

Geeky stats

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Woodland Way!

Hello blog lovers.

What a lovely day it was today.  Ok, it started out a bit iffy, but my grandson could see the potential in the weather as he insisted on wearing shorts today, instead of his long trousers "What if gets warm, nanny, then I will be too hot!" Of course he will, he knew what the day had in store for us.

I arrived at the Rec and saw that Emma was busy with the class for her 'boot Camp' session, (I wonder if she will be doing that during the long winter months as well) The ladies all looked smiley and happy, until Emma said something that even sent shivers down my spine, "Ok, now we are going to do some burpees!"  Oh bring on my runners, please, the torture, the sounds, the sight of these poor ladies is too much!  Actually, the all looked pretty amazing!

The Thursday runners arrived in dribs and drabs.  DiscoRich 'sorted' them into two groups, and then we were off.  As promised last week my route was going to take us through the woods, everyone agrees that you just cant beat it!  Although it had been a bit wet over night, I was hoping it wasn't going to be too sticky through the woods.  But if it is, then we will just get muddy feet!

As soon as you enter the woods, you can almost feel your lungs 'breathing a sigh of relief' for all that clean fresh air that's about. (once away from 'Dog Poo Ally' that is) but it was soon a very welcome breath, as we ran up the hill, to the top of the woods.  I kept a close eye on the back runners, and appointed Illustrious Leader as the sweeper, and David (our Pettswood Runners 10k race director) was assistance sweep.  I don't want anyone getting lost, not on my run!  We had a short stop to let everyone catch up, and then we continued on our way. 

It is a bit of an undulating route, and some of the paths that we took are part of our 10k, it's always so good to run our own event, although there is no medal at the end, what you do get is far better than any medal, a feeling of freedom, and feeling alive and healthy! I thank God that I am able to run! Just perfect, and I feel privileged helping others to achieve their goals and their dreams that they thought was impossible! Ade and Tracy have both now entered the 10k! 

Well, before I get all mushy I shall put up my geeky stats for this run.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Just The One!

Hello blog lovers.

I just did the one run this evening.  My first born is back from her friends wedding and funnymoon (her friends honeymoon which was spent with most of the guests at her Spanish wedding) last week, and tomorrow she flies off again back to Australia! So I am only going to do the graduates run this evening, and the back home to spend the last few hours with my daughter!

Peter came and he took Ade for a slightly longer route and slighter faster, Nagging Sister and Ashleigh we sandwiched between them and me, Tracy and Lorraine, who were running slight slower and doing a slightly shorter route. 

We all started off together, with Peter and Ade heading off, followed by N.S and Ashleigh with me and the rest behind them.  Heading up hill towards Pettswood and then running over the bridge to the other side of the railway lines.  Tracy was doing really well, non stop running all the way to the garage on the other side of Pettswood! We had just a minute and half walking before I encouraged them to run again. 

The front runners were doing their thing, we couldn't see them, I am sure they were all together, Peter would be taking them on a little loop before they got back to the park. We were going great guns, and were heading up Tudor way, and over to Crossways.  There was not enough time to do a loop on the roads, but I wanted them to do little more than the two miles, so I suggested one loop of the park, going clockwise around the green, which means getting the ever so slight incline out of the way first!

We were just finishing off the loop, getting to the Pavilion when all the others came into the park.  They had done just about a quarter of a mile more that we had done.  Perfect timing, and everyone had a great run.  Not only that but Ade decided to stay and run again with Group 1, lets hope he has found his mojo for running again!  Especially as Tracy and Ade have both decided to enter the Pettswood Runners 10k race. 

Geeky stats.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cinders, Here We Come!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Thursday, and its my second session for leading a group. And today it is more of a group that it was last week.  Marianne was there, but there was also 5 other ladies AND Illustrious leader!  It's a bit like 'The student has become the teacher'!  So for todays session Illustrious Leader is being sweeper, and I am taking the lead! I shall see if she is taking notes!

I decided on a nice easier route, but a nice leafy, green route, as our club is going very eco this year with our PWR 10k, i.e. no plastic carrier bags at the end with stuff in, no plastic cups of water at the drinks stop, they will all be paper, which in turn will be picked up and recycled. No sending out of race numbers, they are to be picked up on race day on the green! Another fantastic reason for anyone reading this to register and run this fantastic event.

Where was I? Oh yes, leafy, green route.  I took them straight down the road, heading for Sparrow Woods, and the Cinder Path, (I bet you were wonder what cinders was referring!....ok) This path takes us in the woods but on a tarmacked path.  All the benefits of running through woods but with the less 'muddy shoes' scenario (unlike the route I am planning for next week!)  And then to pop out and send off those that want to do the extra bit around the loop, before heading off back down the road.

For most of the way, I was actually in the lead position, but I was flagging a bit, so I decided to 'lead from the back'  I.L. and Tracy were a bit behind now, and there were was one other lady that was just a tad behind the three in front.  It is a straight path, and I gave instructions that when they got to they end, to either wait or double back to meet me.  Fortunately we all got to the end virtually at the same time.  I explained the little loopy to those who wanted to run a bit more, and all four of the ladies took up the challenge.  I stayed at the end of the path waiting for I.L. and Tracy, my excuse was that I didn't want them to think we had left with out them (I shall put that in the Mighty Moosh book of excuses, maybe in a new chapter of Excuses for Leaders!)

It wasn't long after I.L. and Tracy was running up the path and the other ladies started to come around the loop. Both sets of people arriving together, perfect timing!  Now it was just the long road back to the rec.  And fortunately its all downhill.  I.L. and Tracy decided to stay with the 'green theme' and go back down the Cinder Path, and then meet up with us at Tudor way. And guess what?  Again, it all worked out perfectly!  Just as we were getting to the railway bridge, there was I.L. and Tracy!

Just the last couple of roads to go, and we all ran with gusto to the end.  We arrived at the park, did out warm down stretches and then waited for DiscoRich and his group, running at group 2 to 3 pace!  I was wondering how Ade was going to cope with that!  But when they arrived back at the park, he looked ok, he wasn't gasping and looking for an oxygen mask, and he has even decided to run in the Pettswood 10k, especially when he heard that all profit is going to Harris Hospice! (Another great reason, dear readers, to register for this No.1 10k race in the country)

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lets Become Runners!

Hello blog lovers.

Lets Find The Runner Within

I am still helping/mentoring the Septembers Graduates.  So today, to get them to push them selves a little harder to get them club ready, fully fit and ready for which ever group they will be comfortable running with.

Peter and I met the graduates at the rec, there was Nagging Sister and her two attachments, JLo and Ashleigh, then there was Tracy and her partner Ade.  Ade used to come along before, he was a PWR for a while, but the life stopped him from running and so he has started again.

I wanted to give them a bit of a challenge, but going through the woods now and even through the park is not possible now.  It's just getting to dark and the rain will have made the woods a bit slippy.  So I decided to take them up Birchwood along to the round about, and then down to Pettswood, the memorial hall, and then up again to Great Thrift, Hazelmere, and if need be then I would put some twiddly bits in to get at least 2 and half miles for them.

But also I think Tracy has more to give than she thinks she has, so I thought a bit of 'lamppost training' is in order.  After warming up for a while, and of course after getting to the flat bit of the hill, then we are going to push a little harder between the lampposts.  Just running a little faster than what she had done so far.

There was only me and Nagging Sister and Tracy, the rest of the group had gone with Peter, so all my attention could be focused on her, to help her get from one lamppost to the other.  So from the top of the hill we started the hard work.  "Come on Tracy, you can do it, just ran faster to the next lamppost, then we can jog it out again"

From there all the way down, through to Pettswood high street, she kept up.  Sometimes she ran faster some times she ran just slightly fast.  But she kept it up.  Occasionally I felt her eyes staring at me, burning into the back of my head!  But she didn't stop running, not until we had ran for 20 mins!  A fantastic effort.  She didn't give up, she kept up with the jogging, she tried as hard as she could with the faster bits, all the while with Nagging Sister and me encouraging her on her way.

I was very impressed that she kept it going. even when I changed the route slightly to add another tiny little slope, and then we entered the park from the other entrance. We could see the rest of the group already gathered, as we got up to them she said "That was good!" Now that was music to my ears!! The fact that she enjoyed that, all the hard work that we did together, is just heart warming.  There is definitely another runner emerging from the couch potato patch!

And something the Mr.S. said to me this evening, with I am now going to share here, "If her heart rate is up and her feet are moving, then she is running"  

So "We are all runners, just some run faster than others." Bart Yasso

Here is the geeky stats.

Group 1 Run

Illustrious leader was our leader again today. And of course I volunteered to  be sweeper, along with SingstarJo and another young lady, whose name escapes me!  The rain had started back at us, just a gentle drizzle, but it was there.  DiscoRich was giving the announcements and also getting more organised with the 'group gathering' process, which seemed to go really well! 

Our route is a nice flat route, all the way down to I.L. favourite place of the off License (we still haven't the heart to tell her it is now a min supermarket), this will be our first stop. Then after this it is on to Addiscome road, twiddly bits, as I.L. loves to call it, with also the 'Square' to run around for those who are feeling particularly energetic, a little sprint to get the heart rate going.  I chose to 'encourage' the others who just wanted to plod along to the next stopping position.  (I wouldn't have had the energy really).

But from here, I managed to keep on running, more or less, to the 'off license' again, but then I took a walking break, to get over the little bridge.  I carried on a little further to where the rest of group has stopped to explain the next bit of the route.  "No changing the route, just follow the road, then turn left and then right to go straight up to Crossways" said I.L.  "Old Girl, do you want to take the lead, while I sweep?" she said to me! Wow, where did that idea come from? But encouraged by the other ladies, I jumped into the lead position as if I was meant to be there!! I started chuckling to myself as I was running along with two of the ladies next to me.  They both seemed taller to me, and I started to recall a film of a rather short police officer running along with rather tall police officers, blowing his whistle!  And he was smiling and loving it, just as I was at the precise moment!  Do you know the film that I am talking about? Well here is a picture from it.

Sir Norman Wisdom, in On The Beat!

A great run, and I did enjoy being in the front for a while, I didn't quite manage to stay the 'leader' for too long, not with all those long legs gaining on me! (another excuse for the Mighty Moosh Book of Excuses)

Here is the geeky stats

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Thursday's First Day!

Hello blog lovers.

Thursday has been quite a busy day.  School runs to two schools, and running and cycling! How I fit in everything, and do it on time I never know...... mind dinner was a bit burnt after the cycle ride!

Anyway, this is 'me' running blog, so I shall get on with it.  Now that the little darlings are settled into school its time for the yummy mummys and dapper daddies to get into shape after enjoying all those lovely barbeque's and ice creams and fish and chips by the sea side. 

On Thursdays PWR's meet up for a run, after dropping off the little darlings and then go run their little socks off.  DiscoRich was taking out the faster runners, the girls who run at group three pace, and I was taking out group 1 runners, or those that can run a group 1 pace. can settle down taking the lead role for a Thursday morning run! 

If I said I felt totally privileged, well that would be an understatement.....I was totally thrilled to be asked to lead out a group.  And then I felt totally scared stiff!  And when I saw who I was 'leading' I was even more anxious!  It was a very select group, just 1 person! And she normally did so well in the Thursday core and strengthening, leaving me eating dust!

But I was hoping that running continually (and I use that word very, very loosely here!) over a 3 and half mile route would maybe just keep things to a group 1 pace!  I chose a bit of a hilly route, because 1) I am thinking it will be a bit slower, and 2), I couldn't quite think of a route quick enough after DiscoRich said to me "You know plenty of routes now Old Girl" So I had to think quick on my (running) feet! and 3) during the run out I found out that Marianne has entered the '3 peaks' run.  Hills seemed to be just what she needs as well.  But to me, even the name of the run (or walk) sends me to run to the corner shivering with my thumb in my mouth! I don't like hills!  But for today only, I feel they are just what me and Marianne need!

We started off following DiscoRich and the 3 other ladies that was there today.  They were definitely on a mission! Running  at group three pace I knew I had to change route and stop being mesmorised by them, so I took Willet Way, as I knew they were going down the 'Cinder Path' by the school, I just couldn't keep that pace going.  This was to be the theme of todays run. I shall call it 'A Woman's Prerogative!"

You, my faithful readers, know that I just can't keep up any sort or pace without having some sort of walking break, whether its for 10 seconds or for 30 seconds, I still need that little walk!  Leadership material! I do hope so.  I shall just have to make it an interesting run. So I expect me changing my mind about which way to go would do that! Either that or worry her that I would get lost some where!

Changing my mind though was going to be the order of the day, as I decided as we got nearer to Southborough lane, I asked Marianne if she fancied going through the woods. Now considering she has brand new sparkling, shiny, running shoes on, I thought it was best to ask! She was all for it.  That's what PWR's are made off! New shoes?, pah!! Raining? Pah! Snow........erm....pah!! We can do it!

All in all our run took us well over 3 and half miles! Not bad for my first lead role, I just hope Marianne had fun!

Here's the geeky stats.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Beginner Group

Hello Blog lovers.

Today I helped out at beginners graduates group.  We had 5 die hard runners who are still not quite confident or feel they are ready to move to group 1.  Peter and I took them out for a usual 20 minute jog, 2 minute walk and a well, shall we say more that 10 minute jog back to the rec!

We power walked the perimeter of the park, to loosen up, and then we took off straight away to do our route.  Peter and Claire took the lead, and headed off at a reasonable rate, towards the ally, and the railway bridge.  This will be the last time this year I shall be leading them out to this path as the light is disappearing fast.  If there is to be anymore Graduates runs on Tuesdays, then it will be only on the pavements.

Peter and Claire had disappeared into the distance, the rest of them jogged along with me, though the ally and over the bridge.  Nagging Sister and JLo were in front of me, and N.S. kept running out and then back to her.  It all worked out well.

We jogged out as far as the gate and beyond this time round.  I am sure we managed to get further this time than on any other occasion. Which goes to show there is tons of improvement there!  We saw Peter and Claire coming back so I decided to do a 'U' turn before the 20 minutes was up and head back to the rec.

I think there were ready for the two minutes of walk.  The next 10 minute (or so) jog was soon upon them and they seemed to be a lot more energised, you can tell by the way they get up the stairs.  The ten minutes were up before we reached Crossways, but I sort of kept that to myself.  To keep on increasing your distance and speed is the way forward, to be able to totally graduate and join a group 1 run is the goal for the beginners. 

Claire has decided that is what she will be doing next week!  Next week, she will come along and join in her first Group 1 run!  Well done Claire.  I am sure you will be just fine!

There is no group 1 run for me today.  My first born, my daughter, is back from Australia for a few days, before flying off to Spain for a wedding! I will get to see her again before she flys off back to Oz, but for today, I wanted to spend some time with her.

Geeky stats for graduates Summer 2013 course.

Saturday, 7 September 2013


Hello blog lovers

Hasn't it come around quick!? Already another Saturday, and another Park Run.  But today I don't think there will be any PB's from me.  I was just not 'feeling it' today.  I expect the 2 and half pints of lager and Chinese dinner late last night helped with that today!  But also, I thought I would try the eating of the breakfast an hour earlier idea.  I hear people say that they have a bowl of porridge or cereal or even bananas (or all of the mentioned), but I think I have decided, I can't do the 'eat and run'  I don't do it when I go on club runs, I wait till I get home, so that is how it is going to have to be on my park runs.

I arrived at Normans park with just minutes to spare, why do I always do that!? and so had a fast walk and jog to the other end. There, emerging from the crowds of runners came Nagging Sister. "I'm so glad you're here today, I don't want to run on my own" she said.  She looked totally relaxed though, more than I did, already a bit sweaty, but at least I'm warmed up.

The weather was just like yesterday, raining! Fortunately not too bad, in fact for the first lap it had eased off, the black clouds were just hanging there, taunting us with what is hiding inside its dark fluffiness.  After all the pre-lims done we started running, of course we started running out too fast, and I could hear N.S. say "Whats with the rush?" I kept up the pace though, just for a little bit, but then we slowed it down a bit. 

The first time around the river, and I was feeling my breakfast getting a good shaking up! Not good! It deffinitly doesn't do me to run on a full tummy, I just cant do it.  Mental note to self: No eating on short runs, it's not necessessary for you Old Girl!.

N.S. was also finding it a bit tough, and we had our first walking section just near the 1 mile mark.  Well, if we keep that sort of pace going there is a good chance that we can do a good run here. But between me and N.S. we had walking spells and faster spells of running.  On the last long straight, about half a mile to do the rain started coming down again, and this time it didn't stop.  Just gentle at first, keeping us nicely cooled down. 

From this last long straight, we decided that we were not going to be walking anymore, running all the way, even if its a slow jog, there will be no more running.  We kept it going.  The last two corners done and the tunnel was in sight.  A cheer from Spider gave us a little boost, and N.S. said "Come on the Old Girl, lets go for it" So we both put on a bit of speed, getting faster as that tunnel came closer.  N.S. and I was neck and neck until I started to pull in front of her, and stayed there. 

I remember only last year she was always well ahead of me! I was feeling quite fast then! In through the tunnel and switch off Garmin!

Geeky stats, no official email yet, but I know its not a PB, not with my Garmin showing 36 something!

Photo courtesy of Brian Page

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Chitter Chatter Pitter Patter!

Hello blog lovers.

Thursday core training well and truly out of the way till next year, but I still want to keep Thursdays as a running day.  Still keep to a routine of running twice during the week, with hopefully a Saturday ParkRun, if I'm not off cycling somewhere. 

SingstarJo wanted to go for a run.  She is gradually getting better from an injury, a back injury at that, which is particularly horrid, (I had back trouble early in the year!) and so she wanted a nice gentle run, with maybe getting four miles in, if we can, before it gets too dark, as we both fancy going through the woods!

SingstarJo picked me up just before 7 and we headed off for our starting spot, 'Dog Poo Ally'.  The light is still with us, but I suggested going up the same path that PhysioMike said to go on Tuesday with the beginners, but somehow I missed it, and we still went down the same rooty path I always take! Conditioning you see! Oh well, its all good, we will just have to concentrate that little bit more.

The three bridges came and we coped with those no sweat....... well I should say no problem, the sweat was definitely there! Boy is it warm this evening! Both Jo and I were sweating like we were sitting in a sauna! We were still chatting away, talking about all sorts of stuff, acupuncture, the beginners, park run,  marathons, stripping......wallpaper that is! And the time was just ticking away, we wasn't at all interested in how fast we were going, only the distance.  Hopefully 4 miles and that will be it. 

We got to Blackbrook Lane, non stop running, which I was pretty impressed with myself for that, and we could have turned left and ran till we got to the two mile mark and then gone back the same way, an out and back route. But I suggested turning right, following out clubs 10k route,  and running along with the the river on our left, and then go back along to the rail lines and through the path that I wanted to take in the first place.

SJ was all up for that, as long as Goss Hill wasn't involved (that will be next time, maybe a Sunday afternoon run, when she is up for some hills) Oh wow, look at me, talking about hills again, as if I love them!  It's a strange past time this running malarkey, but what a total buzz you get from it when you have:-  a) finished your run, b) achieved a PB, c) increased your distance, d) finished a challenging run.  There could be so much 'buzzing' going on that you probably sound like swarming bees!

We managed to find the right path, the less rooty path, back to 'Dog Poo ally', but we both still felt that we could go a few more minutes running, so we did a loop of the block and then back to the car.  Just a tad oer 50 minutes of running, at a very leisurely conversational pace, just feeling good about running!

Thanks SingstarJo, a great run, here's our geeky stats.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Club Run! - Welcome Back Illustrious Leader!

Hello blog lovers!

Tuesday means club run, and also our beginners, who just love to run, but not quite ready to join group 1.

As the sun is still with us, and also we are still going to do the out and back, I thought to just break things up a bit, a bit of off roading would be nice, we won't have much oppotunities left this year to go out this time into the woods.  What I neglected to say, to the beginners that is, is that there are three bridges to run over!  But first there is the lovely woods to run through.

It is a bit challenging for beginners, with the light not as good, but just so worth it. The trees, the sounds, the peace and quite! (well apart from the running feet and huffing and puffing from everyone) But a most enjoyable detour from the roads.

And just a tad bit further than running along the roads as well, because we were at a mile just after the third bridge! And there were all doing very well, Nagging Sister and JLo were up ahead with Ash, Nagging Sisters eldest daughter, they were doing really well. 

Tracy was doing well too, even though she was giving me glaring daggers!  But I think she enjoyed it. And she was very pleased that she had ran for the twenty minutes, after that it was the 2 minutes walking.  On the way back we stayed with just the one bridge, and then hit the road to get back to the rec.  We started on the 10 minute jogging bit which ended before we got back to the rec, but PhysioMike said to keep going until the feel that cant go any more.  Both Loraine and Tracy got back to the gate, and extra 4 minutes of running! Brilliant.

Nagging sister and her brood came back with Peter after running for 40 minutes! So today was a good session.  This is the geeky stats for Tracy and Lorraine

Group 1 run was brilliant.  Our Illustrious Leader is back from her travels around the world, and seemed raring to go. Choosing cardiac hill as her first run back shows you just how much she has missed us and it!  I offered to be sweeper. It's my place, I know where I am the back! (And I can have a sneaky walk or two as well)

There were a couple of hills in todays run, and I failed miserabley on both of them.  But I have decided not to beat myself up about it, after all, I am here, I am running, and I am doing it! There are plenty of others sat in their homes, who would just love to be able to come out and do this.  I am the fortunate one!

Even running.....ok.....walking up Cardiac hill was good, just to be able to attempt getting up, was good.  I will do, again, I know I will.  But until then I will just keep on trying. That's me, trying, but still loving my running!  I must put in for another race soon!

Geeky stats.