A bit of a funny week this week, in that I ran four shorter runs rather than one long one, and my weekend runs were split up into short blocks. But I got the miles in and a bit of effort here and there, so all good. I’m also pondering a new challenge – see below and I’d really appreciate any thoughts / advice!

Tuesday – running club run, and back on the “Feck Hill” winter route, having missed the alternative route last week. A decent run given that I was tired and a bit stressed, on a hard route and the head torch came in handy for the second half of it!

5.4 miles 12:14 mins per mile

Wednesday – did my Circuits. Still only managing one batch a week but I am getting faster or stronger or longer in all areas. I saw Paul the coach on Sunday and so typed up my progress so far to send on to him for advice – the parts marked yellow are those where I feel I can’t go any faster/do more within the minute while retaining my form, so I need a stretch goal.

(hard = that many both sides; changed to doing my single bridges 30 sec one leg raised, 30 sec the other leg raised this last week; changed to 1 min each side of clams 4th week)

Thursday – I fancied running in the day rather than the dark and put the call out among the Sedate Ladies. Sara and Sonya answered the call. I was a bit worried about this run because I’d eaten at 7am and we met at 9.30 but it looks like that’s an OK gap and no stomach issues (hooray!). We were three tired ladies who complained a bit but it was such a lovely day, with bright sunshine (hence odd photos) and we ran through three local parks in 6-odd miles (for me: they both did 8, as they’re tapering for the Birmingham Half Marathon).

I had to dash up as ran into a lady outside my neighbour’s house and had a chat before I set off. Oops! We ran through Kings Heath Park (Sara and I did a loop of the park while Sonya got there to meet us) …

Kings Heath Park – Sara and Liz

… then through pretty Highbury Park, grounds of Joseph Chamberlain’s mansion given to the people of Birmingham …

Highbury Park – Sonya, Sara and Liz

… then through Cannon Hill Park, where we do parkrun: the planting is lovely at the moment.

Cannon Hill Park – amazing municipal flowerbeds and blue, blue sky

It was a really nice run in the end and well done to the other two for pushing on to complete their miles. There was some walking, after I’d tired myself out dashing up there, so I was pleased with the overall pace.

6.3 miles, 12:35 min miles

Saturday – set of short runs part 1. I was volunteering at parkrun and thought I might be tailwalking so decided to run down. That was 2 miles, and I ran into my friend and neighbour Andy part way down: he runs exactly twice as fast as me but kindly slowed for me so we could have a catch-up chat. Still pushed my pace up a bit. I popped my marathon fail top (the top you get sent if you donate your fee for applying for London Marathon if you fail to get in the ballot) in my running belt and put it on as I was a bit cold.

Volunteering in club buff and top

I was on the funnel in the end, keeping people moving and in the right order, seeing lots of running friends, so all lovely. Then it was Run and Talk time, the mental health initiative. We just had a few of the core volunteer team, two from Kings Heath Running Club and three from Bournville Harriers – three of us had another 2 mile run, talking about all sorts.

Run and Talk folks at the bandstand. Thanks Nicola for the pic.

… then a cuppa (for me; I couldn’t eat any of the cakes on display and I was running home!) and cakes and pancakes, all part of a good, rounded runners’ diet as far as I’m concerned.

MAC tea n cakes

I ran home, another 2 miles! This included an uphill section, and I was full of Earl Grey tea, so I was pretty happy that my final mile was, at 11:11, the same as my first two (11:12 and 11:11).

In the afternoon, I went for a coffee date with my husband, Matthew – where I did have a scone (I can tolerate standard scones, not fancy ones, which is good). Just wanted to reassure people it’s not all running and volunteering and officiating!

2 + 2 + 2 miles, 11:12 + 11:52 + 11:40 min miles

Sunday – set of short runs part 2. I was up to 17.7 miles for the week and wanted to finish the week and the month hitting my weekly target. So I needed about five miles and realised it was 2.5 miles down to Bournville Harriers’ home to spectate at their Leafy 10k race. So I ran down there (wheeee) although there was sadness when I had a chat with a man who seemed in despair sitting on a wall, just out of prison and drinking again (it was daylight in a busy area and he was the other side of the wall from me), I tried to give him some ideas of places to go but felt really sad I couldn’t do more for him. Anyway, I pushed on and reached the finish line as the first runners were coming through.

I’d dressed the part – Kings Heath tshirt but over a teal (Bournville’s colours) top and leafy patterned leggings! Win!

It was lovely seeing everyone come through, shouting “Swifts Ahoy” at the brilliant LBGTQ running club and cheering our runners and Bournville’s and others’, chatting with friends as they came round after the finish. It was great to see Dave racing again after 15 months off having a horrible leg operation.

Then I ran back home, which involved running UP so I put the effort (and some walking steps) in and was pleased it only took me one more minute to run back than running there. I had the fun coincidence of saying hello to Andy (again), an ex-colleague and the vicar within a few minutes of each other!

2.63 + 2.61 miles, 11:15 + 11:46 min miles

Miles this week: 22.9 miles

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 790 miles (40 miles ahead of target for the end of Sept and I think only 6 fewer miles than in the whole of 2017!)

The question

So my friend Bernice, who I ran the Canal Canter with and trained for her first marathon/my third with, has signed up for the Race to the Stones ultra (2nd day; 31 miles). It’s fairly flat apparently, there’s no terrifying cut-off as it’s a walkers’ and runners’ thing and it’s in July. I’ve run three marathons, I’m running around 22 miles per week at the moment and comfortably doing 12-14 mile long runs. Feel in OK shape but have a few weekends with officiating duties through the winter season. Do I dare to sign up???

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.