Enjoyment or Training

Some of us have had big events planned this year, marathons, long bike rides etc but what happens in the space in between? We’re not just about smashing ourselves in every run or training session. Sure, we want to be the best we can possibly be, but we all have jobs, family commitments and other shit in going on. Where the life or time restricts us we know that’s the time to light up a grin, smile and enjoy the training. Think about how fortunate we are to get to do this, to have a little group that we can get together, work hard, blow off some steam, have a few jokes. The end result can and will take care of itself. If you have an event, stick to the plan, but have some time to be free of that. Enjoy what your body can do. That is priceless. Enjoyment or training? They’re not always mutually exclusive but the enjoyment comes first, otherwise why are we doing it.

Smiles for miles.

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Sierra Leone Marathon

One of our crew recently ran their first Marathon. For a first marathon, he picked a tough one. Sierra Leone, here’s his blow-back

“The weather was dry, hot (35 average), humid (91%) and the course had over 1200m of elevation. So what was the motivation for this run? At first it was a desire to run a marathon. The distance that calls out to us all as a real challenge of our fitness and endurance. The distance will find out if you have been honest in training and if you have committed to the work. I think deep down, we all want to tick that box. As with most of these endeavours, not being a strict “runner”, the run also became about charity. How could I help? Who could I help?

The Sierra Leone Marathon is organised by Street Child and is the jewel in their crown in terms of fundraising events. The trip affords participants the chance to visit the projects that are funded by the runners, helping children get an education in one of the poorest countries on earth. It allows the runners to connect with the very reason they run. Isn’t this why we all get out and run or exercise? We are looking, no crying out, for connection. It’s why we are glued to social media on our phones. We want to connect, we want a relationship with ourselves or others. We need it as social creatures. We’re not supposed to meander through life without it. The trip, marathon included, allowed me to truly connect with new people, who I am and the person I want to be. It educated me from the moment I got off the plane. To see the endurance the people of Sierra Leone show in their daily lives meant that during the run, which was really tough, there was the added determination to get through it for them. It was a way of doing my tiny little bit in service to them, of repaying them for the experience and spirit they show".

This is why we run.

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Eltham 10K

A few of us ran the Eltham 10k on the 13th Jan.

It was organised by MCC promotions and took place in Sutcliffe Park near Kidbrooke. The race started on the track and then took in some loops of the park and finished with a lap of the track. Pretty well organised and friendly marshals on the changes indirection along the route. Stewards enquiry over the distance though, we all had it 100m short.

It was a pretty grey day but the conditions were good other than a head wind when turning South (that must’ve meant a tail wind heading North).

We all went well, all set PB’s. 48:21, COD 46:21 DL and big up to Jamie Craggy for finishing 11th in a time of 45:51. All really pleased with how it went and we retired for a coffee in the Better Gym Cafe next to the track. Winning time was 40:27. I

A decent way to spend an hour on a Sunday, coupled with the fact the event took place on our doorstep, which meant we had to represent!! I think this was the first race organised here and we’ll definitely be on the look out for more. It’s a good way to keep check of our sharpness and you cannot replicate race day nerves, so all experience can be used in a beneficial way.

That’s all. Keep going, keep the consistency and you’ll definitely reap the benefit. February is another 4 weeks to grow into the year, up the ante and move towards your goals. Whatever they may be.

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New Cycle

As we enter 2019 a few of us have fitness goals for the year and so we enter a new cycle of training. The solstice has been and gone and so the darkness will begin to recede which seems to really have a positive effect.

We start the year with a now traditional jaunt round Greenwich Park. Feeling the burn in our legs as we take on a couple of the inclines and finishing up One Tree Hill. The views across London from here are enough to lift our spirits further. It’s a year to the day since we started training together and we’ve trained more often than not.

We’re looking forward to more work and more togetherness in the coming year. We’ll see where our fitness goals take us. We have our first Marathon to take on and there is talk of a Ragnar Race.

It all started with a desire to get out and exercise in a group. Pay off has been huge. You get out what you put in.

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Why.

Knox Robinson, a New York runner says that running is an act of rebellion. That it enables you to free yourself from the shackles society has constructed for us and the limits and walls we put up internally. He’s right of course, however it’s not just running. It’s true that running is in it’s simplest form, what we evolved to be. Upright runners. And whilst the run remains the building block of our activities, we find that group training and exercise brings it’s own freedoms. The camaraderie of community, the sharing of problems on the chat lap weeks, the support the crew provide, the galvanising affect of workout on a life. It can all start with that one decision to get involved or meet up with a new set of people. Some people love the run, they feel it in the way a person of faith might feel a Sunday sermon. Some others, not so much. They hate it. One truth emerges from each and every get together. Nobody regrets it.

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OCTOBER. DON’T LET THE GLOOM WIN

It’s been week of promoting awareness of mental health issues. Over here in our little crew we fully understand the link between physical activity and mental health. Is it a magical cure, no. Can it be a really positive and influential tool to manage mental health, most definitely. Even more so if that activity takes place outdoors. A study by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that exercising outdoors showed a measurable increase in someones mental well being. More research is needed into this but it’s clear to the EFF - Move where you can, if it’s in a gym or at home, great. If it’s outside, even better. Get away from the screens and connect with yourself through the medium of activity. By creating these positive habits you’re going to give yourself a foundation to make improvements in other areas of your life.

As we said, physical activity is no magical cure. If you’re feeling it, talk to someone. Don’t struggle alone. If you’re around the Eltham area, come along on Wednesday’s. You might just make something click.

Keep going.

Ling below to find a counselor in your area

www.counselling-directory.org.uk

The Dark Nights Return

We were back on home turf this week. The summer nights are nothing but a pleasant memory. The slight chill and the tangerine glow of the Eltham Park South car park lamps is a stark reminder of the colder nights and inclement weather to come. Our spirits are buoyed by a new face, the run and the circuits get us sweating soon enough and we depart having had a good workout.

We've decided to undertake an endurance event in aid of a local charity. Details to be revealed soon.

Keep moving. 

 

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EFF at the Seaside

This Saturday saw some of us hit Margate for the inaugural Red Bull Quicksand event. A one mile beach run over dunes, moguls and ditches near the world famous Dreamland. Anyone who took part is likely to confirm that this would be the hardest mile your'e ever likely to run. Completely lung busting but enjoyable all the same. Big shout out to Scott for making the semi. Some sore limbs but big smiles. Music, entertainment and goodwill throughout the day. A great way to get the body moving and great to head out of town for a change.