Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Club Runs!

Hello blog lovers.

The wind that was about on Sunday is still here now!  It hasn't blown itself out!  I can't believe how windy it has been.  I suppose the one good thing about todays group 0 is that we can see any probable missiles whipped up by the wind and make some hasty ducking and diving manoeuvres.

Group 0

It was a small group this evening, with DottieKat, Auriol, Leslie and Helen.  Helen is already a PWR but is coming back from injury, testing the waters, so to speak.  I chose the shorter route this evening, mainly because of my running the half marathon on Sunday.  It's still a challenging route, running up hill almost as soon as we start out, and then there is the undulations of Woodland Way, Great Thrift and Hazlemere!

We started off all together, and kept in a nice tight pack even up the hill.  It did break just a little bit, as I waited at the top for just about 30 seconds for the back runners.  I kept them moving though, just walking to the big tree along the road.  We ran along to the round about and then down the road to the other end of Crossways.  DottieKat was all set to call it an evening.  But after assuring her there were a few other short cuts if she carried on the planned course she continued with us.  At her speed, running when she wanted, walking when she needed.

She had heard someone say that "You should run until you can't run and not when you want to walk"  I think that is kind of what she said, I can get what she means  When I was running on Sunday there were some moments there that I felt I wanted to stop running but I didn't, I just made myself go a little further before taking a walking break!  

Anyway, DottieKat completed the whole of the planned route, and I think she was very pleased with herself that she did it.  A nice stretch out afterwards and that was that!  A great run, everyone completed it and I think everyone enjoyed it.  Next week it is moveup Tuesday!  Well, I know Helen was just testing the waters and I think she will be in group 1 next week.  

Geeky Stats

Group 1

It was so good to have SingstarJo back in our fold, not only that but she is leading group 1!  She chose a very nice easy route, with an option for a short cut for those not wanting to do an extra half mile!  

I was actually hiding down the side of the building as the wind seemed to have really picked up again.  It was so blowy.  Luckily there were not bits of debris flying around, although Leslie had picked up someones paper bin along Great Thrift during Goup 0's run.  

It seemed ages since I seen all the girls and then I realised it was because I wasn't there last week, I was at St. Christophers Hospice with the rest of the marathon team.  Singstar gave us the low down on the route and then we set off.  Me and Janet were at the back sweeping of course.  Well, there is not point in over doing the training is there!

To be honest I was seriously thinking about going home, what with the awful wind, but I was glad I stayed, if only to support SingstarJo's return!  She also did Group 0 last week, so there were quite a few group 1's in last weeks run.  

When we started running I was feeling ok actually.  I was just being a woose about the wind.  I think I just about had enough of that on Sunday.  Us at the back were not too far at the back, we kept up with maybe just about 20 seconds behind them, maybe a tad more.  Our first catchup stop was at the off licence.  It' always seems a long way when we come down Cardiac Hill, but I kept up, my breathing was pretty ok actually!  I must be getting fitter!

Slow and steady seems to be the way to go!  We headed down Shepperton road and then Crescent drive.  This is a slightly undulating route, with little inclines that don't look line inclines but you know they are! But it came as a shock when I realised how far along Crescent Drive I was!  When I saw Chesham Avenue and I was still feeling ok I was quite pleased with myself.  It's all about the breathing!

With just the little run up to the bridge to cross the railways and the last little bit to crossways.  The group split into two, the main body going up Woodside, Great Thrift and Hazelmere and  the smaller group going up Petts Wood road.  I went with the small group, after all, there is not need to over do things is there!

A great run, enjoyed by all, and great to have SingstarJo back!

Geeky stats. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Paddock Wood Half Marathon

Hello blog lovers.

Well, this is my first race this year, and it happens to be a half marathon!  This was a little pressie bought and paid for by the Old Boy, because I didn't get a place in the marathon through the ballot!  I guess he had forgotten about the club places that we had!  And I was fortunate enough to win one of those!

It was going to be tough!  The weather forecast was spot on, wind and rain!  Not only that but we were all running with one hours less sleep as the clocks were put forward an hour, so now we are in British Summer Time!  Of course that is the cue for the wind and rain to arrive!  I am changing Naggy Neighbours nick name, so now she will be referred to as OrangeKarin!  This doesn't mean that she spends hours under the sun lamps, or that she has a job lot of fake tan! No, but orange is her colour when it comes to supporting football teams during the World Cup! And besides, I realise now that she isn't naggy she is just encouraging!

Hmm, I just had a thought, I could call her Terry's Chocolate Orange as her 'little' pooch (she is huge by the way) is called Chocolate!  But then that would make me crave choccies all the time!  Anyway, I digress, OrangeKarin was driving and we headed down to Paddock Wood with plenty of time for the start!  It was amazing just how quickly we got there!

With our car parked not to far from the start of the race we made our way over.  First stop....well always is the loo!  We queued for ages it seemed, and the a lady came in with two very large buckets of water!  "The cisterns are a bit slow" she said as she saw our quizzical looks, "You don't want to be hanging around waiting for it to fill up,  so just use the buckets to pour down the loo!"  What a thoughtful and hygenic thing to do! Thank you Loo Marshal! The amount of times loos don't flush I don't think I have enough digits on my person to count up to!

Anyway business done, and there is a little poem at the end of the blog, just because.....well just because  my loo visit amused me!  My own body has its usual agenda and it will not be side tracked by races or time shifts!  Well, put it this way, I was very pleased that there were buckets!  Hmmmm, maybe you don't really need to know this bit! This really is for my own thoughts and amusement!

I wandered over to the start, found OrangeKarin, (she had to sort her tag out) and then we made our way to baggage and then to the start!  1;20 1:30, 1:40, 1:50 boards were showing.  We carried on walking back until we found our 'finish time' board. 2:00+  board showed us where to stand.  I saw loads of other PWR's all way in front of me, not many of them behind me.....hang on, I mean no PWR's behind me!  But there were runners, runners from all sorts of different running groups, individuals and teams all getting rather excited.  I love this bit of any race!

Then the crowd started to move forward, the 'gun' had obviously gone off.  We were all wearing chips, so although the 'gun' had gone off we can still find out exactly how long we took between crossing that mat on the way out and crossing it on the way back.  Karin was with me for all of about 10 minutes, and then she started to think about her goal.  2:30 was her goal, mine was to get in under three hours, with a little bit of a sub goal of 2:45!

So, paragraph 8 and I a finally into the running bit!  As I said the forecast for todays race was spot on.  I had my jacket firmly in place, my wind proof jacket that I was testing a couple of years ago!  My hat was on, pulled just a little bit tighter so it doesn't get blown off, and I was wearing my club vest and long jog pants.  I should be able to battle the elements.  Around the first turn and we were on the road.  The organisers had the roads closed or most of them at least.  Running down the main street was great fun, all the people out there cheering, all wrapped up nice and warm against the elements!  As soon as they had waved at the last runner they will be heading for cover, tea, coffee, cakes!

I kept an eye on my Garmin, I  didn't want to go off too fast, or too slow.  The first mile seemed to come round so quickly!  But I was on track!  Just around the corner from the mile marker there was a lad handing out jelly babies.  Now I love a jelly baby, and I couldn't resist!  Did I need it....no!  I just wanted it!  The rain kept coming, not pouring down, but just falling softly.  Just after the mile marker was the 'hill', apparently the only hill in the entire race!  We shall see!

I walked some of it, I ran some of it, but just at the top I saw one of our support team....with his camera out!  Of course then I had to make sure I was running!  I waved and said hi to Martin who was behind the camera!  On wards and upwards.....well actually it was fairly flat run after the hill.

I kept thinking "We will soon be out of 'double figures' miles to do now"  as well as other thoughts, like "What the heck are you doing old girl" the 'old girl' tag was very apt at the moment, as I was feeling pretty old! "You got to do a marathon and already you're counting down miles" as another thought going through my mind. Although I am sure I didn't take long too fall asleep when I went to bed an hour early last night, the waking up twice in the night certainly does tell and I was just a little tired!

The next few miles went quite well, I chatted with people who ran on by, I looked around the great countryside, and I tried to really enjoy the whole experience.  If only that bloomin weather wasn't here!  Just about 5 and half miles there was a pub, and standing outside it waiting and waving was SingstarJo!  I was just so pleased that she had waited.  I really didn't expect it, as I am one of the slowest runners.  I high fived and then gave a wet sweaty hug! A definite high moment! And just after that I was offered a Jaffa Cake from one of the marshals!  Oh yes please!

At mile six, we had to go up and over a railway bridge.  I ran up and over it!  It was tough!  I took at picture at this point, almost halfway, of the people in front of me and some of those behind me, but you can see the size of the hump bridge!  It's not a little one, not after 6 miles anyway!

I had just ran down
there! Mile 6
The people in front
of e

After running  little further and I received a phone call!  My eldest brother decides to call me!  He was after some company, beer maybe a few muscles in white wine!  Right then, at the moment, it sound lovely!  "I'm jogging Deano" I said to him
"You're what?"
"I'm out jogging, I'm doing a half marathon today"
"Eh? Well, I just fancied a pint and that, I shall meet you somewhere, where are your"
"Paddock Wood!" was my reply!
"Blimey, you're wearing me out! Why you doing this!" he said, more proud than anything else
"Cos I can bruv"

And now for the next half of this race!  My legs were getting a bit tired, nothing new there then, but I pushed on.  I tried to run as much of this as I could do.  Although I have been training, run a mile, walk a minute, to me this was a run, a race!  Although I won't be racing anyone! But I did want to challenge myself just a bit to do well.  Beating the elements is a challenge in itself.  I remember me and Wendimoo after we got to about 7 or 8 miles in a couple of our planned long runs, the rain and wind was just too much so we decided to call it quits, we were so demoralised!  There is no short cut with this run though, there is no calling it quits and going home.  I am sure they do have a 'drop out bus' or some other way of getting runners back to the start that can't finish, but I don't want to know about it!

I am going to finish!  The 7 mile marker came up. just two more Parkruns to do.  That is how I saw it.  I can work with that.  The rain had stopped for a while, I think, at least it did at some point on the run. The route is a really a lovely route, all through the country sides, passing some lovely houses with the occupants out cheering!  There is an upside to having your name on your top as they cheer just for you!  It's great to hear 'Come on Donna'.

I walked and ran the next mile or so and just up a head of me I saw a PWR shirt!  Now who could that be.  It was difficult to tell when everyone has their hats on!  I managed to catch up after a while, it was Paula!  She seemed to be in a bit of pain though!  I walked and ran along with her and another girl, (and I have forgotten her name), but she was suffering with blisters on her foot!  When you see people just pushing through to the end and they are having difficulties, then it really is inspiring!

But I was worried about Paula, sometimes you need to just walk, take a break, best take it easy and and not do any further damage!  I seemed to be keeping her amused though, either that or she was suffering from delirium!  I suppose the the ghost turd story could have been kept until she didn't need to walk any further!

We just kept going, those last two miles seemed the hardest after doing just another 'tiny' hill somewhere around mile 10!  Making it back on to the high street was absolutely brilliant, exactly what we needed to pick up our spirits.  People there were still cheering, the runners who had finished the half marathon were cheering us as we ran along for the last 400 meters.  I saw JanetL, she had done her race, she was cheering us along too.  I could hear the announcements, pretty close now.  The 200 meter board was in sight, with just the sharp turn left to get back into the finish!

I was running ahead, not sprinting, as Paula suggested I should do, (I think I said something like," really Paula, I don't seem to have enough energy in my legs to be able to do a full on sprint") another laugh for her which I feel maybe she didn't need right then! I could hear the cheers up ahead and I started to just pick it up a tad, I turned around  to look at Paula, she was struggling behind, I couldn't leave her, I waited till she caught up, and just encouraged her all the way in, over the mats!  It had to be done!  I heard the announcer call my name, I smiled, and then counted to two, and then there it was "Oh Donna, hi, how are you?!" It was Robert who kindly offered to be compere at the Spirit of Running Man Event I organised last year!

 I heard OrangeKarin calling me, I couldn't see anyone else, but I guess after waiting around, or indeed running around in the rain for hours then they deserved to get on home and warm up. I was pleased with my run today, I did it in under 3 hours, in spite of the weather, which is what I had hoped to do! Fantastic event, brilliant marshals, well organised and a fantastic bit of bling!

Me and Paula

OrangeKarin and me

Geeky stats

By the way, this is the poem I mentioned earlier

Ghost Turd - by Donna Carroll

The feeling grows as you sit and wait
Not just yet, to sit in state
Plenty of time before the mighty arrives
Plenty of time before those sighs

Walk a little, ponder at life
This pleasurable experience for husbands and wives
Small tiny babies, toddlers all
They all learn when nature calls

There, now, its time has come
To take the seat , expose the bum.
The best feeling a person has
As you sit and squeeze to let it pass.

Nothing feels greater as you excavate
The inners of your self and wait
To peer at the mighty job
That feels as huge as a ten ton log

But wait, what’s this where has it gone
The thing that took you all morning long
To expel from your body, the stink is there,
But where oh where oh where oh where?

Straight down the pan and round then bend,
Is that it is that then end?
The clean up now, as the disappointment shows
Glaring at the pan as the water flows

For a moment you wonder, did this thing just go
As you try not to feel so darn low
You know it happened for the splash you heard,
Or was it again, just a ghost turd

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Track Time!

Hello blog lovers.

Tonight was a good night.  Hard slog, but most enjoyable.  I dragged out Naggy Neighbour, rescued her from devouring chocolate without having earned it first!  So I collected her and I drove!  It will be the first time that I have driven Naggy Neighbour, and I am not sure if she was ready for it!  Driving is not one of my strong points!  At least it is only a couple of miles away!

We arrived at track, paid our £4.00 and walked up to the end where 'the gathering' happens.  We said hi to PhysioMike who was taking this evenings session and then just did a nice genteel lap of the track. When we got back to the beginning I saw Debra, this will be her first track session.  It's always daunting when you go out and 'play with the big boys and girls'.  I know how I felt the first time I went out on track, back in 2012/13 when I started hard training for my first marathon.

Wow, I didn't ever think I would be saying 'my first marathon'!  Crazy....crazy lady! But I do think that this time round I am more relaxed, I know what to expect, I know what I can do!  I am also not beating myself up if I miss a training session, I am not pushing myself hard on my long runs, I am just having fun!  And I think that is why this marathon is going to be plain sailing!

Anway, back to track, PhysioMike had us do the centering thing, make us more away of the position we should be, with our hips and what not, and bouncing on the spot. And then the drills and warm ups started.  Little tiny speedy runs in a most relaxed way, is what he was after!  It's something that I have to work on I think!

And then the session started.  It's a hard one, three one milers ran at slightly faster than Parkrun pace, with 90 secs rest between each one.  That's four laps! Four laps, non stop,  I normally tire after three, and forget how many I have done.  But Naggy Neighbour said that she was going to stay by me as I had the Garmin!  I knew that was going to last!  First lap I gave it, before she started to pull away!

I do believe that she tried to stay with me, but soon I was watching her get further and further away as she stepped up a gear!  However, Debra was close on my heels, she runs at my pace, group 1 pace.  We will probably be sticking together!  Not more eating dust!  Well actually there will be as we get lapped and lapped again by all the faster runners!

The session went by pretty quickly.  I do believe that running on track does make it seem that you go faster!  Maybe its the bounciness of the the track, maybe it's because there is nothing to distract you, lifted up pavements, tree routes,....dog poo!  You can just put your head down and run!

With just one last lap to do I said to Debra that I am just going to step up a gear, I encouraged her to keep on going and then I looked ahead of me.  I set my mind on going just that little bit faster all the way round.  I think all the other laps I had taken in my heart exactly what PhysioMike had said, "If you're running at the weekend, there is no need to go all out"  Well, I don't need to be told twice!  But this last lap I just wanted to push it a tiny bit more.

Mr. S. was there, and he was saying "Go on on, get going" He wasn't running today, he is doing some sort of double double!  Marathon and then in the afternoon half marathon, then next day marathon and the a 10k in the afternoon, or it could be 1 marathon, two halfs and a 10k, all done in two days though!  If he had been running next to me I could have asked him to repeat it, but he said it as I was running past him!  Now thats crazy!  You gotta love this running stuff!

Anyway, there I was my last lap, all the others had finished there, some were already leaving, Karin was there doing a warm down lap, and I just pushed it, just a little bit!  The first corner done and I thought maybe I should have waited till the 200m before I upped the pace!  But it was too late now, I was out there, leaving Debra behind, (this was totally a new experience for me)  I don't think I have ever left anyway behind me!  I am normally the one that is saying "Go on, go, I'll see you at the end" as I watch them pull away!  It's weird!

The last 200m and I was thinking, "No, I done the right thing"  It's was good to know that I had that little be of energy inside of me.  I was still aching from Tuesdays training session with the St Christopher's team, but when your moving then you don't notice the aches!  With that last 100m to go I fixed my gaze on the finish line and ran, not as fast as I could have, I still felt as if I could have pushed it that little bit faster, but I didn't want to over do it!  After all, this Sunday I am doing the Paddock Wood half!

I turned around and then started calling after Debra, "Come On Debra, you do, and then Mr. S and PhysioMike all called out to her!  She had her own welcoming committee as she finished her final lap!  She looked totally pleased with her self! And for someone who has only just started to run, (back in September last year I think she said) she has done really well!

A great session!  Totally enjoyed it, and then chillaxing time, apart from a couple of miles on Saturday with the beginners!  Bring on the half marathon!

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

St Christophers Hospice Team!

Hello blog lovers.

Well today I didn't go to club runs, instead St Christophers were having the marathon meeting this evening.  An evening to get to meet the fund raisers, a Physiotherapist the other runners and also to have a training session with our own PhysioMike!  He has been a champion for Harris Hospice who have now been merged with St. Chrisophers and has helped raise hundreds of pounds doing various things for them,  All of that as well as some delicious food!

St Chrisophers Hospice's are just amazing places.  When you think about a hospice you immediately think of 'end of life' care.  I know I did, especially since mum and dad were in them.  Dad passed away in the hospice, my mum spent some time in there, in fact if the very one that I am in!  But I think when she knew she wasn't going to get better, she came home to us, and she couldn't praise the staff enough for her care while she was in there.

St Christophers' do so much more.  When I arrived there we were shown around, and let me tell you it was hard to keep those tears in check!  They had already fallen on the drive down there remembering the times I drove on those roads to go and see mum.  But walking about the halls and corridors that I had been on some 7 and half years ago was more emotional that I thought it would be.

We saw gyms for the patients to use, in aid to rehabilitate them so that they can go home! Yes, some patients do go home!  We saw a hairdressers for the patients, some times it is necessary for when hair loss becomes a problem.  We wandered over to the education centre where they train staff for pallative care, and so much more, but not just for here but for overseas as well.

There is the day centre where patients come in help with their drugs, sometimes they are taking so many it gets confusing for them. Not only that but St Christophers nurses go out and care for those that are at home, like my mum had. There is also a counselling place for kids who have lost people, not just through cancer either but through shootings and stabbings!  The only one is South East I think Charlotte said.

So much more than what I thought!  I am glad I am raising much needed funds for them.  My memory is not much good, and I should try to remember to take notes, but I think she said that they need to raise 12 million a year to be able to do what they do each year.  I don't know how they manage it. So with all that in mind, do you know how many people that are here, now, this evening, raising money for them in this, the most prestigious of marathons, 50, 100, 200?  Do you know they are only allocated to be able to buy 12 places in the most famous marathon.  Twelve places!  In total there are only 32 of us who are running for St. Christophers!  The other runners are like me who have chosen to run this marathon after getting our places through ballots. A run that generates hundreds of thousands of pounds for hundreds of charities!  And here today there were just 5 of us to meet the team.

I will be extremely proud to be wearing my St Chrisophers running vest on Race Day!!  If it takes me another 7 hours to do it,I will do it!  Our training session was good, although we were not too far from Crystal Palace park it was just to dark to go there to train.  PhysioMike had plotted out a loop just over the road to us to do.  The four of us was there for there, in the rain, with PhysioMike and his whistle.  He had a training session planned that I have done before with him, and it is going to be.....fun!

The session was to run at marathon pace for 12 minutes, then have a rest, then run four lots of 3 minutes at a faster pace with a minutes rest in between, and then rest before doing one last 12 minutes of running at marathon pace! Simples!  Well, yes, if you could hear the whistle!  I was glad I took my Garmin as I knew really that my hearing is not great these days and I would need to keep an eye on my times!

PhysioMike also called out, when we did our loop of 400m, what our marathon pace would be, and I was totally amazed at what mine was where he called out mine!  The times were varying from 2:30 hours to 4. hours (which was mine!) and then the second time we ran for 12 minutes he called out our times again, mine had gone up by about 50 minutes! Still way to fast, and I will have to try and work on that.

After that we went back to the hospice and were fed!  Chicken, quinoa, salad and pasta!  Most delicious too!  And then we had talk by Tim (who's surname escapes me, memory is useless!) He is the physio at Crystal palace, I think.  We were learning about the different injuries that we could develop with the extra training, Planta-silly-facious*, something I had heard others mention before  and Paella fennal sydrome**, something which I can relate to at the moment actually, as i could feel a slight ache in both knees as I climbed the stairs yesterday!

We also learned about taping!  Now there is no good running out and buying your 10 rolls of sticky tape from PoundLand, or raiding the garden shed for the duct tape, apparently it's specially made tape, so make sure you go to a qualified Physio to find out what to do with your specialist tape! With a section on some sort of band*** that goes from your hip to your knee, that apparently would take a crane to get any sort of stretching done on it I was thinking "I am so glad I am cured of my hypochondria, because I am sure I have everything that we spoke about"

It was a great evening, an emotional evening for me.  As I was walking about the Sydenham based Hospice I was thinking about mum and what she went through, and because of that I was here now, healthy, 2 and half stone lighter, fitter than I have probably ever been, getting ready to raise money pounds and pounds for St Christophers!

*plantar fasciitis
***Iliotibial band syndrome

Here's my geeky stats.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Half Way There!

Hello Blog lovers.

I finally broke the half marathon distance!  It was bloody tough! But so glad I did it! This is how it all panned out.

Wendimoo was busy with her own planned half marathon today, the Wimbledom Common half.  I still have to go out there and do my thing, whether I have company or not!  So I was quite pleased when Hilary said that she wanted to join me somewhere on my route to do at least 6 miles.  So, at the Tigers Head in Chislehurst we planned our meeting point.

I was going to be running solo for the first part of this long run today.  Nearly half of my route was just me and my iPod.  Will I stick to my planned 1 mile jog, 1 minute of walking.  I do tend  not listen to myself when I am alone.  But I also didn't want to be too exhausted by the time I met up with Hilary either. Mainly because just after that we will be running down and up Summer Hill!  I really want to run up it all the way to Blackbrook lane.  I need to do it!

I started off, I could tell I was already running just a little bit faster, so I pulled myself back again.  After all, I have 13 and half miles planned today!  Crazy woman!  I feel sure this will be the last marathon I take on!  So now, running up Hollingworth I was feeling pretty good!  I was hoping the feeling will stay with all through this run today.

I do like my solo runs, but usually maybe over a 3-6 miles.  I can cope with that, so I am so very pleased that Hilary will be joining me after I have done my first 6 miles!  Perfect!  I had my music, the first 6 will be ok, I can sing and dance my way round.  So you can imagine when my iPod stopped working, how I felt about that!

I had charged it up, it was working, there are hundreds of songs on there, but it stopped!  I was a bit miffed, I think maybe its where I keep it!  I don't have an iPod pouch thingy that I can use, so I store it where its a nice tight fit, in my Shock Absorber!  It did restart again, so I decided that maybe in my back pocket of my jog pants.  That lasted about 5 minutes before it turned off again.

I was not looking forward to running the next four miles in silence.  I fiddled and pushed and held buttons to try to get it working again and it did!  I was so very pleased.  At least I won't have to sing out loud to help me get through.....hang about, I normally do sing along with my tunes anyway! My iPod remained in my hand for the rest of the time.  I need to be able to sing along, and I need some other noise other than the traffic.  Oh I do miss Wendimoo!

I found I was not quite sticking with my plan, I was running slightly longer than the 1 mile and walking when I felt like it.  I am so going to have to try and discipline myself to stick to a plan.  But I am just like a kid, if no one is watching I misbehave!  

All through Place Farm Estates (I have be calling it Palace Farm estates) I kept up with my defiance and not sticking strictly to my plan, and then on to Crofton Road and turned right to go over the bridge.  My thoughts are on getting up Cardiac Hill go in one, with no Wendimoo to help it will all be down to me.  I used my walking section wisely, and probably a bit more than planned,  just before I got to the hill.  I took a deep breath and then started to run up it.

I did it, with two walking steps before I got to the road, which I was really annoyed about, but I did tell myself off to get going again.  I ran along towards Chislehurst, when I was at Birchwood Road I text Hilary to let her know that I will be about 20 minutes away.  I was hoping to be at the Tigers for then anyway!  it's not that far surely!  

I was still feeling pretty good, and still not really sticking to my plan, but I was taking some walking breaks, I finally got to the road that the Tigers Head is on and as I turned the corner I saw Hilary waiting there.  "Wow that was quick" she said.  I think I was about 5 minutes early thanI said I would be!

Hilary will be doing the rest of the run with me, all the way to my house!  I put away my iPod and was chatting away to Hilary.  Normally she runs in the faster groups on club nights, I just hope she was not going to feel this run will be too slow.  She did say to me that this will be her longest run altogether.  So maybe a slow run is what is needed. 

We were pretty close to Summer hill!  The run down it was pretty good, I slowed to walking pace when I got to the bottom of it.  "I want to get to the top" I said to myself more than anyone in particular, but this was my plan.  Last time with Wendimoo I didn't manage it, Wendimoo got further than me, up to the direction sign. I wanted to get right to the top, adjacent with those giveway signs painted on the road, before the roundabout!  I did it! I flipping did it, and so did Hilary!  We were pleased with that.

My water was virtually out after I got to the top, I thought I would have to just wet my lips to see me through to when I get home, but as we were running on Blackbrook I saw a couple just getting out of their car, they had been shopping.  I thought I would be really cheeky and ask them if they could refill my bottle!  They were very obliging and filled it up for me!

The rest of the route was the same as I had been doing with Wendimoo and Bims.  Through the park and along the A21 to Hayes Lane.  It was lovely listening to Hilary chat away, the miles under my feet quickly disappearing!  But I was feeling very tired now.  Crazy Lady!  I think this will be the last marathon I do! Crazy Lady!  Who decides to do marathons after they have reached 50? Crazy Lady!  As you can guess I was feeling tired.  But I was still enjoying it!  Which is the thing that I want to keep hold of throughout my training and through the marathon as well.  

It's good to challenge yourself, and running is something that I can do, obviously not very fast, and I won't be making a living from it! But it's something that I can do.  It's keeping me fit, it's keeping me away from the t.v. which is just full of crap these days anyway! And it is also helping me raise money for St. Christopher's Hospice!  Win, win, win all round in my eyes.

We were soon running down Hayes Lane going to the entrance to Norman Park.  There, is where I mentally start to focus on the finish.  I will be heading home once inside the park!  Those first few steps will be heading towards my house.  Hilary did say earlier that really as soon as you leave your house then you are already one step close to home.  That scenario doesn't work for me, not while I can see my house, not while I am still freezing cold after leaving my warm house!  No, now I can say I am on my way home!

The plan of 1 mile run and 1 min walk was totally out of the window now, I was running as much as I can, then walking then running after short recovery.  I felt I was still on target for a sub 3 hour half, but who knows how 'lazy' I will become with these last two miles to do.  Turn around Lamppost was introduced to Hilary, and so that half mile home was firmley in my thoughts. "Would that be enough today, could I just run on home and pretend that I had forgotten to run around the field!" No, I would only be cheating myself!  I explained to Hilary that we had to do this last bit of field.

We were running around it when the 13 mile 'beep' on my Garmin went off.  "Oh thank goodness" I said, "That's the 13 miles done, just the little bit extra to do"  I said that we would walk just for a little bit and then run all the way once we got on to Whitebeam Avenue!  Which we did by the way!  We turned on to my road and then ran along to my path where I said goodbye to Hilary, she had to now make her way along to Southborough Lane to get a bus.  I did offer to drive her but she is a serious Tea Drinker and she knew I was in desperate need of a cuppa!  Anyway, I think in the end she called her mum to see is she was in who then came and collected her en route and took her back for her own cuppa and a nice slice of cake!

A great run today, not particularly fast but objective achieved! Well done Hilary on your longest run so far, I think she managed to do about 9 miles in all! 

This is me, the Old Boy decided to take a picture of me of what I look like once home!
Looking forward to my tea!

And this is my new cup! Just to remind me that I am still gorgeous!
Tea!! ahhhh!

Wendimoo had also done her half marathon in just over 3 hours!  Well done!

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Woods and Beginners

Hello blog lovers.

Thursday Morning

It was a nice morning on Thursday, at least, it was raining.  My group was just the two of us, Michelle and me.  DiscoRich's group had a few extra people.  We all were going to be running through the woods.  Although it had rain DiscoRich said that the paths were passable, I need no more than that to help me decide; running on streets with the car fumes, or running through the woods, possibly a bit of mud?  No brainer really!

I had woken up with a slight back ache, I think maybe it's because I spun my mattress round, like you do, and I have to work my groove again!  I had only planned on doing just about 3.5 miles, but all of them will be in the woods.  Just perfect.

We went in through 'Dog Poo' ally and then took the right path, heading towards Chislehurst road.  The paths were fine, a tiny bit sticky but most certainly runnable.  Just what I needed, fresh air and a run. I nearly took the wrong path when we spotted the woods keeper busy doing what wood keepers do, he must have thought us really weired as we ran past him again!  We ran a loop of the woods, running down Goss hill, always a pleasure, and the running along beside the little river.  

I think we were running quite well, not particularly fast, but then I never do.  Running through the woods is not about speed, well it isn't for me, just plodding along, enjoying the whole sensation of being in the woods, the sounds of the birds, the dogs running through undergrowth, and the trickle of the water as it flows.  All of that just few feet from the streets, the cars, town!

The last part of the woods was the stickiest!  We really had to pick our way around the hug muddy holes.  I had actually forgotten to bring my old trainers with me and was wearing my Christmas trainers!  But they are all washable!  You can't run and expect to remain clean really!

It was a good run and the only run that I had for that day as on Thursday evening I had to go to a meeting!

Geeky stats.

Beginners Course.

I had my usual training session the previous night, beer and curry!  But it was lovely to spend the evening with my daughter and her boyfriend.  Turning up at the rec a little bit tired with the weather being really chilly, I was a bit surprised to see only 2 people there, and one of those was Hels!  I didn't think I was that early.

But after only a few minutes waiting the runners came, all looking apprehensive about this weeks task.  It will be the first time they will be running more than they will be walking!  Four minutes running then 2 minutes walking!  All around the rec.  We did our usual warm up couple of laps and then the drills, to make sure all our muscles were nicely warmed up and ready for action.

I had forgotten to take my Garmin, but I was pleased with that, I remembered it when I was just heading towards my car and then I turned round to go and get it.  It was then that I decided to not bring it today.  Sometimes you just need to run and see how much you can do, within the allotted time!  I had noticed that I was telling the runners each time how many seconds they had left.  Sometimes, just sometimes, you don't need to know!

Hels blew her whistle, (her new whistle) and the first running section started.  The field starts to spread from about the first half of the first lap.  From the faster runners to the slower runners, all concentrating on doing what they can.  There were about 22 people who had turned up today, to face their demons, to do battle with unfitness, to draw on their will power to run 5 reps of 4 mins run 2 mins walk.

I was running along beside a young lady, she has a goal in mind!  She wants to be lapping some of the other beginners by the end of the course!  The 'knowing' is there, the 'I can' is there, and there is also some of 'if they can do it then I can' thrown in for good measure.  And now what she needs to draw on is that all important "I will do this"  She did brilliantly, by the way, she kept going to the end of the session, with just a little persuasion from me.

Everybody finished the session and the were also smiling!  Exactly how you should be after every run!

"I often hear someone say 'I am not a real runner'. We are all real runners, just some run faster than others" Bart Yasso

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Club Night

Hello blog lovers.

So, club night, and no, I haven't changed clubs, or changed which nights we meet.  My blog is a day late due to socialising after club runs.  We are a very social club, we may run and run and run but when there is a reason to socialise then we jump at the chance!

Although this social is quite a sad one as our Social Secretary is actually leaving us!  She is going back home with her family in the south west of the country (if my geography is correct!) hence the drinkies at the One Inn The Wood!

Group 0

Anyway, my running!  First off it was Group 0, and there were 7 of us in total.  Three were PWR group 1's! Which means that we could almost have a 1-1 mentoring with the the others!  I chose the undulating route but it does have the options of short cuts.

After our warm up we ran out of the gate and turned left and then left again.  For some reason running up this way seems quicker than running down this way.  You would have thought it would be the other way around, but I think it's because we have just started on the run, the up hills tend to take our minds of distance and we are still trying to get our breathing right, so by the time you come to the allotted stop, a mile away, its all over and done with.

But on the way back of course, you have done that mile, plus and extra three quarters of a mile (I didn't quite tell them it was also our longer winter route!) so a little tiredness takes over.  The road seems to have grown while you have been running through the High Street, stretched out somewhat for the run back.

I think all the runners had a good time, it was good to see Tracy back, her mojo up and went for a walk for a while, but she has got it back and is going to try and keep an firm grip of it. DottieKat is persevering with her running, she is determined to do well. They were all very pleased with the distance that they had covered!

Geeky stats.

Group 1

Our group 1 seems to be huge!  There must be at least 20 odd of us.  It's quite heart warming to see this club grow like this!  Illustrious Leader was taking us down Southborough Lane and then around the little loop.  Now I said I was going to do the loops, well the loop at the end of the cinderpath when we go that way next.  But in my mind I was going to do all little loops!  But I didn't do this one.  I had to pop along to the pub for a 'potty stop'!  

Running down Southborough Lane is long, but not only that you know that you have to run back up it again.  Illustrious Leader, however, chooses the other way to go back, via bottom Oxhawth.  A few of us had to play catchup though as another one of us had to pop into the pub as well! Bloomin handy that pub!

There were a few of us that we just having a bit of a struggle, and so we kept together.  Just along Shepperton though I suggested that we needed to run, it could have been the thought of the beer at the end of todays run, but it deffo got me wanting to run!

We all got back to the rec within the alloted time though, did our stretches and then departed.  Some going back to their homes while some of us went down the pub!  Most enjoyable!

Geeky stats. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Did The Dozen!

Hello blog lovers.

I finally managed to keep going for that elusive 12 miles!  It was tough towards the end but having Wendimoo there was deffo a great help!

So lets start at the beginning.  Wendimoo came over to my house in her car.  She was as determined as I was in completing today's task.  We were running it today as yesterday was mothers day.  Now I know some mums did actually go out and ran, but my idea of a perfect mothers day is having my entire family over, shared lunch and rounders on the green (but we didn't play rounders as the weather was just too bad!) And just chilling.  Anyway, not only did she want to start from my house she was also going to make sure she was heading back this way and finish here by leaving her keys in my house!

I felt quite positive about todays run, I had my right head on.  I was just hoping the old body was going to let me do it!  Wendimoo, being an early bird, had made some homemade flapjacks.  She was experimenting with healthier options of her flat jacks, and was up this morning making them.  She bought some for me and for Bims.  That is going to be most welcomed and enjoyed half way through the run.

I chose to do the route that we had tried previously, when J.J. was with us for the first 5 or so miles.  We ran along to Hollingworth road, get up this hill, its shorter and sharper than going along to Chesham!  Besides although I had only just got out of bed, well about an hour before, so I could shove a banana down my throat, I thought I would have tons more energy.

My energy levels are depleting as of late.  I don't think I am over doing it, but I am blaming not getting a full nights sleep!  I don't know about you other ladies out there reading this, those ladies that are of a certain age, waking up two to three times in the night sweating like I am in a sauna, I am sure is not doing me any good!

That hill was just like nothing!  I can say that, because we were not even half a mile into our run!.  But looking back at my blogs, I can see that I can get up there a lot better than I used to!  This is why I love writing about my exercises!  It motivates me, it shows me that I have improved, and continue to improve, and also just cos I love chatting about something that I love doing!

Wendimoo kept me focused on my running.  Just love listening to her.  Running with a buddy has got to be the way to go when you are training for a marathon.  Especially for runners like me and Wendimoo, the not so fast runners, the plodders and joggers.  It is tough and the more encouragement and support you get the better.

After doing the cinder path we ran around the loop, the loop that I used to always avoid when I have ran with group 1 on club nights, and again I was surprised at how I felt running this.  I am deffo not going to stand around on the corner again when we come this way with group 1.

After the little loop we turned left and ran towards Orpington, going through Palace estates, (I think thats what it is called anyway).  The walking section happened on the down hill, I really wanted to keep running, which I did for a short while, but I decided to stick to my plan, and take my walking break.

The run seemed to be going really quickly, but I know that I wasn't running any faster.  I think it was because I was more positive.  I think you need to have a positive attitude when you do a long run, you need ok weather to complete it.  Being wet and cold, with the rain feeling like tiny pin pricks on your skin when it hits you, does not put you in a great frame of mind.

We were soon looking at Cardiac Hill, both me and Wendimoo KNEW we are going to run to the top!  There was no, "I think I can make it in one go"  We knew we could.  I was going to take a quick break at the top to give Bims a call!  We started on the hill, I didn't even think that I couldn't do it, I didn't even think that its "too hard I want to stop"  I just did it.  I followed behind Wendimoo as she ran all the way up too!

I gave Bims a call at the top and took the opportunity to catch my breath "We are about 25 mins away now, so see you on Blackbrook lane, next to Thornet Wood Road" That is exactly what I told her, just wait there, and we will see you.  Simple instrutions!  Ok, I had to remind her that we will not be doing Summer Hill, and that we will be running through the Jubilee Park, but at least she knew now, exactly where to meet us!

We ran along Crossways, on to Hazelmere, Great Thrift and then Little Thrift.  On through the path by the rail way and then through the Park.  Our water was getting low, so I suggested to Wendimoo that we ask the Bickly Manor Hotel to be kind enough to refill our water.  They were more than willing to do so.  We ran along Thornet Wood Road and then waited.  I chose then, 6 miles into our run, to have my flapjack.  We were waiting for Bims, it was a great opportunity.

The weather was also changing, it was getting colder.  I know just standing around does make you cold but there was a definite change in temperature.  Bims was taking ages, I ran her phone but there was no reply.  We decided to just walk up towards the station and hope that she will come around the corner any minute!  She did, by the way, but not the corner that we thought!  She came out of Thornet Wood Lane!

She didn't wait on Blackbrook, like I had suggested, she decided to run along the road and head towards Jubilee Park in hope of bumping into us!  We had missed each other while we were refilling our water bottles!  Anyway, once all was sorted, Bims giving her pressie of flapjack we carried on our run.

Up Oldfield road and through the park.  We were all still feeling pretty good.  Bims decided that she would like to share my water, she had come out with out any water!  I still had about 5 and half miles to do and there she was drinking my hyrdation system away!

The A21 next, but fortunately only for a short while, just until we got to Hayes Lane.  Thats when Bims said that we could refill our refilled bottles at A.T. Launders, the garage down there.  Of course, I don't know why I didn't think of that!  Bim's ex owns this garage, he certainly wouldn't mind our 'pitstop'.  I didn't mind her drinking a bit extra after we decided that is what we were going to do! Mind you when we popped in there we had to prove to the mechanics that we wasn't stopping off after only doing two miles!  "Hang about, before you fill that water bottle, how many miles have you done already"   I think he was impressed when we had told him we had just nearly done 8.5 miles!

It felt like heading on home when we got to Normans Park.  And we were!  Not far to go.  Bims left us at the gate at Hook Farm Road and me and Wendimoo turned right and ran along to Trinity Church, with Wendimoo literally pushing me along, and then turned left.  We got to Turn Around Lamppost and I knew we were going to have to do a little bit more before going back to my house.  With only half a mile to go we would be short of our planned 12 miles.

I said to Wendimoo that we will have to run around the field to get the last half a mile.  But in fact I knew it would slightly over!  As long as my Garmin says 12 miles then I don't mind.  Wendimoo didn't mind either, she had started her Garmin just a few minutes after mine so she had missed some of the route on hers, and she really wanted her Garmin to read 12 miles to.

As you can see my Garmin reads 12 miles with a little bit extra!  Not too bad, I was feeling really sore, by back was twinging, my legs were complaining and I was feeling just a little bit sick!  But after a cuppa and a chat with Wendimoo all was right with the world!

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Hello blog lovers.

So, here we are week 3 and already our group will be running for as much as they will be walking!  Three minutes worth of running followed by three minutes of walking!  When you have not done any running before, this amount of time is quite something!  If you don't believe me, you non running peoples should try it!

The main thing that people have a problem with is their breathing.  You naturally start panting, and that is just not good.  Your body doesn't get the oxygen that it requires to keep your muscles energised, the energy levels drop down into your boots, your lungs feel like they are screaming at you to give them air, and your heart is pounding out of your chest!

It all sounds pretty scary, right? But if you train as planned, just nice and easy, stick to the schedule and do your homework during the week, then it does get easier.  The best bit, well that has to be when you have completed the task set.  You done it, finished, crossed the finish line, ended! The smile starts to spread across your face before you reach your goal!  Now that's not scary, is it.

My own thoughts about my running is....Its all well and good thinking I can do it, thinking is not doing. And its all well and good knowing that I can do it, everyone knows I can do it!  But that doesn't get it done. It's the sheer will power, the "I will do this, I will finish" that gets the job done.  Just a few minutes or hours of discomfort, for a lifelong "I done it"

Yeah, that about sums it up!  I am looking forward to my long run on Monday, I will do it, I am determined to finish the 12 miles I planned, just as the beginners had run each of the five reps of 3 mins running!  After all, its only for a short while, right?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tough Thursday!

Hello blog lovers.

Morning Run

T.T. Tough Thursday, that's what this was today. Wendimoo picked me up this morning, and we drove to the rec.  DiscoRich was away having fun watching the geegee's at Cheltenam, and a couple of other of D.R.'s group were away as well, so that left  David and Sacha coming along and joining us in group 1.

Strangely both David and I had in mind to do our PWR's route.  Great minds and all that!  So thats what we did.  We joined forces, and headed out of the rec via Towncourt Road with David taking the lead, and then turn left,  taking the wrong turn!  I just followed behind him trying to keep up with the faster runners but I couldn't catch my breath to call  them to go the other way!  Typical man, never  stops and asks for directions! :-)

When he had realised that he had actually turned the wrong way he stopped at the top of the road and waited for me and Wendimoo to catch up (everyone else was able to run at the faster pace! or is it me just running slower?!) we decided to quickly adapt the route, and then we ran over the walking bridge and got back on track from Tent Peg Lane.

I was really having another bad running session.  I could feel that my body just didn't want to move, and I was really struggling to keep up with them all.  I know they were not running particulaly fast but I just struggled to get moving today.  I felt tired and lethargic. and just generally not feeling the love for running.

I wanted to do the 10k, the woody section, because I thought I would have a chance to then  'feel the love' with running and get that extra mile or so.  But it just didn't happen.  I was behind the gang.  Each of the them taking it in turns to run with me.  I'm not sure if that was planned or if that is just the way it worked out.  But I do know that it is exactly what I needed this morning!  Just that little bit of encouragement from David, Michelle, Wendimoo and Sacha, with Sacha even running loops back down hills to keep me company!

I am lucky that I can get out and run, and I am lucky that I have great friends to be able to run with!  Sometimes, that is all you need.

Geeky stats.

Track Session

Tonights track session was going to be another tough one for me.  PhysioMike was taking this session today, and all I can remember was something about 2 times 1200's, well, I just couldn't get it in my head.  I was just going to do as much as I could.  I kind of recalled that PhysioMike had said that group 1-4 runners just do 800's with the rest in between, 90 sec first then 3 mins, then 90 sec then 3 mins.  I am sure that is what he said.

We all lined up and then Mr.S looked at me. "Come on Old Girl, you can run with me"  Now Mr.S is just plodding along, just for shits and giggles, just for fun which is how it should be. Always remember that running is for fun......at least it is for me, I think I have left it a little late to make it a money spinning career move!  So Mr. S kept me company on every single lap today.  And again, it was just what I needed.  

Sometimes you need your solo runs, whether they are long or short, sometimes you need to stuck in a crowd of runners, just listening to the banter that goes on, and other times you need to be running along listening to just one person.  I am fortunate enough to have had Mr.S just continually chat to me on each of my laps round.  He is the male version of Wendimoo!  I started my moaning about chaffing, Mr. S wasn't taking any of that old nonsense from me, and then immediately trumped my moanings with a chaffing storey of his own!The stories he told me, would make your hair curl!  With him being a fellow blogger I am sure you can read about some of his stories in his blogs, and I am sure the chaffing story is among them somewhere.....or is that the one story he told me not to remember!

I think I did 'alright' on tonights session, Not as many laps as the faster runners, but I think I did all that group 1-4 runners should have done!  Sometimes your running does go 'meh' and this week its my turn to have running go 'meh'  It happens and I will not beat myself up about it.  What I got to think about is 'At least I am out there doing it!

Here is my geeky stats for track session.  I didn't do the stopping of the Garmin between the reps, I just kept it going, I think I would have forgotten to switch it on/off otherwise.

By the way, check out my average moving pace!  I though I was running just a tad faster! :-) Smug mode!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Club Night!

Hello blog lovers.

Today was a running day. I know Tuesdays is usually a running day, but this morning, when I don't usually run, I did run. I needed to run.  With quite an emotional time yesterday, and a non running day on Sunday, I  wanted to go and do a solo stretch of the legs, stick some tunes in my ears and just run!

I Just Felt Like Running

I dropped off my charge at school and then ran from there.  I was going to use the dreaded A21 as my route. all the way up to Locksbottom.  I chose this route because I dislike it so much, I chose this route so that I could just concentrate on running, not look at ....stuff. No going through the woods, or parks, I didn't want to meet anyone on route, no distratactions.

I ran, I thought about stuff, I prayed, I thought about more stuff.  I thought about the questions that had asked only yesterday by some very confused and worried people, "Why? Why is there all this sickness around." "Why does good people have to suffer" "Why do children get diseases" 

You can tell what sort of place I was in when I was running.  I couldn't answer those questions, I can ask them myself, and often do! I can want answers to them, but I don't know how to answer them.  All I know is I just know that there is more than this.  I will keep believing that!

My run this morning was an emotional one.  Yesterdays visit with my dear friend Charlie brought back a whole bunch of memories.  With my dad and mum both having suffered very painfully with cancer, both not surviving it!  This month is also a very tough one, My mums birthday is at the beginning, on the 2nd, and Mothers Day is also in March!  So with all those memories and emotions going on, it was a slow run, with a few tears! With all the stuff going through my mind, the music occasionally helping to pick up my mood I managed to run about 5 miles.  Enough really considering I had more running to do in the evening.

Hero to Zero!

I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned up at the rec and saw even more eager souls to kick ass with the 'Couch Potato Syndrome'. There were 10 plus Auriol who just needed to run at 7 this evening.  And was I glad she was there.

I had already told them that I would be doing the same route as last week, just so that the new comers will know what to expect, and then they can decide if the want to do the extra mile or run back to their cars on via bottom Crossways. 

As usual I started them off with some warm ups, up and down the paved area next to the pavilion.  Then it was taking to the streets to run up Birchwood.  I asked Auriol to take the lead and I will sweep so that I can keep an eye on anyone that may be struggling.

Let me tell you, they all did really well getting up to the top of Birchwood.  Non stop as well.  When I first started running I don't think I could do that, and I also saw the hill as such a long, long steep hill.  We just a short walking break before we started on our next running section.  The front runners looked so easy with their running, but they are young, and fit.....and skinny!  They just seemed to ease in to it.

They ran all the way to the round about and then down to bottom Crossways.  We had a little break there.  I asked how they were all doing after running for as much as they wanted for the mile.  They all were feeling good.  But unlike the beginners course, Tuesdays 7 o'clock are for building up confidence, and stamina for those that have already gone through the course, and for those that can run for at least 10 minutes plus at a time.  Some of the ladies here have only just completed 2 weeks so far.  But they did brilliantly.

Some of the group decided that they had done just enough for their first Tuesday session, and were quite pleased with what they had achieved.  Three of the group left to go back to their cars, just along the road.  The others had already started running up to the Memorial Hall and so I had to play catchup.....while running on the incline!

I eventually caught them up just as they got to the top!  We ran and talked all the way down.  Oh I just remembered.  It wasn't just an all girl run this evening, we had a rather hansom chap called Henry. He accompanied Kelly, who is one of our beginners.  He seemed to have breezed though the whole run, as those he was just out for walkies!.....oh hang about.......he was!  Henry was a lovely dog, I am not sure of breeds of dogs, but he looked like some sort of collie dog.  Very sweet natured.  

With just the undulations of Greath Thrift and Hazlemere we ran and chatted all the way back to top Crossways and then to the rec.  A great couple of miles with some very lovely people!

Geeky stats.

Group 1......They Merry Group!

Illustrious Leader had been looking at her maps again and come up with a new route.  It was described as 'The Robin Hood' as the roads we will be running on has names with connections to Robin Hood, Friars Road, Forrest Road.  Hilly...ish.

I was beginning to feel a bit tired, but I was determined to do it.  I wanted to run again.  I just hoped I wouldn't be too far behind the group.  Me and Janet were sweepers, we are always sweepers!  The group looked really quite large, at least 15 - 20  runners.  We made our way out and ran down Crossways to cross over the road and up Willet Way.  

I couldn't think of where this Robin Hood place was, but we soon got there.  I was beginning to struggle a bit, and the tiredness started to kick in. Maybe three runs in a day is probably not good.  But then I thought to myself, "It's still don't all add up to a long run" So I just kept on running.

We came to this grassed area and I saw Illustrious Leader running up!  I knew there had to be an up as we had just ran down, Illustrious Leader had told us we were doing this kind of loop, so it was inevitable that we needed to to get back to the top!

I walked some of the hill and ran some of it. It was tough going for me.  But once we got back to the top Illustrious Leader told us the next bit of our run and then we all just ran.  

It was a good run and again it was a much needed run.  Considering I was thinking about probably only just doing group 0 and then go home I was so pleased with myself for persevering.  

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

50 is the Number!

Hello blog lovers.

Saturday morning and the sun is shining brightly!  A beautiful day, so much better than last week!  I arrived just as Hels was giving the chat at the beginning of todays session.  It was a fantastic sight!  At least 50 beginners are standing listening to  Hels as she describes todays session.  It is a bit of a step up, I am sure this is the only time that the beginners will be running twice as much as as they did the week before!

So we started the session with the walk twice around the rec and then the drills!  All the skipping and funny walks to get the muscles loosened and ready are a must.  Then we started!  Running for 2 minutes, twice as much as last week, and 4 minutes walking! It's going to be tough, always is when you run twice as much, but I feel sure that they will all do so well.

Just a walk! You can do this!

It feels good for me to be able to encourage people to do something that could possible change their lives!  It has changed mine!  I have become fitter, I am more active, I think about what I eat.....ok my lager intake is still a most enjoyable time at the weekends!  It would be a most fantastic thing to see one of the back markers come up through the ranks and do something that they thought would never have done before, 10k, half marathon.....full marathon!  It's possible, it really is!

Run, just for 2 minutes!! Come on
you CAN do this!

The session seemed to go really quickly, I don't think there was anyone that didn't run all of the running sections, well, there was one lady, but she had a bit of a pain in leg, but she came along today just to get the encouragement from her fellow beginners, she didn't want to miss a week!  So she walked the session, doing a bit of brisk walking when the running was due. 

And then it was the warm down stretches!  It's just amazing how the time just flew!  I can't wait to do it all again next week!

Yes! done it! Bring on next week!

So the number 50, I haven't quite finished with it yet.  One of my running buddies from group 1 has been doing so well with her Parkruns, going most weeks, winter and summer and today she completed her 50th Parkrun!  A fantastic achievement, I still haven't done that yet, (lazyitus, early saturday mornings)  When I am supporting someone I can get up and be at Normans Park, and when we have a beginners course, I am here at 9 in the morning! But when it comes to just me and Parkrun, doing it just for me, then the 'Lazymare' kidnaps me, keeps me snug in my bed with the duvet pulled tightly over me!  How am I supposed fight that!

Anyway, just for a complete giggle let me tell you this, we are all talking about Janets 50th, Wendimoo was going to bake a cake with 50 on it, J.J. was talking about getting her to run with a 50th balloon! Michelle also wants to congratulate Janet and goes out to by Janet a 'Happy 50th birthday' card for her, she was thinking it was her birthday!  It made Janet laugh and the rest of us.  I met them all at Saints and Sinners to share in the congratulations!

Janet and her 50th Bithday Card!
Congratulations Janet, You have done so well!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

So, Lets do Mud! And Then Track.... With SLGR!

Hello blog lovers.

This morning was a gorgeous spring morning! Who would not want to run on a day like this!  I was in two minds whether to take the group through the woods or play it safe and do the parks again.  Although its good running through the parks, I don't want the ladies to get bored!  The roads around Petts Wood are ok, but then there is the traffic, fumes in your lungs, which is why I try to stick with running through the parks and paths.

But today, with the blue sky, the sun shining, and really feeling  like a perfect running day, the woods beckoned me.  I wasn't really thinking if the mud had dried out or not, I was just hoping that it wasn't that bad!

Richard was also taking his group through the woods as well, so it's kismit!  We just had to follow suit.  The ladies coming with me didn't seem to mind too much, they just love running.  I chose my route very carefully, trying to think of the driest route possible.  You'd think if you go running up and up, towards the top, away from the river, then surely it should be drier the higher you go, right? Right!

As we ran up the middle path of the woods I was smiling, it felt so good to be back in my beloved woods.  I was going to take them to the top and then left to run along to Botany Bay Lane.  Then there will be a bit of road work, to bash the mud off , if there was any of course.

Well, let me tell you.....there was mud, plenty of it.  It wasn't quite dry but it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be! When we got to nearly the top of the woods, just up ahead in front of us, we could see group 2!  We had nearly caught up with them!  We must have been running as fast as them, surely! You can just see group 2 in this picture .  We could do some quality running on most of the paths, and the woods smelled so good, the sun light shining down through the trees, it was just superb!  The dog walkers were enjoying being in the woods, and all the dogs looked like they will NOT be allowed into the house until they have seen the hose pipe.

Can you see group 2?

Most of the paths were passable with just a few very sticky bits that you either had to go through or pick you way around!  I chose to just plough my way through!  I had a change of shoes in my car (just in case!)  When we got to Botany Bay lane we had a little break as we waited for Viv to get to us.  She was busy ducking and diving between the bridle path and the pedestrian path.  But look at this..... You can see why we were waiting for her.  It seems that Viv is not that keen on mud, and has somehow managed to hover over all the wet bits.
The Bridle path and
pedestrian path!

Viv gliding through the woods.

The road part was probably a welcome relief to Viv! And it gave us a chance to pick up the pace a bit. But we were soon back into the woods as we touched on edge of  Scadbury Park.  Again somehow Viv managed to avoid getting mud on her, me Michelle and Wendimoo all had the same colour shoes........brown!

Can you tell which shoe belongs to Viv?

I had one last chance to get Viv's shoes looking like they had just done a 10k in nothing but mud!  I led them back into the woods to run down to Dog poo ally, and then run all the back to the rec.

A great run session, but Viv's shoes never got any muddier!  I should let her see this picture below, just to show her that it's all washable!

Once clean shore, one dirty shoe!

Track Session

Its that time of the month when the SLGR crew come and join us for one of our track sessions.  It makes for a massive turnout, which means massive encouragement from all and for all!  I have missed the last couple of sessions, due to rain and feeling yucky! (i.e. lazyitus) But after this mornings glorious spring like run I was feeling quite positive!

I drove down to Normans Park Track and met up with the PWR's and the SLGR's.  Our session was to run two 1600 m with 90 sec rest between and then two 800 m with 90 sec rest. Doesn't it look simple written down!  I looked at it on the Facebook page, and ...in my Old Girl brain....I saw it as 'Only 4 things to do'  Seriously that is how I saw it.  two long runs first then two short ones! "Easy peasy" I was thinking!

Of course when you are down there, and then realise what 1600m is (four times around the track non stop!) then the easy peasy turns into "Eh....What?"  Now, being an old girl, I still use 'Old money' when it comes to distances.  400m is once around the track, I get that (finally), it took a while for me to realise, but whenever PhysioMike said that we will be running 800m I always visualise running around 4 times!  I know! Maths is not my strong point.

So it was really helpful when PhysioMike converted the 1600m into 'old money'.....just about 1 mile!  Now that I can do that. I can visualise that, I can see that......and I can keep an eye on my Garmin which I have set up in miles!  So much easier for me.  I can run a mile, I know I can, I have done it countless of times.  Even on my long runs, its run a mile and then walk a minute!  In fact just what we were doing tonight for the first two miles, except we will have an extra 30 seconds rest!

We all started off together, there will be no way I will be finishing with everyone else,  that's for sure.  They all took off running really really fast and of course I took off with the, it's hard not too. I tried to keep up with them, I checked my Garmin to see how fast I was running and realised  I deffo had to slow down!  There was no way I could keep up that sort of speed!  I am old you know!

When P.M. called out my 'park run' time I was totally surprised.  30:30 or there abouts!  I don't think I have ever run that fast a Parkrun.  But if I could have kept that up for the whole session then I would be on for a PB parkrun time!

It was a great session, everyone had a great time, everyone encourages and chats to everyone.  I am useless with names, but people remember my name, and they say "Hi Old Girl, hows you doing" And that sets my brain cell going, digging in the depths of my mind for the names that I know are buried deep inside my head!  But one name I have remembered is Vicky!  When we had done our two 1600m sections we started off our 800m together.

She is obviously a lot younger than me as before we even reached the first corner she was pulling away from me pretty quickly, and she chatting was over her shoulder to me!  It was great to see some familiar faces as well from SLGR, Inky and OnePaceKat, complete with her union jack taping to her ankle!  And to see Kevin as well from Orpington Road Runners!  This is what I love about running and running clubs!  Everybody trains to together, you don't get that so much in the others sports, football for instance.  Can you image Millwall training with Arsenal, or Liverpool with Chelsea!

I was pleased that I had managed to complete all that was planned for today.  The faster runners however, while they were waiting for us slower runners to finish was taken to the 200 meters mark and then they had to sprint as fast as they could back to the start!  Wow, sometimes there is a good reason to be slow!

Here is some pictures from the track tonight, only the warm down stretches, as I really wanted to concentrate on running as fast as I could!

The 'gangs'

Hels leading the warm down stretches.

Geeky stats. You will notice the Garmin  had aHissy Fit!  It lost satelites for a short while!