First of all, thank you to everyone for your comments on weight training last week – very helpful indeed and a lot to think about. I am definitely going to add some in and am looking at the schedules at my gym as it makes sense to use my membership for more than just yoga: there are some Fit in 30 classes which are apparently HIIT classes and I’ve also found a Spin class on a Wednesday which would give me time to get home, shower and pop back for yoga, which might be a good upper-body strength and cross-training option. I’ve also added a new sport this week – read on for details!

Tuesday – I went to club run even though it was hot: I ended up running with the tail runner (lovely George, who’s recovering from costochondritis (inflammation of the intercostal muscles) so a nice chat about that, as you do. Because I was running with the tail I thought I’d done “badly” however my pace was quite normal for a Tuesday night with all the hills. I was a bit out of breath and wobbly: I hadn’t quite realised how my reaction to the horsefly bite I got on Sunday was affecting me (it didn’t get infected – yay – but it did react allergically and blew up – boo; I’ve still got a 1/2 p sized bit of skin missing on my thigh!). But I got round.

One good thing was that I got out my second new pair of Saucony Guide 9 trainers – I’d previously got sore toes with the others ones. I relaced these in the way I usually do to get my heels back and supported (using that last hole to create a loop then threading the laces through: do these pics make sense?):

Special lacing from the side

I kind of kicked my heels right back into them when I put them on, and loosened the laces at the toe end and they seemed to be OK. Phew! I will relace again the other pair and try them out on a short run.

5.3 mi, 12:20 mm (including an 11:07 first mile because I thought I was late)

Wednesday – Dave yoga. I was extremely rubbish – stiff and shaky, almost walked out at one point. I think it was still the effects of the bite, plus the 14 miler on Sunday. Bah.

Thursday – I eschewed Jenny’s offer of a morning run as I can only do about 5.8 miles before breakfast and I wanted to do 7 to bring Sunday’s planned run to the total for the week. MAN it was hot. I met Mary Ellen at 6pm, she could only fit in an hour before going for a curry so we did a big loop then headed for the breezes and shade of the park.

We were just talking about different sports and I was saying how Matthew likes badminton when we heard a shout of my name, and it WAS Matthew, and I got him to take a pic of us running, because everyone on the link-up seems to manage to get pictures of themselves running. Even though I’m talking in this one, I think it’s great of both of us (Mary Ellen on the left, me on the right) and it also shows the kind of suburban streets we run down.

Mary Ellen and Liz

Note, I’m wearing longer leggings because I still had a dressing on my bite! Once in the park I carried on round and round. I saw my club mates gathering for their canal run or hills training and said hello to them. And I didn’t manage 7 miles because I was TOO HOT – I did 5.8, which of course I could have done a lot more comfortably at 6 AM. Grr. I walked up all the hills to conserve energy so was pleased with my pace: I managed to get a 200 yard 9-10 mm sprint in at the end.

5.8 mi, 12:07 mm

Friday – Claire yoga. Jenny came with me as her class was cancelled and we had a lovely coffee and catch-up afterwards. Much better class, I felt good and managed a lot more flexibility. I did giggle looking in the mirror wall – Jenny looked SO serene, I had a big frown and a concentrating face on!

Saturday – There were free tennis sessions on at a few places, organised by the British Tennis Association, and Matthew and I went down to the cricket club, which has a tennis club, because my running friend Lynda (who runs for sister club Bournville Harriers) was going to be there and I was a bit nervous. It was SO MUCH FUN and I def want to make space for tennis in my life again. I last played 15 years ago and Matthew more like 30 – but with some brilliant coaching from Lynda, my serve improved dramatically and I was able to enjoy it a lot. My shoulder, arm and ribs ached a bit on Sat and Sun but not too badly.

As I don’t have many friends who play locally and Matthew can’t do daytimes, I’m working out what to do now, but I’m hoping to do their Rusty Rackets course with him in the autumn to get our technique up to scratch. Came back with more suntan and a big smile!

Sunday – Pete from club wanted to organise his own half-marathon training on Sundays – we have an official scheme on a Saturday that I help with. As he advertised it at 11-12 mm and said he’d not leave anyone behind, I and a few of the sedate ladies decided to go along. It was great fun, a lovely group of people, some of whom I’d not run with before (note that Trudie and Caroline did NOT coordinate their outfits this time, although we seemed to get a message to wear black or blue/turquoise …)

Sunday unofficial half training crew – thanks, Pete (third from left, back row)!

We did about 6 miles together; I wanted to do 8.9 to bring my total for the week to 20 so ran to the other side of the park with Caroline then did a bit more on my own. I was pleased with my splits, given all the HILLS (we did a load of the half route and it has HILLS, gave a few of us flashbacks to the Birmingham Marathon), and a nice sprint at the end:

I did giggle at the Strava segments I PR’d in this run – I did NOT name these …

A great run and I will join in again – I’m leading the official training on Saturday so will miss Sunday’s one next week.

A good week all in all, very pleased with being able to run in the heat a bit more … well, I won’t say easily, I was panting for ages in the house on Thursday and took a while to stop sweating today, but I’m used to it. I will probably run early on Tuesday as it’s set to be over 30 (86) temperature wise, not sure about Thursday, then the half training next week, adding up to 20 miles I hope, then a long run on the Monday to be my last long one before the race on Aug 11.

Hope you all had good running weeks. What’s your top tip for surviving the head and how many buffs / head wraps do you have in your drawer?

Miles this week: 20.1

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 573 miles (on track – needs to be 583 by the end of the money)

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