Another busy week with a good amount of running and one strength training session (OK, so I’m getting there with consistency, right?

Tuesday – Club run night so as usual I ran up, ran round club run and ran home again. It had been a bit dimpsy-dark through the park last week and, although on this route (we have two summer routes and two winter ones that alternate) we were going through the park first, I didn’t take any chances and wore my flouro tabard (It was still pretty warm, so I was in short sleeves still and I think capris). I was quite tired and Trudie and I had to make each other NOT peel off (on this route we can turn right rather than left after the park and just go home again!) so we did well.

5.4 mi 12:37 mm

Wednesday – I swapped Dave Yoga for my Paul Circuits again as that worked well last time. I did it on the ground floor this time, as the thuds of the burpees and squat jumps were A Bit Much in the guest room last time! Here I am doing a plank next to Birmingham History, Cook Books, Running a Hotel books and oversize in our downstairs through-lounge. I was more prepared this time, and also making less noise and having not bothered to have my shower first so I was OK to have a big sweat meant I tried a bit harder. So I did the same or more on all of my exercises (hopefully you can see the sheet below) although my right hip hurt when I was lying on that side. I warmed up with going up and down all the stairs four times and doing skips with no skipping rope top and bottom and a full 10 minutes of yoga for a warm down, including a minute of lying flat and still. I was dripping with sweat after this, which makes me feel a bit feeble, but hopefully I’ll get fitter with time.

Thursday – My friend Sara had been asking about speed work so we went for a daytime session, running to the park to warm up then talking about and trying fartleks, surges, intervals and tempo work (we only talked about tempo work!) and then running back. Sara picked it all up quickly and I think found it useful, and it was fun doing it together. She’s faster than me but I got under 9 mm pace briefly on some intervals!

5 mi 12:05 mm

Friday – Quite a challenging Claire Yoga class (I got to cheer Claire on at parkrun the next day!) but it felt good and was relaxing. I’d cleaned the house before I went (cardio! squats!) and had a bit of a headache, but that dissipated.

Saturday – I did parkrun volunteering in the morning – my 120th volunteering stint and my 100th at Cannon Hill parkrun (the rest have been at Cannon Hill Junior parkrun). My friends Andy and Greg turned up with matching umbrellas so there had to be a photo, obviously.

I was stationed as a marshal at the MAC, which is a complicated junction where runners arrive and leave in three different directions and have to be kept out of each other’s way. But it was all good, everyone was very well-behaved and it only rained a bit (I won parkrun by getting my flourescent gilet off, getting my pacamac out of its bag, getting it on and getting my gilet back on between the start and the runners reaching us! Then I helped lead Run and Talk – it was raining properly by then so we just went to the cafe and chatted, so all good.

Sunday – Mr Liz went off with his birdwatching club and as I’d arranged to meet a friend to run fairly early, I got up with him just before 5am and had my breakfast. We’d gone to bed early in preparation so I just stayed up until I left at 8.15 (sometimes I get some more sleep between breakfast and running). It was a nice day but a bit cool and windy, so I went for a tight under t-shirt and my teal hoody (the sides are mesh so it’s not that warm) and long but thin tights.

Pre-run – nice flat hair

I didn’t meet up with the original friend as she had a tweaky foot, so changed the route and met Sara for a 10-11 mile run she needed to do in preparation for the Birmingham Half-Marathon next month. I have a 10-mile route that goes up to the suburb of Northfield, takes a turn by the big shopping centre, runs down to the cricket ground then back up our way – a simple if a little hilly route. Here we are, succeeding at getting the shopping centre into our runfie.

We took it fairly gently – walking on hills, for example. No one wanted to be tired for the afternoon of the next day and I just wanted to get some miles myself and get the other ladies round happily. After some complicated directions, we met Sonya in Selly Oak and were trying to get a photo including their matching half-marathon tops from last year when a passer-by took pity on us and snapped a photo! This is on one of the main roads into the city centre – still plenty of green and it’s a lovely route with lots of trees.

What’s going on with my hair, though?

We got back – I ran out of energy at about 10 miles and the culprit on that would be the fact that I had a home-made veggie pizza (OK, a few pieces of ham on there but not much) and some low-fat ice cream for my dinner on Saturday night – usually if I’m planning to run long, I will eat some brown rice or pasta and have more protein and then a carby pudding. So I know that does actually work: however many Shreddies and oats I ate for breakfast and the two gels I consumed did not give me enough to get round energetically. I did whip out a tiny burst of speed at the end: I left Sonya and Sara to run to the park (they were very happy with their 8 and 11 miles) and I went down the high street and rounded mine up to 11.6 to bring the week to a round total.

Post-run – messy hair!

11.6 mi 13:13 mm

I was pleased with this week. I have to say, I’m really liking not having something to train for and being able to just run whatever I want to run, pause and help someone else learn about something or support friends, and not be constantly tired, cranky, etc. I don’t think I’m losing fitness – in fact, I have the energy to think about doing other things and I’m going to try to build in another strength and conditioning workout. I love having that neat line on my Strava of 20-27 mile weeks from 07 May until now and feel well and reasonably strong. Do you like keeping to a particular base when you’re not training for anything in particular?

Miles this week: 22

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 725 miles (only 25 to do in the whole of the rest of the month to hit my target!)

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.