Tag Archives: breakfast club

The Breakfast Club On Tour

On Sunday 26th May I went to The Breakfast Club. I’d seen on Facebook that they were going to do a run around Alver Valley Country Park. Alver Valley is pretty much on my doorstep but I don’t know my way around it so tend to shy away from it for fear of getting lost. The route had been planned by Hayley who is a fellow Gosport Road Runner, and although she doesn’t usually attend Breakfast Club, she was going to lead the run.

I went and picked up Claire and we got to Bayside with enough time to go for a wee and buy our Gosport Golden Mile buffs. Nick (who organises The Breakfast Club) had said he was selling some off and they were only £2, which is an absolute steal. They’re yellow too so will go with my Gosport Road Runners club t-shirt.

Before the run

Hayley explained before we set off that there were opportunities to cut the route short. The route was just under 6 miles and there were chances to cut it off at 3 and 4 miles. She also explained there would be loopbacks so the fast runners would get more miles in and the slower runners wouldn’t get lost. Then we were off!

We ran along a pathway I didn’t even know existed that goes alongside the River Alver. It was really pretty and cut us through from Stokes Bay back to Alver Valley. This was a great little cut through that I’ll be tempted to use again. Then once in the park we ran over Apple Dumpling Bridge and then on to the trails. We kept stopping to regroup which was great as it meant me being the slowest didn’t get lost but actually as this went on through the run, the stop start killed me! I’m much better when I just plod on!

Claire and I chatted a fair bit about Zumba. Claire is a Zumba instructor and works alongside the instructor I go to a class with on a Wednesday. We talked about the dances and songs, what our favourites were etc. It was lovely chatting and took my mind off my legs feeling like lead after every stop!

We ran up hills and across different paths, there were woodlands, tarmac and across grass. There were some spectacular views and I wish I’d actually thought on and snapped some pictures! Luckily someone grabbed a couple of group shots.

In Alver Valley

By the time we reached 4 miles my legs were so heavy. I’m pretty sure this was down to all the stop starting. My left shoe began to rub too and it never does that! I’m hoping it doesn’t do that next week when I have a 5 mile race! I don’t know if it was caused by being so hot maybe. I hope not as the race next week doesn’t start until 10am and this was at 8am!

End of run

I really enjoyed the route. I thoroughly enjoy running off road. I was definitely glad to get back to base though because of my legs and shoe rubbing though! When we got back to the café Claire and I had a coffee. She showed me how the Zumba instructors receive the new dances via an app. She also told me on YouTube there are videos of the routines in case I wanted to get some practice in. I definitely think I’m going to give this a whirl.

Claire and I

When I got home I had a soak in the bath with some Epsom salts. I looked at my foot and luckily it had just rubbed but not blistered so that’s something at least.

Have you ever tried Zumba?

Do you use running to explore new places?

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The Breakfast Club Charity 10K

On the May Day Bank Holiday I completed the inaugural Breakfast Club Charity 10K. The race had an early start at 8am. I got there for 7.30 so I could pick up my bib and have multiple nervous wees! This was my first 10K since 2014. I’ve never run that distance since. My 10K PB was set in 2013. Back then I completed the 10K in 1:37:39. My only target for the Charity 10K was to complete it, but preferably in a better time than 1:37:39.

It was only a small field of 100 runners. There was just a bit of a crowd at the start line so I just positioned myself in the middle and hoped for the best! I don’t think anyone was planning on setting any records so I didn’t experience any jostling or feeling like I’d started too close to the front and I didn’t feel held up like I’d started too far back.

Before the race

Maria and I before the race

It was quite a sunny day with a slight breeze at times. Luckily the first part of the run was along a shady street. I fully appreciated this as I’m not good in the heat! As we turned out of that street though there was no shade at all. I was definitely thankful of the early start as it meant we beat the worst of the heat.

As I was running a lady caught up with me and stayed alongside me. We got chatting and she told me I was running at her normal pace so we stuck together. It really helped me having someone to chat to, it made the miles pass by quicker. The first part of the race headed back towards where I live. The turnaround point was just one road away from home! I tried not to think about it!

As we headed back from that first out and back it was really hot. There was no breeze or shade until we got back to the road where we ran first. I was grateful for that tiny respite as I knew as soon as we turned off this road we were running along the prom and then there’d by no shade whatsoever.

My new friend, Charlotte and I continued chatting. We found we had a few things in common which was nice. It was so hot I’m sure I’d have had a cheeky walk break had it not been for chatting to her. As we completed our run up the prom, we then turned around and I said “This is it now, just one mile left to go” I could see the finish line as a tiny dot in the distance but I kept telling myself every step forward made the finish line closer.

Final Sprint

Final Sprint

I began to fade in the last half mile and I told Charlotte to run on without me as I was really starting to flag, I think the distance and heat had taken their toll. I crossed the finish line about 10 seconds after her. When I stopped my watch I was very pleased to see 1:13:25! That’s 24:14 off my 2013 time! I’ll let you in to a secret though, I’m glad my next race is only 5 miles!

What race distance do you prefer?

Do you prefer smaller races?

 

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Breakfast Club

On 7th April I went to Breakfast Club. If you’re not sure what Breakfast Club is you can read my other posts on it hereherehere!

I’d heard they were doing a trial of the upcoming 10K route so when Honor asked if I fancied joining her, I jumped at the chance. My only worry was, it’d been so long since I ran more than 4 miles and Breakfast Club is for an hour. However, this turned out not to matter.

It’s been a while since I had a good old natter with Honor. My 2019 started off with lots of illness so it’s been a while since I was able to go to Breakfast Club and run for that long. She explained the route to me for the upcoming 10K race and it’s actually pretty straight forward, which I’m pleased about. I’m not great with some of the Breakfast Club routes as I don’t know all of Gosport that well but this is a route from the Breakfast Club start, back towards home and then turn around and back again. Flat and straight forward. No chance of me getting lost!

Group Photo

As we were running Lee (a different Lee to the Lee who paced me to a PB) from my running club was out taking pictures and he managed to get a decent action shot of me!

Me Running

We ended up mistiming our route and we got back after 50 minutes rather than an hour but it was still a good run and a nice recce of the route. Apparently those that are a bit faster, turned where they were told it and it came up a bit short of a 10K so they’ll work on sorting that out before the run. We ended up running 4 miles, so only another 2.2 miles to go on top of that! Eeek! Need to start building my mileage up!

Do you struggle to get a decent running shot of you?

Have you ever run a race that was short on the distance?

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Last Breakfast Club of 2018

On 30th January 2018 I went to the last Breakfast Club of 2018 with Honor. If you’ve not read a post of mine about the Breakfast Club before it’s basically a group of runners who run 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back at their own pace. Then you eat breakfast afterwards.

I’m not very good with the roads of Gosport, luckily Honor is! We took a meandering route that started along the prom, through the golf course and then off through the streets of Gosport to loop us back to the café where we start. When you look at the map it actually doesn’t look that meandering but half the time I had no clue where we were!

map

We chatted about our Christmases, parkrun and plans for the New Year double. The run started off really well and I was keeping up a good pace. It never feels like an hour of running at Breakfast Club as I’m so busy chatting. As we were on the return leg of the run I was telling Honor about the Davina DVD and not being able to lift my arms above my head. I then started feeling a bit odd. As we finished though I just put it down to running 4.8 miles, my longest run in a long time, and just needing breakfast and coffee. Had I have been feeling ok I’d have been tempted to round that 4.8 miles up to 5!

Breakfast Club

After I got home I still didn’t feel right so went for a hot bath to try and warm up and see if that’s what the problem was, but after not very long I had to get out as despite being in a red hot bath I was so uncomfortably cold and the water felt like it was making it worse!

Remember last year when I wrote my post: How Not To Start 2018 well the next few days panned out in exactly the same way. I don’t know what it was but I seemed to have some sort of virus that made me horribly ill, meaning once again, I missed the parkrun New Years Day double. I was absolutely gutted. I didn’t feel human again until 2nd January, just in time to go back to work on the 3rd! I have no idea what’s going wrong for me over Christmas that makes me ill for New Year! So strange! I’m determined not to get ill next year though. Two New Years ruined by illness is enough for me!

Have you had a special occasion ruined by illness?

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My Longest Run Since Injury in 55mph Winds!

On 9th December I went to Breakfast Club with Honor (whom I ran with the day before at parkrun too) We were still in the thick of Storm Deidre so Nick (creator of The Breakfast Club) set us a route to keep us protected from the wind…well until the end!

Before we began I realised I’d left my beeper at home (I have an interval timer for my run/walks) After a quick chat we decided we’d just run and see how I got in and if I needed to, we’d walk.

Breakfast Club

So after the “Before the run” picture was taken, we left the café where we meet and ran away from the sea front. I was very grateful as the winds on the sea front were something else! We headed in to Gosport weaving through the streets of Alverstoke. I’m less familiar with these streets but in a strange way I find this helps. It makes time go quicker as I’m too busy looking around at where we are! We ran through Alverstoke village which is quaint and pretty. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it before.

Alverstoke Village

We then weaved away from there and headed back towards the sea. We ran along the sea wall at Gosport which gives you amazing views over Portsmouth Harbour. You can see the ships and ferries as well as views over Southsea. We didn’t stop to have a look though as the wind was absolutely hammering us. We then headed away from the sea wall for a short while before running through the golf course and along the promenade on the Golden Mile. It was far from Golden! I could barely move and we were unable to chat by this point as the wind was so strong.

Near the Sea Wall

Just before we hit the sea wall

We ran past where the junior parkrun starts and they were all (wisely) hiding behind a shelter to keep out of the winds. If I could have joined them, I would! As we continued along the prom you could see where stones had been flung up from the beach on to the prom and the car park was flooded where the sea had blown up and over. The wind felt like it was getting stronger as we finally reached the last part of the prom and made it back to the café.

We ran a total of 4.6 miles and I hadn’t stopped once! I guess the injury is well and truly finished with for now. It turned out the winds were 55mph that morning! Yet by late afternoon they’d dropped to practically non existent! How very unfair. A tough but pleasing run!

Have you run in crazy weather?

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Poppy Run with Breakfast Club

This morning I headed out for a run with the Breakfast Club again. The plan was to run 20 minutes or so out and back to the Mulberry memorial on Stokes Bay where the British Legion would join us and poppies could be laid. Some people had also opted to take part in a 5K poppy run where they received a t-shirt and medal. I’d completely missed the memo on this though so just ran with them.

I picked up Claire, my friend from parkrun, and we headed off together, then we went back, picked up her Garmin and then headed back off haha. As always we started at the Bayside Cabin car park and this weeks route was up Stokes Bay prom, through the golf course and back. Claire has really helped me through my rehabilitation. When I run with her I don’t look at my watch, we just go and she tells me if we’re doing ok.

Before the Run

The wind was absolutely horrendous as we ran along the beach. It was blowing straight in off the sea leaving one side of me freezing, whilst the other side was sweltering. It felt very strange. Thankfully though the pouring rain from the last day stayed away whilst we were out. We ran for 25 minutes and then turned around.

When we made it back to the Mulberry Harbour memorial we soon saw fellow Gosport Road Runner Andy coming up the prom. He’s a member of the British Legion. Andy recited part of the poem “For the Fallen”

British Legion Flag

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them
Andy speaking
After a minutes silence, the poppies and wooden crosses were then placed in front of the memorial. It was really lovely.
Mulberry Harbour Memorial
We then headed off again back to the Bayside Cabin for breakfast. I had my usual from there, the “Veggie 2” which is mixed mushrooms on toast. When we sat down Claire asked me if I’d looked at our splits yet. I hadn’t, as I hadn’t uploaded it to Strava. She then told me “Your mile 1 was really fast” Claire knows now what my good paces and slower paces are so I was intrigued to look.
Splits from Strava
Imagine my genuine surprise when I saw mile 1! A mile in the 12’s! I was so so surprised. I was probably going quicker to try and warm up!
After breakfast, a coffee and a nice natter with some of the other Breakfast Clubbers, I headed home to a nice hot bath! It definitely warmed me up.
Did you commemorate Armistice Day?
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A Return to Breakfast Club

Now that my road to recovery is well and truly underway my friend Honor asked if I’d like to join her at Breakfast Club again. Breakfast Club is a group of local runners who meet at 8am, run or walk at their own pace for 30 minutes, then turn around and come back. After an hour you’re back where you started and ready for Breakfast.

Breakfast Club group photo

Ready to go! It was freezing

I was running for 2 minutes and walking for 3 this week and Honor was run/walking with me. We set off heading from Stokes Bay back towards Lee-on-the-Solent. I’ve run with Honor a few times and she commented on my pace being faster now whilst running. Although I’m really trying not to focus on pace at the minute, as recovery is more important, this did bring a smile to my face.

We had a lovely chatty run and talked about everything from parkrun to weight watchers. We’d just about reached the parkrun start line when we hit the 30 minute turn around point. Instead of running along the road back, we hopped down on to the prom and ran back along the beach until we had to go back on to the road back to Stokes Bay.

I’d not looked at my watch once and when we got back Honor said “Wow that was an easy 4 miles” I was pretty shocked, it definitely didn’t feel like I’d just run 4 miles! I remember when I was running before my injury 4 miles felt like such a long way but on this day it had felt easy. There’s something to be said for this run/walking lark! I feel like I can go for longer.

Then it was time for the best bit, breakfast! I had my favourite breakfast they do there which is mushrooms on toast. It sounds pretty blah but they cook the mushrooms in something and it is to tasty!

I was back home before 10am having done a good run and having already nailed my 10,000 steps for the day. Perfect!

Run stats

Is there anything like the Breakfast Club near you?

Have you tried a run/walking routine?

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Longest Run to Date

On Sunday (20th May – phew, nearly caught up) I went to Breakfast Club again with Honor.

As is customary at Breakfast Club, a group photograph was taken.

Before Breakfast Club

The picture doesn’t show how hot it was. It was misty but so warm still.

The route this week was a little more inspiring as we ran along the promenade, known affectionately as Gosport’s Golden Mile. We then headed through the gate at the end of the prom and ran up to Fort Gilkicker which is currently being converted in to luxury apartments (Isn’t everything these days?)

We then ran through Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club and back on to the road. As we ran Honor told me a bit of history about this area which was lovely. I still sometimes feel like such a newbie down here.

We hit our half an hour but we were really close and Honor suggested that if I was happy to, she’d like to take me there to see the view of Portsmouth Harbour. Obviously I was more than happy to and so we carried on, only for a couple of minutes more to get to the sea wall.

I wish I’d taken a picture as the view was absolutely glorious. The sun was glistening off the water, there were boats here and there and we could see Fort Spitbank some way out in the water.

We turned round and headed back. When we reached the Golden Mile again I commented to Honor how we’d probably click over 4 miles this week. She said she thought it’d probably be about 4.5 miles by the time we got back. I told her that’d be my longest run ever. As we clocked over 4 miles I told Honor how I was still feeling pretty comfortable. It wasn’t until we got to 4.25 that I said I’m beginning to feel it now. We could see the finish though and I knew I’d make it.

When we got back I was so pleased. I couldn’t stop smiling as I’d just done my longest run and on the whole it felt really comfortable. 4.53 miles in 1:04:51. I’m pleased with that and now the Romsey 5 mile race feels manageable. That’s a huge relief!

After group photo:

After Breakfast Club

For breakfast I had mushrooms on toast as I’d seen Honor have this last week and it looked divine. It was so tasty! I really enjoyed it. I also had an iced latte which was perfect to cool off with after such a hot run.

What’s your longest ever run?

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Breakfast Club

On 13th May, exactly one year since embarking back on my running journey I went to Breakfast Club. As most of my readers don’t live in Gosport I’ll explain what Breakfast Club is.

Breakfast Club is organised by local running legend Nick. You meet at Bayside Cabin (lovely little café) at Stokes Bay at 8am. The route is posted on Facebook/Strava the night before. You then run 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back. Basically you run at  your pace  and you go however far you go in that hour. Afterwards you go for breakfast at Bayside Cabin where you have a lovely chat with other runners. Pretty much perfect!

I’ve always wanted to go to Breakfast Club but know there won’t be anyone there at my pace, however, Honor, my parkrun friend and fellow RD, said she’d run with me. Hurrah! So off we went.

Before every Breakfast Club there’s a group shot taken.

Breakfast Club

The route wasn’t so inspiring this week, we ran away from Stokes Bay, back towards Lee-on-the-Solent down the side of a dual carriageway. However for me, it was about endurance. Running for an hour is something I haven’t done in quite some time.

The time passed quite quickly as I chatted to Honor and focused on not going off too fast! I definitely didn’t want to be flagging after 30 minutes and have another 30 to go! Honor and I chatted about everything from parkrun to crocheting to dogs! The dog conversation came after we stopped for a second to chat to an owner of a Saint Bernard who took offence to Honor! He growled at us so we soon left the conversation!

It was only towards the end of the run where I said to Honor that I could feel myself struggling. We were about 55 minutes in to the run though so I managed to hang on. We ran 4 miles in a time of 58:57. I was pleased with 4 miles as that’s the furthest I’ve run in a while.

Afterwards we went for Breakfast. The menu at Bayside Cabin has items named after local boat trips. I ordered a Gosport Ferry (a small brerakfast) but you can order a Wight Link Ferry (slightly bigger breakfast) or a Channel Ferry (even bigger breakfast). We ate breakfast with Claire who I ran parkrun with in April. It was really lovely and I knew I definitely wanted to go again.

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