Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Mob Club Run!

Hello blog lovers
Our captains
Steve and Emily

Yesterday was our annual mob match with the Orpies!  Just for your information........ WE WON! I am just a little bit proud of our club right now! And more importantly, every group was well represented from our club!  Group 1 through to group 11, and we all made a difference!  That is what mob match means! There were 174 PWR's and 85 Orpies and 26 BVAC who joined as guests.  Which means that 85 members of our club were in with the scoring, and all of the Orpies runners were in the scoring.  How it works is the first person back gets 1 point, the second get 2 points, the third 3 points, etc etc.  The team with the least amount of points win!  I know, it's strange, but it works!  All our 85 of our fastest runners were of course in the 'scoring zone' and the whole of the Orpies were in the scoring zone, which of course means all their slower runners collecting more points! Confused yet, well I was for years!  But I think I now get it!  We over ran our friendly rivals, with a huge sea of black and white vests, and we retain the cup!

So to the run itself.

All 285 of us squeezed on to the start line in the middle of the path at Jubilee park, the marshals were all set all over the place, the registration team were either running or doing other marshaling duties, DiscoRich had taken over the mic from Illustrious leader who was our tail runner.  And the count down began, 3, 2, 1, GO!  The front runners flew from the start the rest of us funnelled through on the path and the the race began!  I was running next to Claudia and another lady, "Oh good, you're here, you can pace us!" said Claudia.  I don't think she realises just how well her running has come on!  "I think you will be in front of me" I said, and she just gave a little laugh!  I don't think she believed me!  Tracy and Kay were behind, me, and the rest of the group 1's and 2's were scattered through the pack.
It's only us, at the back of the pack!

The weather had been threatening to rain, I felt just a couple of 'spits't of rain but thankfully that was all there was, I can't think of anything worse than turning up to the Bickley Manor, after a warm 5k run and wet through from the rain! (of course there is always celebratory drinks after a mob match!)  I was running along with Selena, one of my group 1 members,  her running is coming along just brilliantly, by the way. it is also her first mob match.  She just didn't know what to expect and was a little apprehensive.  But we ran along together, chatting, we were doing quite well actually.  There were people passing us, but not that many as we were at the back anyway!

The first mile was done, through some lovely paths through Jubilee park, I do like this route.  The first of the front runners came passed us, Roger Vilardel, a PWR followed by the second front runner, and Orpie, Matthew Steere.  I couldn't quite believe it, we hadn't even finished our first lap, (there were two laps of the park) and there they were, almost at the end of their run!  Talk about speedsters. We had the first two ladies back too, in 26th postion was Rachel Bently and Hannah Robertson was 36th postion!

All I thought about is that ass soon as we pass the finish funnel at least we won't be in the way of the finishers!  We got to the finish funnel with cheers and whoops and we passed it by, of course, because we still had one more lap to do.  Me and Selena were still together chatting away, pacing each other.  I kept her going when she was flagging and she kept me going when I was flagging!

But there did came a point I though, right, I need to do this, I need to see if I can run by myself in a race situation, and not 'use' the excuse of  'I shall run with you, if you want".  I know I have been hiding behind that for quite some time.  Maybe by running mojo is getting strong again, because some where along that second lap Selena fell behind.  I kept going.  I so wanted to go back and encourage her to keep on going, but I really wanted to see if I could do this to!  So I kept on running!

I managed to catch up to three people, I think they were ORR because on of then had already completed and was just running along with the other two ladies to keep them going!  I was kind of 'slip streaming' at their heels.  I was feeling pretty good and was doing some good running, but then I did flag a bit and fell behind, I was once again running by myself, being cheered on my our fabulous marshals of course.  Without them it just wouldn't be the same!

Just little ol' me!

Just the last couple of corners, I could hear the crowd at the finish!  I just fixed my mind to just run, no walking, just run.  The last path, the path where we started seemed to stretch out before me.  I could hear my name being called out, the music from the speaker that we had set up and I just looked straight ahead to the finish funnel.  There were people milling about, people cheering and Kev on the floor with his camera!  No jumping this time, I want to power on in to the finish line and I just went for it, with what I had left.  I still think I could have pushed myself a bit more, but I didn't fancy puking in front of everyone!

Look at that concentration!
Running for the funnel

Mob match done!  I felt proud of myself, I stopped my Garmin and noticed that I had finished quicker than my parkrun on Saturday!  I can live with that!  After that it was all down to the Manor for celebratory drinks and the presentation of the cup!

Our mens and ladies captains with the trophy!
As I said before, it really is a run for all our groups, and just as before, look at this brill picture, taken by Kev, group 11 runner (our mens captain) with me and Tracy, group 1 runners, we all won this trophy together as a fantastic club!



Not to forget the fantastic social afterwards, standing side by side with our friendly rivals


Here's my geeky stats for the run,

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Parkrun

Hello blog lovers

This morning my alarm went off way to early!  It was the Old Boys work alarm!  I turned it off and tried to get back to sleep.  I don't think I was 'feeling it' this morning!  But I got up, it's a good job I say that I am picking up Tracy otherwise I could quite easily have stayed in bed!

I got myself ready and went over for NaggyNeighbour and then we went to go pick up Tracy, Ade was also joining us today, and he deffo wasn't feeling it! He said he didn't go to sleep until 4 this morning!  A good run is just what is needed then to kick start the day!  I said that to myself as much as to Ade! At Normans park we parked up and walked over to the top end of the park to the start.  There was also a cycling event taking place this morning, that would be starting at around 10:15 I think Matt (Run Director for today) said.  So it was quite busy in the park.

We waited at the top of the park and then everyone else met up there, Carole and Michael, Dave, Kay, Mat!  And an awful lot of blue shirts!  It's the Zero to Hero's graduation day today!  A new influx of runners into this crazy sport, keep fit malarkey!  After all the preliminaries had been done the count down started, 3, 2, 1 go!  We all started running, Naggy and Carole were running together, Naggy was going to pace her to help Carole get a new shiny PB.  She didn't think she could, but by the way that Carole has been running, she has deffo not reached her peak yet!

I just started to run by myself, Tracy and Kay would be running along together.  Then Ade came up and said that he would run with me again.  Oh good, I have someone to nag......encourage to get round. We started chatting as we were running, it's good to help take your mind off the actual running! And I guess going to bed at 4 in the morning is going to take a lot of effort!  Ade  really was struggling but I just kept at him to keep going! We were still gaining on some people though so I overtook a them expecting Ade to be next to me.  I carried on running, and checked behind me....no Ade!  I even looked up in front of me to see if he had over taken a few extra people. But no!  He was even further back than I thought, and he was looking for Tracy and Kay.  I don't think so Ade, "Come on, get back here with me" I said to him. We carried on a bit more, just around the other side of the little brook. A quick stop type stop was needed for him to do his shoe lace up but then we were back to running.

This week though, Ade was really finding it hard to get to the first mile, again he was just a bit behind me so I got him back to my side to get to that first mile.  My legs were feeling quite tired, but I knew if we just keep on running this will soon be all done, that rush of endorphins will come and a big smile on my face will be guaranteed!  We got to the first mile and Ade took a little walking break but only for a short while.  The faster runners started to pass us by as we ran along the long straight!  Their run nearly over, we still had to do one more lap!

The second lap was a bit slower, but I tried to keep Ade going, he wanted me to go on without him, but you know me!  That wasn't going to happen, well, not yet, not while we still had the whole of the lap to do!  Once we got to the Long Straight again we ran together, Ade again said "Go on, you go I'll see you at the end"  Well I did have a place in mind where I would take off by myself if Ade had said that, but we were still only half way along the Long Straight, so I stayed by him until I got to the top end of the park "Ok, I'm going from here, see you at the end" I said to him and I just picked up the pace.  Ade had only one way to go, there really wasn't and room for him not to finish now so I felt confident that he will finish todays parkrun.

I picked up the pace a bit more and crossed the top of the park and started on down the short straights. I dare not walk now, Ade could see if I did or not, after the nagging I gave him I just had to keep on going.  I could see the pavilion and now started to get a bit faster, then I heard the gang, Naggy, Carole and Michael "Come on Old Girl, you can do it"  Naggy started to run next to me, and you know what that means! "Come on a bit more, you can give more" I started to push a bit fast, I caught up with the blue shirts of the Hero's group, the people that me and Ade had passed earlier but then they over took us "Oh look a race" they said, I expect the encouragement from Naggy is all they could hear!  I managed to get past them and got into the funnel.  Then that familiar feeling came over me, the feeling that maybe I shouldn't have pushed so hard!  Nausea!  But at least it wasn't as bad as that first time I really felt nauseous, heaving and farting!  So lady like!

I just stood bent over for a few seconds to recover!  It was a good run!  I enjoyed it! I enjoy the finish, and the beginning, it's the middle bit that I struggle with!

Here's the geeky stats.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Thursday Core Session!

Hello blog lovers.

I have only been to the rec today, I didn't manage to get out running this morning as I was having to wait for repair men to come along!  And guess what time he turned up? One o'clock in the afternoon!  I had plenty of time to go for a run, get back, get showered get everything done that I usually do in the mornings!  I do hate that 'You time slot is 09:00 to 12:00'  because you know they never turn up when you really need them to!

So the evening is the only exercise for today.  I got back home and just sat down for a what I thought was a few minutes and then I looked at the time, I needed to be out!  I quickly got ready and was out of the door again on my way to pick up Tracy, she was waiting outside her house.  I could tell she was clock watching!  We got to the rec and I pulled into the car park, just as they were all finishing the first warm up lap.  Michael was pointing to his watch!

I was still not quite ready to run, I still had my hair down, my run pants were still undo and my booband wasn't comfortable!  I am giving this boobuddy ad thorough testing!  I have even forgone my fav sports bra to test it on one of my old ones that I should have thrown away, because I never use it.  But I must have known that one day they might come in handy for testing such things as this!

Anyway, back to it.  I was finally prepared for the session and DiscoRich was in Leader Mode today.  There was no rest for the wicked here!  We started on the drills.  Butt kicks, side steps, knee highs, all the way to the line of cones with jog back to the beginning each time.  No resting, no 'let me show you how to do it' it was, bish, bash, bosh!  Then it was our fist speed session.  DiscoRich split us up into 3 groups of 4.  We were going to do relays, between the four of us we will be running twelve lots of 60 meters!

We did ok!  I even think the team I was in came first on the second rep!  My boobuddy was beginning to annoy me though!  It actually annoyed me when I first put it on with this old bra, this 'Upper Decker, Knocker Checker' black boobuddy was not being very 'buddy' like!  I kept it on, giving it the full testing experience.

After our speedy 60's we had a drink and then straight into the core strengthening.  We did, mountain climbers or stair master as DiscoRich called it, and then there was planks, spotty dogs, push ups, burpees!  I tell you we did it!  The burpees were the last ones that we did, I think DiscoRich let us of a few when he took one look at us, all struggling, making the most unusual noises every time we did one! "Ok, that's enough" he said "Look at you all"  Well, we were not polished, and looking like those fitness videos that's for sure!  It was after that bit of my exercise session today that I found my 'Upper Decker, Knocker Checker' was no longer checking the knocks but heading down, and became a middle decker, flabby checker' instead as it was trying to contain my waist line!  Hmmm, I don't think this BooBuddy is the thing for me!  Back to my fav sports bras for me, Shock Absorber, I am sorry!

After that it was a usual Farlek or relays again for 15 minutes!  Some cool down stretches and that was it! Done!  A great session as always. I must try harder next time!

I did put my Garmin on, just to keep an eye on my heart rate.  it's at the bottom, although I some how switch it back on for the journey home in my car!  Oops!




Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Special Blog - Me

Hello blog lovers!

I have come up with this brilliant idea of trying to inspire and encourage our beginners and hopefully any others who read my ramblings,  to keep on running and to never give up.  There are a lot of people that start our beginners course, some do just a couple of weeks, others even finish the course but don't continue running. Sometimes life just gets in the way, sometimes its just that silly ol' mojo that takes a walk and disappears from your life!  And sometimes people just can't find the love of running!  I know that I am hugely inspired by reading other runners stories!  I don't mean like the big stars, Mo Farrow or Kelly Holmes, although their stories I am sure, are inspiring, I must admit I have not really read anything about how they became runners!  Sometimes when you read of the people in the headlines you kind of put yourself out of their league,  outside of the hallowed 'famous' box, never to enter it because 'you're not fast/good/fit enough' to be inside that box.  Those really are just stories on the telly of famous people, professionals,  athletes!

Well let me tell you, we have some truly inspiring runners in our club! Our very own heros that have worked hard to get where they are and where they want to be.  I have been chatting to people in our club, people from the very fast running groups to the very slower runners in my group.  So far, a couple of ladies have agreed to write a blog for me.  A couple of very inspiring club members that had me in tears just listening to them, who totally moved me!  I have also heard of another runner in our club, who just loves to run, and loves to lead, and has no interest in beating records or anything like that, but he just loves to run.  I have yet to approach him!  And still, another runner, or I should say a family of runners! Maybe these people will know who I am talking about and will start writing up some notes for when I approach them!

Me!


But as I wouldn't ask anyone to do something that I wouldn't do myself, I will be first to write one of these special blogs!

Where to begin? Hmm, well as any of you know me, I am not your natural runner, that's for sure! I am truly the natural couch potato ever, I never even had a runny nose! I was quite happy to sit and eat, and do as little exercise as possible. But these days I exercise regualry, I cycle and run, I run slowly though, I have never ever gone much faster than a 09.50 minute mile!  I did it once, when I was at my fittest just a few years back.  I seriously ran one mile in just under 10 minutes!   I was a pleased as punch!  I wish I was good at 'filing' because then I could find the blog that I wrote about it in!  But still, I am having fun looking through all my blogs as I write this up this one!

But let me start from the begining.  When I started running, like quite a few other people, it was a knee jerk reaction to life changing experience, in my case it was losing mum to cancer! And it really was life changing,  She was and will always be my total inspiration for me starting to run and  contining to run!  When she passed away in November 2007 it was like a light switch had been turned off inside of our family!  We really didn't know what to do, my brothers and sisters and me and all our kids just felt a total loss! She was our center! How do you even get over losing your mum, it's not something I had even had to think about, not until 2007!  Up until that year my mum was the life and sole of the party!  She was always going out with friends, going out with us, having family bbqs, she was doing new things with her life after retirement! She was the first on the dance floor and the last off it! All my brothers and sisters headed down to my mums every week, kids in tow,  just so that we could all spend some time together with her, it was usually a Wednesday. There was always stuff in her fridge and freezer that we used to all cook up and share a meal as a family, all of us!  Spag bol, was the usual meal on those days, we could make that by the bucket load to fee us all!

My mum started to have a pain in her tummy in the early part of 2007, she didn't tell any of us, "There was no need to" she said to us after things became obvious there was something wrong.  But then she got more pain, she became ill, and lost weight.  Now there was need to tell!  She was diagnosed in June 2007, pancreatic cancer!  That's what she had.  By this time though, mum was sick, she couldn't keep anything down, but she tried to stay positive.  That was what my mum was like!  They said that she could start chemo, as long as they could control the sickness, because the chemo would make her more sick,we needed to get her stronger first!  Well, we never did get that sickness under control.  She was never 'well enough' to start the chemo.  The last three or four weeks we moved our mum into my sisters house, where me and my sister cared for her.  Mum passed away with all her children around her, at home!

We were like headless chickens, we were angry with the doctors, with cancer, with God, with anyone that couldh've, shouldh've, wouldh've helped mum to have just a few more years so she could enjoy her retirement and her new friends that she made over the couple of years of retirement, and us! Anger is not a good thing to hold on to.  It's quite a distructive emotion really. So when my sister  Dawn (Bims in my blogs)  had come up with this brilliant plan, to help us do something,  to raise money for cancer research uk, all the girls in the family said "Yes!"  It's the only thing that we could control at that time. The chaps had their part to play, they had the bbq to sort out for aftwards!

So me and my sister started out training plan,  to help this fat, old, lazy mare of a couch potato (that's me by the way) to do that very first 'race for life'  and little did I know then, that Race For Life, for me, meant exactly that! I will be racing/running, for the rest of my life, or for as long as I have strength in my body!  I started writing my diary, my open diary, on line in the form of these blogs. I didn't mind that people would be able to read it, I was hoping that they would write something in the comments and 'nag' me to keep on going!  I wrote:-

Quote

Who knows how difficult it is to even think about starting to get fit. When you have reached my age, and that is passed forty, then you start to wonder if it is even the most dangerous thought that has ever popped into your head. After all, running after kids and pushing the vacuum around is hardly exercise, and now that I have wooden floors even that little bit has been taken away. But there it is, this thought lingering in my mind. Not only that but then someone suggests that I do a 'fun run' for charity. A fun run?! I ask myself, what on earth is fun about running. Of course I make all the excuses under the sun, like why that is probably not the most positive activity for me to do at this time in my life. But does that stop the said someone from giving me the emotional blackmail, 'Oh, but we are going to have mums picture on the tee shirts, and its for Cancer Research UK

unquote

That was the very first paragraph  of my very first blog, you can read the whole epic blog by just clicking  Here


The 11h March 2008 I first penned those words.......well, typed, I typed those words. And yes, I was 45 years and 3 months old at the time, not exactly in my prime of life.  Totally unfit, and a hefty 13.5 stone in weight! I was, am, 5 foot 2 inches tall, so I was quite a blimp, here is a picture of me.

This was at my daughters baby shower
just before little dude was born, my grrandson!
This picture is from 2009, about a year after I started running in the begining, as you can see I didn't keep it up,  I more of less stopped after I did the 5k!  We completed the run by the way.  All twenty of us, all wearing the tee shirts and pink hair!  It was the most emotional


But that first 'training' to do a 5k, well, I had my sister and some others to keep me going.  It's hard to do thing by yourself.  I know because I tried. I really did! I had to go and buy new stuff to go jogging with, my fat backside needed room, it needed to be comfortable too.  So I went shopping!  It was bloody hard trying to find something that would accomadte my fat arse.  All the shops that I went in only seem to cater for skinny arses.  It also seemed to be, around that time, that people just wanted these 'jogging' clothes to just 'hang around' in, not actually do any jogging, so they made them exactly for that purpose, track suits that were never meant for the track, trainers that were just for hanging around in.  It didn't occur to me that I should have gone into a 'professional running/sports' shop! Well, I wasn't an athlete was I.  I ended up getting my matching outfit, non tech material of course, but I didn't know then, out of a 'fashion store'.   Here, this is what I wrote about it.  I know somewhere I had a picture of said arse in the jog pants, but I think it was maybe on an old phone!



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Well I’m home now, obviously as I’m writing blog. I got my lovely new jog suit out of the bag, I look at it admirably, Oh yes, I shall look the business in this tomorrow! But, (its back again that but) on the ‘butt’ of my jog pants, that I hadn’t realised before (because I never looked at my butt when I tried it on in the shop), in baby pink, is the word, ‘Athletic!

I laughed to my self at the picture in my mind of that word stretched across my bottom. ‘Athletic!’ The only thing athletic about my butt is that you could probably use it for the vaulting events in the Olympics.

Unquote

Click here to read the rest of the blog if you like!

My family just absolutly cracked up laughing!  So did I!  But at least I had a 'track suit'  I still didn't understand about sports bras though!  Over the next few weeks I quickly learned 'the girls really needed to be under control.   The weight started to come off very, very slowly even though I really wanted to have instant results!  I thought with all my running it should be showing that I am working hard!  Even with the the distances I ran, I expected instant results, I ran a mile one week therefore I should be able to run for 6 miles following week and at 5 m/mi.  All that exercises I should slim down to size 10 in a month!  If only!  I was running, and the occasional cycling too, on my trusty Raliegh bike, great big heavy thing, (cross training was something I learned about)  me and Bims took our bikes for a spin through the woods a few times! That was great fun.  I have progressed with my cycling these days.  I have cycled to Brighton a few times, once over night too, boy that was great fun.  I have done a couple of other Friday Night Rides to the Coast as well.  Bought myself a real cool road bike.

Here's the blog about our first Race For Life that we did.

With my running though, I didn't give up, although, 2009 was a pretty hefty year for me, as you can see from that picture of me!  In 2010 I decided to do another race for life, well my friend persuaded me to do another one, and so we started training together, we worked hard at it.  We even got some other friends to do the race for life, Bims came along, and me and her even wore our teashirts again.
 But it was that year that my friend Olivia suggested that we run in the Petts Wood Runners 10k.  That would have been the furthest that I had even, willingly ran!  It seemed incredible to me that I would even consider running that far! But I put my name down, although Olivia didn't!  It was just after we had done the 5k earlier that year she descovered that she was pregnant!  But my other friend put her name down, Karin aka NaggynNeighbour!  So we started to train together!

The route, the people, the event of the Petts Wood 10k was just brilliant, my family came along to support me and watch me.  It was just truly amazing, I loved it!  It was also this year that I thought about joining the running club, and to help me do well I joined the beginners, DiscoRich was taking it at the time, it was the last week of the course that year, but he encouraged me to join the club in group 1. I loved the idea, bcause then I could do the 10k whenever I wanted! Little did I know then, when you join the club you become part the team, a team of marshals!  But that was still such a brilliant time, encouraging all those runners! Well, I think maybe I have the cronological order mixed up, but it was something like that!

I have been part of Petts Wood Runners ever since, and not just a member who turns up just once a week on Tuesdays, I run on Thursdays, twice in the day in fact.  I run on Saturdays at park run and have done over 50 park runs now.  I have also become a LiRF, me, can you Adam and Eve that!? But I wanted to give as much back to the running club that it gave me.  As you can see, running on my own, I was very intermitten, maybe running twice a month! But with the club I was there every week, I was there when there was beginners to encourage, I just wanted to share what I have achieved through running.  I have I told you what I have achieved through running? I don't think I have. I have achieved fitness.  I am not the fittest Old Girl in our club thats for sure, but I am fitter than I was twenty years ago, thirty years ago even, because back then I couldn't even run for half a mile! I have found a way to run out my anger, I have found a way to run out my sadness.  I have found a way to run when I am feeling on top of the world.  I have made some amazing friends! You just couldn't write this stuff up of how friendships are made for a soap opera! Oh, and have I told you I have run in the Virgin London Marathon.....twice!  Once for Cancer research uk and the other time for St. Christophers, a place that my mum had to go to for a short time, and the nurses there were just simply beautiful people!  My blog for my first marathon is here

That first marathon I did, oh my goodness!  It was tough, and a very emotional journey for me.  My thoughts that day towards the end of the run was firmly on my mum.  How could I have got here, to running a marathon!?  My goodness, couch potato to marathon runner.....and more!  I even organised a racing event in memory of local legend that used to run around my area.  His name was James Gilson, a total charactor, this is the event here.

 So you can see, my mum passing away, it really was a life changing experience for me!  It changed my life.  I still miss her like crazy, and I still want to do something to help ease the hurt in my heart and the anger that still comes to me when I think of those horrible days before she died.  It's all documented here on my blog site. Just peruse along at your leisure, I have add links to some of the blogs that I have spoken about, just click on the highlighted blue links.   I will share this with you though, a video I made, to help with our fund rasing back then, to show everyone what a wonderful, fun, loving mum we had, here take a look.  That second to last picture though, that is what cancer had done to her. I put that picture in, although it upsets me and my family to think of her like that, but it also reminds me that cancer is a bastard, and I need to keep just a little bit of anger inside, just to keep me on my toes, to do the one thing that will keep me healthy and to raise cash for nurses, research or things like that with my running or cycling.



I am not going to go and tell you about all 9 years of my running. I used to call it jogging, but I feel now that I can say I am a runner! A slow runner of course.  Jogging is what you do on a treadmill, or on the spot, or a quick jog to the shops! Nine years now, nine years and I still struggle with keeping fit.  But I know that I am a lot fitter than I was nine years ago!  I still can't believe it myself.  I am just glad that I wrote a shit log of blogs about every single run or exercise or bike ride that I have ever done!  Yes, you read that write.  I have written about every run I have ever done.  Most of them are in this blog,  Running for Running Sake, hundreds and hundreds of posts!  Because now I am just running for running sake, still struggling to keep fit, stay fit. But now my running is for fun and friendships, and because I can! Oh there are times when I think "You're running Old Girl, cos mum's not here".  There are times I wish I could share with her about my running, my first ever marathon for instance!  The London marathon, in 2013.  That again was a great family day, because my husband and kids and all my brothers and sisters and nieces were all there in London!  What an emotional day that was!

Who would have thought that from a 5k run, that I had to be almost dragged to, dragged around to train for, (and then we all walked it anyway!) that I would run two marathons!  Not only that, but I joined a running club and become a leader! I have also got myself a draw full off running gear, several cycling shirts, complete with the padded tights and shorts, wo bikes, busy working on wearing out my second Garmin and have made some incredible people through running and cycling that I call my friends for life! It's a great feeling this getting fit malarky.  If you reading this and thinking I can't do it, then go read ALL my blogs!  The amount of times I felt like that, yet here I am 9 years later.  I have no intention of stopping of slowing down........I should say that I need to get faster!

Next special blog to follow.

Another Wet Club Run!

Hello Blog lovers.

This is Britain, it is a green and pleasant land!  It stays green an pleasant because ......of the rain of course, I mean how do you keep your lawns and flowers looking gorgeous.  If there is one thing that we on this little island love to do is to moan about our weather.  But for some of us we embrace it, we continue to run in it!  "I have to go to work in it, why not play in it?" the Old Boy often tells me when he's off on a fishing trip in the pouring rain!

I already knew that LittleJ wouldn't be there, and J.J. she wouldn't be coming either, rain and her just don't mix!  Tracy had made her excuses......reasons.... for not being there but I hadn't heard from K.  But I think back in the dark recesses of my mind there maybe be something she told me about not coming!

Anyway, there were a couple of us regulars in group 1, me, IllustriousLeader, Selena (who I always forget her name!) Auriol and........dun dun dahhhhh! Kev2Balls!  He is going to be filming!  I know, it's piddling down raining and Kev2Balls will be filming.  He asked for volunteers to be in the film.  The title or the reason for the film.....Why I Run.  Now that's quite a thing to think about really, especially on days like today. It should be summer, it should be warm, it should be all sunshine a blue sky and running free through the woods.  Yet here we are, the five of us in group 1, with Kev2Balls filming with that "Why I Run" in mind.  Well, on days like this it is hard to wonder why I run.

But I know what got me running in the first place.  And that was my mum!  I am busy writing a blog about it actually, all about Why I Run, I will have it finished soon, I promise!  But today, well it really does make you think about it.  I think craziness comes into it!  But what the heck, we won't melt, right!

I was going to take my group just around the pavements, as running through the woods when it's wet and horrible is not everyone's cup of tea, but with the added excitement of the camera, the wet muddy woods is to irresistible, we just have to have a go.  So after I found out that Kev was coming with us I quickly rethought out another route which included a little bit of the woods before we finished on the pavements.

After all the leaders gave out their routes and pace/distance etc we started running, I was heading for the woods through Dog Poo Ally and then turning right to run up towards Orpington Road.  Kev ran up ahead to get in position to do some filming.  We just ran along at our group 1 pace.  I nearly gave Kev a brill shot for 'You've been framed' but nearly tripping up ......again......!  The bruise on my are is still quite large!  It's turning some lovely colours now tho!  After successfully getting up the hill, Selena doing it in one go, which she was very pleased with, we came out of the woods and unto the pavements.  I was taking them to the little loop around estate, the one with Kevington Road!  Maybe even get them to want to do some hill reps if I talk about how much hills are are friends! Yeah!  Maybe!

We started to run towards the estate, and Kev ran through a puddle, he dropped down and started to film us but we didn't run through the puddle, we were thinking we didn't want to get him wet, or his phone!  But then after he told us we are more than welcome to run through and splash about he started to look for another puddle!  We had the nice down hill towards the little roundabout, Kev had noticed that there was a puddle at the bottom, so he ran down and got into position, we all started to run towards him.

Back up the other side to Kevington road, with that little hill training. Hills are our friends!  I must remember to say this more often, and not only in my head, I need to share this good news with the others! Hills are our friends.  So we come to the little hill we do normally do a couple of reps on.  Could I persuade Selena and Auriol to do it.  Well, Auriol is coming back from injury, so I wasn't so sure, And Selena, well, she is just starting out on this wonderful thing called running, and she hasn't even come through the beginners ranks, she just turned up one Tuesday, ready to run!  Hills are our friends. "Come on then, up to the top, just by the car and then back down again" I said to my little group!  It's raining, it's been raining since we all walked out our door, we've been running in the rain for about 1.5 miles, do you think I could really encourage my group to do at least 2 reps of the hills.  IllustriousLeader of course was first up there and running down again, Selena ran up to the top and said "There's no way I am going back down to run back up" she said.  But the thing about this running malarkey, you just have to see if you can do it, and the next thing you know, you are doing.  Selena started running down again, ready to do a second rep, complaining all the way though!

We ran all the back to Orpington Road, Auriol had pulled something so was walking back, she wouldn't be doing the rest of the run, so Kev decided that he would walk back with her to the rec while we all finished off the route today.  But before he and Auriol went back to the rec he found a big deep puddle for us all to run and splash through!  Lovely!

So a good run today, a little added extra excitment of being filmed, just a little experiment for Kev2balls to see if it was possible.  The lighting was awful, so we shall just have to wait and see.

Geeky stats for you, I have just realised that the satellites had not picked us up until we got in the woods! K9 not looking completely together!  Which means that we did actually run over three miles!  (Just)



Thursday, 6 July 2017

Ouch! I Fell Over!

Hello blog lovers.

A gloriously warm sunny morning greeted me as I woke from my slumber!  It's going to be a warm one!  The Old Boy, potted about getting ready for work while I tried to catch just a couple more 'winks' before I needed to be up.  Eventually I really had to force myself to get up and then panic as I busied myself getting things together that I needed to take with me! It's Thursday, I needed to get a clean set of clothes for when I go to see Kirsty!  I had remembered also, that I was to test out a couple of products for the SLGR club and Boobuddy.  I was looking forward to see if 'The Girls' would be in even more control!  And some laces too.  Tie once and then no more apparently!  We'll see!

So I made my way to the rec, with everything that I should have....except my hat!  The one thing that I really do like to have is my hat, it just helps to keep the 'glowing' from dripping in my eyes! Oh well, I have run without a hat before, I can do this!  I got to the rec and met up with all the others.  After a quick chat we sorted out our groups and then we set off.  The girls wanted to go up the path that we used on Tuesday so I quickly thought of a route that was doable in the time we had and we set off.  Going through Poo Ally, which was having a clean out, a huge lorry was parked right next to the tunnel, we had to edge our way around to get in the tunnel.  A four man crew were there in the 'oranges' a big old tube that was shoved down the drain!  They don't call it Poo Ally for nothing you know!

Once through the tunnel we turned left to go in search of the path the 'hugs' the field.  I used to get the wrong path to run up but as I had only used it last Tuesday it was still fairly fresh in my mind, I remembered it was the first path on the left when we we coming in the opposite direction from the little river!  I knew that, I could see it in my mind, yet I still flew past it!  I saw the little river and then had to go back!  My plan was to run up to the top, then continue to run up so that we come out at the bottom of the housing estate and then we could run to Scadbury.  That was my plan!  Sometimes I am so glad that plans don't come together!  Carry on reading and you will find out why!

It's a climb to get to the top of the woods, and I just wanted to try and run as much of it as I can.  I stopped half way to check on the girls behind.  K and Tracy were at the back and LittleJ was with me.  Once we could see the two girls again we continued our running up.  We got through the woods and out on the path between the two fields, still with the rest of the climb to get to the top.  There was no right or left turn on this little bit so I just looked towards the top and decided that was where I was going to stop and wait for the others.

I could hear LittleJ behind me, so I just kept going, the sun was beating down on me, I was sweating, and I just didn't want to stop.  A chap came passed with his big dog, I knew LittleJ wouldn't like that. so I slowed down, the dog came bouncing down, looking very happy, but she just turned her back and closed her eyes! The dog went by, and we carried on running to the top!  LittleJ said that I kept her running, but hearing her behind me kept me running!  We both wanted to get to the top.  We waited for the other two to get to us.

Once we were all together we carried on running and then I realised I had completely missed the path that I wanted to use to get us to run through Scadbury! Darn it!  Now, here is why I am glad that sometimes plans don't come together.  When I had realised what I had done, I decided to see if we could get to the estate by another route.  I saw some paths that even I have not used before, heading in the right direction that I thought would take us to where I wanted to be. This could be interesting!  There is no getting lost as such in the woods.  We could hear the road, the railway was all the way down the bottom of the hill, as long as we got that, we are fine!

So I headed on the paths that went left, some great paths, it felt good to be able to run 'freely' without an agenda, plan or route, just see a path and run on it!  Then we cam across the back of someones garden, and then a little opening onto the estate.  but now where I wanted to be, we were further up the hill!  The girls would be pleased.  I looked at the little skinny path that headed right, running along the backs of the gardens,  now that was a path I had used before, on a solo run.  But this morning, we will go out on to the road so that we would run through a bit of scadbury.

Up the road, on the tarmac, each of us having enjoyed a little adventure on the paths.  From here we will be going along our usual paths.  We ran through scadbury, chatting away, me and LittleJ, K and Tracy.  Then we had to cross over Leesons Hill and the back over Orpinton Road.  Then we were back in our woods.  We were running along here chatting as usual, Tracy and K behind us just out of sight when I happened on a rock!  This rock was well camouflaged with grass growing all around it and I just missed it!  When I say I missed it I really mean I didn't see it. I tripped up it and fell heavy on the floor.  My legs landed in the brambles but fortunately I found the only bit that was fairly clear of the sharp pointy bits!  I grazed and bruised my arm but I also pulled my calf muscle which at the time was hurting more!  (It still hurts now actually, the pain killers wearing off!)

I picked myself up and then continued running/walking for the rest of the way!  I still had all intentions of turning up for the core training and speed session this evening, but as the day wore on, more aches and pains came along.  A sign of getting old surely, when I fell over as a child I am sure I didn't ache like I do now!  My back, my arm, my leg!  It's all hurting!  I am sure with a days rest I will be fine! This is my bruise this evening, it's got bigger!



So that's my exercise for the day, and here's my geeky stats.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Awards Evening

Hello blog lovers

Yesterday we had a special cub night, it was our awards night!  We still had a usual group runs of course, so for those that were receiving their coveted Grand Prix trophies, well unless KevTwoBalls can photoshop them, will reflect the fact that it was a very warm evening for running! There were ten groups so ten lots of winners, plus the trophy for the members 10k to be award too!
But first off, is the run.  We were beginning the run at a completely different place, from the Bickley Hotel which means that I wouldn't be using my usual routes around the woods.  I still wanted to run through the woods though, it was a very warm evening and just perfect for going running in the woods.  I suddenly realised that I needed to 'map out' a 3 miler only a few hours before we had to meet at the hotel!  But I was doing things and completely forgot about it again until I arrived at the venue.  When it came to the leaders giving out the info for the route, well I kind of just said "We will find a route!" but pace and distance as per usual!  The group 1's looked a bit dubious, maybe a bit worried, but I assured them that "It'll be just fine, trust me, I'm a Leader"  Oh, that reminds me, my new up to date LiRF card came through from England Athletics, stating just that!

Once we were all ready we started on our 3 mile run!  At least I was hoping it will be about that!  As I said, it really was a very warm evening, I was looking forward to getting into the woods to find some shade.  I was making the route up in my head as I was running down Thornet wood land so that we can run down Barfields Road, the road that leads to Goss hill!  I couldn't think of a flat route, not without going through the woods, but I think everyone enjoys the woods, and besides, nobody really notices the distances when you are running in the woods, it's just too lovely to be interested in things like that!

To keep things all nice and happy I didn't take them up Goss Hill, no, we will be running down that particular Nemesis!  We took the right hand path and ran along by the river, I am sure if we keep running quickly the mozzies won't be able to land on us to have their dinner!  Oh my goodness, I hate bitey things, bitey things are equipped with a particular set of skills, and they will use those skills and then it will find me, and when it finds me, it will eat me! Seriously, I have only just discovered that taking an antihistamine tablet helps the impending mountain of a spot that will appear after being bitten, plus the the bite cream too! Fecking hate bitey things, but I so love running in the woods.

Right, back to the running.  I led them to Botany Bay lane, and we turned right to got along by the rail line, and so the climbing starts.  We were running along here and another group came along, I think it was maybe group 5, it had DiscoRich as sweeper anyway, they were coming in the opposite direction, we hi-fived as we passed by.

Normally I would have probably taken this group over the bridges, and back through Jubilee Park, but the Jubilee bridge is still missing!  Network Rail, get a move on will you! I didn't want to take them all the way to the middle path because then the route will be just that little bit further than a normal Tuesday run, so I took them up a path I've not used in a club run before, mainly because I always get slightly lost (ish) I mean, you can't really get lost in the woods, but you can end up on paths that you didn't intend to!

Up the first left path just after running the the river on our right!  It is up as well, it's a path that is used for our 10k route, just 'hugging' the field on our left.  I know when I see the field that I have done the right path, more or less!  And there it was, even before I saw the field and we ran over the little wooden bridge, I knew that we were on the right track!  Phew, maybe we will even get to the bar before all the other groups get there now!

Once we got to the top of the woods we just had to run along by the back of Coopers school to Botany Bay Lane and then along the little path that leads to the top of Goss hill!  Nearly done!  I sent the faster runners down the hill first and asked them to wait for me at the bottom.  I do love a down hill (I'm sure I have mentioned that before!) and it was sheer bliss running down there.  Before I got to the bottom of the hill I could hear a loud cheering, obviously another group had got to this point, the same time as us!  They will be at the bar before us! Oh well!  Once we were all re-grouped it was just the last two up hill roads to do, Barfield and Thornet Wood and then.......the social after!

The awards evening was a brilliant affair!  I just love the fact that we don't have a 'special evening' for it, I mean, we don't all just turn up to the venue, all suited and booted, smelling as fresh as Gucci or Armani, or Channel!  No, we all go for a run, in mid summer, and come back and receive awards in a vests, shorts, lycra, smelling as the entire laundry of Team GB after the Olympics!  We are athletes you know.

I didn't win a trophy this year, there were just not enough group 1's taking part!  I think there are just only so many trophies I can win like that way! Grand Prix is not about competing aagainst yourself, its a healthy competing against your mates.  None of your namby pamby "everyone's a winner" Good honest healthy competition. Anyway I don't think I did half as many races as I needed to anyway, just because of that I didn't want to be the only one again!

Mind you, I was still so very surprised to be called up to receive something!  A bottle of prosecco!  I couldn't believe it!  Getting something for doing the beginners group! Both me and ZippySherry got one!  I haven't the heart to tell them that I am only there to recruit members to group 1, just so that I don't have to run in the faster groups!  Well, actually I love beginners group, just letting someone know that they can run 5k from being a couch potato is reward enough for me!

Here's some pictures from the evening

Club captains, Stephen and Emily

Thanks guys!
Sonja, David Moy and me!

The venue

Smile
Me and Matthew

selling club kit!

Winners!

And more winners

There were so many winners last night!  It was a great evening!

Anyway here's a geeky stats, and I forget to switch off my Garmin so there is a long pause after we got to the venue! We covered about 3.5 miles in just under the hour I think. so not too bad, and some of my group 1's actually got there before me because I sent them to the end at their own pace!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Park Run

Hello blog lovers

So a day late for my parkrun blog, but it's finally done.  I really wasn't 'feeling it' on Saturday, in fact I thought I would just go along and support.  But I still got my running shoes on and made an effort, see how I felt when I got out side!

I did feel a little better but decided that I would be running at the back with Tracy, whether she likes it or not!  But I had decided that I wouldn't nag her today, well, if I can't actually do the whole thing how could I possible nag someone to do it too!  We all started together, me, Naggy, Tracy, K, PinkladyJo, LittleJ and......boomerang Wendimoo!  Yup, she is back from her travels and is down this end of the island for a bit!  She is kind of looking for her running mojo too, a new place, new friends, it will take time to get back into it, but she will, our Wendimoo is a lovely soul!  Naggy wasn't feeling it either, so she offered to pace someone to their PB!  No one took her up on it, but those faster runners all moved ahead of me, K, Tracy and PinkladyJo.

After a little while it was just me, Tracy and K left from the 'gang' and chatting along, but then K started to get ahead.  Good, that's exactly what I was hoping.  Although I wasn't going to nag Tracy around todays parkrun I wanted her to see that she needs to push a little bit more, but that she needs to push herself along.  It's all psychologically, I know, I've been there, I am there and I know I will be there again!  But the sight of K pushing ahead, I was hoping that it would do the same for her too.

We were also joined by Helen as well!  Now that lady totally inspires me!  She had cycled down to get to parkrun on time, she has had hip replacements and she is in her seventies! In total awe of her!  She was chatting to us, and she also gave Tracy some advice too which was good.  Parkrunners are great people!

We plodded around the route but the last bit we did some very small interval running, or fartlek training!  Just to get the blood pumping.  Tracy is very good at sprinting, she can really get some speed in there!  Of course we had to do the sprint at the end.  With just a short way to go I said to her "Come on Tracy, over take me! I promise not to speed up any more that this"  I was just in front of her, matching her pace, but I wanted he to go pass me and get to the finish.  Michael saw us as we got nearer, "Come on Tracy, you can do this" She then started to pick up the pace, she managed to catch me up and then she over took me. She started to make some space between us and so I picked up my pace to match hers!  She was running so well, I really pushed hard to try and get to her before the funnel but I didn't manage it!  The girl done good!  Well done Tracy!

So Geeky stats for parkrun 1 July 2017!  I can't believe we are already in the 7th month already!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

HIIT And Run

Hello blog lovers.

Ok, so todays blog title is a little mixed up, but I like impact! Well, I mean, I don't mean impact, you know hit and run......Oh blast!   Let me start again!

So today I ran and then did a HIIT session. So the title is slight skew-wiff, but that's fine.  This morning I met the other Thursday PWRs in the rec.  We got into our groups and then headed off.  My group we had 7!  We haven't had that many runners in my group for a while, so it was a nice surprise.  But the three extra ladies that were with me, K, Tracy and PinkladyJo normally they run in the faster groups! That's fine, we can do this.

I was taking the group on a loop around the woods, the longer route, not the 'half the Woods' route today, I felt we could get around in good time this morning.  So we went through Dog Poo ally and then turned right to go up the path towards the road. The 3 faster ladies, ZippySherry being one of them just got right up to the top and waited.  I was just a little bit behind them and the 3 other ladies behind me.  I thought I best that ZippySherry led a 'breakaway' group so that they were not hanging about too long for us.  Running through the woods is all kind of up and down, and doing loop backs could prove to be quite challenging.  So once we were all together and a little breather we all started running again, but then the 'breakaways' got further and further away.

We continued our run all the way along the right flank of the woods with me just in front of the ladies.  I could hear them chatting as they were running along.  I just kept my speed a little bit faster hoping they would try and stay with me!  But they have their pace and they are getting there!  I shall have to get my nagging voice out again soon!
We were just coming up to the middle path and I thought I would just wait for them to catch up, K and PinkLadyJo were first in view with Tracy just behind them.  Tracy was dabbing at her arm.....and no, it's not that kind of Dab!  She was using her new PWR new season Buff which she had on her wrist to dab away blood on her arm!  She was attacked by the brambles!  "Another new way to use my buff" she said to me "To wipe away blood, sweat and tears"  I tell you Tracy is really trying hard to get back into to her running!  She knows exactly what it takes, and it takes all three, blood, sweat and tears.  It also takes time, commitment, determination!  It's hard work but so much fun....eventually it's fun, after we have done all our running and work outs!

We were running up the steep little path that takes us to the back of the school and ZippySherry and the two others came up from behind us!  I couldn't quite figure out how they got there, but ZS said that they had gone the long way round the woods!  It was good to all join back together, just until we got to Botany Bay Lane though, because then the faster three went along to Goss hill while us four ran down lane all the way to the river and then back up to the rail lines!

It was a great run and by the time we came out of the woods then the 'breakaways' rejoined us for the last little bit back to the rec!  Not a badly paced run for group 3 and breakaway group 3+  (which is what I think our group is called on a Thursday) We all did our stretches together and then as we were leaving the rec the others were coming back from their run!

Geeky stats.


Adeles HIIT

It was Adeles turn to take the session this week.  Adele is a personal trainer, and she also does a couple of classes too. We are very fortunate in our running club, we are spoilt with personal trainers and it's great that on occasions they come and take a session in the rec for us!  This is Adele here, 
Adele third on the right!
Just click on her name and check out her page!


Me and Tracy were just a little bit late, and we managed to join in the first of the warm up laps, me with my water in hand and jacket on!  As I was running around my socks started to disappear under my feet, you know when they get all crunched up in your shoe, but I decided to keep on going and then get it sorted out when I got to the bench.  By the time I finally sorted out my socks, taken my jacket off the rest of the group were half way through the second lap,  I decided to just wait until they got back.

There was not hanging about though, Adele said get a quick drink and then get on the grass!  We were doing her HIIT session.  Oh my goodness!  What a work out it was too.  I really can't remember exactly how many reps we did in the end but it consisted of ice skaters, bicycles, squat jumps, mountain climbers and a couple of others which I can't even remember now!  But it was 30 seconds of each, with 20 second rest!  When I say rest, it was from standing up, getting on the floor then back up to standing and then back on the floor!  There was no rest for me as I took at least 20 seconds to get up and down each time!  And the noises coming from everyone, the heavy breathing and groaning......I think I was doing an awful lot of groaning!  DiscoRich said to Adele "Can you believe this lot come running, it sounds like they never do any exercises!" or words to the effect!  But was it fun? Of course it was, it took me a couple of reps to get into it, but I really tried to put more effort into each discipline after a while!

About 20 minutes we did that for!  It felt like we did it for the whole hour, but we had a cool down stretch, a drink and then we were lined up and given numbers!  It was our relay running, I really didn't know if my legs would work after that HIIT.  We were put in about 8 groups of 3, the no.1's were handed the baton, the no.2's were sent to the other side of the green, and the no.3's where just a little behind us waiting for the return of the baton.  

I was no.1, I had the baton first.  When DiscoRich said go we all took off.  My legs refused to go fast, I mean my legs were on a 'go slow'!  I was the last one to get to the crowd of no.2' and I handed my baton to Charley's mum, (I have forgotten her name!) and then just flopped over to regain my composure!  It took a couple of those little runs to get my legs to work properly again.  I think I am really going to feel the HIIT tomorrow!  It's quite addictive!  I may just turn up one Monday morning!

A great session, love coming to any PWR!  No geeky stats as I forgot to switch on!  I bet my heartrate was sky rocketing!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Solo run

Hello blog lovers.

Just a real quick blog, as it's very late!

I managed to drag my sorry ass out for a solo run this afternoon!  I needed to do it, it's been way to long since I've done a solo run.  The weather was a lot better than yesterday, I think even slight drizzle would have been a lot better than the monsoon we had yesterday that's for sure!

My shoes were still soaking wet, I used my other shoes to run in, if I am doing this I have at least to be comfortable!  I wanted to take my music with me but it needed charging.  This really was going to be a hard slog.  After procrastinating for what seemed like ages I left the house.......to be greeted by Chocolate, she spotted me as she was coming back with the dog walker and came bounding over to me.  Of course I had to go and say hello!

I decided to just do one of my old routes, Turpington Lane and back.  I started off pretty slow, but that was my plan, a quick plan that I thought off as I turned to run along Farringdon Avenue.  My plan for my solo run was to run a nice warm up mile, non stop, no matter what my brain says.  Then just see how much running I could do before I needed to look for lamppost to count.

Once I was on to counting lamppost I made sure that I did some faster running, then a walk, then more faster running!  Interval training for the rest of the way until I got to Farringdon again.  I was blimmin knackered, but from there, of course, it's the road where I dare not rest!  No walking along this bit, not until I got outside my house.  Only about half a mile, not much.  So a nice steady plod back!  This time I did remember to do my Garmin!

Geeky stats! (by the way, how's that for a short blog?)

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Soggy Summer Club Run!

Hello blog lovers

Oh my goodness!  It was a tad wet!  It's a very British thing to understate everything, so be assured, I am totally understating that it was a tad wet!  I noticed in the weekly email that DiscoRich said that the wet stuff would fall from the sky this evening! It started this afternoon, just a light drizzle, but it just didn't stop!  It kept coming down, and down.  And as the time for our evening run drew nearer the rain got heavier!  Why did it have to be today!  I had this lovely surprise for everyone in group 1 today, and there was also a surprise for me too!

So let me tell you all about it.  I am sure I have told you all before that group 1 is where it all begins, literally.  The people from the beginners come along after they have done their course, some of course just go straight into group 2, 3 or even higher!  And it's also for people coming back from injury, just to ease them selves back into shape after being out of the running, for a while.  Now, during introduction times, when all the people who are leaders explain where they are going etc, well, when we hear about the group 9's, 10's and 11's speed and distance, I used to hear 'wow!' from us in group 1 and I am sure they look upon them as the 'Elites's' the 'untouchable's' the 'Scary people'  just as I used to.  But let me tell you.  The leaders, the people, in all those faster running groups are none of the above!  I chat with people from our group 1's and 2's and 3's.  At social gatherings I chat with people from groups 4, 5 and 6.  And, all the other groups too, I am sure I chat with at least 1 person from each group at the social gatherings.  I even ran our members 10k with Stephen Pond, from group 11.  Did you noticed there, the word 'people' or 'person'? Because that is exactly what they are.  They all go for a run, they too sometimes hate the hills, they all too struggle to keep up with their group leader, and I feel sure they also think on the odd occasion "Does this not get any easier?" or that could just be me!

But one more thing about these group of people is that they are the most friendliest, encouraging, supportive bunch of people that I know!  So, during our AGM I suggested that if any of the faster runners want to come along for a chat, then come along and join us!  I have heard people say they are just running solo until they are back to speed to join in their usual group!  I say, "Why wait? Come along and chat to people in the slower groups on a Tuesday at a slower pace!"  We are the most all ability running club that I know and one of the friendliest!  So now that I have set that up......flippin Nora, I don't 'arf go on at times......Our first guest runners from group 11 and 10 respectively was Stephen Pond and Jenny Laing. By the way, Jenny was the surprise that I didn't know about, I know, right!  Again, me, running with the speedsters!  But after running with Stephen before I knew that there was nothing to be 'scared' of!

So, now for the run!  I must learn to maybe bullet point stuff, or what ever it is that people do scale down their points with a few words!  There we were, in the pouring rain, I mean it was coming down hard, hitting the floor and then bouncing up again!  (no British understating there!) I tried to find just a little bit of shelter next to the pavilion but it wasn't working at all.

I gave out my route and pace when called on by CoachHels and then completely forgot to introduce my surprise guests, but after WendyLC did her bit for group 2 I grabbed the opportunity to do it then!  We all met at stake no.1.....all three leaders and two group members, me, Stephen, Jenny (leaders) Tracy and Selina!  In group 2, there were about 7 of them, the rain scared them away because I know they didn't know about our speedsters joining us!  We decided to combine our groups!  That way group 2 can see just how unscary Stephen and Jenny are too!

I chose a nice route (or so I thought at the time) of going along the Cinder path, that way we can enjoy the woods but stay on a path.  It does mean running along Tudor way to get there, but I felt it was a lot safer than going through the Petts Wood, with the roots to contend with.  We watched all the other groups leave the rec and then we followed on, all 12 of us.  Although it really was absolutely pissing down with rain it was not cold!  I was really looking forward to running in the rain, strangely.  I mean usually as soon as there is a chance of participation then I run for the nearest cover, I didn't buy my GHD's for an ornament you know! But this evening I really was embracing the rain!

We were running down Crossways and Tudor way, there were a couple of puddles to negotiate (again, that's the British couple of puddles) and in the end I decided to embrace those too!  It was far to much hard work to avoid them anyway.  I think the ladies behind me got the full splash back, but I don't think I could get them any soggier than they were already!

By the time we got to main road I think everybody started to feel a little more relaxed about the puddles!  And it was just as well!  I led them to the path that goes behind Crofton School, the Cinder path.  I noticed that there was an awful lot of water running from it! "This should be interesting" I thought, Shit or bust, came to mind as I ran up the path.  I knew there were a couple of 'escape hatches' along here, where we could get to the road if it was too yucky.  We paddled along the path running, chatting, laughing at the rain, the little river that we seemed to be running in.  It was a bit dark along the path, and I know there are some people with us that wear glasses, just like me!  My cap usually keeps the rain off my glasses, but not this time!  I was steaming up, so I just knew they others would be too!  I offered to take them to the road, if just one person said that is what they want to do then that is what we will do.  Best be safe!

Well we did take the first exit, after splashing along in ankle deep water.  Mind you, I quite enjoyed splashing through the puddles, not worrying about getting wet feet, feeling like a kid again.  That bit was the most funnest bit of this evenings run.  Have I just invented a new word!?  I do like just be totally carefree when I'm out running.  It's one of the reasons why I go through the centre of muddy puddles in the woods, just because I can!

Back on nice safe, pavements, with lampposts to see, I am sure this would be just fine now.  We ran out of the path and we was greeted by a shout out from one of the neighbours, I couldn't quite hear what was said, but I do know that it was a shout of encouragement! I later found out that it was Ruth, one of our own PWR's! You would think being on pavements that the puddles had finished! But no, there was little rivers running along Crofton Lane, we had get over it when we cross the road. I, of course just went straight through it, I am sure most of the others did too.  I was so wet my underwear was getting soaked!  I know that trying to get out of my Lycra later is going to be fun!  That will test the glutes!

St Johns road was my destination now, a route change but still giving us a good run. At least it feels like we are getting closer to the rec anyway.  Running is fun, but if you are having a really horrible time then it's just not inspiring.  I wanted our runners to enjoy running in the rain, coming up with ideas for us spectacle wearers to help with rain was a topic of conversation.  Peak caps was one suggestion, and it usually is enough, but with this downpour, well that was useless!  So contact lenses was the best option, if you have them of course.

While we were running up St Johns I sent the faster runners up for a little stretch of the legs, I was going to bring up the rear, but Chris summer was doing a wonderful job of keeping the back runners company so I just plodded along till I got to the rest of the group who were 'sheltering' under a tree!  I think it was just to make themselves feel like they were sheltering because they were still getting rained on!

We finished St Johns road and it was just the last two roads to do.  I split the group up, WendyLC was going to take the faster runners to the rec, and then just let everyone go straight home to do their stretches, and I was going to bring up the rear with Tracy, it made sense to me as I was taking her home anyway!  We all started on the last bit together, the faster runners started to pull away, I was just about to go back and suggest that Stephen stretch his legs. "No, you go ahead, I shall run in with Tracy and Selina" he said!  So that was it, I started running towards the now 'further down the road' pack.  Chris and Claudia were the back runners for that group, and I tried to get up to them.  I eventually did by the time we got to Crossways I think!  I ran into the rec and checked on my Garmin. 2.88 miles!  Well I can't leave it like that, so I started to run to make it up to 3 miles!

A great run, I think it could be one of our wettest Tuesday runs for a very long time!  Loved it, and by the smiles on the others I think they secretly enjoyed it too!  And the guest runners in our group turned out just fun!  People chatting to people, who knew some people that they knew!  An overwhelming success I call it!  Well, it would have been good to have all our group 1 people, but I am sure there will be other 'guest runners' that want to have a bit of fun! Oh and welcome back Chris Summers, keep on running!

I did promise you fun Stephen, didn't I!?

Geeky stats.

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Monday, 26 June 2017

Bromley Midsummer Run - Marshalling!

Hello blog lovers.

Another blog from the 'other side' of the race.  I was on the marshaling team for the Bromley Mid Summer 10k!  I love marshaling, it's one of the ways that I can give back to the running community what they have given me!

I arrived at Normans park Track, that is where registration was set up and the baggage drop off. I was on registration along with Ali, Tracy, Carole and Michael, and DiscoRich's daughter was on baggage, for the life of me her I can't recall her name!  I must do more brain exercises!  My first job was the 'On the Day registration' while the others were on the other desk handing out the numbers.  There were only 316 runners registered this year, it's still a very new race, only the second time it's been held, it's takes time to get word out.  Being mid summer too, there are always people that think "actually, I fancy a nice 10k run, and a bit of bling at the end of it will be good."  Bling is always good to get.  Most of us mere mortals would never be getting running related medals any other way but by joining in these lovely local races. You can imagine there were a few people that did show up for 'on the day' regristration, I was kept quite busy!

Registration was going brilliantly, people were turning up, collecting their numbers and more importantly signing the back of the numbers. On Wednesday 21st (which was last week by the way) the date of the race was, I think we must have had the hottest day ever!  I guess being mid summer might have something to do with that!  Mind you, last year it was a bit drizzly.  The comments that I was hearing as they signed the back of their bib numbers were "I think I should definitely sign this, it's so hot out, not sure if I am going run really fast" "Best sign this, in case I keel over" I was hot just sitting at the desk, and I was in the shade too!

We kept registration open as long as possible, and it was just as well, we had one chap turn up just as we were packing away, around 7:30 pm, the time the race was due to start.  Thank goodness it was all chip timing!  We packed up the rest of the numbers, and walked over to the start which was in Normans park.

The next job was to set up the water and the medals tables, and also we had post run snacks of jelly babies and salted crisps, just for those that needed to put back the salt into themselves.  I think we had extra water as well, that sun was relentless, I would think that the runners would need to replace a ton of water in that heat!

Once the tables where all set up, the trophies all set out, we could relax a little.  The picture of me doing the 'Imran Ali' jump, was seen by my fellow PWR's, Imran Ali is a chap from a Facebook group I am a member of, and he does these magnificent jumps in the air on his races when ever he sees a camera!  So we decided to try it as a group!

l to r Michael, Tracy, Carole, me and Ralph


Enough relaxing, it was time for my next duty, which was screeching down the microphone! I know what you are all thinking, and don't worry, I was thinking the same thing!  How can this shy retiring person possibly be responsible for getting the crowds cheering!  The first runner came in, speeding, how on earth he did it in such hot sticky conditions is beyond me, but there he was, a chap called Alex Money, in a time of 36:21 chip time!  Incredible! He is an Orpington Road Runner, he also comes along on a Thursday evening to run with us at the track on Thursday evenings. The second chap was one of our own PWR's Roger Vilardell, Nick Wright and Sam Agnew came in 3rd and 4th with our next PWR's coming in 8th and 9th Stephen Pond and Oliver Hitch!
Stephen

The first three females to come in was from Beckenham Running club, Ruth Aylward. she came in 46:38, closely by Lucy Shepherd with a time of 46:53 and then Kate Marchent also from BRC, with a time of 46:59.  It was all very exciting.  We had some sprint finishing, with some racing to beat the person in front!  We had some great finishing photos too from Brian Page of So lets Go Running, the co founder of SLGR was there too, Dawn, here she is looking lovely in her marshaling vest!
Dawn of SLGR

So that was it....or was it! I still had one more duty to do, and that was to be the lovely assistant (stop that laughing at the back) that hands out the trophies as DiscoRich called them out! What a brilliant day!  Loved every second of it!

The second overall winner,
our first PWR over the line

Here is just a few more photos to enjoy, some taken by Brian page and some by others.  A great race, so hot! I was glad I wasn't running!

Dab!
Matthew and Jason

Adele doing warm up
(Shes a personal Trainer!)

Jason with little Matthew by his side!
Here's our Tim with his headband