Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Club Run - Into The Woods!

Hello blog lovers.

Running! Yes I did some running!  But I should start off with my activities this morning, actually this mornings activities was also done yesterday!  I am talking about doing some exercises!  My first born daughter came home from America over the weekend to go to the funeral.  But she started this kick boxing boot camp thing in Chicago, a ten week intensive course.  But as she was over here for a few days her coach gave some 'away work' to do.

When she left to go back on Sunday I saw the list of exercises that she had to do,

20 Jumping Jacks
20 High Knees
20 Butt kicks
10 Squat jumps
20 Mountain Climbers
10 Push Ups
10 Sit ups
45 second plank ........................X 5!!

With no breaks between each exercise!

Well yesterday and today I only managed to do the set three times!  But I will keep pushing myself!  So that was this morning and this evening I am a little achy and my ankle still slightly sore after me falling of my wedges on Friday evening!!

My plan was to do the route we did last week, but on run the other side of the pond and in the opposite direction.  It is a perfect 3 mile route!  (I looked at my Garmin at the end of the run!)  I think LittleJ (Janet's nickname!) was pleased about that, well about not going to near the pond, she was bitten to pieces last week!  But she made sure that she covered herself in Jungle Formula this evening.

I couldn't believe it when I saw how many runners I would be leading this evening, a whopping 14 runners, and not all ladies either!  We had some that tried group 2, we have some newbies coming along after after babies, and yet another regular dragged her friend along because Tracey was on holiday!  (I thought us ladies only went in two's to the toilet!)   So after all the other groups went out we made our way to the Dog Poo Ally!

May ankle wasn't doing to bad, but then again, I was still running on the tarmac, the big test will be in the woods, with all the uneven ground, roots and stones to run over!  Once through the ally I turned left and we made our way down to the little stream.  I can't believe just how much light is already going.  I am sure when I first started running with the PWR's we spend most of the year in the woods, at least it felt like it anyway!  But now it seems the light is already fading!  Still, at least we can still run in the woods, and it looks as if it is finally drying up everywhere!

We were all keeping really well together, although again, I was running a tad faster than we should be!  I kept an eye on my Garmin the whole time, and when I did start running to fast I could slow down, I even had a couple of stops thrown in just so that we can catch our breath.  Fortunately it wasn't as warm as it was last week and it made all the difference really, because we were not strung out at all.

Once we got to the little river, I had a little break, then told everyone to run up to the gate at their own pace!  It's a cheeky fecker of a hill this one, steep, but it does give you a break once you get to the gate!  Just before you have to go up some more!  So up Botany Bay lane until we take the right hand bridle path along the top of the woods.  We were making brilliant progress, or at least I thought we were, because when I looked at my Garmin the date screens were completely different to what I usually have showing!  So either I have hit a button that I didn't realise or my Garmin has had a hissy fit and changed for no reason!  I shall sort it when I get home!

Nobody wanted to go the shorter way once we got to the top of the middle of the woods path.  We carried on along the top of the woods towards the road and followed the path along there.  I heard some shouting behind me and it was the call of  'Cyclists!' from the back of the group.  We all stood to the sides as we let a dog run passed us followed by his human on a bike with a blaring light!  He thanked us all as he went on by.

We continued our way along the path and to the Woodman's house and there taking up the path were cyclists, including the chap and his dog that we let passed.  I heard him say to his pals, "They called out 'cyclists' as if I were the black death or something" and then he said "Look out, Runners!" he said jokingly!  don't you just love people who are out there doing healthy activities!  They just seemed to be a hugely big friendly bunch of humans!

We had just a little further to the last down hill path to the ally where I send the faster runners off for their first sprint.  Just the the ally where they were to stop.  Then once we were all together and through the other side I sent them off for the last bit of whatever pace they wanted to go to get to the rec.

It was a great run, I actually really enjoyed it!  Some runs you just can't wait to get to the end off, some runs you just don't get to the end of, and then there are these runs, you just thoroughly enjoy!  This one was that one!

A great bunch of group 1'er's this evening!  I feel more positive now.  This extra weight is on its weigh out (did you see what I did there!?)

Geeky stats.  A perfect 3 miles, that really does my little quirkiness some good, having that so spot on!

<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/1273970865' title='Group 1 run' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Club Run

Hello blog runners

Shall I use the cliche's, shall I state the obvious!  Well let me just use this

Phew!  But did that stop us from running, heck no!  We are hardcore!  Winter, spring, summer or autumn, we run all year round!  But I did put a note out to remind everyone to stay well hydrated throughout the day and to bring extra on the run!

I brought some along some water as well, I don't usually like to run holding things in my hands, but I knew I would be needing it.  I am still doing things in readiness for my mother in law's funeral, and my running and cycling have taken a back seat for the past few weeks.  Running in the heat is going to be a challenge, it's been a while since all us Brits have 'complained' it's too hot.  The news is full of London buses with no opening windows or air conditioning!  People have been posting their Iphone pictures of the temperature (as if we didn't know already!)

Only last week we were thinking it was going to be raining on our run, and indeed when we were walking up to enjoy in the celebratory drinks at the Bickley we did feel a few drops of rain, but now this sun is burning down on us at something like 30 degrees Celsius and climbing!  Only the Brits complain 24 hours into a heat wave, we are a nation of whingers! Especially about the weather, it's our favourite pastime!.

So there we were, all jungled formula'd up and ready to do business with the woods in the heat.  I had noticed that there wasn't so many of us today, as a club that is, maybe some have gone on holiday.  But we did have 8 (I think, I forgot to count) of us in group 1!  We ran out of the rec and headed for Poo Ally.  We are going the easy way around the woods, so that's turn right as soon as we are through the ally way and turn right.

We all ran up this bit and I was pretty impressed with everyone!  They all did it, we had a bit of a break and then carried on.  It's fairly flat along this bit, past the wood mans house and then the left path towards the memorial.  When we got close we could see that group 2 and arrived at the sundial so I took my group through there as well! Get a party going on!  They all seemed as they there were enjoying their run too.

We carried on through the woods and then I decided to go on a slightly different path, a slightly challenging down hill path, that needed total concentration, but then it did take along by the little pond.  Just after that it is the challenging hill going up!  We are hard core, even in the summer we try and push ourselves to get fitter.

It was a great run.  All the way down Botany Bay Lane and then up along the railway lines.  It was still a bit sticky underfoot but at least the woods are 98% dry now!  So, after this week the hard work begins again for me to get fitter.  It is a struggle at times, things drag us down, situations make us extremely sad, and just about anything can make us cry at the drop of a hat.  Sometimes chocolate, crisps, beer and everything else seems to be calling out to you.  I am glad I have my running, even if it has only been once a week at the moment.

Hard work, nothing comes easy in this life, just hard work and dedication.  It was great to hear Tracy say today that she enjoyed todays run!  Being a runner is hard work, and that is what you got to love, it's what I love, although recent times I have found it a complete struggle! But I am getting back there!

Ok, enough rambling, here's todays geeky stats.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Hello Again Slow Coach!

Hello blog lovers.

Well, my running 'fast' didn't last too long!  But I am not going to beat myself up.  I just think that the sprung coil has fully sprung open again.  So normal pace has been resumed!   I met up with the Thursday group this morning for a lovely run through the woods.  I thought it would be a bit sticky in there still, but I needed to just enjoy the woods, breath in some fresh air!  I knew some of my regular slower runners wouldn't be coming today, and now that we have three groups going out, some of them have moved up to the middle group. So there was just the two of us today. Me and Tracey, another Tracey.  I am so going to have to find nicknames for all these Tracey's!

I really hadn't thought about a route so I was just going to go on one of the usual routes, but avoid the bottom path by between the bridge and Poo Ally.  We set off down the road towards the entrance of the woods, in through Poo Ally and then turned right to go up towards the road.  Yes, I am choosing the easier way around.  Tracey has been away from running for a couple of weeks, so it makes sense really.

The hill was quite challenging!  But I think we ran most of it!  And then we had a walking break!  There were a few puddles that we had to negotiate but not too bad.  We ran at a very leisurely pace along the  path that is parallel with the road.  Today I was feeling like I did on Saturday morning park run!  That first run back after having a couple of weeks of bad habits!  Oh well,  I have forever to get back to fitness and weight loss and stuff!

The paths through the woods were fairly clear with just a few big sticky muddy bits to go through, sometimes we couldn't completely avoid going straight into them.  It wasn't too long before we got to the top of the woods, well when I say that we were actually not as quick as we have been. But it was still just good to be out doing something.  That's what we both agreed.

Goss Hill next, at least we were going down it!  That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, and it was so nice to be running all the way down, non stop!  We ran along by the river once at the bottom.  The sun was shining down on us, it was really such a lovely day!  These are the days that you think 'Yeah! This is it, fill your lungs with fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun, feast your eyes on the glorious sight of the little river, the fields and the trees!  It was the sound of the train that told me our run was nearly over.  We wouldn't be going along the path that follows the train tracks to Poo Ally, we were going to have to go up over the bridge!  Boy did that hurt!  I tried to keep a steady pace going up and over the bridge! And the next bridge!  But I did it, we both did it!

With just the little bit of road work to do to get back to the rec and that was it.  Mind you that bit of road always seems longer on the way back, but, now I have just thought of it.......it is!  We had ran from Little Thrift to the rec, and not Poo Ally to the rec!  Now that has made me feel a tad better, maybe I am not as worn out as I thought I was!

Geeky stats

<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1256218009' title='Thursday Morning meanders' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Core Training.

IllustriousLeader was take the session today, now, how does she say it, "An iron fist in a velvet glove"  It's what she does best, terrifies you but then one you start doing it, it's not so bad! And besides which, Thursdays nights, whether it's at the core and speed sessions or at the track with PhysioMike and CoachHels, it's all about how much you put into it.  As long as you have warmed up properly you can work yourself quite hard, but just don't over do it.

Now you know me, I don't over do the exercise, but I do try to push myself that little bit harder on a Thursday night session, whether it's track or rec!  This evening was no different.  I did all the warm ups and the dynamic stretches, in readiness for the session.

The first running bit was a team thing, not that there is competition of course, but my team won by the way, but we had the inside lane!  It was still pretty close though, we had to take it in turns to run around the cricket pitch, then when we got to the third corner we had to call out to our team mate to start running.  We had two circuits to do and that was it!

After that it was the core training.  Squats, pushups, planks and lunges!  I tried doing the push ups with knees of floor, I got down but then collapsed trying to get up again.  I tried a couple of times but in the end I opted for the knees version and did manage to do a few more!  Something to work on when I am stuck indoors waiting for deliveries!

Just after that it was the relays.  I do love the relays.  this time though we had four to a team.  It seemed a tad harder with four for some reason.  Especially when each of the groups had a faster runner with them!  The baton seemed handed to me way to quickly each time!  But it was great fun.  I tried again to keep a faster pace going than the normal Tuesday night runs.  I feel positive again, still very sad after losing my mother in law, but I feel I will get back to my fitness and lose the weight that I have put on!

After our cool down stretches we said our goodbyes and came home.  I started my Garmin up at the first of the warm up laps, just to keep an eye on my heart rate, just to make sure that I was pushing hard or at least harder than Tuesday nights.

<iframe src='https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1256218016' title='Core Training' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Its Not My Idea!

Hello blog lovers.
Me, getting my award!

It's not my idea honest, it's not my fault.  It's not my fault that the people who I have chatted during my running, have become addicted to running!  It's not my fault that they have decided to 'upgrade' their 'hanging out trainers' used during the beginner classes, to the top of the range running shoes.  It's not my fault that they scourered the internet in search of races and meets, and start having dreams of running the London Marathon!  Honest, it has nothing to do with me!

I enjoy running, I can feel the benefits of running. Through running I have made some incredible friends, I belong, yes, belong, I like that word! I belong to the bestest club around! But there was a time I can remember when I was running at the back of the group led by Illustrious Leader, and I used to apologise for being at the back......all the time!   I felt bad, but the club members, group 1 members would not allow me to feel like that, they wouldn't even entertain the idea!

In time I gradually got better, I even became a leader, DiscoRich's idea! And I helped out at the beginners courses.  It was during the times, when they had finished, that I noticed that not all of the graduates came along to join our club.  I could see they were struggling and would probably struggle to keep up with us group 1.  But their enthusiasm was all there!  Thats when I happened on the idea of Hero's to Zeros.  Although at the time I didn't have a name for it then, it was just me asking the beginners if they still didn't feel confident then I would still meet up with them at 7, (as that used to be the time we did a couple of the beginners courses)  just to keep on encouraging and to make them feel that they hadn't met the grade!  Let me tell you, anyone who can run park run in 40 minutes or less is no failure in my mind.  The ones who take even longer than that are true triers, their efforts need to be nurtured all the way in!

I suggested the idea, ok, so maybe that bit was my fault, but they came along, and that was it! All the beginners that wanted to keep on trying met up with me an hour earlier than normal club runs, I would take them all out for a couple of miles and then go out with group 1 (still at the back). I decided to call these bunch of ladies and gentlemen Zeros to Heros group. It's not my fault they all enjoyed it, and kept on coming back and then graduating on to group 1 and 2 and even higher groups!  It was all their doing!  Because, little did they know that by coming along at 7 in the evening, they were in fact doing me the hugest favour! I was doing extra miles, getting fitter (hopefully) although the winter 7 o'clock runs were a bit hard, what with cooling down before normal group runs started, but I kept up as best as I could.

Little did all those that met up with during the week, who thought I was actually taking them on 'training' runs to improve their running, they were actually improving mine,  They all were getting me off my ass, out of my house, running along beside them enjoying fresh air, whether it was during the winter, spring or summer. Whether it was rain or sun!  They continued to come out.  They were and are my inspiration! Plus not only that, I was finally at the front of a PWR group run!  Talk about getting big headed!  Yeah, look at me, the old girl!  Of course then I went running in group 1 again and was right back to being at the back.  Thats when I realised, that actually Group 1 pace is my pace, I wouldn't get any faster, and quite frankly I quite like that pace.  And I knew that those in group Hero to Zero could get there too, and be comfortable at that pace,  they just needed a little longer than the 8 weeks that we have of beginners group!

"Because of you I kept on running" they said to me.  And now look at them, all looking totally dapper,  decked out in fancy new running trainers, running trousers talking about PB's, showing off their Christmas presents of the latest running watches!  Running is addictive, maybe on the next beginners course I will have to put a dis-claimer, "Running is addictive, if you continure it can get out of control, it can have a detrimental effect on your wallet"  But then with that I would add, "But you will be richer in friends for life, you will be richer in health benefits for life, you will be richer in achievements for life"

Which brings me nicely to why I have written this!  Yesterday evening, while we were celebrating our win, I was awarded a trophy, my fellow club members had voted me for the 'Members Award!" just a few weeks before hand.  It's an award for someone who deserves recognition, for instance never giving up in adversity, putting others first, or maybe someone who started you running!  There are so many other club members that I could mention that totally amaze me and deserve this award too.  They inspire me!  PhysioMike, CoachHels, Illustrious leader, DiscoRich, SingstarJo and thats just off the top of my head!  Talk about inspiration!  They have kept me going!  Which means that all the people that started running after me in group 0 and 1 is because of them!

But, seriously, getting that award yesterday, which they had to keep secret because I didn't make it to the 'Mid Summer Run and Awards evening', that's all thanks to Nicola, who had to come up with some story on the spot as to why it wasn't be given out!  I was totally gobsmaked! Humbled beyond belief! There were tears, more tears the next day mind, when I didn't have an audience!  And really I still find it........incredible that they found me......little.....slow runner......not exactly thin.....me to be the first person to receive this award.  Shit, if I had known, I could have written the most longest 'acceptance' speech going!  Probably why it was kept a secret!

So, my fellow PWR's I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart, hugs and more hugs to you all.......but don't blame me because you have had to have the latest Garmin ZX89 Turbo Nutter Bastard running watch,  that is all down to your hard work!  You deserve the best that our sport can supply! Including the bestest running club going, with the bestest running friends you can find! Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping me running!

This is my Trophy.  It says PWR Members Award, 2016, Somebody said that I should get my name on it, but really, I am going to leave it like that, because as it was all those members that kept me going, it is ours!

So.  Now comes the run.  It was a mob match, as I said, and as you can probably guess........PWR won!  We won on points and we won on Mob!  Fourth year running I believe ('scuse pun)  The course was just beautiful.  It was around Jubilee Park.  I don't know why I haven't really taken group 1 around this area before.  I will certainly have to 'scout' this out for summer runs.

Group 1 was well represented, with Chris, J.J. Janet, Auriol, Tracey, and I think some others, but they seemed to have found group 2 legs!  It was two laps around a 2.5 m loop through some lovely paths!  It wasn't too muddy, just a couple of slightly 'sticky' muddy bits.  But more or less all country paths, with just a tiny pit on the tarmac paths.  The chat on the Facebook page was all about trail shoes, road shoes and any other shoes that was need to score points for our team.  And again I will say.....Not my idea!

I couldn't believe how well I was running!  I kind of lead group 1, with Illustrious Leader being the sweeper!  By the second lap I was flagging a bit and there was a huge gap between us back runners and the rest of the field.  But we were smiling, we were chatting and we were have the most fabulous time! Just like a normal group 1 run!

This is just some of us in this picture, a great shot with Janet and Tracey in the background.  Now she is one of the people that make me do what I do, to encourage others!  And Tracy S, she  wasn't there this time, but she keeps on trying, and I know she will be back. And Carole!  Wow, her and her hubby Michael are another reason why I keep on doing what I am doing.

But I digress, as usual, but it is all true, those people inspire me also to keep going!  The last marshal was in sight, Zippysherry.......blimey another on my list of inspirational people by the way!  She is just as encouraging and helpful and all the other stuff that people have said about me, plus.....she has the most fastest zippy daughters to boot! So, I spy Zippy and I know it's only about 100 meters or so to the end.  I was in a dillema.....do I wait for the group 1 crew to catch up or do I let the competitiveness over run and just go for it.  Because not only was this a mob match, it was also the first of the clubs grand prix!

So like any good PWR, and something that I hope I have instilled instilled in our beginners, and group 1 if nothing else, this totally healthy instinct for running glory! I went for it!  There is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competion! Plus, you can't beat a bit of bling on your mantle piece to show the kids, the hubby and/or anyone else that comes to your house, heck I have even show the postman, and he only gets as far as the doorstep!

So. a great night running, a great celebration afterwards with some great friends.!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Coiled Spring!

Hello blog lovers.

Its been two weeks since my last run, not including this Saturdays parkrun!  It's been an extraordinarily hard two weeks too! An emotional two weeks, a harrowing two weeks.

My mother in law came out of hospital around 3 weeks ago, and from the moment she did between my sister in law and me and 'carers' we cared for her.  From the 25 until the 30th,  both me and my S.I.L. were with her 24 hours a day, we cared for her and stayed with her until her passing.  All of us in one room, supporting each other.

During that time to relieve stress and take me out for a few minutes at a time, ciggies called me, the biscuits and chocolates became a favorite comfort food.  The Old Boy did marvelous bringing over prepared food for us, salads, curry, chips!  Chips arrived on a day of fast for me as I 'bargained' with God!

After her passing I began to realise just how quickly I could go back to pre-running days.  The days of sloth like behaviour, beer and fags, and greedily eating chocolate!  I have no self control of my own, no will power, I need the support of my running club to keep me going.  My running buddies say that I am so good to run with the beginners, doing the beginners course, and all the other bits during the week.  But I don't think they realise that it's them that keep me going!

So, since Thursday I ran parkrun.  I had no idea how I was going to do, but it was just a case of getting out there and doing it!  Naggy Neighbour made sure I was out there, she gave me a lift there.  My other running buddies were there too, J.J., Janet, Wendimoo!  It was good to see them.

I hadn't charged my Garmin for the two weeks and half way around it cut out!  But it didn't matter. I really was just about getting out there.  It was a slow one, very slow.  My lungs had let me know just how much I had abused them!  But doing parkrun did me a world of good.  My time for that was just over 40 minutes, and WendiMoo stayed with me the whole way.

This evening it was club night.  And I picked up my trophy!  Its medal on a plinth, and the inscription says "PWR Members 10k 2016, Group 1 Winner, Donna!"  Now what you think of that!  Ok, so, just as the other trophys, I won it as I was the only group 1 member running!  But you got to be in it, to win it! right!

So for the route this evening.  I asked the girls what the woods were like, and then Illustrious Leader came and said that she is going in the woods, but bypassing the section between Poo Ally and the railway bridge.  so that is what I planned to do.  It does cut off about quater of a mile, but it's fine,  we can make it up by running around the green!

There were 12 of us running, including me as well, a nice big group and a couple new people Mary, Lisa and her hubby Phil.  Well Lisa is a 'returner'  and her hubby Phil is a complete newbie.  Michelle has been selling our club well, and didn't let Lisa off the hook!

We ran along Hazelmere and into Great Thrift where we turned right into Little Thrift, (just love these street names!)  Just by entrance to the woods was group 2.  Illustrious leader was taking a stopping break to brief her runners about all the socials, mob matches and no doubt saftey about running through the woods!  So I took a stopping break as we had just ran up the hill!

I really did feel good doing this run, and I was running quite well!  A bit to well!  I really had to keep checking my Garmin to make sure that I wasn't running to fast!  Which I was!  Especially the last section of the run, as we ran parallel to Opington road.  But they all seemed to be keeping up.  The last section down towards Poo Ally we had the 'initiation fall' as Mary took a tumble!  She said she was fine as the mud was still nice and soft! (there is a good thing to be said about soft mud!) And she carried on running down.

But just as we were making sure Mary was ok Group 2 came running down towards us as well!  We definitely had to make sure we were running!  They must have done the same sort of route, with adding just a little extra bit to make it group 2 route!

It was good to get back to running. I felt like a coiled spring, and I was just springing open, running, not wanting to stop until I had run out of coils!  It was a very much needed club run, and I need to say thank you to all of my friends in Petts Wood runners for their friendship and support!  My lungs felt a lot better this time and I think are starting to forgive me!  Once my holiday out of the way, we have one last service to do for my mother in law, Jean, her funeral on the 22nd July.  Then I will concentrate on getting fitter, and lighter! (again!)

Geeky stats.