Determined lady is determined

Welcome to my second running round-up. I might have a little note on a topic in these as well as the round-ups, so …

A note on speed. I am not a fast runner. I never have been, and I’ve been through my horribles about this, but felt much better once I’d run (yes, run – someone said in a Facebook group it’s not possible to be running and get these times: erm, yes it is) some marathons. I might not go fast, but I do go far. Aaaaanyway. I used to get scared doing speed work and track sessions, worried about trailing in last with everyone waiting for me. But my lovely supportive club (Kings Heath Running Club) and the great coaches have made me more confident and I do try to do one of the coaching sessions on offer every week. They try to make it as inclusive as possible which I know is hard work, but I appreciate the opportunity.

Tuesday – I did club run the right way around, although we had to swap routes as there’d been a car accident at the start of the route we were supposed to do – we came past the aftermath at the end but anyone involved had been taken to hospital and the police were clearing up (and cheered us up the hill). A gentle and careful one as I was saving myself for track on Wednesday, but wanted to get out there: I ran with various friends who are rehabbing various injuries or just wanted a gentle one, too. I ran up with my friend Trudie, who was taking the beginners’ group and thought she was late, so got a turn of speed on there, so we took it gently on the way home. 5.4 miles in total.

Wednesday – Dave yoga in the morning, notable for me trying and giggling at trying to do the other extension of the twisted side angle which involved me trying to get my hand to the floor while squishing my stomach/side against my leg, and managing to get into a shoulder stand for 3 breaths before subsiding – my longest go at that since the 90s. Only doing 20-25 miles a week running is allowing me to develop my yoga practice, I think.

Fastest I’m ever likely to go – for a millisecond – marked

In the evening, a track session at our local council-run track and leisure centre, about 20 of us there. We did some long intervals, so after warming up and doing some out and backs, we did one, two and four loops of the track at speed with recovery. We finished off with a negative splits game where we had to run for 2 minutes clutching a cone with a number on it, drop the cone and come back, then run to our cone in 1:48, so 90% less time. I have to admit to having guessed what was going on and dropped the pace a little for the first effort, as you can see from the pink line (cadence) on the record, but I was amazed to apparently hit under 8:00 mm pace in the second bit. I also got my 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest loops of the track (I’ve been once before; nice to see I’ve “improved”) and my fastest mile (10:17) on the flat, I think ever. Hard work but fun. Lots of stretching at the end means it was only really calves and fatigue on Thursday.

Suburban streets, early morning

Friday – I continued my theme this week of running on days I don’t normally run and had a lovely early morning run with my friend Jen – as usual, I ran up to our meeting point near her house, taking the long way around, and then we ran a customary 3 miles, then I followed her back towards our meeting point to get 5.7 miles in total – not bad and about my limit before breakfast. We were also a bit more brisk than usual, with an average pace for me of 11:49 mm. It was sunny but cool and got hot later. For those who run in the US, this is a typical Edwardian suburban street, with terraced houses and atypical blue skies.

I went to Claire yoga which was a really slow session, very hard work on the arms and shoulders but it was fun to mix it up a bit. We did a different sun salutation involving standing with legs bent, sitting back, with our arms straight forward, for AGES. Fun times!

The skies were blue actually!

Saturday – I am on the rota to support our running club’s beginner and run sessions on a Saturday morning and today was my duty. I didn’t have any beginners to support, so helped Afshin to run the 4-mile half-marathon training run (we usually offer 4 miles on a Saturday but this will be gently increasing in the run-up to the Birmingham Half). It’s billed as being 12-13 mm, to attract and reassure newer and slower runners, with faster people being welcomed but asked to buddy up. I ran with Ursula, who I run with quite a lot and was a bit jet-lagged after a recent trip and Chris, returning to the distance we were attempting – we had a nice discussion about Henry II (as you do) and managed the route in 12.15 mm with some walking on the hills. We all did some stretches afterwards and I caught this pic while lying on my back under a tree in the local park. I’d run 2 miles there and ran the 0.6 miles back to give me a total of 6.7 for the day – I suppose today and yesterday added up to my long slow run for the week.

I then weeded and tidied the two small flowerbeds in our back garden for about 45 minutes; a nice bit of squatting to finish off my exercise week!

Miles this week: 21

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 495 miles (on track)

Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.