A quick review today as I appear to have taken very few photographs this week. However, lots of entries as I’m doing RED January, which is a Mind (UK mental health charity) initiative to get people exercising and feeling well. RED stands for Run Every Day but I’ve been sticking to doing something active every day, as I don’t find running every day very helpful. A good week this week where as I speak, I finally feel a lot better. Phew!

Before I start, a quick explanation of the volunteering and officiating I do as I think it might be a bit confusing. parkrun is a free, timed 5k run in parks, and I often volunteer as a marshal or a barcode scanner. This is completely outside the British Athletics licensed official roles and is its own thing. I am also an official in training for British Athletics; I’ve got my Level 1 Licence for Endurance (out of arena, so cross-country and road races) and am working towards my Level 2 Licence. This will for example allow me to referee at cross-country races up to 300 runners as well as take on other roles at various levels. Then I’ve also done the courses to be a Track, Field and Starter’s Assistant official (in-arena) and have some experience in Field roles I hope to take to gaining my Level 1 Licence in the summer. The events I work on as an official are county, regional and sometimes national events that are part of the British Athletics roster of events. I hope that makes more sense!

Monday – I was really tired but I walked 1.7 miles to meet my husband off his bus and walk home with him (he walks part of each bus journey every day and walks more miles than I run every year!)

Tuesday – Tail running for the running club run; I managed to miss the second turning and have a few of us going the wrong way but after we’d run back down the route until there was no one left to slot in behind, I gave them the 4 miles they needed, anyway! I got a lift home as it’s a bit dark and lonely getting home from club in these weeks although I had run up to increase the mileage total.

4.7 miles, 13:12 mins per mile.

Wednesday – I was still coughing too much to go to yoga – grr – but I had to pop up the high street to get my cousin a wedding anniversary card. I did 0.6 miles doing that, and then made it up to 1 mile by marching up and down my stairs 11 times for 330 steps up and 330 steps down, double steps up for the first 5 times. Certainly got my heart rate up so I’m calling that a win for the day. I got this idea from Kimberly although I can’t reach up to do triple steps!

Thursday – I helped lead a “jeffing” (walk-run strategy) session for club, which I’m doing with Ruth once a month. I ran up to the meeting point and then took the group round one, two or three laps without major mishaps (I managed to run into a hedge and bruise/scrape my arm). A lovely lady who was part of the group and enjoyed her introduction to jeffing gave me a lift home – thanks, Tara!

0.7 miles, 12:06 mins per mile / 4.6 miles, 13:42 mins per mile.

Friday – Two hours of heavy cleaning was enough for me today to count as active

Saturday – Today was quite a big deal, as I was given the opportunity to be assistant referee at the women’s cross-country league 2 match. I was well-supported by the referee, Terry (who also gave me a lift) and Mary, the manager of the league, who was looking after the officials. After doing the course walk with the referee and the race manager, we checked the start and finish were OK and I learned more about how they should be organised. I was in charge of distributing recording sheets and briefing the judge recorders and timekeeping recorders, checking all was OK, assisting the odd runner down the funnel and keeping an eye on the funnel, and checking that the recording sheets matched, working out what was awry if it was, and giving them to the person in charge of sending them to the results processor. I learned a lot, building on skills I’d learned at previous events. I did OK apparently, and got some nice pics as I walked up to see how the men’s match was doing (I know some of my overseas readers like my pics of the English landscape).

A field full of prancing ponies!

Pylon and trees – tiny runners at the bottom of the pic

I managed to walk 4.3 miles during the event, including the course walk, popping back and forth between the HQ and start and running up and down the funnel!

Sunday – A lovely long run with some of the girls – we headed over Tracie’s way to run in Acock’s Green and Olton, which was a fun change (I haven’t run round there since my disastrous last long run before the Manchester Marathon last year!). On the way there, Mary Ellen, Trudie and I ran into Trudie’s mom, which was exciting (and gave us a break and a rest while we nobly allowed Trudie time to chat to her mom). Then we met Tracie and set off on her planned route.

Mary Ellen, Liz, Tracie, Trudie (thanks to Trudie for taking and sending me the photo!)

We said goodbye to Trudie part way round (she got 8 miles in, hooray) and wandered along the Old Warwick Road, where this cool old clock can be found (I’ve chosen the view where you can see the rather eccentric time being shown as well as the suburban (and hilly) context):

Olton clock

Mary Ellen and I said goodby to Tracie (7 miles done, hooray!) and made our way back home – I rounded my run up to 10.1 just in case I hadn’t really done 10 in the week, and was really pleased at a) my pace in general b) the fact that my last mile was the quickest, and was uphill and c) I finally got my cadence up by one step a minute to 165 (it is ALWAYS 164). I put Paul’s lessons into use at the end and it did speed me along.

A really great run and I felt I could enjoy it for its own sake rather than just fighting my cough and feeling tired. And my first 20 mile week of the year: I feel like I’m back on it.

10.1 miles, 12:36 mins per mile

Miles this week: 20.1 Miles this year: 33.9

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 Kim’s (standing in for Holly) is here.