Running this week 31 Oct – 4 Nov 2011

Hello Runners!

You girls rock!  We’ve had some great runs this past week and such a good turn-out despite the ASL conferences.  We are a dedicated bunch!
Our route suggestions this week are:
Monday – Greenford (10 miles).  This route follows the canal west past Wormwood Scrubs, then over the North Circular, then past Alperton, then south to Greenford.  We’ll take the tube home (Central Line) so bring your Oyster cards.  There is no good coffee in Greenford, but at least it’s inexpensive (you may get change from a £ coin – seriously!).  This is a tough run because there are almost no street crossings – it’s just straight running.
If you are a mid-level runner and will be running on Wednesday, I would suggest you run the Hyde Park Serpentine route.  That run goes down to Hyde Park on Lisson Grove, then run west along the north border of the park until you reach the road which bisects Hyde Park.  Follow that road over the bridge then drop down to the Serpentine, run along the Lido, then cross over the Serpentine and head back past the US Embassy taking Baker Street to SJW.  That is a 6 mile route.
Tuesday – The “Ease Back into Running” group started last week with a bang.  We did 4 miles at a nice pace with lots of street crossings for some opportune breaks.  I know I said we’d do 2, maybe 3 miles, but these ladies can run!  We will do a similar pace and distance this week making sure we have transport options mid-run in case anyone doesn’t want to go 4 miles.  After this week, we will start to formulate a plan for the EBR group.  Some of these ladies want to use the group to “find their legs” and will then switch to the MWF runs.  Some ladies would prefer to train as a group until the Lisbon race doing their long runs together on Tuesday mornings.   So we’ll see what happens!  Bring your Oyster cards as we will probably do a destination run and tube/bus home.
Wednesday – The mid-level group will be running to Wembley.  We did 8+ miles last week and everyone did extremely well.  We will do 8 miles again this week, but all 8 mile routes are not created equal!  The route goes out the canal west (that’s why I’m suggesting a different route for you for Monday) and there are no red lights.  It’s just run, run, run for 7 miles then the last mile is uphill to the tube station.  It’s not easy, but it is good for us!  You know you can do 8 miles; you did it last week…. now we’ll just up the degree of difficulty a bit.  I’ll bring some tootsie rolls if that is at all enticing!
For the group who ran to Greenford on Monday, I would suggest one of the Hyde Park routes – either the Serpentine route (6.0 miles) or maybe the Hyde/Green Park route down to Hyde Park, under Wellington Arch, then a full loop around Green Park and back either through Mayfair (if you don’t mind the street running) or back through Hyde Park.  I have some new Wednesday routes for you as Notting Hill and The Wall were getting old.  I can explain/describe these if you are interested.
Thursday – Beginners Group.  This week we are doing 10 minute running intervals and they are nervous about it… big-time.  Please tell them it will be OK.  They can do it – I know it and you know it, but they don’t know it!
Friday – The heath, Hampstead, Kenwood House or any version of that – as long as you’re running up hills, you are making yourself stronger.
I understand our community experienced a couple of distressing and terribly sad incidents this week.  Let’s all be thankful for our good fortune.  We are a lucky bunch of women to have each other and to be able to run together.  After a week like this, it’s easy to keep things in perspective – a tight hamstring, an achy knee, sore hips, etc…  it’s minor….  nothing we can’t handle.
I look forward to seeing you out running this week,
Hugs from your “sole” sister,

Running this week 24 – 28 Oct 2011

Hello everyone,

Exciting news!  The “Ease Back into Running” group is being revived and is scheduled to run on Tuesday mornings at 8:15am from Starbucks in SJW.  It looks as though we’ll have about 8-12 ladies joining us.  We will begin with a very gentle pace and will be doing about 3 miles (with lots of street crossings so hopefully we’ll have lots of breaks).  Some of these ladies are new to our running groups and some are familiar faces who may just be using this group temporarily to “find their running legs” again.  I have been worried for months that we are losing ladies who fall between the beginner and mid-level groups.  It’s a big jump between those two groups.  In fact, we probably need to quit calling it the mid-level group – who’s mid-level when they can run 7 miles straight up a hill?  So, if you know of anyone interested in the group – send them my way.  I don’t think we need to worry about having too many runners in the new EBR group.  I imagine many women will only use it to help them transition to one of our other groups.
Depressing news.  Our good-bye coffee for Randi is all arranged for Wednesday, 9 November.  We will be doing a London Highlights run that morning and finishing for coffee and pastries upstairs at Cafe Richoux at about 10:00.  Even if you can’t join us for the run, stop by for coffee.
Inspiring news?  Some of our runners take powerbag classes with Christian and rave about the work-out.  He is offering two new classes – one on Tuesday and one on Thursday morning.  If those times don’t work for you, get together a group of people and work with Christian on a time that suits you.  His contact info is:  Christian Hyslop, [email protected], 07970939797,
Now, our route suggestions for the week:
Monday – Battersea Park – This is a 10 mile route which heads down through Hyde Park to Sloane Square, over the river, then back to SJW.  I’m suggesting this route as there are endless options for people to shorten the distance.  If you are a mid-level runner and are planning on doing your long run on Wednesday, consider doing the Hyde Park piece then head home (5ish miles), or run to Sloane Square and home (6.5 miles), or most of the route but finishing at Green Park on the way back to SJW (8ish miles).  Some upcoming Monday routes….  Greenford then Kew/Richmond.  Fun times ahead!
Tuesday – The Ease Back into Running group will be doing a 3 mile loop at a gentle pace.  Come on ladies, no excuses!!!  I promise the hardest thing is coming out to run that first time.  Once you get there, you’ll be OK.  We’ll struggle through together.
Wednesday –
  • The fastest group could consider doing The Wall or if that’s getting old, maybe a Hyde Park+Green Park loop (7ish miles).  I promise I will come up with some new Wednesday routes for you girls.  I know Notting Hill and The Wall must be getting boring.  I’m trying to keep you on a route where you can push the pace without a lot of street crossings (so the canal works well).  Ideally, Wednesdays are a great day for tempo work.  That makes a nice program for you – Mons running long, Weds tempo work and Fris hills.
  • The mid-level group will be doing an interesting (and flat) 8 mile route through the city.  There are options every mile or so to shorten the distance.  My plan for this group is to get you comfortable with 7-8 mile routes over the next two months.  We’ll throw in the mix a couple of longer runs before mid-Dec then use the winter break as a recovery phase before building up for the half-marathon in the spring.  Next week we’ll be tackling another 8 mile route – one that’s a bit more challenging than this week’s plan.  So if you can make it out both weeks, you’ll be a uber-runner by the end of November!
Friday – Everyone to the heath!  Yeah!  I’ll be doing the new route but there are always people doing the old route or shortened versions of either run.  I know it’s tough getting up that hill, but think of how strong you are becoming.  When we get to Lisbon and we’re running flat, it’ll feel easy…..  OK, easier.
That’s it for now.  Have a great weekend.
I hope to see you out running this week,
PS – One of our beginner runners sent me this today.  I thought you may get a kick out of it.

Running this week 17-21 October 2011

Hello everyone,
I’m so happy to be back in London! It’s been nice seeing you this week and getting in some great runs. This week I’m suggesting everyone run basically the same routes, just shortened for those of you wanting less distance. Before we get to that, could I mention a few things?
Our beginner runners are doing their first destination run this week to Big Ben. You may remember the feeling of being terrified and excited at the same time. Please give them the thumbs-up when you see them this week – your encouragement means the world to them.
Another email will follow with the first bits of information on the Lisbon race. I will send that out to the combined beginner and regular runner email distributions. Let me know if I’ve missed someone on the list. Thanks!

If there is enough interest I will be starting a new group on Tuesday mornings (starting 25 October) somewhat like last year’s Ease Back into Running group. We have several runners who have been out with injuries, or have been out of running for months/years, or have just moved to London and are only interested in doing a few miles at a gentle pace. I would propose that we try this until the winter break in mid-December to see how it goes. The problem is this – we have been losing some runners over the past two months due to injuries but also a result of there not being a more gentle-paced group to join. Some of these ladies have tried running with the mid-level group but they miss out on the post-run camaraderie as they are stopping mid-run when they’ve done their distance. We all know why we run…. it’s for the post-run coffee, it has nothing to do with fitness! Please let me know if you are interested in this group and let me know if you know of other ladies not on our distribution who would be interested. I would hope this group would also run Fridays and either Monday or Wednesday. The Tuesday morning run would be with me and the other two runs would be with the main groups. I’m hoping the group will gel on Tuesdays so you’ll feel comfortable organizing yourselves into a “mini-pack” as part of the regular Mon/Wed/Fri runs.

Canary Wharf (9.5 miles) – yay! I love this route – it always feels like such an accomplishment. This route is a bit tricky; there are very few options to grab a bus/tube/taxi mid-run. In addition, sections of the canal are very isolated. This is not a run to do alone – if you are concerned that you can’t keep up, organize yourselves in pairs ahead of time with someone who goes your pace. For those wanting a shorter route, I would recommend:
Angel tube station (4 miles)
“The Wall” (6.0 miles)
Mile End (7 miles) – if this is your plan, find someone to run with you and bring a map so you know where to exit the canal. Hackney isn’t a great place to wander around alone.

Notting Hill (6.7 miles). The mid-level runners went to Finsbury Park this past week and everyone did extremely well. The Notting Hill loop is a bit shorter than the Finsbury Park route and is mostly flat. My plan is to make this a recovery week for you before we bump up the mileage again. You may feel a bit deflated running Notting Hill after the challenge of Finsbury Park, but it will give your body a week to recover before we increase our mileage again. Ideally, I would like to have this group comfortably running 8 mile routes by end-November. For those of you in the group planning on doing a spring marathon (not the half), it is at this point (1 Dec) that your training will begin to differ from the rest of the group. For those of you in the mid-level group aiming for the half-marathon in Lisbon, if you’re interested in seeing your training program leading up to the race, I’m happy to share that with you. I also completely understand not wanting to know! Sometimes it’s easier to NOT think about those long runs ahead of time.

Everyone runs up the hill – fun times! I’ll be out of town for the weekend so either do the old route or give the new route a try (could be an adventure!!!). As always, you have endless options to shorten this route.

I’ll look forward to seeing you this week,

Running this week 10 – 15 Oct 2011

Howdy! (that just seems appropriate as I’m sending this from Texas),

I’ve missed you all so much!  It’s been a productive trip here and the house is coming along well, but I’m ready to be back in London.  Many of you may be away for the ASL break, but I’ll be running.  I hope some of you are interested in joining me.  I realize also that some of you will have run the London Half-marathon on Sunday so may not be terribly interested in running again on Monday????  Think of coming by Starbucks for the post-run coffee – we would love to help you celebrate what I’m sure will be a fabulous race.
Monday (10 Oct) –  I need to do a 20-22 mile run on Monday or Tuesday.  Would you mind letting me know if you’re planning on running Monday?  I’ll come up a suitable route(s) when I know who will be out there.  I’ll be at Starbucks at the regular time – 8:15.  If we push back the time, it always seems that someone doesn’t get that message and they end up running solo.  I hope that’s OK with you.  I’m happy to push my long run back to Tuesday if that ends up working better – no worries.
Wednesday (12 Oct) –  
  • Fast Group – I’m not sure what you’ve been doing for your mid-distance run each week, so I’m hesitant to offer a suggestion.  You may be bored with the regular routes?  Notting Hill?  The Wall?
  • Mid-level Group –  I would encourage all of the mid-level runners to try the Finsbury greenbelt route.  It’s a 7 mile run with a good bakery at the finish.  For those of you who haven’t done this route, the greenbelt is an old, dismantled railway line – beautifully wooded and the path is dirt and gravel.  It’s a lovely, quiet spot in the middle of north London.  We do have to run up to Hampstead then on up to Highgate to get to the entrance of the greenbelt.  It’s a challenge getting up there, but well worth it.  We’ll tube home from Finsbury Park so bring your Oyster card.  Could someone from the “core” of the mid-level group let me know what you think about this?  If you don’t feel ready for a 7 mile run, we can come up with a different route idea.
Friday (14 Oct) –  
  • Fast Group – How about we try the new route in the heath?  Hopefully this time the gates will be open and we won’t have to trail-blaze.  I’ll throw my machete into the backpack just in case!!!
  • Middle-level Group – You may want to do something other than “the hill”, particularly if you ran the Finsbury greenbelt on Wednesday.  I would suggest a 5-6 mile flat route like the shortened Hyde Park route (run to the park, turn right/west and run to the road that divides the park, head south over the Serpentine bridge, run back/east along the Lido and wind your way back to SJW).
Good luck to everyone running the half-marathon tomorrow!  We’ll be thinking of you.
See you soon – yay!,