Thursday, 6 June 2013

Yes, it's me again ... the sporadic blogger!

Maybe that's what I should call my blog from now on - Jenny Wren the Sporadic Blogger!

So far this year I've entered 6 races:

High Legh 10k - 50:54
Trafford 10k - 50:27
Mobberley Round the Runway - 5.3 miles - 41:55
Chester Half Marathon - 1:48:07
Hollins Green 5k - 22:33
Bowdon 5k - 23:14
Lymm Festival 10k Trail Race - June
English Half Marathon - September

I've also done several parkruns at Wythenshawe and also volunteered. I was also chosen to be Parkrunner of the Month in November which entitled me to a free pair of trainers - I chose the Mizuno Wave Rider 15 shoes and I wear them to all my races.  At the beginning of this year I earned my 50 parkrun t-shirt and am now trying to notch up another 50 so I can get my 100 t-shirt.

Running club is going great. Track sessions on a Tuesday (which I hated last year but am loving this year), and a general club run of about 6 miles on a Thursday. I've also started joining the 8am Sunday morning runs (which believe me is an achievement in itself) which ranges from 10-13 miles along different routes but usually include lanes, canal, river, fields and trail. I usually follow this by a long walk in the afternoon to stretch the legs out and thankfully, so far, I've not suffered the worst for it on a Monday.

Oh and talking about running club, at our recent annual meeting I was awarded with the coveted trophy for 'Most Improved Athlete of 2013' and it stands pride of place on my bookcase.




I've also had a couple of mentions in Lymm Life Magazine which is a local magazine and a Warrington newspaper for my recent PB at Chester Half Marathon.  Also mentioned in the articles were fellow club runners Anthony Burke and John Croall for the same achievements.

So, in case it takes me another six months to blog - all in all it's been a pretty good six months for running and I hope to keep on improving and enjoying it for the rest 2013!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A few days off work

Last week went by in a whirlwind ...

Monday

An early morning birthday run 6.54 mi 00:58 08:56 pace
A nice leisurely 6 mile trot to kickstart my birthday and also test drive my new trainers. Unfortunately my timing was a bit off and I hit the school run and rush hour traffic. Never mind, once off the main road it was a nice leafy undulating run and I nearly managed to get round before the rain started!
 

Tuesday

Delamere Forest trail run 7.03 mi 01:07 09:33 pace
This was my first "proper" trail run so I decided to take it easy and break in my knees and new shoes gently. It was a lovely morning and the run was great with lots of autumn colours and the lake was as still as glass. I knew trail running would be a lot more fun than road running but it's also a lot harder to do! My new shoes now look well and truly broken in and I'm looking forward to the next trail run.

Blakemere


Blakemere


On top of the Old Pale

View from the Old Pale

Yeld Lane
 

 Friday

Early morning run 2.59 mi 00:23 08:57 pace
Snuck in an early one before work this morning. Passed the odd person walking a dog, and the vans making their early morning deliveries to the local shops but other than that I had the pavements to myself. Perfect start to the day!
 

Saturday

Wythenshawe parkrun 3.08 mi 00:25 08:09 pace
Yeah! I got parkrunner of the month, more for my volunteering than my running abilities I think!!! Had a great run, it was very muddy, slippy and wet underfoot but it's the quickest I've got round in ages. I was 2nd female to finish and 1st in my age category - whoop! :-)
 

Sunday

Early frosty run 5.12 mi 00:46 08:56 pace
A lovely frosty morning. Just what the legs ordered for a nice leisurely Sunday run before breakfast. Clear blue sky, the odd runner dotted about and a short sprint along the local bridlepath before heading home to mushroom and tomato omelette packed inside freshly baked wholemeal bread. Yum!

 

Friday, 19 October 2012

So far this week ...

Sunday

I started off with a gentle 10 mile run in and around Dunham Massey NT.  It was a lovely cold and frosty early morning run. There were hardly any people about but plenty of deer in the grounds. Definitely the best time of day to go!

Dunham Massey NT, Cheshire
 

Tuesday

Club run tonight was hill reps up and down one of the local lanes. We did 10min sprint reps of:

3 lamposts, jog recovery, 6 lamposts, jog and repeat.
The next set was 6 lamposts, jog, 6 lamposts, jog, 3 lamposts, jog and repeat the 6x2 again.
We then finished off by pairing up with someone of a similar speed and sprinting 2 lamposts and sprinting back down again, keeping in sequence with the rest of the group.

It was hard work as time went on but fun.

Thursday

Tonight we ran a figure round round the local roads. There were six of us out and the pace was quite fast but I managed to keep up and we had a really nice run under the stars. Far better than last Thursday when we got caught in a rainstorm!

Saturday

Is parkrun day! The last time I ran this I was second female over the finish line. Ok, there was quite a large gap between us but maybe this week I'll be first ... and pigs might fly ... but a girl can try!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Early morning run

This was the first early morning run before work I've done in a long time. It's definitely the best time of day to go running, it was so peaceful and relaxing that I didn't even turn my music on. I must make more of an effort to get out of bed early in future. Hopefully next time I'll leave early enough to manage 3-4 miles!

2.6 miles in 00:22:15 at 08:32 pace.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hollins Green 5km

This was the 2nd race in the North Grand Prix Cheshire Series. I wasn't really in the mood for it but at the last minute I arranged a lift with one of the girls from my club so I had no excuse not to go!

As it turned out it was a lovely race along the local lanes and the atmosphere amongst the runners was contagious.

I really enjoyed it and glad that I went and although I've not had my official time yet my Garmin tells me I got a big PB - 24:15!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Chester Half Marathon

I signed up for this in October and have looked forward to it ever since.  After two club runs a week including hill reps, track sessions and hour long runs, together with parkrun on a Saturday and getting up early on a Sunday morning for long runs I was ready and excited for the race.

It was a lovely sunny morning and I arrived in Chester at 7.30am ready to catch the Park & Ride bus to the racecourse.
The racecourse itself was well organised.  The tent was well marked so there was no confusion about where to put baggage, pick up last minute information, safety pins etc.  There were plenty of toilets on the course itself (which is the most important thing) and the local radio station was there taking photos, and keeping everyone entertained before the start.  There was such a lot going on that before I knew it it was time to kick off.

I got myself to the Under 2hr pen with what felt like everybody else in the race! The loudspeaker was blaring out Take That ‘Greatest Day of My Life’ and then we were off.
The first mile took us on the main road out of the City.  In that first mile I saw Dave and then a bit further along my dad and his camera.  Unfortunately my dad was looking for someone wearing pink while I was wearing my green club shirt! He spotted me though as I waved and shouted as I ran past.

Once out on the wider ‘A’ roads people started spreading out and spectators got fewer.  It felt like a long few miles which was made confusing by the first water station having a sign saying ‘4 miles’ when in fact it was only 3 miles.  The route was pretty uneventful but nice and flat up to the halfway mark. I was surprised at hearing my name shouted (instead of Batman’s who was right behind me) and I looked across and saw Sarah waving at me frantically from her closed petrol station. That cheered me up and gave me a boost to the halfway point.

The halfway point was set up really well with funnels up to a hairpin turn into the second half.  For a short distance there were runners going in both directions on the same road, there were loads of spectators and lots of shouting, cheering and clapping.
At this point I was running slightly slower than 10k pace and I started to pick up speed slightly, but not too much to wear me out.

The second half was a lot more interesting to run than the first.  It took us through the lanes back up into Chester via Saughall and Blacon.  Some points along the way were slightly inclined and muddy in places but there was a great atmosphere going through the villages with the local residents were out cheering, supporting and throwing jelly beans.

At mile 10 I started to up the pace and started to overtake people.  I was going nice and steady right up to mile 12 and then I got the unexpected ‘hill’ at the end.  It didn’t look much it managed to make a lot of people stop and walk.  It was horrible and by the top I was reduced to a slight shuffle and then the marshal said that when I got to the top I’d see the finish line.  This was enough to get me going again and my energy picked right back up as I sprinted through the finish line waving at my dad and Dave as I flew past.

I picked up my medal, t-shirt and a big bag of Haribo and walked through the finish funnel to the area set out for meeting friends and relatives.  Another of my friends had come to the finish to see me which was a nice surprise as well.  After a nice mug of hot chocolate we made our way back to the racecourse to pick up my bag before heading off to Chester Zoo for the afternoon.



A great day, great race, great atmosphere and a lovely zoo visit in the afternoon.
Oh, and my finishing time was well below my target of 2hrs.  01:54:24 and a nice shiny PB.

And yes, I’ll be back next year with a target of 01:45:00 or under!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Wythenshawe parkrun

Wythenshawe parkrun has been up and running since August 2011 and is attracting more runners each week.

This a two lap course which starts and ends outside the entrance to Wythenshawe Hall which is located in the centre of the park.


The first short section of the run loops around a small area of grass, past the statue of Oliver Cromwell before rejoining the main path. It then follows the main path through the park and along a tree-lined footpath before coming to the football playing fields.

The route keeps to the right of the playing fields, alongside the stream then over a small footbridge, before doubling back along another tree-lined footpath and on to the path towards the main car park and small farm.

After passing the farm the route cuts through a small wooded area before the tea rooms, bringing you back out in front of the Oliver Cromwell Statue again ready for lap two.

Lap two is the same same route as lap one (apart from missing out the first grassy loop). Once back at Oliver Cromwell on the second lap, turn left and finish back at the Hall.

Wythenshawe parkrun route