Who Needs Alcohol!!

I half heard a radio phone-in earlier this week regarding the “stupid” things people commit to when under the influence of alcohol.  It occurs to me that alcohol isn’t the only thing that can lead you to outrageous commitments!  I can’t help but think the runner’s high also has a lot to answer for!

Earlier this year, at the end of a local 10k run, I enthusiastically agreed to sign up for the Winchester half marathon in September.  Nothing wrong with that until I realised this meant I would be attempting to run four half marathons in the space of 15 days.  Now in retrospect, and compared to other runners’ challenges, this doesn’t seem so bad and in the end I had to defer the place to 2018.  But I think after this I decided I’d leave it at least 24 hours before agreeing to sign up to events on the back of one just completed.

However, things have just gone from bad to worse especially during the last month or two, and perhaps even worse is the fact that a runner’s high hasn’t necessarily been involved, it’s been by osmosis, social media and pre-parkrun chatter!

The first of these “stupid” commitments now seems quite tame.  I agreed to take part in a local turkey trot in fancy dress.  It was suggested in casual conversation before parkrun had even started and I immediately said yes!  Why!!!  I’m now realising that December is drawing ever closer and I have to think up some Christmas themed outfit – currently I’m thinking fairy!

After this came the decision to sign up for a 10 in 10 (ten runs in ten consecutive days).  At the time of signing up, I was thinking I can do ten 10ks.  But somewhere along the line (and I admit some cider was involved but only a half), this has evolved into a ten marathons challenge.  In fact one of the events now has to be an ultra.  And jocular banter since suggests this challenge isn’t going away.  To make matters worse, the route is going to be the same at each event, it’s a timed challenge with laps and in the potential August heat.  If we managed this epic, it would mean running 81 laps.

Next, there’s a potential back to back marathon challenge in May, at least I’ll have the Bank Holiday Monday to recover with this one.

Then, on the back of a weekend running a Winnie the Pooh Challenge at the Ashdown Forest, I booked up to do it again next year, despite knowing the course and the fact it has a hill goats would struggle with.  Although I’m sure the medals will be as lovely as this year’s.

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Next year’s will be Kanga-Roo Kanter and Owl Amble 🙂

And finally, despite knowing that this is a seriously undulating course, I signed up for the Beachy Head Marathon on the basis that a friend’s Facebook pictures from the route looked quite pretty.  A few days later I saw some photos of how close the route gets to the cliff edge and now, with my fear of heights, I’m going to have to run that bit looking in the opposite direction.  Also, I’m going to start preying that Storm Zebedee doesn’t choose that weekend to hit the south coast.

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Run Profile ;-(

So I have my challenges lined up for next year, should keep me quiet and my sports masseuse in cash!  What about you?!

 

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I’d intended to write this blog piece earlier in the week but got distracted – which happens quite often when I intend to write a blog piece so think yourselves lucky!  Then yesterday I read Paul Sinton-Hewitt’s article referencing the history and ethos behind parkrun and the Runners World “cheating” debacle, and that prompted me to pick up my laptop.  Be warned, it is a bit rambling but hopefully you’ll get the gist of what I’m trying to say 🙂

Last Saturday I was heading off to London late morning and whereas in the past, I would have gone along to parkrun first and then had time to get ready for my outing, last week I decided not to go because I didn’t want to appear rude!!

How so?  Well, long gone are the days where I’d shuffle along at the last minute, loiter at the back of the pack and avoid eye contact, then run my 5k, get scanned and disappear back to the car park!  Oh no, now there’s chatting before the run briefing (and sometimes during – apologies), at various points whilst running and post my finish.  In fact, I’ve been known to still be chatting while the volunteers are packing up the course.  And on this particular day, I didn’t want to turn up, run and then disappear without talking to someone about our runs or life in general.  No-one would probably have noticed but I would still have felt a bit rude.

I’ve lost count of the number of people I now know as a result of parkrun and the confidence it has given me is amazing.  As a personal trainer, I’ve always said I could never run classes, I could never stand up in front of lots of people.  But as one of the run directors at Gravesend junior parkrun, I sometimes find myself standing in front of adults and children giving the run briefing over a megaphone!  Ok, so most of them probably aren’t listening but me, standing up in front of people …

During the summer, as run leader for a local running group, I also found myself holding weekly speed/hill training sessions plus circuit classes for the runners and their children, and the latest 0-5k programme has seen 50 plus people showing up.  Intimidating for shy little me but I get out there and confront my fears and if people think I’m stupid, so be it!  It’s now water off the camel’s back.

But the fact remains that the running community through parkrun has led to this new found confidence.  If it wasn’t for parkrun, I’d still be going off for solo runs around my local area, signing up for running events and turning up on my own (and not eating so much cake!)

So if anyone thinks running is an elitist activity and it’s all about winning races, think again!  It really doesn’t matter how fast you run, there will always be someone in the running community to support you.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s the link to Paul’s words

And yes, I’m cancelling my subscription to Runners World too!

Gravesend junior parkrun is two!

Apparently it’s been three months since I last blogged (!), so I thought I’d share a little piece wot I wrote to mark Gravesend junior parkrun’s second birthday.  It was written for inclusion in a local running magazine published by So Let’s Go Running but I thought I’d make use of it myself 🙂

It’s hard to believe that it’s just over two years since Gravesend junior parkrun started.  At the time, we were the second junior parkrun event to start in Kent.  Checking the website recently, there are now nine (excluding those few which come under the Greater London umbrella).  I can’t remember how many junior events were taking place when we first started but there are now 136 across the UK.

November saw us not only celebrate our second birthday but also commemorate our 100th run and during that time we’ve seen more than 452 4-14 year olds take part.  Now obviously over that time, we’ve lost some of those runners (not literally) – some have become too old (!) whilst others have migrated to other local events as they’ve opened up but it’s great that most weeks we will find first timers taking part and that’s all without any obvious advertising.  And in total our children have run 7,574km since November 2014.

If you’ve never been to watch a junior parkrun event, it works on the same principles as the Saturday 5k event.  You register for a barcode, you turn up at the event, run 2k, get a finish token and then get “scanned” to receive your finish time.

As with the Saturday event, the proceedings start with a run brief when rather than milestone t-shirts, we have milestone wristbands.  The children receive coloured wristbands; half marathon (blue), marathon (green) and ultra marathon (orange) once they’ve completed 11, 21 and 50 runs.  If you do the maths you should be able to work out the logic.  Juniors can also download and print off a milestone certificate which can be included in the presentation.  At Gravesend, we also like to give the ultra marathon celebrants the opportunity to autograph and run in our special 50 t-shirt (a spare adult 50 t-shirt which came into our possession!).  This can cause much hilarity when the t-shirt dwarfs the runner but health and safety means we have ways to ensure no tripping ensues.  Although there have been complaints that the obligatory wearing of the t-shirt can jeopardise PB opportunities!

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Unlike the 5k event, we precede the run proper with a warm up.  Now in most cases the children have already warmed up, whether that be completing a few practice laps whilst waiting for the start, or climbing nearby trees.  Some even venture into the nearby play area.

The warm up is prescribed by HQ and at Gravesend, the Run Director is lucky enough to be helped out by some very willing volunteers.  Hip circles have been accompanied by cries of “ooh la la” whilst the requirement for bum kicks seems to cause much hilarity.  But the warm up routine is so effective I’ve used it to warm up an adult beginners running group.

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The warm up!

Once the warm up is over, the children congregate at the start area.  Some get ready to start their sports watches, some grip their furry friend even tighter and some hold on to their parent’s hand. But once the Run Director says go, they’re all off!

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Junior parkrun rules mean that we have to have sufficient marshals around the course to ensure the children are within sight of a responsible volunteer adult at all times.  And a tail runner is mandatory.

We are very lucky at Gravesend in that we often have the wonderful Dawn Granger on hand as our volunteer photographer.  Her photos are simply stunning but if you need to see for yourself, check out our Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/groups/gravesend-junior-parkrun/pool

As part of our second birthday celebrations we encouraged the children to dress up as animals and it was amazing to see how many onesies and masks came out of the closet.  We had also hoped that the “animals” would cross the finish line two by two but the old competitive spirit took over along the finish straight.  It was either that or the fear of Becky’s celebratory cakes running out!

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One of the truly wonderful things to see at junior parkrun is the friendships that spring up and not necessarily just the children!  Children who only see each other at junior parkrun will greet each other like long lost friends and then run together chatting and encouraging each other around the course.  We adults would probably call it pacing!  Only this last weekend whilst marshalling, I saw three boys running together, one acting as coach and encouraging the other two.  I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the results later on that morning to note that one had achieved a new PB.

You can obviously visit any one of the other junior parkrun venues but we think our location at Gravesend is pretty special.  We’re right next to Gravesend Fort (great for Pokémon hunting) and as we’re also next to the river, we get to see big boats (or as Pete Granger insists on calling them “ships”), little boats, cruise liners and rowing shells.  We even get to see the house boats moored in the canal basin.  We are a truly nautical junior parkrun.  There’s also the aforementioned play areas to wear the children out a bit more before retiring for a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the Prom Cafe does a mean cooked breakfast or ice creams are available to anyone feeling a bit peckish after all that exercise (seasonal opening).

So why not come down to Gravesend Riverside one Sunday morning and see what all the fuss is about!  And if you’re too old to run, volunteers have a great time too 🙂

* all stats correct at the time of writing

Has Anyone Seen My Mojo?

Because I’d quite like it back!  I know where I lost it, somewhere around 7.5k into the Ted Pepper Memorial 10k in Bromley, somewhere just outside the woods, where I fell over!  Up until that point it was all going so well.  I know it’s been a while since I blogged but that’s because I’ve been busy running and having ‘fun’.

Some quick highlights since my last blog post:

Dartford Half – tough but loved it.  Before I even got to Gore Road (of the infamous hill fame), I ran all the way up the first steep part of Gill’s Road and when I got to the top, my legs refused to move, fortunately only momentarily!  Despite all that, I posted my fourth quickest half marathon time (of the ten I’d done at the time).  Lots of hills but stunning views and I’d definitely do it again.

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(courtesy of Dartford Half Marathon)

(Billy No Mates can be seen in the bottom right-hand corner and if you look very carefully, she appears to be yawning!  Not a good sign before the run’s even started!)

The Folkestone 10 on Good Friday – great out and back run along the coast from Hythe to Folkestone, and relatively flat until we went into The Leas at the half way point where it started to undulate.  But a 10 mile PB (okay, I’ve only done two but ….).

Paddock Wood Half – fourth attempt and a course PB if only by seven seconds!  This then relegated Dartford to my fifth quickest but hey ho.

Darent Valley 10k – great run with an early start time.  Castle Hill got me this time and required some walking around the halfway point but another course PB but by over a minute and a half this time.

Run Dartford Summer Series 2016 – first run around Dartford Heath.  Now despite the fact I grew up near the Heath, went to secondary school by the Heath, worked in the golf club opposite the Heath, I had never actually ventured into the Heath.  Say Dartford Heath to me and it conjured up the notion of flashers (constant warnings from my teachers), dogging (no personal experience, just local reputation), frequent summer fires (some arson, some not) and dead bodies (well one, last year anyway).  So as I ventured from the car park through the bushes I wasn’t too sure what to expect but what a revelation; it’s beautiful, a mixture of woody bits and open ground.  It’s almost like the bushes around the perimeter are keeping the Heath cocooned and private from the general public.  And it’s a great place for a run on a sunny Friday evening 🙂

And a bit of parkrun tourism with second visits to Great Lines and Sittingbourne and a first trip to Lullingstone, where I rehearsed my fall but on softer terrain.  By softer I mean it was raining, very hard and the course was muddy, very muddy!  And just after the start of my second lap I slipped at a turn and ended up on my bum.  But no damage done, got up and carried on, gingerly 😉

Maybe I should be grateful that after nearly ten years of running, I haven’t fallen before but twice within a matter of weeks is a bit much.  I’ll admit there have been a couple of near misses when out with my running group recently but my strong core muscles (?!) have managed to prevent me hitting the ground.

The cut hand and knee have recovered but it’s the ribs that are still suffering.  I can breathe okay so I know I haven’t broken anything but they are sure taking a long time to heal.  They’re not even stopping me from running, I just seem to have lost my impetus.  I have run since the fall but my heart doesn’t really seem to be in it.  Maybe I’m worried I’ll fall over again and do some real damage but I need to get back out there and do it.  If only because this weekend I have the second Run Dartford event on Friday night (a four mile run around Central Park), the Runners World 10k Trailblazer around Bedgebury Pinetum on Saturday and the Beginners2Runners’ 10k Woodland Trail on Sunday.  (Don’t know why I thought all that was a good idea.)  Both Saturday and Sunday are going to involve trail running so I think I’m going to keep a close eye on the ground and just concentrate on getting around in one piece.  Perhaps if I can do that, I’ll see my mojo hiding in the bushes!

PS: this is not a cry for sympathy, it’s me working through my issues.  Blogging – a cheaper form of therapy!

Is It Just Me?

Or do other runners spend the 48 hours or so before a “big” event in a state of limbo?

I think I’ve got the 10k distance sorted now, no need to panic, just get out there and do it.  Although my last run, the Tenterden 5, proved to me that you cannot run four days in a row and go out on the town the night before a run without suffering.  Despite that, I still managed a 5 mile PB!

But tomorrow is the Dartford Half, a run I feel obliged to do because I’m a local girl but which historically I’ve always ignored because it used to take place at the beginning of July.  Who wants to run a half marathon at the beginning of July!  Anyway, I think it was last year that they moved the date to March so caught between the possibility of snow and potentially warm temperatures.  And as this year is the 40th anniversary, I felt obliged to give it a go.

Mention the Dartford Half to any local runner and they will undoubtedly say “oooh, Gore Hill” which is technically incorrect because according to all maps, it’s actually Gore Road.  And looking at the run profile, Gore Hill/Road is not the steepest or longest hill but it does appear around the 10/11 mile point by which time my legs, forget anybody else’s, are going to be knackered.  I don’t care if the rest of the run is “downhill”, I strongly expect to be walking up Gore Hill!

So back to my limbo!  Since yesterday, I’ve been “careful” to make sure I’m in tip top condition (?!).  My last run was on Thursday evening, a comfortable 5k to keep the legs “turning over”.  Last night I went to yoga but when I could feel one of my hamstrings start to complain, I eased off from the posture.  Although having said that, the lower back “stiffness” which has been playing me up all week had disappeared this morning and I’m putting that down to yoga practice.  This morning I volunteered at parkrun and tried to get in the mood by osmosis!

Now I’m at a bit of a loss, what shall I do for the rest of the day?  I could give the grass its first cut of the year but I do want to be able to move tomorrow!  I can’t seem to settle to anything.  Perhaps I need to borrow some small children and/or dogs for use as distraction techniques!

In any event, can today please hurry up and be over so I can go to bed, try to sleep, get up at some ridiculously early hour for a Sunday and hope this run is over as soon as possible with as little discomfort as possible.

And good luck to everybody else out running this weekend!

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Hopefully this time tomorrow I’ll own one of these!

 

Is A Change As Good As A Rest?

I’m sure I can’t be the only runner who gets a little bored running the same routes over and over again?  And does running the same routes over and over again affect your performance?  Does familiarity breed contempt and/or inertia?

I seem to remember back at the beginning of 2015 I decided one of my fitness goals for the year would be to bring a bit more parkrun tourism into my routine.  Well, that was a massive fail – nil points!  I didn’t stray any further than my home run at Shorne Woods.

In an attempt to do better in 2016, I declared I would try to do a different parkrun once a month and so far so good.  Admittedly I got off to a flying start on New Year’s Day when I did the double with Dartford and Shorne Woods.  February has been even better, I’ve managed two different venues (although I’m ashamed to say not ventured once to Shorne – although in my defence this was not helped by punctures and a night of little sleep).

Last weekend I tried out Malling which is a two lap course around Leybourne Lakes where I started my open water swimming “career” and also where I had my first kayaking experiences!  I knew the route would therefore be rather flat, what I didn’t realise was just how stony the surface would be!  But the paths are wide and the views are pleasant enough.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the ducklings start appearing and quite possibly start straying on to the runners’ path!

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Leybourne Lakes (and ducks) on a sunnier day!

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Check out those kayaking skills!!!!

I did come away with an idea for Gravesend junior parkrun though.  Malling parkrun has come up with an excellent idea for tea/coffee making facilities in the absence of a “proper” cafe.  They have a thermos of hot water, coffee granules and tea bags, etc and even proper mugs for the volunteers and an honesty pot for any runners wishing to avail themselves of the facilities post run.  The cafe on Gravesend Prom shuts down over the winter and this could be just what we need, especially after this morning!

This weekend I strayed a little further.  Researching what options were available in the immediate area, I came across a parkrun in Sittingbourne and when I clicked on their page, I discovered this weekend would see their inaugural run.  Well that’s enough to attract my attention, plus the fact the only other time I’d been to Sittingbourne was to go to a psychic evening somewhere in the town centre!  It would be good to see what else the area had to offer.

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Sittingbourne parkrun takes place in Milton Creek Country Park and is another two lap course (I’m beginning to like two lap courses!).  They had a good turnout for their first run – 217 runners can’t be bad.  We all set off obviously hoping the lead runners knew the route so we could follow like sheep!  Although having said that there were plenty of volunteers to encourage us on our way.  Like Shorne, there is a bit of a pinch point not far into the run where the path narrows down to a single track but fortunately there is space to pass other runners on either side.  And after a little way the track opens out into wide open spaces leading to a slight incline followed by a welcome decline.  Because the course is so open, you can see the lead runners up ahead of you so you know exactly where you’re heading.  Although there were no huge puddles to run through/circumvent, there was a fair amount of mud which meant my core muscles got a good workout too.  Fortunately I managed to stay on my feet!

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Nearly there!

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On approaching the end of the first lap, my watch told me we had gone just over 2k so I assumed the balance of the distance would be made up by the distance between the start and finish points.  Coming around on the second lap the same watch told me I was in for a good time which kept me from fading at the end.  However, after crossing the line my watch also told me I’d only run 4.65k!  I wasn’t aware of cutting any corners and consultation with other runners suggested I wasn’t the only one who’d fallen well short of 5k.  The upshot of this was a very fast time for me and yet another false parkrun PB (the previous one experienced at my visit to Great Lines parkrun when the finish tokens had been handed out in the wrong order and I ended up with a time half a minute quicker than I’d actually managed).

Despite this little quirk, which hopefully will be corrected by the event organisers at some point, I still enjoyed the experience of running somewhere new and will go back again.  And on a positive note, factoring in my average pace over a 5k distance, I would still have got a quicker time than I have run of late.  Indeed, Malling’s result was also quicker.  Hence my wondering whether a change of venue can make you run faster?

So I have plans to carry on with the parkrun tourism and I heard mention yesterday of a new run starting next month at Bedgebury Pinetum.  A quick Google confirmed the new location but the AA suggested attending this venue would involve a 65 minute drive, which begs the question when does a 5k run become just too far away?  I would mention that I am (hopefully) taking part in the Runners World Trailblazer 10k at the same venue in May so obviously an hour’s drive is not too much for a longer distance!

It was a little bit difficult yesterday to hear the exact details over the pre-run buzz but the Run Director informed us one of the runners had run at 150 different parkrun venues (at least I think that’s what she said!).  Wow, I have a very long way to go but just imagine the logistics, never mind the expense, of attending so many different venues.  Either he’s very rich or has an awful lot of friends with spare beds!

And There Goes January!

And so December’s Advent Running was closely followed by a dual pronged motivational approach in January.  My first attempt at Janathon combined with The Running Bug’s #runyourselfnew challenge.  How did I get on, well they definitely left me with little time to blog that’s for sure.

Let’s deal with Janathon first.  In terms of exercising every day, well yes, remarkably successful.  On the whole this was mainly run based with some yoga thrown in for balance but three rather questionable days.  I’ll let you decide!

First Sunday, the weather was bleak and it was dark outside by the time I was ready to exercise so I opted for a yoga DVD session – but I opted for the DVD entitled “Yoga for inflexible people” which basically meant I did a few stretches and it was the shortest session available – all of 10 minutes, I seem to recall!

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Then there was the day I walked around Bluewater with my mum.  Now the fact Sweaty Betty used to hold walking classes around the shopping centre suggests this should be acceptable.  But my “walk” consisted of a short walk between two shops interspersed with a sit down for coffee!

And then there was the day I carried my Reebok step up 80 odd steps to my friend’s house.  What, you mean you don’t take your Reebok step to your friend’s house?  Why not, it’s good exercise!  Well if that doesn’t count, what about taking the same step plus a backpack of dumbbells up to a second floor flat for a client session later on that day?  And no, there wasn’t a lift!  That Reebok step sure gets around!

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Now I’m not entirely sure I would have been quite so successful with Janathon if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned second prong, #runyourselfnew.  I subscribe to The Running Bug, a virtual running club, because I like seeing my running distances mount up and watching my progress from one level to another (think Candy Crush but with actual movement).  I’m currently on level 7 but with the best will in the world, it’s going to be summer before I move on to level 8!

The #runyourselfnew challenge effectively meant that having submitted my average weekly mileage, a computer programme increased this by 10% each week for four weeks.  Yes, I could have done that myself but it’s much more rewarding when somebody else tells you you’ve performed 100% each week, even if it is in a virtual world.  It was quite a challenge trying to fit all those miles in but I managed to get to the end of January having run over 100 miles.  I like to think that my legs are somewhat stronger as a result and the month also saw a couple of firsts and a couple of “misadventures”.

So, the firsts first!  I ran when the temperature was -1oC!  Admittedly this was a running group night and if I’d been left to my own devices, it would not have happened but I know in future that the cold is not an excuse!  By the time we arrived back at base, I could feel my fingers again and I was even able to hang around for a chat!

On a Saturday morning, I’ve often thought as I drive to parkrun that I really should be running this, after all, it’s only just over 2 miles.  So last weekend prompted by a fellow runner, I did just that.  I ran there, ran parkrun and ran back!  Post run we both agreed that we would probably have been better to keep running once we arrived rather than hang around for 5 minutes before the start but hey, we did it 🙂  I’m not convinced this is going to become a regular thing though!

Then the misadventures!  There was the day I went out with the aim of completing a 6k run but ended up running 14k.  The plan was a simple out and back route but as I approached the turning point, a dog walker kindly held her unleashed dog back for me.  As I didn’t want to cause her too much inconvenience by running up behind her again a short while later (?!), I carried on past the turning point and created a new 4k circuit.  I was feeling quite energised by this point so decided to do the circuit again, and then again but with an added bit.  (See, I can add up, I know 3 x 4 is 12, not 14!)  This was one of those runs where residents of a particular road were beginning to suffer from Ground Hog Day but sometimes you just have Forest Gump Days and have to make the most of it.  And apart from anything else it meant my half marathon training long run had been done for that week.

And finally, there was the day I inadvertently got caught up in running a marathon by mistake!  Yes, okay, not the whole distance but judging from the encouragement received from other participants I obviously looked like I’d run a marathon.  But perhaps I should explain!

There’s this running group called Saxons, Vikings & Normans Marathons & Challenges who organise running events with enticing names such as “Chocathon”, “Cakeathon”, “Fudgeathon”.  The parameters for some of the challenges are quite simple, there’s a time limit and you can run as many laps as you want.  You can run one lap or, if you’re fit and fast enough, you can run an ultra marathon so long as it’s within the prescribed time limit.  You don’t have to run, you can walk but so long as you’ve completed one lap, you receive a medal and a goody bag.

In mid January they held a challenge in one of the parks I use for my running.  So on this Sunday afternoon I set out for a short run (to complete my weekly #runyourselfnew distance!!) and entered said park in full knowledge that I would most likely come across runners completing their distances.  Not only did I come across participants, I came across my running group leader so I turned around and ran with her for her last (marathon) lap and a bit.  It caused much amusement that the other runners were encouraging both of us with their “well done” and “keep going”.  If only they’d known how little I’d done!

Anyway, such was the camaraderie on that cold and dismal day, that I’ve entered one of their challenges in June when the weather will be a bit hotter but at least the start time is 8.30am and I may do one lap or I might do more!  The prices may seem a little steep in comparison to other events but the medals are huge and the goody bags are full of goodies, not deodorants, toothpaste, cough sweets, etc!  And if The Royal Parks Half Marathon can charge £55 and then want another £3 for sending out race packs, it’s cheap by comparison.  Btw – I’m glad I didn’t get a place (rant over!)

So February arrived on Monday and all motivational web based challenges were over so this week was earmarked as an “easy” running week.  All went well until my running club on Tuesday night where towards the end of the run, when left to my own devices, my brain started a few random calculations!  Hmm, I ran over 100 miles in January, if I did my #runyourselfnew targets every month, I’d run what?  Oooh, 1200 miles!!!  I can do that, my start base will be my easy week and blah, blah, blah!  This from a woman who decided she wasn’t going to set herself a distance target this year!  Please save me from myself!