Sunday, 29 December 2013

Festive 5k - Ish

Hello blog lovers!

Today was my first ever attempt at an organised(ish) run. It was a to be a conversational and social type of run. pace and including a couple of pubs.  But I didn't leave the faster runners out.  If they were coming then they were to meet us (after the start at Willet Way) in the first pub stop at the Tigers Head in Chislehurst.

As it happened, for a very quickly organised run there were actually 3 or us running.   I knew it was going to be a very social occasion indeed, so I ran from my house to the meeting place, which is the our club house starting point of Willet Way.

There to meet me (and should I say before me, but there is reasons for that), is Orla and Sherry.  Not bad for a short notice run it think, especially at Group 1 pace. I did give the option of the faster runners to 'amend' the Group 1 course to suit, so that we all arrived at the first 'Social' stop at the Tigers, and then all too meet at Daylight after. (Daylight read 'The Daylight Inn', as I said its a very social run).

But first off I had to get there, to Willet Way rec, the start point of our Festive five K. Not sure how many miles that is but I think its under two at least! I was so pleased to see the two ladies waiting for me at the park.  I had forgotten to check Face Book make sure that there were people turning up, I think I would have looked quite sad turning up at the pubs by myself! We didn't hang about long before we started our run.

The only downfall of todays Garmin was dead! Not only that by Sherrys Garmin was out of sorts, but she did have her hubbys one! At least we will get to know the pace that we.....or at least Sherry did, as she did several little loops. 

Our route was straight up Birchwood and the turn left towards Chislehurst, destination Tigers Head.  I chose to go on the roads so as not to get too muddy for the Pub.  The clientele in there are usually diners, and I don't supposed the would have appreciated treading in muddy foot prints as they were led to the tables.  I am not sure what time we got there, but as it happened, I wasn't too concerned.  It really was just a very social run indeed.

We arrived at the first refreshment stop at....well I have no idea really! But who wants to know? Eh? we had a nice cool drink and as soon as we had finished we headed for the end, and the next pub stop to finish what is a very pleasant run, in was turning out to be a very glorious sunshiny day!

They way back to the second pub was a bit more adventurous.  We were going down Botney Bay Lane. It was very busy for a Sunday afternoon, plenty of people out for a daily constitutional! Dog walkers, couples, families and a chap sitting by the river, such a wonderful afternoon!  The way towards the railway was a bit muddy but nothing too bad, but when we got to the railway and the path running along the side of it was very muddy and sticky indeed! The people with wellies had the right idea though, trying to run through that with road shoes was bloomin hard!

But we were soon running up the steps and over the rail bridges, just the too of them, and then popping out of Little Thrift and turning right towards the DayLight Inn.  We got there and I asked what the time was, and it was about 14:36, I think, not a bad time which included a pub stop im thinking!  But maybe I mis-heard the time.  I will need to check on Sherrys Garmin what time we arrived! But whats the worry about time, this was a social ride!

Here is a picture of me and Orla, and some others that heard that our destination was going to be the Daylight inn!

And this is the route that we took.

Please don't ask what time we left her though! As I have said, it really was a very social run :-) (big smiley face)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Club Run - Sweeerrrve!

Hello blog lovers.

YESTERDAY, was club run, and it was the last club run of 2013!  That can only mean one thing, and also explain why my blog is late!  It was pre-Christmas drinks at the wine bar!  We were also handing over a check to St Christophers Hospice, Bromley which is the profits from our October 10k, club event.  The amount was £4,000! Now that is worth celebrating!

My lovely sister aka Nagging Sister, aka Bims picked me up and we went to the rec with just a very light sprinkle of rain marring the evening.  The rain didn't stay around too long, but it left the roads wet and the leaves slippery. We met up with the other members who were running, all though this time of year many seem to have chosen to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

The route that Illustrious Leader had chosen was a well known one, with just a smidge of a hill to think about, but I knew that I would be really lagging behind as I hadn't been out running since last Tuesdays club run.  I'm afraid the baby germs had brought me down!  So with just the remnants of the cold left, an annoying cough, and a bloated carcass (due to chocolate medicine) to heave around todays 3 and half mile(ish) route, just keeping up with the group today will be a miracle.

Running at this time of year is always a pleasure.  Just seeing all the coloured lights flashing around peoples houses, the Santa and reindeer statures in various posed positions on the rooftops, porches and gardens always bring a smile to my face.  And thoughts of my own childhood Christmases come to mind.  Although, back in those days, the only lights that we saw on the houses were around the inside of the windows!  I think us Brits got 'light envy' when we saw what our American cousins do to their houses over the Christmas period!  But I do like it that still call it Christmas!  After all you can't leave Christ out of Christmas, can you!  Just love this time of the year! And it's not 'just for the kids'  How it saddens me to hear that.  I find it a great opportunity to spread His Word! 

And who don't get emotional at watching kids/grandkids in the schools nativity.  All the singing, shuffling, waving, costume pulling, nose picking, line forgetting, hours worth of sheer joy.  Who puffs up with pride when their child comes home and says that he is 'Joseph or Mary' in the play.  Or runs up the best angle/shepherd/kings costume in the land for their child! And who starts to remember what Christmas is really all about!

So now you know why I like running this time of year!  I really wanted to be on our last club run of the year too, and I think I would have gone out even if I felt as bad as I did on Wednesday and Thursday!  Each day I run I feel it's a gift! And I embrace it, whether its a good run or bad run!

Yesterdays run was really good!  I know if I had been 100% fit I feel as if I would have been up at the front.  Darn this cold! Darn all the sputum taking up residence in my lungs!  I am afraid I had to be very unladylike on several occasions (a great reason to run at the back!)

We were on the last road heading back to the rec.  Now as I have said earlier, we were having pre-Christmas drinks after, and the wine bar that we use is nearer to us than the club HQ! So me, J.J. and Jan actually asked, very nicely, and probably very whiny, Illustrious Leader if we could by pass the whole going back to the ground and heading straight for the pub!  We were given permission!

We were not the first of the PWR's to get there either, as group 7(I think ?) were there just a few seconds before us, they also had chosen a route that would have them arriving at the bar at the end of their run!

Here is the geeky stats. 

Merry Christmas every one, and a very happy new year to you all!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Club Run - I'm Glad I Went Out!

Hello blog lovers.

Club run today, and I decided to 'hang the headache' or at least the anadin was working, and just go and join in with the club runs. The graduates are turning up for the 8 o'clock sessions and are fitting nicely into group 1.  Today, however, group 2 merged with us as sickness and other stuff (parties and whatnot) kept a few leaders from todays runs.  Illustrious leader was leading today and as I wasn't feeling particularly fine and dandy, I chose to run at the back. 

I.L. chose to run up Birchwood this evening, get the long hill over and done with.  After that it was flat or slightly undulating.  We almost had a fall as one of our numbers tripped up on the pavements but she managed to stay up right! If that had been me I am sure I would have been in a heap on the floor.  But she had nimble feet and managed stay on them.

We reached the top of the hill and had a short break, and then we carried on turning right then left.  The main hill was done and now there were just little undulations to do.  I kept up the encouragement with Lorraine, her husband, Barry, was with us today as well.  He has been off running for a few weeks due to sickness and decided today to run with group 1 and give Lorraine some encouragement too.  You can never get enough encouragement, that's for sure.

After a few twists and turns we go to Beaumont road and I.L. took the sweepers role.  The group 2 members took the lead and led some of our faster group 1 runners to the rec and I headed up the middle group, with J.J. and Jan.  We passed some lovely houses with all the Christmas lights twinkling away.  I do love this time of year when all the households make an effort with the Christmas decoration  (I still have my Christmas tree in a box somewhere) and I.L. sent us on a slight different route home from Beaumont road that we usually do because of some particularly lovely lights on one of the roads.

I did my usual sprint down Crossways and entered a dark misty park to do the warm down stretches.

A great run tonight, and I am so glad that I went out today.  My headache didn't materialise as it did last Saturday, even though I had a bit of a cough, everything was just perfect. Here is the Geeky stats.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Running With A Turkey....A Snowman....A fairy.......An Elf!

Hello blog lovers,

Today is the last race in my clubs Grand Prix events for this year! It's not over yet! This year, juts as last year it was at the ever popular Ditton Turkey run, hosted by the Maidstone Harriers.  This is a great event, and people really get into the spirit of Christmas with the whole fancy dress theme going on.  There were turkeys (stuffed I might say, with cotton wool not sage and onion) perched on top of heads, there were elves and father Christmases, There were fairies fluttering (both male and female!) and snowmen melting (well it was quite a mild day considering it's December!)

I woke to a very lovely morning, the sun was shining, and it looked like it was going to be staying around for the whole day.  It was going to be a civilised start to the day, no getting out for 7, so I managed to have breakfast and a cuppa, before setting off to meet DiscoRich and Illustrious Leader at Willet Way Rec. DiscoRich is kindly doing the driving today.

We arrived at H.Q. well in time to get out numbers and running chip and to use the loos.  We met up with a few Pettswood runners, and then some more and then some more!  As you can see, even some of our runners got into the spirit of things and went fancy dress, I.L. and I even donned a Santa hat!
Some in fancy dress


And more PWR's

And yes more PWR's

I got just a tad chilly waiting for the off, so to keep myself amused I took this 'Hold the phone up and shoot' style picture.
Over head shot

Once we got going however, it was perfect.  I remember last year there was quite a few muddy, very wet muddy places on route.  I had remembered this year to bring a change of shoes and socks, just in case!  I was running along with 3 of our club members, I.L., Jane and, if I'm not mistaken with her name, Debbie.  We were running behind some 'fairy' runners with very colourful wings on their backs. 

The route is a very pleasant route, hardly any road running, just sticking mainly to paths and trails.
Just one of the trails

Although this is a Grand Prix event, I am still going to take things easy, as there is not many from my group competing in the events, so I was planning on taking photos and enjoying my run. (Yawn!! as per usual then Old Girl, I hear you all say) Yes, as per usual.  Running is fun, it gets you out, it gets you socialising and you get to run through some amazing country side!

Anyway, enough defending/excusing my running prowess.  After a while the rest of the PWR's ladies got on and did their own thing, each having their own agenda, whether it be just to finish, or chasing that PB, but they were all in front of me.  I expect I am the last PWR back here.  But I know I am not the last runner.  I had passed a few people and right now I was on the tail of the fairies.  We seem to over take each other, again and again. 

The Marshals were out on the field pointing the way and giving encouragement.  It's not everyone's cup of tea, standing out in December in the middle of fields and paths, pointing puffed out, sweaty runners to the finish line! But at least the marshals today have the sunshine with them.
Some of the marshals, and a runner
with a fab top that was being

One Fairy, who I found out was called Mel, was doing so well!  She hadn't stopped at all, even going up the hills!  She just carried on marching through! Head down! I so wanted to say to her "head up" but she was doing really well in her own style! And besides, maybe she will tire and I can get in front of her again! Competitiveness jealousy getting in there!  But this was the last time I was to see her, as she disappeared through here,  His very own home grown temple! For that is what it looked like as we ran towards this fantastic clump of tall trees, reaching high into the sky, creating this temple effect as the trees bent to almost form a steeple effect.
The Temple

We ran towards the 'temple' and I was just awe struck! Praising His Name as I ran towards it.  I just had to stop and take some pictures, but these pictures just don't do it justice!  It looks pretty awesome when you're actually running towards it.  One of the other fairies caught me up and said "That should make for a pretty good picture" That's when she told me that the girl in the picture was her friend, Mel!

Although the route is not in laps, we do touch on the same road twice!  For little ol' me, who is just useless at directions, it was very confusing!  I didn't notice it last year, as I was running along with two other ladies chatting, but this year, running along on my own-some, taking in the sights, I noticed the barn that we passed earlier, and running down the road, I noticed the path, zig zag style, that I had problems running up the first time!  So I was quite pleased to hear that actually, I am nearly to the finish, and there is no need to go up the zigzag. 
Zigzagging up, just the once!

I got my phone read to capture the finish line!  I decided I wasn't going to stop and take it, I would just point and push and hope that I get it while still running. Here, take a look!  Not too bad, at least you can see the word 'finish!'
The Finish!
Oh and the official chip time is 1:21:51

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Thursday Group - Just Because!

Hello blog lovers.

I do like Thursdays runs, not because I get to choose the route, but because we get to change the route depending on how we are doing, company with us, or just because!

Today was no exception, there were just the two of us in my group today, while DiscoRich had a few members to go on their 5 miler at breakneck speed, me and Illustrious leader were going to just enjoy being out in the woods, for that is where I was if I would choose pavement over woods!

Also I was going to take some pictures of our run on route, the last colours of Autumn before winter takes its icy white grip on the woods. So the first picture is from the railway bridge that we crossed.  Just to stop here and look over the fields and towards the farm and the house nestled at the top of the field, overlooking the farm, is just so peaceful, even when there is a train running under the bridge!   Just to stand an look and take it the wonder of nature, of His creation, brings your stress levels down and makes you smile!
The farm

Through the park, just a great place to be, dog owners, cyclists and walkers all enjoy just walking through here (cycling if on a bike of course). And apparently this is a very dark place for all you star gazers for when there is a clear night, there is very little light pollution. And sometimes when me and the Old Boy are on a bikes going through here, we often stop and gaze at the sky, or even just gaze around on the fields with our bike lights to show up any eyeballs watching us from the local wild life.

Jubilee Park

Which Path to choose?

We were really taking advantage of our twosome run, just taking it easy, chatting picture taking. I took a picture of this fantastic house.  If I ever win the lottery I will offer a ton of money for this house! It looks like it should (maybe it was) be a station house.
Lovely Station house

It really was turning out to be a very pleasant wander through the parks and woods.  I was going to go up Goss hill, but to keep things going along in the pleasurable jog/walk vein I chose to run beside the little stream.  Not only that but we headed right to go up towards the railway and then back along the same path that we came along before.  ok it's a small one but we ran up it, after I took a picture of course!

Path by the railway.
I took this picture of the path by the railway because there was the most cutest little dog there, and besides it's a lovely path.  But Illustrious leader came up with a word that I haven't heard in years, to describe the scene in front of us, and the potential composition of the picture, she said, something like, (cos I aint much good with words) "that will be a good picture with the juxtaposition of the path and the train going past" Well, its a pity that the chain link fence hid the train, because then it would have been a juxta-whatsit of a picture!  It wasn't all pleasure though, look, there was a hill, here is the lovely Illustrious Leader running up it.

The 'Hill'

Just as we were about to go through "Dog Poo Ally" we saw DiscoRich with his gang of lovely ladies and we followed them out of the woods. Here's a picture of them, all looking very happy!
DiscoRich and his smiling crew

Geeky stats, a very leisurely walk/jog through our woods, what else is better to do on a Thursday morning?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Club Run - And the Numbers Swell!

Hello blog lovers.

Group 1

"Hang about" I bet you're all thinking, "No Graduates run today?" Well let me tell you, No there wasn't.  Today was the first day for Lorraine and Nagging Sister to come and join the ranks of Group 1 of the Pettswood Runners.  We had a couple of other new newbies, ones that haven't been on a beginners course, but have heard of our fantastic leaders, runners members, coaches that we have at our club. At least one or two new members every couple of months! How brilliant is that!

Illustrious Leader was leading today, and she knew that we had some newbies coming along and the route she chose couldn't have been more perfect for them.  Well, Lorraine and N.S. did really well.  I knew N.S would, her parkrun times have been getting faster and faster.  Nagging Sister has deffo found her running mojo.

I was feeling pretty good, pretty relaxed and looking forward to this evenings run.  And I was looking forward to seeing how Lorraine felt after this evenings run.  I know that she can do it, with a little help, and a little bit of extra pushing from herself she will stay with the pack or just be a few seconds behind.

The first mile we a kept together ok, there were two noticeable groups forming, but I.L. has plans for the front runners, a couple of places to loop back and do extra bits to keep warm.  I was feeling pretty good too, quite refreshed and pleased to be out running.  Now this type of evening runs I just love doing.  Great company, great route (hardly any hills) and even the weather was for us! For a December evening it wasn't too cold.

We had a regroup about 2-3 times along the route, I.L sent the front runners around various loops and extra bits of road and everyone was having a great time. Now I.L. did mention Cardiac Hill, but we really only just touched on it and took this cheeky little road on the left that was leading us towards the last few roads.  I must try and remember that road.

After we done Covert Road and the close, I.L. took over sweeper duties and then I pushed ahead to run along with the rest of the group.  It really was a very good run, and I am now looking forward to the race that I have booked on to on Sunday, although it's a Grand Prix event, I think I would have entered it anyway as its a great fun run, but I shall wait to Sunday to tell you about that.

Geeky stats for you.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Santa Dash! - Hairy Weekend part 2

Me and Nanny
Hello blog lovers.

I know usually when there is the event of the year, no-body in their right mind would have run the park run yesterday, but that did have an important message to get across.  But this event can only top off all other events that I have done.  Firstly, its the spirit of the event, secondly, its a family event, thirdly, there was a free uniform and most importantly of all, it's my grandsons first ever race! So, I am going to write this as if my grandson was sitting with me and I was writing down as he spoke it!

Nan had told me about Santa dash, and I said "Yes nan, I want to do that and I'm going to win!" She mentioned some about there was going to be quite a few other Santa's there that could be a lot faster than me but I knew I could beat them!

Mummy and me picked nanny up, she was waiting just outside her home already in her Santa suit, I think she was probably feeling a bit weird in her Santa suit, but I was loving mine!  We drove to Bromley not knowing quite where it was and nanny was being seeing by waving to everybody that we passed by.

We soon found out where we had to meet, I think millions of Santa's that were on the big green gave us a clue.  Nanny and me got out of the car and joined in the throng of Santa's!  She kept me quite close to her saying that she didn't want to end up with the wrong Santa running up to the finish line, we did all look the same from behind!
Millions of Santa's

The lady started to do the warm up, nanny was joining in but I thought it all looked a bit silly and didn't do it. but then nanny told me that there was a big hill to go up and that if I had cold muscles I wouldn't be able to run up the hill, after that I joined in, it was great fun!  We did some 'Ho ho ho's' and hanging up decorations, and turkey and stuffing the turkey! It was all great fun, and I was quite warmed up by the time the start of the run.

The man on the mic said that all the joggers were going to the front with the walkers and the buggies to follow behind.  I couldn't quite understand why nanny didn't go to the front because I did tell her that I was going to run really fast all the way round! 

We heard the man count down and we started to run.  I held nanny's hand but she wasn't running very fast and I let go, and then I could run fast.  Nanny kept calling me back saying that I would get too tired if I ran off to fast, I think it may be nanny that gets to tired!  There were so many Santa's in front of me, I am not going to win!  But then nanny told me to look behind me, there were still so many Santa's behind as well! I stopped running so fast, I was a bit warm.  Mummy had made sure I was well wrapped up, with my thermals, tee shirt, jumper and jacket under my Santa suit! 

My hat came off after the first lap around the park, and I decided that I wanted to go home! I seemed to be running far and fast but still in the same place and I had fallen over!  Nanny says that all runners have to have at least one fall to be proper runners. We went through the park on the second lap and then over to road.  Somebody had stopped all of the traffic so we could cross without stopping.
Hats off, its way to warm!

Then we were in another park, there were some cadets with big blue hands pointing the way to go.  I 'high fived' al of them I think.  We went through the play park, it looked fun, and you can't go through a play park without having a go on something!
It would be rude not
to have a go!
High five!

Then it was all up hill, I was tired and wanted nanny to carry me but she said she couldn't. I was thirsty too, nanny said there was a nice drink at the top.  The hill was quite a long one, and nanny said my face was looking very pink and warm.  We zig zagged our way to the top and I was really tired and fed up by now, but then the cadet said that we were at the top and there was no more hill to do! 

I just walked along feeling very tired, nanny was still smiling and I could hear some people saying "ahh look, he looks really fed up"  And I was!  I found a flag on the floor and picked it up and waved it but even that didn't bring a smile to my face. But then I could see the barriers with the people on the other side waving and  cheering, I smiled and started to run and the people began cheering even more.  So I started to run even fast, trying to catch up to the other Santa's that was in front of me.  Nanny was having to run really really fast. Just ahead was the end! Me and Nanny got a very nice medal and mummy, Jay and the boys were there watching and cheering us on as well as Auntie Dawn and Danny!  And I got a nice orange drink, I really needed it as I was very hot!  It was a lovely sunny 1st of December!  And my first run!
So happy that I ran the whole way
as I told mummy, but you
can see that I am hot!

Well, that is how I think my grandson would have retold the story, it really was a great fun run.  I saw The Jogging Hippo with his family and they seemed to be having the same trouble as I did in keeping up with their young lad!

A very well organised race, and the medal is particularly cute with Santa running ins his vest and shorts, not only that but a couple of the reindeer came to watch as well, they may be a bit confused over all the Santa crossing the line, but the kids loved getting up close and personal to them.  Oh and by the way, we did the run in about 25 minutes.
The great medal!

Just a couple more pics

Before the run

Look, I found a bell!

oh and just to show the elevation here is the geeky stats, I forgot to switch of the Garmin, but the course ended on the high street, we finished about 25 mins after we started. Santa Dash 2013 by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details