A week when I ran on pretty well completely different days than I usually do but there we go, a change is as good as a rest, etc. I also did my biggest week in mileage terms since April 2018, so I’m glad it’s rest week next week! I’ve also kept up doing my physio exercises twice a day 5/7 days per week for February Five.

Monday – I was a bit stiff from my long run yesterday and I knew Claire was out doing her long run today, so I arranged to meet her for the end of hers and to get a recovery run in. I knew which way she was coming from so headed up to the high street to find her – her face when she saw me a bit earlier than expected (we were meeting by my house) was very sweet, but I had also wanted to check I COULD run! I took control of the route as I know how sapping it is from my experiences, so I ran her down to the park I’d run round in my end bits yesterday:

Another day, another park, another pond (photo by Claire, with permission)

We got back to our road and really I should have stopped but first I wanted to get to a round number and then I wanted to get Claire to her round number so I carried on round a loop with her. I did then stop when I got to 4.5 miles and managed to catch a snap of her coming in to finish. For those blog readers who comment about the prettiness of my running routes, this is also our reality …

Here she comes! There aren’t usually so many bins out on the street. In fact we then saw the bin lorry finally taking everyone’s recycling (there’s been a dispute recently).

Claire got 15.7 miles in and that was a hard one, running to work, having three meetings then running home! I was very glad to help her and guess what, a recovery run DOES HELP!

4.5 miles / 12:08 mins per mile

Wednesday – I went to Dave Yoga in the morning – I had to ask him not to adjust me as I was under the physio, and I concentrated very hard on trying to activate and use my lower back rather than just heaving on my hamstrings. All OK though a bit tired from concentrating!

Then Trudie, Caroline and I had a very pretty dusk run with a lovely sunset. What fun – we all needed some time outdoors with other people and there we went. I was also pleased to finally manage to make a “hat” out of my buff, having seen some instructions from my friend Dave online. Yes, doing it “on” and not overtwisting did work!

Buff Hat for the win!

A fun run: I started with Caroline while we waited for Trudie to be back from work, and Trudie and I looped back home together after saying goodbye to Caroline.

5.2 miles / 12:39 mins per mile

Thursday – my second physio session and I was nervous as I had done my exercises but was feeling stiff, esp in the lower back, plus my right shoulder and neck were hurting. He was however pleased with my progress and worked on my spine (ooowwww) and I felt a lot better afterwards. I got the bus down and back to save time, and that worked well. No appointment now until Monday week so I can work on all my exercises. He did say rather ominously that I was about 6 months away from an actual injury at the rate I was running, but I’ve done the right thing and we will hopefully prevent that.

Friday – went to Claire yoga and tried hard not to overstrain myself by pushing it, so felt a bit teary afterwards. Which was a bit silly, but sometimes yoga makes you teary anyway.

Saturday – I was rotaed to lead the club’s four-mile Saturday run which is taken at a gentle pace (12-13 mm) and is aimed at people moving up from the Beginners’ sessions on Saturdays. So I decided to make that part of my long run rather than running two days in a row (which I realise I did anyway!). Unfortunately, I’d had a stressful Friday evening (nothing too dramatic, resolved now) and not enough sleep, which are NOT good for my running, so I didn’t hold out much hope of doing the 16 I wanted.

I ran 4.3 miles on my own to get warmed up, then met Trudie, Sonya and Bernice (yay, we saw Bernice, who I ran the Canal Canter with last August but has moved away a  bit so we don’t see her often. Lovely to run with her again!) and one woman who’d come for the club run as she had been all year so far. She was a bit fast for me and we had to teach her loop backs but it was a nice run, kept to the advertised pace (I wouldn’t have been quicker if I’d not run first or after as it’s a hilly route) apart from when my water bottle fell apart suddenly!

I did some stretching at the end then Trudie, Bernice and I carried on along the club’s summer canals route, which we could all remember and which had some of the Canal Canter in it. Bernice had done parkrun before the club run and Trudie had been out the night before so we were all a bit delicate and walked / stopped for photos as necessary. Time below is run time not elapsed time but on the day of the marathon etc I will have SLEPT for example!

We got onto the canal at Bournville railway station and I had to share this lovely bit of public art.

But I’m going to be honest and share these pics where I am not looking my most happy, because this is an honest blog and it’s certainly not always easy!

In Bornville, Bernice, Trudie and Liz, photo by Bernice, with permission. What is my hair doing?

That desperate smile stuck with me (the other two are so beautiful and fresh-looking though!). We’re at the good old Kings Norton junction here. I clearly want to lie down or go home. Or possibly both.

Happy lady, happy lady, wahhh. Photo by Bernice, with permission.

We got back to the park and went in squiggles to get Bernice’s 13.1 hooray! Great work and her longest run for a bit (although we’re doing the same marathon, she is on a plan with a personal trainer while I’ve done my own and am trying to get ahead of myself so I can get used to running long and not have a horrible shock when I get to the mara. Let’s hope this works!). Then Trudie and I ran round the park and back home, then she ran up and down the road to get to her 12 (her longest for ages, too, well done!!). I got to 15.1 and I was very, very pleased with that, and my pace, all things considered.

A note on fuelling: I’d got some Tailwind samples in the week and tried the orange one. I didn’t mind the taste, though it not being sweet wasn’t a big bonus for me, and it WASN’T FIZZY, unlike all the tablet ones I’ve tried. It did go down well and I had no stomach woes whatsoever, I took in 600 mls of one sachet made up with 750 mls of water, with the rest drunk at the end and I didn’t take any gels – I felt OK but was quite hungry at the end. So I think I’d probably use it to replace every other gel and be my rehydration. I might well buy a packet of the orange though will try some of the other flavours, too (green tea is being given away, ugh, and I gave the lemon one to Bernice to try). I like the lower use of single-use plastic. I did buy some Gatorade powder too, though know that will only replace my single-use bottled lucozade, not the fuel.

15.1 miles / 12:57 mins per mile

Sunday – Our water is off! Oh no! I’m typing this at 7.30pm and they’re still digging up the road. However I still went for a run, then contorted myself to have a wash in a washing up bowl and jug standing in our walk-in shower! I did a recovery run and went out with Mary Ellen, which was lovely. Ran past BOTH burst water mains, on my road and round the corner, and did a big loop. I did 0.2 miles more than this as forgot to start my watch. But I felt SO MUCH better once I’d worked into it – this is something I’m definitely going to keep doing.

3.2 miles / 12:32 mins per mile

Miles this week: 28 Miles this year: 142.7

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 Amy’s (covering for Holly) is here.