Sunday, 29 November 2015

Santa Dash - 2015

Hello biog lovers.

Ok, so it's the only time I will don a Santa suit, and to sort of celebrate Christmas in November!  It's way to early to start the Christmas celebrations, but Bromley Santa Dash organise this for the end of November!

This year I had too little dudes to  run after!  My grandson and his 'brother' (my step-grandson sort of......hint hint Jay!) They were both looking forward to it.  So after church I came back and started to get ready.  The Old Boy was off today as well and he was taking me to Bromley to meet up the the young dudes.

On the drive down there I couldn't see any Santa's.  I am sure last year I saw so many driving down there it looked like I fell into some sort of Santa Land.  We arrived at the place where I said we would meet my daughter and pick up the two dudes it saves her from pushing the buggy back up the hill to the start!

The Old Boy drove down the hill to the Queen's Mead Gardens at the bottom of the hill. On the way I saw batches of Santas, clumps of Santas, sack loads of Santas.  It was definitely on then!  He dropped us off near to the start and me and the boys walked over to where the start was going to be.  The music was already well underway, there were at least, maybe a hundred Santas there already.  Big ones, short ones, some with beards little ones with out.  There were different Santa outfits as some had made that little be extra effort and there were Christmas jumpers on the pooches as well has one little fellow in full Santa outfit!

Annie was there ready to do her warm up routine.  Littlest dude explaining to bigger little dude about how to do it all, the 'Yo, ho, ho's', cooking and stuffing the turkey and the hanging of the Christmas decorations.  All little drills and exercises to get us warmed up before we start our 2k dash to the top.

The rain held off, with just a smidgen of a threat in the air, but I think there was just too much happiness and yo, ho, hoing to let the rain come down.  It was soon ready to start. 3, 2, 1 GO!  The boys just ran off!  I had to call them back a bit, after all there are so many Santas their size I just didn't want to lose them.

I think the boys would have preferred to be a little further to the start, but they felt good as they passed and got between and overtook some of the Santas in front of them.  We nearly finished the lap of the green and my little dude's legs was 'hurting' him.  So we had just a little walk and I tried to get an 'action' shot of them but just as I was about to take it, they decided to run again!

We passed the the start line again ready to just run to the road and start our hill ascent!  I pointed out to the little fellows all those Santa's that were behind us still.  This pleased them,  There was no way they was going to be last!  That would just be a catastrophe!  They both found some extra little bit of fire inside themselves as they tried to squeeze pass the Santas on the path that got into the park.  But this had just become a Santa Jam!  There was no one squeezing pass any Santas here and they would just have to wait to get out of the bottle neck.

The play park wasn't very tempting for them this time around as they wanted to pass as many Santa's as they could before they get to the finish.  The hill started to have and affect on my little dude, thank goodness, as I was struggling a bit trying to keep up with the bigger little dude!  He was fast, he wanted to win the thing I think! I had to keep an eye on him and keep an eye on little dude behind me.

But once we were at the top, the roar of the crowd (which actually seemed not as big as last year) seemed to spur both the boys on.  I told them to run together, I let them get in front of me.  There was a big space in front and I thought I would be goo to let them 'off the leash' a bit.  They were then like a couple of whippets! I really had to run quite fast to make sure that I didn't lose them once we got to the finish!  They were even more encouraged when they saw our lot, little dudes mum, bigger little dudes baby brother and granddad!  Cheering them on from the side!

We got our medals and a bottle of water feeling that we deserved that.  I must add thought, the 'medals' this year, well, they are some what disappointing!  For the last three years they have been made of metal, with the last two years being 'bauble' shaped so that you can hang it on your Christmas tree. They made a clanking sound when you added them to all your other medals, or when you give a big hug to other medal wearers! This plastic thing, well, I have no words to say really,  maybe I am being picky, or maybe to greedy, but this, no. this wasn't a 'medal' its a ribbon with a plastic fob [off] a key ring maybe!? I hope they saved a bit more money to give to the charity, but I wouldn't have minded paying just a pound extra for that lovely medal we had last year!

A good point of the day
was meeting the Grinch!  He wasn't as horrible as we thought!
So the camera must have moved! But it is us! :-)

Operation 'Helping Hand......I mean Foot!'

Hello blog lovers

I'm a little late with writing this up, I have been a bit 'lax about my running and writing up.  But that must and will change!  I know it!

This Wednesday I was at Normans park in the afternoon ready to help Tanya get up to speed.  She has been through the beginners course twice now, and although she has completed it,  her pace is still not quite there for group 1.  But now also, group 0 has moved to 8:00 pm, and the pace is still just that little bit out of her range....for now!

So what can she do?  Well, she can keep going, keep on solo running, try to get her pace up to speed.  She could just put the jog pants on and get out there and do it. But sometimes that is hard to do when you're on your own, the mojo just runs and hides when there is no one else to keep it company.  I know what I'm like, I procrastinate, I avoid, I find other things to do, I let  'life' push away my running and cycling days so much that I just haven't 'got time' any more to do it.  All because I didn't have that 'added' pressure of being able to meet up and run with others.

So what can I do to help?  Meet up with her on mornings/afternoons that we both have free!  So last Wednesday was the first time we had managed to meet up since the beginners had graduated.  She came and collected me from my house and we drove over to Normans Park.  It was a tad windy and bit chilly, but otherwise a perfect day for running.  She had also bought another running buddy along, her little pooch Max!

I had planned to do an interval session with her, just one lap of the park doing the interval running, with a one lap warm up before hand.  Tanya was sufferingwith a bit of pain though.  Her hip had started to hurt a couple of days before hand.  She didn't want to cancel yet another Wednesday Workout and she really has got the bit between her teeth, she really wants to be part of Petts Wood runners.  So like all runners continued with what she had planned and hoped that it wouldn't get worse.

We ran the first lap, all the way round virtually non-stop (well the pooch had a 'pit-stop' which needed to be sorted out) but her hip was just starting to play up a bit.  I asked her if she wanted to do some of the interval running, if her hip would allow her to!  She was so keen. I  cut it down to just running up the long straight (think Normans Park Parkrun!).  Choosing bins, benches and trees as our focus points to get to.

We jogged to the first targeted point on the long straight, and then we ran faster to the next point, then jogged and then walked.  My plan is walk/jog/run/jog/walk etc, all the way to the second building and then back down again.  It will be about a quarter of a mile in all of interval running.

But the ache in Tanya's leg just proved too much for her.  We managed to get  half way BACK to the car park before we just finished the  first operation of  'Get Tanya Group 0 Fit'  She will get there, I know it.  It's going to be hard work but I feel she is determined to do it this time!  I have advised her to get it all checked by the doctor, just to be sure.

Well done Tanya, we will continue, we will succeed:

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Club Night - Group 0

Hello blog lovers.

Wow! Group 0 tonight seems to have swelled by a few a couple more people!  There were 10 happy runners happy runners to put through their paces with the lovely ladies J.J. and Wendimoo to help sweep and even take lead!

I had already put on to the FaceBook page the route that we would be doing.  I tad over 3 miles it showed on Plotaroute.  Totally doable for all our group 0's.  Of course there are the undulations, but I was going to get most of those out of the way in one sweep as we run along Hazelmere and Great Thrift etc to Petts Wood Memorial Hall, so hopefully after that they probably wouldn't notice the other slight ones that we had to do.

So there I was, in my role as Leader of Group 0, standing in front of all the other PWR's giving out my briefing of our route.  I find this totally surreal! Me, standing out in the front doing a briefing!  It seems way to important for little old me.  I was always in awe of the leaders, how they kept everyone together, kept the chat going, pace and working out different routes.  And to be honest, being their is the most scariest thing, more scary than actually running the group!

I think I gave my briefing so that everyone kind of understood where were were heading, and how far it was going to be.  All I had to do was to remember it myself as I run along.  I took the lead (of course I did, I really am a leader now, gulp!) we ran out of the gate and turned left towards Hazlemere.  The little undulations I spoke of begins.

The ladies at the front with me were chatting quite well, and then the incline started, they seemed to have they were less chatty but still running quite well, I took a side step so that I could see how the back were doing and I could see we were starting to stretch out, I checked my Garmin (I had remembered to turn the thing on today) I could see that we were running at group 1 pace, not only that but we were running up hill!

I turned to look at the ladies who were just a bit in front of me and just pulled them back at, just to slow the pace down to group 0 pace.  I was thinking that maybe I had a couple of ringers in my group!  But I think they, like most people, just wanted to get the hill out of the way.  But that is not the way, not today anyway.  Maybe one day hill training, maybe! But definitely not today.

Trip Trap Trip Trap!
After that we all kept together mostly.  We had a little break at the memorial hall as everyone did really well for that first up hill mile, a little break for a catchup was indeed earned!  We walked for a couple of 'lampposts' then continued our running, 'Trip, trap, trip, trap' over the walking bridge and on to the high street.  I asked Wendimoo if she would take the lead after I gave her the route, and I took the middle section and J.J. swept at the back.

We continued to run to top Oxhawth and then ran down there to the crossroads.  We were turning left to run along there to to Shepperton.  It seems really good that we are on the way back now.  Everyone was doing really well.  After that first mile everyone was warmed up nicely and the group kept together just perfectly.  We so good to see them all doing their thing, getting fitter!  I feel sure that group 0 will be getting smaller as the weeks continue, until the next beginners group at least!

We ran all the up Shepperton, just the last tiny little incline and then turned left to run to the roundabout.  We crossed over to run the last to straight roads to the rec.  Illustrious Leader was good leader and I learnt a lot from her, so just as she has always done, I sent the faster runners off with Wendimoo to the rec, and told J.J. that she could run along with them while I swept up behind.

A brill second leadership role, a brill run with some lovely people!  And look, geeky stats!  Why it has gone all zigzaggy in places I have no idea, I know I did run back and forth just a couple of times, but still!  Anyway, here you are

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Smoothie Thursday Morning!

Hello blog lovers (again)

Yes it's the second one of the evening,  So I caught up!  It was just me and J.J. for this mornings run.  It was a miserable grey day, the woods was going to be yucky, and plus I think we both just needed to just get out and stretch our legs, no matter how far or fast, or near and slow, which ever you like to call it.  DiscoRich had his crew with him, and we are all still buzzing over our Brighton 10k achievements.

DiscoRich and his crew went out through the Towncourt gate and me and J.J. went through Crossways gate.  I was heading for the Cinder Path.  I couldn't find my Garmin this morning, I think it was probably kismet, because we both needed to just do our own thing, not worry about speed, distance, time.  Just to get out....and get wet!

We chatted all our route today, the only time we didn't chat is when we ran, and we did run a bit faster than we normally would do.  It was a bit like interval running today.  Fast, slow, fast slow, all the way through to the other side of the Cinder Path.  J.J. kept saying sorry for stopping, but I did just as much stopping as her.  I guess sometimes you just feel like that.  There are no bad runs, there are slower runs and faster runs.  There are short runs and there are long runs, it's a simple as that.  Today it was a slower shorter run, which seemed to interrupt our chatting, banking, shopping and a rather delicious smoothie from Saint's and Sinners!

That is how our run rolled today, oh and we also popped into the dress shop, we have some shopping to do do for a ball sometime in the new year!

Lets hazard a guess at distance, meh.....3 miles ish......and probably done in about.......ah, who's counting!   A very nice morning!

New And Improved!

Hello blog lovers.

Well Tuesday saw the first group 0 at the new time of 8;00 pm.  I was as nervous as anything.  I don't know why, because I've been doing it for the past year or so!  We had some of the graduates from the beginners course as well as Jenny who has been with me for a few weeks at the 7:00pm start.  Also with me was J.J. and Janet! They are going to be going for their Leadership course sometime and then our group will have 3 leaders!

I had plotted a route, only just a tad over 3 miles, and I think a tad challenging as well.  I knew the beginners can do hills, as their route on the last few weeks of the course was up Wood Rise a couple of times.  So the route I chose was up Birchwood, cross over the road and then take Sherbourne road.  It's a route that group 1 has done on a few times, but then we have gone on to run around Tillingborn green.

I just turned right instead, and went up the cheeky little hill.  I don't know if that is the rail lines underneath, but it does look like a bridge.  It may just be land!  Funny how you just don't notice these things, you just go over it......or is that just me?

I had started my Garmin, but I think in my 'New Official Leader' nervousness I must have squeezed the button off again.  I must ask Santa if he will have a new Garmin in his sack that he might leave under my tree.  I decided that I won't advertise that fact, and just kept an eye on all the back markers to make sure I wasn't got too fast! I re started my Garmin, I shall check later exactly where I had my nervous moment.

They all seemed to be doing well.  I was run/walking like I did with Jenny.  It's getting colder now and I didn't want to do the stops as we could cool down quickly and that could cause injuries, but to keep moving. We followed the route, took our walking breaks, and stopped to cross roads (and just to catch up)  but I do believe they all enjoyed their first taste of PWR Club Night runs.

We were running along Great Thrift and I lead them to run up Little Thrift, but I stopped J.J. and Janet to just to ask for 'on the run' feed back.  I know we were nearly there, but it's good to get info fresh so to speak.  Can you tell I was a tad nervous! I just wanted to know that everything went well!

I do think that we have already got at least one person who will be in group 1 pretty soon!  Maybe even on move up week which will be soon!

So Geeky stats, well, they're not really worth looking at.  We did the run in 40 mins and something seconds, I can't remember the exact time, but it wasn't much more than that. And smiling faces at the end, at least they looked smiley!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Brooks 10k, Brighton

Hello blogs lovers.

Well, I got as far as writing the first line on Sunday evening, before my eyes suddenly become heavy, too heavy to keep open!  So now, I have to try and remember every little detail of yesterdays run while I write it up today, but let me tell you, what an absolutely fabulous day!

The worst part of the day, getting up at 05:30 in the morning!  I am not a morning person, you can ask many a people that, at times I have been known to wear odd running shoes for a race!  But we had to get up that early as my wonderful club had organised two coaches to take one hundred or so of us to Brighton.  We were going to be running the Brooks Brighton 10k.

The second worst part of the day, well that is easy!  It's the weather!  Gale force winds and rain was what the forecasters said, and they were spot on!  It was forecast to be a tough run, due only to the wind!  Not only that but the route is an 'out and back, which meant that we had the wind in our faces for half the run! Of course that did mean we had the wind pushing us all the back again!

Look at them waves!

The best bit of the run, that is definitely easy.  Running with my buddies from group 1!  Janet was doing her first 'official complete with medal' 10k. J.J., Wendimoo and Tamsin was also there from group 1. SingstarJo, JaneT, Sue, DiscoRich and some of his Thursday crew, Nicola, Sacha, Ralf!  They were all there!  It's fantastic.

Janet, Tamsin, and Wendimoo

J.J. and me!

The trip down to Brighton was subdued, everybody was probably still waking up properly!  But there was hushed chatter and even laughter.  The time on the coach seemed to fly by.  We had permission to park on the sea front, just about 300 m or so from the start/finish line!  How cool is that!  We had to be there early though, before 08:00 am, so they could close the roads, hence the early start from Petts Wood!  We actually got there about 07:30 a.m. so we had time to chill, use the loos, several times, and eat!  Bananas, jam sandwiches and mine was a chocolate spread sandwich!  Something I hadn't had since I was a kid!  It could have been worse, I could have picked up the Marmite instead!! Yuck.

The race itself.  Well, did I mention that the weather was a tad inclement yesterday.  The rain started when we actually got to Brighton, just a drizzle, but enough to mist up my glasses.  Everybody expected the rain and plastic tops was the order of the day.  Black bin liners, some with, what looked like huge shoulder pads (very 80's) and other plastic tops that were 'gifts' from races or from charities, were noisily put on.  The rustling of the bags would have been enough to wake any lazy runner that was trying to catch up on a few ZZZZ's.  I had my one from Cancer Research which I didn't use on my last charity run!
Helen rocking those
big Shoulders

DiscoRich in his Hoodie
We lined up at the start with the wind tugging and blowing through our bin bags, we looked like a huge pile of walking 'charity donations! The the mass 'undressing began, bin bags were flying 20 feet in the air from the runners in the very front, as if it was a signal that the race had started. I used that as my cue to remove mine.  I carefully put mine between some railings, I didn't really want it be be flying about!  There were other bags strewn on the floor and if you were totally focused on getting going, you could easily trip over them!  The cleaning crew have my deepest thanks and admiration!

The crowd surged forward, the chap with the mic was saying tons of stuff but I couldn't really grasp what he was saying with the wind noise, the noise of running jackets and some bin bag wearers leaving it to the last minute being tugged and pulled by the wind. What with the people yelling and cheering it made a terriffic start to the race.

Walking to the start

It was a full four minutes before we crossed over that chip timing mat!  A constant 'beeeep' still going as runner after runner ran over the mat.  Then the mass started to spread out to the sides and out in front as everyone really began their race.  I was feeling a tad chilly, I decided that I would go with the short sleeve top, I hoped that it wouldn't have taken too long to warm up.  J.J. WendiMoo and Janet had their running jackets on, I was thinking that maybe it was the more sensible option! I could always have tied it around my waist.

It wasn't too long before I warmed up though, and the girls started to de-robe too.  There we were, with our colours of our club showing.  The group 1 ladies running the Brooks 10k.  It felt good to be in a brilliant club.  There was one chap in a Demelza House running vest, he recognised quality! "Oh no, I've just been over taken by the Petts Wood Posse! Go Orpington" he said. "Petts Wood!" I shouted back at him. I think he was actually from Opington!

We had ran about a mile or so when down the left hand side of the road a cyclist came down telling us to stay left.  I couldn't quite understand why.  Then another cyclist came down followed by a car.  Surely they wouldn't let traffic down there, not with the traffic flowing on our right as well!  But it was soon clear why they were there, the leaders were already heading back!  I found it incredible!  Fast! Wow!
The Petts Wood Posse!

I kept my eyes open for our first PWR runner.  I didn't have long to wait, he came in about 25th position, but I could be wrong, this was me trying to count, battle the wind and stay running!  We still had about 5 miles to go, battling against the wind.  It literately was taking my breath away, I was really struggling!  There was a lady that I noticed, she had this steady pace going.  It wasn't fast, it was just steady, she didn't slow up, she didn't speed up, she didn't walk, as far as I could see.  But she was always just there, either in front of us or just behind.  She was one that I had to keep an eye on!

We all kept each other going, WendiMoo was at times singing, geeing everyone on.  We were cheering all those that was running in the opposite direction giving our runners a particularly louder cheer.  Just a little further though we had stopped sharing the road as we continued on the road while the others were behind the buildings next to the sea.

I had began looking for the turn around point, it couldn't be much further on.  I couldn't believe it when we saw the 3km board with the turn around just a little further on.  For some reason I just couldn't get it into my head that we only had done 3k and we already had to turn around to head back.  I was trying to figure it all  out! In my mind, the 'Turn Around Point' meant that we was half way, being as this is an 'out and back'. Yet we only done 3k? So 3k back to the start, makes 6k, where is the other 4k?  It was all too much for my sleep deprived, number blind brain of mine. Maths is not my strong point, but add running into the mix,  a wind that could lift an elephant on chain like a kite and sprinkle some rain on top, then maths had no chance of coming out correct.

I decided to just run and not think about maths, and battle the wind until the turn around point. "Don't forget aeroplane arms girls" called out Wendimoo, as we all  shouted "Wheeeeeeeeee" as we 'flew' around the corner.  As soon as we started to run back towards the start the race was a totally different feel!  For one thing it seemed with every stride we took we moved forward two strides!  The wind seemed to pick us up and move us forward!  Oh yes, how brilliant was that!

Action running
away from start!
Just left of our group
is 'Steady pace' Lady!

Action running to start
(the first time)

We were now running along the sea front, there were people actually on the beach, playing with the surf!  In duffel coats!  I am sure that the wind had picked up the sea spray as well, it was really very wet now.  But the run along the front, was just brilliant.  I am sure we were running faster along here, with just the relief from the onslaught of gale force winds!  I may be exaggerating a bit about the wind, but it's still pretty tough trying to run in 15 mph winds with gusts of 25 mph! Have I mentioned that it was a very windy day?

Of course I took photos on our run, none of us were out to 'race' it, we just love joining in and doing our best, and who knows, we could be thinking that next year we will do even better!  The lady with the steady shuffle was in front of us, and we continued our chase after her.  The 5k marker board was there.  Brilliant opportunity for some pictures and of course the obligatory selfie!
Me at the 5k
The girls at 5k

Even though the wind was helping us get back to the Marine Parade I was pretty exhausted, But still in great spirits.  We ran some, we walked some, we cheered and thanked the marshals along the way.  we smiled at anyone with a camera!  It was such a fantastic atmosphere.  You got to love this club., you got to love this race.  I can't be that there were quite a few people cheering us on through the course!  Thanks so much Brighton!

Just after here there was the water station.  I wasn't sure whether to grab a bottle or not, I mean I was well hydrated on the outside!  I grabbed a bottle anyway and took a few glugs of water.  I realised that I was actually thirsty.  I still left half a bottle though, and fought against my natural desire to keep my litter with me, I threw the bottle into the kerb along with the hundreds of other bottles.  Again, clearning crew, huge 'big up's' to you, you do a great thing cleaning up after us messy wasteful lot of complete fruit loops running in gale force winds!

We soon had the 'big wheel' in our sights.  That really helped to spur us on even more.  The crowds became more denser and the noise level rose above the sound of the wind.  We could see the finish and we ran like the wind, pun intended,  towards it. It got closer and closer, we could see the crowds on a left starting to thin out to just groups of two to three people but the crowds up ahead on the right had their backs towards us!  We ran passed the cacophony of noise, as they cheered loudly all those crossing the finish line!  We ran passed it!  We actually ran passed the finish line! Our race hadn't finished, we still had at least another 3km to do!

The route continued up the Parade, people on our right were now running in the opposite direction to us, their race soon to be finished.  We cheered all the runners that had nearly finished, the loudest cheer going to our very own PWR's.  I couldn't see the turn around point and I wondered how far it was, and if we had to run up the hill!  I don't think I could have made that!

I then noticed that we were going to be running passed our coaches.  Some of the faster runners will be there already, of  course they will, or in fact they may have already gone to find a suitable re-hydration station.  Of course there were quite a few there, giving us a cheer, DiscoRich even ran with us until we got to the coaches.  What a brilliant cheer we got from them.  And we will get that again when we come passed the for the second time. You see,  this route was an out and back and then out and back again going the opposite way!

I was so pleased to see the turn around point, just a couple of cones with some tape.  Nothing fancy, but there was the photographer!  We all tried to make sure we were running and smiling.  I had had a stitch for the last 2 km or so, so I tried not to show my grimacing face.  By the way, how do people deal with a stitch? It was right under my ribs on the right side.  I had held on to it, Janet suggested that I raised my right arm and lean over to the left to try and stretch it out.  It did help a bit, but it was still there!

The steady pace lady was way in front of us still, and she was not stopping!  We all had walking bits up this bit as again we were battling against the wind again.  It was strange, as when we were running with the wind in our backs we really couldn't tell that it was windy.  We had become 'accustomed' it to, even though it was still strong and helping us move forward.  But when we turned around again, oh boy!  The wind was a strong as ever!  It hadn't died down at all, and now we still had to at least another, what......1k, maths teacher would totally give me lines to do!

After smiling at the photographer we were then on our way to the finish.  We were not heading away from it, we were not going to be running passed it, the next time it's in our sight we shall be crossing it, registering our finish with our timing chips!  I think we were the last of the PWR's to be crossing the line, so we had so much support and cheers from our fellow club members.  WendiMoo got into the zone, she could smell the finish line and started to pull away, Me and J.J. started to pick up the pace a bit, Janet was behind us.  But then we saw SingstarJo, she started to run along with Janet, urging her to keep on going.

J.J. and I just started to pull away a little bit more, the Big Wheel was there, just after the finish line! The crowds started to cheer and clap and urge us on.  It felt so good, it just makes you feel like a proper athlete!  Closer and closer to the line, J.J. and I were shoulder to shoulder, the crowd were literally pulling and pushingwith their cheering to go even faster, I picked up the pace just a tad more, I could hear myself making 'grunting' noises, the stitch threatened to stop me in my tracks, I just had to ignore it and push on to the finish. Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep!  The mat that registers our finish firmly struck with my foot, finally we crossed the mat!  What a fantastic brilliant run, what a brilliant place to be running in, such a pity about the weather, did I mention that it was a tad windy, but all the better for getting a PB for next time!

So what do you do with 100 PWR's at the seaside? Do we all pile in the coaches and head on home? No, we don't.  Our very own PhysioMike had arranged for us to have an area in a fish and chip shop to be kept just for us!  The Palm Court I believe it was called, a very posh fish and chip restaurant on the Pier!

Most of the group had already been celebrating in the pub that was on the pier so we all virtually was sitting and ordering food at the same time.  We had got on a table for 5 of us, me WendiMoo, J.J. Janet an Tamsin!  One look at the menu and we decided on the 'Celebration Fish and Chips'  It was served with mush peas, tartare sauce and.....a glass of champagne!  And why not, after all, it was a double celebration, it was our WendiMoo's birthday just a couple of days before!  We brought the house down with our rendition of 'Happy Birthday to you!'

One last thing, I mush thank PhysioMike, Hels, Karen for the organisation of getting 100 of us to Brighton and the with the area 'cordoned' off for our lunch at the posh restaurent, and Coach 1 'manager' Nicola.

Also to Brooks 10k team, by the way, thanks, I kind of borrowed one of your photos!  It's the one of all four of us running on route!


So, gun time was 01:24:32 and chip time was 01:20;06, not too bad for a windy rainy day by the seaside!

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

PWR Autumn 2015 Graduation

Hello blog lovers.

I just want to express my utter horror at the atrocious, cowardly acts of mindless terrorism that happened last night in Paris.  My prayers are for all those that are bereaved and for all those that are injured.  My deepest sorrows for all those in France.  But terrorists will not prevail! They are just mindless robots that do the bidding of an evil controller!  We can not and will not let them prevail.  So I will write up my blog as I have always done and will do.  No matter what, but with the people of France and all those that are suffering through the evil that is IS, firmly in my thoughts and prayers!

I so enjoy writing up my blogs especially the ones about other people achieving their goals and I am there watching it all unfold!  It gives me just that bit more kick up the arse that I need.  Today 2015 Autumn PWR graduates ran their first Parkrun today. And I do believe that most of them ran all the way!  I know Sammie did!  There was one young lady that couldn't join us to run at a 9:00 today, and she had worked so hard, she had to be somewhere else, so what did she do? she got here early, ran her 3.1 miles by herself and proudly showed  everyone.  She really wanted to be able to enjoy graduation day so she hung around until we started the warm up routines.  Well done indeed Tanya!

There was over 20 graduates that met up today, on a grey morning.  After a briefing from CoachHels we walked over to the Pavilion, but not before the obligatory photo!  After a pit stop (those nerves can affect some people) CoachHels started the warm routine.

We then started to skip and walk and jog to the other side of the bridge across the brook.  We then started doing some more drills!  There is no getting away with not doing them, just because we are in a park with a few hundred other people looking on!  We skipped, majoretted and karaoca'd all until it was time for a nice brisk walk to the start.

Some of the PWR's that were there!

SingstarJo was the one letting us know all about the the milestones of some of the runners.  There is Johns 100th, Helen's 100th and I know both of them!  Plus it's Tims Birthday! It's quite a party happening!  There is going to be plenty of cake at the finish today.

We were soon on our way.  The grass was a bit muddy and slippy in places, but I knew if I was very careful I should be able to get around without falling over, after all I have a race tomorrow!  I chatted to one of our PWR's who had come along to lend support and encouragement to our graduates, Liz.  She is having a baby sometime in February, so exciting!

As I was running along the path towards the brook that is when I saw Helen!  She inspires me so much!  I just love watching her run, the way she just keeps going until the end.  You got to love Parkrun!  And then started to run wit one of the graduates, Sammie. Her goal is to get around no stop, the whole 5k!  I know I have said this before but the only time I get around a 5k course with out stopping,  is when I am running along encouraging our beginners.  A nice steady pace and the fact that I dare not walk if they are running, is obviously what does it!

I did walk a tiny bit, over those very slippy muddy sections, but I stayed with Sammi all the way.  She had a determined look on her face, she was going to do it.  She said that when she started the course, she was dreading running for just one minute!  And here she was now planning on running the whole of a 5k route!

Well let me tell you. She did brilliantly! She kept a steady pace, something I must learn to do myself, instead of trying to get good times first!  Maybe I shall try that tomorrow! She slow a tad when she got a bit tired but not one bit of walking was done!  Brilliant.  She was so pleased to be heading for that orange funnel, there were people cheering her on all the way!

Sub 41 minutes for a first park run is just marvellous, and a piece of cake is a well deserved treat for a fantastic run!

No geeky stats as I thought it best to just let the mornings run be totally free and easy with no distractions.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

A Little Traipse Through The Woods.

Hello Blog lovers.

After an eventful evening I was in desperate need to chill out, with some fresh air this morning.  I was in need, but tired and not wanting to go!  So I was very pleased when one of Discorich's crew members wanted to come along with me instead this morning.  She was suffering with a bit of discomfort, but being a true runner decided that the best thing to do was to just run slower!  I unfortunately don't have that luxury. If I run any more slower then I will become a ...........walker! The mere thought fills me with fear!

I rode my bike to the rec and then realised that I had actually forgotten to bring my bike lock! You can see that I was in need now!  I was hoping that DiscoRich would be on his bike, which I expected he would be as the weather is like a beautiful spring morning!  It is positively like a late spring 'feel'! I was glad that I was right about him being on his bike.  I rode over to the bike stands with DiscoRich and we locked up the bikes.

We chatted with all the other people that were there, and then D.R. said that we is going to be doing a road route!  I couldn't quite grasp what he was saying!  Most of us will be racing on Sunday, getting up at a ridiculously nay ludicrously early time to be at Petts Wood in the morning, so todays run should be all about having a nice social one! Especially in the woods!

When I said that I was heading for the woods for a nice gentle one then two other ladies, Sacha and Nicola from his group jumped ship and joined me and Michelle!  As we were going to be going at a nice gentle pace and through the woods Nicola asked if she could be her little pooch along!  It's not the first time we have had a dog run along with us!  And she is such a cutie!

We ran in through Dog Poo ally, and turned right to run up the hill towards the main road.  It's just going to be the usual round loop, but going the easier way round, well I think it's easier this way round, at least we won't be running up Goss Hill! There is still a few hills in there that we can 'enjoy'!  I hope the other girls find it at least a tad challenging with hills!  

The pooch was totally enjoying herself running ahead of us, showing us how it's done!  I struggled up the hill, and then flailed my hand to indicate the direction which will be going as soon as we got to the top.  The girls just didn't seem to be out of breath, they were chatted away and didn't even sound out of breath!  It's something that I am going to have to aspire to be able to do!

It really was such a lovely run, we got to the top of the woods where the other little cheeky hill was.  It's steep but thankfully a short one!  It's great fun coming the other way but then running up Goss Hill is the challenge then!

Getting to Botany Bay Lane, I could quite easily suggest that we just carry on down and then up, instead of running towards Goss Hill, but really its just the lazyitus thinking that, and I call to the ladies to turn right  at the gates!

Goss Hill was a pleasure, I do love running down hill!  And then we we turned left to run along beside the river.  Now all dogs do love to explore, where there is water then a dog will want to go and investigate it!  The little pooch went straight in.  It looked so refreshing, I was really feeling quite warm, the sweat was dripping from me and I wondered "Would it look really odd if I joined the pooch in the river!?" You will be pleased to hear that I decided to act grown up and not go in the water!

It's just the last couple of paths now, along the rail way line and then back up to Poo Ally.  A beautiful run, and as I said, a much needed run!  I really needed to just 'get away' just for a short while, and it was a short while! Here's the geeky stats, as I said, a lovely nice and steady (read slow!) run this morning

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Last Group 0 A 7

Hello blog lovers.

Well, the end of two runs on a Tuesday!  I will miss it, and I know there is one lady that just can't do the 8 o clock start! Which is a shame, as she is doing so brilliantly!  I hope that she keeps it going, and maybe be able to join in on the occasional Thursday morning run!

However, group 0 is not finishing all completely, we are just moving it to 8 o'clock.  It will be bringing group 0 into the fold, so to speak.  And also it saves me freezing during the winter months waiting to do group 1 afterwards!  It's easy in the summer, but the winter months are pretty difficult!

Today though I was just running in group 0.  After my trip up yesterday on the way to school I am a tad sore and stiff!  Why does it ache so much more when you get older!? I guess the answer to that is that it is further to fall!  Just down the right side of my body is where most of the aching is! And my left hand! But at least it not too bad! It could have been worse.

But it did make it a bit of a struggle, my side was hurting, and my arm as I was running along.  There was only Jenny today, yes, she with the long legs!  So I seemed to be running twice as fast! And we we was running up hill too!  The route I chose for the last  7 o clock run was the Birchwood route.  Mainly because it is the shorter one!  I don't think my aches and pains would have too much sympathy if I went on too long a run.

But Jenny did really well, that first 'warm' up quarter of a mile she did really well!  I am sure that we was running sub 11 min/mil, at least when I looked at my Garmin that is what it said.  It's no wonder that we didn't make it to the top of the hill!  I must remember from next week, to stay more mindful of my Garmin!

Today, however, I must have squeezed too hard as I switched the bloomin thing off!  Its a good job that Jenny has borrowed this fancy Garmin.  I will have to ask her to up load the geeky stats.  But todays run was good.  I think we did pretty good time! Next week the route will be at least a mile longer!  I know it is going to be brilliant!  For a start I have my pals that will be helping with the leadership, J.J. Wendimoo and Janet, and all the support from the other leaders!  It's going to be brilliant!  I think Jenny is looking forward to it too! Or was that a nervous laugh when I asked her!

So, hopefully by Thursday my aches and pains and bruises will be a lot better, for a nice easy run, just to keep my legs moving for a brilliant (speedy!?) 10k, ok maybe not speedy, but still a great 10k on Sunday!

Monday, 9 November 2015

A Little Solo Run!

Hello blog lovers.

Before I write about todays run I must tell you about Saturday!  Saturday was the last of the beginners Saturday morning meets at Willet Rec.  We have about 15 or so that has made it to the end, and the next time we will see them is at Parkrun in Normans park on Saturday.

I have been, as usual encouraging all the lovely people at the back, some unfortunately didn't manage to finish the course this time round, because of illness (darn that flu bug thing!).  But I do like to try to inspire all those that struggle at the back.

Tanya is going to be graduating from here, she did it last time but then life gets in the way, and she stopped running, and then the mojo gets buried under work, housework, kids, ironing and, well you know stuff!  So after Saturday, I have plans for her!  She will not give up this time,  she really wants to be apart of our club!

It is such a great privilege to be able to help and encourage people to reach out and achieve their goals. So now unto my run today.  Normally it would be a cycling day, but some of the ladies couldn't make it.  I could have gone by myself, but I do like company, especially for tea and coffee after, so I decided I would go for a run instead.

I have the Brooks 10k in Brighton on Sunday, so I thought maybe do at least 4 miles today and then take it easy for the rest of the week, in preparation.  My route was not through the woods, not on my own anyway, so I ran all the way to Normans park, once around the park and then home again via my local park.

I started off slow, as usual, warming up, by the time I got onto to main road I was up to my speed.  But then the thoughts came think and fast, even with my music playing.  This time of the year does get to me, especially when I am running.  Because the reason why I am running is not here here to see it. She never was.  She never got to see me run or at least walk my first 5k 'race' with the whole entire family.  She never got to see me run 10k through the woods.

I couldn't tell her that I 'secretely' entered the Virgin London Marathon for 2013!  My mum, she would have been at as many cheer points as she could have been, I know that!  She would have been the first to hug me too.  But she never got to see, because cancer got her first. I felt totally useless watching her suffer through the illness, and I felt totally devastated when she was no longer here.  The only thing I could do was to at least raise money for cancer research.

So there I was running, thinking about next week, thinking about 8 years ago and what she was going through.  Well, I cried, I cried on most of the run today.  I thought I might be able to cry it all away. By the time I was coming through my local park I was feeling a bit better.  This time of year is always hard, even though I think of mum every day, just this time of the year its tough!

Mind you, it didn't help matters when later on on the way to school I tripped up and fell arse over tit! Scrapping my hands and knees and elbow.  Boy, did I really want my mum then, there is nothing like mums cuddles to make it all better!

Geeky stats.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

It's Raining And We're Still Running

Hello blog lovers.

It's Thursday, the kids are back at school......and it's raining!  Does that stop ANY  Petts Wood I don't think so........all though occasionally it has been known to delay this particularly PWR!

I got to the rec, with just seconds to spare, I had issues with hunting for keys to the shed, and then my bike lock!  DiscoRich's group was looking particularly healthy with a good number of PWR's ready to do battle with the drizzle and in my group is J.J. and Helen, so just the three of us, but we don't care, we chat all the way around our running routes!

I had the Cinder Path route in mind, I just didn't think the woods would be a good idea, it will be a mud bath and slippy, and a slow slog round.  I need to do a little more practising in running ahead of people and at least 12:15 min/mil.  My group 0 at 7 on a Tuesday will be shifting to Temporary Group 0 at 8, and then there will be a big re-org later.  So exciting!

Anyway, in the end we didn't do the the Cinder path, J.J. mentioned going through Jubilee park, so thats where we went.  But not just the one park, we went through 3 of them. Yes it was our 3 Park Run route.  And really, we needed all the boost of clean fresh air that we could find today!  The weather was a totally downer! Not very inspiring at all, and of course my mojo is definitely acting like a teenager and not wanting to get out of the bed!  Fresh air is deffo what we need.

Helen usually runs along in group 2, she would have been running along with them but she has had a battle on her hands in a different way, one that she has won!  so know she needs a couple of weeks recovery runs, get her back into swing.  Mind you she still looked and ran like she was on fire!

The run up to Little Thrift had me and J.J. puffing....slightly......but Helen looked as fresh as a daisy.  I felt sure then that she would be doing some loop backs to us, to keep her legs moving! We ran along the path that leads to the bridge over the rail lines.  Thank goodness we are only crossing one bridge today......well, on the way back we cross a bridge but that one has no stairs!

The park, however, is totally worth going up a huge flight of stairs.  Breathing the unpolluted air is lush!  Oh why does it have to be raining, I could so have done with running through the woods. Still, having great inspiring company does just as good, if not better!  We came of of Jubilee Park and ran along Blackbrook Lane, looking forward to the next park!  So tempting to suggest going to mine for a cuppa! But running is our aim, and running is what we will do!

The rain was more intermittent, J.J. and I both had taken our coats off.  I had my cycling rain jacket with me, so I was rather toasty!  But I would need that on the way back from the rec on my bike.  Parkfield rec didn't seem to last long before we were running out of it and back on to the roads!  We ran along Lovelace Avenue to get to the last park. This one is even shorter than the last one, before you could produce a snot rocket we were already at the exit of the park on Southborough Lane!

We ran along to the high street, and I asked Helen how far we had come, I had forgotten my Garmin, so it was quite good to know that we had done about 3 and half miles with about another half mile to do, or we could run the other way and do a mile instead!  But I think we were all more than ready to call it day now.

So we ran over the walking bridge and ran down Petts Wood Road and turned left into Crossways.  So according to Helens Garmin we ran about 4 miles in 51:55 mins!  It's quite a respectable distance for a Thursday morning, although I think Helens few loop backs helped to push her miles a little more than mine and J.J.'s .

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Club Run

Hello blog lovers.

 Club run this week was just group 0.  I wasn't feeling top notch today.  But it was a lovely perfect evening for running, not too hot or too cold.  I really got to get myself out of this slump!  Letting things get to me, letting germs get the better of me and letting my mojo have an excuse to go into hibernation!

Group 0 will be coming to an end soon, things will be changing.  That doesn't mean that we will totally abandon our new beginners, and 'coming back from injury' runners.  No! But instead, we will be bringing them together with the other groups that run on Tuesday! It's all very exciting, and when things I sorted I will let you all know about it.

But today there was just me and Jenny.  She was telling me that she was on a total high after last weeks run, and I am not surprised.  Looking at the geeky stats from that nights right, some of the speedy bits were quite speedy! She was totally thrilled with her run.  So this week, in some way, I am glad that I did a longer group 0.  I decided to do that after I made my mind up coming back down Hazlemere that I wouldn't be doing group 1 this evening.

We set off, a brisk walk to get us warmed up first.  And as I said last week, Jenny has this long legs, so although it was a nice brisk walk for her I was virtually trotting along beside  her.  I was taking her on the undulating route, which is along to Hazelmere and then stay on the road till you get to Petts Wood memorial Hall.  We were not stopping, we were going to keep on moving, just like last week.  It worked well last week.

When we got to the memorial hall we turned right and crossed over the bridge  to the high street.  We were doing pretty well!  I started to feel a bit iffy by then, and I was wondering how I would get on with the rest of the run!  I decided to just ignore things and just see how it all goes.  We ran through the high street, and I gave the boys at Petts Wood Kebab house a wave as I ran passed them, it's one of my favourite places!  I must learn to cook!

We run through to Tudor Way, under the bridge and then turned left.  We we going to go along the road, run pass the pub and then back the way we came.  Jenny was doing fantastically, I looked at the time and I could see we had done a good time too.  I decided that group 1 deffo wasn't going to happen for me today, I really needed to get home.  But I still felt it was possible to do just a tad further than our usual distance!

I didn't tell Jenny until we were virtually at cross ways.  I didn't want her to lose concentration or worry about the distance (and the hill) that we will be doing.  I was taking her up Birchwood, and then down Kingsway/Woodside and then back into the rec!

She took the change of plans in her stride, excuse the pun! We started up the hill.  I think she did say something about me trying to kill her her, and then I said "It's ok, the sweeties come at the on Woodside"  Just then her hopes picked up "Sweeties?" she said.  I then explained that the 'sweeties' is the nice down hill section, the very last road, and its a 'cheeky little bugger' of a hill, but thankfully we are running down it and not up it!.  "Oh ok, I though maybe they would come out and start offer chocolate" she said!  Oh, if only that were so, I could do with some chocolate!

Anyway, it was a great run, but I really needed to get home!  My tummy was feeling brilliant!  But I stayed to chat with the ladies!  I am really looking forward to when the new group can begin!  I am sure we will do well.  At looking a todays geeky stats Jenny will do just fine!

And that leads nicely into......geeky stats!