Quite a big running week this week with a bit of volunteering / officiating. I also managed to remember that as well as Paul’s short workout I had a whole set of CIRCUITS to do, and did those, with inept photography. So if you want some inept photography, carry on reading …

Volunteer lady is club-themed

Tuesday: Club run night. There was an emergency shout-out for a tail runner, as the person down to do it couldn’t do it. I never mind running at the back as I’m usually around there anywhere (shout out for the party pack at the back!) and I feel I lose less of my run than a faster runner, so I volunteered. Actually not a lot slower than usual (and faster than last time) and we had a lovely time – my friend Trudie came with me and we took another woman round who was pleased with her progress – as she should have been. I ran there and back but measured the club run separately. I was a bit late getting there and had run up with Mary Ellen – I wondered why I was having trouble talking (about kitties!) and then when I looked we’d been under 10 min mile pace for a lot of the half-mile up there – no wonder!

5.2 miles, varying paces

Wednesday: Having found these circuits (I KNEW I should have been doing more stuff!) I decided to eschew Wednesday yoga to do them. I set myself up in the guest room: note to self: this is upstairs therefore burpees and squat jumps are going to be a little … noisy. I also had my phone timer set to 1 minute intervals as that’s how long I was meant to do each station. I was planning to set up my home gym (OK, three sets of dumbbells and a yoga mat) up on the top floor but think I’ll have to revisit that!

The plan was to do a minute of each and record them, with the aim of watching my improvement. Quite a few of them are on the fitness test I did with Paul the other week (front, side planks, hold as long as poss, sit-ups and push-ups and squats, do as many as poss in a minute) so I will try to improve those. I already did more push-ups but I wasn’t going down very far. It’s still strengthening my arms, right?

I warmed up by marching up and down our two flights of stairs until I was a bit warm and had done 130 steps. This seemed like a good warm-up. Then all the things: here’s my side plank with Very Severe Face Of Concentration.

I warmed down by doing 10 mins of yoga stretches. I took a photo of myself doing Downward Facing Dog and was actually quite pleased as I thought I was more like a table top at the front end.

I will try to do better with the photos another time – very much a work in progress!!! I also have an out-take to share, when the timer didn’t work (I didn’t work the timer!) – my friend Jenny said it looked like I was fist-bumping myself, and I’ll take that!

Thursday: I didn’t want to be out late and had a lot of work to do, so I arranged to run with our friend Sonya towards where Ruth works, pick her up running home and do some more. A nice sociable run and as Sonya was trying to get to 10 miles, I took her to 7 and we plotted a long loop home for her.

5.5 miles 12:27 mm

Friday: My friend Jenny came to Claire yoga with me. A lovely class although there was a variation on pigeon pose I could. not. do. I tried out my new yoga mat, bought mainly for home workouts, and it worked very well.

Add a blue jumper to my uniform: look like I’m starting school rather than being a 46 year old athletics official in training.

Saturday: Our local club, Sparkhill Harriers is part of a track and field veterans’ (over 35s) league and in order to stay in the league / get points, they need to contribute officials to meets. I am looking for experience at track and field meets. I have a friend in Sparkhill Harriers. Result! So I subbed in for them, freeing up a club member to compete (everyone competes in a million different events. I got to help with two events: I was moving the height of the bar and picking up and replacing the bar when it fell for the high jump (a job I haven’t done before) and Pulling Through for the javelin: it was measured with tape(s) and my job was to make sure the tape was tight from the measuring spike to the centre point of the run-up (a tiny, faded triangle) so the official measuring it could check the measurement from the line. So. Many. Squats involved in both of these, plus lifting the bar and arm-over-arm reeling in the tape. So I didn’t do any more circuits this week!

I did get to see a World Record being broken – something I’ve not seen live before. The woman you can see on the track just past the finish line had just broken the over-60s 3000 m world record by over 30 seconds. We all cheered her on and it was very exciting!

Sunday: Time for a long run after doing four medium ones last week. Ruth wanted to try for 15 and Mary Ellen and Caroline came out with us for a bit but were more time-constrained. We ran part of the No 11 bus route: I had an aim to run round the whole route some time in the autumn (26.2 miles) but have decided against that now as being too draining on time and energy, especially with my work doing officiating. We ran clockwise through Cotteridge, Bournville (yes, where the Cadbury chocolate factory is) and Selly Oak, Harborne, Bearwood and almost to Winson Green (where the prison is). Eight miles out and eight back. Mary Ellen and Caroline left us in Selly Oak and ran back together, getting 10 miles in each (well done, ladies!). We pressed on and had an enjoyable run, jeffing (run 4 minutes, walk 1, ish) from the start to conserve energy. As a result, I found it an OK run and don’t feel too tired now.

Here are some pics from the run:

Liz and Ruth at the half-way point

Number 11 bus and bus stop at the half-way point!

Shadow selfie at Lifford Lane

Ruth’s done 15 miles! Longest ever run!!

Off I trot for my last mile

Thanks to Ruth for all pics except the shadow selfie! We saw fellow runners Grace and group and Nick at the start, then Dave Teedon and his son in his car in Harborne, and a recognised but unknown club runner. It’s always lovely to see those familiar faces.

Kit review: I’d bought singles of three new Torq gels: Lemon Drizzle, Caramel Latte and Cherry Bakewell. I would have taken pics but now they’re all consumed.

  • Lemon Drizzle – pleasant and a cakey undertone but not one I’d buy a big box of.
  • Caramel Latte – HELLO. A lovely bitter coffee taste then the caramel, and a good injection of caffeine. I’d say this is as good as Gu Caramel Macchiato and I would buy and use again. I got excited when I saw a bin to throw the packet away in, I’d sip it another time.
  • Cherry Bakewll – a good hit of cherry and a proper marzipan taste with a hint of pastry. Delicious and I will be buying a box of these.

It’s really great that you can buy singles, postage-free (in the UK) from the website as you can’t always get all the flavours in local shops. They have a great Facebook page and are very responsive on there, too. I wasn’t given anything free and all opinions are my own.

I left Ruth at her 15 mile point (I was at 14.9 as she started before me) and was so proud of her for achieving that. I then had a BIG HILL to get up but stormed up it and home, to have 16.3 miles in the bag (I remembered having done .2 somewhere along the lines and wanted to get a round total for the week). I did forget to pause my watch and think I’ll put auto pause on next time as that’s annoying.

16.3 miles 13:27 mm

This was part of the number 11 route, from the arrows to just before the B of Birmingham. I’ve had a think about whether I’m going to make the full attempt and I’m going to leave it as it’s too much commitment of time and energy, just the same as for a race, which I’ve stopped doing for the foreseeable future.

Miles this week: 27

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  miles (I sailed past the target for the end of August and did extra this week too)

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.