A slightly odd week this week with not that much exercise. It’s been SO HOT (until the weather broke on Saturday, hooray) and the lack of sleep that has engendered has made everything hard. Plus ordering things on inappropriate days (see below).

Monday – I went with my friend Dave to an interesting talk by Dr Martin Yelling at the University of Wolverhampton about his life in running and his work training other runners. There was a lot of talk of just running for the joy of it rather than always pushing for something which really chimed with me.

Tuesday – I woke up for 5:40 am ready to go for an early run … and heard a quad bike in the distance. We’re really plagued with kids on quad bikes and scooters at the moment, and while I don’t like vilifying all kids, someone out on a quad bike at that time in the morning is unlikely to be entirely benign. So annoying, but I went to club run in the (boiling) evening instead. Hard work dragging round the course, I can’t even remember now if I ran with Claire, who was tail-running; I think I did. Sheesh! It was hot, anyway. I was late up there so my first mile was 11:07, including some under 10:00 mm pace on the way up to the park.

5.4 miles 12:33 mm

Savon de Marseille and Savon d’Alep

Wednesday – Normally yoga day but I had ordered some replacement soaps for myself and of course they arrived at yoga time! I must just tell you about these – lovely pure Savon de Marseille and Savon d’Alep soaps from French manufacturers that I order from Salon du Savon, their soaps are so gentle on my skin, especially as I’m prone to break-outs when I’m sweating a lot, and they help soothe chafed areas, too. Their Savon d’Alep is ethically sourced and supports Syrian producers displaced by the war there. (I don’t get anything from promoting them, I just love them!). So I had lovely soaps but no yoga. Who does stretching on a day they were going to go to yoga? Um …

MAFEO kit

Thursday – A standard running day for me but it was TOO HOT. It was 86F which is hot for the UK, and very humid. I was just too scared of heat exhaustion etc. to even think of it.

I did get excited this week as my membership pack arrived from the Midlands Association of Athletics Officials. I am, as we know, planning to train as a track and field official as well as an endurance one, and so I was keen to get the book of rules (who doesn’t like a book of rules) and also have a name badge (name plate to follow, apparently) and a special pen that writes on wet paper (again, what’s not to like?). I feel quite “official” having this!

Friday – I was getting twitchy from not running. I didn’t have much time as I was waiting in for yet another delivery, so I went out from 6-6.30. The bin men were out in force, which was nice as they usually wave at me (and did) although the streets were a little pungent! Sunrise was just after 5 and it was still very dawny when I got back, even though it was still 60F at 6am.

Just post-dawn across the rooftops

I was meant to just go out to blow the cobwebs away and felt slow at first, with my watch showing just the time so I could get back in good time. But when 11:19 came up for the first mile, I thought, “I wonder if I could get a negative split (for once)?” and pushed it a bit harder on the next mile. 11:16 for mile 2 – that counts, right? So I pushed a bit more, remembering this is pre-breakfast and I’d only had a light meal for my tea the night before, and I got 11:14 pace for the last half-mile. I was also pleased I’d got my cadence up to 169 spm as it’s 164 naturally. Shows even a sedate lady can go a little faster at times! I did feel a bit queasy when I got home, which is unusual for me but it felt good to have got out.

Oh, and no yoga because I’d ordered a new record player (the cat threw some biography books onto the old one) and it arrived … at yoga time. Gah!

2.5 miles 11:16 mm

Saturday – It was my turn on the rota to lead the club’s half-marathon training. The Birmingham half-marathon is in October (I might even do it again myself this year) and we offer training at a pace of 12-13mm designed for people building their confidence and distance. It’s a lovely group to support as people are mostly running the longest they’ve yet run and it’s great to help them build up. Here I am in club “alternative” kit (the one anyone, as opposed to just members, can wear):

Club-branded Liz

Slightly odd hair caused by going out with wet hair to keep cool. It was actually a nice cool morning with a breeze and even some drizzle – such a difference! It was a lovely run with a group of 9 plus me. I greatly admire Helen, who ran longer than she has in a while, and Sara, battling through plantar fascitis and it was great to help the others achieve something. I led very much from the back but was glad to have more sedate folk to run with and the speedier ones ran ahead then waited at big junctions. I am not phased by this as I have the knowledge I’ve run two marathons and one DIY one and can run for 6 hours – it does help!

And in the afternoon it REALLY RAINED! Look!

Actual rain!

8.7 miles total with the 7.5 mile training run at 12:39 mm and the runs to and from 11:29 and 11:57

And that was it for the week, because I’m going to try for a good long one on Monday, along the canals, in preparation for my 18 mile race on 11 August.

Anyone got any tips for Sara on beating plantar?

Miles this week: 16.6

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 590 miles (well on track – needs to be 583 by the end of the month and I have a run in hand to do tomorrow!)

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