Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Members 10k - Mighty Moosh Style

Hello blog lovers.

I am still playing 'catchup' with my blogs.  I didn't write anything yesterday. I went to the funeral of Pettswood most inspirational man, "Our Running Man"

This one is for my Sunday run with the Club!  It was our members 10k.  I just like to go along to make up numbers, sweep and be a part of the whole 'belonging to a club' experience.  Just love it! 

The only thing that I wasn't keen on was the laps.  It's only two laps consisting of about 3 miles a lap, and then it's off up the road to finish off.  The thing with laps is that you know how you did on the first time round, but by the second time around  you're slower, you're more tired, it's a chore.  But at least the captains had thrown in that little bit of extra road to keep it all interesting.  And not only that the very last  bit of it is all down hill! (which of course meant running up to the top in the first place!)  Perfect.... no really, it is.

After registering we made our way to the starting place.  It was going to be a staggered start.  The 'get me around bus' i.e. group 1 pace, followed by group 2 then 3 etc etc.  Which means that there wont be much standing around waiting for 'everyone' (for everyone read me) to come back.  It seems like a good system to me.  Ok so the faster runners will be buzzing us but it's not as if its hundreds of people running.

It was also the scouts annual St. Georges day parade.  One of the roads, Blackbrook Lane,  that we ran up was chocka block full of scouts.  As we turned into Thornet Wood road there more scouts!  And even more of them just in the entrance to the park! Can you image it, there was about 150 PWR's and probably the same amount of scouts looking to move in the opposite direction!  It will be interesting.

But I think it all went well, we didn't sweep any stray scouts with us and I don't think we lost any PWR's to the 'Bagerra Pack' (do they still call them that these days?).  The sun was shining and it was perfect for a 10k run.  But on Thornet wood Road we had a 'walker'.  She had pulled a muscle or something, some where and was struggling a bit.  Both me and Illustrious Leader walked with her until the beginning of the first lap where she was escorted back to the rec from there. 

Me and I.L. then played catchup to the rest of the group, (which we never did catch up to them though) but we still needed to do the route as we had to let all the marshals know to stand down!  On the second lap by the time we got back to Blackbrook Lane all the scouts had gone, no doubt holding their pack flags proudly as they marched to church!

We had the one bridge to go up and over and then come out into Little Thrift.  Then we were going to the end turning left and just following the road all the way to the top of Birchwood!  Yes, there is a hill.  It couldn't possibly be a PWR run without at least 1 hill (I even add them in my group 0 runs!), but of course once at the top we turned right and ran to the first road, Kingsway Road and then we ran all the way down to Crossways.

It was great looking at the park from the top of the hill.  Just knowing it was down there, in eye view was very encouraging! 

I decided then that there will be no more walking stops, its only a very short distance to go, although there is the lap around the park first.  When me and Illustrious leader entered the park we go the biggest cheer!  See there is always a good reason for being last.  And then our lap of the park we had a 'mascot' running with us.  It was one the PWR's children.  While all the adults were running around enjoying doing a 10k the kids were in the park having their own mini races, complete with a choccie medals for all who entered! 

I wonder if.......no...... I don't think they do a 'you come in last' trophy!  Mind you, I.L. being the most thoughtful and polite person said, "After you Old girl". 

A great run, and I really enjoyed it.  Not my fastest 10k, but these days, nothing is!  Just enjoying the running!

Geeky stats:-

Monday, 28 April 2014

One Runner Two Runs!

Hello blog lovers.

I have two to write about today.  Two days after the last one!  If it wasn't for unscrupulous people then we wouldn't need 'Virus Protections' and because my had run out I had to wait until I installed the new antivirus!  Anyway, enough moaning,  let me see if I can recall my two runs that I was talking about.

First of it was my Thursday morning run.  Usually I lead a small group for a 3.5 mile little jaunt, maybe through the woods, but when I turned up at the rec, there was only the faster members of the other group that meets on Thursday.

Now as I had a very lovely afternoon planned I decided to go back to my home and do a solo run, starting and ending there.  I decided to do the route that Naggy Neighbour and I did a few days (weeks??) ago. Up the path that would take me to that long ago favourite place for me to get to 'Turn around Lamppost' But I didn't go as far as there today, I turned left to go through the park and then I was going to turn right and run towards the A21 from there. 

I couldn't seem to get into the same stride that I had with Naggy there....well,,, nagging, but I tried to imagine her there just to keep my backside moving forward at a faster pace than that of the squished snail I had to jump over!  In my mind was the thought of the half marathon that is on the 17th May!  It's not that far away and I am totally under trained for it, due to sickness and my mother in laws hips!  All excuses and reasons I know, but I know I haven't been running enough!

I had started to 'beat myself up' again and I knew that is not what I want my running to be about.  It's all about just being out here and running, whether there is a few walking sessions thrown in, that's ok, whether I chat to people on route (not that I had that pleasure today, because boy, would I have done that) keeping it fun and just 'Running for Running Sake' is what its all about. 

I am sure if that stays like that then I will just want to do more, when I do more the fitter I get, the fitter I get ...... well you know the scenarios!  It wasn't until I started running down the A21 towards Bromley that I got my head straight again.  A brilliant tune came in my ears (solo runs always require music) it was 'Nutbush City Limits'  I literally was dancing down the A21, all arms and smiles as I ran towards the round about!

A jogger running in the opposite direction must have noticed this weird person running towards him, all arms punching in the air, as when he got close he too started to 'punch' the air!  It was a brilliant moment.  That was the best part of this particular run, and it's a song that I am deffo putting on my Jogging Tunes folder.  I am currently going through all my tunes and creating my personal fav songs to jog along to!

Any way after that brilliant moment, some other tunes came on and I just pushed the fast forward button, and generally looking for another brilliant tune.  This run didn't quite reach that moment as I walked jogged all the back home.

Then it was a quick shower, make up get into some casual but smart clothes and off to meet my step mother for tea and The Goring, you may have heard of it, I believe a certain young royal used this Hotel to get married from!  I shall add a picture of our tea just after the geeky stats for this run.

The Middle section of the whole tea experience

Little mans little Goring sheep!

L-R Ashliegh, me, Joy Dawn and little man!

And so to run number 2 and this was a park run.  I am really having to be strict with myself to get out of bed and continue with my parkruns.  I do love them, I love the distance, I love the place and I love the people that turn up for just the sheer enjoyment of running, and most of all I love the volunteers who make these park runs possible!  Some of them are injured runners just wanting to be a part of the running crew, others feel its 'their turn' to give back to the Parkrun for all the enjoyment they have had so far.  They are there tons earlier than I was.  I got there about 08:50, ten minutes to walk to the other side of the park and get the satellites linked to my Garmin!

After we were giving the off of course there is a full surge of people,  I wasn't at the back of the pack today, I was just kind of in the last quarter.  I just ran along with the pack and then checked my Garmin.  It was a tad fast for my liking! Of course! So I settled back into my own pace, it took till I got just after we ran along side the river before I got there.  I was hoping that I didn't 'burn myself out' Ok, so I was looking for excuses already, for the reason that I would not be getting anywhere near my PB.  I still don't know how I did it that day!

But again I had to tell myself off for even thinking about PB's, "running is all about having fun" I had to remind myself.  So what did I do then, I beat myself up even more! "It's only 3 miles, get around it you old bag" were the thoughts going through my mind! Well  put it down to the fact that I am not a morning person!

I had to real myself back in, stop the nasty thoughts, PBs are not in my vocabulary anymore!  They, if they ever appear, will be bonuses!  But for now, my biggest bonus is that......I can run....whenever I want!  After I decided that if I want to walk I will do then I started get back to it again.  But then a girl patted me on my back when we were at the other end of the park for the first time (while I was doing my walking bit) "Come on, you can do it" she said to me, and then I picked up again.  I kept on running with me her and chatting to her.  I found out that she was also pregnant!!  There she was, busy growing a baby and keeping up with her running! (And over taking me!) 

We stayed together for the rest of the lap, just chatting and jogging along.  On the second lap I started to feel it a bit.  But my companion wouldn't let me become a slacker as she kept me going to the top of the park again.  But then I was getting tired and she still had tons of energy, although she said that each week she has been getting 10 seconds slower!  No surprise really as baby is growing and making mum look for bigger running tops!

But I kept her in my sights, she was chatting to a friend of hers who I think had already finished as was just going for fun! I later found out that they were all PWR's  or ready to be PWR's amazing!  I do belong to a brilliant club!

I got back to the funnel and my companion was there with her husband and her other child and her friends, they were cheering me through!  Of course I forgot to stop my Garmin, but with Parkruns I don't mind so much as I only use my Garmin for pacing.

My official time for the Parkrun was 37:10. Ok not the fastest, but then I really had a nice time!  That's all that matters for me.

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Club Runs

Hello blog lovers.

What a difference a week makes!  Our first run through the woods last week and we were running over soft bouncy terrain, nice dry paths with the occasion soupcon of a muddy puddle to keep it interesting.  This week, well this week is totally different, it seems to be muddy puddles with a soupcon of dry path!

But I was having fun!  Some of the puddles were ankle deep, I know! I went through them! It seemed the only sensible, safest way!  And I do love going through puddles!  Can you believe this old townie is enjoying the country side! 

Anyway today, I had 6 lovely people with me, all eager to tramp through the woods, well, I think maybe one was a little apprehensive! And looking at the picture of the shoes at the end, guess which ones are not that keep on the whole mud fest, and kept finding little dry paths, going 'on safari' to find less wetter areas to run on!

My shoe with the pin laces, by far
the muddies! With a very clean looking
shoe to my right!

Our route is going to be the same as last week but done in the opposite direction.  My estimation of last weeks route was about 3 miles, and I was night on spot on.  Although I didn't have my Garmin with me today, (I had forgotten it!) SingstarJo had her one on and it showed that we ran 3.03 miles.  That is nearly Group 1 distance!  I think I will be working.....ooops running myself out of a job at this rate!  My lovely ladies will soon be ready for group 1

Talking of which, one of our ladies in this photo didn't run with me today, she did last week! But she felt that she wanted to try group 1 this evening. See how it goes!  My stepping stone back to group runs is showing more results!  Love this running malarkey!

Here is my lovely ladies, with Wendi in the middle, who ran with group 1 today.

The lovely Ladies doing 'The Zero"

Group 1

After the brilliant run through the woods the light had started to fade, and it was not going to be another visit through there tonight.  Sherry was taking the lead today and me and Illustrious Leader will be taking on the role of sweep.  I was expecting a nice little easy run from Sherry today, as she did the Marathon just over a week ago (by the way, I hope you all managed to at least get your ballot places in before the online registration closed 9 hours and 55 minutes later!), so you think that she has one on the shorter routes that we have done. But no, she has chosen a 4 mile route, with of course, those undulations, which around our area, I admit, are hard to avoid!  But well, its good training right!

Our route was going straight up Birchwood and then to the round about and beyond  She mentioned, Shepperton and Crescent Drive, which are more undulation roads, but there are ways and means of 'getting away' from those which I pointed out, and then cries of 'Marathon cheat' was jokingly called out.! (how can anyone think they can get away with that, surely they must have realised that the times were being monitored every 5 or 10 k, what did he think those mats were for, wiping his feet!)

I was a bit concerned about Wendi and it I wanted her to know that there will be no pressure for her to stick to the whole route. There is a shorter alternative and a place where we can meet up with the rest of the group and finish together, or even just go back to the rec and wait for the others.  Knowing that I think will take the pressure of her and she won't 'beat herself up'. 

Running is and has to stay fun!  The minute it because not fun then you just wont want to do it. 

We did take the shorter route, and we met them back at the rec. but what a good run.  According to Wendi's run keeper we had actually cover 3.47 miles!  That is just brilliant!  Next week I shall remember to bring my Garmin!  I love my geeky stats!  At least I didn't do what I have done before and that is to put on my HRM and then leave my watch at home!

So thanks Sherry, it was a good run.  We ran at least 95% of it! at least that!

Oh and I thought I would show you what happens after you run through puddles and then run for another 3.47 miles on pavement!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Club Runs - Post Marathon Celebrations!

Hello Blog lovers,

I'm writing this late because, as the title suggest, we had celebrations after our club runs!  It's a tradition that is very popular with some club runners, including me!  All spring marathoners come along to the pub to show off their medals and to recount their tales of daring do! Well, their struggles with the road at least!

Group 0

But first off it was group 0.  I am still missing one organisational head! I had it a few weeks back, but now it seems to have been misplaced and on top of my shoulders is this empty head with a few last remaining 'flu-y' type of germs lingering about the place!  So I actually forgot to text everyone to see who was coming, and who could help me out.  I really didn't expect to have anybody to be on hand to help with group 0 today as the main people who helped out were recovering from their marathons, and would be down the pub!

So it was going to be a route that I could keep an eye on everyone, and hopefully not lose anyone!  But when we all got together we were chatting, the sun was still out and it was almost feeling like a summers evening! "Why not go through the woods!" came a suggestion.  I can't remember who made it, but I thought "That's a bloomin good idea!"

Now, I haven't been on a reccy yet to find a route that will be 2 to 2 and half miles in distance, the same as the two winter routes, so I am just going to have to 'wing it' and see how far we go!  I decided not to do the warm up part of todays run, I think going through the woods will be a tad slower than on pavements as there is more to slow us down, tree roots, uneven ground, sticky puddles. 

We went through 'Dog Poo Ally' and then turned right to head up the hill.  So far it's just like the winter route but it's through the woods instead!  We then turned left once we got to the top to run parallel with Chislehurst road.  All the while we were running the satellites couldn't find me.  I had not idea how far this route is going to be!  But I am sure they group will love it! I was never any good at judging distances!

After running along the parallel road we turned left again to head into the middle of the woods.  The ground beneath us was a nice 'bouncy' texture. Although uneven with all the dried up footprints from man and beast alike, there was at least no huge muddy sticky puddles to go through. 

We got to the memorial in the middle of the woods and the satellites decided to find me.  So at least I know that from this point I can let them know how far we ran.  It's always good to have a reference point!

We ran along to the middle path, the one that would take us down to 'Dog Poo Ally' but carried straight on.  The run would be over too quick if we went down there.  So I headed towards Botany Bay Lane and then I took them down to the bottom of that, over the river and ran up towards the railway lines. 

I remember the last time I was in this part of the woods, running alongside railway, the path was one long muddy sticky path! Only way to get to the other side was through the middle of it, mud up to your ankles. Yet now the path had dried leaving the footprints of all those brave souls who walked/ran through the woods all winter long.

We just had the last up hill section to do before getting back to 'D.P.A' and then back to the rec.  All in all a great run.  You can see the time it took as I started the clock ticking, and you can see just how far we ran from the memorial.  I think we actually ran for about 3 miles!  Ssshhh don't tell them!

Geeky stats.

Group 1

Illustrious Leader lead out group 1 today, and she chose the same hill that I did with my group 0! Although as the light was fading we were on the outside of the woods running up Birchwood!  It's seems so much nicer running this hill on the inside of the woods!  We also turned left at the top of the hill!  So far exactly what I had already done, but then further up the road we turned right into Leesons Hill. 

Now usually Illustrious leader had taken a small 'catch your breath' at the top of the hill, but today it seems she was on a mission.  Well I guess there is some celebrating to do after the club runs, her hubby DiscoRich aka Monsignor, Cardinal DiscoRich, (he always has a fancy dress costume when he does this run) had ran the London marathon this year!  We eventually took a quick catch up stop by the next usual stopping point!  I really did need that!  After not running since last Tuesday I was feeling a tad tired still!  Bloomin cold virus!

It's a twiddly bit of road from here, a right and a left turn thrown in, I never get used to which way we go when we take this particular route. But all I know is that it is virtually flat or down hill! A real pleasurable run from here.

It was while we were running this bit that we had a faller! Now she did not want me to name her, but we are thinking of making a new trophy in her honour!  Put it this way, it hasn't and I expect it won't ever put her off running just because lost her footing.  It's when stuff like that, that makes you realise that you are actually a runner!  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, (wait for face to stop glowing before venturing back on the road, in case people think you are a traffic light) and carry on running!

Just a couple more twiddly bits of road and then we were running down Willet Way.  Once down here I.L. gave her usual pep talk about going as fast or as slow as you want, no changing the route, but I don't think they would have done as it would have made the run even longer! and see you back at the rec.

A great run today, my legs were complaining so I know that I have worked them a little harder than usual!  And now time for drinkies down the pub with this years spring marathoners!

Geeky stats for you.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

London Marathon - A Morning In the Life Of Baggage Volunteers!

Hello Blog lovers.

All though this is not a running blog, it is connected with my running. Because if I wasn't running then I would never have thought to have offered to help out with the London Marathon team of volunteers!  It is my way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years that I have been a struggling would be 'Paula Radcliffe', although I think that I may have left that particular achievement some what late!  And it's my way of encouraging any and all people who think they can't do running to just 'try'. Because after all that is all that is required from your inner most self, just to try!  You will be surprised at how quickly that 'try' becomes a 'Just a 5k', and then that gets doubled to a ' Ok, I shall try running10k!'

Admittedly I kind of jumped from 10k to 26.2 miles!  A tad ambitious but something that I knew I could do just because I tried.  And with the support of family and friends and the best running club in Kent, I achieved my goal last year (yes, us marathoners can and will live and dine out on our achievements for ever!)  So this year I wanted to support all those doing the marathon and for those who were attempting to do their first marathon.

Here is my account of the 2014 Virgin London Marathon, from the Red Start Baggage team view.

My day started at ridiculous o'clock in the morning, 4:45 am, when the alarm went!  I looked at the time, and just smiled "Silly me, I forgot to reset my alarm, that time was for yesterday" And I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep!  About 5 min after I sat bolt upright in bed as I realised why I was awake at this time!  It was still dark, there was one or two birds chirping, but to all intense and purposes it was the middle of the night!.  I had a quick shower to wake up, by this time by very understand husband was up and was down the stairs 'getting his head out of dreamland'.  I put on my 'Staff' tee-shirt, which I had picked up from Steve Garden's home the day before,  Steve is the coordinator for the Orpington Parkrun VLM baggage volunteers, and he had put out an appeal for volunteers via Facebook.  Of course I had jumped at the chance to help out.  I felt very proud to be weary my tee shirt!

I came down stairs ready to make tea and make a sandwich for myself for later that day.  I was still half asleep, as the Old Boy said "What you doing?"  "I am making a sandwich." I said
"Well, its there, already" he said pointing to the sandwich by my bag, train tickets and headache tables (I was still not quite recovered from this darn cold virus)
"Oh yes, thank you, and thanks for the tea" which was also sitting by my things that I had got ready last night!   I then started to attempt to put things back in the right place, bread in the fridge, ham in the bread bin, you know, like you usually do when your not thinking (or is that just me!?)

We all met up near Orpington train station, we were going to be arriving at Greenwich by coach!  I met up with some other PWR members, as well as other volunteers from other clubs and parkruns , Sue, Peter, Natalie, Emma and Emma, John, Ginny and Tim, to name just some of them. Steve gave us our security passes and lanyards then we all piled onto the coach.  There was a quiet buzz on the coach with everyone talking, not loudly, but with that 'it's still very early morning' hushed type of voices.  I looked out of the window of the coach, the sun had just started to brighten up the sky, promising a beautiful day for all, maybe even a tad too hot for the runners!

It took about 30 to 40 minutes to get to the coach drop off point and then it was a short walk to the red start.
Short walk to the Red Start!

 Our first priorities, well it was for me, was the loo stop!  Even if I am not running, I see a loo and I need to use it!  Of course it's all portaloos that are available, but as this is early morning, and not a sign of a runner yet, there was no queues, there was loo roll and there was hand washing gel stuff!  And no, this year I decided not to attempt the 'Ladies Urinals'!

Unused loos!

So then our second priority was coffee!  It's still early and the caffeine is well and truly needed, although by now the excitement of what is to come has started to fill the air, the atmosphere started to get a great buzz as everyone was busy at their stations! 

Me, Emma and Sue
After a briefing from Steve and then from the main baggage coordinator we went back to our lorries in preparation for the first runners to bring their bags to put on the lorries.  I think in the red start there were about 30 lorries in all, (I only know that because I head a policeman ask our driver if he was driving this one or lorry number 30).

The London marathon is such a well organised event.  I didn't even realise, last year, that most people on the ground are all volunteers!  They all give their time and energy up for this one great event to make it run as smoothly as possible for all the thousands of runners that take part!  Amazing!  In the baggage lorries there are numbers corresponding to the runners numbers, and they hand their bags to the team on the ground who then hand it to those on the lorry.  As soon as the start has been sound the lorries all close up and make their way to the finish, where another team of willing enthusiastic volunteers hand back the bags to the runners at the other end!  It's all very simples!
Team 29 Lorry!

I was positioned on the lorry, there were three people on each lorry, (Orpingon Parkrunners had 3 lorries to cover) with a team of 4 or 5 on the ground taking the bags from the runners, making sure that all the runners had their chip in place,  numbers on the bags matched the numbers on runners, and, very importantly, those that needed their medication had it with them! (Even people with asthma run marathons!)  So, really I had it fairly easy up on the lorry! All I had to do was stack the bags in a nice orderly fashion, making sure that they were tied as well!

At first we all just waited, danced along to the music, looked out towards the field that will soon be overwhelmed with eager and nervous and excited runners.  But also there were the security guys, just keeping an eye on things.  Although no one likes to think of the worst, but thoughts of Boston will always be part of our thoughts now, whether we run it, watch it or be part of the volunteer team.  And it was reassuring to see that the dog patrol was keeping an eye, or I should say a nose out for things.  He was a gorgeous dog, name of Charlie. 

We had our first runner with his bag on our lorry.  His number corresponding to the front section of the lorry and his own number on his shirt!

Our First Bag!

I was on the end of the lorry, Ginny was in the middle section.  I think we worked out that there would be at least four to five hundred  bags in each section.  Fortunately we don't have to put them out in numbered fashion!  Because when the time comes the bags will be coming in thick and fast.  But for the first hour or so standing on top of the lorry we just enjoyed the music that was playing, and chatting and getting excited as the crowds began to grow.

Then the bags started coming, still none for my section, it seemed the front of the lorry was filling up first!  I was imagining that the lorry would 'tip up' for being loaded all at the front first! Of course it wouldn't happen, but when you're waiting for things to happen and getting paranoid that you seem to be surplus to requirements, well this thought kept me amused! And then this happened.

My first bag!

But surplus to requirements was never on the agenda, as slowly, one by one, a bag appeared for me to place neatly in place, then two at a time, and soon they were coming really fast, it was all systems go!  We all worked like clockwork, with just one or two numbers being on the wrong lorry!  Well the numbers, if you not used to huge long numbers can get a bit confusing,  My numbers read 36,399 - 35,951 or at least something like that, I am sure the photos may show you the number ranges!  I was also making sure I was tying them up so that nothing would spill out of them, until the ground team members started to call to the runners them selves to make sure that all their bags were securely tied before being handed over!  The bending and the placing, and the catching, (if the bags were not too heavy) was all going on.  It's amazing just how much is left to the last minute as people come running up looking for their number on the lorry! 

And then also one or two people had forgotten to put things out, and just quickly grabbing it back from the ground team members before they handed it to me.  But there was one chap who wanted to put something in his bag, he came behind the barrier to ask me for his bag! "I just gave it to you about 5 minutes ago" he said to me.  But just at that last five minutes I was handed about 20 bags and placed them on top or on the side or at the back or the now hundreds of bags! Hundreds of bags that all look the same (apart from the numbers obviously). So I am afraid that gentleman had to run with what ever he was trying to put into his bag!

But apart from that, I think all runners and all the teams did really well getting their bags onto the lorries to get to the finish line for them, but for those that had missed the opportunity to have the 'valet' service of their bags arriving at the finish they needn't of panicked too much, as there was a last minute 'late baggage truck on hand.

After the mass start had finally filed through the start mats Steves team were debriefed and then stood down.  A brilliant executed time done!  And I had thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, even though I did start to feel a bit unwell while on the lorry, with the sun shining directly on to me, and the bags kept coming.  But there was a lull were I could just take a rest for a few minutes to recover, darn this cold virus!!

The Finished Lorry with our lorry driver!

And that's just the middle section!

Then it was on to find our other PWR supporters team at Tooley Street to cheer on our runners!  As we heading toward the observatory, just after we went to look at the red start mass leaving, we saw two very late comers, heading the wrong way!  We pointed them in the right direction.  And as we walked, over the tannoy a few minutes later we head the "Come on ladies, where have you been, surely the queues for the loos weren't that long"  me, Sue and Emma chuckled!

Here is our team and some other photos of  'A Morning In the Life of....' 

Looking towards the City Of London
Gorgeous day for getting your toes wet!

The Whole of Steve's Team (Steve in yellow tabard)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hello! It's Here At Last!

Hello blog lovers.

It's quite a short couple of blogs, my memory is useless for keeping information in it after a few days, and it files things in the, 'when you least need it, you will recall this moment' filing cabinet in my brain!  This is one of the reasons I started to record all of my exercising in the first place, just so that I can see how far I have come on!

You may have thought I had dropped off the face of the earth. But for a week I felt like I had!  So let me start from Tuesdays last week, because of my lack of organisational skills of late I hadn't actually asked anyone to help me with group 0, but for the last couple of weeks we have been managing quite well between ourselves.  I was feeling the cold virus getting to me, and I made a suggestion that the group might want to do some relay type of running around the green. I thought I might use my Leadership skills in directing the proceedings from the middle of the green.

Yes it is a bit like exercise, some love it, some absolutely hate it.  And we do have sessions like that each summer, which I am hoping to get my group 0 members along to, so I didn't push them to do the relay session. Instead I chose the easier of our two routes, with the option for me to cut it short for myself while I send the rest of the group for the full run!

I guess you are wondering why I was doing that, well, it's because I was 'saving' a bit of energy for group 1, I was going to be leading it!  The group 0 members we all very good to me, and they all kept together really well that evening.  Well I did cut my run short, as the all headed for the long undulating roads, Great Thrift, Hazelmere etc, I took Towncourt Lane and went into the Park through the back way to wait for them!

I had given my Garmin to JJ to continue with the route, (and so that I can look at their pace later!) so the geeky stats will show that my heart and flat lined! But let me assure you that I was perfectly well! (apart from this stupid cold thing)  Anyway, the girls did very well and met me back in the park for a warm down stretch.

Here is the geeky stats for Tuesday 8th Group 0 run.

Group 1

As I had said a little earlier, I was leading this group as well!  Can you believe it! Me?! Leading group 1.  All the other usual group 1 leaders were either away, injured or even leading other groups, so I just kind of volunteered to do it!  I volunteered before I started to feel unwell!  But again, I chose a route that would be beneficial to me and hopefully to all other members of the group today.  It was the Kelvin Parade route.  It has a twiddly bit in the beginning, which meant that I had to keep up fairly well in the leadership role to show them where to go, or even to direct any front runners, and then the second half of the run is a straight road, almost, on the way back, so there they can pick up a bit of speed, and then to just wait at the 'regrouping' stop by the off license (which is now a mini mart) for the back runners and sweeper to catchup!

It all went really well, just as I hoped it would.  Ok, so I wasn't quite in the front of the group like typical leaders should be, but then again I am not your typical leader!  And I think everyone had a good run, and we all stretched out after when we got back to the rec.  I didn't lose anyone, and thankfully no fallers on my first leading assignment for group 1. 

This is about as much as I can remember from last week, for after this I cam home, and just downloaded the geeky stats and put them up on facebook for those that wanted to see the pace and route, and then I rested! In fact I rested for the next two days, more or less in bed!  The cold virus really did a number on me, 100 to be exact, 100 was the temperature that I was running for two days solid!  I was feeling really awful.

So no running for me.  I hope to get back to my running tomorrow with my group 0 members, and back to sweeping duties with group 1.  All is right with the world!

Look out for tomorrows blog!, which will be written the following day as Tuesday we will be celebrating after our club runs with all the spring marathoners at the pub! And also a bonus blog as well, also due out tomorrow, (Tuesday 15th!)

Geeky stats for Group 1 Tuesday 8th April.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Thank Goodness For Neighbours!

Hello blog lovers.

Today I really wasn't 'feeling' it.  The lack of running for this past week, due to hospital visits and ambulances, have taken its toll on my mojo again.  I feel pleased that I at least managed to get out for a bike ride on Saturday at least. 

So you can imagine how my 'mojo' felt when I stopped to chat to Naggy Neighbour Karin, on the way back from dropping my grandson off to his mothers.  I mentioned to her that I should have been thinking of doing a long run today, but had talked myself out of it, and so maybe I was just going to trot around a 3 mile route.  She too was 'not feeling' it today as well. and was all in a mind set to get home, pj's on and snuggle up next to the dog for the evening!

So it was just perfect that we bumped into each other, we both encouraged each other to get on our running gear and go running together.  She had to take her dog out for a walk first, so I had a half hour wait.  That was almost too much for my poor mojo.  It was already looking forward to snuggling under the snuggle blanket and chatting to folk on facebook!  I had a 'false alarm' knock at the door as the wind blew the letter box opened!  That just goes to show how much I was not in the mood for running today. 

But soon enough NaggyNeighbourKarin was at the door, we both stood outside with our hands up to the sky, as we tried to capture the satellite signal with our Garmins.  Hers was the first to download, and so we just went with that, I just pushed the start button on mine and hoped that the satellites will find me on route. 

She started out at what seemed like break neck speed!  I was puffing and panting and looking at her back and her ponytail swishing as she ran along, and we were still just on our road!  The route we were taking is one of her shorter routes, about 3.2 miles I believe, and it's one that I have done before, but I can't remember the psychological stopping points!  It's going to feel like a new route. 

We were going on the path that would take us to 'turnaround lamppost' but instead of going to the end we were going to take the left hand turn and go through the park and then right to head up to the bus garage.  I think I had a quick walking stop there, just to catch my breath.  It really did seem as if we were going at break neck speed, so when she told me that we were only do 12 mi/ml I was quite surprised.  My energy levels must still be at home, snuggled under my snuggle blanket! 

But then Naggy Neighbour showed her true colours! "Come on, no stopping, we're not even a mile yet" Oh yes, Naggy Neighbour is back! And she hasn't lost the technique to conjure up thoughts in me of "How the bloomin eck did I get here, chasing after her! I should be sat at home" and "Well, she is 10 years younger, or more, than me, what does she expect"  I would expect her to start feeling my thoughts aiming for her, like little darts, as I stared at her back. 

We ran towards the A21, my favourite road! Not! and then we turned right to head towards Crown lane.  We were going to the roundabout and the turn right to head on home. And then came the clincher, the thing that kept me going, "If you stop any more then I shall add on a road a time!" Said NNK! No!!  I really only want to do 3 miles tops!  You know sometimes when your body and your mind at working against what you want to achieve.  I need to put some miles in for our half marathon, NNK is also doing the same half marathon, so I really had to kick my arse out of the door this evening, and then have NNK to help keep me going was brilliant.  But at that particular time, I was thinking, "I should have gone by myself, I would have a walking break by now" and "I would so be going much slower if I was by myself"  In fact NNK told me we were going about 12 mi/ml for the first mile.  The satellites still had not found me, and I was running 'blind'.  Probably just as well, if I knew how far or fast we were going then I would have done something about it, like slow down!

Running down the A21 and I was really wanting to have a walk, but NNK kept looking behind her.  She offered me her drink, I thought that maybe I could use the moment to slow to a walking pace to take it, but I kept on running!  I nearly drowned myself doing it! As the drink went down my chin and up my nose!  I have never been good at the whole drinking on the go!

I was really pleased that we started running down Crown Lane, this means that we are moving closer to home now!  So far only, I think, 2 little walking stops!  I was quite pleased with myself.  I am not sure what kept me running today, maybe it was because I really wasn't feeling it, and that I just wanted to get home and get it finished, or maybe it was because NNK was with me today, we haven't ran together for ages!  And maybe I was just trying to not let her down, show off, or just keep up with her!  But the think is that I kept up with the running.

I had another little walk down Southborough, before we turned right to go through our local park. I think I have done enough running so as not to make NNK think about adding another road, well not tonight at least! It was while we were running along Parkfield that the satellites finally found me I think!  Or at least that was when I noticed that I was running at 54 min mileing!! As if, I don't think I have ever been than slow.....have I?

Just the last little bit to go and I was feeling tired but very pleased with myself.  I didn't want to get to complacent as I still had Whitebeam to run and then to run down our road.  I kept up as good a pace as I could manage.  We finished our run and I switched off my Garmin.  Then NNK told me the splits, 12:21 for first mile, 11:21 second and 12:06 for the last mile!  Not bad for a couple of runners who 'were not feeling it' today!  I am sure I held NNK back a bit, but I think she was pleased that she went out for a run today!  I know I am very pleased that she came running!  Looking forward to the next run!  Thanks Karin!

Here is my geeky stats, and I shall try and get NNK geeky stats from her later!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Club Night - And Short Sleeves!

Hello blog lovers.

Group Hero

Well, what a brilliant night it turned out to be.  First of all, turning up at the rec in broad daylight was just brilliant.  It's nice to see every ones faces for the first time in what seems like ages! And then also to see CupcakeMoy who is back among the fold again.  Six members today, and because I was not organised it was just me with my whistle to keep the group together. Denise was back with us as well, after her fall last week it's always a bit scary coming back out again.  But, runners are runners, they just get on and do it!  Also here in the capacity of just 'coming along and see how I do' is SingstarJo.  And because I have seen her name of facebook I feel I can add it here!  And I was most pleased she was here as well because she kept Michelle company at the back, while I sorted of floated between the others, well the others that were just in front of SingstarJo and Michelle.

I was still aching a bit from my 6 and half mile run yesterday, I think its because I didn't stretch out properly after it.  I just came in a quick, 15 second stretch and then collapsed in my chair. Not good, and certainly not what we do at club runs!

Anyway the route today, was the Birchwood route.  I will find a nice 2.5 mile route through the woods soon, get group Hero back to where we belong running, PWR's woody trails!  Fresh air, traffic free, muddy bits (just a few remaining spots now) and peace! That's what its all about!

The up hill of Birchwood seemed like ti was just a slight bump with everyone easily running up it non stop! Various differing paces, but they all just got up it on the hoof!  Made me very proud.   I was also doing the loop backs with them.  And just to be a little demon, I whistle them when they were running up Birchwood!  The came back to me running at their usual pace.

I did the whistle trick a couple of other times.  But I think they were feeling a little as the last couple of times I used my whistle, they just jogged on the spot!  But that's what its all about.  We all started off together and we will all finish together.  Anyway, back to the run.

The nice down hill section was welcomed by us all, it feels good to just let the downward pull of the hill take you over, and all you had to do was just lift your feet up! Simples.  Towards the end of the down hill section, I asked if S.S.J. wanted to do the very short cut and get back to her car, but she kept on with us.  Just doing the nice gently easy pace is just what is needed to help boost your confidence about running after an injury, and it also just let you know exactly how much you can push yourself without hurting yourself again, and also without the pressure of keeping up with others in the faster groups.

We managed just over two and bit miles, along with the warm down and warm ups we were back at the rec just as the first of the 8 o'clock runners arrived.  A great run this evening, and I feel very blessed that I can be here to help and encourage all our runners back to fitness and get back to group 1 pace and maybe even beyond that.

Geeky stats for you.

Group 1

It was still quite light when all the runners started to arrive at the park.  It really is great to see familiar faces with the familiar voices coming from them.  It's all seems such a long time ago!  Our Leader today was Illustrious Leader.  She described this route as fairly flat with just the hill at the end.  Well, as I have said before, beware when leaders say 'It's fairly flat' because you just know there is a couple of nasty little blighters hiding among the flat bits.

I was being sweeper again today, along with Janet. This is her first run since holiday away, so she said would deffo be at the back.. Still has holiday indulgence to get rid of.  I can't believe how my legs still hurt.  Even though I did the warm down stretches with group 0 I still feel very achy.  I was really going to have to be tough on myself to keep up with the others today.

The first test was St Johns road.  It is a slight incline up.  I kept on the road to run, keep away from the ups and downs of the driveways, and keeping away from the tree roots.  I was still behind the main group and there was a bit of a gap, but I tried not to let it get too big a gap.

We were going to turn right, cross over the road and then turn left.  This road leads to a dead end, (probably what I will feel like when I get there!) where I.L. will send the front runners to do a little loop back while the back markers and anyone needed a rest will wait by the little path way which we will take. 

After this it was doing a little twiddly bit before heading up to that dreaded hill, Cardiac Hill.  It's a frightening hill if you hear the name for the first time. In fact its a frightening even if you know the hill!  I was going to try and do as much running on it as possible.  Jan was there to help me get up it.  Using the same tactics that I used with her when she first started running.  See how 'The pupil becomes the teacher'!  But not matter how much you run you can always use people there to encourage you on to do you best!

I did run up some of the hill, not all of it, but that is something I am going to have to work on. I may even use this route to create a long route for me next Monday! It's going to be 7 miles or so next Monday, and I do need to practise hills!

After we ran the hill we headed back towards Crossways, now Jan noticed that either the group were running slower or we were just keeping up nicely with them because there was hardly a gap between us!

It was a good run, and so very warm!  I was absolutely sweating......oh hang on there was something said by the ladies earlier that 'ladies don't sweat, we just get warm' or something.  Well I was warm, very warm!  My face was so warm I felt it melting on to my tee shirt!  Brilliant!  Love summer, even though running during warmer days seems to be tougher than running in the winter!  But just love it!

Oh and I did mention to the ladies that I really fancied one of the cold cans left over from mothers day celebrations, chilling nicely in the fridge! Yeah, that went down a treat!

Geeky stats for you.