A bit of a long read today: we were away for a short break in Spain last Thursday to Tuesday and I don’t like to advertise publicly when I’m away. Plus we end the week with the glitz and glamour of the Running Club Awards Night!

Monday 18 Nov – I went for a walk with my friend Louise. The trees in the park were very pretty and the sky very blue.

7,404 steps.

Tuesday 19 Nov – Went for a run just before lunch – no idea now why I commented on Strava that it was a struggle; probably something to do with going out too fast, although I went faster and faster with my last half-mile at 10:06 minute mile pace (super fast for me) because I was so fed up with it all.

4.5 miles, 11:25 mins per mile. 11,770 steps

Wednesday 20 Nov – I managed Dave yoga in the morning and had another great spin class in the evening (I promised myself and my husband that I would go to spin only if I’d already packed for the holiday!).

4,081 steps (plus 7,500 ish extra for spin)

Thursday 21 Nov – Travelling day. By the time we’d walked from the drop-off car park to the airport terminal, round the airport, up to our apartment from the bus stop and out to find a supermarket, we’d got a good bit of walking in. We bought the makings of tuna pasta from the supermarket and Matthew cooked dinner for us.

10,600 steps

Friday 22 Nov – A nice day looking around Alicante and taking a few photographs. I had lost my nerve slightly about running in the city, as it seemed complicated and new and not that friendly. It was of course OK, but that’s how I managed to run three days in a row. Dinner in again, I had tuna pasta leftovers, Matthew a Spanish omelette.

13,571 steps

Saturday 23 Nov – Put on my big girl pants and went for a pre-breakfast run along the sea front. I was rewarded by a view I don’t often get in landlocked Birmingham …

Sunrise and palm tree, Alicante

Sunrise and a palm tree and the sea!

We did a nice lot of walking, too, visited a really good archaeological museum, although I got quite tired translating the Spanish information boards (it’s a very Spanish-speaking city so my Spanish came along a treat!) and saw two demonstrations, one in the daytime against violence against women and children, one as we walked back from all-you-can-eat sushi, for democracy, against violence and for the release of political prisoners. All very peaceful with police officers just looking on.

5 miles, 11:35 mins per mile. 23,778 steps.

Sunday 24 Nov – I thought I was going to run longer so went after breakfast – in fact I was quite tired and just did a shorter one for me. I enjoyed running among the people of the city who were talking a Sunday morning walk along the promenade. There were runners as well – not hugely friendly but still good to be out among my people!

Liz by the sea

By the sea!

I discovered a high walkway along the harbour arm that was closed because there were high winds but still had fun. We had a chilled day apart from that, reading etc., then ramen noodles for dinner (Alicante has a LOT of restaurants, many of them Japanese).

5.5 miles, 11:44 mins per mile. 25,123 steps

Weekly total 15 miles. Total this year 938.6 (I needed 916.66 at the end of November to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total. Total weekly steps 84,557.

Monday 25 Nov – A last run in the morning: this time the high walkway was open so I got a lovely panoramic view (and took a pic of a French couple with their phone – always happy to do that). I ran back up to the local roundabout noting a lovely walkway between palm trees.

panorama of Alicante

Looking back at the city from the raised walkway.

Later in the morning we walked up to the top of the castle on the hill and took in the wonderful views, then we walked down by the sea along the route I’d discovered earlier. Spanish dinner this time, I had salmon and Matthew pork.

5 miles, 11:39 mins per mile. 25,333 steps

Tuesday – Travelling home day. Again a walk at the airport in Birmingham to catch our taxi home.

5,576 steps

Wednesday – I made it to Dave yoga like I’d never been away, but unfortunately spin was cancelled as the instructor wasn’t available. I did not replicate spin class with a static bike ride; I sat on my bottom and worked (but I did go for a short walk with Louise up the high street at lunchtime).

3,559 steps

Thursday – I’ve recorded helping with the 5k and Beyond learner runners’ group over the last couple of months but this time I was leading the session, as Lee, the usual leader, was away. I warmed them up with a version of my 1, 2, 3 warmup, but just asking them to skip on the spot, do arm circles, etc. Then we were off with 30 minutes of continuous running. We had four runners (the January class is usually the busier of the two) and three volunteers (thank you to Karen and James) so it was a good ratio and everyone achieved well, with the woman I ran with being very pleased at how she managed. I finished by asking everyone to share a favourite stretch then filling in any gaps, and reminded the runners to bring their barcodes to parkrun (their first, and their first 5k) on Saturday. We got one of the runners to take a pic of James, me and Karen – I’m pointing at James because he’d grown a rather fine moustache in aid of Movember!

Three runners in the dark

James (with fine moustache), Liz and Karen.

I ran back a long and wiggly way – I hadn’t noticed how far we’d run in the 30 minutes, but guessed, rounded it up and was correct!

0.7 miles, 11:34 mins per mile / 2.3 miles, 13:00 mins per mile / 2 miles, 12:02 mins per mile. 13,698 steps.

Friday – Really did not move much, waiting in for several different Amazon deliveries all day!

1,681 steps.

Saturday – It was the 5k and Beyonders’ first parkrun and it’s traditional for running club members to go down and buddy up with the new runners. It was pretty cold – when I left the house at 7.45 it was zero degrees with a minus real feel (32 and below) and pretty frosty. Not too slippery, thank goodness. I ran Ruth’s cheese order up to her house (we like a low-fat, high-protein cheddar called Eatlean) which was trickier to do than I thought, then joined Mary Ellen to run to the park. It wasn’t entirely certain that parkrun was going to run (it’s around a lake and can get really slippy) but the team did a great job and re-routed the most slippy bit onto the grass. It was a bit cold waiting to start so we took some photos …

Mary Ellen, Ruth and LIz

Mary Ellen, Ruth and Liz

… caught up with some friends, buddied up with new runners and off we went …

parkrun start

parkrun start. Can you spot me? Look for the lion on my back. Photo courtesy of Mike Green.

I thought readers might like to see what the start of our parkrun looks like from the back. Just about 580 runners this week, a small field. But you can see how frosty and foggy it was!

Here we are coming past the bandstand with me helpfully pointing out our new runners (one more with two club folk behind us):

Look: new runners. Photo courtesy of Mike Green.

The Beyonders went for a coffee with Lee but we got going back home before we got cold.

Then in the evening, it was running club Awards Night. This is always such a positive occasion, with people celebrating good deeds, kindness and gumption as well as achievement at the front of the field. I was thrilled to be given a certificate and trophy for “kindness to an injured runner” – back on 03 August clubmate Katherine had a nasty fall and she’d nominated all of us who helped her on that day. There were similar awards for two runners who helped an 82 year old parkrunner who fell, and a group who called the police and went on a search party when they saw a woman go into the river to try to save her dog (woman and dog were OK). There were the “My first” awards where you get a medal and a handshake or hug for each new race type or distance you do – so I picked up trail for the Bumble Bimble and Ultra. Maria and I did a talk on our role as Mental Health Champions which went down well and we were very happy to be invited to do that. Then we had the runner’s choice awards, where you have to nominate just ONE runner who has inspired you this year – so hard! I had to nominate Bernice, though, as we did our 50k Race to the Stones together. She nominated me, AND drew a picture of the White Horse of Uffington on the sheet – what more could you want? I was very fortunate to come joint third in the Runner’s Choice (along with four other people – I love the breadth of love and celebration).

awards and medals

Runner’s Choice nominations, trail and ultra medals, runner’s choice trophy and kindness to injured runner trophy.

And they had one of those frames, so Bernice and I finally got a pic of us with our ultra medals.

Liz, Bernice, Medals

Liz, Bernice, medals!

And FINALLY, we had the draw for the two club places for the London Marathon. There were 29 in it and I was picked as a reserve. I was so chuffed Afshin and Avril got the places, but I will now need to find a marathon to train for that is about two weeks after London, so I’m trained up in case anything happens to one of the others. I’m sure I’ll find something. And this means (after my complicated logical flowchart) that I won’t be redoing Reykjavik Marathon in 2020 (too much in one year) but will be attempting the Canal Canter marathon (more like an ultra set up, there are walkers and cake stalls, so no real cut-off).


2.9 miles, 12:58 mins per mile / 3.15 miles, 12:35 mins per mile / 4.2 miles 12:41 mins per mile. 30,783 steps.

Sunday – A very quiet day as I’d run yesterday. All I did was go to the cafe to meet Gill!

1,935 steps.

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 20.3 miles. Total this year 953.6 (I needed 916.66 at the end of November to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total. Total weekly steps 82,565.

The 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.