Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Last Run of 2015!

Hello Blog lovers!

Happy New Year to you all.  Thank you all so much for coming back each time I add some more ramblings of a complete running headcase!  And thank you all for your support and encouragement over this past year!  Here is looking forward to a brighter, leaner, fitter running New Year!

This morning saw a good number of of PWR's at the rec.  Some of them only there because of the Christmas break and taking full advantage of having free time.  In DiscoRichs group there were quite a few runners and in my group there were about 8 of us!  So a nice sized couple of groups indeed.  And we were all heading for a mud fest!  In the woods, with the sun shining, birds singing and fresh, clean, crisp morning air!  It does make you feel so happy that we are able to be able to enjoy all of this!

We all ran out of the gate at the same time, looking quite impressive, pinks, blues and bright yellows running along together!  We went in to the woods through 'Poo Ally' and that is where the two groups split.  DiscoRich's group ran up to the right and we ran down to the left.  It was sticky!  It was very sticky.  But boy was it so much fun!  I so got to get myself some trail shoes!  I will work on that this year!

It was a slow slog through the bogginess of the paths to the railway bridge.  I had a regroup there to discuss an optional route, up over the bridge and then hit the pavements!  Well let me tell you, the looks I got from the runners told me that I was asking the most ridiculous question!  So we carried on through the paths along beside the river.  It felt just so right to be there.  Jo was so enjoying being out in the woods, along with Illustrious Leader, Hannah, and all the other ladies running with us.

Then the hill, The hill, the one that I still have to conquer, Goss Hill. Do I not like hills!  I encouraged everyone to go up before me as I knew I would be struggling and the mud did not help at all!  I really felt it on the legs, even dragging my feet out of the muddy bits seemed hard going as we climbed the hill!  another regroup, and breather for me, before we set off along the back of the school back to the middle of Botany Bay Lane!

We turned left and ran up to the bridle path and waited!  We had to wait because coming towards us was DiscoRichs groups!  They were actually taking up both paths, the bridle path and pedestrian path!  I was beginning to feel a little bushed, I was actually thinking that I should have got up earlier to have at least had a cup of tea with some sugar in it, I wasn't feeling to good! But I kept going.  After all, we were half way round now!

 One of our group decided to join DiscoRich's group for the rest of the run, we continued along the path, we were going use the boarded path way, running past the pond.  Again, the mud didn't let up, and running down hill while it's very wet and sticky is bloomin hard!  It's hard to stop running, because you feel as if you will skid into your running buddies in front!  The boards was a welcome relief (even though we truly are enjoying the mud!) from the particularly wet bits.

Up the hills and little undulations to the middle of the woods, and another decision.  The quicker way, down the middle path, or the slightly longer way straight on to the path that runs parallel to the road.  I was really feeling it now, I was at the back and the others were ahead with I.L.  Not far to go at least.  I had a shoe malfunction as my laces came lose and had to tie it up!  Wet muddy laces! I bent down and tied them up, as I pulled it tight the water squeezed out of the lace!

I must say, it was a brilliant run!  It a slow slog through the mud and the puddles, and I think towards the end of the run most of the others were heeding my advice and 'running straight through the middle'  It seemed less slippy somehow!

This is the state of our shoes, but the smiles on our faces was tons better!

Geeky stats for you.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Club Run Group 0 - Post Christmas Run!!

Hello from the great big pudding writing this blog!

Well, what a Christmas it has been.  If it even remotely looked Christmassy then I ate it or I drank it!  My waist line has become a waist block!  I seem to have been given an extra chin as well!  To be truthful, I think I have been over indulging for quite some time, so from the new year then I will be concentrating on getting my mojo back, getting my fitness back and my waist line as well as giving this extra chin back to where ever it came from!

I didn't know how many group 0's would be here today, I knew there wasn't going to be a couple of them, and I was half expecting to be following group 1 trying to keep up with them!  But then Christine said she would be coming with me, she hasn't been for a while, and also a couple of others were in two minds as to which group they would be in, but decided to come along with us.

Because of the pudding like waist line I decided on the 'get back into it' route, nice and easy, but with the little undulations to remind us that actually we are are to run and get fitter!  I gave out my little bit of information to the waiting crowds and listened as all the other  leaders gave their descriptions of their planned routes, and then we were off.

I started my Garmin off........oh, did I tell you all that my lovely hubby, the Old Boy, asked Santa to bring me a fab new Garmin 225?  It's an absolutely brilliant piece of kit, it tracks your steps during the day, (which I wasn't do enough of for the first couple of days!)  nags you if you sit to long!  It has this wrist HRM and 'live tracking' too, which I am figuring out how to do....the live tracking, the HRM!  Anyway, bloomin pleased as punch with my new toy!

I wasn't the only one that had a new Garmin either, one of the other ladies had one too, the same as mine but without the HRM, but she literally only took it out of the box just before coming along here!  We both started our watches and ran out of the gate!

We were going left and then left again. Towards Petts Wood, up the little undulations, you know the ones I spoke about earlier.  Well my tummy, as well as my legs, feet, ankles, lungs and all the other bits above and below, wondered what the hell I was doing!  I really think my body thought I had stopped all that nonsense, come back to my senses.  Go back to 2007, happily eating drinking and watching Eastenders!

Two of the ladies with me were bouncing about and running and looking as if they are about to start a race in the Olympics!  Raring to go! and me and Christina were at the back..  Christina did pick up a little 'pull' in her leg.  I think we should have done some drills or maybe a slower run for the first half mile, to warm up a bit, as she hasn't been out for a week or two!  But we took it easy for the rest of the run.  Walking, stretching out when needed and then back to running.

I must say, it felt great to be out running away all those calories I've been stuffing down my neck, inside my head I felt like this,

but my body actually felt like this!

My goals starting from 1st of January, from say 10 am or later at least, is to  cut calories, up the running and cycling and get tons fitter...again!  This time I am not going to be pressurising myself by entering long races unless I think it's going to be a fun time with my running buddies!  I am going back to the days when I just really loved being out and running!  Even now as I write this I am smiling, I am feeling positive about it.........and so bloody pleased I didn't get a place in next years VLM!

So, todays run with my running buddies is the start of 'Operation - Donna's Mojo', with my motto being Train like I want to win!

Geeky stats, from my brand new Garmin, this is it, with a picture of my 'ex' Garmin, which I can't actually find at the mo....and it still has a run on there!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve Run!

Merry Christmas blog lovers.

I was just so pleased to be able to get out today.  I thought that I may have been working, so it was an great bonus for me to be able to get out and run, through the woods too!

I started to walk up to Petts Wood as I had shopping to do, I just didn't think I would be able to carry too much back with me on my bike! As I was walking up Southborough Lane I heard a "You want a lift?"  It was CoachHels!  Brilliant, that will save my old legs!  After all, proper fitness training don't start till the new year!

We got to the rec and there was just a couple of people there, but after just a few minutes there was PWR's walking in, driving in, from all directions!  A fantastic turnout from everyone.  You gotta love holidays when it comes to running!  DiscoRich had loads of extra runners in his group, there must have been at least 15 to 20 runners, in mine and Illustrious Leaders group there was just the five of us.

DiscoRich was going through the woods, and so was we!  I haven't been through the woods for such a long time!  As soon as I started up the middle of the woods I suddenly just felt so good! So fat and slow still, but so good!  Our route was the middle path, left along the top of the woods until Botany Bay Lane and then right, to go up some more!

With us we had Joanne, Eleana and Diane, Joanne and Eleana are from the PWR 2015 winter grads, and they are just doing brilliantly!  Joanne seemed to be flying, PWR beginners courses really do work!!  I can see her looking at races soon!  The lure of the gong is hard to resist!  Then the distances will be looking like a challenge, 10k, half marathons.......

I struggled up the hill but managed to get up there with not too much huffing and puffing, at least I don't think so!  There is no stopping Jo however, she was flying!  Reading to just keep on running.  My motto for next year is 'Run like I want to win!'  I shall take a leaf out of her book I think!  I kept telling myself that today its all about the social, it's a nice get together run with people that we don't normally run with.

We came off the path behind the school and took just a short breather, just as DiscoRichs group came from the left!  "How is it we are always stopped when we bump into them" said Illustrious Leader! Going up Botany Bay Lane to the road.  the last bit of up hill today and I was really struggling, I.L. kept me company at the back while the other three ran ahead.  We told them to do a loop back if they wanted!  We ran along to Chislehurst road and then took a right turn to go through the estate with the lovely house.

I do like this estate, it conjures up all sorts of stories in my mind when I run through here, I must do another 'novel' type blog soon!  We run back into the woods to finish off our run.  It' was a bit sticky in there, the rain has really made some lovely muddy pools for us to negotiate.  We turned left and followed the path all the way around the side of the woods, going past the wood mans lodge.  Always brings a smile to my face when I ran pass here!

We just the last little bit left of the woods I felt really good, not physically, I was blooming knackered, by in my mind!  I feel as if next year it's going to be my year!  I am in the right mind, and if I am not, then I will just have to keep on running till I am!

Have a fantastic Christmas everyone, and thanks for reading each of my blogging ramblings!  Can't believe I still have any readers!  Just a few more running days this year!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Last Group 0 of 2015!

Hello blog

This is the last Tuesday before the 'Big Day' Christmas!  I love Christmas, every thing about it!  From the shopping for gifts, mainly because of on line shopping, it is so more civilised than elbowing other shoppers! I love the wrapping, the Christmas tree, (I am slightly anal about how it's decorated!) but I love the lights outside on peoples houses!

I know I say things like "It's such an American thing to do" but it's become a tradition here now. And I really do like to see all the pretty lights. We used to decorate more in doors, with tinsel and paper chains and balloons!  Oh yes, love it.  So back to running.  It is an absolutely awful day, the rain is coming down, the wind is gusting and it is just not a good motivational feel at all to get out there and do it.  Plus people are out shopping and getting a few extra hours done at work to make sure it's all ready for the big day, I really didn't thing that there would be anybody turning up for group 0 today.

But there was Jenny!  That running bug is growing inside her now, she really has been bitten hard!  Nothing is going to stop her from running.  Tuesdays night is run night, simples!  A big smile on her face when I asked if there was anyone here for group 0.  She peered over the shoulders of the other runners.  I had a route planned, the challenging one we did the other week,  but with just the two of us, I thought I would let her chose which one.  I haven't mapped out a new route as I can't find my Garmin at the mo, and I do like to check things out and look at the stats of any new route.  I am just hoping the dog hasn't eaten it!  I know there wasn't a lot left of it, but it still works!

We decided to do a bit of hill training, and the hill we do that on is the Tillingbourne Green route.  So we run up Birchwood to start our run!  I can really feel the extra weight that I have gained over this past 8 month, well since I did the marathon!  My breathing was all over the place too, but then the first mile of any run is usually like that for me.  I felt like it was going to be a struggle though.

I am so going to work hard after Christmas, I have too, I know I am just not 'feeling it' being this heavy!  We ran along Chislehurst Road and then turned left, heading towards Tillingbourne green.  The little hill will be coming up soon, and we are going to a couple of reps up and down it!  We turned right and ran along the road to the beginning of the hill!  Taking a couple of seconds to get our breath we ran up it, giving it about 70% of what we had in us.  Right to the top of the hill, we did it, we took a a few seconds to recover, then walked down to the first lamppost then slowly jogged to the bottom.

We ran up it again, and then we did it again after that!  Three times we ran that hill, three times!  and we still got back before anyone else did.  We were first back to the rec!  A brilliant run, I just wish I had my Garmin, I shall have to pull the place apart tomorrow looking for it!

Shame about the Geeky stats! We did get back by 8:50 pm, so not a too bad a run, if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Sometimes It Just Feels Right!

Hello blog lovers.

Ok, I expect you have noticed the lack of blogging! It's that time of year, festivness, carol services, christmas parties and get togethers!  And of course my solo running mojo has decided to do a 'runner'  thank goodness for my club, is all I can say!

So first off, Parkrun.  It was SingstarsJo 150th Parkrun!  Always a cause for a celebration!  Cakes, tea and good friends to celebrate and join in.  I just had to be there to join in.  Of course to get the cake I had to run the 5k in the first place!

I wasn't feeling half as bad for a Saturday morning as some other Saturday mornings!  But I wasn't expecting to be breaking any PB's either.  I just did my run and then looked for the cake!  There was just a few bits of the chocolate cake left by the time I got there!  Fantatastic!  I do love choc cake!

My official time for park run was 36:37 mins, so not particually fast, deffo room for improvement!  I shall work on that during next year!

The obligotary selfie!

Geeky stats for Parkrun, 12 December!

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Later that night it was yet another Petts Wood Runners get together, for the annual Petts Wood Runners Christmas Party! 80's themed as well!  We had a brill time.  I was a little delicate in the morning, and I was glad that I hadn't said that I would be doing the 'hangover' run!  Not that I would anyway as I got church to go to!  But even after church I couldn't manage to go for a run, Christmas shopping was on the agenda, just as my hangover really kicks in!

Me, before I got to the Party!!

So now we are up to date as I tell you about tonights club run.

Group 0

I wasn't sure how many I would be getting in group 0 as I know that some were thinking of trying out for group 1, so I asked first, if there were any to run with me!  Jenny called out from the back!  If there is one to run then there will be  group 0, it's a simple as that. 

The route I had planned was a nice little route, it's similar to one that we had done before, but I have changed it just slightly, just so that no body has any reminders of how far there is yet to run!  Group 0 is all about training your mind to keep going as well.  I remember all too well, when I do my usual solo route to Turpington lane, all those places on route where I walk for a bit.  I't gets in your mind, and you convince yourself that you have to walk now, right where that lamppost that you always walk from, or that pub, or restaurent.

There were four of us in group 0 today, me, Auriol, Jenny and a new lady, Jean.  We all set off after all the other groups had left, we turned left to run along the undulations of Hazelmere, Great Thrift and Woodland Way!  We were running quite well actually!  I was chatting away to Jean and the I heard "You ok Jenny?" from Auriol.  "I ok" she said.  It was just then that I thought I better take a look at my Garmin and we were actually running a 'tad' faster than the announced pace!  11:25 mi/mil!  Ooops!  You would think that as I am holding the thing in my hand I would actually look at it every so often!  But I was just busy chatting with Jean!  .....Why am I holding my Garmin in my hand....?  Well this is why!

I slowed the pace down a bit, probably just as well as it was going up the undulations! The lamppost method came into play again.  A great way to take your mind of things!  We soon got up to the memorial hall.  We had a little walk, to get our breathing under control and then started again.  I remember what PhysioMike had told me and others before when he took group 1 out.  We should learn how to run quietly!  "Run like Scooby doo" he said.  So a great place to practice running like Scooby Doo is here, just on the bridge over the rail lines!  I know last time I said we should 'trip trap, trip trap' over the bridge to wake the troll up, but this time we were going to be as quiet as mice, make like mice!  Quietly over the bridge!  I tell you this, you wouldn't have known we were there!  PhysioMike would be proud of us!

We went along side the car park and then turned right to go along Crestview road, this is the bit that Group 0 haven't done before, so from here they won't know at which point they walked before!  The Psyche now starts to play it's part as it keeps you on your toes!  I thought there would be more Christmas lights along this bit of road, I don't know why, but there you go!  There were still some great christmassy lights to be seen.

We ran along to the main road and then crossed over and ran the length of Crescent Drive.  I was going to add an extra half mile along here, just so that we could run back on our selves and then come out on a different road on to the high street so that we could see the lights on the high street.  But I decided to keep it as it I originally planned.  We were going to see the lights on the other side of the rail lines anyway.

We kept a good pace going, everyone was chatting away, the miles was just not even being noticed as we just ran and walked along to Tudor way.  From there we turned left to run through the high street to see the lights there.  At the little mini roundabout there was a decision to be made.  We could go back down Petts Wood road and then to Cross ways, which would be about a quarter of a mile, so making up our 3 mile run today, or we could go back the way we came, the undulations that we did in the beginning, which will had up to just over half a mile to the planned route!  

Well group 0 were on fire tonight, they chose to take the long route!  No persuasion from me at all!  How brilliant is that!  So we ran back along Woodland way and Great Thrift etc and back to the rec!  A fantastic effort from group o today.  Group 1 were already in the rec doing their cool down stretches!  

So geeky stats for you all

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Little Surprise!

Hello blog lovers

It's club night, and it's my 4th week with the new 8 o'clock start with group 0.  It's still a nice size group, and still a much needed group.  One lady wanted to try group 1, and I wasn't surprised, she was well ahead of the other group 0 members and was ready for that bit more of a  push.

I decided to do route 1, the very first route we took, as I introduced them to Cardiac Hill last week, I like to keep our running fun, and not to be a chore!  When I got to Crossways I was quite pleased with the decision to go with this route as the pavements were all up along here.

I gave out my brief description and pace that we would be doing, I don't think I left anything, and then we waited until all the groups started to leave. Slowly the rec started to empty as each group set out for their runs. Group 1 were running up Birchwood, just as we were, and we were chasing behind them up the hill.  We were keeping pace with them all the way to top.  Then they turned left as we turned right.

We took a little walking break along the the top before we started our running again.  We crossed over the road and then ran down Sherborne road.  I think then the group started to remember, remember the little undulation that we needed to do once we got to the edge of Tillingborne green!  It's only a tiny hill!  We were all quite nicely tight together, no long gabs between me and the back markers, always a good sign that I am not going too fast!  But then I thought "What if I am going to slow for them, maybe they want a little bit more challenge?  I guess it's the nerves of being a leader!

When we got to Church Hill Wood they could see the little up hill that we needed to get to.  "Deep breath, use your arms to help get you up to the top" I said to them, and we all started to run.  It felt pretty good actually, "Come on, lets put on a little speed" I said, and started to sprint up to the top.  It really did feel good!  Everybody made it to the top, and we had a little break but then I said "Who wants to do it again?"  There was a bit of a stunned silence at first, and then one lady (I must get to learning names!) said "Yeah ok then"  "Off you go then" I said "anyone else?"  Nearly everyone did the second run up the hill!  Fantastic!  It's good to push a little bit extra sometimes.  I knew there wasn't anyone coming back from injuries, colds maybe, but not injuries, so I felt sure that everyone that did the second run up was able to do it well!

After that it was just a straight, straight road all the way to the memorial hall.  With just a couple more little undulations it seemed that everyone did really well!  We do love a challenge, last week everyone did really well.  Maybe I should try and think of something for next week!

Even though we did the little extra hilly bit we still ran around Little Thrift before running back to the rec.  We got there and group 1 was already back going through their stretches!

I have put the geeky stats out on facebook already, but I did have to alter the distance manually as the Satellites didn't manage to find me until the top of Birchwood!  But we have most of our run in there.
So geeky stats for you

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Get A Move....Up!

Hello blog lovers.

My title of my blog does not seem PWR friendly, but let me explain.  It's the first Tuesday of the month which means it's move up Tuesday.  It's a chance for any of our runners to go and try the next group, to see how it feels.  But as we are the very beginning of the groups, group 0, I thought it may be a good opportunity to just do a slightly longer route, with some undulations as an added challenge.  
We also have got some new group leaders, with their shiny new LiRF cards, who will be making their debut run leaders today, as well as another new group in the mix, group 1.5!  It's all going on!  At the briefing of routes we each give out a brief description of our route.  I still need practice as I forgot to say something, what was it I forgot?  The info that is needed is pace, how far, where to meet and quick description of where.  I think I need to talk louder as when I mentioned how far all of group 0 heard 2.5 miles but I felt sure I said up to 3.5 miles!  You can imagine the shocked faces when we were all together and I gave a little more information and told them it was going to be over 3 miles!

It's challenge week, I am sure we can rise to the challenge and laugh in the face of doubt!  There was about 10 in our group today, J.J. Janet were my very lovely sweepers and the very lovely Auriol was also running in group 0 today, she said she wanted a nice easy run. Hmmm, Did I mention it's Move Up Week?  All those in group 0 just take up the challenge, all those in group 1 and above choose to take up the challenge!  I know my group 0 can do it! I feel sure that once they have done this route then they may start to think about going to the next group, or even trying Move Up Week next month!

Enough waffling, and trying to justify my 'task mistress route' (begone guilt!) Lets talk about running.  We set off down Crossways  and crossed over to Tudor way.  I was heading for St. Johns road and the turning right into Beaumont Road.  I tried to keep it all nice and jovial, never once did I mention Cardiac Hill, well not while we were running along Beaumont anyway. We turned left and started to run towards the little roundabout, a couple of the girls knew this road, and then knew heading to the 'top' "oh it's coming" I could hear her saying to her friend. "What's coming" her friend said "Undulations" I quickly suggested!

We were all keeping pretty well together as a group, the little walking bits that we do and the short stops, if they are needed, is working well.  The one thing that is the same, and I am sure it is the same throughout all the other groups, is the fact that first mile always so tough!  Breathing is all over the place, your legs just don't want to move and then start complain with aches and pains all over the place, and your head is saying 'What on earth are you doing? Get back home and fill your face chocolate and sit in front of the tv where it is nice and warm'.......or is that just me?

But once we got to the top, where the little round about is, yet it was up, and yes, we still got a bit more to do.  I just took a little break there to introduce the group to 'Cardiac Hill'! dun dun duuuun!  We had come onto it half way up, which the group was totally pleased about, but of course we did have to climb the last bit.  From there we crossed over to run along Grosvner Road which joins Chislehurst road.  Up until then some of the group wasn't quite sure of where they were.  That's always a good thing, then there and no little mental notes of how far you have run or how far there is to go!  The big roundabout at the top of this road and most of the group knew where they was.  I was taking them along to Birchwood.

So it's not far to go now, but I still was being a bit horrid with the route, not only was there there undulations, and the introduction of Cardiac Hill, but after running down Birchwood (which by the way is a very good point on our run) now I was making them run pass Crossways, and the rec where we should be ending our run and running along to Manor Way.  I needed to just add a little bit more to get the distance for a nice challenging group 0 run.  With just a couple of more little roads, Towncourt and then Kingsway, we had finished our run, well with the hour.

I think everyone had a good run, next week we shall go back to building up speed and stamina again!  On our running today we had bumped into the new group 1.5 twice!  And also we ran a group 1 distance!  There are deffo some potential group 1 runners here today!

Geeky stats, and it took a while for the Satellites to find me, so at least a quarter of a mile is missing!