Aldridge Running Club 10k

What a great event. 

Seeing things from the other side as a Marshall was awesome.

The frontrunner went past my station 6k into the run in a time of 17.19 minutes. He finished in just over 32 minutes!!! Each and every runner put their heart and soul into this race, the final finisher especially, injured and struggling to walk let alone run, but determined to get to that finish line on her own was simply inspirational. 

The bobsled team running on behalf of Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Stephen Sutton work so hard raising money at these events and always bring it on with a smile and enthusiasm. 

I cannot wait to do this route, we as a club are not allowed to take part in our own event but run it ourselves during club on Tuesday evening. 

I am so proud to be part of Aldridge Running Club.

Beating my 10k PB


Sunday 30th April was an epic day for me, I took part in the Simply Health 10k Run in Birmingham.  Accompanied by my wonderful son I set off feeling nervous and wound up like a coil.  Not because I didn’t think I could do it but because I had set myself the target of getting a personal best.


In September 2016 I took part in the Womens Running Race Series 10k and got a great time of 58.58, my target for that race was to complete in under 60 minutes, it was my first race and the start of my true addiction to running.
My aim for the Birmingham 10k on Sunday was to get sub 54 minutes, then on 15th April i have no idea how but I went out and smashed the September time and ran a gobsmacking (for me anyway) 10k in 52.25, which elated and deflated me at the same time.  I could not see a way that I could or would beat this time.  I continued training to plan and worked myself up into a bit of a frenzy.

Being a non competitive person with other people it has come as a bit of a shock to me that I can be so competitive with myself, seeing it as a good thing though so that I am always pushing myself to be better, faster, fitter, stronger.  Something that never before have I done.

We got to Birmingham a little early which was great because I got to soak up the atmosphere and I have to say it really was electric, everyone buzzing, chatting, laughing, warming up, getting themselves ‘into the zone’ and all there for the same reason…. to run.
I started my run feeling happy and strong, very nervous but ready to tackle the 10km ahead of me.  I tried so hard not to check my watch to see how I was doing, pacing myself by trying to keep the 50 minute marker in my sights. This went really well until the 8th km when he started to pull away from me, partly because I was starting to struggle keeping up the pace and partly because at the end of the run coming out of the market area there is a massive (well not really massive, but it felt it) hill. 

Back on Jennens Road it flattened out I then hit the downhill coming into Curzon Street. Along came my second wind and my legs started powering me towards the finish line. Sadly forgetting the photographers along the way!!! Not the best pictures as a result.

Realising my finish time was 50.19 I was overjoyed 8 minute miles!!! I am still in dis-belief at doing it and ecstatic that I have.
2 years ago if someone had said I would be running 10k let alone running an 8 minute mile 10k I would have told them they were mad but a little bit of self belief and a whole lot of work I have. 

Joining a Running Club?

I have been running now for almost 2 years, I have always run alone for various reasons:

If i run with other people would I keep up?

If I joined a club would they be nice and would I fit in?

I run early in the morning and don’t particularly like running on an evening.

Is it going to cost a fortune?

Can I commit to a once/twice weekly meet?

Over the last few weeks/months I have gone backwards as forwards in my mind whether to join a club or remain running on my own. One thing primarily has stopped me: FEAR!  I tried running with a club on a Sunday a few weeks back, wonderful bunch of people, great run through Sutton Park, really beautiful surroundings, and amazingly no cost involved.  My problem is that Sundays are my long run day on the lead up to the marathon my training will require me running much further than the 10k for the group run, so sadly I have had to look at other options.

I had heard a lot of really positive talk about Aldridge Running Club via members and through the grapevine, so I took the plunge last night, overcame my fears and reservations and went for it.

Right from my first contact with them via Facebook the response was wonderful, I was given information and made to feel welcome.  I got to their venue at the Stick and Wicket in Aldridge a little early (I am always early! lateness is a pet hate) and mustered up the courage to enter an already very busy Social Club.  My terror overtaking me i was so close to turning around and running for the hills (or car park at least) but I didn’t, I have to face my fears ‘I can and I will’.  I was approached by the lady who had chatted with my via Facebook and instantly I felt at ease, she explained everything to me and to my joy there were 2 other girls starting too, plus a gentleman who had only been the week previously and looked like he had been there a lifetime.

I fully intended to do the Melish 6 route (6 miles) but when my two newby partners annouced they were doing the Industrial 4 route (4 miles) I backed out of the 6 and felt safer staying as a threesome.  The room filled to almost capacity and the Vice Chair announced a reel of PB’d from Park Runs, the results from those who ran the London Marathon and a few other snippits of info, then off we went.

The club provide a front runner, back runner and an in betweener too.  Plus as newbies we were assigned a buddy which was taken on by one of long standing male runners, bless him he really made me feel at ease chatting as we ran.  As the run progressed everyone slips into their own pace and the group gradually breaks up, I chatted with a couple of runners and then ended up on my own, which was fine and thankfully I managed to keep the person in front of me in my sights as I was not a 100% sure where I needed to go. 4 miles down the run was completed and it felt great.

I got chatting to another couple of members and even got semi talked into possibly joining the Cross Country Team in the winter. Something i never thought I would even consider but you know what I may just join that team!

Club running was ace, I loved it, I loved the company, I loved the support, I loved hearing everyone’s banter and most of all I loved feeling part of something. Why I have wasted so long thinking about it I will never know!

Www.aldridgerunningclub.co.uk

Marathon Fever

A massive and huge Well Done to each and every runner today. Marathon fever has well and truly taken over me.

I had the pleasure yesterday of a trip to London and seeing the finish line on The Mall was electric. Watching the 50,000 ish people cross the line today on TV was even more exciting. 

From the Elite runners to runners like me the dedication and passion that each and everyone of them has put into training for this event oozes from their being. There were also acts of extreme kindness, one blew me away and reduced me to tears. David Wyeth had run and pretty incredible race in a truly amazing time but just 200 metres from the finish line he began to struggle, looking like he would not be able to carry on Matthew Rees assisted David to the finish. Forfeiting a possible PB himself. 

To me this act re-enforces the spirit and kind nature of the human race and the true comerardare of a marathon.

The ballot for 2018’s London Marathon opens on 1st May and 100% I will be putting my application in. To have a chance of securing a place in next year’s marathon fills me with excitement, drive, commitment and passion. 

I want this so badly and whether it’s next year or the year after one year I will be there and I will cross that line.

Breaking Boredom

I have been doing the MAF training for almost 3 weeks now and today was the straw that broke the camels back! I went out for my Sunday run full of enthusiasm, I went down the canal which is a lovely treat to run. My usual run time is way to early to risk the canals partly safety and partly because I fear I would end up in said canal (not a nice prospect)

I kept my heart rate at my designated 138bpm or as close as. I really enjoyed running by the water but the whole time I had a nagging that I wanted to just run, not controlled by my heart rate just run at a pace I wanted to run at. I buried the nag for a further mile and then I just couldn’t keep it at bay anymore! 

So I ran, I ran at a pace I wanted to run at. I thought I would feel guilty but I didn’t, I felt free, I felt happy, my heart was racing, my breathing was heavy and I enjoyed every single second. 

Whilst I am not going to outrule the MAF training and will most certainly use it when I am on recovery days which in essence will be twice a week, I had started to not enjoy running as much because of constantly having to slow down. I felt I was actually losing fitness. I am more than likely wrong as this system has got many elite athletes  (of which I am not) to top places in endurance events. But full time it really is not my bag.

Giving in too soon? Possibly but I don’t want to lose my love of running and I fear that continuing on this plan long term I will through boredom alone. 

Running Safety

Running safely is something that all runners consider.  I wear bright clothing that has as much reflective detail as possible so that the light can hit me and I am seen by cars, pedestrians and other road/path users.

I have always had consideration for my personal safety too and try to ensure that I run in well populated areas, don’t go off the beaten track during quieter times, and  always carry my phone with me at all times (not that this will protect me!) but I do have an emergency panic button set up that if anything awful should happen I press the panic and 3 messages go to my husband that alert him there is a problem, send him a picture from the front and rear camera of my phone and also send him co-ordinates of where I am via Google Maps.  This is set up on my Samsung and I have to say is a really great feature of the phone.

Along with this I also carry a Safehaus Mini Self Defense Spray, which is a very small aerosol can containing a permanent marking red gel spray. In the UK sadly pepper spray is not legal so this is the closest alternative that I could find after alot of research.  I found mine on Amazon and went for it after reading some really great reviews:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Safehaus-Defence-Spray-Criminal-Identifier/dp/B00DSP708O


The spray is designed to stun the assailant, delay them in their attack and give you valuable time to get away to safety and call for help, it will not (sadly) hurt them but i am sure that having any kind of liquid sprayed into your face would cause some confusion!  Certainly enough to give you a head start on a get away.

I hope as does every runner that I will never have to use either device, but after reading a very unexpected post on Instagram yesterday from a fellow runner, who had gone out on her usual Sunday long run, needed to stop for a toilet break and found an attacker hidden in the toilet stalls, anything is possible.  Thankfully she was able to fight, kick and scream and miraculously managed to trap him in one of the stalls and hold him there until police arrived!  She was very brave and came away with injuries, but nothing in comparison to what could have happened!

The world is an amazing, beautiful and kind place 99% of the time, that 1% can be cruel, evil and down right vicious.  We become complaisant with our runs and because we know the route like the back of our hand take for granted that it will always be the same, I for one will ensure that I am even more aware of my surroundings, and the people around me whilst running from now on.