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More run club

It’s Thursday so it was run club. I didn’t feel like going at all but thank goodness for routines.

We had a different instructor who confessed he was not a runner but was keen to explore Hyde Park which he didn’t know very well. He was armed with a map, although the front runners know the way, and was good at keeping the group together setting landmarks to loop around before doubling back to the back marker.

A steady paced run stopping several times for a few minutes of sprint repeats. Not a great session for me as my calves and achilles were tight and very painful for the first couple of miles. They eased after several stops to stretch but I continued at a more gentle pace than normal.

At least I got out with a group and ran.

Juneathon day 27. 4.28 miles.


World first in running!



Running Wellies!

Who else would love a pair of these? Hope they catch on! Perfect for getting in your runs at festivals or simply coping with the great British summer weather!

Full story from Bupa below…



Jo Whiley will wear the world’s first “running wellies” at Glastonbury to keep training on track.

Glastonbury presenter Jo Whiley will be at the forefront of festival fashion when she sports the world’s first ever pair of “running wellies” later this week. The prototype footwear has been created by Bupa specifically for Jo, to help keep her training for the Bupa Great North Run on track during her busy summer of festival commitments, whatever the weather.

Bupa’s team of experts have created a number of the limited edition “running wellies” for festival goers this summer. The footwear has been designed in the style of the traditional wellington boot and include several key requirements of a trainer including laces, a supportive sole and increased ankle and heel support. Music fan Jo, will also be able to keep in touch with the latest festival sounds with the built in iPod holder.

Despite her busy summer schedule, the presenter has committed to running her first ever half marathon on 15th September, in a bid to get fit. It is hoped that the “running wellies” will enable Jo to continue her training for the Bupa Great North Run despite the unpredictable weather and iconic mud covered fields. The run is part of Bupa’s My First Run campaign, which aims to inspire 2,000 people to take up running by offering free Bupa Great Run 5km places to first time runners.

Jo Whiley said: “I’ll be spending a lot of time working at festivals throughout the summer and always tend to be up to my knees in mud. I’m determined to keep my training going for the Bupa Great North Run and the right footwear is crucial, so the running wellies seem like the only way I’ll be able to get the miles in throughout the festival season.”




Medina IOW parkrun at Gurnard

It was wet and windy when I looked out of the window first thing this morning. Did I fancy going to parkrun in horizontal rain? Would I rather go back to sleep? It is however Juneathon and as I’ve run 3 parkruns, 3 weeks in a row, it would be a shame not to make it 4 while I can.

So my long-suffering OH gave me a lift to the other side of the Isle of Wight where (fortunately it wasn’t raining) I got a warm welcome from a friendly bunch of parkrunners on a grey windy day.

It was my third run at medina IOW parkrun but a first run at one of their alternative courses. The parkrun was at Gurnard today (first used over the winter I think when everywhere else was too wet) because of the festival last week at their regular venue and because of Armed Forces Day today at their Appley Park alternative.

gurnard parkrun

This course is along the seafront from Gurnard to Cowes and back (plus a short double back at the start). It’s run on smooth pavement and is absolutely flat. A lovely fast course with PB potential. Today unfortunately it was very windy. I set a PB first mile as I literally flew the first half with the wind behind me. After the turnaround point at half way the course curved back into the wind and it became hard work.

I caught up with one of the regular U14 runners who was struggling running against the wind and she tucked in behind me to get respite from it for a short stretch. It was hard going but I found some motivation from having someone close behind me to keep working and trying not to slow down too much. We finished together and by this time the sun had come out and I was suddenly feeling pretty warm.

An IOW parkrun PB of 1 whole second for me today. A slightly slower overall time than last week at Wormwood Scrubs but because of slight differences in the distance run, today was a 5K pace PB for me at 7.55 minute/mile. Just got to work on running a whole parkrun as fast as my first mile today!

Juneathon day 22. 3.11 miles in 24.37 mins.

4th parkrun in 4 weeks. Getting the parkrun bug!

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Run club (again)

Run club. The session you sometimes dread and wonder if you are too tired to cope with, and maybe on a warm night after a busy day you should wimp out of. But it’s also the session that if you do push yourself to go to, and once there try to put in as much effort as you can muster, the reward is the most wonderful feeling of achievement!

I was a bit stressed when I got there. Another busy day and then the traffic on the way was horrendous. There were far too many idiots and selfish arrogant ‘what nots’ driving expensive cars or chauffeur limos, cutting in and thinking they own the road right in front of me. And I was needing to get to run club and be in the first 20 there because the park authorities have limited us to 20. Grrrr

I made it, and things got better when we saw who was running the session and even (maybe) better to hear it was intervals. (Yay! she lied.) We ran a mile and a bit warm up followed by a pyramid of pace efforts for 1.5 mins, 3 mins, 4.5 mins and 6 mins with 1.5 mins recoveries in between. Unfortunately we ran out of time on the way down and only managed the 4.5 min effort again before running back.

Worn out, de-stressed and with a smug smile from a good workout I will sleep well tonight!


Juneathon day 20. 5.75 miles in 48.48 mins


I needed that

I spent the day glued to my computer in the name of work only broken up by darting out to run one or two urgent errands and chauffeur a lazy teenager to his last GCSE exam. Thank goodness they’ve finished because he can stop pretending to work and I can stop stressing!

It was nearly 7pm when I finished the worse of it all and downed tools. My back ached, I was tired and cross-eyed and in need of a glass of wine. Do I have to run? I got my shorts on quick and pushed myself out the door for a quick 5K nip round the block.

It was very warm so I didn’t push myself. I wasn’t in the mood to be a molten mess gasping for air. I just tootled on, lost in my own thoughts and found myself extending my loop as I went because I was comfortable and it was so nice to be outside, free, away from it all and unwinding. Plenty of other runners came huffing and puffing past me looking all hot and sweaty. I left them to it and kept it easy. But maybe not so easy when that guy was trying to overtake me nor on the downhill stretch home. Wheeeeee!

One of the good ones. I really needed that run and felt so much better afterwards.

Juneathon day 19. 4.93 miles in 46.05



Three parkruns, three weeks in a row! It might not sound that great, as many people run 52 in a year, but it is a minor miracle for me considering I’ve only managed 3 or 4 a year before!

I nearly didn’t make it at all. Those critical 10 mins dozing after the first alarm ( I assume everyone is like me and requires at least 3 alarms to get up in the morning) when you can either go back to sleep or fight it, mind over matter, and get out of bed. Thank goodness for Juneathon for helping me summon the determination to get going, it’s too easy to postpone it for another week, and another. I find it strange, when trying to get up, that I feel so tired and desperately in need of a long sleep in but if I do make it out of bed in 10 mins or so after a cup of tea I feel fine and have plenty energy to face the day. Sometimes I promise myself I can go back to bed later or have an afternoon nap but never feel like it! I must remember that for next Saturday when the first alarm goes off.

I was rewarded for my efforts in getting up with another PB. And most importantly my first sub 25 minute parkrun at Wormwood Scrubs on our slightly lumpy grassy course. I’ve scraped under 25 twice before a few years ago on faster courses but really wanted to do it at home.

It’s so true that the good runs happen when you don’t expect them and aren’t trying too hard. Not that I wasn’t trying, I did think about what I ate this morning (less) and drank (less wine last night and more water this morning) and I grabbed a gel with caffeine as I left for rocket fuel. I looked at my garmin starts from last week and noted the sections of the course where I ran slowest which I should concentrate on attacking this week. (Thanks @2coldfingers for the tip in your Q&A on Marathon Widows Diaries blog). I also decided to hold back more at the start and not overdo my starting pace as the first section is uphill gradually and leaves me hanging out when it flattens out if I start too fast. Apart from that I ran on feel. (Looking at my garmin makes me feel either tired, panicked or despondent so I’ve stopped looking!)

Being a small group we soon spread out and I ran alone for much of it, trying to keep the runner in front in sight. I looked back as I got towards the end of the first lap when someone overtook me to check I wasn’t last, and was relieved to see someone who’d left me for dust last week behind me. On the second run uphill I gritted my teeth and put my efforts into holding pace. Near the top I overtook someone who was a good minute or so ahead of me at the last two runs so I got a boost which kept me concentrating to the end. I knew I was possibly on track to get below 25 mins so I was very happy to find out I’d done so with a little time to spare.

Juneathon day 15. 3.05 miles in 24.23


One of the good ones

I was tired on Friday and Saturday and slept in late this morning to catch up.  I did feel better after 12 hours sleep but not like rushing out for a run.  By 3 pm I started thinking about going for a run and wondering how far it should be.   I know I need to start increasing my distances,  but  decided to be sensible  and not  do too much too soon.  I shouldn’t jump back to running everyday, 25 plus miles a week and increase my long runs at the same time if I don’t want to get injured.  Long run pencilled in for mid-week! (Phew, got out of that easily)

I finally got out the door at 5pm, after lots of procrastination.  It turned out to be a very good run.  I Just went.  I wore my Garmin to record distance but otherwise ignored it, (apart from stopping it when I had to pause to re-lace my shoes which felt too tight).  I ran without music and loved it.   I ran to my own beat and took in the sights and sounds  of a late Sunday afternoon in London.  I assumed I would run at  an easy pace but leaving my body to choose what felt natural  ended up running faster than my so-called easy or long run paces.

It was one of those enjoyable runs that felt so good and made me think I really should do this every day, all the time.  It only takes half an hour to fit in a good quick run after all!  Funny how it had taken me 3 hours to make the step out of the door.  I only went today because it was day 9 of Juneathon and had to, just shows the power of Juneathon (and Janathon) in forming habits to run regularly (or go to parkrun, or BMF). Thank goodness I can take part twice a year to keep me motivated.   And as they say,  ‘Motivation is what gets you started but habits keep you going’!

Juneathon day 9.  3.38 miles,  30.53 mins


Wormwood Scrubs parkrun


Happy 2nd Birthday Wormwood Scrubs parkrun!

There was a great turn out today, a record attendance, almost double last week  and a great atmosphere for the second anniversary parkrun.

I  was up and out and ready to run by 9am and very happy with my efforts to make parkrun a Saturday habit. Two in a row!  Go me!  I had plans to attack last weeks time.  Can’t be too much effort to take off 3 seconds can it?  It was not to be.  I was just plain tired.  I  tried to run as fast as I could but there was no speed in my legs, my garmin didn’t register the sort of pace I wanted and I found it hard going. Seven days of exercising for Juneathon must have taken their toll but the benefit of all the extra miles have not kicked in yet!  I still  finished only  30 secs slower than last week so wasn’t as bad as it felt half way round.

A sociable run. I talked to some regulars, someone running their first parkrun and met a fellow tweeter in real life before the start.  During the run I chatted (as much as my tired lungs would allow) to Florence, also running her first parkrun, before she disappeared into the distance and afterwards enjoyed flapjacks and tea at the local running club house while the parkrun awards for last year were announced.

I then came home and was sleepy all afternoon and am looking forward to my first lie in for a long time tomorrow!

Bar code race numbers for our run today


Juneathon day 8.  parkrun  3.02 miles, 25.33 mins.

photographs from Wormwood Scrubs parkrun.


Run club

It was great to hear that we were off for a ‘run’ for a change at run club this evening rather than bashing out intervals or sprints in the park.  We went ‘undercover’, removing our bibs (most of us then, because of the heat, had to replace our tops!) and headed out of he confines of Hyde Park.


A lovely change and despite the heat a fantastic evening to be running the streets of London, its parks,  past landmarks, dodging tourists and appreciating living in such a wonderful capital city.  We ran fartlek.  The 80% effort down Constitution hill was great, the 80% back up on the way back less so and my 90% effort was short-lived!  As usual I put my foot down at the start of each segment of effort not knowing how long it was going to last  and ended up hanging out unable to keep up pace so the recovery parts were very welcome.

Note to self; you have neglected your long runs for too long.  Endurance has gone to pot!

Juneathon day 6.  5.26 miles of fartleks,  47.12 mins.