Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Club Runs - Love Em!

Hello blog lovers.

I do love my club runs, and running group 0 is an absolute pleasure!  Watching people just push themselves, seeing them realise that they are achieving their goals!  And today was a particularly great moment.

In group 0 today there was only Jenny, so I decided to do the route I had planned last week.  It's a nice flatish route and a great route for just practising your speed on.  We haven't done that yet with the latest members of group 0, so it's a nice change.  It's always good to 'mix things up' a bit.

So after a warm up couple of skips and karaokas and jogging along the path, we went out.  Just nice and easy at first and build the speed up slow and steady.  Now Jenny has these long legs!  Mine are a lot shorter.  Even walking I am doing ten to the dozen trying to keep up with her!  But we kept it going!

There was no stopping on this run, no slowing down, if we not running then we were power walking!  You can imagine what I looked like trying to keep up walking with those long strides Jenny was doing!  I was pleased that I picked a nice flat route!

I think Jenny was really working hard, she had a determined look on her face all the way round.  Even when we were power walking it was with steely determination, arms swinging!  God help anyway in her way!

The last stretch of the road she really went for it, as soon as we came under the bridge on Tudor way we flew up the road.  I was running along beside her encouraging her all the way, her long stride seemed to eat up the pavement.  I heard her let out a little groan, "Come on, just to the end  of this pavement, just where that car is coming out"  And she pushed herself just a little bit more to get to the road.

With just a little further to go, we took it nice and steady, slow the heartbeat down slowly!  We got to the gate and went in.  We walked a little bit and then did our stretches!  A fabulous run, and what was even better was that Jenny was still smiling!

Here's the geeky stats.

Group 1

Illustrious Leader was leading group 1 today. I was feeling pretty good, even though I did push a little harder today, but it's always good to try to extend yourself!  So our route was a favourite of mind, a nice simple rout, with a gradual up hill for the first half and then a brilliant down hills for the second.

Of course I was sweeping at the back with the usual gang, J.J. Janet, Auriol and Paula!  We all love our Tuesday club runs, chatting and having a laugh. me, J.J.  Janet and Auriol are doing the Brighton 10k next month, as well as about 100 others from PWR's, I am so looking forward to that.  We were talking about it and Paula wished that she had put her name down!  There is always next year.

After all the announcements were said we all left the rec to run with our group buddies.  Oh I so love running with this lot!  It's brilliant!  We ran down Crossways and Tudor way, our first stop was to be at the off license.  

We had a quick stop there, well it was a quick stop for me and the other back stoppers the front runners had a bit longer!  Then it was back to it, all through the estate.  The faster runners with extra energy we sent around the green to run off a bit of steam, while us chatting and sweeping at the back ran along the side.  

It was just at the end of this bit that I had this awful 'thing' happen in my right calf!  I have had problems with it for a couple of weeks now.  If I am going to get cramp it will be in that leg, for no reason whatsoever.  I can wake up just in time to stop it from cramping up and hurting me!  But this felt most peculiar.  It felt like a little elastic had broken and it snapped back, but it felt like it snapped and twisted and turned through my calves!  Most peculiar.  

Fortunately I was just slowing down at the time as I felt like it was just about to cramp up!  It hurt quite bad for just a minute or two and I thought I wouldn't be able to even get back home, but just as quickly it came it eased off to just a dull ache.  I could even run a little bit, after a fashion. But I didn't push it.  I walk some and ran some.  Janet stayed back with me and we chatted and walked and ran when I could as far as the Off License again.

After a little break we continued our way, but I told Illustrious Leader that I would continue down Crofton Road, J.J. Janet, Sara and Auriol  decided to come with me while the rest of the group went with along to Beaumont Road and St Johns.

We ran/hobbled all the way to the rec, but as we got to St. Johns Road we saw the rest of our group come running out of the there.  I am not quite sure if it is longer to go down St, Johns or not, but I do know there it is a more undulating way.  I think I made the right decision!

Even though I managed to do this bloomin thing with my calf I was still so pleased to be able to get out and run with my friends!  Love this club, I really do!

Geeky stats.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

If You Go Down To the Woods Today......Wear Wellies

Hello blog lovers,

This morning I went for a lovely run with J.J.   I do love running on Thursday mornings with my running buddies and today it was with one of my besties!  J.J. "So is it just like Tuesday club runs?" she said "Oh it's better" I said, "as we don't have to keep up with the crowd, we can stop and smell the ......well what ever there is to sniff at this time of year!"

Because I now have a running buddy today we can head to the woods!  It was just the two of us, DiscoRich's group had about 6 or 7 members.  They did try and persuade J.J. to run along with them but she put them in their place, she knows how much and how fast she can do!

We all headed out of the rec with the woods being our destination!  Of course DiscoRich's group was well up the road by the time we started running up the road, I had to wait for the satellites to find me!  We went into the woods via Dog Poo ally and turned left.  The ground wasn't that bad!  We had some rain yesterday, it seemed it rained for the entire day!  The woods got a nice soaking.  I had my new shoes on (I should invest in some trail shoes!) but I thought I would just 'go for it' you know, not worry about the mud too much! ........Oh you thought I was going go full speed ahead! No!,  Save that for the races!

We were going to be taking it nice and easy! And it was just as well.  By the time I got to the little stream going under the tunnel by the bridge, I suddenly felt a little unwell!  Just like I was about to throw up!  But I slowed down to a walk and let the moment pass.  I was thinking that I should have had something to eat earlier, or at least a cuppa.  Maybe it was lack of sugar or something, but it's too late now.

The route I was going today was up Botany Bay Lane, all the way up to the very top.  I wanted to go through the estate with the lovely house.  Well, we enjoyed the run down to the stream and the little bridge, but then it was all up hill!  J.J. seemed to have a mission going as she attacked the hill, wanted to get to the gate, to the lovely little house that is there.  I slowly jogged on behind her feeling like every step was with lead weighted legs!

We got to the gate and just took a breather, neither of us speaking for a few minutes, we just bent over in that 'clutching at the knees' pose that runners do.  We then just started to walk up a bit to get our mojo put back into place to tackle the rest of the hill.

We got to the top and ran along the road to the pub.  Wouldn't it be nice to just pop in there for a coffee right now, but we carried on.  I made a bit of a boo boo along this bit of road, I turned right too soon!  You can see that on the geeky stats.  But we eventually got the right road and ran along and down......and up to the entrance of the woods.

We decided to use the most walked path, which brings us out onto the paths that we regularly use in the summer when running in group 0.  It really was a lovely run, we chatted and talked, and squished in the mud.  I do love the feeling you get after each woody run.  Your lungs feel like that that have been through a spa session.

Running along the path next to the road and we know that not long and our run will be over.  We walked and we run around this route today, and as we were running down by the railway we saw DiscoRich's group coming down another path!  Perfect timing I say!

They were just a little ahead of us, I wasn't really going to try and keep up with them, but I knew we were not going to be that far behind.

So glad I went out today, so glad that J.J. came along.  so glad we have these woods right on our doorstep!

Geeky stats for you!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Straight As An Arrow!, Just like Scooby Doo!

Hello blog lovers.

I can't believe I haven't done any form of exercise since Thursday!  Tut, tut, I am so going to have to address this situation! Pretty darn soon!

So what's happened then, well, I won't tell you whats happened since Thursday and now, but I shall tell you all about yesterdays club run.  There was only the one run yesterday, there wasn't any group 0's meeting up, in fact one of the group 0's has fledged and joined in group 1!

I was hoping that I would be able to keep up with the main group as I hadn't run the extra 2.5 miles before hand, but then again, my running is a bit slower these days anyway.  I didn't know who was taking the lead and it was a lovely surprise to find out that PhysioMike was leading group 1!  In fact all the ladies made it know that that they were nicely surprised that he was leading.  And then he said "So, we're doing 4 at 11 minute mileing...." Well, the ladies of group 1 soon let him know that 4 miles at that pace is definitely not what we are used to!

After all the announcements were made we were on our way, with quite a few of us opting to be sweepers!  I wonder why!  PhysioMike did say that he will shorten the route slightly, and of course we informed him of how many stops (catch ups) we have during our perfect social club runs!   So we ran off down Crossways and then turned left to run up Pettswood road.  We were going to be going on a route that I haven't been on before.

It was a very psychological run yesterday.  There were quite a few parts of the route that we had been on before on other runs, but we were going in the opposite direction!  The pace was spot on really, PhysioMike kept on asking how we were all getting on, making sure that we were not running beyond our pace.  But like all the good leaders in our club, for those that were wanting to run a bit faster, then he told them to run to a junction and then run back to us at the back!  That way we all kept moving and no one cooled down!

The first of our 'mental testing' sections of this run was at Willet Way.  We came into it in the middle, and at first I didn't realise where I was, so it didn't have that big a deal on me.  It wasn't until we got to the end of that road that I realised where I was, but as it was still early days it wasn't so bad.  We continued down Cardiac hill, which we all love doing, and we all know that it's on the way back.  But I was thinking it was going to be a short route if we go this way!

Then I remembered that P.M. said that we were going to go along St. Johns and Beaumont road.  I hadn't quite thought about it when he first said it at the rec, but just then I understood.  It was a very different route indeed.  Some where along our route PhysioMike gave us some great advice and tips about how to run effectively. One of the things he said, which amused me the first time he told me about it, is that we should be running like Scooby Doo and the gang!  You know, lightly, silently!  Like we are creeping up on the bad guys!  I have remembered that, and always try to practise this!  It's always good to know how to improve how you run!

So there were were, running along down the Covert and into St Johns road.  We usually run all the way to the end of St Johns Road to then start the last straight back to the rec.  Now it it was getting a psychological!  The head is saying "It's just down there" and our leader is saying "We're running up Beaumont Road", another road we usually run down when we are this far into our run!

It was a slow run for us back runners, with a sneaky walk or two to get to the end of the road.  But I am glad to say that we were all running whenever we bumped into the other groups, I think we passed Davids group 2....twice!  Once we got to the end of that road we turned right and ran along to the Off License.  Then I knew we were on our way back.  We couldn't go in the other direction as it will be just to long a route!

While we were running along here we passed another group group of runners, this time it was the Orpies!  I saw Ali running along with them!  I am not sure where they meet up but I think they still got a way to go to get back to their starting point!  But ours was just along here, Down to the roundabout and then under the bridge..........oh hang on.......I remember now, PhysioMike said something about running through the high street first!

See what I mean about it being a psychological run! So we ran passed by Tudor Way and headed up the High Street and then turned right by the car park.  From there we ran down Petts Wood Road and turned left into Crossways.  Our run was done!

We made it with in the hour, well there was still 3 minutes left! And, if I had ran into the rec, instead of turning my Garmin off at the sign post it would have been 4 miles!  Not bad for a Tuesday Club Run!

Geeky stats for you!  Hey, take a a look at the route!  It's an arrow!!

Today, though, I decided not to have a complete rest day, I decided to have another go at the Pilates DVD. So after I got back from the school run, I got changed into gym (ok my running gear!) and stuck the disc into the machine.  This time, however, I decided to look at the very beginning of the DVD, not just jump into the exercises.

The lovely, smiley, bendy, flexible and did I say smiley lady, told me that I should do as many reps of each exercises as I felt comfortable with!  And also to try only about 5 or 6 to begin with!  Well, I felt a bit better about bailing out the first time I tried this!  So I did exactly what she said.  I didn't try to keep up with her, I tried to keep my breathing in check, but what I couldn't control was all the groaning and involuntary noises of "uurggghh" when ever I tried to do each exercise!

But at least this time I didn't swear at her smiley face, the lady that bends double touching her toes and I can just about reach the end of thighs!  Next time, smiley lady, next time!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Hello My Beautiful Woods!

Hello blog lovers.

What a lovely day! Well, actually it was raining slightly, but lovely for the fact that I went running through the woods with my buddies!  Yes, thats right, finally a a Thursday that I am not running on a Thursday morning by myself!

It was all arranged on Facebook last night, who would be meeting up, and what groups, pace and distance it will be.  DiscoRich's group usually run quite fast, compared to me anyway.  They also do about 5 miles within the hour.  I usually run about 3.5 to 4 miles within the hour, depending on fitness level!  There was to be a couple of new Thursday morning runners with us too, so we decided to all have coffee or smoothies at Saint's & Sinners after!  A perfect Thursday morning.

So I made sure I got out in plenty of time to be at the rec.  It's been a while since I lead a Thursday morning group, and from last nights messages there is also going to be a few people who normally run in group 2 and 3 running with little ole me!  I just hope they enjoy it, and it's not too slow for them.

I locked my bike up and I noticed an elderly lady waiting by the tennis courts.  I said good morning to her, and then she waved at someone near the pavilion. I looked over and I could see who she was waving to and I could see the PWR's gathered in the carpark. I walked over to meet them.  I approached the Pavilion and the lady who had bee waved out waited till I came off the path.  She said to me "I can't see any of my lot here yet!"  and then she saw her friend who I pointed out to her!

It made me smile and fill me with hope for myself in the future, that these two will be playing tennis. One that can just about see her friend  about two tennis courts away, and shuffling along the path!  If they can still do that then by Jove I will be running until they tie me down!

It made me slightly less worried about running with the faster ladies today!  After all, we are all her because we just love doing what we do!  I was quite surprised to see how many actually was going to going with me.  Six including me!  I think my group even rivalled DiscoRiches!  I had to routes planned, the woods, which I really, really wanted to do or the three parks, which is ok, but it's not the woods.

Everyone chose the woods.  We set off all eagerly chatting with me at the front!  But that wont be for the whole run!  I usually lead from the back!  I really am trying to get faster, but for me just getting out and doing what I am doing is keeping me sane at the moment!  We went into the woods via Dog Poo Ally, and turned left.  It was along here that my group started to slowly get in front of me. "Keep going left" I told them as they come to the first fork in the path.

We ran all the way to the walk over bridge where we took a little breather, mainly for me!  I told them which way we were going, and then said instead of waiting if they get too far in front of e then they could do a u-turn and run back to me!  Thats what I do with my runners in group 0, it just keeps the legs moving.  I told them that we were going to run along by the river before heading up Goss Hill.  Do I not like hills!  And yet, I chose to put the steepest hill into our route this morning!  I can only blame in on the fact that I must have forgotten, as it's been so long since I have been in the woods.

While we running up this hill there was a loud 'crack!'  I looked to my left and saw the birds fly up.  I guess they had heard that sound quite a few times!  I couln't believe that someone would be shooting here though, it's a little too close to the houses!  But then there was some more cracking, and more, and the tree started to move. the cracking got louder as the tree fell over!  Do people not shout "Timber" anymore!  I didn't hear it if they did.  I carried on trying to run up this hill.

The girls just seemed to eat the hill!  I could only wish they did, I really struggled to run up here.  I ran a couple of steps, and the walked some, ran a couple of steps and walked some.  I was walking just on the last bend when I saw Sacha coming back down to encourage me up the hill!  Now that is dedication!  She even had the broadest smile on her face!  I can say that really did help me up the hill and I ran up the last bit with her.

I metaphorically collapsed at the top (had it not been raining I may just had done it for really) while I got my breath back and then we carried on along the path behind the school.  They waited at the end of the path to find out which way we were going. Then started along Botany Bay Lane to the bridle path where we turned right.

The lovely group of ladies.

Just a couple more little hills to do and then we start our gently descent.  It's not as if if notices much, to be able to enjoy the feeling of the down hill, but it may feel like it on our legs.  I wasn't quite sure of our distance either, some of us had lost satellites at some point in the woods, but we were found again!  Those last two little hills were telling!  My legs were not happy with me at all, my back started to remind me of why I took enforced rest as well, and not only that but some cramp like feeling was happening in my left hip!

Hmm!  Now whats that all about?  Is t because it's different terrain and I haven't been running through the woods for a while? Is it me just getting old, or maybe my body is adjusting to my new shoes!?  I decided to ignore it, well we still had at least three quarters of a mile to do anyway!  My group of ladies all were running in front of me, and always one of them staying with me to chat!

The run along to the woodsmans house I kept up with them all, and we took a little break just outside the woodmans lodge, maybe get a peak at him again!  It was probably quite sure that wasn't going to happen because the tree coming down early could well be his handiwork.  Oh well, I still needed to catch my breath!

We we soon running down towards the ally way, the last path, our run in the woods was nearly over.  I had such a lovely time in there, I really didn't want it to stop. I started to regret about not going a little further, taking a couple of other zig zagging paths around the woods, but I guess I couldn't actually kidnap my group, especially as they all do run faster than me!

Out of the tunnel and we ran back to the rec to do some stretching.  Our shoes (especially my new shoes) weren't as muddy as I thought they may have been at the end!  We made our plans to meet at the cafe for coffee, smoothies and cakes!

A great run, thoroughly enjoyed it!  I and just hoped I wasn't too slow for my group of ladies today!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Petts Wood Runners, Petts Wood Runners Running Through The Glen!

Hello blog lovers.

Well, I finally made two runs this evening, group 0 and group 1, so group 0 first.

Group 0

I had planned to run up Birchwood with my group this evening,  it's been a couple of weeks since we did that!  In todays group we had Jenny, Elena and Kim, eager to get under way.  We did some warm up drills first to try and loosen up our muscles.  The weather is getting cooler and it's not good to try and run straight away with cold muscles. 

But then it was time.  I said to Jenny to ignore the lampposts for now, pretend they are not there, we are going to run to the top of the hill before even thinking about a little walking break!  Visualise ourselves at the top!  That's our goal, that's the challenge bit for today.  After that is working on breathing, getting further and further with the running, and keeping a steady pace.  It all sounds pretty easy when its written down, but actually doing it is totally different!

Everyone did really well, they kept going, and kept smiling, even with my slight nagging to get to the next lamppost.  But it really does work.  Those little goals that you set yourself, just little tiny ones, achievable ones, really does work.  And while you are out running making all those little goals and achieving them, it makes you feel really bloody marvellous!  Even our Kim used that method getting around Parkrun on Saturday, except her little goals were the orange cones!

A great run with the ladies, and they really are all improving and doing well!  Here's their geeky stats.

Group 1

Group 1 today was led by SingstarJo, and our group today was about 20 strong.  We set off a little later than usual as we had an awful lot of congratulating to do for a brilliant job of putting on our 10k event!  It really was a fantastic event, just the write ups on Runners World and our own Petts Wood Runners 10k page can prove that!  Any way I digress.  

SingstarJo's route today was taking in Tillingbourne Green!  Tillingbourne Green is hill! It's a green on a hill, and it's a green that leaders like SingstarJo and in fact Illustrious Leader like to take group 1 as its in our range!  I think I may have sounded off when SingstarJo mentioned it!  Still, hills are our friends! They are, apparently, they kind of like us, sort of. Well they make us, sweat, and hurt, and swear!!

Anyway, there was our route, I didn't quite hear much after the Tillingbourne thing, but it will be a great surprise when we run there.  We set off, I was sweeper with Illustrious Leader, and we do do a great job of it!

We ran up the same road that I took group 0, I am so going to have to liaise with the leaders, just so that I don't do the same road twice!  My calf muscle in my right leg was really giving me gip!  It started on the Sunday, I think maybe from standing around in the same spot, I should have done some exercises while I was manning my post!

It took a while for my leg to warm up after the waiting around, but at least I was moving! My back wasn't giving me issues and my shins, well, shhh, they seem to be just fine too!  But now this blooming calf!  What is going on with my body lately!  I kept the group in sight, and probably in shouting distance if we need to stop at all, but it didn't get that bad.

Once we were at the green SingstarJo split us into two, sent one group around the green one way and the other group around the green the other way, see which group was the last to get runners 'home!'  We all set off after having a little break, with S.J. talking about the KFL, which are good run.  Great cross country races done in your club teams.  I have taken part in a couple of them.

I went around the green the with clockwise team and we met the other runners about half way around!  It looked slightly different going this way around I have only ever run the other direction!  There is still a hill to climb though, there is not getting away from that!  I think both groups got all their members back around about the same time, me and Ariol arriving around the the same time!  So a draw!

Then we continued on the route that S.J. had planned.  We headed left and then started to run down the hill. I wasn't quite sure where we were, and then I suddenly realised what hill we were on!  Poverest!  I hate this hill, I hate cycling it (which I can do now!) and I hate running up it!  Something I have yet to do!  But I felt sure that S.J. had plans, I think she has a route that will not take us all the way to the bottom!... I think I think too much!  "Maybe she has a bus down there organised to bring us all back up!" I said, and me, Auriol and Tendai giggled, nervously!  "Maybe she has got lost" we finally said out loud!

Once we got to the bottom of the road S.J. came running up to meet us. "I've taken the wrong road" she said, and she looked really sorry!  I mean, this road is horrendous, it's not a favourite of group 1's and no it looks like we are going to have to run back up it!  After running all the way to the bottom! Shhhh....shhhall I just smile around about here!  It was rather funny! now that I am home, and sitting with my feet up!

Group leading is not as easy at it seems, and sometimes we do go wrong.....or at least we do find alternative routes while out running!  It's a way of making new routes next time!  Tried and tested routes! Or routes to avoid!

Illustrious Leader suggested that we turn around and then turn left up a little road. Yes we will be running up the same hill, but at least it's not that part of it, it has a different name! In fact it's what this post is on about.  For those that remember Robin Hood, and that tune #Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the Glen, Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men! I am sure some of you will know it.

This little bit is known as Robin Hood estate.  I think it's the name of the roads that give it away, go ahead, check them out on the geeky stats!  Friars Road, for instance!  Anyway, all I can say is, I am glad it's dark!  I tried to run up it, but I was really struggling.  I had already done hills today, and those awful hills yesterday on the bike!  It's my excuse, and I am sticking to it!

We came out on the same road where we started to head down, down, down, just opposite the green that we round around, which of course had a hill in there somewhere!  But now, it's all rather flat, that is....until we head on down. Down Petts Wood Road to Crossways!  I ran next to Auriol, the rest of the group were way in front of us, and I.L and Tendai were just behind!

I was pleased this run had been done, and yes there were hills, but I was still glad that I could run with group 1 again!  It felt good to be back with my running buddies!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Petts Wood Runners 10k 2015

Hello blog lovers.

The day started out early!  Early Sunday morning, me, only 6 hours sleep!  How did that work?!  I even had time to cover the dark circles under my eyes with makeup!  The sun was breaking through and it looked like it was going to be a perfect day for our 10k.

The Old Boy dropped me off at the rec, I knew parking would be an issue, what with 900 runners expected and their entourage, plus all the marshals that will be needed that day.  I walked into the rec and there were marques all ready set up, and the start/finish was blown up and secured!  Everything was going so well.  There had been marshals there since about 7 or probably even earlier! 
CoachHels and her team

I found my team leader (CoachHels) and she 'gathered' up her flock of mashals.  We were then given a tour of the rec, as we were the 'rec team' we all had to know what was where and who was taking care of which duty.  The whole thing was expertly organised, even if I am a little biased about my club.

My duty along with Angela was to 'man' the entrance to the park, not to let any unauthorised vehicles into the car park.  I was also the first aider for the rec, but I felt sure that all I would have to do was to escort any injured people to the St. John ambulance station that we had in the car park.

Me and Angela, after our tour of the rec, went to our post straight away.  We had our list of authorised vehicles that had been allocated parking and we took up our positions!  It was about 8;45 ish now, so not too long before the runners will be coming for their numbers.  The other authorised vehicles soon came along as well, One Inn The Wood in particular, a most important part of our 10k, and then the band members from The Dirty Perks, another important part of our 10k.  This is the second year that both of these guys have been with us and they are proving a great success.
Angela and me

Then the runners started to arrive, slowly at first, we gave them directions to the registration tent so that they could pick up their numbers.  Then more and more eager, excited, worried looking runners came.  "Oh I don't know how I am going to do this year" said some, while others said "I am going to try and get a PB this year" said some others.  But the most repeated comment was "At least it's not like it was in 2013, that rain was torrential!"  This is how popular our 10k has become.  People come back year after year.  Voted the best 10k for October by Runners World readers, all of us at PWR are just so proud to be a member!

The band kicked in and it sounded brilliant from where we were, but this year I wasn't  able watch them perform nor did we get to see the start or the finish of the race!  We were there till the very end of play.  There was only a couple of little incidents of 'moaning' about the parking, one was from a tennis player.  I expect with over 900 runners expected and the car park out of use (except for authorised vehicles) then finding a parking space was a little difficult that Sunday!

The founder of the ParkRun Paul Sinton-Hewitt was our local celebratory this year.  Parkrun has been going for 11 years now, hundreds of them have sprung up all over the country and even other parts of the world.  Thousands and thousands of people regularly run free timed 5k courses at the local parks....just for fun!  It's a brilliant concept and it was a privilege that Paul was here with us today.
He was even at the PWR's local Parkrun venue at Norman Park for the 300th event.  A whopping 500+ runners took part to run their fav 5k route.

I kept checking my watch, it was getting closer to the start time, people were coming in, some now running to get their numbers, there were spectators, and families all filing through the entrance to get a good view of the start.  It was so exciting . Adele , our very own PWR member, was there to put the runners through a great warm up routine.  I could feel the butterflies in my tummy....and I wasn't even running!

Then I heard DiscoRich on the mic as he started to introduce the 2015 9th Petts Wood Runners 10k, with a horn blowing loudly and a balloon  going up the race was underway.  Just then a running came down Crossways, he was just 'running' a little late! 

Not only do we organise a fantastic 10k course, we also organise the kids race!  Yup, with free entry for the kids, all who enter 'win' a fantastic chocolate medal!  But there was also a display from a taekwondo troupe to entertain every one that was there, waiting for their friends and family to come running back.

Woody and Woodina, our club mascot gorillas was making sure that the bananas was safe and only the runners would get their hands on them, though I am sure they would have liked to have taken them back to the jungle with them.  And the band played on.

But then it was a little quiet, two members of the band got back in their car and came out of the car park.  Was they leaving, had they had enough?  No, they were going to set up for the Woods session at the 7k mark!  Just when runners were starting to feel jaded, a bit tired maybe, then the band will be there, singing along to give them a much needed boost!

About 15 or so minutes from the end of the race then next authorised vehicle came.  It was from the Raj Doot, the local curry house.  You will find many a PWR members grazing here most weekends, its a favourite of ours.  They were again supplying samosas for all.  And me and Angela was in the perfect place to be able to get on or two of these hot Indian snacks.  This is another brilliant tradition of the Petts Wood 10k, and is always spoken about in many a comments!

The childrens race was a great success, the taekwondo team were a great success and the Beer Tent was well attended!  There were cakes to be bought, bacon rolls to be totally devoured and even face painting this year, a first for our event.  The whole morning was just a fantastic party atmosphere!

The first of the runners came in 0:36:44 minutes !  A ridiculous speedy time!  How they can run that fast I have no idea!  We have at least 3 hill sections in there!  Then slowly after that the runners came in, up to 1:31:41!   I believe we only had a couple of injuries out there, and one was a chap who said " I tripped on the pavement, but it was Ok, as with quick thinking I used my nose to stop myself!"  The mans nose was as red as Rudolfs!  But he insisted on running the last few metres to get to the finish.  Our medals are a much prized gong! An amazing event, one that I am so proud to be part of!  I can't wait for next year.

Photos curtesy of Brian Page, Siggy, and others!


Hello blog lovers.

It's going to look at bit weird as I post up two running blogs and 1 cycling blog today, but they all deserve their own space!

So first is the beginners.

It's the week where the distance seems like a big jump from the previous week but it actually isn't!   Not when you look at the it mathematically, not that I am good at maths anyway!  The week where we were doing  3 mins running and 3 minutes walking was like jumping 50%, so now, it's only about 20%!  Ok so you can see I am no good a maths!

Anyway, we are still on the rec, the next time we are going to go on to the roads!  But for now, it's still on the grass.......with me in my new shoes!!  They are going to get so wet and muddy!  I arrived on time to walk the 2 laps warm up before the drills.  And then it was the running.  I stayed with Linda again,  we were in amongst the front runners and for the first half of the field Linda kept up with them all.  But that is not always a good thing!  You have to learn to pace yourself to your own agenda, and then build up on that!

We were only going to be running 4 reps now, which I guess is a bonus.  The ground was really wet. my shoes were getting so muddy and wet!  But not to worry, they are shoes, they are running shoes, they are doing a job!  Arrrrggghh my poor shoes!!  Time to focus again, get Linda through this weeks session.

She was struggling a bit this week.  I think sometimes you just do struggle.  Even if you are Mo Farah or Paula Radcliffe, there are days when you just don't 'feel it', and your times, your energy your mojo will still be having a lay in on a Saturday morning!  But with some encouragement we got around, at our own pace!

With just the warm down stretches to help with avoiding any muscles complaining another week was done!  Satisfaction from all the beginners for week 5 is obvious!  So enjoy helping out at this course!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

I Miss My Woods!

Hello blog lovers.

I was doing my usual procrastinating this morning, after finding out there were no other group 1 runners to meet up with in the rec, until finally a 'still quiet voice' said "Go on get out there and run!" I love running, I really do, but lately getting my ass in gear for a solo run takes a lot of nagging!

I think I must be coming down with something too, or it could be change of weather, or 'change'  but something deffo not right!  But I was out there, in my new shoes!  I love these shoes! And now that Runners Need kept their price promise I love them even more. I ignored the deflated feeling, I ignored the lethargy and need to go lay day for a nap (yes I know it was late morning!) and just started to run.

There has been an unfortunate incident around here that has left me with just the roads to run on while I am running solo, maybe that is another reason I kept procrastinating! So I had to run on the pavements, next to the traffic, but I was heading to Normans Park.  That park is really busy with dog walkers, students taking lunch breaks, joggers, runners, cyclists and dads walking pushing buggies!  I think I will be pretty safe there.

The park is about a mile and half away, once around the park and then back again I was thinking about 4 miles ish!  It will be the longest run for flipping ages that's for sure!  I just took it easy.  My calfs are really tight, I think that is maybe due to me running in my new shoes, getting back to running without overpronating again!  (Not that I am a professional, but it makes sense to me!)  In fact my calves were so tight I was thinking about just doing my usual Turp loop!  But when I got to Turpington Lane I talked myself into going further.

I ran to the park, well, walked/ran to the park and I was pleased that I continued.  Nice big open space, no cars, no fumes, no noise!  Just people using the park.  I took a deep breath and immediately felt invigorated again, if only for a few minutes.

I ran around the park, passing the walkers and the buggy pushers, the dog walkers and cyclists.  Half way round I got to thinking, just about stuff, like you do.  The music seemed to just fade from my mind and all I could 'hear' was my thoughts.  I started crying, sobbing, shoulders bouncing up and down type sobbing.  Fortunately there wasn't anyone in ear shot at the time.  I just wanted to be able to go see my mum, and talk with her!  This empty mum shaped hole has not got any smaller.

 I had recovered by the time I got back to the main gate, I only ran once around the park and then I was back out into the streets, with the fumes and cars!  Oh I miss my woods, why are there weird people around?!  I started back on the homeward journey, feeling annoyed that my Thursday run through the woods should be postponed until I have running buddies to run with.

It was a slow run but I really needed to know that I could run further that three and half miles without being too embarrassingly slow!  I think I did ok, considering....what do you think.  Here's my geeky stats.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Group 0

Hello blog lovers,

What an awful wet day it's been!  It' wasn't looking good for my 7 o'clock start group 0 run either.  But when I walked out of the door there was just a very, ever so slight, sprinkle of rain in the air.  I was hoping it was going to stay away.

I had the car, so I drove to the rec and walked inside.  There were two members today, Jenny who cam a couple of weeks ago and Elena, a newbie from the beginners course.  I had planned a different course for this evenings route.  It's a flattish one, I just wasn't quite sure of the over all distance, but I feel it is group 0 spec.

I did some quick warm ups to make us ready for the route, as I wasn't sure just how far it was going to be.  We will also run quite slowly for the first part as well, so we shall be warming up even more.  It was quite dark, and I know there is a big dark rain cloud up above as well. I noticed it on the way to the rec.

We were running along Tudor way, just nice and steady.  lamppost to lamppost!  Well, actually, Jenny was counting, she ran at least 7 lampposts before taking a walk to the next lamppost!  I think we ran at least 4 minutes, around about the same time as the beginners did on Saturday, so completely on track with them so far.

Jenny liked the lamppost to lamppost method of running.  We were running at least 3 lampposts or maybe even 4 and walking just 1 lamppost.  I was leading them to the 'Off License' why we still call it that I don't know, it's been a convenience store for ages now!  There we will take our first stop, stretch the legs before continuing our way.

I know it is just a mile to the Off license, it's the return journey that i am not quite sure about. It's obviously at least a mile back, but I am going over the bridge and the turning left to go along St Johns.  I think that will add maybe another half mile.  A perfect distance from group 0!

After a few stretches, and quick chat about where we are going now and then we started on our way back.  Across the road and then over the bridge, being careful of the silly 'lip' that is there.  It always manages to catch people out.  It's just a little bit of uneven path where the bridge meets the path way again.  If I had a pound for every one who has tripped up there, I would be able to build my own mini hospital on the corner....to deal with the injuries it causes!

We ran along the road to St Johns road and ran up there.  It' is an undulating road and Jenny wanted to make sure she was getting to the top.  She stepped it up a bit, stuck her feet into the next gear and attacked the hill! Me and Elena were chasing after her!  She flew up there "I just wanted to get to the top of the hill" she said, once we caught up with her!

The next hill I suggested that maybe she stick to the same pace....not the speedy one.....the one we were doing before, and just pick away at the hill.  It will save energy so that we can continue running on the other side of the hill.  She did that for the second hill, all though it wasn't so steep as that first bit of undulation!

We were soon back on to Tudor Way, just the last straight to go.  When we crossed over I suggested that maybe she can run all the way to the end, no stopping, after all there is no need to save any energy now as we have finished our run.  So the lamppost when out of our thoughts and instead focused on the signpost pointing out the park!

We did it.  I think the other two ladies enjoyed them selves!  We went inside the rec to do our cool downs.  I had already decided that I wasn't going to run with group 1, my back was feeling tons better, and I think the shorter distances have been doing some good.  And now I have my new shoes I am hoping my running style will be back to how it should be!

Geeky stats, oh and I accidentally started it up again!  Now that it's a hand held device I shall have to take more care of pushing buttons on and off!

By the way!  Just looking at facebook posts for the club runs and it seems everyone got quite a soaking!  So maybe I had a close call!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Two For For One!

Hello blog lovers.

Yes I am writing another one, and yes, this is about two runs I did last Thursday and the beginners course on Saturday.

So Thursday, is usually meet up with other PWR's at the rec, but I still have no car.  And here is the excuses, I don't want to run there as I don't want to be too exhausted to run if any other group 1 they may turn up, and I wont take my Spesh bike, I won't leave that one out of eyesight!  and my other bike is in the shed!

I asked through the facebook page if there was going to be any other runners and when I found there were were not going to be any I decided to run from my house.  So I planned a little route, a bit different from the usual Turpington Lane run, and went through the new local park.  I say new, it's at least 8 years old, or maybe even more!  Time is just flying by!

I went across the park and ran along the path to the road.  Then up to the bus garage I went.  I have done this one before, with Naggy Neighbour, it's about the same distance as my usual Turp route. but just getting out at the moment is all I want.  What with my back giving a little bit of aggro!

I was enjoying my run, I had my turnes in my ears and I was so enjoying listening to them, in fact I was positively dancing down the street towards the A21!  People will think that I am a crazy lady!  But I don't care, I was moving, I was running, and right then, there was hardly any discomfort in my back.

The route took me along the A21 to Crown Lane.  It was only when I got to the Crown that I realised that all the hoardings had gone, and I could run all the way along the new path by the newly built flats.  That was a nice pleasant change.  At least the trees hid the traffic on the A21!

Then it was back down Southborough lane and home.  A nice little run (from what I can remember!)

After that I decided to do what some of the other PWR's do on a Tuesday evening, a bit of Pilate's!  A friend had loaned me a dvd, Pilate's for Dummies.  I put it in the machine and got ready.  As its for dummies I was also thinking it's for beginners!

I started at the beginning, I can't remember now what the first one was called but it was a good stretch.  Then there were more, and more!  I tried to keep up, I tried to look like a ball and roll!  I tried to sit up straight, legs apart and roll one vertebra down at a time!  To be honest, I think I only have one vertebra, it goes down about an inch and that's it!

She then told me about another stretch, and I just threw in the towel, as well as a swear word!  I gave up, and went and had my breakfast and a cuppa!  I think that is why I forgot to turn my Garmin off after my run!  But hey ho.  It was a pity I wasn't wearing my HRM at the time!

Geeky stats.

Beginners Group

I was up in plenty of time to get to the beginners on Saturday. ZippySherry was taking the group and I passed her along the road as she went on her bike and I was in the car.  I parked outside the rec and went in.  There was only a couple of people there, including DottieKat.  

But by the time 9 o'clock came there were over thirty people raring to go. The morning was a bit misty, the sun was trying to burn it off!  We did our usual two lap brisk walk and the drills, and then we were ready to do 4 minutes of running with 2 walking.  I stayed at the back to encourage Michell's mum and her friend Sue.  Sue hasn't been before, she is jumping straight into week 4.  But with practise through the week, I think she will catch up, but for now she stayed at the back with us.

Those four minutes for the beginners are quite a tough one, but everyone done really well.  Michelle's mum (her name has escaped my mind!) well, we do our own thing.  As much running as we can do within the 4 minutes and some brisk walking during the 2 minutes.  We were using paths, benches, gates and trees as markers, and we made sure that if we were passing the ladies that do mat work with a personal trainer on the green, we were running, if of course it was running time!

But from that second lap (I forgot to push the start button) we actually covered 2 miles!  Not bad first thing on a Saturday morning, even if the mist came down a bit more while were were running around. I think it's because we were all working extremely hard and was sending a heat haze!


Runners Need....New Shoes!

Hello blog lovers.
Aren't they just gorgeous!

Yup, I finally got around to buying some new shoes!  Ok, so it was an impulse buy!  Up in London, Runners Need just happened upon our walk about town, and I bought them there and then, after of course, going through their gait analysis thing on the dread mill!

So today I tested them out on a solo run!  I was waiting all day to test them out!  I knew my cycling would be cancelled today, although I think Mhairi and Fiona would still be out there if there was even one of us saying we would go (hardcore ladies!),  but I just don't find cycling in the rain fun, maybe if I get fitter and faster on my bike I may do!

Anyway, I was in my running clothes from the off this morning.  Kept looking out of the window to see if the rain had stopped but no!  I got stuck into my housework, after breakfast, lunch time came and I looked out. Still raining.  My new shoes were calling me!  But I picked up a skipping rope instead!  I skipped along to a couple of songs, then danced and twisted and gyrated about to a few more!  Well if I can't get out I might as well do something!

Then I had a brilliant idea.  I had to go out in the rain anyway, to do the school run.  So I shall go out half an hour early and do a little route that will end at the school so I can collect child.  No need to get wet twice today, make it the once and just include a little route to the school!  I am so clever!

So just after 2;30 ish I was ready in my new shoes.  Oh, Wow!  They felt like I laced a couple of the softest pillows to my feet.  Every step was like I was walking on air!  I just love new shoes! With the Satellites found on my [broken strap] Garmin I was out of the door ready to do battle with the rai.........? Oh, so now it decides to stop raining!

I hadn't really planned a route, but I knew I had to stay fairly local to the school.  I ran along my road to Whitebeam Avenue, smiling away, looking down at my shoes!  Not a good thing to do! Head up Old Girl, run like you meant to!  Still smiling I started to think about where to go. "Staying local, staying local, where to go" I was thinking.  I decided to go through the local park and out by Astley Centre.  I was thinking to myself that maybe it would have been better to have planned a route, put a bit of pressure on myself, and stretched it out a bit, because I was thinking that I am going to run out of distance before I actually run out of time.

I remembered there was a little Cul-De-Sac one of the turnings along Southborough Lane, and I am going to run down there.   When I got there I turned right and ran along,  I thought it just ended at the little mini round about, but it continued for a little further even having another little left turn before it came to the end.  All the years I have lived around here and I have never been down there before, no need to really.

At the end of the road there is a bit of land. I though that maybe it led to the park but when I looked I noticed that there were peoples gardens backing on to it.  But the fencing was down and there was a town planning notice on post.  I read it and it was saying something about permission to plant trees!  Well I am all in favour of tree planting!  Made such a change from the usual 'permission to squeeze as many houses/flats as we can in the tiny space here' notice!

I came back out of the close and continued to run along towards the school. I really underestimated this.  Even with just taking it nice and easy (ok, so it's a great excuse for my very slow run!) I was still going to run out of distance before time.  Another quick calculation of my route and I decided that I would go straight passed Oxhawth Crescent (east arm) and go down Oxhawth Crescent (west arm).

Running passed the school that I need to be in I continued my way towards Petts Wood.  A right turn down the second Oxhawth and I was heading back up towards the school.  I will still be a little early, so I ran passed the gate and back onto Southborough Lane.  I shall just go into the other gate and then run back round.  I will still have a few minutes to wait, but I can do a bit of discreet warm down stretches while I waited for the little lad to come out.

A nice little run, in my brand new shoes!  Oh, and about my brand new shoes!  I am absolutely thrilled to pieces with them. But on the Saturday when I got home with my brand new purchase, the Old Boy looked on line, just to check, and found out that I could have got them cheaper!  In fact my neighbour, NaggyNeighbour, (Brookes are her favourite shoe too!) over the road said the same thing! She actually goes one better and tries to get last seasons colours, or even two seasons ago for even better savings!

But I noticed at the shop when I bought my shoes that they had a big notice up that said they match any price on line!  Of course then I was on to the email and seeing if they will actually hold up to that promise!  After a few exchanges, photos of cheaper, exact same shoes and my receipt they said they will hold up to their promise!  Runners Need, you came up trumps!  Who says big businesses are all about themselves!

Geeky stats!