Wednesday, 30 May 2012

PWR Beginners Group - Week Three

Although there was a thunderstorn forecast we seemed to escape this with cloud cover but a pleasant evening to run. Once again we stayed in Willet Rec and started our warm up round the cricket ground.
After the drills we moved into our main session with 3 mins walking followed by 3 mins jogging (and repeat!). The group took to it well and it seems they have been doing their homework which is great and shows in the progress they are making.
We seem to have lost a couple this week but hopefully they will be back with us next week raring to go again!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I’m supporting The Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace Cycle Ride

I’m supporting The Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace Cycle Ride

Earlier is better

So following my fairly disastrous run yesterday I woke early ready to go and tackle the sun head on... well, while it was still getting up!
I got my kit on, grabbed my Garmin, only to find it not working, I pressed the reset function and all seemed to be well again and I set off on my merry way. The first mile was fairly slow but I was soon to find a comfortable pace and my legs started to feel a little like their old selves again. Before long my Garmin started to flash that it had a low battery - clearly it was not feeling an early start. But I carried on regardless, as I approached home I was a little disappointed that the run was over (my watch had held on though). This is probably the first time since the marathon I felt I could keep going comfortably for a longer distance... oh well long weekend coming up, maybe I'll make it out over the Jubilee!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Too Hot to Trot

The weather over the last week or so has been glorious, I am not complaining, well my only complaint is that I am stuck indoors when I could be out enjoying the sunshine. Running does however somewhat scupper my running. Over the weekend I completed my first open water event and also a bike ride, both really rather pleasant in hot weather. 
Tonight after much deliberating and waiting for it to cool down I got on my kit and headed out the front door for an easy few miles, as the sun bore down on me, I was hot, sweaty and glad I had loaded my 'bat-belt' with plenty of water. After a short break to drink and cool down after two miles my legs just did not want to play the game, upon stopping I had begun to melt, I slowed my pace and trotted along heading for home. managing the best part of 3 miles I was not over the moon but glad that I had made the effort to try.... sadly the weather forecast predicts cooler weather to come but on the upside, running should be a little easier and the laundry basket a little less ripe! 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Swimms O'Clock

Today was the day of my first open water swim and where better than Victoria Docks (near Excel in London). The water had been tested and rated 'excellent' and the water temperature at 9am it was already 17degrees, the sun was shining so all was looking promising for this venture away from running. 
We arrived in plenty of time and watched at the 10:30am wave set off, then the 11:00am wave, then the 11:30am nerves building each time I saw the swimmers set off into the water front crawling over one another to get ahead. Me and Jill got into our wetsuits and headed for the start line and acclimatisation area, our hats were scanned, our details checked, our numbers written on our hands as back up in case we lost our hats... we entered the water. I braced myself for the clod and yet it was fine, quite warm in fact, due to the lovely sunny weather we have had all week. Thanks goodness, one less thing to worry about.
As the timer slowly reached 12pm and the time of the purple wave to head off we did a group warm up and stretch, the nerves were clearly showing as Jill kept reassuring me I would be okay. Then it was time, we were off and Purple Rain was playing us out (not especially motivational but matched the hats I guess... still a week choice for a sporting event). I held back before entering the water, my fear of being swamped getting the better of me and settled comfortably into the stroke. A large inflatable Buoy marked the distance every 200m and I was going at a fairly decent pace compared to what I thought I would do. By half way I was delighted to be ahead of schedule and mentally its all downhill from here.... although not quite as the wind was in my face and the waves quite choppy I ploughed ahead, gradually overtaking some other swimmers as I went. Seems I am a metronome in water as well as on land! I rounded the final corner and under the bridge, I could see hubby looking out for me and gave a few waves, he didn't spot me but the safety kayakers did... I stopped waving! He finally spotted me and saw me finish. Very happy I got out of the water, grinning like a madperson and waving to our supporters. I waited for Jill to finish and we went to have our celebration piccies taken. Great event, really uplifting and positive way to start the weekend. The medal was great and a goody bag containing flip flops, t-shirts and more was well worth the entry fee. 
Next step was to quickly change and head to Borough Market where we celebrated with lovely food and Pimms! Awesome day!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

PWR Beginners Group - Week Two

What a change from last week, the temperature had hit 24 degrees today the sun was shining bright and it was time to get the sunglasses on!
We had another great turnout and a couple of new faces joining the group. After a warm-up we commenced the drills, following by the main session. Everyone is doing great and most seem to have completed their homework runs which is good to hear. At the end of the session there were mostly smiles which is great as running isn't pain and punishment is should be about enjoyment, particularly at this stage. 
After the session it was then time to listen to club announced as everyone waited for their Tuesday night runs, with most groups choosing to run through the woods on this bright and lovely evening. My legs were still feeling pretty heavy and with my swim event coming up on Sunday, I did a shorter run along with my fellow coach, finishing with some downward hill reps to assess my downward running style.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Saturday Struggle

As I sat on my sofa on Friday night wishing I was out doing something, anything I was delighted to get a message from Emma G suggesting a Saturday morning run... not too early but 9am and to go for about 7 miles, pace undetermined at this stage but not too hard.
It was the longest I had run since the marathon, now almost a month ago and my legs were heavy, leaden and struggling. We were also joined by Mark for this sunny jaunt, both on and off-road doing a circular route from Keston and through Locksbottom, Petts Wood and Norman Park.
When we reached the end I was pleased with my efforts if not a little frustrated that my legs felt so heavy. I suspect I am not quite ready to run hard again folloiwng the marathon so I will keep my distance and effort at a reduced rate and I'm sure I'll be back to my former glory in no time at all.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Track Fail

The intentions were there, I was ready and willing to run hard and complete the track session but something just didn't come together for me. I went off a little hard I thought, after the first set (3 x 800m with 400m jog recoveries) we took part in an agility test. Oh dear I didn't do well at all.
The agility test was far from agile with me floudering like a fish on dry land to jump up from the start position, and once this humiliation was over I retunred top the track fro the second set to have to come off after one 800m with a dicky tummy. That was my session pretty much over with, I cooled down, stretched and went home for me supper.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

PWR Beginners Group - Week One

Today was a rainy day, there was rain and storms all day long. As the day progressed I heard from a couple of my new runners group asking if we would still run if it was torrential rain... we surely would go ahead as that is what waterproofs were created for!
I left my house early to greet any early birds to the meeting point and as I got to the car the rain was still pretty heavy, than as if by some miracle above the heavens closed again and a little bit of sushione started to peak through. Our first beginner arrived moments later, within minutes the group had swelled to about 16 eager participnats - men and women - all ready to begin their running journey with us. I cannot wait!
Starting with introductions, a warm up, some drills and then the main session... the nerves seemed to ebb away as the group were chatting and participating happily. The rain started up again part way through the main session but by now everyone was nicely warmed up and the discomfort of the cold earlier was now forgotten. The last whistle blew and the session was over, we gathered together to do stretches and cool down before I dished out the homework to complete before next weeks session. A really good keen group to work with - and with a few more due to join us in week two - the next 8 weeks should be good fun with some great success for everyone involved.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sore butt and swimming!

Once again a non-running day but I double whammied my training with a bike ride in the morning and a lake swim in the afternoon. What a fantastic way to spend a sunny Sunday! I am not quite ready for a triathlon yet but I fear (and so does my purse) that the day will be coming soon, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but some time soon. I certainly enjoy all the ingredients but I am not sure I am ready to combine them just yet.
The bike ride was a nice Sunday morning jaunt up to Badgers Mount and back (approx 14.5 miles) with hubby, pretty much uphill all the way on the out but some lovely downhill stretched on the way back - except those where the road seem to change to uphill when it was previously flat to punish us, we made it though and arrived back to enjoy a nice cuppa and toasted bagels...yum. One thing that the bagel does not help is the post cycle sore butt, I wonder how long it will take for my bottom to acclimatise to the seat and stop brusing?! answers on a postcard please!
After a quick bath and then a visit to help my mum with some errands I then diverted off to Leybourne Lakes to meet Jill for our second lake swim. The water was warmer than last week by a few degrees and we managed to stay in for around 34 minutes, we swam just over half a mile on the designated route around the buoys and then a little extra. It was definitely time to emerge though for me when my hands started to turn into cold claws...hmmm not good but they soon recovered once clasping a cup of hot tea. Jill on the other hand was much tougher and removed her wetsuit to 'double dip' and added a little more distance in just a cossie, she was pink afterwards but still smiling... maybe after a few more visits I might be that brave but not just yet thank you very much, let's wait for summer and warmer climes!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mob Match... more like No Match!

Bromley results for event #142. Your time was 24:17 (not a P but not far off!)

Awake early and arriving early for Bromley Parkrun was quite a change for me, usually I decide to run at about 8:30am then leap in the car and hot foot it down to Parkrun, making it to the start line just in the nick of time. But not this week, this week I was early and I even had time for a little warm up.
I was a little tentative as we lined up at the start line of Bromley Parkrun ready for the mob match against Beckenham... looking around at the club vests you could see that we outnumbered Beckenham but I had no idea until later that we did this 2:1, strength in numbers! I had decided to get my Nike Free's on for the first time in a competitive environment but it was also still only my 4th run since the marathon and I wasn't sure just how competitive my legs would be. It turned out they were pretty competitive in the end. Just before the start, a huge bellow erupted from Mark B (Mens club captain) giving encouragement to all PWR's and then we were off!
It was so great to see so many turn out for the club, with 60 runners we were definitely a force to be reckoned with. The weather was favourable, cool but with sun shining through and the ground firm enough despite the rain during the week. It was all to play for. Strangely I didn’t really see many of the opposition during my run but just lots of PWRs, myself and Laura fairly evening matched used each other well during the race to keep pushing each other on which was great encouragement and Laura even got a PB along with 24 other PWR’s.
Afterwards, everyone hung around to cheer in the rest of the runners, drink tea and eat the homemade cakes (now infamous at this Parkrun event). We awaited the results and shook hands with the other runners. What a great day to be part of the club!

And in case you were wondering….. Beckenham 29 runners, Petts Wood 60 runners. Scoring aggregate = Beckenham 2,690;  Petts Wood 1,729 (first 29 from each team to count for aggregate score - lowest aggregate score wins)
Petts Wood WIN by 961 points

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Quickie Gym Bunny

The day had been dragging, I hadn't felt well all morning, as the sicky feeling lifted I was already way into the afternoon and still ploughing through my mountain of work. Before I knew it, it was past the time I had hoped to leave so I could go to the gym on my way to a meeting later on. I thought I would still try and squeeze something in even if only a tiny little workout. 
After a superman style change (blink and you'll miss it) I hit the treadmill to try and knock out a 5km run before I had to head off, it was not to be I just didn't have enough time, instead I opted for just over 4km, with sprints sporadically dropped in and dripping with sweat I was out the door again and in my car with the windows down to cool me down! 
Something is better than nothing I guess...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Clubbin' it

Only the third run back after the marathon and also back at the club tonight too, I decided to stick with group 3 for a good steady pace, lots of chatting and taking it easy on my legs for at least another few runs. Mark was leading the group and wanted a volunteer to sweep so I gladly put myself forward for the task. Having not been out on  Tuesday with the club for a few weeks there were yet more new faces as the membership continues to grow and I found myself chatting to some fairly familiar faces and some completely new run buddies. Before long we were heading upwards and back towards out start point, I detoured off with one of our runners to take a slightly shortened route back. There are some run whatever your best intentions or however strong you might be feeling when one part of you just won't play the game. Tonight for the girl I was running with, it was her legs, they felt leaden and heavy. We've all been there so I was more than happy to accompany her back to the meet point as we chatted and last mile was soon a memory left behind.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Open Water

Okay so the image and the words 'open water' strike fear into many with thoughts of an horrific abandonment out in the ocean... but not to me, well not any more! Whilst this blog is primarily about my running exploits I am having to expand my horizons a little now after a simply fantastic new experience on Sunday! I was asked to join my friend for an open water swim, either in a river or a lake and this seemed quite a sensible idea as I have signed up to the Great British Swim at the end of the month and so far (with the exception of when I was about 14 on holiday in the Lake District) I have never really swum anywhere other than a pool. We got to work hunting out possible locations on the internet and found a few suitable options. One required a pre swimming assessment, and reeked of good organisation which immediately appealed to me so we booked ourselves on. We arrived just on time after a few wring turns on route and were welcomed by a friendly bunch. We had a full safety briefing and before long we were in our wetsuits and on the edge of the lake ready to take the plunge.
There were a few yelps as we entered the water, although I can confidently say not me, I remembered the ice bath of two weeks previous and figured if I could handle that I could handle a lake! We had been told that the water temp was 12.5 degrees so was in fact warmer than the outdoors temp of 8 degrees.
We entered the water, slowly with our coach getting use to the temperature and floating around a little. we then did some swimming drills. I played safe as I am stronger at breast stroke and stuck to this, then I braved front crawl after a while... much easier in a wetsuit I found. We all exited the water completely elated and there were hugs and congratulations all around. As we made our way back to the changing hut I really wanted to get back in but wasn't sure if I should, the others were already half out of their wetsuits by now. Decision made I turned and went back to the jetty before I could change my mind again and got back into the water, slightly less tentatively this time. I staying in for another 10-15 minutes swimming around the buoys and avoiding the wildfowl. It was lovely.
We wrapped up the morning with a cuppa and a bacon roll, I will definitely be back for more!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Towpaths and puddleducks

Run number 2 post marathon and my legs are feeling good, a slow start - probably down to hitting the tiles last night but as I was staying near my old running haunt along the Maidstone canal towpath it seemed almost rude not to take myself out and stretch my legs for a while. Off I went past a group of Saturday morning personal trainees jumping up and down, past dog walkers a plenty and down to the river where I could run alongside the rowers and the ducks. The morning was cool and a little drizzly but this is just fine by me and good for running as I am able to keep a little cooler. On my return I passed the trainees again who were demonstrating some very poor planks but I didn’t like to get involved as the trainer seemed to be satisfied (they would not have got away with that on my watch!!)
Possible the best thing about this route on 'the morning after' is that it is pretty much flat which meant a lovely leisurely trot a nice comfortable pace. I arrived back at the hotel a little hot and bothered and went about my day feeling all the better and ever so slightly smug for getting out for a while.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Marathon +1

I am sure you have all been missing my updates since the marathon and probably quite horrified to keep seeing the picture of my nasty toe each time you visit the Fibre Runners home page. Well be happy in the knowledge that I am running again and my toes are all perfectly normal again!

So post marathon I have been so careful not to make the mistake made by many including myself two years ago and starting to run again too soon. So after 10 days off running completely, some gentle cross training in the pool and on the bike at the gym over the last few days, today I finally pulled on my Nike Free's and hit the pavement...
That first half mile I was slow, my legs felt heavy, my calves ached a litte but soon enough I had hit a mile and my pace was steady (although easy) I was feeling good and pretty comfortable. I kept to the roads for the first 2 miles and then went off road through Scadbury to make sure I kept the run under 4 miles. There seemed to be some sort of military drills fgoing on round the horses fields as one man came hurtling towards me, as I reached the gate I saw another man doing press-ups and a third shouting, Nick I coming to get you are he proceeded to sprint towards the the press-up fella (Nick presumably).
It was a cool and drizzly morning but it felt great to be back out again and running. No niggles as yet and I think I did the right thing holding off for a little longer after the marathon to be on the safe side, now I just need to steer clear of signing up for races taking place in the next month at least! (we'll see how well that goes as I have already signed up to both a swimming and a cylcing event - but importantly not running!)