Thursday, 30 April 2015

Post Marathon Runs!

Hello blog lovers.

Thursday Morning Group 1

Well it seems I recovered a lot quicker this time round than the last time! Which surprised me!  I think I should work harder on the next one!  So today is one of my fav days, its a run day! So I am going through the woods.  I am not sure how many will turn up today, but it won't stop me running through the woods if it is just me.

DiscoRich was there with his group 2 lot, which seems to have grown bigger.  A couple of the group 1's have stepped up!  And there were two in my group, Sarah, landlady of One Inn The Wood, which seems to have become a mecca for all PWR's since it opened!  And DottieKat.  Both of these ladies are from this springs beginners group, so it's just marvellous that they too have stepped up, even before the graduation ParkRun event!

I thought just a nice easy loop of woods, just to test out how the knees and back gets on with it. Do you know what, it felt brilliant!  There was no problems, maybe just a little reminder of what I had achieved at the weekend, but nothing more.  The other two were doing brilliantly!  Considering just 8 weeks ago they started off with only just running for 1 minute and walking 5!

Running through the woods has to be the most uplifting way to run!  It's all well and good running on roads in the winter, but get back into the woods as soon as possible!  That's what I think!  I took them through Dog Poo ally, and boy was it living up to it's name today, pheww weee! I took them to the left and ran along there.  We had some rain yesterday, and probably more during the night, the ground was soft and springing, with some sticky bits coming back.  But still very much runnable.  The 'cobblestone' effect of the floor was a little harder to see but at least I managed to get through it with out twisting anything, as well as the other two.

We headed for Botany Bay Lane and ran all the way down to the river.  "We're going all the way to the very top" I said to them, "We are going to touch on Scadbury Park today".  DottieKat had made a challenge for herself.  She wanted to run all the way up from the little river to the National Trust House, by the gate!  We all did that particular challenge!  All the way, non stop.  It' is quite a steep, cheeky little hill, but we did it!

With just a walking section to recover we finished the second half of the Botany Bay Lane.  Just a little walk to recover and the we continued.  As we were running along this road DiscoRich and his crew crept up behind us!  They over took us as we started to approach the common.  They went to the left while we went to the right! "Is this where the Tigers Head is" asked DottieKat and Sarah said "A girl after my own heart, getting directions from the local pubs!"  Come on now, who don't give directions like that?!

We ran along the road, crossed over and then ran along the edge of Scadbury!  See, it's not just the faster groups that can get this far in the hour!  We crossed over Leesons Hill and the ran along for a bit further until I saw an opening through the woods on the other side of the road.  "Come along, I don't think I have been on this bit before" I said.  And so we ran back along to the top of the woods.

You can't get lost in these woods, you will always find a road or the railway if you just keep going in a straight direction.  This path that we were on I realised we had been on it, but we get to it from a different route.  I knew it would take us to the top of the woods.  I want to go down the middle path, but first we went past the Willet Memorial, the sundial.  This is where our 10k goes past.  I had such a great time running that race way back in 2010!  The beginning of my time with the Petts Wood Runners.

All too soon the run was coming to the end as we ran down the middle path back to Dog Poo Ally.  I think during the warmer days it is the dog waste bit that really chucks up!

A great run today, and I feel glad that I don't seem to have any injuries or niggles that would stop me from running.  So, tonights track session is on!

Geeky stats

Thursday Evening

Ok, so maybe at tad ambitious to do two lots, but if you don't try, you don't know!  The beauty about the track (I can't believe I am saying that) is that its contained!  I can do as much as or as little, as hard or as easy going as I want!  With the expert guidance of our coaches Hels and PhysioMike!  

Why I can't believe I say 'the beauty of track' is that normally I don't like doing laps!  But somehow I have come to appreciated track sessions.  I have noticed that my speed does seem to increase when I am on track.  I just have to transfer that speed now into my Parkruns, because that is what track sessions are all about now.  Getting better times in our 5k's and 10k's. Building up the speed and stamina!

But todays session, for me, was just seeing how my body 'faired' over the weekend.  What with the nice easy run this morning, could I really do a slightly harder run in the evening!  Although I wasn't planning on going full out of course. I'm crazy but not that crazy!  Nice and easy, as always!

It was nice seeing everyone at the track, some of them couldn't believe I was out running already, but, really I felt brilliant.  After doing the warm up drills with Hels and some little sprinty things with PhysioMike we started the session.

The session was 4 800m with 3 minutes rest between each and then 8 200m with a minute rest between.  Of course I didn't do that, I probably did 3 800's and about 2 200's.  Like I said, just nice and easy!  I need to keep it fun and a pleasure to do! I could have rested up for the whole week, but I didn't see why I needed to if I felt fine! 

It was a great session though.  The other runners were just bombing it round the track!  I can't believe they completed it while I could only manage to plod out what I did!  Still, I reckon they must have all been running for years and years!..........And there is no need to correct me on......just let me carry on thinking that!

Geeky stats. I didn't get the first 100 meters recorded but I did start the timer!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

35th Virgin London Marathon - Hand In Hand

Hello blog lovers.

Well I did it again! I can't believe that I actually got in the first time round, but to get it a second time! I was stunned!  I  had put in for a ballot place but didn't get it, but as I belong to one of the best running clubs around I managed to win the draw for one of 4 places our club was allocated!  I was so excited I was speechless!

And now all those months of training, the long runs all finished, (but not as long as perhaps I should have done!)  13.46 miles was my longest run that I did this time around.  It will just have to be enough to get me through.  Those months of training with Wendimoo,  Bims, J.J., Hillary and Marianna, whether they ran 1 mile or a dozen miles with me, they all help enormously to get me to the end of each run.

Fuel for the journey!

And now it's here,  This is my vest and number, I'm running for St. Christophers this time, as both my mum and dad were in the hospice.

Early Morning!
My lovely hubby, The Old Boy (Alan), was dropping me and few others off as near as he can get us to blue start, Paula (not Radcliffe but our very own PWR member, running her first ever marathon) and Karien, doing her 5th marathon but the first at London,  We also bought along a member of the PWR support crew! She will meet up with the others to do the round of supporting view (screaming) points.

We're here!

Here is some pictures of us getting to the Blue Start.

Blue Start
The walk to the common,
with Emily on the right!

The atmosphere is exactly how I remembered it in 2013 only this time I have Paula and Karien to enjoy it with.  We had a quick look around and then queued for the loos, and no, I was not going to try the She Wee thing again.  With thousands of people here you can imagine how long the queues were at the portaloos! Soon it was time to put our bags on the lorries.  I did mine first. Now, just imagine hundreds of people, all with the same colour bags, wandering about. If you know me, then you know I can get lost going to my local shop, my sense of direction is non existent.  I handed my bag over and I turned around to see where the other two ladies were and I couldn't spot them.  There were just two many people, all wearing hats, pink running jumpers and carrying red bags! I walked out to where I thought I had come from, hoping they would spot me, but it didn't happen!

I stood still for a few minutes, then I thought, well they need to put their bags up so I wandered over to where their lorry would be, and still I couldn't see them, I did see another PWR, or at least he saw me, twice when I wandered back and forth!! But I only spotted him when I virtually bumped into him!  The phones of course were next to useless, But eventually I did see them, or they saw me (of course).  We walked over to the starting pens, Karien was in zone 5 and me and Paula were in zone 9 (the end pen).  We stood about chatting getting really excited and then I heard a familiar voice!  Heleana and Robyn saw us, and came to stand next to us. The Heleana spotted Chris and Matt and we yelled and whistled until they saw us and we all stood together.
Paula, me, Heleana, Matt, Robyn and Chris

Soon the mass started moving forwards, slowly at first and then we started moving a bit quicker.  Can you believe that me and Paula managed to get on the telly! Out of all those thousands of people there, we could be seen waving to the cameras!  Well chuffed!  From then on it was just like I had trained.  Nice and easy!  The only thing I didn't do was the run for a mile and walk a minute!  I just was so caught up in the spirit of the whole event, it just seemed good to just run and enjoy for as much as I could. If I knew how to add the video here from the Iplayer thing then I would add that! So this is just a picture of us from the live footage.

Me and Paula, on the telly!

Paula runs at my pace, she is a little quicker than me but we are both in group 1 of our running club.  She has a great Garmin, it gives her real time pace where as mine just averages out the mile!  So I relied on Paula to keep the pace to what we had both planned to run.  My Garmin is getting old now, so I may just invest in a new one!

I settled in to a nice pace, with Paula absolutely beaming with excitement, saying things like "Donna, we're doing a marathon"  I don't think her smile could have been bigger!  I was totally excited too, even though I had done it before, just being here was just a total high.  I was full of expectations, wondering if I could beat my time before!  I was certain I could, after all, last time I had that mishap with the whole, nearly fainting and puking thing!  But it's early days!  I know that anything could happen, who knows, we could get a negative split! (one of Paulas remarks!) We did have such a laugh on this run!

Brain Page, of So Let's Go Running!, was there among the paparazzi! He took this picture of us about 3 miles in!  You can tell, the not so red face, no sweaty brow, huge big smiles from us both!  It was brilliant to see him. Paula thought she had photo bombed the picture!

Running along and we were just in a world of our own

We had our phones turned off, saving power for pictures and for contacting people afterwards, it's a must!  Our first photo opportunity was at the Cutty Sark, we both got our phones, waited an age before they powered up and then took our pictures. With the ship in the back ground we took a couple of  fab pictures, then I did the silly  pose you can see below, and Paula just laughed out loud! Paula had to have her picture done the same, we just pissed ourselves laughing!  I think this was one of the highlights of our run! Or maybe delirium was just starting to take hold! But from here, this pose became our 'thing'  Here, take a look.

Me, doing the 'Mara Pose'

As we moved a bit further along Paula heard her name being yelled really loudly!  There we saw Hannah and Michelle! Hugs all around, they were our first supporters we had seen!  Considering we were way at the back, it really is fabulous to see them still there. They took some great pics of us! Here take a look!

Quick! Rhino stampede!

The crowd just kept us going, we were so enjoying the whole experience.  Several times on route Paula mentioned again that we were 'doing the marathon'  It really is, such a fantastic day!  You can't help but just be in awe of it!  As we were running along, a lady had asked if we were at St. Pauls yet. For a start, I don't think you can see St. Pauls on our route and besides, we still had to get to Tower Bridge!

Tower Bridge was still a long way to go!  Getting there was fun though!  Along here somewhere at point 10 miles or so Auriol and Nigel had hijacked their friends flat for the night!  Their friend live right in front of the Marathon route! The noise was just to much for my ears and it was Paula that saw them shouting at me more urgently than the other supporters.  Not only that, they actually came onto the road and started running with us!  In full pedestrian winter gear!  Shiny shoes and everything!

Auriol pulled out a little earlier than her hubby Nigel, but then she has been suffering injuries!  Nigel however said "I shall run with you until the bridge."  Now when he said that, my mind went straight into "Oh my goodness, a bridge, that can only mean one thing! Going up hill!"  But actually it wasn't that bad.  He stayed with us until we crossed over the bridge, I hadn't a clue what it was bridging, water or rail, and then we said our good byes.

We ran just for about another mile or two and I wondered when Tower Bridge and Tooly Street would be here.  I didn't recognise it last time, and I felt sure that I still wouldn't know I was there this time round.! Now Tooly Street is a favourite hang out spot for all those there to watch loved ones or friends as after they have seen you there they cross over the bridge and then watch you on the other side as you come back along the road to go all the way to Big Ben!  The muscles were aching, but we soon forgot that as we saw the second of the cheer groups, Michelle and Denise!  Yelling so loudly, Paula heard them first, I think my hearing is getting old as well as the rest of me, because I didn't hear the straight away!

We had a hug from them and then they pointed  to over the road, and there, with a huge smile and ready arms was SingstarJo and Sonia! Double supporters!  Just brilliant!  In fact, they are there in the picture that Michelle took! Here is me and Paula, doing our marathon pose, and just across the street is SingstarJo and Sonia!  Now I know we are nearly half way there!  It was marvellous to see them there, it is such a moral boost!

Can you see them!  Sonia and SingstarJo!
This picture also reminded me of the huge clean up operation that goes on after we have all finished.  Well actually they started cleaning up as we were still running!  But running through the Lucozade and the Gel Stations we really slowed down, because the road was so sticky!  The amount of wasted sports drinks and water was just astounding!  Paula couldn't quite get her head around throwing away almost full drinks and water.  After all, we just needed a few mouthfuls to keep us hydrated, but not too hydrated that we had to stop off in the awful loos!

We carried on with our running and of course just up the road and turning right,  it was The Bridge!, Tower bridge just looked magnificent.  The phones came out again, taking pictures, posing and just enjoying running over the bridge!  We were just having so much fun, still cracking up laughing.  I think this marathon I will remember how much I laughed along with Paula, We didn't seem to care that we were aching slightly with still another half marathon distance to do!

Come on and do the Mara!

We crossed over the bridge and then just a little further I saw my family!  They were there cheering me on, two of my brothers, Nick and Dean, my sister Dawn (Bims) and her boyfriend Dan and my niece Ashleigh!  All enjoying the day!  All with a glass a beer or wine!  Of course I had to just had to have a sip from them, it would be rude not to!

So happy to see you!

After saying goodbye we carried on. We ran on for a bit more, Paula was wondering when she would see her band of supporters. "I know my little boy is going to be so pleased to see, me" she said.  "I hope I haven't missed them!"  I know that feeling, when I didn't see my family last time I was a bit disappointed. But it was just along this it that I did see Karin!  And guess what!  This is exactly where I saw her again!  Only this time she was on the right side, and wasn't nearly falling over the barriers, screaming like last time.

I head Karin and  turned around, she was behind me, she missed me pass by but when she looked around she saw me she must have pushed and shoved and elbowed her way to run up to where we were. Ok it was probably only a couple of feet, but then to elbow her way to the front!  All I can think is that woman has had training in the art of 'Shopping in the Sales for Bargin shoes' (she likes her shoes!)   I went over to her and gave her a very big sweaty hug!  Peter, her boyfriend was standing next to her, obvisouly seen a new side to her the 'whole I am getting to the front' scene that he has just witnessed!  It was fabulous to see them.  After say goodbye to them we carried on, with our eyes peeled on the lookout for Paulas family.  I do hope we haven't missed them.

I am sure it was along this bit that a blond hair woman shouted out "Come on Paula and Donna"  I thought that Paula knew her as she said "Oh hi!" and she gave a big wave.  But apparently she is from one of those programmes on the telly, Made in Chelsea or was it the other one TOWIE, I have no idea!  But that was quite fun,
See, tears of joy!
being shouted on by the celebs!

We soon got to the half way sign.  The camera came out again, it was Paula's camera that kept coming out, mine was in my jacket pocket witch was tied around my waist!  Such a palaver to get it out, but at least we will be able to swap pictures through the power of media, and smart phone apps!  Lots of selfies later and then Paula found out that her family will be somewhere between mile 13 and 14!  We kept an eye out, and ear out for them.

Half Way!

She  looked around and couldn't see them, "I hope I haven't missed them" she said. The phone came out again to give them a call!  Now she knew exactly where they would be!  Just a little bit further up the road she saw them!  A big sign was being held by her son, and her husband was there, mum, mum in law and dad in law!  The smile on her face I think went from ear to ear!  I should have got my phone out to capture it, but I just couldn't find the zip of the pocket!  But they were all taking pictures anyway. Her mum gave me a huge hug too!  She was thanking me for running along with Paula, but we were really helping each other!  After she said her good byes we were off again,  on a very emotional high!

We kept trying to keep our muscles from seizing up with some stretches, but I had never seen this stretch before, it looked like she was about to do a ballet dance!  I was glad I had my camera out as she didn't even realise I had taken them!

All set for the Royal Ballet!

 Running down this bit, I think, was also a very emotional moment for a different reason.  It is why probably, some of the runners are here, raising money to fund research into diseases and disorders such as we saw a very young boy standing with his mum, who had obviously some sort of disorder, and he was out there cheering along all the runners.  It was such a lovely, poignant moment, and just makes you think just how fortunate you are.  And like all parents who have trouble free pregnancies and births, and raised children into responsible adults, I thanked God for that.  There but for the Grace of God.

We ran along just quietly in our thoughts, Paula, not being able to stop the tears from falling.  We were heading for the Docklands now, the doldrums!  Going around here were not too many spectators, and going through the tunnels, there were no spectators!  The loo stop was here, and of course by now there were well used!  You just don't know if the next one will be worse than the one your are in!

From this point on, the things I write about may not be in the correct chronological order!  We were both tired and our muscles were hurting. I think from this moment or it could have been back further, we saw the 'This course is now closing, beware of vehicle'  on top of a car.  The sweep up bus was behind that!  That was the most demoralising part of our run!  They had overtaken us while we were having our 'potty stop'!

We ran as fast as our sore legs could take us, in silence, feeling really deflated!  I really couldn't remember that happening back in 2013!  I can't remember any vehicles on the road when I ran it last time. Paula checked her Garmin and the pacing strip she had and according to the that we looked to be on for a 6:30 finish!  How come this bus is here now!? Especially as runners have 8 hours in which to receive their medal when they finish!  We were very quite as we ran along, and then we  saw the coach!

We kind of sprinted to get in front of it!  As it was doing a right turn we managed to get in front of it and put some distance between it and us!  That bus or at least the car with that darn sign haunted us for the rest of the way!  I can't remember when we first spotted this darn car, but from here on end it really put a dampen on things!  We just knew we had to keep in front of it!

I think it was after we started coming back on ourselves that we saw Michelle and Denise again.  I can't believe they were still there.  Although the weather was just perfect for running, the spectators may be finding it a bit chilly!  But it was fantastic to see them.  After the 'whole end of the race' car behind us I was really needing a boost, and I know Paula was too.

Another great moment somewhere along our marathon journey, which could have been after we saw the girls, we heard another one of the fantastic bands.  Bands were playing all over London, drums, steel bands and this one, a rock band.  They were playing some brilliant rock tunes and I couldn't help but feel lifted by them.  The 'air guitar' came out as I approached the band, actually before we got there!  "Come on Paula, get that guitar out" I said.  I stopped running for a few minutes to listen and to dance to the band!  Totally delusional now, because I thought I was really rocking it out there!

Rocking out
to the band!
My aim now was to just keep on going, my muscles were really complaining and my knee was about to join in the 'you need to stop running' chorus that my body seemed to be screaming at me.  Running along, with the river to our left, I was thinking and probably even said out loud "I could quite easily go home now!"

I ran for a little longer and then the emotions got to me and I cried a bit.  Just then, when I need to see someone, Brian (snail) was there with his two sons, James and Johnathan and his mum Helen!  I am not sure if I was crying or laughing when I hugged them all.  I introduced Paula to them all, and Brian took some brilliant pictures, take a look!

Tears stopped in their tracks

Helen walking with me!

Well, that was such a well needed and well timed boost for me especially when Helen ran a little way with me.  I caught up with Paula, she had started running as I was saying goodbye, and we both felt pretty good.  I am sure along this road we saw Paula's family again.  Paula was thrilled to see them.  Mile 22 is quite an emotional point!  This is where you just dig deep and hope the crowd keep you going.

I had noticed that the crowds, although were still pretty big, they were not as big as 2013.  I guess the weather has a lot to do with how long people stand around watching.  I was looking ahead and thinking, I still have just over a Parkrun to do!  Paula kept saying "Just a Parkrun, come on we can do this, pain is temporary but pride is forever"  She had heard that before we started and it kept us in good stead.

A little further on and I saw someone coming out of the crowd with arms opened.  It took me a while to realise it was my sister Bims!  I looked over at the direction she came and I could see my husband there, The Old Boy!  I was so pleased, he said he may not have made it as he had work to do!  So it really was a lovely surprise!  He took some great pictures of me and Paula!  As I was chatting to my daughter via Facetime Paula noticed the car coming up! "Come on Donna, that car is here"

My sister walking with us

Alan and me!

I said good bye to them and carried on,  I walked and jogged for a few steps, and walked some more for about 2 miles with Paula!  But I was really suffering, my knee kept giving way, and I normally you just ignore it, but with two very tired legs it almost had me on my arse!  But I was not going to give up!

The bus was breathing down our necks, I told Paula that she should just go, get as far as she could, because I just couldn't go any faster than what I was doing at that time.  She started to ran a little fast, looking back to me, beckoning me to come to her. But I just told her to run, "I will see you at the end" I said.  I watched as she got further away.

I struggled on now, alone.  Tears came and went, anger came and went!  I was annoyed at myself for not keeping up with Paula, "Pain is temporary, pride is forever" was the words coming back to me.  Big Ben was right in front of me. Not far at all to go!  The crowds here do seem to scream the loudest, is it because they know you really need it?

I was hobbling along half running half walking, the 800 meters marker was just up ahead!  I couldn't believe it, no longer was miles, we had flipped over to meters!  Runners and spectators were calling now, "come on not far, just around the corner" and it was.  How I loved turning that corner.  I decided I needed to run over the mat this time.  My half walking/running turned into a little jog and skip as I approached the finish tunnel.  A lady in a yellow running jacket was next to me, she held out her hand as we both ran for those finish mats, #handinhand over the mats!

I hobbled through the fence to collect my medal and then looked for Paula.  I saw her in the queue for the official marathon finishers photo!  We hugged each other, its a very emotional run, and there is a lot hugging involved!  And then we set about getting our photos done together. the selfies with the flags, the marshal taking our photo.  After we headed off to find our bags.

Our bags were here!

The first time I did this my bag was still on the lorry, and don't forget,  I had finished in 7 hours 3 minutes, but this time my bag had been turfed off the lorry, the lorries had all be done up again and were ready for the off!  The goodie bags were all gone, but the contents were there, handed to us, tee-shirts, chocolate, sweeties and water! It felt like a game of CrackerJack! (now I am really showing my age!)  This really was a pressurised run!  At least the mats were still there to record our time!

But we did it!
We beat the bus, We beat the
car, we beat the clean up crew
And on the way home, a nice healthy pasta tea, a class off carrot juice, and a nutty bar for dessert! Yeah right!  Straight down the pub for a glass of lager and a packet of crisps, followed by burger and chips when I got home!

Cheers everyone!  Thank you all
for you support!!

The day after the run, these arrived for me, because my daughter Catherine couldn't be at the run, physically, but we did Facetime at mile 22, she sent me these, saying how proud she is of me!  It bought me tears!  Love that little girl!

Geeky stats.

Most of the photos are from Paula, some are from Michelle and Hannah, and some are from my family! I think I may even have added some of my own!  Brian Page's photo is up the top!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Missed By A Whisker!

Hello blog lovers.

This is the last run before the marathon.  I can't do any more training, this is it now!  I was going to meet my running buddies at the rec for our Thursday morning run.  I had to drop off my grandson to school today, but also my daughter wanted to get some paracetamol, she is not very well.  So that's what us mummy's do, we try to fit everything in!

So grabbing some Lemsips from my cabinet ushered Dude out of the door and we got into my car ready for the school run.  For some reason there seemed to be just a little more traffic on the roads, but we got to the school on time.  My daughter was at work so I decided to got down the A21 so that I can pass her work on the way to running.  It was then that I realised I had left my Garmin and my phone at home! I don't like running with out a phone on me.

The road towards the A21 was absolutely chocka blocked!  I realised I had made a mistake going this way and spun around to go back the way I had come, and go down Southborough Lane!  I was in a bit of a stress now!  I was thinking I was going to be late, I just hate being late!

So after literally almost flinging the tablets at daughter I drove back to my house, picked up what  needed and then drove to the rec, again, there seemed to be a lot more traffic than usual!  I was really getting stressed as I drove along and when I started driving up Crossways I looked up Kingsway and saw DiscoRich's group running along!

I drove into the rec and saw that there wasn't anyone that was waiting, any of the runners that would have gone in group one had gone in group 2 today.  I felt really bad.  I should have texted to say that I would be running late, but I am a slow texter!

Why am I telling you all of that instead of my run?! Well, you can image the mood I was in by now.  I could have just though stuff it, and go home, after all I do have a few miles to run on Sunday, but I decided that I needed to be lifted out of this bad feeling and decided to go for a solo run.  At least I would be able to just go as slow as I wanted, no pressure, just a short run.

I ran to 'Dog Poo Ally' and then turned left, I was going to go up to Botany Bay Lane.  There were loads of people out walking their dogs, there were a group of about 4 ladies, it seemed instead of coffee morning, walking mornings seem to be the order of the day!  And why not.  It was gorgeous out!

I just took a nice steady, slow walk/jog and yes, I did meant to write it as a walk first!  Just being out in the fresh air was bring my bad mood to an end.  My jogging interspersed with long walk sessions was really doing the trick.  I decided to take the pedestrian path which run along the boarded path next to the little pond.  I heard a mother duck calling her little baby ducklings to her, I stood and watched.  I then noticed on the right, perched on a fallen tree in the pond, was a heron with its breakfast of a fish in its beak!

I just marvelled at the site, I just shifted my position to get a better look but the heron saw me and flew off to the other side of the pond.  I stayed where I was, I could see the heron, and it just perched on a tree and finished its breakfast.  The mother duck swimming away from the heron, calling her chicks to keep tight to her.

Well if that didn't lift my mood then I deserved to become a grumpy old woman for ever!  The heron took off again and flew behind me, I watched it as it disappeared.  The mother duck seemed a little more relaxed, and I continued on my way of what ever route I choose to do.

I was struck by the serenity of the woods just then, I hadn't seen anybody for a while, the birds were the only noise I could hear, "I don't want anyone to call me, text me or email, this is just too good" I thought to myself.  Then I remembered, I had left my phone in my car!  I really was just totally solo right then!  No one can contact me, no one can ask me for anything, fetch anything, do anything!  Totally selfish I know, but just then it felt good!

Of course being the sensible person I thought "I better not fall over right now"  Sometimes I can just be too sensible!  The rest of my run, I walked some, I ran some, and I stood watching as a squirrel jumped from one tree to another as I disturbed it while it was looking for food on the floor.  I watched it run up a tree in front of me, right to the very top.  It sat there for a few seconds, probably waiting for me to go, but I wanted to see what it would do.  That's when it jumped on to the out stretched branch of the tree behind me!

Lovely stuff, and I am sure I wouldn't have noticed any of this if I was leading a group.  I would have been concentrating on the runners, making sure I don't lose any, whether they were in front of me or behind me (mind you my Thursday runners are rarely behind me!)

It really was a lovely run, my mood was totally lifted, and I am sure things happen for a reason!  I did catch up with DiscoRich's group at the end of the the rec.  And it seemed as if they all managed to keep up!  about 9k in less than an hour, I think my job is done!  Now to get some more runners to join me on a Thursday morning!

Geeky stats.

Just as a little footnote, this evening me and the Old Boy went for a walk in the woods right next to us.  It's been a while since we walked through there.  I think we must have walked about 3 miles or so, walking right up to 'Fever Hospital'  But all that is left of that is the Gate Posts, a drain, and the foundations of the wall that ran all the way around the hospital!

The Old Boy was giving a running commentary of how it used to be.  It used to be an isolation unit for Lennard's Hospital, it was where they took all the small pox victims, there was no cure, they went in but they never came out.

It's amazing just how nature reclaims her land back.  The walls are just like a scar on her land, the road that was used to enter the hospital looks just like a narrow path, you wouldn't even know there was tarmac underneath!

So a very nice day, birds, herons, squirrels and nature!  Nature claiming back her land!  Fabulous!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

An Easy Group 0

Hello blog lovers.

Well this is the last week before the 'The Big One'  at the weekend.  I am going to take it nice and easy, Yesterday was nice and easy, and today it's been nice and easy!  I decided that I would 'wait and see' about running in group 1, wait to find out where they were going, and to see if I would fancy it!

Anyway Group Zero to Hero, that's the full title of this group, well we were heading into the woods.  I had planned for Botany Bay lane route, the left hand side of the woods.  It is a lovely run, and it was very appealing to two members in particular, Auriol and our Tracy!  Auriol wanted to do group 0 today as she was suffering a bit of an injury.  She had an accident at home, but she felt she could go for a nice short slow one, and Tracy has been doing her own runs (two she told me!) but really like the look of this route.

I decided that as Auriol wanted to come I would change the route, and go on a slightly less challenging route, and slightly shorter. Well, it was way to soon for Auriol to go running, after we just jogged along to 'Dog Poo Ally' she decided that she really shouldn't be running! So she went back to her car to go home.  The rest of us carried on through the ally.

I decided that I would revert back to plan A and go up Botany Bay lane.  It will do us all good.  A nice challenging hill for the Hero's and also a nice gentle challenge for me just in case I don't do group 1 later.

The ground has really dried up well now, but of course it has left the 'cobble stone' effect on the floor of the woods.  With just 5 days to go I am becoming extremely watchful of exactly where I am running or walking, and even about shoes I am putting on!  I don't want any slip ups, but I still don't want to put my running shoes away for the big day just yet.

We were soon running down hill towards Botany Bay Lane.  Always a great pleasure running down hill, but of course once at the bottom, next to the river, we have to go up!  Three of the group just ran up the hill, Tracy was struggling a bit, "It looked like a lovely route on the map" she said.  And of course it does.  On the map you can see the woods, the trees, the paths, the little pond!  I think Tracy neglected to look at the routes profile!  Those little undulations, as most of us in PWR like to call them these days!

To give Tracy a bit of time to catch up and to catch breath, I sent the three other ladies up to the top of the road, while we waited at the right hand turn, to go along the top of the woods, (with another couple of minor undulations) until we got to the middle path. Then we ran all the way down to 'Dog Poo Ally'  And speaking of dog, we had a canine friend come along with us as well.  Being as we are only a very small group at 7, and of course going through the woods is just beautiful, Henry came along with us. I am not to up on dog breeds, but he looked like a collie, and the way he sat and waited until we ran past him I felt like we were all being 'herded' like sheep!  A very well behave little fella he was too!

It was a great run, and I am glad that I chose the more challenging route for the Hero's today as I really didn't want to do group 1's route.  It would be going through the park and then up Southborough Lane, but through the 'pretty way' as Illustrious said.  That only means one thing, we would be going so close to my house I would be totally gutted!  So decided to just leave my exercise with just the one run today.

And tomorrow I will be heading up to London, first thing, get in the queue to be one of the first in the Excel!  I will be registered my place, picking up my number and getting totally excited!! I may even buy a new Shock Absorber!! Hows that then!

Geeky stats.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Solo Easy Run!

Hello biog lovers.

Well, this is the last week, no hard work left to do before the big day, what I have done is just going to have to be sufficient!  I am going to just enjoy the day! And my running this week is just going to be fun filled!

I had plans yesterday to meet up with Bims and Wendimoo but I decided to spend the day with the Old Boy who had a this Sunday off from work, so a very enjoyable day at Brands Hatch was planned.  Unfortunately the girls had plans of their own today, so I was running solo.  Mind you, why Bims would want to go into a gym, pedal like the clappers getting nowhere on a day like this is beyond me!  She should blow the cobwebs off her bike and get out there!  After all that is why we exercise all through the winter to be able to enjoy the sunny days like this!

I had an errand to do so I was going to kill two birds with one stone today.  Run through my local park, up to the chemist and pop in a 'script and then run on to Normans park.  That was my plan.  I wasn't going to do two loops of the Normans, or anything like interval running, this is just a nice leisurely, keeping the legs moving run.  Just what is needed for the week before, that and pasta!  It's a good job I love pasta!

Well, not a lot to say really, dropped off the 'script and headed to the park.  Ooo there is one thing, now you know that I am not that much of a competitor, well, not much anyway, but I saw these two runners ahead of me, on the long straight (Parkrun route) of the park.  I had them in my sights and when I first saw them I thought, "well I am not going to catch up to them, not with pace I am doing" So I just plodded on behind, keeping an eye on them.  I realised that I was actually gaining on them.

Of course I just kept plodding along, just gaining a little each time.  They got to the other car park, Hayes end, and the started to go up the next long straight.  Another runner was just coming from the car park and over took them.  But I kept gaining, little by little.  I managed to over take them.  I smiled, even when I shouldn't be 'racing' I was doing it.  But then I got the bit between the teeth as I set my eyes on the next runner, the runner who had passed my last conquest.  I noticed that I was gaining on her too!  She was running a bit faster that the last two runners so I did pick up my pace a bit!

I managed to catch her right at the bottom end, before we got to the car park (Hook Farm end) and I smiled as I passed.  I had to keep going until I was sure that my last 'race' couldn't see me, as she went around the park again, and I headed of towards the A21 and then back to the Chemist.

I had a little walk along the A21 and crossed over and started running again, nice and easy all the way to pick up my filled prescription.  After that I just had a nice easy run back through the park, thoroughly enjoying just being out running.

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Two for one

Hello blog lovers.

Although I am taking things easy for these last few days before the marathon I am in no means totally comatose on the sofa.  On Thursday morning I met up with the Thursday crew.  Richard was back from Table Mountain after running 36 miles, in all of that heat!

He had his crew of about 5 and in my group there were about 6 of us.  I was going to do part of our 10k route, taking in a couple of the hills, helping to get us stronger, and hopefully to 'embrace' those hills and get to love them....well ok, at least to just like them!

We ran out of the Towncourt gate as our 10k would take our entrants.  And up towards Hazelmere.  We ran along the road until we got to Little Thrift and then ran along the path next to the railway lines.  The group started to split into to two groups, ZippySherry ran ahead with the faster ladies and I ran easy to as to not lose anyone.

After running through Jubilee park we took a catchup break on the corner of Thornet Wood Lane and Blackbrook lane.  We were going to need it, as Goss hill is next.  I love this hill.......blimey, did I really just say that!  Yes, yes I did.  But I love it in a peculiar sort of way.  I hate running up hills, as you all know, but this hill has become my favourite hill to hate!  Every time I run up here I try and try and try to get further each time!  I know there are all those other hills that I have conquered, but this one I have yet to do!  I did it once before, when the Old Boy was with me, pushing me up the hill!

We had a faller at the top of the hill!  There is a particularly cheeky tree root just at the top of the hill, just when you get to the top, all tired and exhausted, thinking that at least you are are the top, then you have to remember to pick your feet up to get over that last tree root!  But in true PWR style, she just brushed herself off and after a few minutes we carried on!

I decided then to change my route and not do the extra hill that I had planned on.  So after we ran along the back of the school we turned left to go up Botany Bay Lane and then turned right to run along the bridal path.  I still had in mind to go a little bit further, maybe to run along to the Willet memorial, or even to the Chislehurst road, but that wasn't possible this time.  Our pace had been a bit slower and time was against us.  Maybe next time.

We ran down the middle path of the woods all the way to 'dog poo ally' and then made our way back to the rec.  We still covered nearly 4 miles for a Thursday run, and it was most enjoyable!

Beginners Group

This morning was the penultimate lesson before Parkrun Day!  We still had at least 20-25 runners left in the course.  A couple of the other beginners actually join me on a Tuesday evening as sometimes Saturdays they are not able to get to the rec.  

This week they were running for 10 minutes and walking for 2 three times.  With that hill as their first part of the route it really is a challenge for them.  I try and muster up all the encouragement I can, enthusing enthusiastically as I can about the love/hate relationship of those darn hills!

We had two reps of the hill in question and the lovely down hill of Birchwood, before finishing of the third 10 minutes run in the rec.  

A great mornings run, and it's just so good to hear everyone still here say they didn't believe they could get to doing 10 minutes of running!  Just over 6 weeks they are come so far, from running just one minute to running for 10 minutes.  Soon that Parkrun will be next, 5k running!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Club Runs

Hello blog lovers.

You gotta love these light evenings, "Why?" I hear you ask, It's because of the woods!  Introducing the group 0's to our very own woods is just brilliant!  Although technically they all know the woods as of course they use them at the own leisure!  But that is where I took them this evening!

We had a good group with us, plus Moy was with me too! The route I took them was in through 'Dog Poo Ally' and then turned right to run along beside the railway lines.  Once at the top we turned left.  With seven of us in the group today it was one of our largest for some time.  I feel quite proud of our group 0's.  And I like it that sometimes the group 1's come along just for the chat, or just because!  It's great!

I led from behind so as to not lose anyone in the woods, as I said to the ladies, "It wont look good on my resume!.....ok my blog!  They all kept perfect pace with each other, with the little breaks that we had to catch breath and catch up it all went pretty well.  We got to the path that would lead us down the middle of the woods to 'Dog Poo Ally' but I knew they could all do just a little bit further.

I decided to take them a little further across the top of the woods to Botany Bay Lane and then we can run down towards the railway again.  We had plenty of time as I don't do the warm up in the rec, our warm up is the little jog we do before we enter the woods, that way we can have a longer route and it's all great practice for when they want to move up to group 1.

I was smiling as I was running down the hill, feeling really happy, thinking of things, breathing in the clean air.  Last week it was a different run, but today, it felt good to be out here, enjoying the freedom!

We ran just about 3 miles, which is only half a mile short of what group one do when we run a shorter routes!  So really, in the next few weeks they will be 'fledging' into group 1.

Here's our geeky stats.

Group 1

SingstarJo was leading today.  She and some of our other PWR's were total stars at the weekend, supporting all our Brighton Marathon PWR's on Sunday!  Especially our WendiMoo!  The Video of SingstarJo greeting Wendimoo on route was just totally amazing!!

Her route today was one of her less hilly routes!  I think she can safely say that this is a flatish route......well apart from the undulations of Great Thrift and Woodside, oh and of course St Johns road.....apart from those tiny little hills, then its flat!

I offered to sweep again, after all Group 0 had just done 3 miles!! So proud of them all!  Janet was also sweeping as well.  In fact there were about 5 of us in the back just chatting as we ran along, eagerly waiting for each rest stop!  I think psychologically the usual places that we have stopped at really play on my mind, because each time I was thinking "Ok there will be a rest just after we run over the bridge" But when we got there I could see the pack heading down Southborough Lane!  It was only another few meters or so, just on the green triangle, but I was still thinking "oh no"  I just goes to show that it is good to mix up the routes just so that you don't know when your 'stops' will be.

After the stop at the green we headed down Chesham Road, all the way along until Shepperton.  Again sometimes on our group runs we have had our 're-grouping' at the top of Shepperton, but our SingstarJo carried on until the off license, which is also another fav place for regrouping when we come from other directions.  Running is not just about what your body can do sometimes its what your mind tells your body to do!  It's a mental thing as well!

But today I was feeling pretty good anyway, although I was slow, I can use some running jargon here, I am tapering!  That's my excuse anyway!  On the way running along St. Johns we did have one person just walking back with a limp, I walked back with her to the road where she parked her car, just opposite the rec.

I really enjoyed this run this evening.  I love being out here running with my buddies!

Geeky stats.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Last Long Run!

Hello blog lovers.

What an absolutely glorious afternoon it was, ok, no ideal running conditions! But still, it was fantastic afternoon.  First of I would like to say congratulations to one of my running buddies, WendiMoo, she has completed her marathon now! All over and done with, all those weeks and months of training, those long runs together, the flapjacks, coffee beans, chatting, dancing and singing is all done her proud as she crossed the finish line in Brighton today! 7 hours 8 minutes!  Bloody brilliant!

I still  have another two weeks to go! So this is my last long run!  I was hoping to do 14 miles at least today!  I set off after church, feeling bloomin good!  The sun coming down was just gorgeous, if only I was lounging in my garden with a pina colarda, or a chilled lager!  It wasn't until I was running through the Cinder Path that I realised I had fogotten my water and my sweeties, Dextrose!  Now I could just go back and then chose a different route to get to the arranged place that I said I would meet Bims, or....I could call her and tell her to bring some water along!  I chose to call her!

Running solo I am just not disciplined!  When I have company I stick to my run a mile and walk a minute, so why can't I do it when I am on my own!  I think I tend to just not think about time, I have my ear phones in and I jog to the beat!  I sing out loud and punch the air!  It's not a pretty sight!  So I also think I may even run quicker than my pace, but maybe not, I shall check my stats out when I load up my Garmin.

I was really enjoying my run though, I just love the sun, I love being out running,  and as soon as this little run is over I shall get back to running through the parks and the woods, and get back on my bike and ride to a pub lunch somewhere with some family and friends!  Anyway, back to my run!  It helps me on my way thinking of nice stuff.

I wasn't sticking at all to my plan, but I was taking some walking sections.  Soo I was ready to run up Cardiac Hill.  My legs were ready, my mind was ready I knew I could do it. Piece o piss! I think that's my motto at the moment, trying to convince myself that everything is going to go to plan!  I got up the top and I carried on running!

When I get to the new bridge over the railway, Chislehurst Road, then I shall run a little bit longer and then give Bims a call.  That should be about half hour away from where we said we will meet!  Just as I was getting my phone out of my pocket she was ringing me "Where are you?" she said "I was just about to call you, so get yourself going and see you at the bottom of Summer Hill"

That downhill was just spectacular, I just had to go for it!  I ran pretty darn fast....well for little old me!  Under 10 minute mileing!  Ridiculous, see what I mean about not sticking to plan! As I was running down the other side I was wondering if we both had planned it right that we would meet at the bottom at the same time!  Well guess what!  as I was getting to end of my down hill I looked across the road and saw Bims coming down on the other side!  Perfect timing!

It was soo good to see Bims, mainly cos she had some fantastic chilled and iced water for me!  I think now I should maybe have asked her to bring some chocs as well or the healthy stuff, a banana!  But the water went down a treat!  We chatted for a second, which was good because I needed to recover from the 'speedy' downhill, and then we looked up "Ok, lets do this thing" we said.

We both took a deep breath and then started to run up the hill.  It was bloody tough, I am sure I was running slower than I could walk it!  But I didn't want to stop the momentum, I didn't want to go into walking strides to try and get the hill out of the way, I just kept at it!  The sound of the pain escaped my mouth as I dug deep to get up this blasted hill! I did it!  6 ish miles and only a mouth full of water!  Not bad!  I am sure I would have had a bit more energy if I had my sweeties!

After the high fives and well dones, and more swigs of ice cold water we carried on with the planned route.  It was going to be the one that me and Wendimoo and Bims have been doing. The same route that Hilary ran with me, which is down Blackbrook, Oldfield road and then through the park.

Although we were still heading away from my home some how it felt like the run was coming to an end, I was feeling pretty tired so maybe that is what is making me think that I should be heading on home.  We ran through Whitehall rec and the on to the A21.  Our water was nigh on gone and it was also warm!  I was a pity my brother in law don't work on Sundays, we could have popped in to fill our bottles up!

When we started running down Hayes Lane I didn't notice that someone was outside their house!  People really are kind, and I am sure they wouldn't refuse us some water if I asked nicely!  And they didn't!  Didn't refuse I mean, he was most pleased to refill our bottles for us and asked us how far we had to do.

I was really feeling very deflated by the time we got to Normans park.  The mind was willing but my legs just refused to get going!  It took a lot of nagging from Bims to get me to run some more!  Welcome back Nagging Sister!  But then I started to think about things again, like you do when you get tired, think of things that may just help you to stay focused, or in my case to justify my walking sections!  And that was simple, I was hungry! Or at least I was lacking energy!  You need fuel and my tank was running on empty now!  Another thought I had was that if I have to walk more then so be it!  after all my running is still all fun!

But I also was thinking I still got at least four more miles to do, I just knew I wouldn't do it, I was going to do a short route and get home via Southborough Lane!  I didn't feel bad about it, it was just one of those things.  My new route was from Normans park and then run down Crown Lane into Southborough Lane.  Turn right into Holbrook and then through my local park!

I got back home, and still kept to my no walking down Whitebeam (it's the same as Farringdon, the road I dare not stop on)  I just wanted to make sure I kept running till I got home, it's my 'thing' that I just have to do.

I ran for 12.5 miles today, ok, so it wasn't quality running, and it wasn't 14 miles, but it was still something.  And so now to just keep the legs plodding along, stay injury free and keep everything fun!  This time in two weeks time I will be a lot more tired than what I am now!

By the way, my running gear was fine, except that I got chaffing on my left arm!  I think its because I got these 'batwings' going on and they don't like to be out in the open! Everything else seemed to be just fine!

Geeky stats!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

PMSL - Track Session!

Hello Blog lovers!

These last two weeks have take a toll on my running!  Not only that but I have been ravenous!  Just wanting to eat everything I see!  It's not as if I have got the miles in my legs like some of my other marathon running buddies!  They are all tapering down now!  But I know this time round I am mentally prepared more, I know what to expect and I know what to do, and more importantly I know what NOT to do!

So, as I said, after a very lazy (for a marathon training runner like me) two weeks, kids school holidays are finally coming to an end!  I turned up for track session ready to work real hard!  Penance for being lazy!  But of course, always keeping it fun and enjoyable and making sure I don't pull or over stretch any muscles!

Hels was on duty today, PhysioMike had his running shoes on!  He was going to joining in todays session after doing the Kent County XC just a little earlier on!  In fact there was another chap here as well who had also raced!  Crazy! Or just hardcore PWR's  Todays session was 6 to 10  800m laps with 90 secs rest between each 800 lap!  Running slightly faster than our park run pace!  

Well let me tell you, I did!  I am still feeling tired come evening time, this 'old lady syndrome' as big son calls it, is getting me down!  I am not liking it one bit!  The oil of evening primrose has no effect so far, vitamin B6 is next thing to try! 

Anyway, track was good today, we followed Hels and PhysiMike in the warm drills and then the session started.  There were quite a few people here this evening, quite a few in the first group, the speedies, and then there was the second group, about 6 or 7 in that one, and then there was another group, with just a couple in there, and then there was me and another young lady, and I am sure I knew her name but it has escaped me.  I heard PhysioMike say that she should aim for about 5:30 mins for each lap, so that is what I shall aim for.

The first lap of course we all start together, and of course I run out with the big boys, watching as they stretch out in front of me.  It's quite difficult trying to judge how fast you are supposed to run to keep on the target pace, when you are watching everyone run ahead of you! It's a good job I have my Garmin, as I noticed I was running way to fast, under 10 min mileing!

I was determined to finish my 6 laps, I knew I wouldn't be doing the 10 laps, that is deffo for the speedies, but these 6 laps, they are mine! I will do it, and I will do it in style!  I need to just push that little bit harder.  I know that we take the 90 seconds or so between each lap, but I make sure that I pause my Garmin and then start it!  I want to know what my moving time will be.

My fastest ever Parkrun is 33:53 mins, It has been such a long time since I did that!  I still find it amazing that I could have ever run that fast, but I must have done!  And I know on when I run the Parkrun then I don't actually have that stop to catch my breath either.  But just look at the stats now!  I was totally amazed by the time!  I was totally amazed by the speed I finished that last 50ms too!

Now, all I have to do is to try and emulate that (without the stops) to a Bromley ParkRun and I shall have a shiny new PB!  You never know!  Anyway, this session was brilliant!  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I seemed to have 'ran off' that tired feeling!

Oh and todays Title......., all I can say is I've kept it secret!

Here's my geeky stats

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

First Evening Woody Run!

Hello blog lovers.

Well today was rather an emotional day.  I said a final farewell to a man I have known for over 40 years!  It was his sister, Yvonne, that is my best friend from way back.  We went to school together.  But on mothers day this year, Charlie lost his battle with cancer!  His send of was a very emotional time, with his kids around and his grandchildren and Yvonne, his sister, and other members of his family.

After I came back from the funeral I sat in my chair and just dozed.  I felt so tired.  I was amazed that I woke up in time to actually get ready to go out. But I knew I had to get out as my group 0 people will be waiting!  I hadn't arranged for anyone else to take it, I think psychologically I didn't arrange backup as I needed to get out and do a run.

I had sent out an e-mail to all group 0 members, to tell them that I was going to do the Birchwood Road route. But when I got to the rec, the sun was still visible, the temperature was just perfect and the woods were calling out to me!  I didn't know how the group would feel about running through the woods, and so I gave them the idea!

They all jumped at the chance!  I was so pleased.  Because of the nature of the type of running that we will be doing in the woods, the warm ups would actually be the jog along to 'Dog Poo Ally' because going up the paths will be slightly different.  We will be a little slower, one thing is that we will be watching out for the roots of the trees and then there is off course those huge muddy puddles which will be drying out nicely but will still be sticky!

We entered the woods and ran straight up the middle, Kelly, Jacob and his mum Kathryn, I believe that is her name (I just checked my email list!)  and Kimberly.  Although some of them had been in the woods walking with dogs, this would be the first time any of them had ran through the woods.  I hoped they were going to enjoy it.

When we got to the top of the woods we turned right and ran along towards the main road.  Jacob was in front, he was running pretty good! If he knew the way to go then I would imagine he could run this route in twenty minutes or a lot less.  Thankfully he waited at each junction, where paths went two or three ways, I was pleased with that, I didn't want to lose any of my Hero group, not on our first venture into the woods......well not at any time really!

Listening to the sounds of the woods, the birds and the animals as they scatter when we get close to them really helped to lift me.  The fresh air, the cleanness of the woods really is the best medicine for when you're in need of a pick me up.  I am sure I could 'smell' rain, you know the way it is sometimes when you can just smell it in the air.  But I think now it is just the 'cleanness' of the woods that I can smell.  No running along with the cars fumes and noises.  The cleanness, the rain smell,  is actually the fresh air!

When we got back to 'Dog Poo Ally' I noticed that we had done really well on the time.  I could have taken them on a little bit more road work, heading up one of the roads and then down Towncourt Road to go in through the other entrance of the rec.  But the woods were just perfect.  I asked the group if the could run for a little bit more through the woods,  I told them about the other side, running along the side of the railway line and then going up over the bridges and then back on the road.

Well, I think I have some converts to trail running as they all agreed to run the extra bit through the woods! The bottom end though would be a little bit more stickier than what we have just experienced but I feel sure that it is all drying up just nicely!  I was right!  We made good time to the bridges and then headed off back to the rec down the roads to run off any mud that we may have captured on our trainers.

A great run, a great first time through the woods run, a great first time trail run for the hero group!  My mood was lifted, but I was still very tired!  Group 1 will have to have another sweeper with Janet this evening, I was ready to go home.

This run is dedicated to Charlie Pugh!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Solo Run

Hello blog lovers

It seems to be a long while between this run and my last run!  And yet today I still hadn't time to do a long run, so it was just have to be a quality, hard, 'interval thrown in' style run.  So I planned a 10k ish distance, to Normans park, once around then thrown in that interval running, and then back.  That should work out to a 10k!

After church I came back and got myself changed, looked for my ipod (which wasn't charged!) and then got out as quick as I could.  I had the family coming over for dinner, lamb, what else for an Easter dinner! Once outside I started up my Garmin and then set off for my run.  I was going to run as much as I could, this was going to be like a Thursday session, but twice the distance!  I think I was running quite well, maybe the enforced rest has done some good, added with the track sessions.  I don't suppose the booze and food has helped though!

I had thought that I would be doing three laps of the park, my maths is really not brilliant!  How I came up with run 2 miles to the park + 3 laps of the park @ 1 mile per lap + run back 2 miles = 6 miles ish!  Mmmm, I think I should have paid more attention in math class! I guess I could have done the extra lap, but being on a schedule I really needed to get back home.  My house was a mess!

The run to the park seemed to be over so quick, just the laps of the park to do, and remember, even then I was thinking 3 laps, not 2.  The first lap was still part of the run as much as I can, with the second lap being the interval running!  There were lots of people in the park, kids on bikes with the parents, and off course the dog walkers.  But it was nice to see whole families out there, just for a walk, probably walking off their Easter Sunday dinner!

On my way round the first lap I was taking note of where I was going to run my intervals from.  I chose bins and trees and the buildings.  Run hard and fast as I can, that was my plan, then walk or jog to the next point before running my ass off again.  I was doing pretty well, I passed a cyclist about 3 times on the way around the park, I think she is practising in a safe environment, it's always good to see people getting out there and doing things that will keep them fit and healthy!  On the last time I saw her she called out to me "There must be an easier way to work off the chocolate!" If there is I don't know it!

And so the interval running!  My targets chosen and I ran out, fast and furious (maybe there should be a film with that title!) From the beginning of the long straight to the bin!  I fixed my gaze on the bin, not stopping until I got there, run as fast as I can!  That's the plan, try and run hard and feel like I have run at least 10 miles and not 10k!  All the way around the park I ran fast, avoiding the kids on their scooters, groups of people, dogs, the bumpy pathways.  I ignored the looks I got from the people as I huffed and puffed past them in pure speedy fashion(?) I need to work hard today, for the marathon is not that far at all now!

It was when I was on the recovery walk to the long straight that I realised that I didn't have to do another lap to make it 6 miles done, I can get on home!  So I turned left and jogged walked, and ran the rest of the way back to my house.  I still use that 'road where I dare not stop running' section.  It's a good psychological section for me.  It's the end of each running session, whether it's 3 miles or 13.4 miles.

I pushed it a little harder down the road, I wanted to really feel as if I had done a good work out.  when I looked at my watch when I got back to my house I noticed that I was under 11 min miling!  I was pleased with that, I just hope it will be enough this week as part of my training!

Geeky stats.