A funny week this week, basically pretty tiring so I ended up running tired. Ups and downs, hard work and hard days. Not very good photos, either, so a bit of a bare post!

One thing I do want to share – I was reviewing Bart Yasso’s “My Life on the Run” the other week and two of his principles were “Run till you puke” and “Run on the edge”. Well, you know what? My matching principles are “Run till you need to stop for a wee at a shopping centre” and “Run in the middle, with a friend”. And I’m OK with that. It doesn’t make me a race contender, but it does make me a reasonably mentally and physically healthy person who’s able to enjoy sharing running with others and supporting their efforts. I’ll take that.

Monday: Did my circuits ON A MONDAY. I did think I might get to do them again this week but that did not happen. I was going on a trip on Wednesday so thought it would be good to get these in early. It helped that I’d done my long run on the Saturday, not the Sunday.

I did all my usual stuff and even though I’d spent a while vacillating before making myself do it (I am still like this for these sessions, while leaping eagerly out of the house for runs), and managed to do the same or more for every thing I do, which was gratifying. This was my fourth session and it does feel like I sort of know what I’m doing now.

I’m finding taking photographs of myself, even though I find them quite embarrassing and wonder why anyone would want to see them, to be quite useful for checking my form. I can’t help being a bit wonky from the back but I need to lean forward less with less of a curve to my back when doing wide arm raises! I added the tricep back things (what are they called??) as felt the need to do some tricep stuff.

Here’s my progress since my first week.

The front plank I forgot to time the first time, or rather pressed the timer then immediately pressed pause, so we can add some seconds on. The first press up column reads “1 real, 9 crap” and I’m managing to get about half-way down now. Plus I’ve managed to add in the weights twice now. I need to share this with Paul the Coach, as I’m not sure how to progress – some things (e.g. clams, now moved to 1 min each side) I can’t really do any faster while maintaining form.

Tuesday: An awful day generally as I discovered our lovely next door neighbour had passed away suddenly. Fortunately I found out from his family almost immediately so could let Matthew know and sort out a card. But it was so upsetting. I’d arranged to run with Jenny, who’s having a come-back after being unwell, and I still did that, as I needed to process the bad news. On my return, in a bright flouro t-shirt, I ran into one of our neighbour’s family and apologised for any disrespect caused by my bright clothing – but I shared my story of how he thought my running was absolutely HILARIOUS: he used to double up laughing when I would stop by the house to refuel – “You’ve done how many miles? And how many to go?!” – and she liked hearing that.

5 miles, 12:41 mins per mile

Wednesday: Went down to London for the day to meet up with my best friend Emma (friends for 25 years next year!). Her second twin child had just left home two days before so this was a planned trip to cheer her up and talk things over. She’s a  big one for the walking so I wore my Garmin on watch mode to record my steps: including the journeys to and from the railway station, I walked 8.8 miles!

We visited the Orla Kieley exhibition on the South Bank (yes, the day the company was closed down!) as well as popping in on the Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, getting lunch from Gaby’s on Charing Cross Road and eating it in the wind by the Thames and having a disappointingly cakeless coffee. A lovely but tiring day.

Friday: I was too tired to run on Thursday so I went on Friday instead. I had an early breakfast (I have to leave 3 ish hours between eating and running) then went out at 8.45 to the park. I was going to do 5 miles but was worrying about time (see later) so decided instead on 4 miles in the park doing some speedwork. I don’t THINK I’ve really done speedwork, apart from showing Sara the other week, since the weather got so hot: now it’s breezy and cool it was ideal. So I did one mile running briskly, a mile of pick-ups (run 10 paces fast as possible, 50 paces recovery, repeat for a mile), a mile of random fartleks (longer than 10 paces) then a mile back home. I did a little sprint at the end, too.

Because the park has a slope I was doing to get the miles in without endless loops, the speedwork wasn’t really reflected in my actual speed … but it certainly was in my cadence. I thought this looked quite cute and was a good way of remembering what I did!

I then got my shower, got my hair almost dry and popped round to Claire’s “hard yoga” aka her ashtanga class, at 10. This was the one Jenny could make – how hard could it be? Well, I might have mouthed “I can’t do this” in the middle of it. Straight into sun salutations, all quite fast, and I forgot I can actually do a very basic not high-up version of crane/crow pose sometimes so did a hindi squat then and did the basic just legs in the air version when it came to shoulder stands because I was Just Too Tired. But I got through the class, the first time I’d done that one since before my operation in May 2017, and I’d do it again, although the 11am hatha class is good for holding poses for a long time, too.

4.1 miles, 11:27 mins per mile / 1 hour yoga

Saturday: I did my first officiating wearing my Endurance Level 1 licence – very exciting. We were at the Midlands Counties Road Relays in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, which involved clubs from North Somerset up to Newcastle-under-Lyne, my club had a few teams in the seniors/masters side of things, but we were busy during the morning with the under-13s, under-15s and under-17s. I was a Recording Judge which meant rotating between recording people’s race numbers in order in two different places (the finish line and the end of the finish funnel), which provides back-up for the timers’ recordings of race numbers and validates the results, and controlling the funnel, making sure people stayed in their finishing order (and explaining why) and also looking after any runners who became unwell. We actually make sure we’re in male-female teams to provide appropriate support to male and female runners.

I got to be in the team photo, waving my licence around. Photo courtesy of Mike Green.

A few nauseous (and worse! thank you, hypnotherapy tape, for sorting out my phobia!) runners but nothing too bad, and generally good-humoured. I saw lots of runners I knew and as usual it was a pleasure and a privilege to support them. It was also nice to catch up with other officials I got to know last season – some are also track and field folk and people were so pleased to see I’d got my licence (and I’m now working towards my Level 2, for which this provides one experience ticked off). I popped to see our team during my break and was able to explain how the relay handover worked, and although it was a long day with 3.4 miles walked in total, it was very enjoyable. Hooray for the road relays/ cross-country season!

Sunday: Oh dear, I woke up tired from yesterday and full of DOMS from yoga on Friday. But I’d arranged to go running with Mary Ellen and Ruth and I went for it. I am NOT obsessed with getting my 1,000 miles for the year but I am slightly obsessed with the fact that running 20 miles per week up to about 33 does seem to boost my immunity. So that’s what made me determined.

Determined and in autumn shades of kit

We did my 10 mile loop because no one could think of another route (I need some new routes!). Mary Ellen and I set out and met Ruth who ran down the route towards us then ran back with us, as she wanted a shorter distance. No one really got lost, and we did really enjoy running down the Bristol Road, which is lined with trees and is spectacular in all seasons: the leaves are juuuuust beginning to turn at the moment so it was really pretty but not ankle-deep in fallen foliage.

Autumn foliage on the Bristol Road

I left the others on the high street and added in a bit to round my week off. I actually managed my final mile at a decent for me pace, although I’ve been tired all day. The slow mile involved some walking up a steep hill (and a sit down on that chair that Cari liked when I ran with her up the hill, although I took such a spectacularly unflattering photo I am not going to share it!)

11 miles, 12:36 mins per mile

So, a week of mixed emotions and a fair bit of fatigue. I’m hoping for a bit of a quieter more stable one next week! How are all the runners doing? If you have to make yourself do your non-running fitness stuff, what’s your top tip for motivation?

Miles this week: 20.1 (plus 8.8 / 3.4 walked)

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 767 miles (ahead of target with some wiggle room)

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.