Monday, 31 March 2014

Post Mothers Day Run!

Hello blog lovers.

The worse thing about planning my longer runs on a Monday is the fact that I may occasionally over indulge at the weekend.  This weekend was a particularl overindulgence day as it was Mothers Day.  Family, chocolate, beer, food and fun was on the agenda. 

I had a fantastic Mothers Day, with all the above going on.  And the fun and games was brilliant.  I think this is the first time, in years, that I have actually played rounders after getting fitter! By the way, for my American friends, rounders is a bit like your American baseball, only a bit more sedate! And to be able to run to each base without blowing out my backside was just brilliant!  Ok, so I wasn't fast enough to get a whole rounder, but I did get to second base, and no smutty giggling please!!!

We also played British Bulldog, another childhood game, running after people!  Something I wouldn't have been able to do a few years back either, let alone volunteering to being the bulldog first!  So this running lark has certainly helped me to be able to play games with the family! A lovely family day yesterday!

But on to today.  I was a little stiff from the running about yesterday, I guess it was all the sprints, and stops and the twisting and the turning that did it, but I still had in mind to do 6 miles today.  I decided to choose a real boring route, to just try and focus on my running style, and also chose the pavements as well.  I need to be able to run for as long as possible. 

I deliberately chose my old 'love to hate this road' the A21 route.  It has that long uphill stretch, just what you need after about 3 miles of jogging, a great testing piece of the route for me.  I Hate Hills! The half marathon that I have entered into in May has quite a few hills!  I need to get out there and do some!  I started running along my road and my legs already felt like lead.  "This is going to be a tough run" I thought to myself.

I kept positive though.  At least I am out, it's not cold or raining, and I have not got a hangover! The only thing is bugging me is my tired body!  That and the hour less sleep too over the weekend!  But still, out running is out running, its all good!  So what if I don't make it round a 6 mile route today, I shall try again sometime this week, so what, if its not quite according to plan, plans can be changed! 

I soon got to the dreaded A21, took a deep breath, turned left and headed up the hill to Locksbottom!  There are still a few streets that I can turn down if my legs refuse go any further, but I want to be able to do this long run today, and then not worry about doing another one till next Monday. The rest of the week to do short runs, maybe some intervals and stuff like that.

It is a fummy road (is there such a word as that!) fumes from the cars is what I'm getting at! And with the big lorries and buses, it's not the most pleasant of routes to run or cycle on, but it has got that hill!  The hill that you need just after 3 miles, to test your legs and your stamina, and mentality! 

Past the church, past the petrol garage, past the bus garage, the hill is looming! Of course all of this run so far as been done my style, run/walk!  I keep thinking that one day I will be able to run a whole three miles without stopping, but when I try to hard to do it,  I have a lousy run, I beat myself up, and I feel disappointed if I don't manage it! Now that is not my idea of fun and fitness!  I know some of you sporty types push yourselves to the limits, hearts pounding out of your chests, legs, arms, chest screaming at you to stop, please stop! Well, I am in the school of thought that, nice runs, a little walk, push a little harder up hills, take a breather if necessary and voila! I can still eat chocolate, fly up my stairs without dying half way up, and play rounders on family days!

So you can see where I am going with this!  I didn't quite manage to run up the whole of the hill!  I tried, and then I set my 'goal posts' out. Just run to this tree, and to that tree, then as far as the crossing, etc!  I managed to get quite a bit of the hill done, but it still was tough, and I still did my jog/walk routine up it!

I was going through the 'posh houses' instead of tackling the next hill towards Locksbottom.  After all, this is still only going to be a 6 miler.  I do love going through this private estate, the houses are beautiful.  You can dream a little dream while you're running through here, and take your mind of your running! 

I soon came back to reality again as I got through to the other side.  There is just one last 'short cut' to be had if I need it.  But then the old stubbornness had taken over and I was saying to my "You got this far Old Girl, might as well go on to the planned route"  I actually nodded in agreement with myself!! Pretty daft eh?!

The path that would have taken me home quicker came and went past.  Well, that's that, I had managed the miles today.  I was still thinking that maybe I may even go down to the park, but I knew I was just feeling pleased with myself that I had at least got this far without taking any short cuts.

I got onto my estate and I had some good tunes going on to help me get through to my door!  It was a tough run today, but, I am sure Mothers day celebrations and the extra hour loss of sleep (yes I know it was on Sunday that I lost it) but it does take a couple of days to get back into to the groove or BST.

Geeky stats for you.  A good run, I wouldn't say great, but at least I am still enjoying running, which in my mind is 90% of why I keep going!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

March Mob Madness!

Hello blog lovers.

The alarm went of at 8 o'clock, I leaned over and snoozed it.  "What day is it, why did I set the alarm?" The thoughts racing through my mind, as I tried to get back to my very weird dream that I was having.  It was a dream of running.  In my dream I had been telling everyone that they must be there, wearing their 'colours' run as fast as they could.  In my dream I turned up at the start with no Garmin, no club vest, and hobbling!'  Why would I want to get back to that dream.  The snooze button went again.

This time I dragged myself out of bed and shuffled to the bathroom.  I looked in the mirror to be greeted by a fearsome sight! I must remember to take my makeup off before hitting the hay!  After I had removed last nights 'going out' face, I got my club vest from my wardrobe, headed down the stairs to retrieve the rest of my newly washed running attire from the tumble. 

Grabbing a banana I sat and ate it. Looking at the time "8:30! It's Saturday, my lay in day, why am I getting ready to go out?"  Hunting for my shoes in the cupboard, putting the last piece of banana into my mouth.  "Tea would have been nice" I thought.  But I knew if I did that then the first thing I would look for at the park would have been the loo!

My shoes were still muddy from Thursdays woody run, so I put them on outside the house.  I opened the door to a beautiful, peaceful, warm morning.  Hardly a cloud in the sky.  The only noise that I could hear where the birds alerting each other of my presence.  They were busy feeding, grabbing the worms from the dewy grass.  I guess they weren't too pleased when I appeared unlike the worms.  I breathed in a big lungful of fresh air, as I looked around my little area.  No one was around, everyone it seems, still sleeping soundly in their beds.  I walked to the car in anticipation, in excitement.  This is no ordinary Saturday morning run.

I got to my car and turned the engine on, the music started up I quickly turned the music off.  I wanted to enjoy this peace for a little longer, he sounds of the birds and my car being the only other noise.  "If only I had set the alarm earlier, I could have taken my bike" I thought as I drove towards the end of my road "Enjoy this morning from the seat of my bike instead of my car"

Driving through the estate I could see just a couple more cars moving about. Soon I arrived on to the main road, people in their cars, people on their bikes and people running on the pavements, some with huge earphones on! "I wonder if they will be going to Parkrun today" I thought to myself.  I closed the window of my car, just to shut out the noise of the other cars,  I still want to feel the peace of the morning.

It takes only a few minutes to get to the Normans Park.  I parked up at the end of the car park and climbed out of my car.  I looked around me and saw runners in different shirts, some were standing around chatting, others were stripping off their top layers, revealing their 'colours', others were doing a warm up running lap.  I saw another PWR runner and we chatted as we crossed the green to where the 'white and black shirts' were meeting up. 

New Kit  for PWR's

The atmosphere has changed now, there is an excited buzz as we all looked around and tried to guess if PWR are out numbered or if, as in previous 'Mob Matches' we will keep our Mob Match Masters status!  There is one thing that our running club is good at, and that is turning up in full force, with members from Group 0 through to Group 8, we are one big proud running club!

As we walked over to the beginning of the Parkrun, I could see even more white shirts. "Surely this is our day" I smiled as I looked around.

The gathering!

I stood out in the front, and with the new thing that I have found on my phone a did a 'landscape' style picture of all the runners.

I knew there is no way I would be in the 'scoring zone' so my plan for this Parkrun was to take some pictures on route, to cheer on fellow PWR as we get together at the 'pinch zone'  as I run along the 'long stretch' and the 'double back',  for I have no doubt by the time I get there on the first lap the front runners will be well and truly past that and running towards the pavilion.

The anticipation now at fever pitch for me, the excitement was building as I waited for the race director to give his address. These Mob Matches are always such good fun, and everyone cheers on each other! A friendly rivalry type of running race, where all abilities can join in, no pressure, and just be part of it.  The off was given.  The crowd surged forward.  It is so difficult not to get caught up in the rush to get to the front.  I have found in many of my park runs, that its not good for me to push forward so fast.  I tried to ignore the runners rushing past me, I looked at my Garmin to adjust my pace, settle into a good pace, and then to have some fun running, taking pictures as I do.

The throng of runners snaking away, stretching before me as the first of the runners reached the path.  There is a friendly rivalry between the fastest runners to be the first to get to the tarmacked path, so I have heard.  Something that I will be in danger of doing.  The snake like running crowd ran along the path and turned right to go back across the grass.  The thumping of the runners feet, the occasional call from the spectators seem to be the only sounds as the long snake of runners 'slithered' through the grass beside the quiet trickling of the river, I quickly took out my phone to grab a picture.  It's at times like this that I wish I had a great camera, as what I see with my eyes is not quite captured by my phone.

The river separating the faster runners
and me!

The sound of my breathing was interspersed with cheers of "Go Donna", as fellow PWR's, who were park run volunteers for today, and complete strangers cheered me on as I ran towards the pavilion. The name on my shirt is certainly an advantage on race days! I ran past the pavilion made my way to the opposite end of the park. There I.L. was waiting for me, she also wanted a nice leisurely ran this morning too.  We stayed together for the rest of the run.

Everyone can and does run

Just before we got back for the first time to the start of the run, the first of the fastest runners came pounding up behind us, his breathing alerting before we saw him.  It seemed he flew past us as his mind fixated on getting to the orange finish tunnel just to more right turns away.  Slowly after that we heard the tell tale breathing of the other runners past by, waiting to see our first PWR to pass us.

Our PWR point scorers!

The finishing funnel looks so close, so inviting but I.L. and myself still have to continue along the river to finish our second lap.  We tried to see any other PWR before we started along the river.  The double back revealed the throng of runners and spectators gathering at the pavilion. As we neared we could see there were a few more PWR's 'home.  "I wonder how many points we will have?" I thought.

Both I.L. and I ran towards to the top end of the park, looking forward to the last long stretch of todays Parkrun.  "I rather like this bit of the course" said I.L. "So do I" I said, "Especially the second time round"  Towards the end of the long stretch we had another 'photo break' both of us needing it!  So my subject for this was I.L. herself.

Illustrious Leader!

Again,t owards the end of the second lap we were admiring the running styles of the runners, Blackheath and Bromley runners, PWR runners, I was comparing theirs to my slow shuffle.  I shall have to make a mental note to do more butt kicks, get my legs higher!

We ran together through the finish funnel, collecting our tokens as we did.  A great run, great fun and a great turn out for the Pettswood Runners! 41 runners compared to 27 for Blackheath and Bromley, Beckenham 27, Bexley 11 and Cambridge Harriers 1, on the points scoring then Blackheath and Bromley beat us and we came second.  Only the first 27 of each clubs runners score. The first one back getting 1 point, the second one back gets 2 points.  So the few points you have, the better in this case!. But surely, even the name, 'Mob Match', can show you, who were the winners today!

Some more pictures of todays park run.

Kit table now turned
to cake table!

See, everyone can take part!

Thursday Morning Woody Run!

Hello Blog lovers.

This entry is a little late, I know, but this thing called 'life without runninng' seems to be getting in the way! Now lets see if I can remember what happened!

Well to start off with I had actually thought of a route, which would take in Jubilee park. It was going to be on the pavements, as I have not yet done a reccy through the woods to see how the land lies.  I got to the rec where I met up with all the other runners for that days session.

Illustrious Leader Ann was with me and so was David, I think maybe he wanted to have a nice leisurely stroll that day was he joined my group!  When I.L. asked where we were heading, she pointed out that she was wearing her trail shoes! "Has anyone been through the woods yet?" I asked, and DiscoRich said "I'm heading there today"  and also I.L. said that the woods will be fine now. 

Well that made my mind up.  I have missed running through the woods and quickly conjured up one of our usual routes and said "Right that's where we're heading then"

Both groups headed off at the same time, both of us were heading through 'Dog Poo' Ally, but we were going to be heading up the middle while group 2 were heading to the left.  If felt good to be running through the woods again. The path wasn't as muddy and wet as I thought it would be.  I know I have missed out on a couple of Thursday morning sessions, but it still surprised me how quickly it had all nearly dried up in there.

As I was looking around and chatting and enjoying the woods I felt my breathing getting heavy. Of course! Going up the middle of the woods is 'Going Up'  The climb up the hill started to tell on me!  I started to answer in one word sentences, or just let I.L. and David do the chatting!  Once at the top we turned left to run down to the road that leads to the farm, Botony Bay lane. 

It was a slow run, a nice usual paced run for me, I guess David was wondering when the 'warm up' mile would finish and then we kick into faster pace running!  When we got to Botony Bay Lane we had another quick stop to just take in the sight of the lovely display of daffodils that was in the garden of one three houses that are down this little lane.  It did look splendid.  As we were looking at it just to our left were group 2. Fortunately they came out of the path at a walking pace and just meandered towards us for a few steps and then jogged on past us.  We, of course, pointed out the lovely display of flowers that we just had to stop and look at!

Continuing our run we ran towards the path that group 2 had come out of.  This was taking us to Goss Hill.  Last time I ran down there it was very, very wet and muddy and very slippery.  If this was all dry then our wood running days are back!!! Fantastic! No more pavement pounding, no more breathing in car fumes, no more stopping at crossing points, not more counting lampposts........hang on...... no more stopping at crossing points!! Oh blow!! I will have to have other reasons now to take a quick breather and look as if I don't need it.  But, the flower display was a very good reason for stopping! This is why running is so good.

The way back was through Jubilee park, my original plan, and then either back through the woods over the three bridges, or just over the first bridge and pop out at Great Thrift and head back from there.  Depending on time and distance then I shall make the decision then, or give the option to the others.  But when we got to Great Thrift I decided that we should hit the road and make our way back on the road. As we passed 'Dog Poo' Ally group 2 suddenly appeared!  Perfect timing! We all arrived back at the rec together!

A great leisurely run it was too!  I enjoyed it.  Hope it wasn't too leisurely for David!

Geeky stats!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Heros and Speedos!

Hello blog lovers.

What a brilliant club run it was tonight!  The Hero to Zero group run and group 1 run!  Let me tell you all about them. 

Hero to Zero Group

All my regular helpers are busy training very hard for marathons or recuperating from doing a marathon, as Peter is.  He completed the Rome marathon at the weekend!  So it was just me with my regular members of Hero group.  So I was going to have to get inventive to keep all the group together.  Usually we usually split into three little sections, fast runners, middle runners and slower runners.  Unless I am going to run up and down like a demented puppy that has just got out of the bath, then my strategy for keeping us all together is going to have to bring my whistle into play.

We all started out just fine, and then the split started.  The faster runners started getting ahead.  I used my whistle and with that, they all came running back towards me until they got to just in front of me and then carried on running up the road again.

We got to the memorial hall and had a little break.  That's when I came up with my new rule.  when I whistle, they all had to come back with a bit of  a sprint and high five me and anyone else at the back! While who ever was at the back had to sprint faster to meet them!  There is no getting away from speed work even if you're at the back!

That was going to be the nature of the run.  I used the not so easy route today as well, just to keep it challenging, the undulating route up from Hazlemere, Great Thrift and Woodside (I think that is what the last bit of the road is called) This is how I described todays route in a text message to group 0 runners.  I do try and give them positive things to think about.


Who is looking forward to tomorrows Hero group run!! We shall be passing the delightful Turkish quarter as we run by the kebab shop, a quick gander at the fantastic shopping Pettswood has to offer (Morrisons). Then under the rail bridge to head for the local watering hole, The Daylight, all though no stopping there.  Then on for the last of the undulating landscape (ok, the long road) back to the park?


Now who wouldn't want to come on a run like that?  Let me tell you that all the ladies today were fantastic Heroes and they met the challenge of the interval running that I had sprung on them with a smile.  We did have a faller, on the very last part of the route back to the rec, but after a sit down, and rest she was fine to walk back the rest of the way!   I don't think there is one runner in our club that hasn't fallen yet!  It's like gaining a badge of honour!

Here is the geeky stats for Group 0

Group 1

And now for the speedo part of my blog.  I bet you are all waiting to see someone in a pair of speedos, right?  Well sorry to disappoint, but speedo is to do with the pace!  Sherry was taking group 1 today.  When I found out that she was I thought, "Great, its bound to be a nice easy route, fairly easy paced, as she ran 20 miles on Sunday!"  Well that was my thinking, and probably hoping!

She told us the route, I heard the first part ok, Southborough Lane, and then for some reason I didn't hear much more.  But I was thinking, "Well, that's all down hill, and then its a long slog back up again,"  But the Southborough lane part of todays route was just a small section of it.

What she had actually done was taken a route that we had done before and just decided to do it in reverse!  Although I was at the back,  I was at least running all the time, only stopping when the 'catch up' stop was happening.  At the first catchup point Sherry said, "Oo sorry I seem to be running a little fast than the usual pace"  I was totally amazed that she could run at that pace, after the 20 miles an all!  She seem to run effortlessly along the road and up the hills, chatting as she waited for me at each catchup.

It was when were running along Crofton road that I suddenly realised that we will be running up 'Cardiac Hill'.  So much for me thinking that this was going to be a nice easy flat, laid back sort of run!  These PWR's are made of stern stuff you know! 20 miles, is nothing!  Even another one of the ladies in our group, Jane,  did the same 20 miles at the weekend and she was up the front looking brilliant!  Both Sherry and Jane are doing the VLM. 

But anyway, after walking up said nasty hill, I didn't walk anymore after that,  I just kept plodding away!  I think those solo runs has started to pay off at last!  Just got to keep it going.  After all, I now have a race booked!  It's a half marathon in....wait for it.......May 17th!  I am so looking forward to it.

A great run today, and I thoughrouly enjoyed it!  Here is geeky stats for Group 1.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Not In A Car, Not On A Bike, But On My Feet!

Hello blog lovers.

What lovely sunshine we had this morning!  I just needed to be outside running, smiling and singing along to my tunes, it just had to be done!  I am planning on finding a half marathon to do this year as, I want to do a charity run, after all, it was doing a charity run that had started my love of running in the first place! I am not sure what charity that I shall support this year either. In the beginning it was always Cancer Research Uk, because of my mum, but my mum had supported a few charities over her time, I guess I shall have a good think and pray about it, I am sure Him upstairs will point me in the right direction, and hopefully I can choose one that my mum would have supported too.

So with my mind set on doing more than the 4 miles I did last week, I started to think about where I could run.  The woods are still a big draw for me, but I still would like to know first, that I would be able to run through them rather than tiptoe, paddle or slide through them. But  I also want to be able to get at least a tiny bit of traffic free running in.  There is only one way to go to do that, and that's to go through Jubilee Park.  Either that or Normans Park, but heading there would be quite boring, all along and back up Southborough lane!  No, Jubilee it is! 

I waited for the satellites to find me and headed off to my local park first.  I am going to be doing the four mile route in reverse but with an extra mile added to it.  Just to keep things nice and fresh, and also to stop any of those silly 'mental images' of 'mile 1, mile 2' etc!  So after I ran through my park I headed for Blackbrook Lane.  The entrance to Jubilee park is right towards the end of this road.  Later on, when I am doing more miles, I could carry on to the end and attempt to do Summer Hill! Even the thought of that sends shivers through me! *shiver*

It did feel really good running through the park. I am so looking forward to when running through the woods is going to be the 'norm' and the pavement pounding will only be for getting back to the beginning of any one run!  I was so enjoying the  traffic free bit of running that I carried on over the bridge just to prolong it for a little bit more.  I wasn't quite sure whether this would shorten my planned 5 miler, but I could always run around the block if I needed too.

Coming out onto Great Thrift I  realised that I avoided  some of the undulations of this long road.  I was wondering just how big my run around the block is going to have to be!  Running down hill towards where my running club meet up on Tuesdays, and I was smiling.  I shall be here again tomorrow, with my Hero group and group 1.  I feel so lucky that I have found a great club to run with, to keep my love of running well and truly motivated!

Just the last bit of the route, and that's after Tudor Way, turn left to run up to Shepperton Road.  There is a few more slight undulations of this bit of route, its part of SingstarJo's  (non-flat) flat route, as its affectionately called.  I was originally planning to go down Diametre road once I had got on to Crescent Road.  I checked the mileage on my Garmin and I realised that I needed to add on a bit extra.  So I ran to the end of this road, and turned left once I had got to Southborough Lane.  As I was running towards top Oxhawth I was toying with the idea of running all the way down to the Harvester to then run through my local park.  But I took a look at the time and decided that enough was enough for today.  No need to go loopy loo because I was feeling good.  Nice and easy, steady and keeping it fun! That's how to do it!

I happen to mention my 5 miler on my FaceBook and a couple of people had a little joke with me hence today's title!  No, my car wasn't slow, and no, I wasn't stopping at every single red like while riding a bike!  But yes, I was running, (not the most fastest runners of all time, I know) and I was having fun!

My geeky Stats

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Solo Running, Again!

Hello blog lovers!

I guess it looks like I am billy no mates with all this solo running going on, but unfortunately I just couldn't get to the usual Thursday morning PWR run today.  So as soon as I had done what I had to do, I came back to get changed and psyched up for my Thursday run.  As I was by myself, I though I would go and do a planned four miles! 

The sun was shining, but the wind was showing it's presence! The trees were waving their branches about, and it was feeling just a tad chilly.  I knew that I would warm up so the chilliness is not going to be bothering me!  The wind might, however, reflect what I might likely feel on this run. 

I set off, satellites following me, my music blaring in my ears, and a though of "Blimey, this is only the beginning!".  No matter what, I love being out running, no matter what thoughts run through my mind.  This first bit of the run though, that first couple of steps, the look back at the door knowing I am just leaving, and knowing this is where the finish is.  That there, is the hardest bit of my running.  I saw something on facebook today, that made me smile, it was a quote, and I can't remember where I saw it, but it said 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step'.  And related that to my running today, 'Running has to start with the first steps'. It's a matter of fact, it's simply simple!  It may only be a short 2 mile run or it could be a marathon.  But each time I run, I know I will feel exactly like this, so it just best to start smiling from the start! Enjoy it, have some fun, throw some shapes while running along!

All of those I did on todays run!  Just at as was running down Tudor way, I had passed the left turn that could make my run just 3 miles, so I was feeling pretty pleased with my self and smug! There was a tune playing in my ears and I was raising my hand singing along with it #I love Rock n roll#. I must have looked like a complete nutter! But I was figuring that it was great advertising for running! 

I can't wait to go through the woods, I must find out from the other PWR's if the woods are at least somewhat dried out that we wont have to have our canoes to get over some of the puddles.  I looked through 'Dog Poo Ally' feeling really tempted to go through there to find out, but I thought better of it.  I need to get back, showered do stuff before I have to do lunch.

Running along Southborough Lane and I really started to feel just brilliant, again, just as my other solo run,  I took a butchers at my watch just to see what pace I was doing, and again (going down hill) it was under 11 m/mil! I started smiling to myself again.  "Ok Old Girl, don't get to smug, just enjoy the run, don't push it, you're doing just great"  were the words that I started to think.  It's ok to have a good run, but I don't want to get all blase' about it and trip or do anything silly!  So I just looked ahead and continued to run just as I have been doing.

Back onto my road and there is my door, the place I left just a little less than an hour ago.  The place where I thought, "Blimey, this just the beginning!" but now I am thinking "Wow, its the end!" I felt as if I could have gone another mile, but it has been a while since I have ran anything longer than this, so best not to, and besides I need to get lunch!

A great run today, yes it would have been nice to run with my running club pals, but still!  I really had a great run.

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Just Group Zero To Hero!

Hello Blog lovers.

I guess you probably wondering where yeterdays club run blog is. Well it's here, its now!  I have had a bit of a hectic week, with one thing and another, which is also why I had only done my group 0 yesterday.

Anyway, here is the gist of it.  Fotunately I had managed to get Peter to come along and help with the faster runners, (again I had left things late for sorting out!) But  JJ, Denise and Wendi all came along, eager to get their fitness levels back to where they were.  They other Hero members had life stuff getting in the way of their running. Don't you just hate it when that happens!  So the route for them was going to be up Birchwood, which was also suggested by JJ.  I think next week I will take them over the underulating route, as a bit of a tester!

I was going to be sweeper, as usual, and to encourage Wendi along, but also to keep her on the straight a narrow!  Now Wendi did the Edinburough marathon last year, but also she managed to injure herself, (not on the marathon though, some time after!) and like all runners coming back from injury she expects her body to fall into what her mind says, which is of course 'Run at full fitness pace, please body'! Where as the body says to the mind 'You got to be kidding me, I have had a nice break, now be a good girl and go get me a cuppa and a biscuit!'

Coming back from injury, or maybe even just that stuff, 'life', which has got in the way of your running is going to take a bit of time, no matter how much your mind remembers the good times! And sometimes you need someone to just gently remind you to build back into things slowly. 

It was a good run, and everyone did really well.  Peter even managed to get JJ and Denise to do just a little bit extra while me and Wendi were stretching out.  They came back, JJ was looking like she had done the usual group 1 and Denise was looking very pleased with herself for doing the extra loop.

Anyway, here is the geeky stats from Group 0 for yesterday!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Litter My Blog With Thoughts

Hello blog lovers.

Continuing in the same vein as yesterday, I shall literally litter my blog with some of the thoughts that I was thinking about, hopefully in chronological order! Whooo hooo, a big word from the Old Girl and spelt right first time! Most Proud!

So, as you know, blogs here, therefore I ran! I needed again to just get out and run, maybe a different route, or add on a extra bit, or maybe even shorten it.

            Where are you going to go today?

I thought about my route and where I needed to run.  I decided I was going to run the same route as yesterday, and if time wasn't running out then I can add on an extra mile by going up Tudor Way and Crossways. Yes, that is going to be it.

All though the day was not as bright as yesterday,

            Where has the sun gone?

it is still quite pleasant out as I was running along.  I headed up Hollingsworth road to tackle the only hill in todays run, only one worth mentioning anyway,

            I do not like hills!

I tried to just keep on running all the way to the top of the road, then I will allow myself to have a quick walking break.

            Don't stop, not yet! OO I like this tune!

I was pleased I got to the top, and had a bit of a walking break, only for about 30 seconds or so, just to grab a lungful of air and then I was back to running.  I was feeling pretty good actually, really enjoying my running.  I was running down Shepperton and then turned left to head for Tudor way.  I was still in two minds if I was going to put on an extra mile, but I shall see how I was feeling once on the other side of the bridge.

            Oh No! what has happened here?!

As I had crossed the road and headed for the bridge, I noticed that there was police tape across the drive and the pavement in front of the house on the corner.  A policeman was standing guard outside. I had to careful  as I passed by, not to fall of the kerb.  It makes you think when you see things like that, and a prayer went up from me for what ever had happened there.

            So, straight up or pass the pub?

I look at my watch to see how long I had left and decided that I needed to get back home instead, so now I was thinking "Let's just have a great run"

            No time for Crossways, gotta get back!

I turned left and headed towards Station Square, and then run over the walking bridge.  I started to feel pretty good! I was started to relax knowing that I can do this bit of the route no problem, and I can get back in time for the things that I need to do. Dodging a little lad I ran over the bridge and started running down  Southborough Lane.  The music in my ears was really putting me in a great mood and I was dancing up the road, jazz hands and all sorts.  A big smile on my face and I was feeling pretty funky as I ran along.  Just for shits and giggles I looked at my pace and it was 10:52 m/mil

            Whoa! Yeah, smoking!

An even bigger smile came across my face.  I doubt if I would keep it up, but right that second I was on fire! Well, as on fire as I have felt in a long while!  I was going great guns!  The last bit of route was through the park, the sun had come out on some of my run today, and as I was going through the park the sun shone there

            I love summertime!

This may not be the fastest run for this route, but it certainly feels like one of the bestest runs I have had for a while!  Feeling happy!

            Go on then, pick it up to the last!

Finished! A quality run today, and I loved it!  Here is the geeky stats, and you may notice (if any of you click on to the details of my geeky stats) an extra set of numbers, I have my HRM back! I do love seeing geeky stats!

One last thought, and this is not just for races, it's for every single  run that I do!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Just Out Running!

Hello blog lovers.

Another glorious afternoon, the sun shining brightly, everyone seems to be in bright summer, colourful clothing.  There are people out and about, jogging, washing cars, doing gardens, generally out enjoying the sun.  It seems to have been raining for far too long, and now people are coming out of the sodden homes, to breath in some wonderful clear air!

I have had a busy few days, missing a couple of runs, but today I just needed to get out and do it!  After church I came back and got changed, shoved a wash in the machine and then made my way out the front door to try and catch the satellites!  I waited, and waited, in the end I just pushed the start button and started running.  I just couldn't hang about anymore.  The things that needed doing indoors started creeping in my head, and I needed to get far away, before I decided that it needs to be done now!

I chose to go a different route, not the Turpington Lane route.  I need a change of scenery too.  I can't wait for the woods to be dried out!  Even if you take the same paths, when the seasons change it is always different! The colours change, the look of the canopy changes, underfoot it changes.  What you hear and see and feel changes! All of that just by using the same well run paths!  Fantastic.

On the roads, well, what changes? not a lot apart from sometimes you're cold, and sometimes you're hot! Today, I was nicely warmed up!  I ran up Hollingsworth road, my mind set on running to Pettswood.  I started to think, not about anything important, but just to stop my mind from thinking!  And I was thinking "What do runners think about when they are running"  Well I know what I think, and that is to think about what others are thinking about! 

I found this most amusing as I was running along towards Crofton lane, chuckling away to myself I was.  If anyone had seen or, indeed, heard me they would have though I was delirious, maybe I had run an ultra marathon and was on my last mile, instead of the 1.3 miles that I had actually done! But still, I guess a runner laughing is a better advertisement than a runner crying!  Unless of course it is an inane laughter!

But anyway, this thought, you know, the thought of what runners think about while running, well, it was all I could think about! Occasionally I sang along to the tune that was in my ears, but mostly, from that moment on, that question ran through my mind!  So, at least you all now know what goes through this runners mind!

It was a very good run for me, in the fact that I was actually running!  I needed to run today, and to totally think about nothing, even just for the few minutes.  yes, my legs were hurting, (well if you go to my cycling blog you will see the undulating ride I did yesterday!) and yes it was a slow run, but I didn't mind! Just felt good to be out!

Geeky stats for you!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Write One, Get Two Free!

Hello blog lovers.

I guess you're wondering about the title. well, that is because this blog will have three runs inside! Yes that's right three!

Solo Run

The first one is one that I did yesterday.  It was a solo run.  I had a really busy day planned, and I knew by the end of the day, I just wouldn't be in the mood for running, so I decided that first thing in the morning would be a good time. 

I tried to get up real early for me, well, as early as I can get when I have no kids due to arrive in the morning.  I went on my usual Turpington, Green Lane turn around.  I don't know what it is, but I really didn't do very well at all yesterday.  I was slow, real slow! I was actually talking out loud "Oh for goodness you lazy bloomin mare, get a move on" as I was walking on Southborough lane on the way back!

My breathing was all over the place, my pace was way off, I had my music playing in my ears, and I kept changing the tunes to so real upbeat tempos to keep me going!  But nothing seemed to work.  I guess some days you just don't run so good!

That's all I am going to say about that run.  so here is geeky stats, and you can see just how slow I was, but, as I always tell people, at least I am out there doing it!  I deffo ran faster than those couch spuds, that's for sure!

Group 0

And so to todays runs.  In group zero to hero we had 6 hero's!  And today was a pretty good run!  Everyone was doing blooming brilliantly.  Peter helped me today, heading up with the faster runner among us.  And he really helped to put her through her paces today, covering about 3 miles, with the little extra bits that he took her on!

JJ and Denise where in the middle of the group today, and were doing so very well.  I can see those two easing back into group 1, and they wont even notice the extra distance! Wendi and Victoria were running just behind them, and today Wendi bought her mojo along! After last weeks tough run for her, she had a brilliant run today.

I was running along with Julia and she is making progress every week! I think though I shall have to put blinkers on her though, because when she sees a hill she starts thinking as I do! "Blimey I can't do that"  I know how difficult it can be when you look up an see the hills. It's foreboding, it's demoralising, it's energy sapping just looking at it! These are all the things I still feel when I am faced with hills!

I heard her expel another big breath as she catches site of the next hill.   I tell her "Just look at the ground, keep your head up but eyes just in front of you on the ground" I am looking up ahead for her, what can I use to keep her motivated.  The drive ways.  That way she can just run along with her eyes not taking in the inclines but just to the side of as we pass each driveway.  They are such a motivation, as there are lots of them.  Unlike the lampposts which seem to be far apart, the driveways come thick and fast.  Each one just a short distance away from the next, your passing each one and gainer on the other runners!

This running malarkey is deffo mental as well as physical (something that I have to teach myself too when I am running on my own!

But todays group 0 run was a great run, I am very privileged to be able to lead this group, watching all the improver's to get up to speed, or gain their confidence or get back to fitness after injuries!  I am very pleased that the group of ladies in group 1 suggested that I could be a candidate for becoming a LiRF!

Geeky stats for Group Zero to Hero!

Group 1

Group 1 today was lead by Sherry.  Sherry is busy training for the London Marathon.  It's not that long to go now, and it's a very exciting time!  She had been on a 16 miler at the weekend and so when she said that she is going on a flatish route I gave a sigh of relief!  That is until she said "We are going up Birchwood...." Well, its a kind of non hilly, hilly route!  I'm not sure this makes sense, but its a phrase that we came up after SingstarJo took us on a 'flat route' which turned out to have a number of inclines!

I chose to be sweeper again, as usual, as I needed to be at the back! Running at group 1 pace usually gets me lungs working really well! My cough becomes a bloomin nuisance and ....well, it's best I stay at the back!  Illustrious Leader was also sweeper with me, keeping me motivated! 

The chill was back in the air, and my hands was starting to get cold.  I wished I had bought my gloves along.  The weather has been quite extraordinary, with the temperatures reaching has high as 16 during the last couple of days, giving us glimpses of things to come, but now this chill to remind us that it is still only March!

Running up Birchwood Avenune again is quite, well, frustrating is probably too strong a word, but along those lines.  I couldn't keep up with them all, and I had to slow down to a walking pace.  I was think that maybe Sherry was going quite fast, in spite of her 16 miles, but when I looked at my Garmin, I wasn't even running at 12 min mile! 

But I managed to keep up with them, for most of the way round, at least I wasn't a million miles behind them, but then a few hardy souls were sent on a couple of loop backs! I even found a little bit left inside to do a bit of a 'Mighty Moosh Special' and put on a bit of sprint up Crossways to the gate!

I really enjoyed being out running.  Even though I am finding it tough these days, (could be or more likely to be, that I need to lose some weight!).  I am sure I will be back on form at some point! That I am sure of!

Here's the geeky stats for Group 1


Saturday, 8 March 2014

First Park Run Of The Year!

Hello blog lovers.

It's back! Normans Park Parkrun is back!  The last park run at Bromley was December 21st, I believe.  Most people that usually go to this one have been parkrun tourists, (but not me!) I have been enjoying my duvet instead!

I was rudely awoken by Nagging Sister, first by text, which I ignored, then she called me!  I couldn't ignore that.  I was looking towards the Old Boy to help get me out of this, but he just said "I'm saying nothing" as he snuggled on down in the duvet!

Well, obviously I dragged myself out, I don't think the Nagging sister would ever stop chatting if I didn't.  And drove myself to Normans Park.  The sun was trying to break through, and it could be a nice bright day today.  So maybe it's a good thing that N.S. woke me up.

I hung about the carpark waiting for her to come along and then we both made our way to the start, which is up the other end of the carpark!  SingstarJo was doing the announcements today, and everybody as just glad to be back.  We soon were off.

I wasn't going to head out at breakneck speed, as if that has ever happened at all in my life!, but I was just going to plod along and just see how I do.  On this particular route I do tend to beat myself up a bit.  So my goal is not to beat myself up and just get round the first park run of the year.  It is going to be slow, the ground is still quite soft and a bit sticky in a couple of places., no more excuses, it is going to be slow because I am slow!

But the fact is, that I am out here, on a Saturday morning at 9 o'clock, running around the local park!  That is what it's all about!  But I still beat myself up, just a bit.  I kept having to choose races to keep me going.  One of them got away from me, but the other one didn't, in fact I had two races a head of me,  I passed one of them and then and then I passed the next one.  I got a bit complacent as they both ran pass on the tarmac by the pavilion on the second lap.  Darn it.  I kept focused and then just kept going, passing both my 'races' again.  This time I managed to stay in front.  I kept an eye out and I listened for any of them coming up behind me.

I was pleased that they didn't pass by me anymore.  I kept focused on the long stretch down, concentrating on my posture, keeping my head up, a nice stead pace, and also my running style.  I have noticed I have started to do the whole heel striking running again, so I 'training' my self to correct that and run more efficiently.

My time wasn't the most fastest time, probably bordering on the slowest.  But Nagging Sister was right, I feel pleased that I am here, I always feel pleased after a run, and now, home for a cuppa and something to eat!

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Hello blog lovers.

Wednesday is one of my busiest day, but I still had time for a run.  I was planning on going by myself with my music, but when Nagging Sister said that she wanted to go for a run too, well, it's like the old days!  So she came round to mine after she had done her work and what not at home, and I got ready after I did my toddler group and shopping.

I had finished my bits and bobs in plenty of time, and sat down to relax and just take 5 before going to get changed.  All ways a bad thing with me!  The only time that I seemed to be able to get up and get going after sitting on my ass for any length of time is Tuesdays!  I just loved Tuesday Club nights.  So when I heard the ring on the door bell, I tried to hide from her, I have that lazitus creeping over me, and I'm thinking that maybe I shall just sit down and watch NCIS and Diagnosis Murder!

But of course N.S wouldn't allow that, and she has got herself a new Garmin 10, that she wants to try out.  The thing is, unlike me, that as soon as I got mine, I plugged it in to charge it up, she has had hers since Saturday, and she has bought it here, STILL IN IT'S BOX! We charged it up for a short while, but we shall see if it has enough charge for a 3 miler.

We were just going to do my usual Turpington turnaround route, just over the 3 miles.  The sun is shining bright, the sky is blue and it's just perfect for running.  It's good running out in the daylight, and it felt good running with just jog pants and top on as well, oh and shoes of course, I haven't started that bare foot running malarkey!

I can't wait for the summer, I love running in the daylight, I love running through the woods!  When those woods are all dried up I shall be running through there as much as I can, that's for sure! But for now, it's pavement pound with my sis.  I am feeling fat and bloated for some reason, ....... well I know the reason........its food!  I must stop eating crappy stuff and get on the good stuff!  But I feel as if I am a renewed determination now, after today, starting tomorrow (again) but ....bleh.... I'm sure you all know that saying.

I kept running for the first mile, nice and easy, as we didn't warm up, tut tut, but the weather outside was just glorious, when He puts on a good day, it really is just perfect!  The enjoyment of my running is still there, there is no negative feelings of "only one mile done, still have 2 miles to do!" it was more like "Oh, one mile done, this is soon going to be over!" Which is how I like it. 

Of course I struggled a bit around the 3 mile course, N.S. was jogging all the way, she just was virtually jogging on the spot on the odd occasions, to stay by my side. I know for sure that my weight is a bit of an issue with me.  That is something that I need to work on, still keeping my running a pleasure.  So what if I walked, I refuse to beat myself up! Even though I want to! (mutter, mutter, lazy moo, just get going) but I'm not going to!

So plodding along, doing my thing, listening to N.S. chat away, and feeling really glad that I came out running with her!  Feeling really glad that I am out running in Gods beautiful world! What's not to like, right?

Geeky stats for you.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Club Run - Completed Group 1!

Hello blog lovers.

Group 0

I so enjoy leading this group, each and every member tries their very hardest to get round the route. The group started for those that had done the beginners course but were still not ready to move to group 1, and also for PWR members who have been off with injuries, or for any other reason where they have not been running for a while.  It's always nicer running in a group, the encouragement you get and you give to your fellow members makes for great runs and just keeps your motivation up.

Today helping me with this evenings run was Sherry and Della, who took the middle section and the fastest section. It was also great to have J.J. back with us, she has been off recuperating and is raring to get back to speed again.  And Wendi, its her second week back with us, she is trying very hard to get back to fitness. These two ladies usually run with group 1, so it's brilliant that the motivation for running is still there! And with determination they will be back to group 1 before they know it.

We had about four in group 0 today all running really well, enjoying being in a group and getting healthier and fitter. I chose the more challenging route for this evenings run.  Left out  of the rec and then left, and straight on till Pettswood.  The hills are a bit of a challenge this way round.  Running up the longer one is tougher, but going back down it will be so much nicer.

We had a bit or a break when we go to the memorial hall.  I could see that Wendi was really struggling with herself more than the running.  I know that coming back from injury you just want to get back to where you was before.  And depending on how long a time its been since you last ran then it will take a few weeks at least!  But us runners, well, we are stubborn blighters, we think we are immortal or something.  Just because we are runners, we think we can heal quickly, get back to it.  But what we need to do is to just think about the time we first started out!

I know! I go back to my very first blog on some days, when I am feeling particularly useless, and totally unfit, and I begin to realise just how far I have come.  And do you know, its been 6 years almost to the day that I started out running.!  Ok, so I am not running 10k's every week, and I still run in group 1, (still at the back too) but I am there, running, every week. Oh and I have done a marathon, something that I never even dreamed of doing even back in my youth!

The 'recuperators' will be back on form, the new improvers will improve and there will be more runners to help and encourage to achieve their dreams and goals.  When you want something you can do it, as long as we remember that we are not immortal, and that we still have to work hard, rest well, and still keep it fun.  You cannot continue to do running if its a chore, if its a burden, or if you just hate it.  Keep it fun, keep the passion and the fitness will come back to us.

When my end of the group got back to the rec, the middle and the top end of the group were already there doing their stretches.  Then I found out that they had actually taking a slightly easier route home, and missed out on the undulations on the way back! Well, that's ok, as I know they did a loop back, and a run up to the top of the road.  Their run was about 2.3 miles long, but the slower end of the group did an extra half mile! So well done ladies.
Quite a good pace, the last mile and a half was quicker than the first, very well done ladies!

Group 1

After the last few weeks I was a bit apprehensive as to whether I will be able to keep up or even complete the route today.  But when Illustrious Leader said that she was doing a flat route I was quite relieved.  I volunteered to be sweeper again today, it would have happened anyway! And besides, at the moment, it's best that I am at the back.  This darn cold is still with me, I still have this awful cough.  And my body is making so much gunk I refuse to keep it in my body! But after I 'get rid of it' my body must say "Oh Old Girl, you seemed to have dropped the lovely gunk I made, here, have some more!"  What is it with this, how can it just suddenly appear like this!

Anyway, sorry about the yucky picture I've just painted, but you can image how I am feeling.  I managed to keep up with the main group for a bit, but then I had to slow down for a while, and my lovely dear running buddy Janet kept me company!  Slowing down with me, walking on the bits that I walked and just kept talking to me, which is what I needed.  Can you see how this whole group running malarkey works?  If I was running by myself all I would have in my head is, "Come on you lazy mare, call that running" I would be beating myself up, that's for sure. But your running buddies they know, they have been in struggles and the know.  Of course encouragement to get further, but sometimes all you need is to hear someone just chatting as they run/walk along beside you!  Thanks Janet..

When we got back to the off license I.L. said that the group could now go at the pace they wanted to, whether it was faster or slower, although I cant see anyone going slower than me, but as long as they don't change the route.  IL kept at the back for the rest of the run.

It was a tough run for me today.  It's the first full group 1 run that I have completed for weeks!  But it felt great.  I am just going to have to work harder myself, get back on top of my fitness, lose some weight instead of trying to drag that round every mile and I shall be flying round!

Here is our route today, it's amazing I remembered to stop and start recording both runs without mucking up the Garmin stats as usual.

The pace looks slower than group 0, but always the first mile is a warm up mile (as we don't actually do any warm up routines at all) and also we have stops as well, for catchups and also a very good chance for I.L. to let the group know of any races/runs/mob matches that are coming up.