I’ve got a bumper post for you today as I was on holiday in Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) last weekend and did some runs there, and I don’t tend to advertise that I’m away on the blog. So here’s a quick rundown of the last two lovely weeks of running.

Week 1 – 11-17 March

Monday – I did a recovery run with Claire (she’d done a half marathon the day before), after my long run of 16.1 messy miles the day before. Nice to unwind a bit and I feel these are really helping. I also had an appointment with my physio and he was pleased with my progress, with everything seeming both stronger and looser. Hooray! I have more of the same to do.

3.1 miles, 12:01 mins per mile

Wednesday – I was really pushed for time and had to choose between running and yoga. I chose running but did extra stretching and yoga moves afterwards. I did a section with Ruth then made up a decent distance so I could cut down my long run on Sunday as much as possible. I don’t seem to have taken any local photos this week!

6 miles, 12:33 mins per mile

Saturday – Walked 9 miles up towards a salt museum and back in Fuerteventura with my husband Matthew.

Sunday – I got up ready for dawn (having had breakfast VERY early) and went out for a lovely long run. I took the road we walked yesterday, but a bit longer, then went and explored the nice promenade around the sea front (note to anyone planning to visit Caleta de Fuste: the promenade is mainly hard concrete paving stones and the road to Las Salinas has a brick and paving stone section before the nice springy walking path so maybe best not to wear your oldest, most knackered shoes).

Long run in Caleta de Fuste (last mile uphill)

You can see where the comfortable path was and where the concrete didn’t give me anything back.

Sunrise over the port of Caleta de Fuste

Dawn palms!

We like a signpost. Plus running in SHORTS and a tshirt!!!

That signpost

11 miles, 12:20 mins per mile

Miles this week: 20.1

Week 2 – 18-24 March

Wednesday – We flew home Wednesday afternoon and I was able to get a run in in the early morning, this time before breakfast. I dried off my clothes on the airer! I concentrated on just the port area this time, running down and around the coastline as far as I could go one way then as far as I needed the other (a bit further than we’d walked on the Monday).

Sunrise over the ocean

Happy coolish runner

It was pretty windy so I was glad yet again of my hat-under-buff combo.

5.2 miles, 11:35 mins per mile

Friday – Managed to fit in a run and yoga – just went out myself before breakfast and zipped around as fast as I could. Yoga was hard with lots of hip opening but good for us!

3.1 miles, 11:07 mins per mile (super speedy for me)

Saturday – Having got up super early to finish a job for a client (I did get the rest of Sat and all of Sun “off”) I was picked up by running club captain Barbara and her husband, along with Mike, the cross-country captain, to go to the Midlands 12 and 6 stage road relays in Sutton Park (also featuring the Midlands under 13, 15 and 17s 5k championships). Barbara and I were officiating and met a lot of familiar faces – this time last year, however, it was SNOWING!

Barbara and I were helping with the start for the 5ks, making sure everyone was lined up then jumping aside to let the gun go off. Then I and another official held up the finish tape for the under-13 winner (my first time doing that and letting go at the right time to allow for a good photo!). Then we were on to the men’s then women’s relays (Barbara helped start the men and I helped with the women). We rotated through pen management and changeover management in pairs, with three teams so one always resting.

Pen management and changeover

Here, Barbara in orange is listening for the announcement of the number coming in (each relay team has a number with consecutive letters for each leg, so A1, followed by B1, C1, etc.) and then calling into the waiting runners in the pen to bring the next runner forward. Two officials stand on the start line looking for the incoming runner to run over the finish line (under the arch). They then release their waiting runner, who stands looking forward, trusting the official (usually!). It’s hard, concentrated work and we had a couple start at the wrong time and have to be called back, but it went smoothly. When 6 men’s teams had completed, we did a Mass Start (decided by the referee) where all runners who hadn’t yet run started off together. They still got times, but all ran together, so you might get the 10th, 11th and 12th legs of a team all running together if they’d only got up to number 9 (well, letter M) being out on the course already). We then helped our lead, Terry, record those all coming in, having got their front numbers off them and made a list so we knew who was still out there.

(Some of our) Kings Heath Running Club Endurance Officials

Sunday – I mixed up my running partners a bit and ran with Sarah, who I’ve known through running club for ages; she’s doing the London Marathon and needed an 18, which is what I was looking for, too. We set out aΒ  bit later than I normally do (lie-in!!!) and she’d organised a canal-based route that we went round one way, then the other way, then we did some bimbling around the area until we were done. Trudie came with us for the first 7 miles then we trotted round quite happily. It was quite warm and we walked up the hills, but I felt OK and was really pleased (I didn’t even cry which I normally do at 16.5 miles) ESPECIALLY because just a couple of miles in we popped to the toilet in a supermarket and the toilet roll dispenser dropped open and hit me on the head. It hurt a lot but didn’t bleed or swell, but I had to spend a while filling in an accident report (NOT what you want at the start of a long run). Given that and being tired from Thursday/Friday and yesterday, I was really pleased with the run, and very proud of Sarah. She’s running for Diabetes UK and I’ve added her fundraising link below.

Sarah and Liz on the canal (taken by Trudie, posted with her permission)

Photo by the thumbs-up! Trudie, Liz and Sarah, taken by Trudie, posted with her permission

We both wore 401 Challenge/Foundation T-shirts without organising in advance!

Sarah’s fundraising page for Diabetes UK is here.

18 miles, 13:43 mins per mile (still just under 6 hour marathon pace for the win)

Miles this week: 26.3 Miles this year: 254.8 (target miles in March 250)

weekly-run-down-final-300x300There’s a new Weekly Run Down run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.