Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sinners And Saints!

Hello blog lovers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Track Session

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Club Runs - Wind And Rain!

Hello blog lovers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geeky stats

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Turkey Run 2014

Me! with my Santa hat
 Hello blog lovers.

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

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

Some of the gang!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geeky stats

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

Friday, 5 December 2014

Morning Runs.

Hello blog lovers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Club Runs

Hello blog lovers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geeky stats.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Running Weekend!

Hello blog lovers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santa Dash 2014

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

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

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

Little dude

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

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

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

Monday Madness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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