Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Club Nights!

Hello blog lovers.

It was a perfect running evening, weather was perfect, no rain, no wind and great company.  I was really, really ready for a run. But my first run I was in the lead.

Group 0

When I am leading group I am focused, making sure that every one is ok with the pace, and doing what they feel comfortable with. And believe me, sometimes that includes me going passed my comfort zone, and not stopping, even on hills!  Yesterday saw the return of Clare and her friend, whose name has gone completely out of my head. Also there was Auriol and Wendy!  A nice group of ladies.

The route was the Birchwood route, the shorter one.  Even though I was in need of a run, I was tired, emotionally tired more than anything, and I thought if I was to manage group 1 then I needed to just take it easy now.  Of course it's still challenging, what with the hill to get up.  And because it is the shorter route I decided to do some warm up exercises first.  It's what is needed in the winter, summertime it's not too bad, the runs are slightly longer and in the woods, which are all ups and downs!

Clare and her friend stayed in the front and Wendi and Ariol were behind me, I was leading from the middle, a perfect place!  There wasn't that much space between the two pairs of ladies, and we were all fairly tight together.  Clare and her friend, although not been running for ages, did really well.  Wendi and Ariol kept up and kept going, taking only the walking or stopping breaks that I had planned.

Wendi brain is still wanting to do tons more than her what she is ready for, but for this run there was no problem.  I was helping her get back to doing park runs, getting around the whole 5k route, but she has already done that!  Not only that, she has 6 months to train to do the Brighton Marathon!  See what I mean about her brain!!  Still, she has a good foundation again now, and I know she will train with self preservation in mind!  

Group 1 

After group 0 I thought that maybe I had run myself out, but when I head that it was our clubs 8th birthday then I just knew I had to find the energy to run with the group.  In fact I had convinced myself that it will do me more good than anything else.

And I did feel good, after saying goodbye to all the group 0 and saying hi to the rest of Petts Wood runners, I did feel my spirits lift a bit.  SingstarJo was leading today, and she is getting over a cold or some sort of virus, so I knew that the pace will be perfect 'Old Girl' style pace!  But it was the whole going down Cardiac Hill that just threw me a bit as I knew we would have to come up again somewhere!

Illustrious Leader was taking the sweepers position, all introductions of newbies done, and then we were on our way.  There were about 15 or so in group 1 today, I nice number of runners, with SingstarJo in the lead we made our way.  The pace turned out to be just perfect for me. Although I was at the back (nothing new then!) I was still well with in the group.  

I started to release some stress, my shoulders started to relax a bit more, I stopped thinking about keeping up with the group, I stopped thinking about whether I will be too far behind and just emptied my mind.  The trouble with me though, is my mind wont stay empty.  I began to think about all that had happened yesterday, which then brought about other sad and painful memories.  Memories that will never leave me, but ones that I can usually think about in the privacy of my own home!

Things that happened way back in 2007 had bought me to that very point, running along the road, keeping fit.  Hard work, always battling to stay fit! Why? Was the question that ran through my mind, Why, when things can happen anyway!  Even to the most fittest of people.  I just stopped running, and sobbed, just for a few short seconds!  But the stress of the day needed to come out, I just didn't expect it to come out just like that though!

Illustrious Leader noticed that I was a little way back and did a quick loop back for me, we caught up with the others who were having a catchup break.  I said to I.L. that I would probably take the shorter route back to the rec, just in case those tears stopped me in my tracks again!  As it happened one of the newbies wanted to do the shorter route as well and the three of us, me the newbie and I.L. ran with the pack until we got to the end of Beaumont road and then we made our way back to the rec from there.

It was a good run, and a good pace for me, and I still believe it done me more good than anything else.

Geeky stats.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Just A Bit Late!

Hello blog lovers.

On Friday I had time for another little jog about with Michelle C.  I was planning on about 7k, but I wasn't going to tell Bims if she turned up, I was just going to do it.  But Bims actually forgot and was still in bed, the other Michelle couldn't make it either, so it was just going to be me and Michelle C.

But when Michelle C told me that she had injured a toe, kicked a bed or wall or door, and her toe was bruised and very sore, I said that we wouldn't do 7k, and just do a nice route through the woods with plenty of ways to cut it short if she was feeling too painful!  Michelle is now your typical runner.  She hurt herself just before coming out, but she had it in her mind to go running, and running she most certainly was going to do!

What could I say to her!? So I chose the route that we did on the Thursday, there are plenty of  paths that can cut the run short and get back to the rec.  There was no talking her out of it, "It hurts, but it will hurt even if I don't run" she said "What more damage can I do to it" was her reasoning!

So we began our run, just the two of us, and it was a rather lovely day as well.  Perfect for running, not to cold, we just went in through dog poo ally and then took the path to the right of the main path in the middle of the woods.  I managed to run up the entire hill on this time round!  It's funny how things work out!  One day a not so good run and then the next day a good run.  I felt a lot better that I did the day before, I guess the geeky stats will tell if it was any quicker.

Bims finally called me when we got to Botany Bay Lane, she said that she had just woken up and realised that she had forgotten she was coming running!  It's her age, you know.  The grey matter is just not 'sticky' any more, nothing gets retained in there too long these days!

Anyway, it was a great run, and we did the whole of the route that we did the day before, no shortcut needed, and both Michelle and I enjoyed it immensely, although I think her toe would be complaining (if it could talk!)

P.s. it's a short blog because my grey matter don't retain much these days either!

Geeky stats!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Some Days Good, Some Days.......

Hello Blog lovers.

This morning was just perfect running conditions! First of, kids all in school! Second the weather was just perfect, and thirdly I had running buddies!  I was feeling totally up for it, in my mind, my body was complaining a little.  Just a few aches and pain, not running related, just achy, tired type of thing, and sniffles, just slightly, but there, letting me know that 'actually Old Girl, you're harbouring a virus, so take care' type of aches.  Of course, being a runner, I totally ignore that and tell myself a run is what I need.

Just love the Thursday sessions with the gang, because we can run through the woods.  Everybody knows that being out in the fresh air is just what the doctors order!  In the group today is Dawn, Denise and her daughter Kirsty and Michelle.S, a lovely bunch of ladies to be spending an hour with!  DiscoRich has his bevy of lovely lasses that he will be taking for a 5 miler somewhere.

We took a bit of a mystery tour (although I didn't plan it that way in my mind) I kind of knew the way I was heading, it's just that are so many little paths and big paths in the woods, I occasionally get it wrong.  But quite frankly, I'm not too bad for an old Townie, I used to be able to jump on the tubes in London and get around as quick as anything!  In the woods there are no names on the paths, and they all fairly similar!  It's just as well its not a huge woods really! But I am sure if I look as if I know where I am going  the gang wont lose their confidence in my leading!

I did the first bit just fine, all up hill, and when I say fine, I mean I didn't take the wrong path.  My stamina on the other hand seems to be left somewhere.  My legs, ache, my bones ache! But I kept going.  I don't really have any other symptoms of a cold, slight sniffles but that could be because I was slightly cold just waiting to start running.

I took a 10 second walk as I sent the others on, I can lead from the back! And I know these ladies, they wont go down any path until they have checked back with me.  We got to the right spot that I wanted to get to with no problem, and that's just at the vehicle access gate on Chislehurst Road, we then turned left to run towards the top of the woods.

Because I have never run this way I wasn't sure how many left hand paths we had passed.  I knew which path I wanted if we came up by the rail lines, but it's good to change things about.  I underestimated how many!  I should have gone on for one more.  But it is still a path that I have ran on before and it still bought us to the sundial, where I wanted to be!

From here I knew exactly which path to take.  But just to be a bit different I lead them on to the path that take us past the pond, on the boardwalk, just for a bit of fun!  It is a bit smelly going past there, but in the summer I do like coming this way just to look at the dragon flys that seem to love hanging around this part!

It was a great run, the ladies were all running really well indeed, in fact they all seemed to be running tons better than I did.  But in the true spirit of Petts Wood runners, we all just supported each other, waited patiently, encouraged and quite frankly just had a great time!  I love my club, we do have some fabulous people!

There was one thing about my run today and that was that I decided that maybe doing two runs today was probably not a good idea, so track session will be for next week! extra run during the day tomorrow will be enough for this week!

Geeky stats for you all.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tuesdays Club Night!

Hello blog lovers

Group 0

I didn't know how many would be turning up today, I knew a couple of people wouldn't be, but I also knew a couple of the Saturday beginners group will be coming along.  So I had to be there.  At least the rain had stopped and the wind had died down, Hurricane Gonzalo is still reeking havoc over the planet, and tonight it was Britain's turn.

As it happened, just Vanessa and Georgina came along, they are on the Saturday beginners group, and they wanted to come along for group 0.  It' was still windy and it was getting a tad bit chilly too.  The route I had in mind today was the undulations of Hazelmere, Great Thrift and Woodland Way and the through the high street before coming back down again.  It's a great route, those little hills to set you a challenge, whether your a beginner or coming back from injury, with the nice flat bit of the high street, nice and bright and well lit.  

I had remembered to bring my little torch, just to light up the bits of pavement that were a dark, where the tree roots started to appear and crack the tarmac.  The two ladies today, well, you wouldn't be able t tell they were beginners the way they were running up Great Thrift!  Chatting away, not even sounding out of breath.  But then Vanessa is quite a sporty sort of person anyway, tennis, cycling and mountain climbing, and her daughter, well, she's young!  

We took a walking break when we got to the memorial, we didn't stop to catch our breath, we just walked for a bit until we got to the bridge and then started running again.  They seemed to be taking this run in their stride!  I think after they have finished the beginners group they will fit quite comfortable into group 1 and maybe even quickly entering the ranks of group 2 before to long!

A great run this evening, a tiny bid windy, but at least it was nice not running in the rain!  Here's the geeky stats for group 0

Group 1

No Illustrious Leader, no SingstarJo, and no watch to keep an eye on ZippySherry (new nick name for our Sherry!) who was taking out group 1.  Although ZippySherry has a Garmin, she also has this easy style of running about her.  When she is talking to anybody some how her legs just go into over drive, and before you know it we are all zipping along at a faster than usual pace.  Maybe this is just what I need.  I can't remember the last time I ran without my Geeky stats recorder!  I felt quite naked actually!  I think this run could be good for me!

I was running at the back with JJ, it just goes to show how this running bug effects our brain cells, as JJ has a bit of a cold, yet she still came out for a run.  I remember in the 'old days' if I so much as sneezed through moving dust I would have laid up flat for two weeks to recuperate!  Yet just like JJ, if the bug is all above the neck then there is no reason to be sat in doors!  What a weird bunch of people we are!

For those of you who read Saturdays beginners blog, I told you about the hill we took the group up.  And that some of them looked panic stricken.  Well today ZippySherry thought that all in group 1 could do with running up there, at group 1 speed of course, well, group 1 warming up speed!  

It wasn't till we got to the top and turned left out of Kingsway, that I started to think about the route she would be taking.  ZS mentioned Southborough Lane, now Southborough Lane from here is one of two ways,Birchwood, down to Crossways again and then run up Petts Wood Road to the mememorial or, and I feared it would be the case, Birchwood, Hazlemere, Great Thrift and Woodland Way!  I was right to be fearful!  "Oh no, why did I chose this route for group 0 this evening"  I think that maybe I should liase with group 1 leaders before I plan group 0's route!

It's going to be a challenge again for me.  Tired legs, plus I did get a bit chilled before we started group 1, so my muscles were complaining a little.  I did have a couple of walks up the hill, but only because I was sweeper and I didn't want to let the girl be the last one behind (that's my excuse and I am sticking to it).  We eventually had a first break at the top of the hills, not quite to the memorial hall, but at Towncourt, the other side!  It was tough, enjoyable, but tough.

From here were were going to go over the bridge and then down Southborough and turn left at to Oxhawth until Crescent Drive.  There was going to be a next catch up.  Those with the fast legs will be able to run around the triangular bit of green, those that wanted to stop altogether can do so just there while they waited for any (meaning me!) last runners to catch up.

It was while we were there that ZippySherry said some about running UP Lakeswood.  "I thought we would be going down Shepperton" I said to her, I am sure I did here her mention that.  But then she said that she was not quite sure of those roads, I quickly jumped in and said "I do"  I think maybe I must have looked a bit desperate! I just didn't fancy running up any more inclines this evening!  "Ok" said ZS "You take the lead"  Me? Lead Group 1? Of course I said ok!  Gulp.  But it was done at my pace, I was planning on handing back the reins to Sherry when we got to Tudor Way.

Once Sherry took back the lead I settle back into sweeper mode!  Very pleased that I didn't have to do any more inclines!

A great run though, and I think it was good running without a watch!  I must try it again some time!  And try not to get so hooked on my Garmin!  They are great tools, and I love seeing those calories eaten up by my running, but it was good to doing some 'free' running :-)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Who Don't Like Mondays?

Hello blog lovers.

The morning started off early with the alarm going at 6:30, I usually can fall asleep again after the Old Boy has gone down stairs for his morning coffee, but this morning I just couldn't.  So I got up had my shower and then it was time for my grandson to turn up, so definitely no time for resting!

I thought this mornings run was going to be a good one with the girls.  The sun was shining and it was a lovely warm morning for October, I was looking forward to this run, I was hoping it would shake out the cobwebs.  When I got to Tracy's Wendi was already there, and she looked like she needed a run for completely different reasons that I did.

We started our 2 minutes of power walking up the hill, Tracy had said that she had been to Pilates and had run twice during the week, which was good, Wendi had a pretty horrible week and no running.  She was her usual chatty self, I just love listening to her, especially during the jogging bits, it just keeps your mind focused to what is needed to done.  She also had her Garmin set at walk/run instead of   run/walk, don't worry if that sounds weired, I am sure Wendi will be smiling when she reads that bit, so no both of us will be totally synced together!

The first of the 6 mins jog started and it started well, but Tracy was struggling a little.  Aching muscles, complaining like they have done 10k already, but she kept going and was pleased when the next 2 mins walk session came along.  Wendi was just in the zone, her much needed run and time out was doing her good.  We kept the patten going all the way to Bickly Manor, but we didn't get to the very first bench mark the we made on that first day.

Sometimes a run just doesn't want to be run.  You really do need to push yourself harder to get going.  Your muscles complain, you feel like those jogging moments will never end, and with someone who cares about you telling you "Come on that's it, keep going"  then all you want to do is tell them to shut the heck up because "I am moving Old Girl"

Today was a tough run for Tracy, but she did it, she didn't stop on those jogging sections, she kept going, with the look of determination that will make the Terminator be proud, either that of she really did want to wallop me!  Wendi had a great run too, she definitely enjoyed her run, even doing some loop backs.  she is looking forward to coming along to group 0, maybe next week, see how she does on the 8 minutes of jogging.

Geeky stats.

That wasn't then end of my jogging today, because of the Old Boys car, just like on Friday I am doing an extra run.  His car failed the MOT so it was back in the garage this morning to have all the repairs done so that it can get the certificate.  Well the work was completed, they called me so I, like the good girl that I am, ran along and picked it up!

It's only just over a mile a way, so I though I would be able to run the whole way.  And just like Tracy this morning, it just wasn't there.  I tried to slow my pace down, think about my breathing, but I struggled to keep going. I got there, of course, but with the run/walk method that I know and love, even for just this tiny little run.  We all have off days, it just so happens ours happened on a Monday!

My next solo run I shall concentrate just that little bit more!

Geeky stats.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Saturday Beginners!

Hello blog lovers

It's a bit late in coming, but it's finally here. Yesterday the Autumn beginners were going out on to the road for the first time!  Not only that but there is a particular steep hill, well it's steep if you have never run up hill before.

Sherry and Hels were taking the session today, heading out just on the roads near the rec.  There were four leaders so we can spread our selves between all the runners, it looked as if there were over 30 yesterday.  A brilliant number of runners still in the programme.  The session today was 8 minutes jogging and 2 mins walking.  And the first of the 8 minutes was going up hill!

After the warm up power walk and the drills, we jogged around the rec to see how the groups would be.  I (thankfully as I was still aching from my running sessions this week) was assigned the sweeper! My usual place of which I a proud of.  We started out for our first 'on the roads' jog, coming out of the main entrance to the rec and crossing over the road to run up Wood Rise.  No easing into these hills, we are heading straight for the beastly incline.

I was at the back keeping an eye on everyone, Hels was leading with Sherry and Della encouraging all those in the middle.  Just three reps of the 8/2 jog/walk, maybe get two laps of this little loop before times up.

Tracey looked totally worried, not only about running for 8 minutes but about the incline that seemed to be like a mountain rising before us.  "I don't think I will be able to do it" she said. "You can do it, just take it nice and easy, keep your breathing under control and use your arms to propel you up there as well" I said.  I am not sure how much of that she heard as she looked determinedly at the hill.  The worried look on her face as she ran up the hill was unwarranted!  She did it!  No stopping at all, the two minutes of walking, however, was very much welcomed by her.  But I am sure I saw a faint smile around her lips when we started that first 2 minutes of walking!

The second of the 8 minutes jog started up, and we were just coming into Crossways, and when she saw that the group were heading back up Wood Rise there was almost panic on her face.  I totally reassured her that she could do it, just to take it easy and if she did need to walk that that was fine.  She said "I really don't think I will be able to run all the way this time" She was most convinced of that, but I stayed with her, chatting, keeping her thoughts positive, and then the second of the 8 minutes started.

Her face was a picture, the sheer determination of her face to at least run as much of this second 8 minutes of jogging was such a delight to see.  Because that is all you need, the 'determination', the 'will'.  We know that she can run, because she has already done it!  It's that 'I will' that will get you through.

There was another runner that was having problems with her calf and she was stretching out.  I said to Tracey to keep going I shall be right behind her, and she kept on going.  The other lady started to walk for a bit until the she felt able to carry on jogging.  And then she kept on and on and got back into the swing of things.  We caught up to Tracey and I stayed at the back to encourage them.  The third of the 8 minutes started, and Tracey said "I can't do that hill again" I reassured her that there wasn't any need as we could finish off in the park as that will be time up by then anyway.

As it happened our time finished just as we got to the gate anyway.  Some of the other front runners came down from Wood Rise to go into the park.  The looked really pleased with them selves, and I don't blame them, they all did really well!  The very front runners, well, I think Hels and the others were doing one more lap of the hill!

A fabulous session with the beginners today, and Tracey looked totally pleased with herself!  After thinking that she wouldn't even be able to run 8 minutes around the park, she was able to run 8 minutes three times, and twice up hill!

I love seeing people achieve things they thought they couldn't do!  Love it, really love it!

Geeky stats!  Oh, and ignore the really fast bit from the rec down to Tudor Lane, I didn't suddenly turn into superwoman, I forget to switch of my Garmin and I was in my car!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Petts Wood Runners Do It Again!

Hello blog lovers.

Waking up with sun still just peeking out from the cover of night on a Sunday morning and I was getting out of my bed.  Unheard of for me, unless there is an aeroplane I need to be on.  What made it even harder was watching my hubby snuggle into my spot of my nice warm bed.

I reluctantly entered the bathroom and turned on the shower,  I was not looking forward to how the water was going to feel on my body.  What I wanted, was to be snuggled up in bed, in my spot, with the duvet up to my chin!  But then I started to think about why I was up a such an early time, (well for me anyway) on that Sunday morning.  It looked like it was going to be a fab day, at least there was no rain. It's was the day of our Petts Wood Runners 10k event.

I began to feel more awake after my shower, I dressed and went down for a cuppa.  It was too early for me to eat breakfast, I had planned to grab something at the rec when everything was set up!  I knew that Higgs the butchers were going to be there, with their BBQ and bacon!  Yes, when I could smell the bacon I would leave what ever post I was on to grab my breakfast!

After my tea I went out to the back garden to get my transport!  Now I could lie and say that it's the 'green' thing to do.  Our event is about how green we can be, with mainly paper cups, no posting of race booklets to all those who had paid their entrance fee, collection of race numbers and timing chips on the day at the registration tent!  But I won't lie, and no, it's not because I am super duper fitness crazy's because for the first time this year, Petts Wood Runners will be having a beer tent, hosted by One Inn The Wood, a new micro pub In Petts Wood.

I arrived at the rec and already there were PWR's all over the place, there were men with vans, trailers and cars, all busy unloading their cargo into the middle of the field.  Already the Start/Finish arch was up, taking pride of place on the field.  Every marque had its place.  St John Ambulance, baggage, registration, kids registration, St Christopers/Harris Hospice, Petts Wood Practise had a marque for post race massages.  And just to the right of those was the BBQ!  It was being set up!  I would be keeping a keen eye on that particular marque!

I found my team leader and waited for her to allocated jobs for me.  SingstarJo was my team leader, and our role today was the 'Race Makers', so much better label for us than 'race operatives',  or 'general use people'.  We had import roles to do, direct people to the right place, place and keep an eye on all bins in the rec,  being mindful of our green ethics, we had bins for paper, plastic and other!  We have thought of everything here.

We were also going to be used at the end for handing out the medals, bananas and water, plus clearing up after. I just love doing this, I was really excited.  I was given my first job of the day, and that was to place the bin bags (with paper/plastic/other labels) on to poles in strategic places.  Second job and was to stand at the gate at Towncourt Crescent to direct the runners towards the registration tent and to answer any questions that may have.

Towncourt Crescent entrance

After a while one of the other marshals brought me a cuppa, it was just what I needed!  I could also smell the bacon cooking, I think that was the next job for me!

Although the race began at 10:30 people were starting arriving from about 9:00 to collect their number, which also had their timing chip incorporated into it.  I remember last year the marshals were on the knees, in the mud with the rain pouring down, taking off the timing chips from the runners ankles! I think we learnt a lot about last years run, and how to cope if it rains on our Race Day!

It was soon time to get the marshals to the marshaling points, which meant that my time at the gate was up as the designated marshal for that position was there, ready to direct the runners to turn right as they came out of the gate. My next job, well that was obvious, bacon roll!  I was ready for my breakfast. All the marshals were given a little voucher to claim a free bacon roll!  Boy did I really enjoy that!

After queueing for my bacon roll, the warm up session had begun.  Adele was on the podium leading all the runners in a warm up, along with Woody and Woodina, our Petts Wood mascots, who with out fail has turned up every year since PWR began, of course this is Woodinas first time here with us!  I stood for a little while just watching them while eating my bacon sandwich, I decided not to join in, health and saftey and all that, I didn't want to choke on my roll!

I then received a call from Sue Radford, she was going to be one of our photographers, she did the photography at the 'Spirit of Running Man' event that I organised earlier in the year, and she has kindly said that she would do some photos of our event.  I met up with her, and she was amazed at all the organisation happening in the rec.  First things first was to get her a bacon roll.  Then I walked her to the 7km mark which was just inside the woods, through Dog Poo ally!

The Dirty Perks, will be performing an acoustic set there, to serenade the runners as they run through the woods.  I believe last year we had the 'Blues Brothers' playing!  Isn't it the most quirkiest of runs ever!  I think I have only ever been on one run when there was a band playing on route and that was the Santa Dash last year, but that was only about a mile from start to finish!

Serenading in the woods

By the time I had left Sue in the woods the race was under way!  It' was time to get into my next position.  The medals, bananans and water.  SingstarJo's team were in full swing as we bagan filling up the water cups and placing them the table ready for the runners to come back.  Our course record for the chaps is under 35 minutes, and the ladies make it 41 minutes!  Incredible speed, as it really is a multi-terrain course with some lovely 'undulations'!
Just leaving the field!

In the meantime the kids races got underway!  As soon as the last of the adults left the rec the Emma was calling for all the kids to get ready for their race.  A smooth as clockwork.  There were over a hundred kids! compared to last year when we had only a handful!  Fortunately somebody had given Emma another 20 or so kids 'Chocolate' Medals as me and David, our race Director only picked up 100!

Look at them go!

Just then there was an announcement, "The One Inn The Wood is now open" For the first time, PWR's have a beer tent, and dead on 11 it was open for business,

but no time for us yet as we were busy filling up cups. When there were quite a few water cups filled, some of us then went on to get ready with the medals.  Arms full with the medals, all chinkling and clanging on our arms, the kids also joined in with 'arming' themselves with the medals to hand out to the speedy, weary, happy runners that will be coming over the line, all 680 or so of them!

Hels with arm full of medals!

By the time the first runner was in place the band was back and playing some great tunes, I was rocking out to 'Sweet Child Of Mine'  brilliant stuff.  With kids all lined up hands eagerly stretching out to be the first one to hand out their batch of medals it was just a perfect sight!  The band playing, the noise from the medals.

The Dirty Perks!

At first just one runner, the winner, .............. came in, shortly followed by the second runner.............. and then a steady flow of 1 or 2 runners at a time came in.  Then there were more runners in a batch, each trying to get that little bit more speed as they saw their race opponents reaching the finishing line.  The kids now all very excited and were creeping ever so slowly to the finishing line, so my next job was to keep the kids and adults in line!  It's so easy to to take one step closer to hand out the medal but then forget to step back, and then to step forward again.  It's just all to exciting!

The steady flow of people came in for the next 45 - 60 minutes.  We waiting for the last runner marshals to show, making sure that no one was left behind in the woods.  With just a few miner cuts from brambles in the woods I don't think the St Johns Ambulance was need to do to much again this year!  Just a brilliant day, and it was over, there were the trophies to hand out, the band were continuing to play on, the beer tent was open, the bacon was cooking, tea was brewing and cakes being sold and eaten! And all on a perfectly dry running day for the Best 10k in the country for October as voted for by the readers and on line supports of Runners World!

Here are some links to videos of this years race!  The first is from our own Physio Mike, always manages to produce epic videous, the other one is from a youtube user.  And as soon as I know how to up add the other video with a twist then I shall add it on after!

Some more pictures of the day!

Our last runner marshals

Sarah and her customers, OITW

Rocking out to Dirty Perks.

We gave £4,000 pounds to them this year!

A much needed massage!

Keeping the kids happy!

Wood and Woodina! 

David our Race Director (and me, with my much appreciated beer)

It's just fabulous crossing that finishing line!

I for one can't wait for next years race.  What can we come up with for next year!

photos from Mike Reeves video and one from Clare Fisher

Friday, 17 October 2014

A little Extra!

Hello blog lovers.

Just a quickie, and a short one, both run and blog.  The Old Boys car was in for its annual MOT so that means just one thing, what to do with the half hour he says it will take!  Bacon butty at the cafe, watch through the viewing window at the chaps working on the Old Boys car? Tempting! But being one of these crazy people who find running fun it meant going for a short one.

We always use this garage to fix and MOT our cars, and it's right next to a couple of parks.  Normans Park and Whitehall rec.  Usually I have headed out to Normans Park trying to get back to the garage before the guys have finished the MOT, but usually I fail.  Today I thought I would try the other park.  It's a bit nearer, and a lot smaller.  I could do a couple of figure of 8's around there and then get back within the half hour!  Now I have a little race going on.

I handed them my keys and went outside and started my Garmin, waited for the satellites to find me and then off I went.  I was still in two minds which park to run through,  will I have enough time do run Normans or shall I stick to my plan of the smaller park.  I decided to stick to plan, (I really want to win!)

I started running towards the smaller park Whitehall Rec, the sun was shining, it was such a beautiful morning!  I was just so pleased to be out. This is an unplanned run, I was supposed to be having a rest day, or at least riding my bike, (less impact) my legs still feel like lead from yesterdays track session! I think going to the smaller park is the better choice! I made a pact with myself that if I wanted to walk then I would, and if people chatted to me then that's fine too!  It's an extra run today.

There were quite a few people using the park, mums with their children on bikes, loads of dogs with the owners!  I was imagining the conversations that the dogs would be having, it was keeping me amused.

Little white Scottie: "Hey, Rover, I think Daisy's been here, check it out, sniff here".
Rover: "Hey, I think you're right, hang on let me put my mark on this spot too"
Little white Scottie: "Jake, Jake, what's up dude" *sniffs butt* "Smelling good dude"
Jakes owner: "Jake, Jake, here boy, come on, here"
Jake: "Oh darn it, I wanted to see where Daisys been, I gotta go, they who must be obeyed are calling"

I must have looked kind of weird running along past all the dog owners, winking at their dogs and smiling! fact it is kind of weird now that its written down! I deffo need help!  But I kept on with my couple of figure 8's and 1 loop before heading back to the garage!  I got there in 30 mins and 13 seconds! And my car was still in side the MOT centre!  I beat them!  I was pleased about that.  But then I waited around for about another 20 mins!  I could have gone around Normans Park after all!  But it was an extra run, so even if it was only for a ten minute run it was still a pleasure!

Geeky stats!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fitday Thursday

Hello blog lovers.

You know how I love Tuesday club nights, well I love Thursdays just as much.  It's a whole day of running! And It's just perfect.  After the school drop off I met up with other PWR's at the rec.  DiscoRich is there with his crew, there seemed quite a lot of them today. And there was my group, just the two today, Michelle and Ariol.  And I think Auriol is getting to know me quite well as she has rocked up to the rec  with her older training shoes.  Of course we are going to be going through the woods, who cares that it rained most of the day yesterday and on Tuesday! My philosophy is if the sun is up then we run the woods.

Not only was the sun up, but it was shining in all it's glory in the blue sky! What a perfect sight He has created today. It seemed a while since we seen blue skies like that!  After the chatting for a few minutes we were ready to begin. We watched DiscoRich's group out of the gate, we followed in hot pursuit!  Well, a nice leisurely jog behind them.  They were heading for Scadbury Park, where we will be touching on later.

All though I don't mind the muddy bits,  it is difficult to get any sort of speed going on, so of course it's always better to be running on firmer ground rather than tip toeing through muddy bits.  So my route was going to be straight up the middle of the wood and then turn left at the top to run along there till we get to Botany Bay Lane.

We will then continue up to the road, turn right towards the pub,  and I shall try to avoid going in asking for a pint of lager and a bowl of olives, mainly because it will be way to early for beer and people will be talking about me! Oh, and lack of cash would have a huge part of that!  From there, we would turn right, up to the main road, cross over and through the woods.  At the end, pop back into the woods and......well we'll see.

I started the Garmin up and we chased after the faster group.  You can tell that there has been a lot of rain about, Dog Poo ally was awash with muddy rain(?) washed down from the woods. Believe me, it is a good idea to think of it as muddy rain, it helps when you have to splash through it!........(it is rain really, honest)  So straight up the middle.  I led the way but I didn't know how long that was going to last for Michelle seemed to be on fire.  Thundering up the path like she was on a bungee cord dropping from a great height!  (Goodness knows where that analogy came from!) and goodness knows where the word analogy came from!   See I am not just a pretty face, brilliant writer, fantastic runner..... Ok, back to serious stuff.

A bit of mud just at the beginning slowed us down to that tippy toeing thing I told you about, but after that we just ran up to the top.  Aruiol ran the whole thing, Michelle found some wings and flew up there, I.....well.....I had a quick 20 second walk, waving at the girls with a breathless "Go on ladies, get up there, I shall be there in a sec"  I know, if I could talk and say all that then I should have kept my ass running!

The weather was just perfect as we ran along the top of the woods.  By this time I decided that the tip toeing had to stop.  Straight through the middle of every puddle, look for places that would probably have stones underneath the puddles rather than mud.  And that made it easier to keep going just a tad faster. When I have some more wages coming in I shall buy myself some trail shoes, I should have done it earlier this year, when I was earning a bit more cash!  Oh well, there is always Santa to smile at.

The road leading to the top and then on to the pub wasn't too bad.  There were some huge puddles on the first part but I avoided those, I think they would have been quite deep!  We crossed over the road to touch on the Scadbury Park bit!  Scadbury is a lovely park and quite big, but it's just that little bit further that we can do for us group 1'ers'. Just an extra mile and half and a few maybe another 15 or so minutes we could probably do some of this. But the bit that we can do is still good.  Although it runs along by the road the path is far enough in to let us know that we are still in the woods, and the puddles through were not that bad either, and being flat as well it was rather pleasant.

After coming out the other end we ran along Chislehurst road for a bit and we crossed the road to go into the woods at the gate rather than further down near the new bridge.  This is where the 10k runners came running towards, emerging from the woods on Sunday. They then turned right to run along to the bridge.  I gave the ladies a choice.  We could run along to the bridge, as they did on Sunday and then down Birchwood, but on the inside of the woods, or we could run along where they would have come out of, and running down to Dog Poo ally that way.  I didn't think there was much in it distance wise.

The Mystery tour is always popular!  And it would be a mystery tour as last time I tried to do this I got lost! But we still ended up going through Dog Poo ally as we were running down!

A brilliant run, thoroughly enjoyed it, but the satelittes didn't find us for bloomin ages, so I have no idea how far we ran, but I am guessing about 3.5 miles!  Fabulous, and fabulous company too!

Geeky stats

Track Session

I had no idea what was planned for tonights track session.  These are brilliant sessions.  Yes, all the fast runners come thundering past me, yes if there was choosing of teams to run in a relay race I would deffo be last to be chosen, and yes it's bloody had work.  But don't let that put you off!  It's discipline, it's no good just rocking up there and not being prepared to work as hard as you can, no, that's for you social runs, that's for your fun solo runs or even your runs in fancy dress!  These sessions are to help with your speed and timings and all stuff like that!

PhysioMike had this brutal session planned.  I should have guessed what it was like when he opened the envelope with the skull and crossbones sign on it. The fleet of ambulances were probably going over board! (only joking about the ambulances!)

After the warm up drills it was straight into 1200m park run paced jog, three laps of the track.  Of course I ran off pretty quick with the gazelles that I was running with, but I soon settled down into my own pace, at the back of course, but I felt I was running faster than my usual parkrun paced.  I put that down to the fact it's on the track, not the grass and it's all pretty much flat really.

I ran passed Mike and Hels who is also coaching today, and they called out our park run time, if we continued at that pace of course, mine was 30 minutes!  Oh maybe one day I will get a parkrun with that written on it!  Maybe!  Mr. S was also there as support, he has some runs planned for the weekend and was resting his monkey feet, "Come on Old Girl, don't stop" he said. Hmm, I may slow down though!

The I think on the second lap or last lap, Mike called out again 31 minutes.  Still faster than my PB.  The next session was parloufs.  Relays to those that can's speak Swedish, or Swiss, or french, or what ever language that is.  Mike put everybody into twos, handed one a baton and then sent the first people of running and the other half in opposite direction to meet their partners.  Hand over the batons when they meet up and then those that were running anti-clockwise jogged clockwise and vise versa.  Being special, and because I was in a team of three, our was a straight forward relay, no jogging round to meet up!  We get to wait for our team member to meet us.

So basically I could run as hard and as fast as I could (without puking up of course, not a good look in front of everybody) and then take a chill to wait for my other team member.  I was sent to take up the second position and I was jogging around to it when all the others started on the next session.  I really had to run fast to get into position before DiscoRich got there (which by the way, he did!) And then I ran around to the beginning to hand over to my team mate (and I didn't get her name, how rude of me!)

Twenty minutes of this, not even counting how many reps we do, it's a straight 20 minutes running!  So I was just going to do as much as I could, I didn't want to let my team mates down, I didn't want them to be standing around to long getting chilled (not that was going to happen it's a bloody lovely evening!)  But on the last relay I was running up to my team mate and she wasn't there, she had popped off to the ladies!  Mr.S persuaded me to carry on, take her place.  I knew the whistle was going to go any minute, but I did run towards DiscoRich.  He had run up about 50 meters to meet me!  I handed over the baton and then turned around and made my way back, because then it would be time up!

Another 1200m jog around and the was the end of the session.  I didn't manage to do the last 400 meters though!  Just 2 laps of the track and then a jog/walk to cool down!

Fantastic session, really loved it, tough, but I think I need that, discipline, toe the line, get on with it, no slacking!  And that's what I say to myself on the way round.  From all watching from the sidelines its all praise!  What a great club I belong to!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Club Night....And More Rain!

Hello blog lovers!

You know when you really don't want something to happen and then it does, well it's a bit like this rain fall.  I have my roof to fix and the roofers need to have the grass outside my house nice and dry!  But this bloomin rain is going to put paid to that idea.  The more I ask for clear skies and the more it seems to rain!

So this evening for group 0 it was going to be another wet run for me!  I didn't know how many would turn up, this weather does seem to put the not so madly obsessed runners to stay in doors!  As it happened there was just me and Auriol.  The rain was falling down, gently but there was an awful lot of it!  It's good to see the enthusiasm for coming out in the rain to run is there.

We left the rec about 7 minutes past the hour, with a determined look, and strong legs as we headed out the gate for Birchwood.  We are going to use the shorter winter route, probably just as well.  It's a great incentive to run as well as you can and as quick as you can to get back to the rec ready to go home.   As we were running up the rec, a chap getting into his car must have felt quite impressed with us running in the rain as he gave us a big cheer!

That hill was like nothing as we thundered up there!  We really were totally focused on our running.  Probably a good idea to run in the rain, snow, or other foul weather, as all you really want to do is to get home.  I know I do.  Don't get me wrong, love, love, love running.  I have this crazy passion for it, but, this might come as a shock, I am just like everyone else.  The idea of sitting at home, all nice and cosy is a huge draw!

Running still hurts me, well, when I say hurt I mean gets my muscles aching in that 'nice that I done a good run' type of way. I still struggle, sometimes in group 0, sometimes in group 1.  I have lack of motivation when I go out running by myself.

But I am still here!  I have a passion for running.  It can't be shaken by rain, injuries, snows, heat!  It's can't be shaken because my times in park run has gone backwards rather that forwards.  In fact my passion grows even more, and I just have to share it.  So all the time that there will be a group 0 person at the rec I will be there, any one who wants me to run with them during the days that I am not working nor them, I shall run!

We seemed to have gone through our route pretty darn quickly.  The rain had done it's worse but we just fought harder to get back to our cars to get home!

I didn't go on group 1 run, I stayed to listen to the announcements, to say hi to two new people that came to the club and to let them know that I was going home!  By the time I got to my car I was quite chilly, and I was soaked through to the skin.  I don't think I would have like to try running like that.  After all, running is fun!  No good making running a chore, that just won't keep your mojo where it is supposed to be!!

A great run though.

Geeky stats

Monday, 13 October 2014

Good Morning Sunshi........Rain!

Hello blog lovers.

I woke up this morning to the gentle sound of pitter patter raindrops out side! It looked as if it had been raining for some time and set to rain for some considerable to come!  It's Monday and it's training day for Tracy and Wendi.

Because it is such a miserable morning I sent out a text offering several other options about going out at 8 this morning, but I guess that old running mojo is firmly back into place with both of them as they were up and ready!  So no excuses then I had to be there for the ladies!

Todays session was 2 minutes walking and 4 minutes jogging.  I know that Tracy can do that (because we did one 4 minute jog last week!), but starting off in the rain is a little harder on the old enthusiasm!  Well it is with e, unless I have something booked, planned or paid for then I would sorely be tempted to wait until the rain stopped!

I had to take my car the short journey there as I had to get back home, cleaned up and ready for a meeting, but once I was out there, in the rain, with the girls I was quite looking forward to it.  We were all in rain macs and had smiles on our faces!  I know, crazy ladies, 8 in the morning, in the pouring rain, ready to go jogging!  The traffic was building up slowly with the SCRummies (School Run Mummies) taking their off spring to their various schools.  We started up towards Petts Wood in a determined manner for the first of our 5 x 2 min walking sections. We were all chatting, saying that we must be totally crazy, to be out in this.  I find that fishermen, runners and the occasional cyclists are the craziest people!

The first of our 4 mins of jogging started and Wendis chatter kept us all amused and forgetful of the jogging along we were doing, but I was on the ball where the time was concerned.  As there is going to be five lots of 4 minute jogging!

It was a quite tough going out, the rain had slowed down to a slight misting, but we were still quite happy being out there.  The pace did slow down a bit, we almost got to the mark we made on our first week, where the park meets the road. We turned around and headed back for the second half of hour training.

Wendi was chatting all the way, Tracy concentrating on the her breathing.  The next running section seemed a little more tough, but both Tracy and Wendi were doing well.  They are chalk and cheese, Wendi would try to run the London Marathon, right this second, if she could, and that's where she needs gentle coaching.  Rome wasn't built in a day!  She has already done a marathon, last year, in Edinburgh.  After injury kept her away from her running, in her mind she believes that she can just pick up where she left off.

Well, that's not a good idea.  First off, mother nature decides that you have given up the silly idea of running, and starts taking all that hard work you done on your muscles away.  And secondly, she (mother nature) refuses to tell your brain!  Us runners believe that once we have done something we can just continue all the way through, no matter what happens at any one time.  But really, we need to build up slowly again, let whatever injury heal, and then test the healing, slowly let the body get back into shape making the injury site stronger over time!

And Tracy, she's a plodder, I am running in the middle of Wendi and Tracy, reeling in Wendi when she wants to take off, and encouraging Tracy to keep on going.  I know when Tracy is concentrating, trying to get into the zone, I can her breathing, she is really trying to keep it in check, listening to Wendi, but when she starts listening to 'mother nature' saying "What on earth you doing women" then I know about!
"Come on Tracy, keep moving" I say encouraging
"I am moving, Old Girl" she says.  And there it is, the determination mixed with a soupcon of "why am I doing this"

But the answer is always at the end of a run.  After getting back to the triangular green and doing our warm down stretches, under the trees, in the rain, looking at all the traffic that had built up over the past half hour, the smiles appeared. The 'I am so glad that I did that' appeared.  Even I was pleased, I went out in the rain to run.  Ok, so I still have started a solo run in the rain yet, but I am sure I will next time!  Honest......I will try to time!

Geeky stats will follow tomorrow (when I find where I put my watch!)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Run Like Thunder!

Hello blog lovers!

It's that time again, it's Thursday time, one of my most fav days in the week!  The morning run with the ladies this morning was just brilliant!  Our route this morning was some of the Petts Wood 10k, just about 5k of it, but going in the opposite direction, just for a challenge, (to see if I knew the way) and also it's good to change things about, mix it up a bit.  Who wants to keep running running the same way all the time.  Ok, it was still in the woods, and it was still on the same paths, but we  just  ran up and down and then up and down again !  Sounds like fun eh!

I am felt sure that the ladies were going to love it, it was a challenge but we all love a challenge!  The route took us up Birchwood road, but of course on the side of the woods, and after we neared the top Denise said to me "Its good to get the hill out of the way in the beginning" I just gave a wry smile, I was the only one that knew the route!

We ran along to the gate that leads from the road into the woods and we turned down the path, the second path.  That bit I could remember.  This going around it in the opposite direction was a bit of a challenge for me!  When we got to the end of this path with several paths leading from it, I tried to visualise which way I came up when I ran the route the other week.  They all seemed the same, and they all felt the right like the headed in the right direction, all except the path on the immediate left.

I took a path that I thought would be right and started to run down it.  When were half way through this path I began to realise that it was the wrong path, we hadn't passed the little clearing with the benches.  Oh well, we shall just see where this ends up.  It actually ended up by the railway, popping out on the path that runs along Birchwood! Yup, that's right, a small loop!  Oh well, I owned up, like a good leader should, but said we are still on for doing what I wanted to do, it's just a different path!

The ladies said that if I hadn't mentioned anything they wouldn't have noticed anything was amiss! Oh well.  But the didn't notice the down hill, and then when we got back to dog poo ally of course I lead them up the middle path to continue with my planned route.  Now I have to look out for another path that will be on the right.  I want to run to the Sun Dial!

It's funny trying to do things in the opposite direction,  and it was a challenge for my group too.  Those hills are a challenge for all of us!  I took a path that I thought was the right one, but again I was wrong!  It's just run up parallel to the middle of the woods path.  But that was good, because it meant that I just hadnt come across the right path yet, I had not missed it, not like I did on the other side of the woods!

We eventually found it and turned right and we ran along for just a short while and the clearing emerged from the trees with the big sundial in the middle.  Some of the ladies hadn't actually seen this memorial sun dial before.  It's commemorating the British Summer Time Act in 1925, and it was in memory of William Willet, an untiring advocate of British Summer time.  Well, what a great opportunity for a photo I thought.  Here this is the ladies!

L-R Pinklady Jo, Dawn, Denise and Ariol

After this we ran along the top.  There I gave them an option, to continue to Botany Bay, and then down that way, with the possibility of a little more mud than the other path.  The 10k path, which I was going to 'wing' anyway, because I knew I wouldn't recognise the path that would be on the left.  They all decided to take the 10k path.

So we ran down, jumping over puddles, roots and twigs and branches. See it's a challenging route, we then came to the railways lines,  the ladies in front started heading in the wrong direction, so I called them back and we ran to the left to go back to dog poo ally.

I wasn't quite sure how long this route was but I could see on my watch that we need to do a bit of road work to make it to at least a 5k.  So when we came out of the ally I told them to turn right and head up (yes, that's right, up again!) to Manor way, which is part of our 10k, and then we can continue with the PWR 10k theme to finish our run!

I decided not to look directly at the ladies as I didn't want to see that  "More hills Old Girl, are you trying to kill us" look from any of them.  But it was that far now, we were nearly all done and back into the rec.

The rain held off, just, it had rain this morning, and the air was still damp, but it was just perfect for this mornings run. The run was only marred by news that I dithered to long about continuing with childmiding and lost yet another potention client to the big nurseries. I wasn't best pleased that for sure, and I have to appologise to the ladies next week for my foul language! Oh well!  I shall just have to run socks of later to get rid of stress!

Geeky stats.

And now to the track session with Mike and Hels.  It had been an extremely stormy day after my run this morning, with hail stones, big fat rain, lightening and thunder.  You would think that it had rained it self out for the day!  No! No, No!  There was still just a little be left in the tank!

I got to the track early, it was dark and it wasn't feeling cold.  I thought it was going to be a good session.  As I pulled up in the car park I did notice just a few light spots of rain on the windscreen.  "Just a dusting" I thought t myself.

I walked into the track with Jane.  She has really come along way, I remember her starting group 1 and now........and now......well she is in group 7 with the speedys!  Fantastic achievement!  We chatted and waited for the others to arrive.

A couple of laps of the track later and every one who was going to turn up was there.....and so was the rain.  Just lightly coming down, keeping things nice and cool!  Our sessions was going to be a timed session (my favourite, distance I have problems with!) 2, 4 8, 8, 4, 2 mins jogging with a min rest in between.  And PhysioMike and Hels were going to be standing in the rain timing us, making sure we know when the minutes are up.

The 2 and the 4 min were to be run at our usual 5k pace and the 8 min was to be run at our 10k pace.  Well, this should be good fun, lets see what this old girl has got to give.  The rain started to come down even more as we started our running sessions after all the warm ups and the drills.  The first two minutes was under way.  I managed to get around about half the track before the 2 minutes was called.  Others were just at the finish line!

Next it was the 4 minutes.  When we ran past PhysioMike he was calling out what our 5k times would be if we kept up that pace for the whole 5k, I couldn't believe it when he said I was on for a 33 minute 5k (if I kept going at that pace of course!)  I don't think I have been close to that for year or 2!

Then it was the 10k pace part, the 8 min of running. Hels blew the whistle and I started running, but I slowed the pace down a bit, just like Mike said, and ran.  I kept going for the whole way, I was pleased with that!  When we got back for the 1 minute rest I heard PhysioMike say to one of the fast runners that he nearly didn't have a time written down for the pace he was doing, as his was the very last time that was written down.  I expect my time wasn't written down either as I would be on the other end of that list!

The thunder and lightening continued throughout that whole of our session!  I was just smiling as I was thinking this is totally crazy, running around in the wet with lightening over head, but we are on runner (as Mike said) I wonder if it matters if there is 2 inches of water on that rubber!

Working down the scale now, 8, 4 and the 2 mins jog was most refreshing!  I couldn't quite believe it when I pelted up towards the finish line on that last 2 mins and Mike called out to me "30"  Blimey! then I heard Mr. S said, "I knew you could do" "I just wish I could do keep that up on park runs" I said to him, "You can" he said to me.  I think next time I am really going to have to try, and try and try harder.  But, not beat myself up if I don't get anyway near it!

So geeky stats, but of course it's only for the calories that I had my garmin going, seeing how I worked that old heart of mine!  A faubulous time, and I think Hels and Mike had it hard just standing around in the rain, with the thunder and lightening happening!  Big thanks to these two!!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Love My Club Runs

Hello blog lovers

Group 0 was great this evening.  There were six of us out running the winter route through Petts Wood high street.  It's a great route through here as we can see all the foody shops!  "We run so that we can eat......anything!"  I would hate to think what I would be like if I stopped running!  I know my eating habits have changed over the years, but it's still loaded with stuff that puts a huge smile on your face, rather than that grimace you do when your tucking into your low cal cuppa soup, with half fat bread and that awful low cal yellow stuff to spread on your bread, that they swear "You won't tell the difference"

Blimey,gone on a tangent then, food took over my thoughts!  So there were 5 heroes today and me. From beginners to 'I just want to run at this time' runners!  It's a nice round number.  Two by two running along to Petts Wood, up the hills.  The weather was just perfect and the moon was looking particularly lovely this evening, looking quite big in the sky, and I don't think it is quite full either.  We all managed to run right up to the memorial hall non stop! A great effort!

After that it is nice and flat and of course there are those shops to take our minds off of what we are doing!  The group was running very very well indeed.  Julie, Ade, Auriol, Vanessa, Denise and me were looking bloody good, even if I do say so myself!  Flying past The British Legion and the garage down to Tudor Way.  Half way round and we were all still looking pretty strong!  It is not going to be that long before they are all graduating to group 1, I can feel it me bones!

Another walking break just before the memorial hall and then running all the way back to the rec. Ok, there maybe just a couple of tiny walking breaks, but so minute you could easily have missed it!

Fabulous run, fabulous Heroes today.  Well done all!

Geeky stats

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Group 1

Sherry was our leader today with Illustrious Leader being sweeper with me.  There was a huge group today, with a couple more newbies joining today.  The route today was virtually an out and back, all the way down Southborough Lane to the Harvester.  Those that were faster was going to do the little lollipop bit, those that didn't want to could just take a chill out and wait for them.  As I was at the back the faster group were already on their way doing the loop, and so we could take a little breather.  But as soon as we saw them heading back up we decided that we would start running before they got to us. 

They lady that I was running with hasn't ever done running before, she had been doing the gym and classes but not running.  But she was doing pretty well, with not an awful lot of walking stops.  I had suggested that she may like to try group 0 out first, which I think she will be trying next week.  I myself was quite pleased she was there as I managed my pace quite well, being a typical runner I was running with a limp!  My ankle started hurting as we left the rec to start group 1, but I put it down to cooling down after doing group 0.  Although we stretched out after that run, I was standing around waiting for the next group.

I know that when we started the run my whole body and seized up, and my ankle felt particularly seized!  I decided to ignore it, as I thought it was because I was well and truly cooled down now.  My legs and arms and shoulders seemed to work well after just a few minutes but my ankle was playing ball!  It wasn't painful, it really was like trying to run with tight muscles.  Maybe I will have a rest day tomorrow!

But a great run, well I enjoyed it anyway!  Here's the geeky stats!

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Monday, 6 October 2014

Monday Means Motivation!

Hello blog lovers.

Motivation, that's something that we all need, some once in a while, others maybe 95% of the time!  Especially when the old mojo goes walk about. But today, two very bright faces looking at me, and smiling, raring to go!  Both Tracy and Wendi are deffo back on track, mojo firmly back in place, and now just to keep that motivation going!

Half and half today, 3 mins walk then 3 mins run.  Even I can add up the numbers this time'd think, right.  We start off we our warm up walk of 3 mins, a nice power walk up hill to the News shopper car park.  Simples, "Ok ladies, 3 mins of running now"  I said.  And we started on the 3 mins of running.  Now, our Wendi does like to chat, and a little thing like jogging will not stop her!  If you ever need to just run, run with Wendi, once we got her all trained up of course, and she will just keep you running with her chatting, her anecdotes, her jokes, anything!  Well she was chatting this first 3 minutes of running and we both didn't notice the time! Her Garmin usually beeps at 3 mins, but we didn't hear it, (because we were chatting!) and I just didn't notice the 3 mins of jogging, but then neither did the other ladies!  It was a full 1 minute plus! before we noticed!

After a quick recalculation, a we soon got back to the right times!  The three minutes is a tad harder, and you really do begin to notice the minutes of jogging a lot more, (even with Wendi's chatting) but the ladies did really well.  I was hoping that we will get further towards Blackbrook lane for this first 15 minutes, get passed our bench mark of 2 weeks ago!  And we did!  So next week we have to push a tad harder, getting further distance for our jogging!  That 5k parkrun is beginning to look like its going to be a walk in the park!

Things did slow down on the way back, but only by seconds really, I encouraged Tracy to just get a little bit more ground between each stride, she threw me a look as if to say "One more word bird!"  Now that's when you know someone is trying as hard as they can!

We covered dead on 2 miles this time!  Just another 1 mile to add on to the distance and bingo, Bob's your uncle Fanny's your aunt and you're a 5k ParkRunner!

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Beginners Training.

Hello blog lovers.

A lovely morning brought all the beginners back to the rec.  At least 40 of them.  And as Sherry said (she is the course leader) "If you complete week 4 then your are 97% likely to finish the course" It's a 'made up' fact by our Sherry based on her observations, but I reckon she is right!

They were all looking smiley faced and raring to go.  Sherry started of as usual with the warm up power walk around and then the drills.  Then it was into the 4 minutes jogging and 2 minutes walking.  I kept at the back, I know the feelings and thoughts more than most people of being at the back, as I seem to be there on most club!  In fact the only time that I am at the front is when I run solo!  And then I always choose and 'opponant' to chase after, walkers, joggers, and I have even been known to race a sparrow! (and sometimes lose to said opponants)

Once that first 4 minute jog is out of the way then it's time begin to feel tons better.  Thinking about other things, chatting, singing, those 4 minutes soon go and the two minute walk surprises us as Sherry blows the whistle.  The best thing about being at the back is that there is less pressure on you, particularly when doing laps.  The people at the front have all those people behind them looking at them , watching. When you're at the back there is no one to 'impress' and so you can concentrate on the job in hand!

It's great when you listen to the runners saying "Oh I don't know if I will be be able to do it" and then before they realise it they are just stating on the last rep of 4 min jog, 2 min walk!  The smiles that are on their faces then are even bigger than the smiles they first arrived with!

Nearly two miles covered with the jog/walk, not including the two lap warm up and the lap cool down!  Fantastic effort by everyone!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Track Session! And It Was Fun!

Hello blog lovers

It's me again.  I was going to tack this bit of blog on to the end of my other blog entry today, but I thought I would make it easier reading for some members of SLGR who may read this.  Because this running group are meeting up with us PWR's at Norman Park Track this evening.  It seems that our Thursday 'In the Park' sessions have deffo finished for now, and I want to keep to running on a Thursday evening so to the track I trecked! Ok I drove my car, but I went to the track.

The last time I did track sessions was when I was training for the marathon, panicking slightly, apprehensive and all other emotions that go with training for your first ever marathon. I saw the track sessions as a necessary evil!  But today, it was different, today, I had no agenda but to enjoy running with some running buddies and meeting some more members of SLGR (So Lets Go Running), the new running group Brian and Dawn had started.

PhysioMike had his session planned, a timing session. It involved running for 90 seconds, then walking or slow jog (or even crashing out on the grass he said) for so many seconds (I have a lousy memory!) and then do that again for another 3 times!  But the slow jog part,, the recovery (or crashing out on the grass) will be less each time! It's just as well he had his whistle because I could never have remembered to look at my watch, calculate when I should slow down, and all that maths stuff!  I guess that's why having a great coach with a whistle and stop watch helps!

There seemed an awful lot of people there, some in the orange and black of SLGR and the rest in array of colours, with at least one PWR at least in the club colours!  I shall remember to wear mine next SLGR meet up!  I was running behind the masses and another young lady,who was with the other team, was just behind me.

On the first lap PhysioMike was there calling out numbers.  The numbers related to the speed we were doing in relation to a park run, if we kept up the pace that is.  You will never guess what mine was?!  31 minutes!  He call out on the first lap, but still, I was pretty impressed with my self!  It's a pity I can't keep that up for a whole 5k!  Maybe after all the track sessions then my time will improve, of course I am not going to obsess about it, (but being a runner it is always in the back of my mind! Always!)

It was on the second lap that me and the young lady behind me started chatting.  I found out that she has been accepted into the London Marathon this year!  Exciting stuff. The whistle blows but the young lady just carries on plodding away.  I was walking and chatting to her.  She said that she just sticks to one pace only and it gets her through.

So for the next 20 minutes or so me and OnePaceKat just kept together jogging along.  But while she kept on jogging along I took full advantage of the permission to slow down!  Then there was a four minute rest!  Perfect timing as I finished the first set right at the starting line.  I chatted to Brian, founder member of SLGR and Editor of SLGR running magazine!  He introduced me to a couple of the members and to Dawn as well.

The four minutes were soon finished and we did the whole thing again!  A great session, with the warm up drills in the beginning and the warm down stretches to finish!  I really enjoyed track session!  I mean, last time it really did feel as if I needed to be there for the full support of PWR's to help get me through the marathon, this time I was do track session for the sake of doing track session!  It's some times good to do things just for the sake of it!

I think I could do a few track sessions this winter!  I had fun, fun... even sprinting away from Mr 'monkey feet' S himself, mind you, I will admit he had his loafers on, and it looked like he was leaning on a walking stick, it suited him (It was a spike in the ground holding tape up!)  Here's to next track session.

Loving Those Hills!

Hello Blog lovers.

Thursday morning, the kids are are school and us adults can run to our hearts content!  There were just the three of us for this mornings run, Michelle, Dawn and me.  My route this morning was the left hand side of the woods, but going the easier way (I think). At least getting the bigger hill out of the way first is good! (I think)

So in through Poo Ally and straight up the middle of the woods.  It's a steady little climb, and I have not done it all in one go for ages!  Usually I am not as tough on my self if I am solo running, or I am encouraging other runners to do as much as they can up the hill.

Dawn and Michelle were chatting away for most of the hill, then a silence fell, with just the noise of our breathing as we concentrated on getting up the hill, the occasional bird, gentle footsteps as we run up there......ok so it wasn't completely silent, but we didn't say anything until we got to the top.  "Well thanks ladies" I said to them "That's the first time I've run all the way up here in one for a long time" I was extremely pleased with that.!

We turned left and ran along the top of the wood towards Botany Bay Lane.  I mentioned that there was just a couple of little undulations as we ran the top of the woods.  I am sure the girls looked pleased!  I myself silently started chanting "I love hills, I love hills"  I know!, I am still kidding myself!  Again we all got up there without stopping!  I'm on a roll! The ladies were doing really well too, they looked as if they were just having a walk in the park!

We ran down Botany Bay Lane but only to the path that turns right, we are going to to run down Goss Hill. Now I can really believe my mantra, I love hills!! It seemed to just be over all too quick those down hill sections, we came out of the woods to be faced with another little hill as we ran on the road towards Blackbrook lane!

"For some one who don't like hills Old Girl" said Michelle, as she gave me a wry smile!  I know I will love hills, one day, one day I will say, lets go find some ridiculous hill and do reps on it! One day! Ha ha ha ha...... I am sorry, just having a moment there!  This running malarkey, it's hard work, and you have to really put in as much effort as you can to improve, and even just to maintain fitness levels.  I am still waiting for that day when I can say, "Blimey, that was easy" as I run up a hill and not look as I am about to have a coronary!

We ran through Jubilee park and over the first bridge.  We had a decision to make here,  the short way to the rec which is on the roads, or stay in the woods and do an extra quarter of a mile!  Guess what we opted for? Yup, through the woods!  It's a no brainer!

We ran all the way to Poo Ally and there were still a couple of tiny hills to end the run with! I arrived at the rec looking like I have just emerged from a hot sauna!  Red face, sweat pouring from every pore in my body and feeling a complete but extremely happy wreck, and the others, well, they looked glowing!

Geeky stats!