Running this week 30 Apr – 4 May 2012

Hello Runners,

Let’s start with some updates from last week’s email:

The London Marathon:
Our girls rocked!!!!  Congratulations Kelli and Patricia on a fabulous run and a “shout-out” as well to Laura Mosedale, who’s on our distribution but rarely gets to join the group, and to some of the husbands of our runners.  It was a gorgeous day for us spectators (albeit maybe a bit warm for you runners?).  Ladies, thank you so much for joining me to go down and watch the race.  The weekends are busy and I know many of you wanted to go but had other commitments (so no guilt-trip here!!!!), but this is one thing I love about our running group.  We truly support each other.  It meant a lot to the girls running to see us in the crowd cheering them on.  Our next marathon runners are Kathy Schlageter in Prague mid-May and Lynn Gilbert and Kathy McMahon in Edinburgh end-May.  Let them know we’re wishing them well.  Maybe we should have arranged some travel for the fans!

Dorking Race:
Would you mind letting me know if you are either considering the Dorking race or have already made your arrangements to go?  I’ve had something come up that weekend that  I’m considering attending (but if a bunch of you have planned on going to Dorking I’ll RSVP my regrets).  I’ve heard from some of you that you’ve already signed up for the race and others have booked and paid for non-refundable hotel rooms.  It would be helpful to know if you’re coming or if you’re thinking about it, etc.  Thanks a million!

Now for new business…. next year’s race.  We will definitely, 100% be doing another group half-marathon next spring.  I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of weekends that are viable time slots avoiding bank holidays, ASL functions and other known conflicts.  I’ll let you know as soon as I know – I promise!  Several of our runners who have moved from London, or will be moving, have expressed interest in joining us.  Please do!  I think it’s a great way to keep in touch and keep everyone running/training no matter where they are living.  So let’s get the word out to everyone once we decide when/where we’re going.  For next year, I’m hoping to do a better job of promoting some other race ideas.  I love the idea of small groups getting together to do other races throughout the year.  We have a base of about 100 ladies on this distribution – there’s no reason for everyone to have to wait for the yearly half-marathon trip to do a race.  If you find a race that you’re interested in doing, sign up and find some other runners to join you.

Last of all, it’s that time of year again!  If you know of any ladies who may be interested in joining the beginner group, send them my way.  I start corresponding with them before everyone leaves for the summer (which is just weeks away – yikes!!!!).  As always, I try to find ladies who have never, ever, ever run before in their lives – it’s better for the group dynamics if everyone is starting from the same place.  That being said, we always have ladies who have a bit of running history but prefer the beginner group which is fine.  In those cases, sometimes they “find their legs” after a couple of months and decide to move up to the next level in the running group.  So if you have any friends interested, have them call or email me.  Assure them that this really is a beginners running group – they don’t have to do anything to prepare for it.  We’ll start probably on Thursday, 30 August.  For the first few sessions we’re out for about 35-40 minutes.  We begin with 1 min slow jogs followed by 2 min walking breaks (doing that 10 times initially).  It’s very gentle but still can be overwhelming for those new to running.

That’s it for this week.  The routes are below.

I hope to see you next week,


Monday (30 April):
To Iver (20-25 miles) – Out the canal west past Wormwood, past the North Circular, past Wembley, past Greenford, past Hayes-Harlington, left on the canal extension towards Iver and a return by train from Langley.

Greenford (10 miles) – Greenford is a nice 10 mile run along the canal west.  Let me know if you’re thinking about this route but aren’t sure where to turn off the canal.  I can bring some streamers to tie from a tree at the turn-off like we did a few months ago.

Notting Hill (6.7 miles) – If you want to hang with the group on the canal for awhile, this is a perfect idea.  You would start with the group – we’ll being running out the canal west and you would turn off at Ladbrook Grove to follow the normal Notting Hill route.

Canal run (x miles) – A run of any distance could be easily done by running out the canal and turning around and returning to SJW.  You would start with the group, run out the canal until you’ve done half of your desired mileage, then turn around and retrace your steps.  For any ex-beginners wanting to give Mondays a try, this or the Notting Hill route might be interesting options.

Wednesday (2 May):
Dollis Valley (10-15 miles) – This is one of my favorite routes.  It’s a bit of an adventure run (translation – there are sections where we’ll be reading a map and running at the same time).  This route constantly changes with construction/diversions.  It’s a tough climb up to Hampstead then down through the Heath Extension.  We’ll navigate our way through Big Wood and Little Wood, then get on the Dollis Valley Way which is a lovely path that winds it’s way up through North London along a small brook.  I’ll be doing this run at Susan and Darcys’ pace (10:45 to 11:15 depending on the terrain/incline).  Join us if you can!  I promise it’s a fabulous route.  There are options to grab a bus at 5 miles on Finchley Rd at the North Circular, or take a train from Totteridge/Whetstone at 10 miles.  There are also options of 7.5 miles at Finchley Central and 8.5 miles at West Finchley but run with a map if you want to do those distances.  The stations are about .5-1.0 miles from the Dollis Valley Way (so you’ll need to navigate your way from the path to the station).  If you do this run, you might think about not running hills on Friday.  I’m thinking of running to Borough Market on Friday (mid-morning) – join me if you want.

I’m not sure what else to offer up here as route suggestions for Wednesday.  You are all well versed in the mid-distance options of Notting Hill, Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James Park, the shopping route, the canals, etc.  So group yourselves up and have a great run!

Thursday (3 May):
Whole Foods Kensington (5.5-6 miles) – Give me some feedback here ladies!  I know some of you are joining the MWF runners so are doing some hills.  I’m suggesting this route because there are 2-3 of good hills along the way which we can practice together.  If you don’t want to run hills, just say so!  We can do a different route or different destination – no worries.  If we do this route, we’ll go out the canal west, turn off at Ladbrook Grove, do a little zig-zagging through Notting Hill, run up Notting Hill (it’s called that for a reason!!!), run UP to Holland Park and do a loop in there, then finish at Whole Foods Market on Ken High St.  If you don’t like Whole Foods or want another really big, bad hill – we can finish at Clark’s on Kensington Church St.  Your choice!

Friday (4 May):
You have all the normal options for hill runs (see below) or consider joining me for a run to Borough Market if you aren’t interested in hills (or if you did the Dollis Valley run on Wednesday).  I’ll be leaving Starbucks at 9:45, heading down to the market, grabbing a coffee, doing some shopping and coming home on the Jubilee Line.

Full Heath Route (8 miles)

The Darcy Route (7 miles)

The Betsy Route (5-6 miles)

Hampstead/Haverstock/Adelaide loop (5 miles) – Run up to Hampstead tube station, then down Rosslyn/Haverstock Hill to the Chalk Farm tube station.  Turn right on Adelaide Rd and run towards Swiss Cottage.  Turn left onto St. John’s Wood Park and head back to Starbucks.

Hampstead Tube Station (3.8 miles) – Up to the Hampstead tube station, turn around and run back to Starbucks.  This is a great run for anyone new to hills.  It’s just under 2 miles of torture running uphill, then you get to coast back down again.  It’s a great way to learn/practice hill running.