After achieving my 1,000 miles for the year, this was “just” another 20-mile week planned. I knew it would be a busy one as I had a few work deadlines, so although I ran my distance and did my yoga, my running effort was clustered in the back end of the week, and that’s why I’ve just awoken from a nap!

Tuesday – My, oh, my, it was POURING with rain when I set out for club night. I wore my fluorescent running jacket even though I know it’s not really waterproof, and still managed to attach my lights to it.

Naturally, I couldn’t find my hat and had to stick my buff on and hope for the best. Urgh. Well, I did it: a few of the sedate ladies were there and we ran round close to a woman who’s just finished the 5k and Beyond course: it was super to see her there doing the 4-mile club run, secure in her Beyond. We have another course starting in January (anyone in South Birmingham who wants to learn to run welcome) and I’m looking forward to helping support it as usual. I slopped round the 4 mile course and ran straight home – on my own for once so a bit nervous and sped up. Fortunately my husband wasn’t at home as I got back soaking and distributed wet socks and trainers around the house.

5.5 miles, 12:23 mins per mile

Wednesday – both yoga classes this week got cut to one class rather than two, so we had a Mixed Ability Dave rather than Hard or Easy. It followed the same pattern as the Hard class but slightly slower and I felt too tired to get into a shoulder stand but appreciated stretching and moving.

Thursday – It was my BookCrossing group’s Christmas meal and Secret Santa exchange so I made use of my Christmas theme running leggings in my outfit …

They were a real hit last year and appreciated this year, too. Teamed with a tshirt dress and cardi and a pair of boots, they fit in quite well (and look, Kimberly, I do wear bright colours sometimes!)

Friday – I made it to Claire’s similarly mixed ability yoga class this morning and saw Jenny there. A lovely relaxing class and some home-made goodies afterwards. I’m so lucky to have these two great teachers. Today I got all my work deadlines done, finishing two big projects (transcriptions for a book that’s going to be excellent and for a wonderful academic project, both of which I’m proud to be associated with) so felt aΒ  big sigh of relief, although I’ll be working on Monday to cover jobs I can deliver by 03 and 04 Jan to give myself some full days off after Christmas.

Saturday – Running again at last. I joined Ruth at the top end of the high street and we ran down to parkrun together. No need to feel guilty at not volunteering, as our sister club Bournville Harriers were doing a takeover, covering all volunteer positions. We jeffed (walk-run strategy: we were doing 60 secs running, 30 secs walking, which we really like) round the course (the normal course with a big puddle to negotiate but all fine) and saw so many people we knew, which was lovely. A quick hello and Happy Christmas and then off home; I left Ruth back at the same corner then took the long way home to get in my round miles. Apart from the first half mile and last mile (where I dropped to a walk a couple of times still) I jeffed the whole thing, which does usually make me a little slower than running, but we pushed it in the runs and I was very pleased at my pace (I did push hard on the way home as got it into my head I was only going to get just a smidge under 12 min miles!).

Ruth and Liz, taken by Ruth. Christmas buff!

Christmas leggings and buff, blue skies! Ruth’s shadow taking the photo!

In case you want to find these leggings for yourself, they are these (but in black).

7 miles, 11:40 mins per mile

Sunday – In contrast to yesterday’s blue skies, I woke at 5 (I have to leave a gap of 3 hours between eating and running) to the sound of heavy rain, and when I left the house at 8 it was still pretty dark. I wore my new hi-vis thing, a system of straps like braces/suspenders which had to be adjusted down but were comfy, and my London Marathon Ballot Fail Top which is a great and comfortable shell jacket that’s really comfortable and I loved running in (Claire had hers on, too). Claire, Mary Ellen and I all wanted to do 10 miles, and we were all tired for a variety of reasons, so it wasn’t always easy but it was fun, and we took it gently with time for photos.

We got down onto the canals and took a nice long route – in fact so long that at one point we feared we’d never get off it and go to Stratford or something. We saw loads of people we knew, including clubmate Colin and a whole bevy of Kings Heath boys. They warned us that there was a fallen tree coming up and indeed there was …

Small Liz, large tree (canal on left, broken trunk on right). Thank you Mary Ellen for the pic.

On we travelled, past the picturesque Lyon’s Boat Yard with all its canal boats (I liked Elvenstar Grey Havens the best, a lovely Tolkien name in an area he knew well). But it was a bit grey and wet.

Time for a selfie …

Liz, Claire, Mary Ellen

and this shows Mary Ellen’s lovely leggings which she was thrilled to pick up from the swaps table club awards night as she now matches me, Trudie and Louise!

Back on the roads uppppppp a hill and into our neigbourhood, goodbyes and Happy Christmases said and I saw Mary Ellen back to her house then looped back to mine to get 10 miles on the nose at my front path. Phew. A bit much to do 17 miles in 26 hours so tired after all that work, but a good achievement.

10 miles, 13:00 mins per mile

So a good week though oddly arranged, and I am pleased I got everything in, plus squats when I remembered them.

Miles this week: 22.5

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 1,005

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.