My husband and I both had the week off this week – it didn’t really affect my running’n’yoga routines as I was able to keep to those as usual (we didn’t go anywhere, but had a rest from work and got stuff done around the house, gently and slowly). It was nice to go for an early morning run and not have to worry about getting back and sorted in a rush to start my day’s work (some of my clients are in different time zones so I often have stuff to do early).

One thing I have noted from all the posts I’ve been reading in the link-up every week is that I really need to get back into strength training. I used to love going to the gym and doing some different cardio than running, then getting on the machines and free weights, but seem to have lost that routine. As well as getting back into spin, I’m going to look at doing that twice a week. I think this will help my running and resilience. Yoga is set for Wednesday and Friday mornings, the spin class I can get to most easily is on a Thursday morning, so I think I might need to move my Thursday run to a Friday. That would mean run Tues, Fri and Sat or Sun, yoga Weds and Fri, Spin Thu and strength training when? I work from home and to my own schedule, however being out a whole morning or afternoon would be tricky. ETA Tuesday and Thursday runs are often with running club in the evening, starting just before 7. Any hints on how to sort out my schedule would be gratefully received!

Old running kit!

Tuesday – Did 5.4 miles at 6.30 am – this is the same distance as the running club’s evening run as I wanted to replicate that to make sure I kept up with things. It was really hot and humid and also hayfevery, as I took my medications for that at 6 and they were variously not kicking in yet/ choking me (the nasal spray) and blinding me (the eye drops) as I ran. Fun times! I was going to do the route Jenny and I do with some extra at the start but the extra at the start was longer than I thought and I got to our usual meeting place nearly 3 miles in so altered the second part … then hadn’t quite gone far enough and had to do little spikes up all the side roads to get the miles in.

Wore seriously ancient kit – I’m trying to get the last miles out of my old shoes after having wrecked the newest pair, so wore my Reykjavik marathon 2016 shoes (Saucony Guide 8s) and capris I’ve had since there was this shop in the top of the old shopping centre over the rail station about 14 years ago (they are flappy at the bottom which I love, but also getting quite bobbly).

5.4 miles 11:30 mm

Wednesday – Dave’s yoga class, a really nice one, keeping to the usual routine but I didn’t feel too bad except when we did the triangle on the right side and my right glute needed to free up before I could touch the floor. We went into town in the afternoon and saw Dippy the Dinosaur who is on tour from the Natural History Museum (it’s a plaster cast of a diplodocus but it’s iconic, we both saw it as kids and there it was again!) and BOUGHT TENNIS RACKETS! I’ve been after getting back into my (bad, bad) tennis for ages and finally persuaded Matthew to consider it. My old one has disappeared and was wooden! so we got Slazenger starter ones, in some kind of magical, light material. There’s a British Tennis Association open day thing at various tennis courts including two near us next weekend, and we’re hoping to go along. I also bought some shorts, including some cycling style ones and some two-layer with a cycling short under and a floaty over, the same as my friend Mary Ellen has.

New kit!

Thursday – Ran with my friend Jenny. You know when you get sick and tired of all your routes? Yup. So I suggested we do one of Jenny’s routes, except I miscalculated as our usual run together ends up at my end of the lane that joins our streets, and this one ended up at her end, so I ran a bit further than I’d planned (but it was fine). Her route took us down some VERY POSH roads to the park where we do parkrun and back and I was pleased with the pace give that we very definitely walked up the big hill!

I’m not sure there will be a picture here. If there is, it’s of my shorts! I’ve been very very reticent about wearing shorts for running even though I know it’s cooler and it doesn’t matter. I’m not one for wearing small outfits anyway and I’m conscious that I’m not the most svelte person out there and I also have different height knees because of my leg length disparity (dealt with using raises: all fine). But it’s been so HOT and I’ve embraced them. Husband said I looked “strong” in them and Jenny’s a counsellor and convinced me that wasn’t a euphemism. It was cool – I have run in shorts a bit but weird ones I’ve either cut off or repurposed, and these Karrimor ones were very comfortable and didn’t ride up at all.

The shoes weren’t brilliant, though. One of two identical pairs of Saucony Guide 9s I bought recently, a style I’ve had multiple pairs of and even a colour I’ve had before, yet they felt short and my toes were still sore a while after taking them off.  I wore my very cheap Lidl rucksack which is not going to be suitable for the long race as its neck straps are too close together while the chest and waist ones won’t go small enough (I’m not THAT narrow: who was this made for??). But that’s good to know.

5.7 miles 12:13 mm

Friday – Yoga at Claire’s class, a lot of back bends and arm work which was challenging but OK (being an endurance runner at heart I can force myself to hold positions!) and I actually felt my lower back and glute/ham were looser after that. It was lovely having a lie-in, then reading a bit (OK, then trimming the cat’s claws – slightly random) then popping round to yoga!

Saturday – Volunteered at parkrun and had a great time cheering people on. Then I co-lead a Run and Talk session, which is an initiative set up by England Athletics and the charity Mind via the Mental Health Champions in running clubs. A group of eight of us walked about a mile round the park then had a coffee and long chat about running and this and that. Came home and relaxed.

Sunday – As I’m doing this 18-mile race on 11 August, I’d decided I needed to try for 14 miles and at least a bit in the sun. So I started off later than last week, at 8.40 am. Met Trudie, Caroline and Ruth in the park and that’s when Ruth and I realised we must have been missed off the wardrobe planning email:


Even their watches were the same! Hilarious! Bonus pic of our local park, too. This featured heavily in today’s run.

We headed off down to the canals which feature in the club’s Thursday night summer run, hoping for some shade. I mean, when I got home at 12.20 it was apparently only 73 degrees which is I know a lot cooler than it has been here and is elsewhere, but it still felt BOILING. It was lovely by the canals. We were walk-running, mainly walking over canal bridges as they’re steep and tricky to navigate (they have raised bricks to help you grip but they’re easily tripped over!)

Lots of wildlife to see, including this heron,  and we did well with other runners, dog walkers and cyclists. We then popped up and ran back to the local park. Caroline and then Trudie went their ways with their 7 miles achieved, and Ruth and I soon realised that the park was the coolest place around, with a breeze and shade, so we ran-walked round and round (mainly walking on the uphill bits) until she’d reached her 10 mile target. I was on 11.88 miles by then and reckoned I could do it – I kept looping round the park (spotting my friend Louise out hunting Pokemon in her lovely new sunglasses) until I had 0.5 miles to go, paused for a drink then went home. 14 miles in the bag! I could have done without having Therapy?’s song Screamager in my head for much of the run …

A weird looping route and the pace chart looks odd because I kept forgetting to pause my watch when we stopped to catch our breath or take photos. My first mile was 12:02 and my 14th mile was 12:07 so I was pleased with that.

I wore my Salomon Active 500 belt and took a bottle of Lucozade sport and my 500 ml Salomon bottle, topping up the former with the latter. Wore my Karrimor shorts again and took my old Guide 9s out, which do not pinch, but they’re now up to over 400 miles.

14.0 miles 13:50 mm (including standing still with my watch still running!)

Miles this week: 25.1

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 539 miles (on track)

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