2020-21 Beginners – Week 35

Hi everyone,
So – this is it!  The last week of you being Beginners!  Next week you will officially be ex-Beginners.

This email is a little long – so grab a coffee/beer and give it a bit of time.

This week’s plan
This weekend – do 45 or 60 minutes, whatever you feel like doing but don’t push it.On Tuesday, we will meet at 8:15 at the Church Gardens and plan to head out promptly at 8:20 for 45 minutes around Regent’s Park at a slow pace.  The goal for these last runs is to enjoy your running (!!) and your group and just keep your muscles loose.  Relax!  If you push the pace this week, it may make your legs feel a bit heavier than normal on race day from the muscle damage that comes when you are building up muscle (you may have noticed this on your weekend runs after a long Thursday run).  Your training is done, you are READY!  As Paula said in the final email my beginner year, this week is about finding the joy in running and in your amazing group.

After the run on Tuesday we will grab coffee and head back to the park so you can ask any questions.  And feel free to email any of us this week if there is something on your mind.
Walkers and anyone else – we should be back to the High Street by 9:15 and to the Church Gardens by 9:30 – please join us!

Random notes for the race
Here are some things we tell runners to do to prepare for the race each year.

  • Nothing new on race day!  Food, clothing, drink – NOTHING.  Not even socks!
  • Cut your toenails – seriously.  I’ve known people who have lost their toenails after a race and it’s not pretty and it’s much less likely if your nails are short.
  • Bring at least 2 gels – better to have too many than too few
  • Bring water and hydrate along the way, but don’t hydrate too much just before – bathrooms may not be available at all…
  • Sunscreen!!  It’s been sunny in London and you will be out in it a long time.
  • Consider having some Starburst or jelly beans along with you on the race – they can give a quick little “wake up” for your mouth that can help
  • Make sure you have your tracking app (Strava, RunGo – whatever) ready to go
  • Consider having RunGo set up with the race route, just in case  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/0rGvbCpp0D

A few other things:

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep on TUESDAY.  Getting good rest at least one of the two nights before the race is important so get yourself to bed at a decent hour on Tuesday.  You might be nervous on Wednesday which could impact your sleep.
  • This week, try to eat well.  What you eat the week before is more important than the night before.  Keep your protein intake fairly high, don’t drink too much alcohol, drink water slowly but consistently.  Keep a water bottle with you and sip it, especially the 48 hours before the race.  No unusual funky food items at a restaurant the days prior.
  • Lay out all of your gear the night before, including water, gels, keys, Oyster/contactless – EVERYTHING
  • If you run with music when you run on your own, consider bringing music for the race.  And have it ready to go so you’re not trying to fiddle with it during the race.
  • Psychologically, when a stretch seems long, it can help to try to visualize running one of your regular routes in London for a similar distance – like running back from Hyde Park is about 2 miles, visualize running to and crossing Oxford Street, then up towards Marylebone Road and on to Park Rd.  And if your legs are feeling tired, try doing some high stepping or side shuffling to wake your muscles up.
  • Finally, try to take time to ENJOY the race.  Look around at the scenery.  Think how far you have come since running for 1 minute in September – you are all INCREDIBLE!

After the race
Next week, you officially become part of the regular WRW group.  Congratulations!  You will receive an email each weekend with the suggested routes for the week.  Generally, the runs after the race tend to be fun destinations.  We no longer need to worry about mileage, it’s more about being social and keeping fit (since we can use that as an excuse to eat all the good things at Borough Market…).
For the first week after the race, don’t worry about getting right out there to run.  You may or may not feel sore from the race – a lot of it will depend on the weather and how hard you push at the end.  My beginner year, my group got together the Thursday after the race and did 3 – 4 miles in Regents Park, just to get out there and to reconnect with each other post-race.  If you’re ready to come out with the MWF group after the race – fantastic!  Also, for those of you willing to brave Fitzjohn’s and the Heath, we are happy to run with you on an upcoming Friday, to give you a few tips on running up the hill.  It’s hard, but it’s such a great feeling to get to the top.  Plus, the Heath is beautiful.
I know it can be tricky to start running on MWF after you’ve gotten into such a TTH schedule for the year.  It can also be intimidating to run with all those super scary advanced MWF runners.  But trust me, you are running at paces that fit within the larger MWF group.  Your coaches will help connect you with the women in your pace group and I swear, they are all really nice.   We are hoping to have a mentor for each of you to welcome you so stay tuned on that.  Please please come out and run with us whenever you can.  It will also make it easier for the fall if you meet some of your fellow pace group runners over the next month or two before school gets out.  I will try to remember to talk a bit more about how it all will work when we are together on Tuesday – remind me!!

The Race Route
Here is our official route:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/0rGvbCpp0D

We are fortunate to have some awesome WRW volunteers who will be staffing a water table right around 6.5 miles.  If you have jackets to shed, they are willing to collect them and bring them to the finish.

We will have a staggered start as we’ve been doing for all of our recent runs.  The goal is for everyone to finish between 11:30a and 12p.  It will be VERY IMPORTANT for everyone to be on time.  The leave times below are LEAVE times, not show up at the station times.  If you’re meeting there, please let us know that you are AND please get there 10 min ahead so you have warm up time.

Leave from SJW – 7:20; start time 8:15 – Trenita – Melissa
Leave from SJW – 8 am; start time 8:50 – Tammy/Mariyam/Corisha/Devyani – Amy & Shannon
Leave from SJW – 8:15; start time 9:05 – Farhana/Natasha/Darlene/Tanya – Micki & Paola
Leave from SJW – 8:20; start time 9:10 – Joanna/Heloisa/Sue – Renata & Sue

Each group will travel together via tube from SJW (if you are coming from elsewhere, feel free to meet us there but make sure you’re there on time!).  It will take about 45 minutes from the SJW tube to get there, including about 15 minutes of walking to the start.  We will take the Jubilee to Green Park, switch to the Piccadilly Line westbound to Barons Court, cross the platform and get the District Line to Stamford Brook.  For walking directions from the station, put in “7 Chiswick Mall, Chiswick, London W4 2QH” and this will get you very close to the start.

The star on the map below is the start.  The place where the arrow turns left is shown in the photograph – follow the sign to the Thames Path.  It will look like you’re walking on a private driveway  when you make that left but you’re not (or maybe you are, but it’s still the right place to be).

  For those of you who are planning to meet us along the route, Richmond is about 7 miles from the finish and Kingston is a little over 2 miles from the finish.  We’d love to have as many as possible run or walk those last few miles, or even just meet us at the finish.  The group from the water table will meet us at the end to cheer us in and we want ALL of you to be a part of it if possible.  Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you plan.
Feel free to ask any questions on the What’sApp about next week, the race, or what comes next.  I will try to address things as well on Tuesday. We can’t WAIT to run with you!

We will see you on Tuesday,

2020-21 Beginners – Week 34

Hi everyone,Kew – done and dusted!  You guys rocked it, as we knew you would.  We are SO proud of all of you amazing women and we are so excited to run the race route with you next week!

Since we still have 10 days to go until the race, we still have some running to do.  But nothing you haven’t done before.

First, a few date reminders from the regular WRW group (whom you will shortly become a part of):

Wednesday, 5 May – Cinqo for Cinqo de Mayo!  
Monday, 17 May – Adventure Run!– Virginia Water to Windsor.  Block off the entire morning for this beautiful run that ends at Windsor Castle!
Monday, 24 May – Pace Group Choose-your-own-Adventure run (details coming to pace group leaders soon)

I will talk a bit more in next week’s email about what happens after the race.  We are working on pairing you with “mentors” from the regular running group so it’s not so scary joining in.  And we will take you “up the hill” the first time so you can see it’s not so bad.  Although we will be kicking you out of the nest, we will not be abandoning you, I promise!

This week, we will do about an 8 mile run through Hyde Park, down through Sloane Square, then back along the river to Westminster and end at Green Park.  There is a Starbucks there for those of us able to stay for coffee, and a quick tube ride back to SJW for those of us that need to get back.

Next Tuesday, 27 April, we will do a super easy jog around Regents Park together as our final run before the race.  We will meet at the Church Gardens at 8:15 to all start out together in random groups.  This will be less than 3 miles and we will grab coffee and gather in the Church Gardens for any last minute questions/anxieties before the race.  I hope you all can make it.  Just wanted to put that out there.  THIS INCLUDES WALKERS!   WE WANT TO SEE YOU, TOO!

For this coming weekend, please do a 45-60 minute run – whatever you are feeling.  Don’t push it, but don’t skip it.  You need to keep your legs moving and keep reminding them about what they know and what they have achieved.

We will put groupings out on the What’s App for this week either Tuesday or Wednesday for this week’s run.

I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly proud we are of ALL of you and how excited we are to run with you for the race next week.  This has been a long year but such a rewarding one.

See you on Thursday,

2020-21 Beginners – Week 33

I loved that run on Thursday to Brick Lane with you all!  I saw so much street art that I haven’t seen before – so much fun!!  This is what post-race running will be about – fun destinations, chatting with friends with hopefully some treats at the end!
OK – things are getting real now – just 2 more weeks until race day!
The ScheduleWeek 33 Apr 15 – Kew Gardens – 11 milesWeek 34 Apr 22 – TBD – 7-8 milesWeek 35 Apr 29 – RACE DAY!Continue to do 45 min on the weekend and 60 min on Tuesdays!
This week is the penultimate training run – Kew!  You guys have all run 10 miles – this is just one mile further.  You know you can do it!  The run takes us through Kensington to Hammersmith and then on to a path along the north side of the river before crossing to the south side.  It is beautiful and flat.  It ends in the village of Kew where there are several coffee shops.  We will take either the Overground to Finchley & Frognal or the District Line to Westminster/Jubilee to SJW to get home.
Walkers – you could tube to Hammersmith and walk from there – it will be about 5.5 miles and you’ll get the prettiest part of the route.  We’d love to have you join us!!
OK – a few things for the run this week:

  • Hydrate on Wednesday – all day
  • Bring your Oyster card or contactless card to take the tube back plus money for coffee afterwards
  • Bring a gel, maybe two and maybe something like jelly beans, starbursts, etc.
  • Bring water
  • Eat well and get a good night’s rest the night before and don’t go out partying 
  • Stretch the night before if you can
  • Eat something for breakfast

A note about bathrooms along the run – in the past, we have been able to use bathrooms at Costa (around mile 5, attached to the Hilton Hotel on the Kensington High Street (just past the intersection with Holland Road) or the Starbucks at mile 5.7 but these days, we can’t count on that.  We are not going to plan a stop – it’s better to keep running – but if you need to stop, we can check and a coach will wait for you and other coaches will continue on with the group if necessary.  There may be a bathroom in the Hammersmith tube station.
Kew via Barnes Bridge, 11.2 miles
RunGo:  https://routes.rungoapp.com/route/3vGe1fClDw
Bring your Oyster or contactless card and wear running shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy if you have them! 
You’ll feel exhilarated on our 11 mile run to the “kewt” village of Kew. We start out the normal way running to Hyde Park. Once in the park, we’ll turn to the left and run down the main path as we normally do, to Hyde Park Corner. Here we turn right to follow South Carriage Drive all along the south side of the park. We’ll exit the park at the Broad Walk, turning right onto Kensington High Street and continuing for about two miles until we reach the Hammersmith Tube gyratory. Run counter clockwise towards the left, ending up on Queen Caroline Street from which you turn right onto the St. Paul’s Church green. Run along the edge of the green, heading towards Hammersmith Bridge (which is closed to all traffic and pedestrians for repair). Turn right at Rutland Grove and a quick left to head to the river, then turn right on Lower Mall to run west along the Thames.

Keep the river to your left — mostly it will be visible, but sometimes there will be houses in between you and the river. Follow the signs for the Thames Path.  After 2 miles, as soon as you pass two boat houses in quick succession, you will come to Barnes Bridge, a railway/pedestrian bridge. [NOTE – there is a short diversion just before the bridge where the way is blocked – turn right, then left and then left to to around and get to the bridge].  Climb the bridge stairs and use the pedestrian access to cross the river to the south bank of the Thames, then continue west along the river for another 2 miles.

We will leave the Thames Path at Kew Bridge, see photo below:

Run UNDER the bridge and then turn left, past a couple of tiny shops and garages. Run through the small parking lot until you see the stone steps leading to the top of the bridge.

At the top of the steps turn right towards town (not back over the river!) and run along this road [Kew Road] for about a third of a mile until you reach a 3-way intersection, where you will veer right and follow Kew Road along the boundary wall to Kew Gardens until you reach the first main pedestrian entrance to Kew Gardens, the Victoria Gate. Across from Victoria Gate is Lichfield Road (sign posted on the left-hand corner). Follow Lichfield Road straight into Kew village. Starbucks is on the left where we’ll all meet up to celebrate this epic run!

2020-21 Beginners – Week 32

WOW!  You guys are so incredible – 10 miles!  You deserve a break and hey!  I’m giving you one this week!  Don’t say I never give you anything 🙂

I have several things to cover in this email so I will get right down to it.  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact any of the coaches.

WRW Video
Don’t forget about the filming assignments our WRW movie director, Janelle, has set for us, both while we’re out on our runs and when we’re feeling creative at home.  She prefers short video clips over still photos, and they need to be shot horizontally (in landscape format):  
1) “Make yourself part of London street art.”  Become a statue, make yourself part of a mural, have fun showing off things you find around town.
2) Draw a WRW logo on mid-run with chalk, with a London iconic building, landmark or route in the background.
3)  Make a 30-second clip of you homeschooling your children or teaching your pet a new trick.
4). Recreate any Tik-tok or other viral video– in WRW kit, of course!

Janelle has set up a drop box for your videos when you are ready to submit them to her. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CrAsVTxb3P44p46UBfw3DdO17rfFYQlD
Get out there, get silly, and make the Silver Linings proud!!

Preparing for the race – 3 weeks out
By now, hopefully most of you have identified gels/jelly beans/bloks that you like (or at least tolerate).  You will want to have enough for our run to Kew next week as well as the race.  You’re welcome to have one for the week in between as well – that is up to you.  I do still have a bunch of extras and I’m happy to share so just let me know.

Additionally, make sure you’re eating something before the runs so you know what works for your body.  And make sure you have a water bottle for the longer runs – it is easy to underestimate how much your body needs water after all those miles.
Distance TrackingIn order to prove you have run the race (to get your medal and shirt), you will need a screenshot of a running app, or a running watch, to show the distance you have done.  Although in theory you could take a photo of my watch, it will be much more fun for you guys to have your own record of this momentous occasion.  So if you haven’t already, please put one of the running apps on your phone and practice using it.  Many runners in WRW use Strava or MapMyRun.  There are many apps – just make sure you know how to use it before race day.

Although this won’t be a full-on, hard core race in potentially unfamiliar weather (hopefully!), it is still a really long run and we want you to be as comfortable as possible.  With that in mind, please make sure you try out any clothing you think you might wear on race day – short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, tights, bra, socks – whatever.  You don’t want to buy something new and discover it rubs something terrible when you’re reaching Mile 6 of 13 miles.

Post Race Save-the-Dates
I know, you’re all probably thinking, “I’m getting this race over with and then you’re never seeing me again!”  Ha!  As if.  Post-race is the BEST because all of the runs are shorter than the race so you KNOW you can do them!  And we do fun things!  With that in mind, the regular WRW group has put out some “save the dates” for a couple of runs that you might want to put on the calendar.  I didn’t want you guys to miss out 🙂  We will talk more about what happens post-race in a couple of weeks but if you have questions, you can post them on the chat so everyone can hear the answers or I’m happy to answer directly.
Monday, 17 May – Adventure Run!– Virginia Water to Windsor.  Block off the entire morning for this beautiful run that ends at Windsor Castle!) – 7.5 miles
Monday, 24 May – Pace Group adventures — stay tuned for more on this new idea!

This week
We will still run in coached groups – it will just be less stressful than a normal run because it’s only 6 miles!  (except Tanya, who gets to continue to build this week…)
We will go out on the chat and see who can run.  I’m not sure if this week’s ASL break will wreak havoc with timing or not – you can let us know!

For a route, it’s flexible.  We can do The Wall again for an out-and-back.  If you’re up for adventure, we could run out the canal (toward Canary) and go to Brick Lane to see some street art.  Or could do a classic loop to Hyde Park.  And then there’s the fan favourite of Borough Market, although you guys did just run that way last week.  Decisions, decisions!  We can banter it about on the chat.

The Schedule
Week 32 Apr 8 – April  break – 6 miles
Week 33 Apr 15 – Kew Gardens – 11 miles
Week 34 Apr 22 – TBD – 7-8 miles
Week 35 Apr 29 – RACE DAY!
Continue to do 45 min on the weekend and 60 min on Tuesdays!