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The 2019 half marathon was cancelled due to a man acting suspiciously on one part of the route. Please email perkinsgreateasternrun@peterborough.gov.uk for refund details. You can view Anna's Hope Fun Run results and photos on this page.

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Posted by on in Blog

My final run before I start on my training schedule proper and I it involved a new and slightly strange experience.

OK I've not been running that long, but I've been out there in all weathers and different times of day although I probably tend to stick with the same routes now.

I'm in the middle of the threshold section of my run this morning and see this guy walking toward me on the foot/cycle path not far from the Boongate roundabout. I'm think I'm slightly obsessed as I always try to say good morning, or whatever is relevant to anyone I meet and give them a smile if I'm able and even on a threshold run I can manage that much.

Anyway, just as I approached this guy he stepped into my path waving a leaflet at me. He wasn't a small man, so it did worry me for a split second. Timing was such that it would have been hard to turn around and a combination of woolly shrubbery and his size, a swerve was out of the question too. So I slowed my pace a bit hoping if I took his leaflet he'd move out of my way. As I neared I made a grab for the leaflet said my good morning and added thank you. Once he'd realised I wasn't stopping for a chat he did step aside quite quickly, but I left him mumbling something after me. Well he may not have been mumbling but I'm a bit deaf, so it sounded that way from behind.

I looked at the leaflet briefly before I folded it up to put it into my bum bag (I'm a good girl, I try not to litter) and it was an invitation to a prayer meeting!

I had to smile, as regardless of your or my religious beliefs it just tickled me that this guy was so determined he was willing to risk injury from a runner who might not stop. He gets 10/10 for effort and brightening my day, even if he didn't win me over to get me to his meeting.

 

 

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balroomdancersI'd been hoping to give you all a more regular report of my running 'adventures' but a few weeks ago I started to develop a problem which at first I thought was my knee and then my hamstring, but eventually with some advice from Howard at One Step Sports Therapy which is based at Advance Performance in Peterborough, I discovered it was my old enemy, my calf muscle!!

I've stretched and foam rollered for hours on end and I'm pleased to say I went back out and tested it on a 5M run Sunday and some interval training on Tuesday over 3.5M, with a swim in between. I have my fingers crossed, but all seems to be well, providing I continue with the regime.

Everyone I've spoken to about this assumed it was an exercise injury from running. It is an exercise injury, but I eventually narrowed it down to a ballroom dancing incident!! Hubby and I were practising the quickstep, I stepped forward on my left foot onto my heel which should have a nice covering of suede on it, but it had worn flat so I stepped onto the plastic and went into a small skid. I did say ouch at the time, but kept moving as it seemed fine.

Other than having my toes stepped on I can say this is my first real ballroom dance injury in 4 years. I will also be back on the dancefloor this week for a Rumba Masterclass.

I can have a ball talking about dancing too but back to the important matter of running, this blog and what I want to share with you.

I have now found myself a suitable half marathon training schedule, there are three training guides on the PGER website - Beginners, Improvers and Advanced kindly supplied by Liz and Martin Yelling of Yelling Performance if you've signed up but don't have a plan. If it's your first half marathon, then I can assure you that having a training plan can make all the difference. So please take a look, the guides are completely free of charge - click here.

I've recently been reading a book about staying healthy, fit and mobile into a ripe old age, which has reminded me about why I set out on my lifestyle change in 2007/2008 and what my long term goals were. With the help of medical science and improved technology we're able to live longer than ever before. Some of us may live into our 80s, 90s or even 100s, but a longer life doesn't necessarily equate to a better life.

Often due to our busy liefstyles, we pick speed and convenience, taking the car, little time for exercise and eating takeout and ready meals, which can actually contribute to a reduction in quality of life as we age. If your reading this, then there's a good chance you doing something to include more activity in your life and possibly a better diet to help fuel your sport.

My plan is to literally give Father Time a run for his money.

More on that in my coming musings...

"Warning, When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple..." - Jenny Jospeh

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" - Dylan Thomas

 

 

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I got out this morning after the rain and drizzle finished and found I had a good time. It's actually the right temperature for me, I'd planned to only do a couple of miles after a 40 length swim yesterday but got carried along and did 4 miles. It was surprisingly warm in my vest top and capri pants, I was also a bit late getting out to avoid the rain, so I missed my regular morning dog walking group that always give me a cheery wave and hello.

It's funny how you look forward to things like that, they are a bunch of 5-6 retired guys who obviously have morning dog walking duty.

Coming up to 20 weeks to race day I really think I need to make an effort to find a training schedule I like the look of.

I am sure someone will tell me I am doing it wrong, but I usually pick a 16 week schedule and start it around 20 weeks. That gives me chance to repeats some weeks if I have problems or want some time out for a barbeque and an opportunity to have a drink. Sunday morning runs at silly o'clock to avoid the heat make me a real party pooper in the summer, so I try to allow a bit of leeway for a party, or time for any niggles I might pick up to go away.

I've not set myself a target to run three times a week anyway, as I really have been lazy lately.

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After a a nasty cold and cough I've managed to get back on track with some running. Just in time for the hayfever to kick in, but having some sunshine to lure me out through the front door is preferable to the cold biting winds we've had this winter.

I'm starting with some shorter runs and trying to mix it up a bit with faster intervals in my effort to speed me up.

A couple of 2.5 mile runs with 1 mile warm ups, then 60 second fast runs at about 95% effort and recoveries down to a comfortable heart rate, followed by a jog home to warm down.

I have to admit to being a bit of a fair weather runner. Most other runners I speak with seem to be out come rain or shine, but my first winter and a 10K race in a sleet and snow storm put me off, even though it did produce my best 10K time ever, I was obviously encouraged to get back into the warmth as fast as possible.

 

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In 2006, having quit smoking 5 years earlier I had gained more than three stone in  weight.

In 2007, I certainly didn't feel fit and realised my health would be at risk if I didn't do something about it.

This prompted a lifestyle change that nowadays includes regular exercise and a complete change of diet.

Jenny before and after her weight lossNow I am no longer overweight, having reached a healthy Body Mass Index and regularly run more than 20 miles a week, in the warmer months at least.

In January 2009 I moved into my second half century of life and decided to do something at 50 I couldn't do at 15. My challenge was to run my first ever half marathon, which was the Perkins Great Eastern Run in October 2009.

I finished the half marathon that year in 2:24 which is actually my best time so far. I've run it every year since and although I'd love to get faster, I've actually set myself a new goal to attempt to complete the race inside 2:30 for the next 7 years which will take me to age 60.

On my way to reaching my health and fitness goals, I have lost more than 3 stones in weight and dropped from a size 20 to a size 12 dress size.

I had already lost some weight by taking control of my eating through calorie counting, it wasn't until I began to run and clock up some more serious mileage that the pounds really began to drop off.

I now stick with regular exercise which in addition to running also includes swimming and ballroom & latin dancing and can't remember the last time I felt so well and full of energy, nor the last time I was a size 12!!

Making running part of a complete lifestyle change and not just relying on diet has helped me maintain my fitness levels and my weight.

The journey from fat to fit took just over 2 years, but it took me many years to gain my weight, so I wasn't in a hurry to lose it. In my view the time I've taken has given me the opportunity to properly re-educate myself to healthy eating and exercise.

The change has given me a whole new outlook on life and restored the confidence that I'd not realised I'd lost. My advice is to anyone trying to lose weight and get fit is to take the time you deserve to get it right. Don't beat yourself up if sometimes you have moments of weakness and don't give up when sometimes it doesn't go well.

The exercise is important and if you've been a couch potato as I was for several decades it's hard to make the change to incorporating it into your life. It doesn't have to be running, that's my choice, but doing something is so crucial in my opinion.

Join me on my journey on Jenny's Jogging Jotter...

 

 

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