What a difference a week makes!
In a massive contrast with last week's wind and rain we were treated to a glorious spring evening for the last Wednesday before the clocks go forward.
Meeting outside the Iffley Road Sports Centre - site of Roger Bannister's original sub-4 minute mile - on what serendipitously turned out to be Roger Bannister's birthday, we split off into walking and running groups.
Lead by Katie, the walkers set off for a bucolic loop of Aston's Eyot, complete with deer sightings and a beautiful sunset.
Meanwhile the runners were put through their paces by Bethan and Ben - our amazing new Run Leaders. Dodging fellow track users we completed a warm up loosely modelled on a Junior parkrun warmup (if it's good enough for a 5 year old it's good enough for me...) then split the group down the middle for the main session. Ben's group completed a pyramid efforts session; gradually increasing the effort distance and decreasing the recovery distance then working back down to the original distances. Meanwhile Bethan's group took on sets of 300m efforts with 100m walk/jog recovery intervals.
Suitably sweaty we managed to all finish at roughly the same time, which is one of the major benefits of running on the track - everyone can work to their own effort level. With a mixture of experienced and less experienced runners, people who haven't been able to run for a few weeks etc, running around in circles is a great way to keep the group together.
With perfect timing we exited the sports centre just as the walkers got back and all headed up the footpath for a few drinks at The Oxford Blue.
This was Amy's last session before moving to Cambridge, where shockingly there is no GoodGym! Good luck Amy!
We've been given access to the Roger Bannister Track for a running session this evening!
Track sessions are great for all speeds and experience of runners - since we run around in circles no-one can get too far ahead or behind the group :-)
We will do an introductory session including a warm up, then a section of fast and slow intervals led by 2 of our newest run leaders, followed by a cool down jog at the end. The principle is similar to a HIIT session, where you alternate sections of higher effort with gentle recovery sections. Everyone will run or run-walk at their own pace, so the faster runners will just have to complete more intervals in the time ;-).
Running not your thing? We’ll have a walking group lead by Katie who will meet at the same place and time for an evening walk instead.
Open to all, come and join in!
The walking and running groups will meet up at The Oxford Blue at 7:15pm - anyone's welcome even if you haven't joined the run/walk.
Meet outside the main reception to the Iffley Road Sports Centre at 6:10pm to either walk or run. If you are late then explain to reception that you are with GoodGym and they will direct you through to the track.
If you would like to jog 1km over to the sports centre with the group meet at The Richard Benson Hall, 276 Cowley Road at 6pm.
Last night was GoodGym Extravaganza night at the foodbank!
Oxford Mutual Aid's food bank is a busy operation, running 7 days a week. As such it can be hard to find time to thoroughly clean, organise and prepare portions of bulk goods. That's where a GoodGym extravaganza comes in - 20 people can really blitz through those tasks in not much more than an hour.
Things we did:
* Tuna, baked beans & tea stock count
* Organised baby supplies and toiletry shelves
* Pulled those shelves out & cleaned behind them
* Pulled out the tables and stored stock along the long side of the hall (uncovering the grand stone fireplace), cleaned behind, reorganised as we put it all back
* Decanted all the bulk bags of rice into household sized portions
* Cleaned the fridges
* Checked for mouldy fresh fruit and veg and took out the food waste
* Separated some of the M&S crates from the Tesco ones - the only effective tool for this turned out to be an old mop handle. Whatever works, eh?!
* Put away some bags of donations we found
* Swept and mopped
We’ve had lots of thanks from Oxford Mutual Aid for all your hard work:
“Christ Alive: thank you SO MUCH to goodgym - you are some legends!”
“GG EXTRAVAGANZA left the hall so clean that it was impossible to take a picture because glare.”
After all the hard work we stopped for cookies and cake to celebrate our 3rd Birthday last Sunday, and gave our 3 new Run Leaders a round of applause for completing the training. Well done Ben, Bethan and Sarah!
Oxford Mutual Aid have asked for a GoodGym flash mob at the Richard Benson Hall food bank again tonight.
There’s lots to do:
* Restocking the food shelves.
* Portioning up dried goods.
* Sorting through the fresh food and throwing out food waste.
* Breaking down cardboard boxes.
* Continuing with the spring cleaning that we started last month.
* Stock taking.
We ask that you wear a mask inside the food bank.
Tonight we will meet at the task - Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd - at 6pm. It’s next door to St Mary & St John church. There won’t be a run to the task but there will be a 5k run after we finish at the food bank. We’ll also provide a run-walk option for those starting Couch-2-5k this month. All welcome, so come in your running kit if you fancy a social run.
Orinoco is a new project for us, but in fact has been going for over 20 years. They aim to inspire art, creativity and play through reuse of items that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Previously based in Peat Moors, they now have a shiny new home in Temple Cowley shopping centre and a lot of moving-in jobs to be done.
This was our 2nd Wednesday evening session at Orinoco. The book event we helped them prepare for last week was a roaring success at the weekend, with over £900 raised in donations. Now it was time to the flip the store from book shop to multi-purpose space.
Springing into action we had teams:
* Unloading the Orinoco van to bring in more stock.
* Clipping shelving together to make taller units and reconfiguring their layout.
* Reorganising the storage area at the back of the shop floor - breaking down cardboard boxes, taking loads of donations upstairs to the extensive store rooms above the shop.
* Stocking the shelves with books to make a library corner.
* Laying out the games in another section of shelving.
* Attempting construction of further shelving; a failed attempt due to missing elements of the units - no GoodGymers at fault ;-)
By the time our hour was up the shop was looking much closer to being ready for the big relaunch on 19th February.
Great work team!
3 GoodGym teams descended on The Butchers Arms Pub Quiz - putting their general knowledge to the test. In an unintended act of self sabotage Alice almost cost all of the teams a precious point by opening up a Panda verses Giant Panda debate with Pip the Quizmaster. With only a few points and half points between each team, it was Kieran, Amy, Samantha and Shati who emerged victorious - bagging joint second. Milly has circulated a comprehensive list of every pub quiz in Oxford so there will be plenty of future opportunities to compete for the position of top GoodGym team.
What a turnout for the walking group on Saturday! 18 goodgymers, booted up for an 8.5km loop from Oxford centre out to the fine fields of Old Marston. That there 'might' have been some mud was perhaps an underestimate, with a good 2-3km spent slipping and 'oop-ing' our way along the trail. There may also have been a slight competitive edge to beat the paddleboarders in the river alongside us to the pub! After a break at the Victoria Arms pub we continued our way back through a little web of footpaths to finish off back in the University Parks. Ben's lack of mud on his trainers at the end was remarkable. Such a joy to be able to walk out of the city into (slippery) countryside! And no fallers! Win! Also, welcome Jasper to your first GoodGym event, and to Milly, Bryony and Lewis to the goodgym walks!