This is going to be a VERY long email, but it has a lot of important information so I’m going to do a little table of contents at the top to make sure you don’t miss anything. Here are topics we will cover:
- Hampton Court Race Update
- Revised Training Schedule
- Increasing the Non-Thursday Run Time
- Coach/Runner match-ups
- WRW Watch Party
- Where We’ve Live
- This week’s route
First, the race update. I’m just going to let Micki say it – I’ve taken this from the email she sent to the M/W/F runners yesterday:
IMPORTANT! Hampton Court Half Update. Obviously we all have been wondering about the status of our annual half marathon on March 21st at Hampton Court Palace. Race Boss Sue Wheeler has kept in contact with the race organizers, and as of this week they have not yet made a decision. But we feel the chance of it proceeding in its original format is increasingly unlikely given the extension of the UK lockdown to March 8. Further, as your WRW-organising team, even if the race goes on, we would be concerned– as many of you might be– about sending our community into a very large group event just seven weeks from now, and less than two weeks after the potential end of UK lockdown restrictions. For these reasons, we have decided to officially move our training target to a late April or early May half marathon.
It is possible the Hampton Court Palace Half itself could be rescheduled for that window (which would be great!) but if not, we have been assured by organisers that we will still have the option to run it as a virtual event, with flexibility in the timing. So while we wait to see if the official race is rescheduled and for when, we are working on a backup plan to try to offer the best version of a WRW community-wide event we can!
Revised Training Schedule
OK, so what does this mean for you, the beginner group? It’s really not much different from the regular group. We are going to revise the training schedule so we have a more gradual build and add some rest weeks in there. Since we now have a bit of breathing room, we are really going to start emphasizing the mileage over the minutes (sorry!) for the Thursday runs. We are going to keep our 90 minute run for this week (which translates to about 7.25 miles) but as you can see from the schedule, we pare the increases back a bit. We may revise this a bit after February break but for now, this is the new schedule. The far right column shows the expected mileage.
The training plan minutes assume you are running about a 13 min/mi. Some of you are faster than that, some of you are slower. But the half marathon will be 13.1 miles for all of you so that’s what we need to be training towards at this point.
For those of you who have been, or are, injured, this might allow you to build up and catch up with us. Your assigned coach will work with you on this – more on that below.
Increasing your non-Thursday run timeStarting this week, you should increase your running time so you are running 45 minutes on the weekend and 60 minutes on Tuesdays (so start this on Tuesday if you can). You’ll keep doing this for the rest of the training until the race. Remember to keep it nice and slow! Also, make sure you stretch, and use a foam roller if you have one, after EVERY run. This is so important!
Coach/Runner Match-upsWe coaches have been feeling a bit out of touch with the group as a whole (that Zoom meeting was SO GREAT to reconnect!) and we want to make sure no one is slipping through the cracks and that everyone has someone to go to for guidance on any physical issues or questions about anything. To do this, we are going to try out coach/runner match-ups. Each coach (including our regular guest coaches Shannon, Sue and Micki) each have 2 or 3 of you as their match-up. If they haven’t already, they will reach out and let you know they are your assigned coach. This does NOT mean that coach will be running with you on Thursday. We will continue to rotate among coaches and runners on Thursday because we all love seeing all of you! This is really so you have a first point of contact and so we all can make sure you are feeling supported and that we know how you’re doing each week.
For those of you who are not in London or who are injured, the coaches will plan to reach out weekly, or more often if necessary, to see how you’re doing, make sure you got the runs in, etc. If you’re in London and running with a coach on Thursdays (or whenever), they likely won’t need to reach out because we coaches will report in about how the run was and how amazing you all are, as usual. This doesn’t mean you can’t email/talk to another coach – this is really about not slipping through the cracks, as I said before. We are the mama birds – we want to make sure all of our chicks are ready to fly before we push them out of the nest 🙂
WRW Watch Party this week
Here’s another bit copied from the M/W/F email from WRW. Everyone is invited to join in so we didn’t want you to miss out!
How about some big-screen running inspiration together on the small screen? We’re going to try to have a couple of ‘Watch Parties’ using Amazon Prime. We will post the link on the WRW Facebook page 30 minutes before the party starts (see below for times). You’ll need a UK Amazon Prime account to join (apologies to our friends not in the UK). Once you join the party, we will watch in sync and with the benefit of a chat function. You can always do this with a smaller group of friends, but what a potentially fun way to connect with the broader WRW group we’ve been missing! The selections are two running-related movies:
Wednesday, February 3, 8pm: “Skid Row Marathon“– a truly inspiring documentary about a running club created by an L.A. judge (the trailer will make you cry!). Only 84 minutes. If you don’t join the watch party, try to catch it on your own sometime!
Thursday, February 4, 9pm: “Brittany Runs a Marathon“– about a woman who reluctantly starts running for her health and ends up changing her life. At least one of our pace groups got together last year to watch this (yes, like, in the same room– can you imagine?). It’s funny and inspirational, and won audience-choice awards at the Sundance Festival. If you haven’t seen it, or you want a rewatch, join us!
Where We’ve Lived
So fun to see where everyone has lived and kind of trace their journeys to London! I think Tammy wins with the most places and Paola has the fewest. Many of us have spent time in NYC and in the Washington DC area. Several of us have lived on both coasts and in the middle of the country. Many have lived multiple places abroad but for a few of us, London is the first. Of the people who responded, only Paola has not spent any time living in the US. I’ve copied everyone’s responses at the bottom of the email. For those of you who did not respond yet, feel free to Reply All to this email so we can see where you’ve lived!
Route this Week – 90+ minutes/7.25 miles
This week, we have a route with a lot of pauses. You’re welcome! Also, your coach will probably get lost so you’ll have even more stops. This is a sightseeing route through Notting Hill with lots of local landmarks, many from movies. It’s a little complicated so we recommend using RunGo to help you.
But here is the write-up:This route goes thru tons of fun & history in Notting Hill, but please be mindful of the lack of official crossings! Head down St Johns Wood Rd alongside the Cricket ground. Cross at the light and take the usual left on Cunningham Pl and then around on Aberdeen Place. Make your way thru the light and along the canal on Blomfield Rd. Continue alongside and turn left to cross the bridge on Westbourne Terrace Rd. Make an immediate right when you cross to Delamere Terrace and jump onto the canal tow path. Continue on for less than a half mile and then veer to the left before the Harrow Rd bridge. Make a left at the top to briefly run to the light on Harrow Rd. in front of Westminster Academy. Cross here and continue straight down the side road, Alfred Rd. You will see the Westminster Academy on your left and Harbour Club coming up as well. There is a small footpath between them. Make a left before Harbour Club to follow the path, and eventual colorful footbridge that takes you across the train tracks into Notting Hill!
When you get down the stairs, make a left onto Westbourne Park Villas and stay to the right as it bends and continues into Westbourne Park Road. Continue until St Luke’s Rd on your right. Make an immediate left onto St Luke’s Mews. It is hidden and cobblestone. On the left, at 27 St Lukes Mews is a bright pink house from Love Actually. Make a right coming out onto All Saint Rd, the street that has been the center of much racial transformation to the area from Carribean immigrants. Make your first left onto Lancaster Rd to enjoy the colorful houses alongside. Turn left on Portobello Rd and your first left on Westbourne Park Rd. Hugh Grant’s character’s flat (282) from the movie Notting Hill is on your left. Keep going until you make a right on Blenheim Crescent.
Make a right on Clarendon Road and an immediate right on Portland Road. Follow it around and then make a right on Portland Road again (confusing!). On your left is Hippodrome Mews, which was the site of the former Kensington Racetrack stables. Follow the road until you see the park in front of you and cross carefully, making a left on Walmer Road. On your left you will see a strange site – a giant kiln from the brickmaking days this area was once known for. Continue past and you will see a sign for Earl of Zetland. Go thru to the street on the left of this, Pottery Lane. which also has a church alongside it. Hard to believe that “Cut Throat (Pottery) Lane” was one of the former worst slums in London. Make a sharp left when you get to the bottom at Penzance Pl and see a beautifully curved pink house. Follow Penzance Pl up to the left and make a right at shops at Clarendon Cross. Make a quick left and then right UP Lansdowne Rise. Turn left on Lansdowne Rd and another quick left on Rosemead Gardens. This is the stop from Notting Hill movie where they jump the fence into the private garden. Make a right on Elgin Crescent and follow it until it hits Portobello Rd.
Make a right on Portobello Rd. You will pass the Travel Book shop, Alice’s Antique Shop and Orson Welles house on your left as you run down it. When the road stops, make a right on Pembridge Rd and cross carefully when you hit the roundabout towards Notting Hill Gate (tube) Rd. Make a right and you will see The Coronet Theatre. Turn left on Hillgate Rd and a quick right on Uxbridge St. This is a pretty & hidden pocket of colorful houses! Make a left on Farm Pl and follow it around to Hillgate Pl. making a rectangle when you turn left on Jameson St and back through a small passageway to the right on Uxbridge St. Cross back over Notting Hill Gate and make a right. Then make a left on Pembridge Gardens. Take your first right on Pembridge Square and go by Prince William and Prince Harry’s preschool. When the gardens end, make a left and continue up Chepstow Pl.
Congrats! The twists and turns are almost over! Follow it up until you hit Talbot Rd. Make a right. Talbot end at Westbourne Park Rd and there is a small hidden passage when you cross the street. The passageway gets you directly to the pedestrian bridge we took over. Make a right on Alfred and then left on Harrow Rd. Cross the street and Sutherland Ave is a few streets up on your right. Take it straight into SJW High street!