A week when I did most of my exercise activities with my friend Jenny. Which is fine – and I made her pose for a photo on those grounds – but she’s probably tired of me by now! Especially after Thursday’s headtorch-related meltdown …

Tuesday – Because my husband was going to be away Friday night, I wanted to limit the number of evenings I was out running, so I jumped at the chance to do an earlier-evening-than-club run run with Jenny.

Look – I totally drew that lamp from the Pixar animations!

We had a lovely amble around, Jenny’s picking things up after a long period under the weather – but I was a bit late starting out and decided to put Paul’s form tips from last week into play. Goodness me: I terrified myself doing my first mile in 10:40 in the dark and up a hill! However, it was a bit of a strain, I did it on the last mile, too, and got my husband got some pics of me, too blurred to share but they did show my arms going back more and my feet kicking back higher, and I sent them to Paul who was pleased. However, it makes me run faster than I can breathe for and makes my ankles, calves and glutes a bit sore.

5.6 miles, 12:18 mins per mile

Wednesday – Went to early Dave yoga as it fitted in with having some cheese delivered. I managed a shoulder stand for eight breaths this time, really chuffed about that, and didn’t hurt as much from the class as last week. I think I’m going to try to get to this one every week as it is a proper work-out that leaves me mopping my forehead.

Thursday – Out with Jenny early evening again. On Wednesday, my new head torch had arrived (and Thursday saw my packs of gels come – I am so fortunate to be able to tolerate gels. These are Torq rhubarb & custard and cherry bakewell, one of their newer flavours, which I tested out on my long run with Ruth a while ago, and yummy.

So I instagrammed my pic of my torch and strapped it on my head and set off … and WAH! So it’s big and heavy and VERY bright even with only the central or two outer lights lit. And if I had it angled down enough not to blind people as I ran past them (I still saw people shield their eyes) and to light the path, I could SEE it in the top of my field of vision. Which is a) annoying and b) guaranteed to give me a migraine. I got very cross and upset and by the time I reached our meeting point (having already started late trying to get the blasted thing to work) I was in tears and not breathing well and telling Jenny to go on without me. She very kindly said I should stop and regroup a bit, and then I had the idea of expanding it and putting it round my waist. Climbing into it was a bit tricky but I got it done and it worked well in the end. Jenny had a shoe light and an armband and a head torch and a chap said to us as we ran down a hill “Ooh, you’re well lit up, girls” which we took as a compliment. So it all worked out OK in the end.

By the way, if you run with no lights on and you’re not lit up by headlamps even though you’re wearing flouro/reflective kit, you will look like this:

6 miles, 12:59 mins per mile

Friday – Friday (easier) yoga and there was Jenny again. Lucky we get on and I don’t think I made her giggle too much. We concentrated on opening and relaxing shoulders and chests, which I need, and it was a good session.

Saturday – Long run day as I have complicated things by having my Track and Field Official course both days next weekend, so I won’t be able to run either day easily, and so I want to front-load my week by running on Monday. So long run day it was. Matthew was away with his brother, so I got up at 5, had breakfast, did some work (I know, I know) and set out at 8am.

I started off with Mary Ellen, who was recovering from a cold (and was a very brave and uncomplaining soldier). We ran down to parkrun through the green way we did a few weeks ago, which is lovely, but I had somehow miscalculated the time needed (I think not taking into account some roads that take ages to cross) and got in a panic we weren’t going to make it to parkrun in time. So we went a bit under the pace I had planned, given this was a long run, and we paid for it. We saw my friend Andy and his wife Lis and their new baby (Andy running, Lis and bab not) and that was lovely, then set off on parkun. Not a PW at 38:00 or so, and lovely to see a good few friends around the course and marshalling. Then we picked up Jenny and set out to run back.

Jenny and Liz and a useful sign

I was  on 7 miles by now and really needed another 4 but I was seriously flagging. I had a gel and we went up Holders Lane (went = walked – we were all tired) and then set off back home. I got to 9 miles at a decision point and, having reassured Jenny that I was OK, had a rest day planned for Sunday and wasn’t pushing myself to extremes, however I was going to limit it to 10 miles as was tired. So we said goodbye and then I whipped up and down side streets, counting grimly to myself, and made it 11 anyway.

I was actually pleased with my fairly regular splits – you can see me rushing to parkrun miles 2-4 then doing even splits at parkrun, flagging and flailing then picking it up again. Good resilience training, right?

Then I had a lie-down and a sausage sandwich then walked 3 miles in total to and from an Indian-inspired high tea for a friend’s birthday. As you do.

11 miles, 12:28 mins per mile

Sunday – REST DAY!!! OK, I trimmed three big plants in the garden while Matthew installed our new video doorbell, but apart from that …

And although I will admit to not fitting in my Paul Circuits this week, I let myself off – I had so much work (over 40 hours of billable hours done, plus admin) and so it just wasn’t feasible. However, I stretched my hamstrings 6/7 days and did 30 squats while making my breakfast this morning.

Miles this week: 22.6

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  930 (916 was my end of November mini-goal)

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. (to add when they’re up)