This week I have to runfess that I have NOT gone to yoga and I have NOT done my Coach Paul circuits. We only got home on Monday and it’s been laundry, collecting the cat from the cattery, and lots of work (I did NO WORK on holiday, apart from answering a few emails – hooray!) including a very urgent booking that overlapped with Friday yoga. I will do better in coming weeks. I have also run the requisite number of miles, (feeling very much that lack of stretching!) and formulated the beginnings of an ultra plan. I haven’t run continuously during any of my runs, taking a “jeffing” approach, but that’s completely OK, as we all know. More importantly, as, having had a not-great run last Sunday, I was starting to worry I’d booked an ultra then immediately stopped running so much/ fallen out of love with it, I enjoyed my running week.

Monday – OK, hauling my (4-wheeled, runs along vertically SOOO easily, right) suitcase through Penzance made my biceps ache for a day or so. So I’m counting that as strength and cardio!

Tuesday – I was supposed to go to club run. It was the route some people had some hassle on the other week. None of the Sedate Ladies were going (or maybe one, who is faster than me). I was TIRED. And I wimped out, but usually when I don’t want to run there is good reason, so fine. And I got a nice early night in.

Wednesday – Jenny, who is working her way back into running after being unwell for quite a while, suggested a before-lunch run. It was nice not to have to don day-glo colours (I know some bloggers I follow like the bright colours and matching outfits; I quite like slipping along quietly in the daytime at least).

I started off a little late and had to dash up to our meeting point, scoring a 10:41 minute mile (way fast for me) and a couple of Strava segment PRs. Phew! Had to have a pause when we met (not late!) then we took a gentle run-walk around for around 4.5 miles before I nipped back home again. Lovely to catch up and put the world to rights. It was pretty sunny, too, and I was a little warm in my black top.

6 miles, 13:26 mins per mile

Thursday – Our running club runs a “5k and beyond” course twice a year, autumn and early in the year, to support new or returning runners through a couch to 5k type programme then progressing onwards to 4 miles (I know, mixing the units!) to enable them to run with our weekly Tuesday club run. It’s led by the excellent and supportive Lee, helped by three volunteers from the rest of club each week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE helping with this and have usually done a few sessions covering for people who can’t come for whatever reason, but today was my first run out with the current group.

New lights!

I tried out my new little lights, bought from Lidl a while ago for a small amount of money each. A flexible loop on the back clips to the clip you can see on the orange one, so they’re great for on your rucksack or belt and I hung them round the wide elastic bits joining the front and back of my hi-vis tabard. One is red, one white and they do continuous or two kinds of flashing, and they worked well.

I ran up late as ever so quite fast for me, then supported the lovely Chloe to do 8 mins run, 5 mins walk, 4 mins run, 2 mins walk, 2 mins run. She did very well and we covered 1.45 miles. I love it when people don’t think they can do it, then they can. Hooray! I then ran back home with fellow-volunteer Kate and did some local loops to make up the miles.

0.7/1.45/2 miles for a total of 4.1, 10:33/14:33/11:38 mins per mile

Saturday – Off to Wolverhampton with my clubmate Paul to officiate at the Cross-Country Relays. Good fun as ever, though a long day as we had junior races in the morning then seniors/masters in the afternoon. I was in the start/relay changeover team, so had variously over the races the roles of looking after the start, then sending off the B and C runners as I saw their A or B runner cross the finish line (with an experienced colleague: I’d never done this before and it’s a bit nerve-wracking to start off with; I will confess that I messed up the first start line we did and had to be told to get out of the way!); checking there was a runner in the start pen for each runner coming to the line; checking numbers and letters going into the holding pen; and then sending off B, C, and D runners for the seniors and masters again (so many of them!). It was lovely weather, amazingly, and another experience for my record to put towards achieving Level 2 Endurance Official certification. My lovely husband cooked us a great chili with brown rice for dinner.

Sunday – Long run day. I had some cheese to deliver to my friend Ali, who lives about 4 miles away, so based my route around this. I met Trudie and Ruth on my doorstep just after 9 and we had a brief encounter with Jenny on the way, who ran with us for about 10 minutes before veering off home.

Ruth, Trudie, Liz, autumn leaves. Thanks to Trudie for the photo.

What a lovely sunny day it was. Tracie joined us, she’d run down our route from home and stuck with us for her 4 miles of recovery run after the Royal Parks Half last weekend.

There was a more flattering one of me but this shows our friendship as a group. Thanks to Trudie for these two, too.

Ambitious shadow selfie!

Trudie left us to pop to her mom’s; lovely to run with her again after a bit of a gap. Tracie turned back when it was time, leaving me and Ruth jeffing along happily (we were doing a 1 min run / 30 sec walk ratio). We got to Ali’s and delivered her cheese, which had done well in my backpack with an icepack the other side of the cheese from my back.

Ali’s photo of the day!

Then we worked our way back, popped to my house to shed my rucksack and retrieve Ruth’s jacket, which we’d posted through my letterbox on the way out, then I did another 2.5 miles up to the park, round a couple of times (running into Louise doing a Pokemon event, somewhat surreally) and home to make up a decent and comfortable distance. I did run continuously for this last bit, just to get it done, I think, and because I hadn’t set up the intervals on my watch.

10.5 miles, 12:51 mins per mile

Ultra plans

I’m not going to go on about the ultra every week until I’m on the 24-week programme, but here’s my plan for the rest of the year:

October – keep at 20-25 miles per week for one more week.

November – December – build to 25-28 miles per week. Stretch 5 days out of 7. Do 1 building to 2 Paul circuits per week and at least one yoga session per week. Continue with head on pillow, lights out between 10 and 10.30 pm (this is working well for me and Matthew at the moment).

January – start the 24 week programme to allow for missed weeks as I go along.

Does that sound feasible to experienced ultra-runners? I will try to get some trail shoes and do some off-road stuff gently, too.

Miles this week: 20.6

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  840 (target to reach by the end of this month: 833.33)

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