Thursday, 28 April 2016

A Wooly Story!

Hello blog readers.

It was a beautiful morning, blue skies, a slight chill to the air, perfect for running!  I was only planning on doing a shorten run today, just a quickly through the woods.  I didn't know if it was raining at all during the night, but it didn't matter, the woods was just calling us.

I was a tad late arriving, I drove into the rec and was faced with cars everywhere!  The nursery were having a day out, so all the mummies had parked their cars there to join them.  I saw a space, did a quick three point turn to claim 'my prize of empty parking space' only to  be put off by a big black van that had driven up behind me, and sat there watching!  Now those who know me, and knows how I feel about driving and parking, will know there was no way was I going to try and parallel park between a wall and a car with a hedge by the side, with somebody waiting to drive past me!  It's an impossibility, I freaked!  So I just drove back out of the rec and parked up the hill!

So I was just a couple of minutes late as I ran into the rec!  DiscoRich had 'nicked' a couple of regular Thursday runners, but it was probably just as well, considering I was planning this shortened version.  But Janet was with me and also was one of our spring beginners!  A most welcome surprise!  So, again, probably just as well I planned a shortened run today.  We were just running towards the gate when Tracey came running towards us, "I don't 'feel' the fast run" today she said "I'm coming with you"  Sometimes you do just need to get out plod along, a long faster run just seems a little too much sometimes!

My route was the little loop of the left hand side of the woods, straight up Botany Bay Lane, across the top of the woods to the Chislehurst Road and then back down by the rail way lines to Dog Poo ally.  It really is the shortest of routes, probably an ideal 'first introduction' to trail running with our beginners when they come and join us after their graduation parkrun, well those that haven't already joined us of course.  There was only one thing that I had forgotten, to change my shoes to my 'dirty mud running shoes'  I just hoped it wasn't too sticky and muddy in there.

It wasn't that bad in there, yes there were a very sticky puddles we had to tip top through, find the harder ground to run on, but otherwise quite runnable!  We made good time to the top of the path that leads to the farmhouses.  We ran down there, all the way to the bottom, by the little babbling brook!  It was just so perfect I had to get a picture of us all, here we are!

After that we had the long climb back up to the top of the woods, but I looked to my left and just by the fence was the really adorable sheep, just stood there looking through the fence, at the world going by.  I just had to get a picture of him.....and with him (or her, not sure how you tell on sheep!), After we took this picture, the sheep made it's self even more comfortable by laying down to people watch for the rest of the day!

We chatted and ran, and ran and chatted.  We had the occasional walk all the way along the top of the woods back to Dog Poo ally!  It really was a very pleasant run, albeit short, but I really felt good after, and just hoped that the others did too.

I knew I wasn't going running this evening as I had a course that I had to go to, from 6;30 until 9:15!  Not even a chance to have a quick run before the course started or to sneak in a late one after!  Oh well!  One more week of missing out onThursday evening running!

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wednesday Shenanigans!

Hello blog readers

So this is the last Wednesday training run for our Spring beginners 2016!  It don't seem that just two months ago they were taking their first step to becoming athletes!  Runners!  A complete lifestyle change, as that is what it has to be.  When you become a runner you just have to make 'space' for it in your busy schedule!  It's amazing at the lengths some runners go to to make sure they get their run in.  Not our beginners......not yet anyway.......but you never know!  Some runners get up a crazy time in the mornings, to get a run in before they go to work!  Or wait to late evenings, 9 in evening or 10 in the evening!   Weekends are spent with trainers in your car, just in case you happen across a pretty looking trail that just needs to be run on!  Holidays are sometimes based around a half/full marathon!  Yup, getting into this running malarky can seriously change your life!

Maybe we should send out a warning in our emails to our new beginners!  But here they were, Tracy, Rupalee and lisa, all totally focused on doing what they have been training for!  Running around the park, 14 minutes non stop, walking for 2 minutes then doing it all over again!  The weather was just perfect for us, the sun was out, the rumours of storms were totally unfounded, but it was maybe slightly chilly.  But we will soon be warmed up.  We walked, a side skipped, and high kneed our way to where we will begin todays training.

The first 14 minutes began, and it was a good pace.  I was wondering just how far we would get before I whistled for the 2 minutes walking!  Everybody was getting into their groove.  Rupalee and Lisa were in front and I was with Tracy, keeping her enoucouraged.  She was really running easier this week.  She just didn't seem to be struggling at all.  Just shows you, you can struggle one week and the next week you can run like the wind!  Just breezing on through your set.  The mantra I like to think about when I am having a bad run is, 'There are no bad runs, just slower ones'.  And it's totally true!  If you're out thee running you are not sitting on your sofa wishing you fitter!

We ran all the way around the park until we got back to the car park when we started our first 2 minutes of walking!  How cool is that!  If we do that at the same pace twice more, Tracy could quite easily be on for a PB for her parkrun!  The other two will be doing their first parkrun, so it will be a pb anyway!

We started the next 14 minutes of running and still Tracy was feeling good!  The Rupalee and Lisa were in the zone, just running along.  Half way around the park and we were on time for doing the same as last time!  Perfect pacing.  Just the last long straight all the way to the car park.

I am so impressed by these ladies!  So impressed!  There were smiles all around!  We finished off with some stretching out before going home!

Oh and of course a quick selfie!

Club Run - Marathon Celebrations!

Hello blog readers

We were missing one group last night, that was group 11!  The leader and I believe most of Group 11 were busy recovering from an epic marathon over the weekend.  Club records were broken with some brilliant running!  We had marathon runners represented in most groups, the pub in the evening was going ram packed with just those that took part, let alone the rest of us that joined after evening runs!

In my group I had a couple of newbies, one of them is fresh from the beginners course!  Brilliant that our beginners course has inspired them to join our club!  J.J. was also back with us, I deliberately chose one of our routes that is fairly easy going, but also one that J.J. can slip off early if she couldn't manage the whole route!  It's the one with the cheeky 'hill training' little hill that we do, but we did this in the opposite direction.

We all lined up at our posts after the leaders had given their planned routes.  DiscoRich then suggested that half the groups go out the back gate while the others go out the main gate.  Well, that would slightly alter my routes, but it's still doable, and there is still short cuts for J.J. to do if necessary.  So out the back gate we went.

There were 7 of us in the group, my team members, Wendimoo, Janet and J.J. and then we had some of the newer members, Kate and then the other names have escaped me, (it is a whole day, including an evening of celebrations, since then!)  We went out through the back gate and turned left to go towards Petts Wood memorial.  We have missed the undulations of Hazelmere and Great Thrift but we still have the up hill of Petts Wood Road.

The three new ladies were doing well, kept up a steady pace all the way,  I was in the middle keeping an eye on my running buddies behind me, making sure that they are all ok and not over doing.  The up hill soon started.  We all ran up there, some slower, but it don't matter.  The fact we are all here doing what we do is what it's all about.

I sent the front 3 down then hill and then said to them to run up it again!  By the time they got up the others had caught up with us.  Now it's just the down hill back to the rec.......or was it!  After we ran down the cheeky little hill and turned left, then ran down to the end.  We were going to head for Birchwood Road, the nice long hill that we have always in group 1, so far, have run up it!  Last night, for what seemed like ages, we ran down it!  Only we were didn't turn left to go to Crossways and the rec.  We carried on all the way along Hazelmere, Great Thrift!  We still had to do those undulations that missed.  I couldn't let the group miss out on their extra mile now could I!

Now that was a little tougher.  Do this route this way around just seemed to be slightly more challenging.  Having those undulations at the end of our run!  Brilliant.  We love a challenge, and I am sure the new members will be moving up the groups in no time!

After our run a whole bunch of us ended up at the One Inn The Wood to celebrate with the marathon runners.  The place was totally packed up, and it was just brilliant!  Here's a picture of just some of us.

One packed pub!

Us lot

Geeky stats.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Week 8 - Final Week For the Beginners!

Hello blog lovers.

So, it's finally finished.  The course!  Well over Thirty people stuck it to the end.  There were people who dropped out due to sickness, injuries, old injuries, fact a of our beginners was busy growing one!  But to get to this far with over half the people that started is just brilliant!

Our session this week was easier than last week!  Because we were doing less running, so Michael pointed out!  We were going to be running for 28 minutes in total!  With 2 minutes walking break in the middle.  Last week of course, we ran for three lots of 10 minutes!

Sherry lead the session on Saturday, everyone was smiling, and looking so very pleased with all they have achieved.  No longer was they thinking 'I can't do this', most were thinking 'It's going to be tough, but I will do it!'  Such a long way from the 'I don't think I can run for 30 seconds let alone a minute'  which some of our beginners said!

The change in all of them is just so apparent.  Their attitude, the way the stand, their sleeping pattens, and this fantastic thing that is growing inside, the love of running, to achieve goals and to break PB's!  It's all there in their faces!  This is what I love seeing, this is why I will always volunteer to lead/help with the beginners course.  By the way, our next beginners course has already organised, advertised and even has quite a few names down already!  The 17th September, 09:00 at the rec!  We don't hang about!

So, until next week, graduation parkrun at Normans Park is the day the stop being called beginners, they will be called Graduates!  Although, from that very first moment they started to run for just that one minute they were called runners!


So many new names to remember, so many new friends made, just to mention a few, Michael and Carole, Kayleigh, Abby, Rupalee, Kat, Tracey, just mention a few, and others who I have ran along side, chatting and laughing and have told me their name, several times, and still it's not in there (just wondering if I should own up to having fuzzy brain!)  And also a fantastic well done to my oldest pals, Tracy and Giulia, brillilant, just brilliant!  And Tanya,  just look at you!  You've perservered, you have endured the Wednesday sessions with me, (it's where I got my other nick name of Barbara from).  but look, you are no longer at the back, you are even encouraging others to the end!  Well done!   See you all at the park on Sunday!  (Some, I hope to see on Wednesday for homework session!)

Well done all,  Geeky stats for you

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Not Long Now! - Homework Week 7

Hello blog readers.

It's not long now to graduation day!  The beginners are all getting excited, posting their their homework on the Facebook page, and really taking a huge pride in what they have all achieved so far!  It's just amazing.

Today I ran with Tracy.  I had a bit of a manic day today, running here there and everywhere and although I had remembered to post on the Facebook page that we were meeting at 1 today I had actually forgotten to tell Tanya, who is not on Facebook!  But it was so good to see that she was still there, running with little Max, after she turned up at our regular time of 12:30,  but she finished her homework, ran for 3 lots of 10 minutes and looked like she could have gone for more!  I actually asked her if she wanted, but she very sensibly declined!

Also with me today was Charlene!  She is trying to get her fitness back, so she came along today.  She is young, and skinny (which Tracy told me off for!) "Why you bringing a skinny fit girl along" she said!  So we started off our running, going in the opposite direction to what we usually do, chatting away as we do.  I noticed Tracy was hanging back a bit this time.  I encouraged her to pick up the pace just a tad more.  "Last week you told me to slow down, this week you telling me to speed up" she said jokingly!

I think you can tell if you are going to have a good run or an 'in the zone' run, We don't ever have bad runs. All runs are good, there are just some that you totally get in the zone and others when you just glad you managed to put your trainers on!  You know that once you got your trainers on, you are going out for a run.  Whether its 7 miles, or a mile!  You are running, you are out of the house, you are getting your heart rate going, burning up calories, feeding your mojo.  Today, was a tough day, Tracy was struggling a bit and young skinny Charlene was too!

The first 10 minutes of running and Tracy was behind, Charlene was in front.  I guess that in itself can work against you on your psyche!  But I know Charlene.  She takes of fast, and because she is young and skinny, she breezes through it.  But running is more than just being young and skinny!  It is fitness, and stamina, it is working out the lungs, muscles and psyche as well! There is no just rocking up and running a marathon, no matter what Run Far Boy Run says!  It's hard work, consistency and determination!

By the time the third lot of running was here, Charlene had started to get tired.  I knew she could run, I mean I wouldn't let her come with me if I knew she couldn't run for 10 minutes.  Charlene does cycling, and climbing, which is a different type of fitness, but it all helps with running!  But seeing young skinny Charlene walking during the running sections really gave Tracy a boost.  Charlene encouraged Tracy all the way to the finish of the 10 minutes of running!

Yes it was tough today, some days are like that.  But what is the best thing is, that those 'some days' are days when you have ran!  Brilliant!

This is us, at the finish of the session!

Geeky stats for you.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Club Night - It's Getting Lighter!

Hello blog lovers

I am getting better for begin on time at club nights.  The new system has evolved a bit more.  It's more like the old days but with added organisation!  Which means we seemed to be back in the huddle, where the leaders step forwards to talk about their route, time and distance but we seem to be all waiting there to listen to everyone before rushing off!  It feels a lot more supportive.  I know group 11 or at least group 10 (they had joined forces because of the marathons) went out straight away, as always.  As soon as I had said my bit they all the runners went to the numbered poles that they would be running in!  That's the organised bit!

I wasn't quite sure who I was going to be having in my group today.  Jenny has deffo well and truly settled into group 2, she told me that she will be needing help! "Ok, so why?" I said  And then she told me, her hubby had entered her into the Brighton Marathon 2017!!  I feel so proud!  But there were 8 in our group today, including a returnee.  A nice sized group!  I had a route planned, one of the usual routes, but I am open to suggestions for other routes too, as we did on this evenings run.

Seven of us left the rec and turned right that's when Jo came down Wood Ride.  She was just a little late and joined in with us.   We then ran along and turned right again to run up Kings Way.  Get the hill out of the way first.  After that the route is fairly level, with maybe just a couple of slight undulations!  Our group was running nice and tight, not much gap between the front and the back.  Perfect.  I know Jo could run faster, but she was enjoying the chat with the rest of us!

When we got to the top of Shepperton by Crofton Road, Auriol suggested that we take a different route back to the rec.  Turn right here and run up to the Off license and then over the bridge!  As I said before, I am all for chopping and changing things on route, it's what I do on a Thursday Morning run. I like this way too.  It's great for the psyche, doing the same routes you get to know little mile stones.  Shake things up a bit and it adds a bit of sparkle!

Although Auriol suggested going down Beaumont Road, when she said that I envisaged St Johns Road, and I thought that would just about get us to 3 miles for todays run, perfect for group 1.  Plus there was a cheeky little slight, little incline as we turned the corner to run up St. Johns Road, just a little one.

After that we ran down Tudor Way, and then we were going to cross over to run along Crossways.  at what ever pace we felt like.  Some of us stuck to the same pace, while some of us sprinted to the rec!  Guess which one I did!  Of course I sprinted!  And so did at least 4 of the others!  A great run.  I don love running with my running buddies!

Geeky stats

Monday, 18 April 2016

Beginners Week 7

Hello Blog lovers!

Well, week 7!  How has that happened!  Already everyone is running for 10 minutes! Ten whole minutes!  Not only that, we went running on the streets..........with a hill!  I think next week I will teach them my favourite mantra 'Hills are my friends, hills are my friends'!  I am still trying to really say this with conviction, it has only taken 8 years so far.  But at least now I can say without crying....too much!

I am absolutely astounded by how many people we have with us still.  I know that some are away for the week, others have had injuries and other issues with have prevented them from finishing this time round.  There is always the Autumn Beginners Course!  But just looking at all these smiling faces is brilliant.  There was a shocked intake of breath when I said that we are running for 10 minutes, but not as loud as when at the end of the session we said they will be running for 14 minutes!

This was to be our first venture into the streets of Petts Wood.  It's one of our usual little loops taking in a cheeky little hill going up with a fabulous, wonderful hill coming down!  The faster runners will be doing this at least 3 times with the slower ones doing it twice, at least that's how it went on the last course!  I think Wendimoo lead the slower ones around for a third time!  We had all finished our cool downs before they got back!  Note to self, let PWR volunteers know exact plans!  (You can tell this is my first leading beginners experience!)

It is just so amazing to hear them all talking about how they didn't think they could run for 3 minutes let alone for 10 minutes!  I am so sure that there is going to be some huge big smiles and maybe even tears (probably mine as I look at them all finishing) at the parkrun in a couple of weeks! When someone comes up and says to you "You PWR's have done an amazing thing.  We have just so enjoyed being here.  We feel so much better in ourselves, we are getting fitter and we are sleeping better! We want to thank you for your help and support these past few weeks" well, that there is enough to bring tears to your eyes.  But then to continue "We are definitely joining PWR's and the next beginners course, we would like to help out!"  Right there, right there is where it gets you in the heart!  That's what PWR is all about, helping everyone to achieve their goals, wanting to help, volunteering to share the love!  Brilliant!

So, next week, it will be 14 minutes running, with 2 minutes of walking.  I feel totally sure that they will all totally just ease on through it!  Even with the slight undulation!

No geeky stats as my watch was quite set up to how I wanted it!  But, let me tell you, they all definitely ran!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Three In A Row!

Hello blog lovers!

You wait for one blog and then lo and behold 3 come along together!  So I shall write three different headings and you can chose which one you would like to read!

Wednesday Training day

Wednesday I had a bit of a busy day, but I was so glad that I still had time to meet up with Tracy to help with the 'homework'.  Rupalee, Tanya and Abby had managed to do their homework earlier on during the day!  So Tracy had just me!  She said that she would have just jogged along to Bickley Manor and back if I hadn't have made it.  But it's always better with running buddies.  You have encourage each other along, challenge each other or inspire!  I'm not sure how Tracy was feeling, but I was hoping she was glad!

I remember when it was just me and her a couple of years ago, and she did well then, even entered and completed 10k race!  But running mojo needs nurturing and made a fuss of all the time!  It's like a child!  If you don't give it attention it goes away and sulks!  Give it attention every other day and you will find your mojo wanting to do more!  Things you didn't think you could do, which is how Tracy came to do our 10k.  But she found that as she didn't keep up with the training, running at least 3 days a week then mojo, running fitness goes and hides!

I was there to get it back!  Encourage all the way.  I picked her up half an hour after we usually meet and drove to Normans Park.  Eight minutes running and 2 minutes of walking was the session today.  As usual Tracy set off running fast, like she stolen something!  I had to reel her in! Something which she found amusing! "Wow, the Old Girl tell me to slow down!" she said.  I just smiled, thinking about the last round of 8 minutes running!

The second round of running and the pace was different from the first.  This is where you have to start to dig in and find it.  The first mile or 10 minutes or so of running, I find, is the hardest bit.  Your body has to suddenly find oxygen quickly to shove into you muscles to keep them going, you can imagine the conversation of brain, heart, lungs and muscles can't you

Muscles;  Oi, I'm moving here!  Wheres me oxygen

Brain:  Oh shit, she's at it again,  hang on I shall wake up the heart,    Oi heart!! wakey wakey, 
             She's at it again!

Heart:   Yeah:  don't you think I know that!  Look at me, just look at me!  Have a word with Lungs 
              will ya, I need so good oxygen not this shit stuff I'm getting!

Of course in the mean time your lungs have been violently shaken up

Lungs:  What the.......shit, hang on,

Brain:  Lungs, for crying out loud, slow down, slow down,  we need some oxygen, the good stuff, 
             Sort it out

Lungs:    Ok, ok, I got this iiiiiinnnnnnnn..........ooooouuuuttttt...........iiiiinnnnnnnnn..........out

Muscles: Come on, come on I need it!

Heart:  Ok, here it comes, stop complaining!

The things that go through your head when you're running!  But seriously, I am sure if my innards could talk out loud, most of my running days that would be the conversation!   And by looking at the face of Tracy as we were doing the last of the running sessions I expect her body was having the exact same conversation.

But I know, that usually, the last bit of running there is always just a little bit left.  Your body fools you into thinking you haven't got anything left, but you just push yourself you can find that secret bit of energy that your body was saving for some unknown reason.  Tracy found it,  she ran a tad faster, then she ran just a little bit for fast, that last minute of running, just looking ahead of her and ran like she didn't need to have any energy left!  Brilliant!  She was pleased to hear me say "That's it, all done!"  We walked the last 2 minutes when got us back to the car park!  And then the smile!  "I am glad I done that" she said!  "Thanks Donna"  

Seeing the smile on her face, and her knowing that she knew she worked hard was all that I need mojo encouragement I need to keep me going!  This leading runners, it's a two way street!  Perfect run day!

Geeky stats.

Thursday Morning.

It was a beautiful morning this morning.  I just knew it would be a great run.  I knew Janet was coming along, and she runs at my pace!  And Trish had that awful stuff called W.O.R.K . happening today.  But there was still five of us running along today.  ZippySherry was there, Diane, Tracey and Sonya.  All of them run faster than me!  It will be a 'Lead from the back' run today!  I also wanted to keep it to 5k, today, so the route was going to be through the woods, up the middle path, along to Botany Bay Lane and then up, again to the road and the pub, the Tigers Head.

But I do like to 'show off' a little, so running through two woods will be on the cards.  We all set out and then went into the woods through Dog Poo ally.  I told them we were going up the middle path.  Now, if you read the first part of todays blog, then you will know, with me, the first 10 minutes of running my breathing is all over the place, literally puffing out of my arse!  The other girls seem to be casually running up and up, well apart from Tracey,  she don't like hills!  But she was still in front of me!

We ran along the top, after turning left, to head for Botany Bay Lane, and we were all running pretty tight for a while.  Going down on the undulations was pretty good though as I 'Wheeeee' all the way down!  We were talking a little earlier that Sherry loves a hill, even the ones that go up!  Whether it's riding her bike or running up them, then she will seek them out and run on it!  I must try to find the love for hills, or even just like them, instead of fear for them!

Once we got up to the road, it was all fairly flat, we ran only the the main road, Chislehurst Road and then crossed over to run into Scadbury park! The sun was just shining through.  The girls just waited for me to catch up to the them, and I took this picture of them!  It gave me an excuse to stop moving all together too!

Me, looking warm!
The girls waiting

Back out on to the road and I tried to keep up with Sherry, I was running along beside her chatting away.  I was feeling pretty out of breath but I was doing it.  Then I did something silly, I looked at my Garmin and realised I was running at 10:10 m/mi!  Of course that put a huge doubt in my mind that I shouldn't be doing that speed and that I should slow down!  I guess that's the only downside of having a running device on you!!

We finished our run through Petts Wood when we crossed over the road again, and ran down passed the rail lines until we got to the ally again.

I really enjoyed my run this morning!  I am sure I ran faster in places!  Sometimes it's good to run with someone fast than you!  Maybe next time I won't look at my watch!

The woods wasn't too bad for running in, look how clean our shoes are!

Geeky Stats.

Track Session

I decided I deffo needed to do track session.  I had Mc'd's to burn off!  The evening was still perfect, no rain, and it still felt quite warm too.  The sun hadn't gone down an it was till lovely and bright as I drove to the track.  There seemed to be an awful lot of people around today.  The track looked pretty full with some very fast runners!  Our PWR's were all congregated at the other end of the track.

There seemed to be quite a lot of them too.  The session was to run 1k with 90 sec rest and repeat 4 more times!  Thats two and half times around the track.  I was feeling a bit tired.  I am pretty sure its has something to do with the dreadful time in a womans life that changes them for a pretty normal person to this moody sweaty angry tired person!  Something, so they tell me, can last for years!  Nah, I don't think so!  I don't like it!  I am just going to have to find ways of dealing with it.  At the moment is running!  And chocolate! And fact everything that I used to do before all this shitty stuff started, but now I have a reasonable excuse to have it....."Its for medicinal purposes!" I can say, "I need it"

Needles to say, I didn't do too well today, I think I did at least 2k as fast as I could manage this evening, and then I did almost a k, just twice around the track.  I felt that I had done enough.  I really felt, "Nah, you done alright Old girl, go have some dinner"  I chatted with Mr. S, about something, which helped me cool down, and then we did the cool down stretches.  Mr. S took some photos too, this is one of them, I am right at the back, doing a quad stretch, but not very well at all, my knees just was not together at all!

me at the back in white hat!

It was a good session, although I didn't do as much running as I usually did I was pleased that I at least got out, and the rain wasn't here putting the dampener on things!

Last picture curtesy of Mr. S.

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Club Run - Welcomes Returnees!

Hello blog lovers.

What a beautiful evening for club night!  It was still light out when we arrived at the rec.  It will soon be time to run through the woods!  I can't wait to take them through there!

But for now, we were going to continue to pound the pavements.  We had a couple of new people to group 1, runners who have been before but have lapsed!  They are now ready to step it up and get back to it!  Eight of us were standing behind the group 1 post.  Well, actually there were seven of us that left the rec and by the time we got to the end of Crossways we saw someone running fast towards us!  I am not sure if she was going to go with group 2 and then changed her mind, I kind of missed what she said!  So in the end there were 8 of us.

As in all our running we had hills, whether they come in the beginning, middle or end, the hills are always there.  As a leader of group 1 I do try to chose a nice easier route than maybe group 4 or 5 upwards.  But no matter what, if we run along Crossways, in either direction when we come out of the rec, and then turn left or right on any of the roads, then we happen upon a hill!  Today the hill was Petts Wood Road,.........and then the undulations of Crescent Drive............and then maybe just a few more along Woodland way, Great Thrift etc!  But apart from that it's virtually flat!

Running up that first hill I just at the back and let everyone go at their own speed, just to see how fast they could potentially go.  Can you believe that, even with me behind them we were doing 11 minute mileing!  A tad fast for group 1, but it's good to know that the front runners were happily chatting away while they were running UP HILL too!  So I should think just a few weeks in group 1 and then they will be itching for a 'Move Up' week to go and join group 2, if they don't do it before hand!

We ran all the way Crescent Drive and then along side the triangle to cross the road.  Of course we take walking breaks, I am not hard task master in group 1.  We ran along Crestview and then walked through the car park.  I wanted to introduce the new comers to the 'silent running over the bridge!'  It's good practise, nice and light on your feet, and you can really concentrate on it when you run over this bridge!  No making the trip trap, trip trap noises over the bridge!!  Do you know what? It was as silent as the most silent place on planet silence!  As silent as a fluffy cloud floating by!  Brilliant running!

From here, being a good leader, I gave two options, the quicker route, or the longer route but with at least three possible shortcuts!  It nearly made my heart burst with pride when the unanimous decision was to take the longer route, with the option of calling out to run along any of the other roads!  We passed the first roads, well, I guess Towncourt came up to quickly so wasn't really an option anyway.  But then Silverdale,  I didn't hear anyone call out to run down there!  But when we ran passed it, one of the other ladies said "Oh ok, straight up then"  I think she did call out to run down there, but decided that she could carry on running along.

We ran all along here, and when we got to Little Thrift I said, "Left turn!"  we all turned to run along there.  "You don't have to run along here, you can wait at the end" I said "Oh now you say that" came the answer back.  It's only a short road, but some stop just as we ran in, another just in front of them and I stopped just a little further on.  Trish, Nicola and Rachel ran all the way round the cul-de-sac.  "It's their fault we are running along here " I said jokingly "These three are all chatting away, and are in front of us" I said.  They were really running very well indeed!

With just a little further to go to get back to Cross ways we all ran along together.  Getting on to the block that the park is on I told them they could go as fast or as slow as they like all the way to the rec.  Some of them ran off a bit faster, some just kept the same pace, and then some chose to just slow the pace as they made their way to the rec.  Me, I decided to sprint along Crossways!

A fabulous run today, I feel sure that all the ladies enjoyed the run today, and just look at those stats, 3.6 miles! Average moving pace of 12:22 almost perfect pacing!  I do surprise my self!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Beginners - Week 6

Hello blog lovers.

Yesterday we really stepped up the running section, a jump from running 6 minutes to running for 8 minutes!  It seems crazy doesn't, just a few short weeks ago our runners began the Spring 2016 course, they were all totally amazed (ok, extremely pleased) to find out that they could run for 1 minute without stopping!  And now look at them.  running for 8 minutes with just a 2 minute break in between!

It was lovely to see over 30 runners turn out for yesterdays session, especially as for them, laid on at no expense for them, totally free of charge, for their enjoyment and use of, was completely natural, all over hydration system! .......... Ok, it was raining!  It was also just a tad chilly too!  Where has that lovely sunshine gone!  Anyway, it was so good to see so many runners on a day like that!  Shows total commitment!

Sherry was taking the lead today, she just does it so well.  Instantly putting fears to rest, making everyone feel really relaxed.  We started off with the walking around the rec, at a brisk pace of course, to start to warm up our muscles.  Then it was straight into the drills.

We were all soon warmed up enough to start our 8 minutes of running.  To see them all just starting out, fairly confidently, to run for the first 8 minutes was just amazing!  I know some of our runners are coming back from injury, or having babies, or just life that got in their way of their running, but for most, running around for 8 minutes no stop has not been done since they were kids!

Here is a couple of  pictures of our runners.

After the 3 round of running they still had a smile on their faces, of course they were pleased that it was all done and dusted, but their smiles were infections!  I was beaming all over.  Just the cool down stretches to do and that was it for another week!  They had their homework, to repeat todays session at least twice next week, and that was that!  Fantastic effort!  My geeky stats didn't quite work out as I hoped, so I won't put them up.  I had to stop half through the first run, because I was trying to adjust something! But here is a lovely panoramic picture of them all doing the cool down stretch!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Not Just For Ladies!

Hello blog lovers.

As promised, my next blog.  But it's only about one run today.  I was going to go to track this evening, but I just started to not 'feel it'.  I started to feel just slightly under the weather, like I hadn't eaten for ages,  shaky, the further the day went on.  Let me talk about my run, and hopefully my dinner will have hit the spot and I start to feel better.

I was running after a night out with my son, we went for mussels last night, and a couple of beers (probably a factor in the way I was feeling? but then feeling progressively worse as time went on, I don't think so) (can you put a huge number of words like that in brackets as an explanation?).  I was feeling fine though, this morning.  Slight headache was all.  I drove to the rec and met all the others.

DiscoRich had a few runners with him today, the school holidays generally keep runners from running!  My usual ladies were with me, Trish and Tracey, but also joining us today was Simon and David!  Both wanted to have a slower run!.

We all set off out the gate, the faster group wooshing off fast, David and Simon setting their own pace and me, Trish and Tracey running behind them.....there was no way I was going to try and do their pace!  The boys will just have to do loop backs!  I don't think the boys were all that keen on mud fests, not like us girls, we don't mind a bit of mud, so we went along the road to Little Thrift and went over the bridge that leads to Jubilee Park.  It satisfies us all this way, clean fresh, fume less air and a bit of tarmac for the boys to run on.

They were still in front by the time we got to the park and Simon started to feel the pace.  He hasn't been running for ages, which is why he wanted to come along in group 1.  So now he decides to do our pace!  Boys!, they just have to show off and now he's paying the price.  Coming back to running you just have to plod along and work up to where you were before! You can't expect to be running 5 minute miles if you have not put in the training before hand! I say that to all my friends, all those that joined Group 0 when they were coming back from injury! Maybe 5 minute mileing is slightly fast, but you get what I mean.

We all just ran along around the same pace after that, just enjoying being out.  It was a bit cold, but running was keeping us warm.  Our next challenge for us all (the boys challenge was to run at our pace!) was to run up Goss Hill.  David had his determined face on, Trish, Simon and Tracy were ahead of him, I was at the back!  I failed the challenge, Tracey was also walking, although it looked like she powered walked it!  David and Trish ran the whole of the hill, and I think Simon did too!  I try to finish this hill with a run.  There is a certain point where I start running again, if I am not already running, and don't finish till I reach the top, it's tradition!  The others were all ready there, and I got to to top and couldn't speak.  I was sure I was about to chuck up chunks!  I was that bad!  But I just put that down to drinking on a school night!

We ran along the back of the school until we got to Botany Bay lane and the ran up to the track and the path.  We looked down both of them,  The bridle path or the pedestrian path, which should we take!  We decided to do a test.  David and Tracey ran along the people path while the rest of us ran along the horse path!  Who would get to the end first, who would have the cleanest shoes?!  Well, both paths had the sticky points, David was being every so cheeky describing how lovely and dry the people path was, which we squelched our way through the horsey path!  But then the we head the tell tale noises of "Eww," as they squelched through some sticky puddles, nearing the end Trish took off with me and Simon trailing behind her, and then we heard "Oh no! Thats just too sticky" as David and Tracey encountered the biggest of the puddles along their path.  it reached both sides of the path, so no creeping around the sides, and it stretched out about 5 foot or so, too far to jump over!  There was only one thing for it, they are going to have to come over to our side!  Just as they we negotiated the wire fence Trish reached the end of this particular bit of the the path first!  Not that we went into smug mode at all!

We ran along on the left path, the bridle path, till we got to the top of the hill.  This is where our 10k comes up from the field path!  We decided that we were going to run down here, following the 10k route in the opposite direction.  Although it had been raining, the paths were not too bad!  We could still get some good running in, with just a bit of picking our way around the puddles.

We were soon running back up towards the middle path and Dog Poo ally.  Our run done with, with some wonderful company, including the boys today.  I struggled with it this morning, especially with Goss hill, the whole almost chucking up thing going on.  But now, as I am sat here writing this I am still feeling yucky, and I am thinking that it is probably more!   I am at that age now, where women often reach for a fan, a pamphlet, strip off cardigans and try and cool down!  Today I seemed to be having a lot of these hot flushes!  Each one makes me feel slightly nauseous!  It's not nice, I am blaming 'that time of life' for feeling like I do today!

Geeky stats!

Beginners Home Work!

Hello blog lovers

I am a day late writing this, in fact I have also ran again today, but I shall write that up later,  This is for the beginners who made a show yesterday at Normans Park!  I normally meet Tracy and Tanya anyway on Wednesday afternoons but I suddenly had a brill idea,  they come to me occasionally, usually when its rather late in the day though.  My idea was to see if any of the other beginners are around and ask them to join us!

I picked up Tracy on the way to the park.  It was a bit overcast, with that horrible 'heavy mist'.  I couldn't see anyone waiting when we got there but then I heard some way say at the other end of the car park "Ok, we give it two more minutes and then we run by ourselves"  Ok, I was about 3 or so minutes late, but to see them really keen to get running is brilliant!  "We're here!" I called out to them, "I heard what you said" I joked with them.  There was Rupalee, Kayliegh and Abby, what with Tracy and Tanya that made 6 of us.

It was bit chilly, so as we did our warm up walk to the gate to start our running, we did a few high knees and stuff to warm to wake up our muscles.  The first run section was going to be a nice slow steady one to really warm us up properly.  Tanya had bought her little pooch along, which kept Rupalee on her toes! But she got used to him the longer he ran with us.

We continued with last Saturdays session, so a nice 6 minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking.  Abby and Kayleigh were the faster runners among us so I devised a plan that when they got to further away I would whistle and then they will turn to run back to us.  Well, that soon changed when I whistled for them to turn around and run back to me, as they were getting further away, because they stopped running!  They thought they thought the 6 minutes were up.  So a new plan was to let Kayleigh and Abby run for the full 6 minutes and then when I whistle they will walk for 2 minutes back to us!  That plan was tons better.

It worked well, we were already through the third round of running, and then I told them my next idea.  Something that we don't do on Saturdays, but something that I usually get Tracy and Tanya to do.  For the last 6 minutes of running we are going to put in a couple of fast blasts, only about 10 seconds at a time.  You probably wouldn't even notice it!  Ten seconds of running at around 80% of what we have been doing! Easy peasy! Everyone agreed, at least I think that is what Tanya and Tracy said, (they have done this before remember!) and so that last 6 minutes of running, with about 4 or 5 ten second speed blasts!  We had got right down to the end of the second long straight, near the car park we all parked in!  Perfect!  We finished off our session with some stretches to cool us all down.  It was brilliant!  I think they all enjoyed it, and were totally pleased with what they did!

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Club Night - And It's Warm!

Hello blog lovers.

A perfect spring evening for a run.  It still felt quite warm out and I was wondering if I had actually over dressed, with my long sleeve top on.  Too late now, I am just going to have to go with it. I was just a few seconds late, but not late to miss my turn to announce where we are going.  It's the second week of using the 'poles' and as I was running towards them the faster group was running towards me!  But I still made it before all the other groups said their bits.

It seemed a little better this week as after each group leader announced their route and pace they didn't actually run off and leave straight away, and so they could hear all the other groups routes and to give encouragement to the slower groups.  Also it gave anybody else a chance to change their mind and hop into one of the faster groups, considering it is move up week, it worked out ok.  I still miss the huddle of the circle, but I guess we need to 'progress'!

I had most of my team back with me today, which was brilliant, Janet, Wendimoo and Auriol.  J.J. is still recovering, but she will be back with us, stronger than ever!  There was also two other new people in our group today, both getting back to running after having babies.  Six of us in group 1 on a move up week is brilliant!  Jenny and Becky have moved up to group 2 this week, I think they will do brilliantly!

My route this week is one of my favs, it has undulations but most of them going in the nicer direction, with the longer hills going down instead of up!  We had Kingsway to do, but that isn't too long.  Then we were going along to the Memorial  Hall and then across the footbridge.  We were all running pretty tight, perfect pacing for everyone.  No one was struggling behind, and everyone was chatting too.  I was feeling pretty good, I think the run on Sunday had done me some good.  I am hoping that I will be able to keep my solo running going.

We were all running along just nice and steady, walking when necessary but I felt we had done some good running today. Everybody did really well, and we all ended our run with some stretches in the rec.

Geeky stats

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sunday Solo!

Hello Blog lovers.

It's been quite a while since I ran with me, myself and I!  And I quite enjoyed it!  Wasn't quite sure how far I was going to run, or what pace I was going to do, whether I should push myself to go as fast as I could, or just plod out and keep my mojo happy!

I put on my marathon finishers top, just to psychologically giving me a boost, remind me of what I have achieved.  I put my music on, fortunately I had the foresight to charge it a few weeks ago, when I almost went out for a solo run, and I was ready.  I ran through my local park, my destination was Normans Park.  Maybe do a lap there, and then come home.  Usually when I run to Normans Park I run along Farringdon Avenue and then along Southborough Lane, but I started my run at the other end of my road, after chatting with my Big Son and the Old Man, they were busy working on a car.

I started out nice and slow, I hadn't done any warm up drills or anything like that, so the first 10 minutes or so is going to be my warm up. After that, well after that I was going to be just running!  I must say, it did feel so good to be out in the warmth of the sun, no one was running with me, I just had me to motivate.  The music was really helping as I started to sing along to the songs, I really started to feel that this was going to be the end of the running solo drought!

I got to the park and thought that maybe just do one lap and then run back home, that should be around 4 miles, Four miles is a nice start back to solo running, just a nice even number, running as fast or as slow as I want, taking a break when I wanted.  Yes, one lap of the park should do it.  I started down the Long Straight of the the park, and just focused on bins, trees and buildings to get to before I even thought about stopping for a walk.  Once back to running I kept seeing that I was running under 11 minute mileing!  I didn't want to run that fast, I would be totally knackered, but when I looked at my Garmin again it was to a pace that I could cope with mentally.

I saw plenty of people out with their kids, dogs hubbys and wives.  Some were on bikes others were running together.  When I got to the top, between the play park and Hayes Lane car park a family of three must have just started their stint around the park.  The mum and son were running, and the dad on a scooter (maybe not running because of injury).  I was running towards them and then were running towards me, the son just seem to fly by and the mum looked totally zoned in to keep up with him,  she was only about  2 seconds behind him.  I carried on with my lap, half way through the run through the park now, and I was really enjoying it.  I walked when I needed, and didn't beat myself up about it.  I was doing some good quality running rather than quantity of running.

I had almost run around the entire park when I saw the family again.  This time the son was about 10-20 seconds in front of his mum,  "He's way a head of you!" I said with a smile, she beamed a smile at me "I know" she said.  But because of that little encounter I felt inspired to do another lap! I won't be going home when I get to the gate, I shall run around one more time!  So I started on my second lap around the park.

When I got to the top of the park I could see the family just at the gate of the car park, running little lengths as a cool down.  It was good to see that they were doing the cool downs.  So many don't do it, even I don't do it all the time, and I do notice it the next morning!  With a smile to the family I ran down the other long straight of the park, this time I will be going home.  I felt pleased with myself for doing the second lap!

Just one encounter with an adorable puppy that stopped me in my tracks.  She must have heard me as I ran up behind them and waited for me to come and say hello!  How can I not stop and pet her.  She jumped up and cuddle my hand!  I think she was a Labrador pup, but she was a welcome distraction for just a few seconds.

The last mile to do and I was feeling good for getting out running today.  Everything seemed to be perfect, the weather the time, the fact that I wasn't cooking dinner.  It was just a running morning.  It was the fastest time for this pace, but I am not going to worry (to much) about speed, I was just feeling blimmin marvellous that I had got out and ran over 5 miles solo!

Geeky stats.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Beginners week 5

Hello blog readers!

ZippySherry said yesterday in a Facebook post, that today the rec will be bathed in glorious sunshine!  She doubted her statement, and added a little comment saying that she may have been optimistic about the sunshine.  Well, she shouldn't have doubted her self, because the rec was indeed bathed in beautiful sunshine!  Not only that but it began to fill up with 40 or so beginners and PWR helpers!  All ready and eager to do todays session.

I was leading todays session, and it was 6 minutes running with 2 minutes walking, a bit of a surprise for some of our runners today, with some concern thrown in for good measure!  But as Sherry said it's all about percentages, from 4 minutes running to six minutes running it's only a about 50% increase, not like it was back when it was 100% percent increase when we ran from 1 minute to 2 minutes!.......I think ZippySherry explained it much better (maths are not my you will notice further in my blog!)

As I said up there ^ we have a good few other PWR helpers today, Mag, John, Janet, Trish, DiscoRich  and Illustruious Leader (Anne) as well as me and ZippySherry.  We certainly love having our members come along and support all the beginners through the course.  We started off with the two laps of the rec, I had remembered to do this first, before the drills, unlike last week.  I have also taken off the 'auto pause' so that the timings will, hopefully, be same as Michaels!  He keeps a close eye on me, making sure that I don't go over the started running times!

After the drills we started our running rounds, only 4 running rounds today, but of course 6 minutes each time with that all important 2 minutes walking.   It's always that first bit of running that is the hardest, your body is getting rudely awakened from being nice and relaxed and snuggly from your night times sleep, then you drag it out, shove trainers on your feet and then expect to be able to run!  This is why we do warm up drills, just try and gently let your body know that you're expecting it to be flung around the rec speedier than your normal walking around pace!  No wonder that first running is hard!

The second run section and I could see that everyone was doing just that bit better! See, it is working!  There is always the 'why doesn't it feel any easier?' questions asked, but when you think about it, from the very beginning, running for 1 minute seemed almost to much to hope for, and now, running for 6 minutes, 6 times as long, then you just know that all the hard work is paying off.

The third rround of running, remember up there saying that maths was not my forte, well I had to quickly get my maths head one!  So, well, what can I say!  Sorry, I think should be the first thing, but the second thing is "Well done indeed!" to all of you.  As usual I as busy chatting to all the runners, to see how they are getting on, see if I can help and to give tons of encouragement, but in between  my chatting and my Garmin watch giving me alerts about how my HR is doing, I kind of missed the alert to say they 6 minutes of running was up! Everyone actually ran for an additional 1 minute! Yes, I know, sake the leader!  So next week I shall also remember to turn off the Hi/low HR alerts!

I did my maths, and figured out when we had to do our running after the 2 minutes of walking!  And Then I had to figure out when to blow the whistle for the final time!  I was running around speaking to all the beginners and they all seemed to have coped really well with 7 minutes of running, one lady even said it was the best round of running!  Thats when you know that you are getting fitting, just little things like that, it may not 'feel' easier but you do notice that you can run for longer, further and faster, although in my case I am still waiting for the speed to kick in!

It was a brilliant session, it was so good to be running in the warmth of the spring sunshine, seeing all the smiley faces as they strive to get fitter and heathier!  They will surprise them selves at the end of this course when they finally run their first park run, the official timed run, in Normans Park!

Geeky Stats