After last week’s Fall (thank you for all the lovely and concerned comments), I was a bit nervous about getting back onto it. But I did, and had a really good week. I was signed up for a Canal Canter 26-miler in August, run by the Long Distance Walking Association, and while I knew I wasn’t up for a full marathon distance, hadn’t actually cancelled. I’ve decided to drop to the 18 mile option (no running under Spaghetti Junction for me this year, which is a shame!)  and my friend Bernice, who ran the London Marathon in April and did a 14 mile trail race the other weekend, is going to join me. It starts 10 minutes from my house and has a 10-hour cut-off as it’s for walkers, too, so seems rude not to.

Here’s my running week ….

Monday – I knew I was committed to tail running for the running club on Tuesday so thought I’d better check I was OK to run. Two miles done at 6am, very comfortable and nice cool(ish) conditions. Our heatwave continues but I’m lucky enough to work from home so I don’t have to go out in it much. 2 mi 11:20 mm

Tuesday – Club run. I was tail-running – it was a quiet run because there was some football on … I ran with a couple of friends for a while then we caught up with a woman and her partner, she hadn’t been running much so the 4-mile route was a big ask. We ran and walked and I encouraged her on (and let her walk up the big hill at the end). She did really well! I love volunteering for running club – which involves tail running at up to 14mm pace for 4 miles or leading a beginners’ session on a Tuesday or leading beginners or a 4-mile run except in half-marathon training season when it’s a longer run on a Saturday. It was HOT, though, running at 7pm. Hence the attractive selfie.

Too. Hot.

I wouldn’t have run in the evening if I hadn’t been volunteering but it’s not like I wasn’t going to volunteer! ETA the lovely Claire, who I was running with when I fell last week (but it totally was NOT her fault!) cycled by the end of the run to check I was OK and rode verrrrry slowly home with me – lovely to catch up and reassure her I was OK. 5.3 mi in total including there and back 11:38 mm there, 13:35 mm round, 12:10 mm back

Wednesday – Made it back to yoga – Dave’s class. It was quite a chilled class as it was so hot, and I fell asleep in the relaxation – not in the actual relaxation but between him ending the relaxation bit and telling us to bring gentle movement to our hands and feet to when we had to roll over on our side to prepare to get up. Oops!

Thursday – Met my lovely friend Jen at 6.15 am for one of our pre-breakfast runs – it takes me 15 minutes to get to our meeting point so set out at 6 am again. Still muggy that early – argh!

Because when I had the Fall I broke my Saucony Guide 9 Grey Pair 2nd Pair (how do YOU name your shoes for recording their mileage on strava or similar?) I’ve been getting the last few remaining miles out of my older shoes. So I went out in my Saucony Guide 8 Second Pair that I did the Reykjavik Marathon in in 2016 (they now have 358 miles in them, not sure why I stopped using them!). Here they are having a stretch on my front doorstep. They are still comfy – I usually get up to 400 miles out of a pair of shoes, which does add up.

Blue saucony trainer on doorstep and lavender bush

And stretch

Anyway, we did our sort of usual route but I kept it to 5 miles because I can really only go a bit more than that before breakfast anyway and it was pretty hot and sapping out there. I also wanted to get home before Mr Liz set out for work. This was fortuitous, as he’d just had to strip the bed after dealing with a hairball incident from our cat, Morgan (I’ve been brushing him a lot and he’s not a bad boy for the hairballs, but he must have been shedding a lot in the heat). He’d just written a massive note for me. But at least the weather was conducive for washing and drying the bedding, including the duvet! 5 mi 12:14 mm

A woman who has just run 5 miles before breakfast and a man who has dealt with an Incident and stripped a bed before work

Friday – Claire yoga – no falling asleep happened. This was such a busy day – I cleaned the house before yoga and then did a lot of work to clear deadlines before having a week off next week (yay week off. Not going anywhere, just needed a break.).

Saturday – Having committed to the 18-miler, I was aware I needed to get in some longer runs and some hot training. Unfortunately I didn’t start well – I went to bed really late and having worked late, and then got up at 4.15 to have my breakfast and never went back to bed again! (normally I eat three hours before my run and get an hour to an hour and a quarter’s sleep in before springing into action). So I was sleep deprived and tired from Friday so wasn’t thinking it would be good. But it was!

I started off with a five-mile loop I’ve done a million times – downhill, along (a shady road, which was very nice) and uphill back to our area. It was pretty hot and I started a run/walk strategy of 9 min run / 1 min walk from about mile 3, which helped a lot. I was meeting my lovely friend Ruth to go to parkrun at a particular time but thought I might meet her near to my road, and so I did.

Ruth in the middle of being epic (photo courtesy of Ruth)

We’ve been running together for a few years now and I’d helped her get back up to half-marathon distance for her charity challenge (running a half every month for the Alzheimer’s Society) so she offered to support the middle of my run today.

We set off back to our original meeting point then ran down to Cannon Hill Park for parkrun. This is the local one at which I volunteer a lot; I don’t really like running 5k so only really do it in the middle of a long run. Trotting down to the park we met Hilary The Race Walker from another local club, who I had a really good chat with about track and field official training – I’m hoping to get some taster sessions in with them. I do love how all the local clubs are rivals at one level but friends and supporters at another, more important level.

Met up with a few other friends and clubmates at parkrun and set off – I was at Mile 8 by then and did let people know I was doing a long one. It’s great to run parkrun as I know so many of the volunteers and marshals, even though it’s a really big event (there were only about 680 runners today as the Birmingham and Black Country half marathon was on in town, and that’s very low for Cannon Hill) and I actually enjoyed it more than I usually do. A lot of waving and thanking marshals and cheering on known and unknown fellow-runners.

We finished parkrun then I had just under 2 miles left to do – I wasn’t sure how many because I’d dimly forgotten to restart my watch after waiting to cross a road and wasn’t sure what the gap was – I underestimated it. Ruth came with me for a bit; she was Jeffing (run/walk) and doing more walking, mainly because she’d done a hard, hot half last weekend and had meant to do 6 miles, ending up doing 9! but she kept catching me up anyway; I did 4 min run / 1 min walk for this bit. I got home at 12.1 miles, quite hot but not in a state or anything, about 10.15 am so catching the proper sun.

I was really pleased with my splits and my pace, pretty consistent and I didn’t fade too much in the sun (or go out too fast). And of course I got home just as Matthew was out at the supermarket, so had to wait for him on the step. As well as stretching, I took a weird pic giving my shadow a dress of lavender. As you do.

Total miles 12.4 mi 12:30 mm

I had a hot cross bun and a drink, then a shower, then fishfingers, low-fat oven chips and mushy peas. After a picnic then a friend’s birthday party, I was verrrrrrry tired. But week off!

Miles this week: 24.7

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 528 miles (on track)

Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here. (updating when they’re out later)