Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sinners And Saints!

Hello blog lovers.

Thursday morning runs, time to go through the woods, well, I would have done, except today we were all going to socialise afterwards in a lovely juice bar Saints and Sinners.  So our run today was the next best thing the cinder path!

I was expecting a really awful day as it was so windy last night, yes, there was a bit of wind, but at least it's not raining.  It was a bit chilly too, so we didn't wait around too long, those who were going to be running today were there.

In my group today there were MichelleS, Ayako (she told me how to spell her name) Auriol and PinkladyJo.  My group seems to be growing while DiscoRichs group is dwindling! Blooming shame when work robs you of your running time!

I was feeling a bit tired this morning, not sure why. I know Ive been worried about my ma-in-law.  I guess stress can play a part on your energy levels.  We all stayed together pretty well, I didn't want to go to slow or too fast (can you believe I just wrote that!) but I know that on Tuesday at group 0 I did exceed the speed limit!  Because I was leading from the front, I normally lead from the back in group 0!

We were all chatting, as we ran along, so I knew we were all at a nice comfy pace for everyone, but when we got to the end of the Cinder path, I asked them if they wanted to go and do the extra bit around the little estate.  Do you, not one said "I am really looking forward to doing that bit" including me!  So we just ran on back down Crofton Lane.

It felt really windy,  I was saying to Michelle, when we were in the woods "I am glad the wind has stopped" but then as I said that the wind came back again!  And from that moment it hadn't really stopped again!  We kept moving at a steady pace, all the way to Tudor Way.  We walked under the bridge, as it's a single file piece of pavement, and then carried on running after that.  Just the last road to do before we get to Crossways and the rec.  I led from behind, just so that I didn't go too I could go just a bit slower!

When we crossed the road to go onto Crossways, I found just a little bit extra to do my sprinty bit.  I picked up the pace and looked straight ahead and ran.  Ayako started to put a sprint on and we were side by side.  Then she just took off and left me eating dust as she flew the rest of the way into the rec!  Well, she is stick think, at least 30 years younger than me and any other excuses that will fit here will as well!

We went into the track to stretch and wait for DiscoRich because then were were going to go for our festive juice or coffee.  I had a caramel shortbread as well! We were also going to meet up with the Adele's boxersise group.  DiscoRich joins them on Tuesdays, and they are also PWR's.  They walked in and they all looked totally glamorous!!  How do they do that!?

So that was my 'sinners' bit, it was a very lovely piece of shortbread!  Thanks PinkladyJo :-) Anyway geeky stats.

Track Session

And now for the saints bit!  Cos after all, I feel sure I worked off that bit of shortbread after this sessions! After listening to the news and also reading what PhysioMike wrote on the facebook page, I was expecting a freezing cold and wet track session.  Brrrr.  I picked up ChattyWendi, (who thought she would like to try track session) and we made our way there.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that cold out.  In fact after just one warm up lap I was stripping off layers, my gloves came off, my hat and my jacket!  

We were soon doing the warm up drills and then into the session.  3 laps at 5k, 20 mins of paarlaufs, and then back to 3 laps at 5k pace.  It's gonna be hard! Fun, but hard!  I said to WhattyWendi to do it at her pace, if she don't want to do the whole thing, or wants to slow the pace down, its up to her.  

PhysioMike had us setting off in staggered starts as he wanted us all to be ending the 3 laps at the same time.  So me and Wendi set off first as we were the slowest people there.  We managed to do one lap before some of the others had even started!  So you can imagine how fast they were going to go!

But it all worked out more or less.!  Then it was straight into the parrlaufs.  There was me ChattyWendi and Keven Able, (from Opington Road Runners) in a team.  Kev went to the 200 meter mark while me and ChattyWendi was at the start.  PhysioMike blew his whistle and then we were off.  I took off as fast as I dare, to hand my baton over to Kev.  Even before the first hundred meters all of the others had streaked ahead, including some young dude!  He was just like a little whippet!  How do youngsters get to run so fast!

Kev expertly received the baton from me who then ran around to ChattyWendi to hand it to her.  For twenty mins we were going to do this.  I wound how many laps we would do.  But PhysioMike was also having to take part in these relays.  And he wasn't quite prepared to run, he was in a jumper and jeans!  He did have on running shoes though!  That's teach him,  should have been a boy scout, always come prepared!

But after ten minutes of doing this he decided to change it!  Just so that he could 'drop out' as he said.  He put us into pairs this time. We walked so that we came to the middle of the long straight, he sent one person directly opposite us.  What he got us to do was to run around the 200 meters hand over the baton to our partner and then jog over the green to meet them the other side, and then they in turn will have to jog back across the green to meet us at the 200 meters.  Hard work.  Great fun, and it kept us all moving, so no standing around.

We did that for 10 minutes and then went to the three laps run at 5k pace!  I think ChattyWendi wondered what had hit her.  I did say as we were running around accompanied by Mr.S and after he said that we needn't do all three laps, that I was only going to do 2 laps.  "Oh good" she said.  She looked quite please and we settled into a nice pace to get around our two laps.

But when we got to the finish like or our second lap Mr.S said, "Come on, you know you want to do the last lap"  PhysioMike had also said. while looking at his timing "You going to do your last lap" I said to ChattyWendi, "Come on then, lets do it" 
"You lied Old Girl"
"Yeah but we can do it, you know you will like it when it's all done"

And wither that we continued our last lap of the session!

It was tough, we put in as much as we could, but making sure that we didn't make it a chore!  I loved it!  And I know ChattyWendi will be smiling to herself knowing that she had done her first track session in a long time"


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Club Runs - Wind And Rain!

Hello blog lovers.

What a yucky evening.  I am sure there are people that love running in rain and wind and chill, I am sure that these conditions will suit some people down to the ground, but not me!  I surprised my self that I went and did group 1 as well! But I did, and I was very pleased about it!

So group 0.  There were a couple of people that couldn't make it this evening, but it was good to see that Janet was back.  It wont be too long before she steps back into group 1.  Also we had JJ, ChattyWendy and Tracey, and this time Tracey had a nice warm jacket on!  It's good to have layers as you can always tie them round your waist when you want to strip them off.

I chose a different route this time, just to shake off any of those niggling thoughts in your head about "here is where I usually stop" or "This is where I normally feel I can't go on"  As ChattyWendi says, running is mainly mental!  I remember Naggy Neighbour used to keep telling me that, although back then I hadn't a clue what she meant, as to me my body felt knackered so I wanted to stop, end of!  And now ChattyWendi is saying it again to our group 0 members!

I was running a little bit too fast as I was chatting to JJ and Wendy while Janet and Tracey were behind, such a bad leader!  "I should be stripped of my Leadership Card", I joked, and ChattyWendi agreed "Yes, totally useless" she said, and we all laughed!

We had our second break just at the top of Shepperton, as this was a new route, I wasn't sure just how far it would be if we turned right and then went down Beaumount road, but I knew it was about half a mile or three quarters of a mile if we turned left and went down to Tudor Way, so I decided that would be the way to go.

I think Tracey was pleased with that idea too, we ran down there and the girls then asked if we were going to go past Station Square, but I had in mind to go straight down to Crossways as that would bring us to about a group 0 distance!

A good run and it was good getting a new route as well, hopefully next week it will be with the other members, fully recovered from this dreaded cold virus!

Group 1

Illustrious Leader was leading our group this evening.  SingstarJo was having achy muscles issues after doing the Turkey Trot at the weekend.  But I.L. had promised a flat route.  As I said earlier I really wanted desperately to go home.  I was cold and wet, and it was still raining, and the thought of trying to run again after hanging about for quater of an hour filled me with dispondancey.  I just wanted to get home, strip off and put on my pjs, and then write up my blog for group 0.  But after I.L. said that she has a flat route sorted out, I was intrigued!  How on earth did she find a flat route?

But when she told us which way she was going then I realised, it's not quite flat!   But the way she takes us kind of disguises the fact that we are running up hill.  I was sweeping, along with ChattyWendi.  We had a new lady start with us and it was good to see Anne with us as well, she came last week, her and her husband, for the first time.  And we had a new runner with us as well, she was persuaded to come out on one of the worst nights possible!  If she comes back next week then I hope its because, in spite of the rain and the wind and the cold, that PWR's have made a positive impact on her, showing her what a great club we are! 

I managed to twist my foot just as we got onto Beaumont Road, not a lot, but it just seemed to be a bit more exaggerated as I was still not quite warmed after cooling down after group 0.  So I decided to just run through it.  If it really hurt (which it didn't) then I would know that I should stop.  I couldn't wait until I warmed up a bit more,  not feel so stiff!

I was sweeping at the back with ChattyWendi and Anne, and she realised that it was uphill!  There was not disguising it from her, and when we get through the zigzag bit of Palace Estates and having a schedule stop on Crofton road, when I.L. says "It's all down hill now, all the way back" then you begin to realise that her 'flat route' wasn't as flat as all that!  But then again, there is no where flat around here!

It was a pleasant run back down though, all the way to the 'Off Licenses' where we had another little break, before running the last bit, breaking into two groups, those who wanted to go a bit faster and those who just wanted to carry on at their own pace.

I.L. waiting for the slower runners on Tudor way and we ran the rest of the way together, until we got to Pettswood road.  After we crossed that I did my usual sprinty bit down Crossways, it's become a ritual with me, as if I didn't do it the world would stop spinning or something.  It still surprises me that I have enough energy to do that!  

A great run, bloomin freezing, bloomin wet and bloomin windy, but I feel bloomin pleased with myself that I didn't whimp out and go home after doing group 0.

Geeky stats

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Turkey Run 2014

Me! with my Santa hat
 Hello blog lovers.

It's that time of year again, when we think of Christmas shopping, choosing the fattest turkey on the range, untangling the Christmas lights and Turkey runs!  Today (7th December) it was the Maidstone Harriers annual festive run.  It is also one of my clubs Grand Prix events!  And I had entered it!  It's become one of my favourite of the Grand Prix events through out the year, and one of the longest (I think, unless there is a half marathon thrown in somewhere!) 

SingstarJo very kindly picked me up today, (you probably know by now that I just shouldn't be navigating and driving anywhere!)  A 9:30 pick up, so quite a civilised time and I was out of the house with five minutes to spare!  SingstarJo was out there already, waiting for me, but I mistook her car for my sons and just chatted to the neighbour, Naggy Neighbour Karin, for a few minutes.  I ran over the grass and over the fence. Well, when I say over the fence, I fell over the fence!  It's about two feet high, with me being short with little short legs I misjudged the height and just clipped the top of the fence!  One bruised hand and leg to start off the run with!

Some of the gang!

The journey there was great, we were chatting, found out way there with no problem, satnavs do occasional steer you right! We went straight to the hall to collect our numbers.  We found some more of our fellow PWR's and chatted before we made out way to the start.  There were quite a few runners braving the ever so slightly wet conditions.  I could imagine the muddy bits as I looked out towards where we will be running!

We were soon off.  The weather wasn't really that bad at all.  It has been a lot colder on this run, but standing around for those few short minutes does make you feel a tad cold.  I shall have to make sure I thank every marshal I pass for standing around in the wet and the cold!  I was also thinking about my church today, and about what was happening back there.  One of our congregation was being baptised! I said prayers just then as I crossed over the start line.  There was no timing chips this year, the start was just marked with flags.  

Every run I start, I have the same thoughts, and this run is no exception.  "Why Old Girl, it's a long way?" This was the first time in ages I smiled to myself at that thought!  "Yeah, right, try 26.2 miles Old Girl"  

The Marshals had stopped the traffic so that we could cross the road and then we had the pathway and trails and mud to look forward to!  I was feeling pretty good, I had toast and tea at 8:30 this morning, did all the usual things that runners do, (plenty of 'potty stops!) and the nerves (where do they spring from?) were all but gone.  I took a quick gander at my Garmin just to see what pace I was doing and instead noticed that I had already nearly reached a mile!  It all felt pretty easy so far.  I hardly felt as I if I had been running!  But I didn't get complacent!  The other PWR's were all well ahead of me now, my race is with who ever is in front of me.  I passed a couple of people and fixed my gaze on my next couple of  'races'

The trails wasn't too bad at this point, but there were still some very slippery bits.  I could see the turn just up ahead of me.  I knew I wouldn't be able to catch anyone by then.  So I just settled down into my own little 'zone' and just enjoy being able to to run! Mile 2 was a little bit more muddy!  A slower pace but I tried to keep on running as best as I could and also to pass yet another person!  

Going through the gate and we were back on tarmac!  Now I can try and pick up a bit of pace again.  My shoes felt as if they had ton of mud on them, but when I looked it wasn't as bad as I thought.  I managed to just run off the bits hanging on to the sides of my shoes and I was away! 

Now is the little hill!  I say  'little hill' because that's how it looks on the geeky stats! But when I was running up it, it felt like Mount Everest!  PhysioMike was there at the top, "Gotta love those hills Donna" he said to me!  I was just pleased that I was running up it, instead of walking up it.  I must be all of those track sessions making me fitter and stronger!  It's also more muddy bits.  I decided that it would be easy to just go through it, if it didn't look too thick, I didn't want to loose my shoes!

Mile three really did have a 'proper hill'  and it was very sticky and muddy! I managed to pass a couple of people here, but then they passed me, I think there were a bit more confident running in the sticky bits.  I say this every time, I must get some trail shoes!  
This is going through the 'Tree Catherdral' Looks brilliant
when you are running towards it.

The 'roof' of the Catherdral
Mile four was still going up hill although we were now heading in a different direction.  I suddenly remembered about the 'Catherdral of trees that we run into and I couldn't way to see it again.  It looks totally amazing as you are running towards it.  Quite amazing, He does make some fantastic places!  Mile four also gave us some of the muddiest bits of todays run!  It was very slow going, and virtually single track!  I didn't want to over take the people in front of me, because there was very deep ditches either side.  So again I just settled down to pick my way through and patiently wait for my time to run.

These were my 'races'  I should have taken over
here but I was just enjoying being in
the Catherdral!

And my time came indeed! Not only was it a tad less sticky it was also down hill!  Perfect.  I seemed to just run along and I felt as if I could do this for ever!  I knew I was running a bit quicker that I do in group 1 in mile 5, but I had some catching up to do.  I passed the lady in the elf top, and fixed my sight on her other half.  He was running with her until the really sticky bit, and then he must have thought 'every man for himself!" as he made his way through the mud.  

He was running quite well, I really didn't think I would be able to catch up with him, so all thoughts of 'beating him' went out of my head.  But then I saw him at the water station!  He was having a drop of water, with just the last half a mile to go!  I thought this could be my chance, I am sure he will wait for his wife now!  Runners are extremely kind and courteous people, wonderful gentlemen and ladies! (except when in a race!) He started running again but I caught up with him. We ran along side by side for a while, chatting a bit, but with this last little bit to go he said that he was going to wait for his wife!  Of course in my mind I was thinking that I was just running too fast for him and he couldn't keep up!

I kept looking at my watch, I am sure it was a 10k race, which I thought was about 6.1 miles, but my Garmin had gone way past that and the end was still yet to be seen!  To keep my speed going I decided to make sure that I am running all the while a marshal was in my sight!  By now there were quite a few of them, so I just kept going!  The end was in sight!  I looked at my Garmin and I am sure it said I was running at 10:.....something pace!  It kind of threw me, I don't run that fast after doing 6 miles!

It was a good race, and I went to find the rest of the PWR's after picking up my goodie bag with my Large T-shirt, it was either that or the extra small!  Yeah, not since I was a toddler!

Geeky stats

Here's PhysioMikes brill film.  I should know that when he points a camera at you he is normally filming, but it seems we were all waiting for that 'click-click' shutter sound!  Next time I shall do some 'actions!'

Friday, 5 December 2014

Morning Runs.

Hello blog lovers.

Two runs again!  Tut tut! I mean it's good that I run, but my blogging, well that needs to be addressed.

So the first one was yesterday, Thursday morning group.  I arrived late!  (having a bit of a lay in) and when I started for the rec the traffic jam was there to greet me!  As I was driving into the rec, DiscoRich was already heading out with his group, and a new member to the Thursday crew, who actually wanted to run in my group.  I think she looked a little relieved that I showed up!

Also sat in her car waiting for me was MichelleS, she wasn't going to get out until she saw me arrive! So eventually we headed off out of the rec.  I was going to do the cinder path again, as it was raining and the woods would be really sticky and muddy.  I felt I needed to keep running rather that pick my way around puddles, as I had a bit of a headache to try and run off.

With just the three of us, and for the life of me, I can't quite remember the new persons name, I think it is something like Iyako, me and MichelleS ran down Crossways.  It was a bit chilly, and wet, so wet! It was that horrible fine rain, you know the stuff, it doesn't know if it wants to be a shower or heavy mist type of stuff, makes you feel uncomfortable!  Yup, I'm glad I decided not to run through the woods as well.  At least we will still have the cinder path, traffic free!

We were running a quite a nice group 1 pace.  I was enjoying it, and I am sure it was helping with my headache especially the traffic free bit.  But all good things come to an end.  I could just turn around and go back down the cinder path, but that would take distance off our run.  I could go around the loopy bit, which is ok.  Or I could stick to my plan and head on down Crofton.  We ran down Crofton!

We also found out why there was a traffic jam, the road is being dug up again!  It was a good run anyway, we chatted along the way, we had quiet moments, we laughed and we ran!  Just a great run, and it is good to have MichelleS back to running, and nice to have another new member to the Thursday group and probably to PWR.  But I think once she has found her running feet she will be moving up the groups in no time!

I was supposed to go to Track that evening, but my headache came back with a vengeance!  For some reason I feel worse in the evenings!  But hopefully this will be as bad as the cold virus makes me feel!

Friday Run

I went running again this morning.  One of my group 0 was going to be joining me, and it was just going to be a short route through the woods, but she still wasn't feeling too good (this darn cold virus, grrrr) also MichelleC was going to be there as well, a group 0 graduate, who also moved up to group 2 on Tuesday, during moveup week!  Her running is really coming along!

As it was just the two of us, I was still going to go through the woods, I think I nice gentle run is what I need, (headache again!) and just enjoy being out, but I was going to just add a bit more distance.  The route was straight up the middle path, along the top to the left and then straight up again to the tigers.  I love mud, I love hills!  The second part of my mantra I am trying to believe!  

When we were running along the road to Chislehurst Road our Emma ran up from behind us and said hi!  She is our membership secretary, and also a personal trainer, putting people through spin classes and boot camp style stuff!  I remember she took one of our Thursday evening summer core training and boy! did we know we did some core training!  A great session if I remember rightly!  At least my muscles thought so!

With just the tip of Scadbury park to do before we headed back down Birchwood, we were going really well.  The sun had really broken through as we were running through Scadbury.  The rays of sunlight piecing through the trees lighting up the leaf covered pathways, making them look like shiny copper coloured paths! I didn't want to leave this bit of the woods, it looked totally magical!  I should have had my phone with me to try and capture a picture of it.

With just a few walking stops to slow the pace down, from me I might add, the last bit wasn't so. We were running on the pavement at quite a good pace, this has showed me just how far MichelleC had come in her running!  We were running the last bit, according to my Garmin at 10:30 m/mi.  Michelle was setting the pace, I was keeping up with her, mainly because we didn't have far to go now, but also it's good to run with someone who is just that little be faster than you.

We got back to the rec and I felt really good! The headache was still there, it hadn't improved it, but it wasn't any worse!  A great run!  And now I look forward to the Maidstone Harriers Turkey Trot in Ditton on Sunday!  Bring it on!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Club Runs

Hello blog lovers.

I am on top of my blogging again!  That's good, now to get on top of my running and dieting!  I will do, I have to!

So this evening it was two runs, group 0 and group 1.  I have been a bit disorganised with my texting, so I wasn't sure who was going to turn up.  But as I got out of my car I saw three lovely ladies just about to walk into the gate. It was JJ, Jan and ChattyWendi!  Janet hasn't been running for at least 6 weeks due to illness, this flu and cold virus is an absolute nightmare!  But she let JJ and ChattyWendi know that she will be back to running but will go in group 0!  They both came along to group 0 to support her!

Also waiting in the park was Tracey from the beginners group.  I planned on doing the undulating route, through Pettswood to look a the lights and then back down again.  It's a tough little route with that hill in there, but its a good work out.  I was hoping it was just too much for Janet on her return back to running club.

After our warm up drills we set off and turned left out of the park and then left again.  I needn't worried about Janet at all, she was fitting in and running along as if she hadn't been gone 10 minutes!  She was running along with JJ and C.W. while me and Tracy ran behind.

As we were running along Pettswood high street I suddenly realised that the three ladies in front all had on bright yellow jackets while me and Tracey where both in pink! We looked an awesome site as we ran along together, fit as fiddles, all of us.

We had a couple of stops on the way but it was mainly running, running, running!  We ate up those 2 and half miles like we were just popping to the corner shop!  Piece of cake.  We got back into the rec and finished off with our cool down stretches.   A great run today.  Well done ladies, and it's fantastic that Janet is back with us.

Group 1

It's move up week this week.  Now that all the new members have been initiated into the club and absorbed into the groups, it was time to shake it up a bit and mix and match some more!  Some of our group 1 members who came from group 0 have moved into group 2.  They were a bit nervous but I am sure they will do just fine!

In group 1 there were at least 25 of us, including JJ and ChattyWendi!  I gently reminded JJ that she said that she would do group 0 then group 1!  IllustriousLeader was taking the lead, she gave us the direction of run and appointed sweepers, at least three us today, me, JJ and C.W.  

We also had two new members joining us as well.  Love it when we have new people, it shows that we are still growing as a club!  We set off out of the rec turned right and  ran up Pettswood Road, after a discussion and some slight confusion between that and Birchwood!  We will be getting the hill out of the way first.  It does mean that we will have Birchwood road to come down to finish our run, so we will be using Birchwood road, eventually!

The weather wasn't too bad d, it had been raining out, the ground was still wet, which meant there was a bit of cloud around keeping the temp just about right for winter running!  I am not looking forward to when it really does start to get cold!  

We all got up the hill all keeping in quite a nice group, not too spread out, with the catch up stop where they faster runners weren't standing around too long getting cold and the back runners getting enough breather to carry on for the next bit.

Going straight over the round about we made our way around the twiddly bit, with a little loopy bit for the faster runners to do while the back runners could run along the straight bit to take 'pole position' in the front with Illustrious leader!  I waited until the group came out of the little road and then started to run along.  But there were two poeple who didn't quite emerge with the rest of the group who were running behind me!  It was the daughter of one of them that said she was just slowing down to wait for her mum!  We have never lost anyone on any of our runs, or even come close to losing anyone!  Note to self, 'Buck up your ideas woman and check next time"  It's just as well we are not really speedy peoples!

I put myself back into sweepers position and we carried on our running.  I had to use my 'whistle' just to slow the front runners down a bit so that we had time to catch up with them.  With just about a mile maybe a little less we decided to split into two groups.  Those wanting to finish off with just a nice genteel paced run to the park will go with me, JJ and ChattyWendi and those wishing to dash the rest of the way went with IllustiousLeader. 

Most went with I.L. while there was a band of 5 in our breakaway group.  We chatted our way back to the top of Birchwood Road where I.L. was waiting.  She had sent the rest of the group back to the rec.  It was just down the road and first left, so no-one should get lost.  I.L. said "Ok Old Girl, if you want to run a bit fast now"  I thought about it and decided that I didn't have in my legs today to take off.  

But, Birchwood is down hill, and as I was running down I just had to do it, I had to take off!  Such a waste not too!  So I told I.L. that I would see her at the rec.  The great down hill run was just fantastic.  I am sure those Thursday training sessions are helping with the stamina thing as I felt as if I could have carried on past the park and continued to run on home!  Of course I didn't, my car was parked just along the road!

So I went into the rec and I started off the stretches!  A fabulous run, a great route and great people!  I also found out that one of my group 0 people had turned up at 7:30, we had gone by the time she got there!  Did I feel bad!  I must remember to email and text group 0 next week, try and stay on the ball!  But these weeks have been a bit fraught, with other things taking up my thinking space, which is why I have been partying a little too hard!  But now, with the marathon place I will be settling down into good and healthy routine just after the new year!

Geeky stats.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Running Weekend!

Hello blog lovers.

I have been negligent with my blogging again!  Three runs to add to my total mileage!  I must have run around the world by now, surely!

So the first one is of course what I have been training Tracy up for, Normans Park Parkrun!

I picked up up and we set off under a lovely.....well, white sky!  It wasn't a glorious sunny morning, but it was still mild out and it wasn't raining.  Perfect for running.  

Tracy already had a time to aim for, the training run last Monday gave us an idea of what she could do and more importantly, a goal to aim for and to beat!  We met up with Wendi and with Hilary, both of who stayed with Tracy throughout the run, to encourage her all the way round.  

We picked up our 'taches,.....oh......didn't I say, Saturdays Parkrun was a Movember run, all participants were wearing moustaches, if they hadn't....or couldn't grow their own then one was supplied.  Something I neglected to tell Tracy!  Here, this is us looking rather dashing!

Hilary Wendy, Tracy and me
Can you spot the deliberate mistake!

I wasn't going to encourage, nag,  pull, push or slide Tracy around the course.  It was all going to be her doing, a good learning curve for pace and and pacing!  After the announcements the 'ready, steady, go' was said and we were off .

As usual speedies set off with their PB's quivering in their boots, Tracy set off after them, but not nice and steady like I've told her!  I could of let her just go for it, maybe she won't burn out, maybe she can do it at that speed, maybe it's only me that burns out if I start off too fast! Yeah,  I know that's not the case, so for the very first time ever, I told Tracy to slow down!

We got into our usual pace now, running along with Wendi and Hilary.  Wendi can go faster but she is here to support Tracy, Hilary is also here to support Tracy and also to have a nice easy paced run.  She has been nursing niggling pains, so a nice steady jog is in order.  

This is us just as we were going by the river for the first time, taken from behind just to show that we were not the last ones running!

It's surprising how quickly we got on to that first long straight!  Wendi is keeping Tracy totally focused with her chatting.  She really can chat, our ChattyWendi, helping to keep your mind off hurty bits and pieces and it banishes all thoughts of 'I can't do it' as well. Her chatting also helps take your mind of the speedies who by now are thundering up behind us. And, in the true tradition of parkrun runners, the encouragement from them is most welcoming! 

The first lap done and Tracy is still going strong, in fact I am sure I saw a bit of a smile going on.  The second lap underway and still running.  There is no stopping her now.  When we got back up to the top of the park, the start line, we just thad the last bit to do, the short straight down to the funnel!  Tracy is still smilling, and then ChattyWendi starts singing "Happy, happy, happy"  you know that Pharell song, it can't help but make you smile.  There we all were, singing and throwing shapes as we ran towards to the finish funnel.  

But then it was time to 'kick in, skates on, and go for it' as the last last few yards started getting eaten up. I couldn't keep quiet any more, "Come on Tracy, go for it now girl" I said to her, Wendi and Hilary both saying "Go on Tracy, you can do it" 

With Tracy out in front we kept up the encouragement all the way in.  She did it, she ran her first parkrun.  With Wendi in next, followed by Hilary and then me!  

Tracy    43:39
Wendi   43:40
Hilary   43:41
Me        46:23 !!!  I think there was a slight hiccup with the timing thingy, because I know I didn't take a minute and half to get to the tunnel!!

But my parkrun still goes down as parkrun done, I will soon be up to 50 runs!  Here's the geeky stats for Saturdays parkrun.  I think my next time though I will have to go chasing my elusive PB!

Geeky stats, oh and I forgot to switch off my Garmin!

Santa Dash 2014

It seems way to early to be writing Santa's name let alone doing a 'Santa Dash' but hey ho or should that be 'Ho Ho', I guess you got to fit everything in for the coming month.  I entered us in the Santa dash again, my grandson loves it,  well apart from the fact that he doesn't get a beard in his 'race outfit'  So I let him have mine!  If it's going to be anything like last year then I really don't want that thing on me, I was sweating!

We arrived at the mead in time for the warm ups, there was already a 'grotto' of Santa's (what is the name for a group of Santa's?) All shapes and sizes, some had little elves with them!  This year my grandson was most keen to enjoy the whole of the event, and that includes joining in the warm ups!  He was enthusiastically 'ringing bells' 'ho-ho-ho-ing' and 'hanging up decorations' as we went through the warm up routine.

And then it was time! We lined up, there were 846 Santa's signed up to run and it looked brilliant!  Unfortunately my phone ran out of battery and I only got a couple of pics of the little dude going through his warm ups!

Little dude

So we started our race, first of it's once around the mead and then on through the park before crossing over the road (being protected by the local police stopping the traffic!) and then up, up, up to the high street.  This year the little fella was full of beans!  This year there was no "I want to go home, can we play in the park" form the little dude, but this year I was running it after having a rather good night out celebrating my birthday!  

Once we got to the top of hill and ran into the high street that was the little dudes cue for turning into Mo Farah!  He just flew down to the end!  He saw his mum and that made him run even faster!  All the while with me trying to keep up with him, sweating my socks off in my Santa suit and hat, and feeling rather delicate!

It was a great time though.  It's good to encourage every one to just run for fun! 

Monday Madness

Monday madness indeed!  ChattyWendi couldn't make it this morning, nor could Bims.  So it was just me and Tracy.  So I thought we could do some speed running!  Just to start building up her speed as well as her endurance!  I think that maybe she was looking as if she wanted to go home!

The first lap was all the way round the park, on the tarmac, so that I can get an idea of what to use for targets to run to.  The first lap was done at a nice leisurely pace to make sure we were totally warmed up.  And then the hard work started.  

I let her get her breath for a few seconds and then we started.  Run fast to the first corner, then jog it out to the next point that I chose.  She took off like lightening, showing me that she can actually run fast! But then she began to realise, that is what we will be doing all the way round.  Fast jogging, slow jogging, walking some bits, until we get back to the car.  It was when we got to the top of the park that I could feel the daggers in my back.  I turned to look at Tracy and she had such a determined look on her face as she did her utmost best to get from point to point to point.  

I knew that she would really be so pleased with herself once this session was over, that I didn't give in and say that we should only do half a lap of interval running (as if! I have been taught nagging by Naggy neighbour and Nagging Sister!) We were running down the last straight to the carpark, I chose a target to head for "Fast jogging to that bench" I said and started running faster.  I could see she was doing really well, and also thought she could just add a little bit more distance "Just to the next bench2 I said, "I don't think so!" said Tracy just as we got to the first bench that I said!  I turned around and looked at her and she had stopped!  She was smiling, but she had stopped!  Defiance!  Well, that's gonna cost!

We finished the rest of the interval lap and had a little breather and then we did our third and final lap a nice easy going, wind down lap of the park, but I decided to go around the other direction, just to 'mix it up' a bit, so that she doesn't have any focal points that may be in her mind.  "I just realised" said Tracy as we were running along the long straight! "It goes up hill on the other side"

There, told you it would cost her! It really isn't such an uphill moment, it's hardly noticeable these days, but I also feel a hill training session coming on!  

Geeky stats and I forgot to switch off the Garmin after I came through the tunnel!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Read one, get another three

Hello blog lovers.

So, I bet you all thought, "That's is, she finally has realised that she is just not built for this running malarkey". Yeah, as if you would even dream of thinking about that!  I have been a bit lax though, only about writing up my blogs, not about running!

So ......

Run 1

Tuesday Group 0 and we had 2 new members.  It was just as well because after last week, it seems all of the previous group 0 members really enjoyed running group 1 they all have moved up this week!  So in the group now we had Tracey and Katrina. DottieKat (her own nickname by the way)  hadn't ran before and Tracey was from our beginners group.

I decided to do the shorter of the two winter groups. Of course it meant going up Birchwood road.  But as it is the beginning of the run there is usually tons of energy for people.  Also the first quater of the run we are still warming up properly, even though I get the our heros doing warm up drills!

It was quite a mile night, there was a bit of rain, maybe that was helping to keep things feeling comfortably 'not cold' but the ladies were struggling a little bit.  I changed the run from 'run at you own pace until scheduled stop or you stop' to an 'interval running'  Very short segments between lampposts.  

First it was run between 1 lamppost to the other, and then walk to the next.  Once we were comfortable with that, and on the down hill section(!) then I changed it to run between 2 lampposts and then walk for 1.  We got around the course with huge smiles at the end! Always a good sign that it was step to far for anybody!  But I think DottieKat and Tracy will be  back for next weeks group 0 run.

Run 2

Group 1 run was led by SingstarJo.  The group was still huge as we are absorbing all of the beginners, and they are testing out the pace and distance.  Next week they may be a big difference as that will be a 'move up' week.

I was sweeping as usual, and I followed the crowd of runners along Crossways to Pettswood Road. We were going over the walking bridge to run along Southborough lane, and then through the back streets to Shepperton.  

The group broke into two groups, with a couple of people playing catch up with the faster people but just running slightly fast than the back runners.  To keep all together SingstarJo was going to take the faster runners around the triangle green while Illustrious Leader lead the back of the group to the end of the triangle to wait for them.  It all works out really well and we can keep altogether as one gorup.

All absorbed again we ran on up Chesham Ave, the turned right into Shepperton.  We ran to the end of Shepperton and had a catchup rest.  This was also a point where if anyone was struggling then we could take them on the shorter route, or they could continue on with the rest to do they whole route.

They all chose to continue!  Mavelous, fantastic they felt they could all carry on!  So from there we ran along to the Off licencse (which is no longer an off license any more).  

We ran along to St Johns road and then tudor way.  Two of the ladies that was thinking of going the shorter route was way ahead!  They were really doing very well.  Our beginners course had really given them confidence that they could do this running thing! 

We got back to the rec did our stretches and then all went down the pub for our club VLM draw.  Our club has been allocated 4 places in 2015 London Marathon.  The criteria  for entering our draw is that you have to be a PWR member for months and moths before  (obviously), not won the draw last year, and most importantly, you have to have your rejection letter from the marathon in the first place. Oh, haven't I mentioned it yet,....MY NAME WAS DRAWN OUT OF THE BOX!!
Me and the other 3 winners
with the Ladies Captain on my left

My ball

Run 3

Thursday morning saw my group much bigger that DiscoRich's!  Some of is crew had that awful thing that is happening to!  Don't you just hate it when that happens.  In my group there was Denise, PinkladyJo and Vivian.  I wasn't sure how they were going to react about going through the woods!  But hey ho!  It's fun!

I tried to 'think' about what the water would do in the woods.  Thinking is not my strong point.  I think that water will just fall down to the lowest parts of places!  It makes sense to me, water likes to run (a bit like me) and it likes to run down hill (deffo like me!) so the top of the woods should be faily dry!  Or am I just being to nieve?!

I ran along the street until we got to Little Thrift, and then the paths that took were all tarmac,  until we get to Goss Hill of course!  So not only did we avoid the lowest (in my mind) the wettest part of the woods but we also ran up the side of the woods, and for some strange reason I always think this will be dryer!

It wasn't as sticky and damp and 'puddly' as I thought, once we got onto Goss Hill.  Deneise and PinkLadyJo ran the whole of the hill in one go!  Me and Viv did it in spits and spurts!  I did make sure that I ran that flipping last bit!  I glare everytime at that last bit of the hill!

It wasn't too bad along the path next to the school, but after that then the mud fest kicked in.  Our pace of course slowed down as we tried to find the path that look as if it only at centimeter of water on top!  The path with the solid group underneath the sticky bit of mud on top!    It was impossible!  So I just splashed my way through the middle.  It felt a lot more safer actually than trying to skim the sides of the biggest muddiest bits of path.

As I was leading I was just splashing through thinking that the others may follow! But they didn't.  I don't think they have embraced the whole mud and water things as much as I have!  Give them time! I am sure I can fix that evetually!

There is a particually cheeky little hill that always gets me, especially after I have tried my best to get up Goss hill.  I looked at it and decided to attack it! Just get up it and then look back and wait for the others.  Deneise was close behind me, and we were both very pleased that we had done that particular hill in one go!  Big smiles from the both of us!

Once we got on to the path that heads straight down to Dog Poo Ally, I said to Deniese and PinkladyJo to just head down there, out of the ally and then back to the path!  I will run along with Vivian and we will meet up there.

Again the path down there had some huge wet very sticky puddles and muddy pools. I just ploughed my way through, Viv was taking over from the other Jo that used to come on a Thursday morning, by trying to keep her trainers almost spotless, as she picked her way through, finding the dries most solid parts of the path.

A great run thought, and they all said they enjoyed it!  So maybe the same again next week, or I may just do the cinder path!

Run 4

Track training.  Well now that I have that marathon place (*huge smile*) track sessions have now become a crucial part of my training!  Even though I was using track to train for my half!  I picked up Jane on the way to track and as we were going into the carpark we climpsed some of the wild life around the park as a rat ran along the road in front of us!  Yuck!

It was going to be a tough session (and so it should), running at 5k pace and 10k pace for 2, mins then 4 mins for the 5k and then 8 mins and 8 mins for the 10k, and then 4 mins and 2 mins for the 5k.  All with about 90 seconds rest between.  Some of them it felt like I only had 30 seconds!

I know I ran off way to fast for the first 2 min as PhysioMike called out 29! Meaning that if I continued at that pace I would run 5k in 29 minutes!  Yeah, deffo way to fast for a 5k!    I was just listening out for that whistle, and trying to remember to switch my Garmin on to pause each time!  Sometimes I remembered and sometimes I forgot!  In fact I had fogotten to switch it on when I ran the first 2 mins at 5k pace.

I was being lapped left right and center by the other PWR's, but the most scary part was when I ran past some of the sprinters who were using the track, they were just lining up to do a sprint.  I could hear their coach say "Get ready....Go"  I could hear them running so fast towards me,  I tried to think about how many there were, and I was wondering which way would be better for me to go, either left or right of the track.  As I was on the inside of the track I really didn't think that I would be able to get on to the outside track before they caught me up! A couple of other PWR's had passed them while they were lining up too, and the sprinters were catching up to them.  There was only one thing, I will have to step aside, off the track onto the rest area!  

They came thundering past me running so fast.  "I told them to go around you" their coach said to me "It was scary listening to them coming up, I just wanted to get out of the way" I said back smiling!

It was a great session today.  I ran on all the running parts today, I didn't give up, not sure what my splits are, or if I managed to go faster on the 5k paced bits!  But I am pleased with my effort.  And I know it must be helping!


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

When You Can Hover Then It Is Time To Run!

Hello blog lovers!

Excuse the title above, it's just a little joke for our Tracy!  Wendi shot of early yesterday morning, and did her own solo run, so me and Bims took Tracy on the Parkrun route, showing her what to expect on Saturday, (which by the way is her birthday)  This will be a little present to herself!

This blog is all about yesterdays run, I am sure you would have realised that, Mondays Madness!  All I can say is that I was glad it wasn't raining...anymore!  The weather was a bit chilly but I knew we would warm up as soon as we started our running.  Bims was waiting for us in the carpark.  She was clock watching! So we were a little bit late, but we turned up as promised!

She got out of the car and I took one look at her, "So, are they new running shoes?" I said as I looked at her inappropriate running shoes! "NO!" says Bims "No, no, they are my badminton shoes"  I looked at the grass that we were going to be running on, then looked at her lovely white, only every worn indoors, badders shoes "Well, they're going to be getting a bit wet" I said with a smile! Of course, we didn't let her run in those, so we piled into her car and all drove back to hers so that she could change!

So, once again, all ready to start our run.  This was all going to be for Tracy, there was going to be no nagging, no "come on, keep the pace up" there was going to be no looking at the watch to see how many minutes were left to run.  This is going to be run at her pace! For as long as she wanted, in preparation of her debut Parkrun.

We were going to be starting at Hook Farm end, but that is the only difference, of course it means we will end up at the other pavilion, but that is the only the two differences.  Well, maybe if she wants to stay on the path, no, no, we stick to the grass, just as it's going to be on Saturday!  The top of the park was a little damp, so maybe it's not going to be too bad.  We were already running along the long straight, so far so good. Just as we got to the park end, I did suggest that we stick to the path, but bims said "No, keep it just as it will be on Saturday"

So we splashed on to the grass!  It was going to be a lovely wet run!  The wettest part so far was the first corner (if we had started at the park end of course). Every year there seems to be a little lake appearing there.  We managed to find the driest part to go through and then we got back on to the tarmac, ready to turn right by the river.  Then puddles became totally unavoidable.  They don't actually look like puddles! With the grass growing them it just looks like a lush field! And just as we stepped on there it seemed that there was just no ground at all, as the water came almost to the top of our shoes. We all splashed our way along the side of the river, still all having a great time.  So what if we get wet and muddy, I had at least remembered to bring some clean dry shoes to drive home in and I told Tracy to bring a pair of extra shoes too!

We stuck to the Parkrun route, we had nearly completed our first 'B' shaped lap.  And now onto the second.  Tracy, so far had run all the way round, non stop!  Me and Bims were keeping her amused, and her mind off the jogging with our jovial chit chat, and singing, I think we had the theme to Rocky in our minds.

The second lap was a little tougher for Tracy but she was determined not to stop, she kept going.  When we got to the top again, by the play park, and started to approach the first corner again, we splashed our way through the mud and the puddles.  This is where we started to 'tease' Tracy a little bit. (it's the reason for the title!) She looked down at her legs and feet and had noticed that her legs were tons muddier than mine or Bims, "It's cos we run faster" teased Bims, "It's because I am the teacher and you are the pupil" I said to her "When you can hover over mud then it is time for you to leave" Don't you just love that programme, it's was back in the 70's I think, Kung Fu!  Loved it!

Anyway, it seemed to have helped Tracy along a little be bit as she tried to catch us, probably to thump us, or kick our butts with her muddy boot!  We passed the river again and was on the last couple of corners.  "How far have we done" Said Tracy.  I didn't want to let her know, I knew roughly where we are going to finish.  And I know that seeing that funnel at the finish is such a boost.  I told Bims that I was going to run along to the end so that Tracy has a visual of the end.

As I ran off, I couldn't resist taking a peek at my watch, I had made sure that I didn't look at it before, so that If Tracy asked I could honestly say "I don't know!)  But when I looked we still had about a quarter of a mile to go.  Piece of cake!  I shall scream and shout and encourage Tracy right from the finish Line!

A great run, a wet and muddy run.  But now Tracy has knows what she is in for!  Great fun, great camaraderie and tremendous encouragement all the way to the end!

Geeky stats,  I wasn't going to put them up as I didn't want Tracy to know how she did, but she asked me, and I automatically looked at my watch and told her!  Duh!!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Solo run!

Hello blog lovers.

Yesterday I went for a very gentle easy jog around.  I was planning on doing at least 5 miles, but it didn't happen like that. I started off, it was a greyish morning, and I really thought it was going to rain.  I set my Garmin and ran.  I was planning on going up the dreaded A21 and the along to Locksbottom and then down to Crofton before coming home.

I was still feeling pretty tight from Thursday track session, which is why I just wanted to do a nice gentle jog but still put in some extra miles.  I was also a little tired but I knew that once I was underway that would soon shake off.

As I was running along Southborough lane, and I started to think that maybe I should have just take a mile or so off as I really was still achy.  Maybe I should have taken the day off as a rest day and left it until the Saturday to do a run, but of course, I had the day free and I just have to do it, I had to run!

I just got to Turpington to lane, and was looking at it thinking "Maybe just run down there to the A21, instead of from the top here"  I almost talked myself out of doing what I set out to do and then I had a phone call.  It was my mother in law, she needed me to do something for her, it seems that I probably wasn't destined on Friday to do much more than a gentle 3 mile jog after all!

I turned down Turp and then Greenway, my old 'usual' 5k route.  As I was cutting short my run I tried to do my best to do some quality running, but still not beat myself up if I don't, I shall leave that for the track!

It was a good run, I was pleased that i went out for a jog but I was equally pleased that I didn't do more that the 5k, it just wasn't meant to be.  Rest days are just as good as run days.  I think I will try and do something else on my rest days though, get back on my bike!  Do some nice rides around before school pick up time!

Geeky stats

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Is This An Alien Invasion?

The Landing!
They're here!
Hello blog lovers.

What a day!  A beautiful morning then a foggy evening!  Well, lets get the morning run sorted first.  We It was a chilly morning, well it is November I guess it's allowed to be!  DiscoRich was there with his group, along with two of the graduates!  And I also had a graduate with me.  There was only 3 of us this morning, me, Hilary and Viv.  Viv is one of our new graduates, and her daughter was running in DiscoRich's group.

I really missed running through the woods last week, and I was hoping that the rain from last week hadn't made it 'unpassable' in the woods.  I remember earlier in the year, the puddles were huge and very deep.  lakes appeared in sparrow woods, we were really looking for the 'big boat' being built but the 'crazy' man!  There was only one way to find out and that was to go through the woods.

But I was being sensible, we went straight up the middle path of the woods.  It was a bit sticky, but for some reason the National Trust have decided to stick to the 'natural look' of the woods and not slap tarmac paths in there, still, it's a good job I don't mind a bit of mud! I just hope the other two don't mind.

Hilary is suffering with a sore knee, but just like all us runners, refuses to give in to pain! We just do things a little more slowly for a little less distance! Simples. It's like we are from another planet, we don't do pain, not like these earthlings!  We got to the top of the woods and had a bit of a walk.  I think stopping completely is not good now, not with the weather getting a bit colder.  So we just walk for a little bit and then started running again.

We got all the way up to the Tigers Head and then Hilary's knee started to play up a bit, We were about half way into our run.  So we just slowed the pace down a bit and then I decided to do some loop backs with Viv, just so that we kept up our heart rates while Hilary had some more recovery time between her jog/walk.  It worked out brilliantly.  We also decided to run down Birchwood on the pavement instead of finishing off in the woods as viv could get a bit of a faster run all the way back to the rec.  But as with all our members, whether they are new or been there in the beginning, instead off making her way back to the rec and finishing by herself, she looped back to me and Hilary and we all finished the last bit together!

Perfect run in glorious sunshine.  I took a picture of the two ladies in Scadbury, and also one of the sunlight reaching into the woods.  So gorgeous

Viv and Hilary

Hazy morning

Geeky stats.

Track Session

Track session was tough! It has to be because it's designed to be!  I am beginning to really come to enjoy these sessions! It's training in a contained environment.  We are not out in the woods, or on the streets, so there is no waiting for catch ups, (well I did make them wait for me but I will explain in a mo).  So even little ol' me in group 1 can run along beside the group 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8's, although I am not sure how many groups are represented in these track sessions.  

I picked up Jane on the way and we got out of my nice warm car and 'Brrrrrrrrr' "Totally craziness" or words to that effect!  It was very chilly, and the mist was started to settle around the track.  We met up with all the others and then to keep warm we did a couple of very slow laps of the track.  Then we did our warm up drills before starting our session today.

Run to the light Jane!

Somebody had mentioned that the sessions posted would be quite quick, meaning that we will be finished early.  So PhysioMike decided to add a 4 lap tempo run before we did the advertised session!  Remind me to glare at Kev next time I see him!  Still, as I said before, track is all about hard work!  we started on our 4 lap tempo run, running to a 5k pace, so for me that's slow and for the rest of the world is speedy!  

People were buzzing past me, as I was coming up the last 100m to the finish line for the end of my third lap the rest of the group had finished the forth and was just waiting for me so that they could start the session! Now you see why I said that I made them wait!  But did I get a breather before we started the hard training plan for this evening? Yes......just enough time to get my jacket off!  As soon as I hung it over the rail PhysioMike blew his whistle to start the hard running.

The session today was five lots of 90 seconds hard n fast running, with an ever decreasing time of gentle recovery jog, starting at 90 seconds going down to 15!  With a 4 minute break, jogging, (which I didn't do, I grabbed my water and rested!) And then repeat! All sounds pretty easy on paper!  But trying to get it done!  

I really tried hard on first section, but I kept stopping and walking when I should have been running hard, but only on the last few seconds of the 'run hard' section.  I was really annoyed myself.  So when the second section started I gave myself a good 'telling' but the first two I stopped again, just seconds before the whistle.  So I started chatting to myself, "Get a move on, Old Girl, keep going, don't stop"  I even did the thigh slap thing, worthy of any pantomime principal boy!  And that last part of the training I kept to it, to the letter!  I was pleased with myself!

With just a very slow jog round to loosen up and then cool down stretches the track session was done! As I was approaching the group to finish of with the cool down stretches the sight in front of me reminded me of a brilliant Speilburg film.  I am starting to thing that us runners are from another planet, what do you think!

We come in peace! 

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Merge!

Hello blog lovers.

Yes, it's late, but I have my reasons!  First off, this blog is about yesterdays run!  I didn't run today, totally manic day and only just found five minutes to sit down now!  And second, well, read first excuse, there really was no time for running or cycling today! And thirdly, it had been a bit of a tough day, I was glad to have my great nephew to have for the morning, help me smile! And ive been thinking about my mum. My inspiration for my running!  The reason why I started running was because of her, and I miss her like f***!  My mum!

My mum, very rarely angry.
miss you mum xxx

So, down to it.  Yesterday we saw the beginners who 'graduated' from the Saturday morning session and also the group 0 members are going to be there.  Because of the beginners being there the route is going to be a nice and fairly easy going route, just under the 3.5 miles that we normally do, with maybe a couple more extra stops!  All perfect conditions for group 0 members, who I know can quite easily run along happily in group 1.

ZippySherry was taking the lead today, with Illustrious Leader taking the middle and me at the back!  We had about 35-40 runners in group 1! It was an incredible number!  After the announcements were done, we were all set off.  It really was a super group!  Three groups merging into one!  Fantastic!  What a brilliant club I run with!

So with me firmly planted at the back I ran along, smiling, looking at all the runners going down Crossways!  After about half a mile there was a noticeable divide in runners!  But not group 1, zeros and beginners, there was a mixture of all three groups splitting into two groups.  When we got to Petts Wood, on the other side of the walking bridge, we thought it would be better to stick with the two groups.  So ZippySherry took off twith some of he faster group 1 members, some newly fledged beginners and some group 0's and the other group ran along with Ilustrious leader and me, bringing up the back end!

The evening was a bit damp, and it was affecting one of our runners.  I know that she can do the distance, but sometimes different circumstances has an effect on you, and the damp weather, evening time is all playing its part in making our runner have a bit of a hard time!  But I remember her saying that Paula Radcliffe is an asthma sufferer, which I didn't no, so she will not be using that as an excuse to give up, but it does help her decide as to which group she will be best suited to.

And that is what this first run after graduation is all about, seeing how group 1 feels, maybe even some of them want to go just that bit faster and try group 2 or even three next week, or whether, during these darker colder nights, maybe getting out at 7 and home to recuperate earlier will be more suited to them.

Me and the last runner had decided that we would cut the run shorter than the others and make our way back to H.Q, (Willet rec!) where we will do our stretches as we wait for the others.

After that however, we had a club task to do, and that was to hand over the cheque to St. Christophers Hospice, Bromely, money raised from our Petts Wood runners 10k, £4,000.00!!! We were well chuffed handing over that, in the pub, One Inn the Wood, our favroutie wood to hang about in!  Here is a couple of pictures! Oh and geeky stats at the end.

Monday, 17 November 2014

1, 2, No 3 miles!

Hello blog lovers.

This morning we woke up to a bit of wet stuff coming down!  But did that dampen down the enthusiasm of the Monday Morning Girls!  Bims, ChattyWendi and Tracy, no it didn't.  Our aim today is to run for 14 minutes non stop, walk for three and then do it again! And they were all keen!

Now usually we can cover about 2 miles in that time, but I am sure you have all clocked the title up there, we actually covered 3 miles!  How is that, did we use bikes, or skateboards? Was the proverbial rocket inserted into some sort of cavity?  Well, the answer is a resounding NO, to all of those answers!

Listen.......or at on and you will see.  After receiving an enthusiastic text from ChattyWendi I knew I would have, at least, one member of the Triple M club (Monday Morning Madness, club) this morning.  But  I text Tracy and Facetimed Bims (not a pretty sight first thing in the morning I must say!) to make sure they were going to be there as well.  After the school drop off I went to pick up Tracy and drove to meet the other two at the park.  I was a little late due to traffic, but we soon got under way with our training.  A brisk 1 minute walk to get the heart rate just a little higher and then that all important first 14 minute run.

I was running along with ChattyWendi while Bims and Tracy ran side by side behind us.  I kept encouraging Bims and Tracy to pick up the pace, so that we can keep all together.  It was a tough first lap but Tracy did it, fairly easily. After the first lap we swapped positions, ChattyWendi and Bims ran together while I ran along with Tracy.  This second 14 minute jogging session was proving a challenge for her, she had obviously not been doing her homework!  But Bims and ChattyWendy were on a roll!

I must tell you this, ChattyWendi really has already 'graduated' from The Old Girls School of Jogging, as she had already done her 5k ParkRun, ran the whole way, non stop for the first time.  She did say her time was slower than if she had walked some, but that wasn't the point of her run on Saturday. It was all about doing it in one go! And she did it!  She's still coming along here on a Monday though, you gotta finish the course! And besides I am sure she just loves coming along just because we are all mates. I think this is going to be our running day together from now on!

Anyway, back to our run.  We were half way round the second  lap, just coming up to the car park. As we went past the gate Tracy said "I'm not going again" as she looked towards the cars in the car park.  I said "Well at least let's get this lap finished and we can think about."  She had thought we had done the two laps that we usually did!  And when I told her that we still have about 7 minutes left to run as well she wasn't looking too happy!

She didn't give in though, she gritted her teeth, glared at the path in front of her, or maybe that glare was for me! But sheer determination she kept going to the other car park, the place where I had parked the car!  We managed to get to the other end, and started our walking.  I just walked on a little bit  to see where the other two had gone to and I noticed that they were doing another lap!  So I suggested to Tracy that we started walking in the opposite direction to meet them, it will be better than just waiting around.

But as we were walking, and here's the big huge smiley bit, I suggested that maybe she could try a little bit of interval running.  With very small segments of running and walking, until we get up to the other two.  I was a bit surprised she said yes, but I think she has a determination now and wants to get back to that place where she was last year, when she ran the PettsWood 10k!

We did the interval running all the way to other end of the park to meet up with the other two, sprinting, sprinting I tell you, on the jogging segments, and then we did the interval running all the way back to the car!  No giving up.  Bims and ChattyWendy were waiting for us at the cars. That was the extra mile we did! Huge high fives and hugs all round!  We did our cool down stretches and then said our good byes to Bims and ChattyWendi, after making plans for Tracy to do her debut ParkRun in two weeks time!

Bring it on!

Geeky stats for you.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Petts Wood Runners Graduates Winter 2014

Hello blog lovers.

Well this is the day that all the PWR beginners pass out, well, maybe wrong choice of word there, because we certainly do not want anyone to pass out!  But we do want to see them all achieve what they thought was not possible just a couple of months ago!

I arrived at the park and already the beginners had met up with Hels and ZippySherry, I was just a tad late.  So I made my way to the start.  One of the beginners noticed my shirt, I was wearing my club colours today, and so walked along with me to find the others.

We got to the start, noticing the rather huge deep puddle that we will all be having to cross, and Hels and ZippySherry was busy getting the graduates through the warm ups.  After that we just walking along to the back of the pack in readiness to start the ParkRun. After the brief annoucements and acknowledgements to the volunteers we started the race.

Tracey was very pleased to see me, I knew that she will need tons of encouragement to get around this course.  Her goal was to just finish it, hopefully non stop jogging, even if it takes and hour and a half!  But I didn't think it would take her that long.

There was also another young lady, called Posy, who was doing her first ParkRun too.  She had dropped off her daughter at athletics and decided, rather than just sit and watch, or go to a cafe or anything else, she would use this time to get her self fit.  She decided that she would do the 5k!  She was hoping to run with some nice people!  Well, Bromley ParkRun is one of the friendliest runs about!  What with the huge number of PWR's that attends, and the cakes baked by the regulars, I don't know of any friendlier place!

As per usual all the speedies ran off in hot pursuit of smashing their PB's.  I stuck close to Tracey to keep her focused, along with Hilary as well.  I was running with out my Garmin today, I would love to say it was because I thought it would be ideal to run completely at liberty, without worrying about the time, without worrying about the pace or how far we had done before.  Without being pressurised by that infernal bleep as each mile is acknowledge.  But I can't, I actually just forgot to bring it!  But it was kismet, the watch was not needed today.  Today was all about how the graduates pace themselves, and how much and how far they can run by themselves.

It was good to see Tracy just get into her zone, and with Posy running along with us for encouragement for herself and also giving tons of encouragement to Tracy as well, it was just magical.  This is what I just love about the nationwide ParkRuns, the friendly welcome, the totally encouragement you get from all runners, no matter whether you're at the back or striding out in front!

As we were running all the first of the long straight the speedies were already on their second lap catching us up.  Did they say "Get out of the way"? No, what they said is "Well done Petts Wood, keep going Petts Wood, you're doing well"  The smile on Tracy's face was good to see.  We passed our first person just about 100 meters from the start point, it was a young lady that Hilary knew, so she decided to run along with her to get her all the way round.

We were on our second lap now, still non stop running, still with thoughts of "I can do this"  The ladies breathing was quite steady, no one sounded as they were struggling at all.  The training had gone really well.  I am not sure how much training Posy had done, but she was certainly keeping up with Tracy and me.  As we approached the '2nd lap' sign there were more and more people running down the straight towards the finish funnel.  "Would they notice if I went straight down there" Tracey joked, and I said "No, but you will know!"  And she laughed as we made our way across the grass beside the river on our second lap.

At the opposite end of park I started to get tired myself!  I guess my 3 pints of lager and a  rather tasty curry the night before was probably not the way to prepared for running non stop for 3 miles.  Not only that, I hadn't even had a cuppa (as suggested at the top, I got up late!)  I did start to feel a bit nauseous.  I was going to suggest to Tracey, after she said that she is beginning to flag a bit, that if she wanted to walk then she should do.  But I thought that was me being totally selfish, and so I kept quite, and the feeling of nausea passed.

The long straight to do and this really did seem to give the two ladies an extra little push as they knew that the end was not far off now.  They even picked up the pace!  We came up to another one of the beginners along this stretch, who was having some problems,  she was in a little bit of discomfort.  Peter was also along this bit of the route and went to see how she was doing, and maybe even walk her to the pavilion if necessary.

Running is all about fun and fitness, it is not about hurting and pain, and working so hard to achieve your running goals that it no longer has that fun feel any more.  If something is fun you will want to do it, all the time, you will never get bored of it.  If it becomes a chore then you are more likely to give it up!

That is how I have kept up with my running, being part of a running club has also helped keep me motivated and inspired!  That is what I am hoping all the new graduates will find as they come along on Tuesday evening to find out what it's like!

Anyway, back to the run.  With just the last bit of straight to go, and the funnel just out of sight the two ladies got a tad faster.  They could sense the finish was just a few short strides away.  When it came into sight, Posy decided to put on a bit of sprint to get there.  Tracey just kept her pace steady, running towards the funnel.  There were the leaders of the group there to cheer in Tracy as the timing marshal clicked the timing devise.

A great, great run.  And this is only the second time I have actually jogged the whole way round this route too!  And just like the first time, it took a graduate to keep me paced so that I didn't take off like the wind (as if!) but just to steadily plod around to get around the course non stop!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Thursday Road and Trrack

Hello blog lovers.

Today I decided that we would not go through the woods "Really Old Girl?" I can hear you all say.  Yes, really.  I know that when we go through the woods we have to pick our way over the puddles and muddy bits, and it slows our pace down a bit.  So I thought for a change we would hit the pavements but still enjoy some of the lovely green stuff to run through, so the Cinder Path was our destination.

I noticed that Auriol had new shoes, and then a thought came to me, "I bet they are trail shoes"  Guess what, they were!  So when I told her that we were going to hit the pavements she was a bit disappointed, but Sonia, who has come along for the first time on a Thursday Session, was quite pleased, and decided to come with me instead of with DiscoRich.  But Auriol said that she couldn't run on the pavements with her new shoes.

As it was only the three of us I came up with a plan, and that was to jump into her car and drive to hers and then start the run from there and end up at the rec!  Simples!  So that's what we did.  I hate to leave anyone out.  Usual nine out of ten times I am going into the woods, and Auriol knows that too, just this day it was the 1 day I didn't go!

I still kept the same sort of route, along the road until we got to Sherpperton and then we ran along there until the little path, the little Cinder Path.  I was also going to do the little loop around the estate when we get to the end of the path.  I have never actually done this bit before.  So this is going to be a first.  I often listen to the group 1 members talking about the lovely houses, so it's good to see it with my own eyes.

It seemed a lot longer than I imaged, and at one point I thought that maybe we had actually started to go around the estate again!  But we hadn't and the very next road was the one that we came down to do the loop.  After that we were going to run along Crofton Road until we got to Tudor Way.  But then Auriol said that there is a nicer way through the estate, still on the roads but not the main road, so less traffic.

We came out just the the little round about along Crofton and then we ran the rest of the way to the rec!  Do you know, we covered nearly 4 miles on this run!  Maybe we should have just ran around the rec to make it up!  But, we did see DiscoRich and his group come in the same time as us!  A terrific run!

Track Session

Track session is a totally different animal than all the other running I do, whether it's solo running, leading group zero2hero or running along in group 1 runs.  Track session is all about how much I can push myself, and if I wasn't to push myself.  It's all about giving that little bit more, all in the confinement of the track, with delightful coaches to help, Helen and PhysioMike and encourage us and the other victims.......ooops runners to encourage on the way round.

After the warm up we had a 15 minute tempo run, which was twice around the track and then out into the carpark, out of the park and head up to the pub!  So much for the confinement of the track, and the safety blanket 'feel' of staying on the track!  But everybody is doing that, and running towards Hayes, but when Mike blew the whistle (he was in his car so that he could keep an eye on everyone) after 7.30 minutes then we were to turn around and run back.  There will be some people that will get to the pub, and then their will be others, (me) who will get about 10 yards out of the gate!  But if we all keep to the same pace then we should all get back to the beginning at the same time!  Genius!

After a 90 second break (I chose to use my 90 seconds for a 'potty' break) then we went into the brutal, evil, hear pounding, blood pumping, sweat inducing fast runs.  4 lots of 3 minutes fast running!  The second one I really pushed hard, in fact I pushed that hard I started to feel just a tad nauseous, so decided to just slow the pace down a bit!  

The last one had me thinking "What a ridiculous thing to be doing at my age, I should go find my knitting needles!"  But the session hadn't finished at that, oh no.  Our coaches had us back around the track and out of the gate again for another 15 minute tempo run!  I think I failed to run the last 40 or so seconds of this, and I also did do a bit of walking!  My tag for 'rubbish runner' still intact, all though there are at least three people trying desperately to walk away with my crown!  But they know!  I am the queen!!  (it's a bit of an 'in joke)

I am totally loving this sessions.  I feel sure that they will help improve my fitness and stamina, and to totally surpress my 'common sense' gene.  I remember the first time doing track sessions and feeling totally inadaquate.  And I was there totally focussed on doing well in the marathon 2013.  I felt they were a necessary evil.  But this time round I am here and I have no race to train for, totally doing this for little old me!

Totally focused on what I can do for me, how hard I can push myself, and how much I can get out of these sessions, which PhyisoMike and Hels coach together.  Standing around in the cold, keeping their expert eyes on us, giving tips and encourgement and advice!  All for the love of it!  That's why I love coming to these sessions!  Bring on next weeks!

Geeky stats, although why I did it when I didn't have my HRM on I don't know! Still, it shows how much distance I covered  in the time we had!