Sunday, 24 April 2016

A return to Hashing!

For whatever reasons, running has not been happening on a regular basis for me. Still now that the hashing has returned to Monday evenings, Becci and I are hoping to be able to join this illustrious crew whenever we can. 

Becci continues to study at degree level whilst working and running a home and looking after her family. My hat goes off to her for even getting herself to the run this evening when we all met at The Swan pub in Chappel.

Chappel boasts a grade 1 European monument (hope that isn't revoked if we leave the community!) that is a viaduct

Mersea Island Hash House Harriers boast their own grade 1 seven wonders of the word too
it's sartorial prowess and it is hard to imagine beating this for
imagination and elegance

Runners at dusk - how I've missed this sight recently

The may is out but for me it is definitely not time to cast a clout
and if you want to pick a fight with me over that saying: read on

What a bright and breezy lot we make running through the fields of
Essex (frightening the animals and worrying the locals)

I remember that safety saying: wear something bright at night

I know what Becci's laughing at but I'm certainly not going to let you in to the joke!

Well another hash under our belt and just enough time, before we settle down for a
pint in the pub, to wonder at the art in the car park 

Did I mention the viaduct?

Becci perusing the menu (before settling for our usual packet of crisps) in front of
a roaring log fire, which we think must have been apple or cherry wood, which
was perfuming the pub
 It was good to get back out with everyone and enjoy the change, running across fields and softer surfaces after months of road running. Despite the huge amount of rain recently it was surprisingly dry but I do have some lovely muddy trainers to clean up. Happy work.

Well - there is no doubt about it, I am having to hit the gym with a
vengeance after the pitiful performance I put in at the hash


  • Oh no we should have known it would be you two (oops sorry about that - front runners have to run to the back of the field of runners and, it was Becci and me!)

Well that's all folks!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Langham 10k

Beautiful weather for running

I last ran the Langham 10k back in September 2013 and the stats recorded on my Garmin make interesting comparisons:

The route



Quite a difference in temperature, wind speed, direction and humidity. Although it had been much warmer for the first race, it was still a perfect day for running this year. 

This race is one which attracts those who are aiming for a pb as there are some long straight sections with few hills.

Here we are arriving and the view from over 'Matilda' towards the
centre where we could collect our race numbers and indulge in
a hot drink, and for those with the stomach for eating before running,
cakes and bacon sandwiches (the one time for me when that does't smell inviting at all)

 Well all these stats show little difference in speed but a great difference in elevation and calories - I have no answer!! Same watch and almost identical to official timings so that shows it is recording properly. 

I remember that first race in 2013 being new to "The Commando" (so sorry about that terrible title) runner Facebook Group and they were all much faster runners than me. This meant that I ran the whole thing on my own. So I really enjoyed having Becci to keep me company this year. 

Now for an admission! I always feel a little guilty that Becci keeps me company when she is more than capable of running a much faster race.  I always make sure to urge her to run on from time to time. And this time I think Becci was determined that a certain female runner (we had no idea who she was) would not be leaving us behind after telling us she was using us as pacers and then sprinted off for the finish. Good work Becci! However, finding myself watching my friend disappearing in front of me set off a competitive element in myself I have not fully appreciated. I dug deep for a little "sprint" to the finish because I didn't want to let her down by getting too far behind. 

All in all a good day and an enjoyable one with some lovely running companions (more about this new running group another time) to chew over the race whilst waiting for the rest of our 'crew' to get across the line.

The medal was pretty cute too - very appropriate for this time of year and evocative of Langham and apple growing.

So that was the Langham 10k - one to recommend!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Mersea 5 Mile Road Race 2015

Catching up with The Commando Runners and Keeping it Local

Waking up to the typical Bank Holiday weather of gloom and rain I was expecting to have to run in wet weather gear. My husband, a golf fanatic, is well versed in the vagaries of the weather and he assured me it would not rain for the duration of the race. So I made up my mind to travel light. No rain gear at all.

I opted for my tee shirt from the Round The Island Race in 2013 and just my iPhone for Map My Run and photos. I keep my car key zipped in a back pocket and carry my camera. Oh and my Garmin watch too. It's difficult to leave without taking the kitchen sink so this was very pared down for me.

A quick shot for posting on Instagram 

Race numbers collected for both Becci and I - love the 900 Becci was given

I picked up Becci's number for her as she was working first thing and would be joining us as time allowed. Becci is a nurse and I think she is setting a wonderful example by keeping herself active in her spare time. Not easy when you have to work and organise a family too. 

I have heard lots of stupid remarks from the roadside when running usually along the lines of how stupid are we for being up and out on a Sunday morning. I heard one or two during this race from the sidelines.  We are all in a lottery as far as health is concerned but I believe it is important to make sure that we repay all the free health care available by working on our health and fitness. It can't guarantee it to keep us free of problems but at least it will help us benefit from optimum treatments and better recovery if we keep ourselves as healthy as we can. That was a bit of a rant for me but if you are wondering about the value of running I hope that helps motivate you.
Here I am all set with my race number clearly displayed so that the Marshall at the
end won't miss me!

A line up of Commando Runners 
Wendy did a good job of rounding up most of the Commando Runners who were either running five or ten miles. In this group just Becci and I were running the five miles. Me because I am not trained sufficiently for the longer run at the moment and Becci because she was running in a break whilst the tides were high and waiting to get back to work off the Island.

Moody, atmospheric shot of Mark in the foreground
and other runners as we wait to get to the start

The five and ten milers start together and
then split after the five mile lap (If you are a 5 miler you can't just decide
you will run the ten half way round though!)

Typical seaside view - beach huts, anchors and a high tide

Time for a quick selfie - and yes I did see the headline about mental disorders and selfies
but it isn't going to stop us having fun

The shot I was after

And the one that proves we may chatter on the way round
but we are working hard too

Mini Commando, Freddie, steps up to the mark and
helps his new friend the Marshall hand out medals

And here is Freddie proudly shaking hands with the first
male Ten Miler home

Only on Mersea! Runners compete with
a mobility car to get over the finish line

Getting this running thing into perspective - racing through the
ten miler finish funnel - hope she was given a medal!

Little Freddie's most important job - awarding his dear Dad, Darren, with his
well deserved medal

And Dad gives Freddie a well deserved hug

Becci rushing back to work after chatting with Mersea Island Hash
House Harrier, "Who Wears" about Monday's meeting

And here is another who runs with us MIHHH'rs finishing the ten mile route -
brilliant job!

Mark taking advantage of a quick lie down after completing
his ten mile run - very well done 

And as the runners come in the tide rising in the background
brings out all the beautiful little sailing boats

A new design for the medal this year

Wendy arrives 'home' after a great ten mile run and
is greeted by a wonderful lady marshal who
took her duties very seriously and was enjoying the occasion very much

The race itself

The rain may have stayed away but the humid conditions and the usual rise in temperature during the day made for quite tough running. Becci and I set off at quite a quick pace for us but we managed to keep it going making sure we slowed in places to reserve energy for the long slow climbs on Mersea. We are racing next weekend over 10k at Langham and this was going to be a good measure of how we might plan that race.

There were plenty of Marshals and two drinking stations but the traffic is allowed to pass you in both directions which means that you must remember to be aware of what is going on. 

It was a familiar route for Becci and I but we did feel that with all the Hashing we do that we missed stopping for Jelly Babies and a chance to get our breath back. So this, we decided, was a good reason for getting back to some sort of running sessions which would train us too. 

I feel this is a great short distance race with lots of friendly runners and enough of a challenge to keep it interesting. Five miles will give you a good race and I would recommend trying it if you haven't yet.

The usual stats

And the results: I think it might have been a bit of an advantage knowing the finishing Marshall
but don't tell Becci!