Quite a big post today and quite a bit mileage for me for a week – but Monday’s run, as mentioned last week, was really part of last week, but I elected to do my long run on Monday rather than at the weekend so I could run with the lovely Claire on her last long one before the London Marathon. I hope I remember all of Monday’s action, given that I neglected to write it down at the time!

Monday – It was just me and Claire, so she did a super route across the south side of the city to Edgbaston Reservoir, somewhere I’d not been for years and had not run around. We went up past the University and up one lot of canals then back down another set, following the Canal Canter route, with some wiggling around once home to make up the miles (20 for me, 23 for Claire). It was a lovely run: some bits where we felt down, of course, some giggles (something I said made Claire giggle uncontrollably for a bit), some lovely scenery, and good chats. I’ve really enjoyed my training runs with Claire this mara campaign and I’m going to miss them!

Of course we had to photograph the Lego giraffe in town …

Edgbaston Reservoir

City skyline from the canal by the reservoir

Aqueduct by the university – it always cheers me to run across this!

I finished half a mile before Claire’s 22 was up, so reclined against her gatepost, eating a banana, while she did a loop and ran up and down our road. But it meant I could get a photo of her in action!

Claire comes in – great strong work!

And we were done!

Claire and Liz, 42 miles between us!

The route made a kind of Pete’s Dragon dragon (right?)

I was really glad to get 20 in and was a bit early for it, so I have three more long runs with a rest week after the first two before tapering for the marathon, which I will treat as a training run. That sounds sensible, yes? Fortunately, the 6 hour cut-off starts when the last person crosses the start line – thank you, Liverpool RnR!

I was also pleased with my pace, esp as it kept recording when I had a toilet break, a bit faster than my 18. As long as I beat that cut-off …

20 miles, 13:00 mins per mile

Tuesday – A recovery run, I went up to the park, ran into my friend Vikki and her baby, walked a circuit or two with her (not recording some of the walk, so I actually went further than this) and ran home the long way. As usual, unknotted my legs and felt better after.

Some shocking (for me) matchy-matching going on here!

3.2 miles, 13:50 mins per mile (running miles 11:46, 11:37 and 10:45 pace)

Wednesday – Went to Easy Dave yoga for a much-needed stretch out.

Thursday – I was meaning to go for a run but it SNOWED and HAILED and I also didn’t want to do 5 runs in a week. So I actually DID do 30 mins of all my physio exercises plus some serious slow stretching.

Friday – Went to Easy Claire yoga which was good but we had some challenging things (Tortoise pose? I think not!). A lovely long nidra relaxation at the end.

Saturday – I realised I’d been covering Beginners for someone else when I was reminded I was rotaed to lead club beginners today! Oops! Anyway it was fine, ran up to the park, then led the beginners round. I had my 79-year-old learner from last week, who ran-walked 3 circuits 30sec per mile faster than last week and two returners, one a Sedate Lady friend, plus a lady who we gave some advice to about increasing her distance and graduating to the four-mile route. Lee took two four-milers out. Then our newest trainee coach, Julie, had asked for more volunteers to attend her coaching session, so I said yes and took that immediately afterwards. I had not really breakfasted sufficiently for this! We had a great warm-up with out and backs doing lunges, skips, high knees, etc, then did time-based intervals in a pyramid (0.5, 1, 2 and 3 minutes’ effort then back down). I jogged between all the efforts and felt OK but was a bit disappointed that my Strava shows an almost uniform line, meaning I did my recovery too fast and my efforts too slow, but I was pleased with this shocking pace for me (not for long!).

0.6 miles, 10:18 mins per mile / 2.1 miles, 13:36 mins per mile / 1.7 miles, 13:13 mins per mile / 0.8 miles, 11:35 mins per mile / total 5.3 miles.

Sunday – This is rest week so called for only a mid-length run. I needed 11.5 miles to round the “real” week up to 20, my minimum if I can. I met Claire and went down to the rugby club and common to run a bit on the gravelly paths, grass and earth paths in the woods, down to the canal, to get more off-road practice (go me!). We poked around the back of a house that’s for sale, losing speed but having a nice time in the cool woods. Then back to ours, I ran into my friend Andy and had a chat, then we ran down to the Midlands Arts Centre where my lovely husband Matthew’s photography course was having a second pop-up exhibition (they had another on Thursday in town). I’m very proud of his patience in taking up and succeeding at macro photography and here he is with his exhibit.

We took a look at a great exhibition of photos taken in Handsworth in 1979 then ran back home via the back of the park and one other park. I have to say I was flagging and stiff, but I’ve done a lot of activities over the last 3 days, including my dreaded lunges, so I’m not that surprised!

Well done to everyone who completed the Manchester Marathon today – so proud of my clubmates plus the Bournville Harriers who all did so well!

Oh, and I tried to emulate the lovely Kim‘s wonderful poses but don’t think I’ve got it quite right yet!

12 miles, 12:51 mins per mile

Miles this week: 40.5 (eeeps, however 20 of them did “belong” to last week, making that 31.2 and this 20.5). Miles this year: 306.5.

weekly-run-down-final-300x300The Weekly Run Down is 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.