Thursday, 31 March 2016

Run Away The Day!

Hello blog lovers.
Just me verses the Track

Today was a difficult day, a day that was expected but still difficult to get to grips with.  The day started out with a lovely walk this morning with J.J. and Janet, both these lovely ladies are recovering from various things but to get out and walk is the next best thing to getting out running.  We stopped for a coffee and a chat and then we said good bye to Janet.

I didn't record our walk via satellites but it counted up my steps.  Then J.J. and I went off to see her daughter Kirsty in Kings College Hospital. Kirsty has Cystic Fibrosis a shit disease, and at this moment she is in hospital on medication to help get rid of an infection.  When she's home then I go and care for her after my morning Thursday run and again on Fridays.  Today I am with J.J. to go and see her for a couple of hours.

So the evenings exercise.  It was track time.  I needed to run, I needed to do a lap for J.J. too!  Run the day away, clear the head and then tomorrow carry on!  Sometimes I do sit and wonder why, and there are going to be so many questions for when I get upstairs, thats for sure.  Cystic Fibrosis, that is going to be a question, cancer, thats another one!  Loads of other stuff too!  But for now, we just deal with things, get on with things, don't get angry, just stayed focused.

My running this evening I just wanted to run as much as I could.  The session was quite a tough session.  Run for 400m rest for 60 seconds, then run for 400m rest for 60 seconds and run for 400m, you get the picture.  We did that for half an hour.  with the warm up before and the cool down stretches afterwards it was a very good session, one that I very much needed to do. Tears and prayers were shed and said.  And now lets get on and do the next thing, stronger, ready to deal with whatever is around the corner.

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wednesday Work Hard Day!

Hello blog readers

The school holidays have been kind to a couple of the PWR Beginners, as I can be there for them to take them through their paces.  I don't have any kids to look after so I can meet them in Norman Park.  It was just as well that Tracy reminded me, I was in total holiday mode and didn't really think about running, so it's thanks to Tracy!  The sun was out and there was no rain, so perfect for running.

We were just going to be doing the 4/2 session, with maybe a little interval running on each round, but the girls 'weren't' feeling it, it was just going to be the straight forward 4/2 rounds.  That's ok, next time. Next time I will help them to 'feel it', to feel the need to push that little bit harder, but not too hard that it becomes a chore.  But getting that feeling at the end of the each session of total satisfaction that 'Yes, I done it' is where we all need to be.

We started off after just a short brisk walk to our starting line, which is the gate by the long straight, (which for those who have never done Summer time Normans Park Run, it will be apparent why it's called that) and I started my Garmin. But I don't think Tanya quite trusts me with the whole timing thing, (I should really try and stop the auto-pause when I do the beginners and Wednesdays!) as she started her timer too!

As always the first two rounds of running are pretty good, it's when we get tired that it starts to hurt.  Does it get any easier? Well the answer is no, you always feel like you can't do the next run, but, and this is the thing that keeps you going, you just can keep going!  You find the extra bit of energy to keep the pace going, to go further, to run longer, still waiting for that moment when you 'get in the zone!'  I think I have got to that place on a number of occasions.  A time where you feel you can just keep on running and running.  You don't even realise it until you look at your surrounds and realise how far you have run.  Then you come out of the zone! At least I did.  But those occasions I was training for the marathon.  Not that you have to train for a marathon to be able to get that feeling.  I think you just need to not think about the running, not think about how hard it feels.  But to just enjoy being able to do it!  I am waffling now.  But I really feel inspired when I watch others strive to achieve their own personal running goals, and so lucky to witness it, twice a years with the beginners groups!

The last four minute round of running I asked if they wanted to do the interval running, but I am guessing with the simultaneous 'No!' from the both of them I guess that wouldn't be happening.  So I was pleased I just pushed and pulled them both just a little bit extra during the running sections today.  Yes it hurts (a nice hurt), yes, they want to stop and scream at me to tell shut up, in the nicest way of course, but at the end of each Wednesday Session we are all pretty pleased with what we did!  Now that is what it's all about!  Something you can't buy in the shops, or find in a bar of chocolate!, definitely not in chocolate!

Geeky stats

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Club Run - New Posts!

Hello blog readers.

The clocks have gone forward and the light evenings are here at last!  Well, it was still light at 7:30 this evening, but the rain was here.  And it was quite heavy too!  I was wondering if any of Group 1 will be brave enough to come out, it is the Easter school holidays too, so there could be loads of members away.

We had a message in a group Facebook page about trying out a new system for getting the runners out there running as quickly as possible, and tonight we were going to trial it.  There were some lovely new 'posts' with Group 1, Group 2 labels on them  right the way to Group 11, and an extra one with New Runners meet here.  The idea was for all leaders to be by their numbers for the members to be able to see and then mingle there.  Lets see how it all works out.

With just the three of us left in the rec we ran out to see group 2 running down Crossways, we turned left to run up to Birchwood and beyond.  As it was such a horrid evening, and I am totally impressed with Jenny and Becky for getting out here in this weather, I thought I would 'challenge' us all to get around this route without stopping, just to see if we can do it!  They girls were up for it, if we take a walking break then so be it, it will be shorter walking break!

We ran all the up Birchwood, we turned right and ran along there to the Kingsway and crossed over.  Ok so we took a tiny walking bit there to cross over the roads, but they we were straight back to running. We were on fire, at least we would have been if the rain had stopped! Thankfully though the rain had got lighter so we were totally drenched.

Jenny wanted to do the 'training hill' again, but me and Becky stayed at the top, Becky stretched out her calf which was giving her a bit of a niggle, and I had no excuse really, just being lazy!  We didn't stop for too long a Jenny ran up the hill.  We walked to the bus stop (usually we walk to the next lamppost but as we are on a mission to run as much of this course as possible our walking breaks were shorter.

The next bit of the route seem to go by really quickly and we were already up to the memorial hall.  To think that the two girls were thinking of joining group 2 this evening, I think move up week next week can see two more in group 2!  With just the undulations of Woodland Way, Great Thrift and Hazelmere to do, with the little loop of Little Thrift as well, we did great time.  I do believe Group 1 has a PB for this particular route!  I think a great big pat on the back for us all!  Well done Jenny and Becky!

Here's the geeky stats for this run.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Beginners Easter Session Week 4 +1 week

Hello blog lovers.

I am a day late in posting, but I am back on the ball now.  What a different day it was on Saturday compared Friday!  Friday I was swinging through trees, climbing along rope bridges and swooshing down on zip wires in Bedgbury, (a place I can thoroughly recommend  by the way, for all your little monkeys and yourselves!) and then Saturday!  Saturday!  What can I say, I woke up to the sound of rain and wind and dark grey skies!  Whats going on!

I had already said, publicly, that I would be at the rec to be there for any of the beginners that would turn up.  So no backing out!  Besides, a bit of rain, it wont kill us, we're not made of sugar! Gulp.  I drove to the rec and entered the empty car park.  One dog walker was just leaving the ground, I am sure there was at least two tennis players on the courts, and that was it!  Maybe they won't be turning up.  It's a lot to ask for the beginners to come out on a day like this, during the holiday break, leaving the chocolate eggs unguarded at home!

I sat in the car, I posted on Facebook about the empty rec, and the next thin was a car pulled up beside mine, it was Kelly!  Well that is at least two of us!  But then slowly, slowly others joined us, Tracey and Tracy, Irene, Michael and Carole, Kelly, Emma, Joanne.  And just when I though no one else would turn up then Kay turned up,  She didn't think that anyone else would be here!

We got under way, and due to my brain being waterlogged through the rain, I started doing the drills before we did the warm up walking laps!  So as soon as we had finished the drills we went straight into the walking lap of the park, to keep us nice and warm!  Just as we were coming to the end of the first lap so Tanya came in!  "Oh good I said, you have missed the 'Ministry of silly walks'!" I said to her "But just for you we can do a couple more"  I knew she would be pleased about that!

So the session was just as it was last week, 4 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.  I had also forgotten to take my whistle, but as the usual PWR members know, I have my own 'natural' whistle, and it is loud, no strings attached.  After 4 minutes of running, I put my fingers in my mouth and whistle a piecing loud pitch.  Everyone heard it, good, I'm glad that worked!

I managed to stay focused and remembered how many times we had run, and I think maybe just maybe, we had walked for a tad longer than the two minutes, so my timings were slightly different from Michaels, who had kept his eye on his watch the whole time.  I still haven't found out how to pause the 'auto'pause' on my Gamin, and so on the unusually slow bits of our walking session it had stopped recording!

But, still they all did really well! All twelve of them!  The hardest bit of running on days like that is getting your shoes on and getting out of the door!  I know that some of the other beginners also managed to get out and do their homework at different locations as well.  Dedication, and the 'want' to succceed is all that you need to do it.  The only time you fail is when you give up!

Geeky stats

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Thursdays - Just the One!

Hello bloggers
Me, Diane, Tracey and Dorette

The morning looked perfect for running,  and I was looking forward to getting out there to do some running.  I knew there were a couple of the usual members that couldn't come along today, and wasn't sure who was going to be there.  But I was hoping for at least 1 other as I wanted to run through the woods.

There were quite a few usual Thursdays runners missing even in the other group, must be the Easter Holidays keeping them away, but Ralf had bought along a friend of his, visiting from South Africa.  He had promised her that we do run at a nice steady (read as slow ish) pace and the we stop from coffee!  Well I think he was telling stories about the coffee, although we have on special occasions gone to the coffee shop after our run!

We all set off in the same direction, as we were all going through the woods.  I was planning on following some of the 10k route, but instead of doing the road bit, we were going straight to the woods!  Our pace was nice and 'steady' best not try and race around on cold unwarmed up legs.  Through the woods the paths were drying up nicely, but now of course, the paths have a 'cobbled stone' effect and it's quite challenging.  There are the 'smoother' sections that people had used to step around all the wet muddy puddles when they were there, so we were zigzagging along our way.

There were four of us today, Diane, Tracy, Ralfs friend Dorette and me.  Chatting away as we ran along.  We got to the first bridge and I told them to that we will be running over the bridge today.  I don't have to see Kirsty in her home today, so a bit of a longer run is possible today.  I am not sure exactly what I had told the others.  I think I did mention that it will be a tad longer!

It's been a while since I ran over all three bridges, the paths have be just too yucky, and of course I did need to be somewhere at 10:30 or as near to that time as possible. The middle bridge he is just such a lovely little bridge.  It crosses a single line of track and you can just imagine the steam engines running underneath! The railway children sat near by waving at each train, it has that feel about it.  But it's only an old metal bridge!  I took a picture of it, and of us too!

The third bridge is the one that is part of the PWR's 10k route, it leads into Jubilee park.  When I said that Dorette said "We're not doing 10k are we?"  I was wondering if I could find another couple of miles going through the woods, but I thought, best not to really, Just the usual 3.5-4 miles max for a group 1 Thursday run!

The only bit of road running.........well apart from the bit to get into the woods through Dog Poo ally, we had to do was when we came out of Jubilee Park and then run past the Bickley Manor Hotel, and then we turn right and the sharp right to run down to the end of the road.

Of course, after this we turn right to the end and the turn left to go back into the woods.  With the big hill facing us, mocking us, daring us to get up it in one go.  It tried to makes us slip and fall during the wet season, it tries to break us in the hot summer season as we get warmer and warmer trying to run up it. But we keep coming back to it, one day we....I will break it, I will get up it in one go and I will not stop getting up it in one go!

Today wasn't that day though.  I got to the top of the hill, panting, (as I always run the last corner of it) to see that the others had done it, all of us walk/ran it....but Diane did the best as she ran most of it.  The cows in the fields were totally well chilled out, there was one there was was particularly chilled out with its head on the grass giving it some '|Z's'.  I tried to capture it as it was laid out, but it raised it head just as I got my camera ready.

We ran along the top of the woods although to the middle path, I was thinking about taking a left path to go through the lovely housing estate, but instead decided to stay in the woods.  We ran past the Day Light Saving memorial and had a photo opportunity there with Dorette, here's some of the pictures.

My legs were feeling pretty good, and I was hoping that we would be getting a good distance.  I just can't remember how long this route is, it has been a while.  We followed the sound of the cars which were really close now, on our left as we ran parallel to the road, past the woodcutters lodge and on towards the railway lines.  Our run was nearly over, we had a good chat, and a history lesson with the William Willet memorial and a great run.  Four miles, still under the hour, which I was quite pleased about!  Ralf was already back at the rec, I think that he was wondering if we did actually stop for coffee!

Here's our geeky stats

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Club Night!

Hello bloggers

Club night, and tonight my team are all injured, recovering or just tired from working hard. Ariol is with me but she has been suffering with her foot.  So I nice straight forward route today, one that is not too twisty turny and I can keep an eye on everyone from the back.  There were only the four of us anyway, so not a huge group this evening.

I was still feeling it from this morning.....did I tell you that I rode my bike around my 'training route' of Blackbrook lane and Southborough Road?  Not only that but I got a PB today for it too!  So, today, it's a 'double' exercises day for me, just like on Thursdays!  Must be the 'T' in the day!  Mind you, today I also downloaded this app thingy, for doing core exercises and stuff!  I am grasping at straws now, to lose the weight! But I am hoping, for one thing, that I keep at it, and 2 that it will work!  I did the first and the second session, as I wasn't quite sure how the whole thing worked!

I thought it was a bit chilly when I got into my car to drive to the rec, but when I was chatting to all the others there I suddenly got all hot again.  I think that 'change' thing is happening.  I thought it had all finished, or symptoms eased up at least, but it seems to have started up again! tut.

Our route today was going up Birchwood and then along towards Tillingbourne green, turning right to go up and over the little undulation there.  Me and Auriol decided that we would only be running up it once today, but Jenny and, darn it, I still forgot to get her name, and the other lady did the little undulation twice!

We ran all the down the road, each of us chatting as we did, taking time out to have a walk between lampposts.  At the end of the road, by the memorial, Jenny and the other lady we looking pretty strong! Me and Auriol were just behind them.  Just the undulations of the last long road to do, and by this time even I was looking out for the lampposts to run to and then have a recovery walk!  But the two ladies ran the little loop of Little Thrift, Auriol was going to use this as an opportunity to just rest up a bit.  and the we all continued on to the rec.

It was a good run, had I joined the ladies with the two reps of the hill and running around the loop then the milage would be 3.2, exactly 5k!  But as it is, well you can see what it says.  I enjoyed my run and enjoy runing with this group.  I missed all my 'crew' though and wish the speedy recovery and time out for some R & R (run and resting!)

Geeky stats

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Beginners Week 4

Hello blog lovers.

I woke up feeling ok, ready to help the beginners through 4 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.  I arrived around 8;50 ish and put the cones out, just the ones in the middle of the green, and then I waited for everyone else.  They soon started to come.  There were some that couldn't make it, either work or family commitments.

By 09:00 there were over 30 beginners ready to do the next session.  That is not bad for nearly half way through the course!  That's pretty darn good!  And when asked the question "Who did their homework during the week?" Nearly everyone had their hand up!

ZippySherry was taking the lead today, and she got them all under way with the warm up two laps walking briskly around the park.  This is a good time for everyone to chat to each other, ask how their training and homework is going, sorting out if they can meet up and do the homework together during the week.  It's also a good time for all us PWR helpers who are there to answer any queries that the beginners may have, before the running starts!

The two laps done and then it's on for the running session.  4 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.  It seems a long way from the 1 minute running just a few short weeks ago, and I know there were quite a few of the runners saying back then "Wow I didn't think I carry on till the end of the minute"  But now, one then two then three minutes pass before they are even thinking "When is the end of the 4 mins"

We do that for 4 more times, and the responses from all the runners I talk to is just so uplifting.  They are feeling proud of them selves, they are feeling proud of each other, their families are looking forward to hearing from them so they can be proud of what they have achieved!  As one of the PWR said earlier, "I love it when the final whistles blows and they are all congratulating each other on what they've achieved"

We have this week to practise this session, and then next week....its a holiday week.  But I know some of the runners will be at the rec to repeat this session, getting ready for the following week, week 5!

It really is a rewarding thing to be able to do, just watch people striving to achieve goals!  Brilliant

Geeky stats for this week.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Pole Dancing and Track!

Hello blog lovers.
Trish, Diane and me

A beautiful morning requires a beautiful run so I planned for the woods!  Actually I had planned for the woods last night, rain or shine, but that's beside the point!  It felt totally spring like, I could even feel the warmth of the sun!  Perfect for running.

I had decided to do a favourite route of mine, but I wanted to do it in the opposite direction!  Things always look different when you look back, a bit like life really, and I always seem to get it wrong......a bit like life!!  But it's always an adventure, exciting paths, different ways....a bit like......well, you get the picture!

We had Rachel with us this morning, she finds herself free at the moment on a Thursday, and what better way to spend a morning than running with your buddies. Trish and Diane completed the foursome of group 1 today.  DiscoRich was away with the horses today, and Nicola was Leader for their group today, which seemed to have grown as well, there must be at least 8-10 regulars now!  This working from home lark has to be the best thing ever.  Just an hour out of the day and their will be fit and healthy and happy workers all over the place!  I think it should be a requirement of all business to get their staff out running for at least 30 minutes a day!
Trish, Diane and Rachel

The girls I run with on a Thursday are all group 2 runners or even group 3 or 4 runners, and the other group are mainly group 6 and above, (we have renumbered all our groups a couple of weeks ago.  We now have 11 groups)  So there is little old me (Leader) trying to keep up with my Thursday group 1's (DiscoRich's group is called 2 on Thursdays).  But I do need to 'stretch' myself, Thursdays is a perfect day to do this!

The first part of the route is easy!  It's straight up and then turn left at the top of the hill!  The girls seemed to fly up the hill!  I was plodding along trying to keep up! It wasn't so bad, they didn't stand around for too long!  The difficult bit of the route is finding the right path that will take me to the housing estate.  I told the girls of my plans so that we could all look out for the path.  The path that we have all used before, but maybe not Rachel, she can be excused!  But I think we were a bit to eager, and I don't think I made my plans entire clear, as we were thinking different housing estates too.  So as you can image we took the wrong path.  But we don't mind that!  It's not as if you can get lost in the woods.  But it did mean that we won't be running up the road with the lovely big house.

I had a fall as well, as most peculiar fall.  Just as we were nipping around a little track, trying to avoid the stickiest bit of the path I tripped up and grabbed hold of a pole like tree and kind of swung around it and landed on the floor!  I should have said 'Ta Dah!" at the end but was trying to stifle a giggle!  The girls looked a bit worried!  You're not a runner unless you have fallen at least once, right?!  We carried on running and then a tree 'attached' me as it whipped into my face!  It's one of the runs then!

The path that we chose came out onto Chislehurst Road, opposite an entrance to the 'edge of Scadbury Park' so we decided to go down there!  Not where I wanted to be but at least now we can go and do Scadbury as well.  The rest of the route I knew like the back of my hand and we continued on our way with no other incidents!

A great run with some lovely ladies!  Geeky stats.

Track Session
Going to the start after warm ups

Track Thursdays are getting to a nice way!  I am enjoying every second of being there!  Of course, as always, the hardest bit is getting out there after getting all nice and cosy after work.  But when I saw that Mr. S. was requesting a lift I jumped at the jump to offer him a lift to track.  There, now I have a job to, I definitely cannot back out of track.

I picked Mr. S. up and we headed for the track.  There were about 25-30 people here today.  Track is becoming popular and we even had a couple of newbies to track!  The session today sounded pretty easy (famous last words!) when I heard it, and indeed, if you write it down it looks easy!  But then my brain down work too well with sums and times and stuff like that.

Mr. S. in his Union Jacks!

The session was 5 mins at 10k pace, with a blast of speed for a few seconds when Hels decided we needed a blast.  Then we had 90 seconds rest before going to a 10 min at 5k pace, 90 secs race.  Sounds easy right? Then we did 10 mins at 5k pace with 90 seconds, then 5 mins.  Well, all I can say is "It is not easy!!"  Not easy at all!  especially when Hels blew her whistle and we had to sprint and keep it going until she blew it to go back to normal pace!

It was fun though!  As much as I moan and groan, I do love my running.  The encouragement, the camaraderie the fitness, it's all a win win situation.  "Didn't you run this morning!" said one of the other runners, "Yes I did" I said and that clip of Forrest Gump came to mind "I Just love running" and it made me smile.

Another bit that made me smile was that I was in front of all the faster runners......ok so they lapped me, but there was no one in front of me and it felt like I was leading!  I even took a selfie, here look!

Me, in the lead??

A great session today, everyone works so really hard at Track, everybody pushing themselves a little harder than other days!  Love it!  Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Work Hard On Wednesday!

Hello bloggers!

My weigh on Wednesday was......well it was a weight!  I wasn't very pleased with it!  Too many excuses here to to list, but one of them is...I've eaten too much!  But still, it's not going to ruin the year, or the month even, I shall just keep an eye on the ball from tomorrow, or even from this moment on!  Just because the numbers are not pleasing it doesn't mean that I should just pig out for the rest of the day!  (for a start I don't really have any goody stuff in the house anyway!)

So today, it's running with the girls day, the ones that have been doing the beginners course.  Running together is great motivation, and keeps your mojo up and running!  Today we did last Saturdays session.  Equal amount of running to walking, 3 minutes each.  But just to give a little extra challenge, just because I know these girls can do it (they have done it before) the last round of running is going to be a mixture of fast and slower running!

Little Max was running along with us too, (he is Tanya's little pooch) and he seems to have 'adopted' my legs to run along beside each Wednesday!  Tracy was here with us too, so it was us three girls and Max!  Of course Max likes to show off how fast he can run when he sees another canine friend to go and say hi to!

Both Tanya and Tracy ran well for the first couple of rounds of running, but then the fatigue sets in as they strive to keep up the pace, running without stopping until the Garmin bleeps!  Let me tell you, they kept a close eye on my Garmin, and I made sure I showed them what it says as well.......they so accuse me of making them run for more than the allocated time!  Ok, so on the last one, and just because we still have a least a quarter of the park to run along, occasionally I forget to let them know that it's time to walk, but it's not as if we can stop anyway, as we have to get to the car park!

It was a good session today, I really enjoyed it, although all I could think about was food!  I had forgotten to grab some brekki this morning and lunch would be when I got back from the run!  So geeky stats for the girls today.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Club Run - Group 1

Hello blog

Club night, I do love club night.  I think it's the only time I do find my mojo kicks me out of the door, no matter what has happened during the day!  And I always, always feel so glad that I did it!

I had a bit of a long day, and really it was literally on the last 30 minutes of me  saying toWendimoo to that she will have to lead.  But then we got back from Kinds by about 7 ish or just after and I decided, "Just get on home and get your trainers on and do it!"  So that's what I did.

I had already decided that it was going to be one of our shorter routes anyway, I had decided that yesterday, just in case of delays today, but I felt really glad of that, as really, I hadn't eaten enough today for anything to strenuous!  Although what I had eaten would probably do for around an 8 mile run!

There were just four of us today, me Wendimoo, Jenny and .....I have forgotten her name!  Silly brain cell that I have!  But both her who I have forgotten her name and Jenny wanted to just run in group 1 today as they had missed a week.  They had already been in group 2 and had kept up, albeit at the back, but they felt that they would probably struggle if they tried again today.

My route was just the simple one of up Queensway, towards Petts Wood, then to the memorial hall, over the bridge, cross the road and then run along Crescent Drive.  It's going to be our shorter run, but still some quality running in there.

We watched as all the rest of the groups went out of the rec, 10 of them to be exact, although group 11 had left as we were all doing our announcements!  And then it was our turn.  Out of the gate, closing it behind us, and then turning right and right again.  The hill seems to get easier as the weeks go on, I can't believe I have just said that, but just looking at Jenny as she ran up the hill, chatting all the way, you just know that we are all getting fitter!  Just a short walk to the hall and then we continue running, over the bridge and to the beginning of Crescent Drive.

By this time we are all in the zone, breathing has synced with our running, muscles are not complaining (too much) and the weather is totally for us.  Then I get a stitch!  I think it was the bread that I had to eat just before I left to come running.  I needed to eat something, or I would have felt quite nauseous!  I feel nauseous if I don't eat and sit down doing nothing all day, let trying to run on a completely empty tummy!  Well, almost empty, I did have this chocolaty thing and a packet of quavers!  Probably just what every runner should fuel themselves with!

By the time we got to the end of Crescent Drive I did start to feel slightly hungry!  But then, that is nothing unusual about that anyway!  But my dinner was firmly in the front of my thoughts!  I couldn't wait to get home.  The last stretch of the run was along the Tudor Way, turn left and then just carry on all the way to Crossways! "Are we doing the little bit around Little Thrift" Jenny asked!  I had forgotten about that bit, but I said yes, of course!

It was a good run, and I am so glad that I went out with my running buddies today, and not listened to my lazy head that wanted to just sit down and do nothing.  I'm glad my running mojo kicked my ass out of the door!  Here's my geeky stats!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Beginners Week 3

Hello blog lovers.

Already we are in week 3 of Spring 2016 beginners course!  With 3 minutes running and 3 minutes walking, it's going to be fun!  Of course it's totally hard work, but then getting fit is not the easiest thing to do, getting unfit is the most easiest, delicious, warm and comfy thing to do!  So who turned up today?  Well it seemed like everyone did!  I know there are a couple of people away on holidays, and even ZippySherry is having to do some work today!  But there was still some great help!  CoachHels was there to do the drills.  It's good to show the beginners exactly who we have in our club.  DiscoRich was there too, he is also a coach!  Plus we had some club members Diane and Helen, and I'm not sure if I have missed anyone!

I got there early with my pen and paper, just in case there were any new people to come along.  I may have looked 'professional with the smart lillac folder, but inside was just plain paper!  I should really have collected the forms from Sherry last week!  We did have a new comer too, so it was just as well!  I put out the cones around the field and into the centre, and then spoke to the group!  It still scares me to pieces 'addressing the masses' and I nearly fluffed up when almost asked CoachHels to start the warm up drills before we walked the route first!  I don't think anyone noticed!

The ground was still soft in places, especially the top left hand corner as I think that is the low spot and the water seems to head to there!  I could hear people doing the usual 'eww' as they squidged their way around.  Ahh, the memories!  I remembered I used to avoid the woods, the mud and squidgyness of parks like the plague!  But now, running through the woods is a joy, if there happens to be a muddy puddle in the way then so be it, it won't be stopping me!  Coming back from the woods, splattered in mud up to your knees is most satisfying feeling ever!  I feel sure that some of our beginners will soon be in the mud fest lovers club!

CoachHels started the running section.  The first of our 3 minutes of running!  The faces on our 'probies' comprised of fear, expectations, determination but  mainly smiles!  As long as you smile you just can't have a negative thought in your head.  Knowing that you are doing something that is ultimately going to give you an active healthy lifestyle is very pleasing, and just makes you smile all the time!

After the third three minutes of running, I was chatting to some of the runners, (because that is what each and everyone is!) I was pleased to hear things like, "That's not as bad as I thought it was going to be" and "I am surprised that I kept up the running" and also "My wife, she is running so much better"  Brilliant.  But also even though one person had to walk through some of the running sections to hear her say "I am not giving up, I shall continue with this session today" after her calf started hurting just swelled my heart!  And she was right to walk!  There is no way that you should run through pain!  Especially if you are just starting out.  You get to know what your body is doing only after a good few months of continued running.  You know the difference between the 'good pain' and the 'bad pain'.  So until that time of learning has been achieved walk, walk with pride!  And encourage those who are walking too!

Another very nice comment in today's session was "You are all so very friendly, everyone is just so helpful to the very faster people to the very slower people"  And that is exactly what we are like in our club.  A very warm accommodating bunch of people who all just like to run together!  We have enough groups now to make everyone feel welcome and find their pace.  I feel sure that some of our runners here today will be signing up to become members!

The last 3 minutes of running done with a surprised "Wow! have we finished?" coming from some of the runners today!  All that was left to do was to do some stretching out and more encouragement, from me.  I just hoped I had remembered to do everything as CoachHels and DiscoRich had to shoot off early because of a meeting!  I packed up the cones and then drove off to the meeting.

So Geeky stats for week three!

So about that meeting.  We are very concious of health and safety in our club and our numbers are swelling all the time.  We want to keep our members safe and Petts Wood Runners a super friendly and simply the best club in Kent, (I feel sure we will bag that title!)  We strive to keep our club open to people of all abilities from running 12;30 min mile to running sub 7 min miles!  So all the leaders had a meeting to make sure that we are all working from the 'same page'  (Don't you just love it when you can get a 'posh' cliche in ya blog!)  Making suggestions to how we can keep a brilliant standard up making us the most desirable club around!

See, look!  Keeping you runnin, keeping you safe, keeping it fun!

Just some of our leaders and Coaches

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Double The Fun!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Thursday, you gotta love Thursdays. Thursdays is all about stretching myself, just a little, just to get that nice achy feeling.  I got that from the first session this morning!

Morning Session

After I took the young girl to school, I came back and got ready to go for a run with my running buddies who will be at the rec.  DiscoRich was there with his group, he had about 11 to run with I had four lovely ladies.  I could tell that DiscoRich was heading through the woods because he had his week old trail shoes on, which were already getting that nice 'woody/muddy' sheen on them!  But I decided that we are going to stick to the paths.  It had been raining last and I just thought the woods were going to be very sticky.  I need to do some running, some good running, some long stretches of running!

So my route this morning took us through 3 parks!  That's right, we did the 3 Park Run!  The thing is though, I have made some mud monsters out of my Thursday group runners, at least 2 or three of them, but I was hoping that they will still enjoy this route.  

I was feeling a bit tired before I even got to the rec, but usually, when I get going I start to feel more awake. Running along to Little Thrift and then turning down there to go along the path and up the stairs.  The first of our parks is just on the other side, Jubilee park.  I can't wait for it all to be warm and sunny, to be able to take group 1 through the woods and parks is going to be brill.

Jubilee Park done, all over and done with in a flash, we came out on to Blackbrook Lane.  We had a little walking break earlier and then we set off towards Southborough lane.  We ran all the way down to the Harvester.  It's a long old road that one, and usually either I or one of the others have stopped and taken a walking break but not this time!  We just kept on going.  I think that is the first time we have done that for blimmin ages!

The next park is my local park, just the top end of it.  Trish and Tracey hadn't been here before, and they like it!  I like going to places I haven't been before, there are not 'markers', no psychological walking points to distract you.  But Trish and Tracey like it because it's a great place to bring their dogs!

We ran along Lovelace Avenue to another park.  Theres an entrance to it on Oxhawth, and the girls have ran along passing it on numerous occasions but they have never gone in there!  Another new place!  I can't remember who I have had with me when I have done the three park run before then!

That is only a very short trip  through the park, then it was up the rest of Southborough, over the bride and then we popped back into the rec via Towncourt lane!  Janet was in the zone as she ran all the way to the pavilion "It's all down hill this way" she said!  Silly to walk on the down hills right!

Geeky stats.

Evening Session

Track calls me!  I missed it last week, after my surprise plans were cancelled I kind of got lazitus and settled in front of the t.v. watching MIB2 or was it 3.  So this week, when I saw that some one on our FB Page asked "Who's going to track today" I immediately replied "Me!"  Now it was there in the open, for all to see I just had to make sure that I made it"

It's cold out there, the Old Boy had mentioned that it was a bit chilly!  I thought about my weight, how the needle is teasing me at that 12 stone,  sometimes it was bang smack in the middle, and other times it was two marks past the number 2!  I gathered my things and went out of the door.

There were quite a few runners there today, and the session was for the speeders to do four lots of 3 laps of the track with 90 seconds rest between, and for the people who do park run 28 minutes or slower will do five lots of 2 laps of the track, with 90 seconds rest.  Hmmmm, I will try my hardest to do at least for reps!  

The track looked busy today, with the real sprinters using whole of the long straight to practise and train on.  They really run so fast.  I admire how fast they can sprint!  We started of at the back corner, away from where we usually start.  Now this is definitely going to affect my Psyche! "Thats good, it's all ok" I was saying to myself. "Now there is no mental markers to slow you down or make you go faster" I said to myself.  The fact that I was to be running around and around an oval shape didn't come into it.  The first corner I come to this time is usually the third corner, it's usually when I've almost completed one lap, or one round of of the session!  Like I said above, it's good to do things differently!

Again, as I was plodding out my two lap rounds, and the rest of the runners were doing their 3 lap rounds each they passed me and gave me such encouragement, "Keep going, your doing well, great running Donna, looking good"!  I try to do the same to them as they pass me by, I just hoped they heard my whispers through my breathing!

Come down the straight where the sprinters are training is such an eye opener.  Tim, who is in a faster group passed by me running pretty fast, then two sprinters took off from behind me, swooshed by and then swooshed by Time before he had to the end of the straight! They are fast!  A couple of times the sprinters had passed me by when I was running along the straight, once with a runner running on the grass on my left!  Being buzzed by speeding runners!  It's awesome!

It' was a tough session, which is good, it needs to be, I am not racing against anyone, I am not running along with anyone or leading a group,  It's just me trying to fitter, faster (?) and lighter!  A brilliant session  I had managed to do 4 of my 5 rounds of running, I expected as much.  All the others had finished the session completing all of their 4 rounds of 3 laps.  We had our warm down stretches, with the glute stretches causing a bit of a titter as me and Mathews trying to hold help each other stand straight, a mention of 'Laurel and Hardy' was made as we tried to do the quad stretch.  It was a bit amusing!

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Push It Just A Tad More

Hello blog lovers

Wednesday afternoon have seen me and Tanya just jogging along, trying to get the speed and stamina up.  Today Tracy came along.  So instead of the planned 5 min run 1 min walk I decided to stick with the beginners 'homework' or 2 minutes  run and 4 mins walk!  But as this is a Trying To Get Tanya Group 1 fit session, I thought we could just make it a little bit more challenging for Tanya to see how she would do.

I know that she can push herself a little bit more than she could before and it's good to show her that she can do it.  I had planned to start out at group 2 pace with them, it's only  going to be for two minutes, but if I don't say anything to them they won't notice to much.  Both Tanya and Tracy kept up really well, even going a tad faster than me!  But that 2 minutes seemed like a like time for them as they both asked 'How long?"  Still two words rather than 1, so there is obviously some 'more' in there, but that will be for next session!

The next run and we had slowed down a bit, Tanya was in front and Tracy at the back, but then Tracy is only just on week 2 of the beginners course now, and Tanya has been running during the weeks, and Tracy has only just started back to it, but she is determined!  After the second run session I always get confused, was that two or three!  Its usually the 'candidates' that know exactly what round we are on!

With the second to last round of 2 minutes running I thought a little bit of interval running, let you body know that although you're tired you can still push it and make your legs go fast!  Just a couple of sections, and then a nice steady jog after that.  All of that should take us to 2 miles done! Well, we didn't do too bad, and although the groans were there, there was also the huge smile at the end, the 'wow I'm pleased I came out". That feeling of a sense of achievement is what keeps us coming out and keep on trying.  Whether its to get a pb, whether it's to run for 20 mins non stop, or to run a mile non stop!  A goal is all you need to keep you going!  So after this next beginners graduation we are just going to have to find new goals for people to get to!

Here is the geeky stats for Tracy's first and Tanyas usual Wednesday workout!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Training run!

Hello blog lovers.

Well, I sprung a surprise on Group 1 team this evening, and I just hope they will forgive me!  I knew that some of the newer members to the club had moved on to group 2 or not going to be here, and all who will be running in our group 1 would be the team!  So I thought I would use this as a training run, something that I think I will do on the odd occasion if we haven't got any new runners or people coming back from injury with us.

So after telling everybody what my plan and my route was to be I waited in my 'corner' for everyone to gather around.  It was then that I noticed Paula and another young lady that had come to join us, both coming back from injury!  So, I could either rethink my plans and decide on another route, or ask if they were up for a training run too!  It seems they were up for it,  and as the hills are quite short they could do it just at their own pace or however many they want to do.  We will all still be able to see each other!

So my plan was to run to the edge of Tillingbourne Green and then do a couple of hill reps, just a couple, not a lot really.  But of course to get to Tillingbourne Green we have to run up Birchwood!  We ran up Birchwood at Group 2 pace, the faster end of group 2 pace!  This really was a 'going to work the team hard' sort of run!.... I do hope they forgive me!  I noticed that when we first left the rec there was plenty of chatting going on behind me, but half way up the hill it went quiet!  I knew then that we were all working hard. All just looking towards the top of the hill, so that we could have a bit of a breather.  I looked at my Garmin, it said that we were climbing that hill at 11;30 m/mi, that is the faster end of group 2 pace.  Brilliant that is exactly what I wanted for us.

I think they were pleasantly surprised too!  We had a breather walk for a short stride or two and then started running again, we crossed over the road and headed for Tillingbourne Green.  As we were running towards the hills I checked out the roads.  My plan was to run first up one hill, do a u-turn, run back down and then straight up the other hill to the top.  I was hoping that the momentum of the down hill will give them a little boost to push that bit harder to the top.  I worked!  It went really well

We did that two more times but the last time we stopped at the top of the second hill.  Well that was fun!  I hope they forgive me!  Janet, J.J., Auriol all did brilliantly well.  Illustrious Leader also was with me today.  She had led a group of about 30 or so people on Sunday on a different sort of Train run.  Hers was literatly a train run, one that I wished I could have done.  Getting a train to Swanley and then running back!  So I think she may have been looking for a nice steady plod out today  Also their was Paula and this other lady, and I forgot to get her name!  I think they were all pleased that we had finished that bit.

We ran down Pettswood road, and nice down hill section along here, always welcomed by everyone! Auriol had asked if we were going straight down, I kind of kept quiet, I thought silence would be a better answer than actually answering!  "Oh so we are running all the way" The there is that down hill section of course and t feels so good after all that hard work we had just done.  We came to Crossways "Are we not going back yet" said Paula as we Crossed over the road and continued to run straight up.  "She's going to make us do the undulations" Auriol told her.  Well, I couldn't be that mean, so I said that we will be going down the first turning on the right after Towncourt road.

It really was a great run, and we had all kept pretty tight together, and I feel sure that when the newbies come to join our ranks for the first time we will be able to help, encourage and run with them until they find their 'happy' pace in any of the other groups, or even just to keep them up the front of group 1.

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Beginners Week 2

Hello blog lovers

This morning was the second week for our beginners.  When I got up this morning the sun was shining brightly!  I just knew that we would be having a big group again!  Ad I wasn't wrong!  There were also a few more helpers from the PWR's too!  J.J.,Janet, Wendimoo, Debbie, Helen, DiscoRich, Trish.  Sherry was leading today, taking the drills, the run and the cool downs. But not before presenting me with a certificate that he collected for me at the Bromley Mums Awards, in front of everyone!  Trish took a picture! Here take a look!  I am still stunned really, and totally chuffed, I can't think of another word to say really, chuffed!
Sherry surprising me!

Me with my certificate
and Sherry

It was good to see Tracy back, and Tanya, and Giulia, but she didn't have much choice really because I picked her up.  Also some other people that I recognised, and even spoken to before, and suddenly clicked where we first met, Rupalee remembered me after I reminded her!  She really enjoyed last week as did the rest of them.  We also had a couple of new people join us too.  So an incredible 72 people were walking, skipping, side stepping, running and stretching today at the rec! All eager to get on, get fit and get ready for a 5k in about 8 weeks time!

If you have never ran before then the thought of running only 2 minutes sounds easy, after all, when you were kids you ran about all over the place.  But if the last time you ran was when you were a kid then 2 minutes is a long time to run, and then to do that four more times is a sense of achievement.  The nicest thing that I saw today, the thing that made me smile from ear to ear is when I saw a husband praise his wife for doing really well, "I am so proud of you, well done" he said to her as we walked on to the paved area waiting for the others to join us, and he kissed her head!  Two minutes running, can you image the pride they will both feel when they finish their first 5k Parkrun!

The cool down stretches done Sherry gave out the homework, which was to repeat todays session twice during the week.  What a great session it was too, the rain held off until most of the people left the rec, brilliant timing.  A nice sunny day always encourages and inspires people to run!

So looking forward to next Saturday, equal running to equal walking!  And then the real hard work begins!

Some pictures of todays  session

Jog back 

skip to the cones

Side stepping

Don't they look elegant!
What a happy bunch we are!

See, having a great club to go to makes you want to encourage and inspire people to run, it's not just me that does it either!  PWR rocks!

Geeky stats.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thursday Morning - Glorious

Hello blog lovers.

What a gorgeous morning it turned out to be, the sun was shining as bright as a summers day!  It just made you feel totally alive!  I couldn't wait to meet up with my running buddies.  There was going to be a new Thursday Morning runner with us too, one of our newbies, graduated from group 1 (formally group 0) and joined group 2 just a couple of weeks ago!  

There were quite a few people in DiscoRich's group and in mine there were 5 of us.  I had planned on an all path route today, through the Cinder path so that we could have a run/walk rather than a run/slide/clamber through puddles type of run today.  It just felt like the day to run!

We started out down Crossways and along Tudor way, the road running will soon be done. Getting onto the path that runs along the back of the woods and the housing estate is our goal. We chatted as we ran along, and I am so glad that I am not the only one that finds that first mile or 10 to fifteen minutes of running seems so tough!  I decided to make a mental note of how I felt at that precises moment at that prescise place, as I knew we will be running back down here in another half hour!

We got to the path and all of us, me, Janet, Trish, Tracey and Charlotte could all just breathe in the the air that was being cleaned by the woods!  The noise of the traffic was gone and we just enjoyed the run through to the other side.  It seemed to go all to quickly, even though we had some walking moments.  I didn't go around the loop today, I needed to be somewhere straight after the run today, and I didn't want to be late.  We continued our run along Crofton road, along next to the traffic. I was eagerly looking forward to the road that will lead us back to the Cinder Path, away from the noise, the fumes and traffic, back into the sanctuary of the woods....well the outskirts at least.

One lady had a bit of cramping in her leg, she didn't want to push it or agrivated so decided to walk/run the rest of the way, Janet said that she would walk along with her, run when they felt they could, while I and the other two ladies carried on.

Running along in the sunshine, with the woods on a left and the little brook on our right was just perfect, I heard voices behind me, and I looked around and I could see Janet and Tracey behind us, "Either they walk really fast or we are runnng very slowly" I said to the ladies "They were definitely running" Charlotte said, "I looked behind earlier and saw them" she said laughing!

The path came to an end and we were back on the road, all still busy chatting away, running, smiling and totally enjoying the morning sunshine, and then we were at the spot, the place where I wanted to remember how I felt when we went past it over half an hour ago. Only now, I felt good, my breathing was totally under control, I felt good, and felt I could go on for at least another couple of miles!  I am going to have to get my ass into gear and get some longer runs under my belt.  Feeling this good is just too darn addictive!  

Just Crossways to do and we were back in the rec.  Just a couple of minutres later DiscoRich came in with his group! Perfect timing!

Just one other thing to add, which totally amazed me today, I was nominated for the Bromley Mums Awards today, I didn't know a thing about it!  I was totally shocked and surprised and chuffed!  But it is all connected to my running!  I love running, and I know others will love it too, and the benefits, so I just encourage people to run!  What a lovely club I run for! 

So geeky stats :)

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Moving On Up, We're Moving On Up!

Hello blog lovers.

Today at club night it was move up week! My group 0 members decided that they will try it!  So when it came to my turn to describe my route I first asked if there were any that were wanting to do group 0 pace, apart from my team members and sweepers!

When I found out that there weren't any then I abandoned my route and made an executive decision to join group 1.  Now here is the even more interesting bit, stay with me now.  Up to a few months ago we only had 8 groups starting at 8:00 pm, with my group 0 starting at 7:00 pm.  We decided then that group 0 will begin at 8:00 (with help from my buddies, J.J. Wendimoo, Janet and Auriol) which then made 9 groups.  along the way group 1 and half appeared followed a few months later by group 7 and half. So now we have 11 groups, covering every pace possible from 12.5 min pace to 7.5 min pace, if not faster!

We left it like that for a good few months so that people can get used to the groups.  Today, on move up week we have renumbered all the groups,  Group 0 becomes group 1, group 1 becomes group 2, group 1.5 becomes group 3, group 2 becomes 4 and so on until group 8 becoming group 11, You got all that? So not only were group 0 'moving up' to group 1 by changing our number,  we were also moving up running to group 2, just for today!

I think I should have mentioned it to the other ladies, but sometimes it's nicer to have a little surprise, get a little bit of pressure going!  So today, I wasn't leading, I was being led by the lovely Illustrious Leader!  And not only that but the route she was doing was a lovely straight forward one, if there are any struggling along then it will be easy to spot them.

Group 2 (formally group 1) was a very big group this evening! We made our way along Crossways and turned right to run up Petts Wood Road.  We were going over the walking bridge to run down Southborough lane.  With group 1 (formally group 0) taking sweeper duties we followed Illustrious Leader all the way to the Harvester!

Illustrious Leader sent her group on around the little 'lollipop' section while me, J.J. Janet, Wendimoo and Auriol started our run back.  We knew that they will catch up with us when we got to Farringdon Avenue!  I think my group were still suffering from a very wonderful weekend!

The rest of the group joined us as we ran around the green waiting for them.  Then we made our way back to the rec via Chesham, Shepperton and Ryecroft roads!  I decided to stay at the back of I.L.'s group while J.J. and Janet started up at the front.

It was a good run, and it was good to be running with group 1.....oops I mean group 2 members again. The group 0 runners were all do so very well, I felt very proud of them all!  Thanks for having us back I.L.!  It was brilliant!

I am looking forward to the next 8 weeks to welcome some more new members that will join from the beginners course!

Geeky stats.