It really makes a difference when I can run four days in a week, but that was not to be this week, which also included another trip to the dentist, some antibiotics AND an unrelated blood test. But also some yoga!

Monday – No run today as Claire wasn’t available and I had a lot of work on. I must have walked somewhere the long way round but I struggle to recall where. I haven’t added them up yet but I really don’t think I did 70,000 steps this week (but that’s OK).

4,076 steps

Tuesday – I was back at the dentist today as my tooth was still sore. The options: extraction (nooo: tooth is OK and I need all the teeth I can keep, plus it’s a tooth I do use, even though it’s a wisdom), amoxicillin (hello, death. Seriously.) or metronidazole. So I chose the latter and I’ve been fairly OK, a little low and a bad taste in my mouth but lots of ginger and mint means not too bad. Managed to go to club run in the evening. Tara got on her own at one point so a few of us chased her down and I got to under 10-minute mile pace running down a hill in the dark (I am glad no one loomed up at me!). Good to have a lot of the Sedate Ladies together for this one.

I wore my new running leggings and socks – thought the socks rubbed me but it was the leg of the trousers getting caught in the top of my trainers (and no visible blister). My chest light gave up half-way round; I need to learn how long a charge lasts!

0.7 miles, 11:22 mins per mile / 4.7 miles, 12:35 mins per mile. 14,573 steps

Wednesday – Blood test at the doctor’s – the nurse was running late and I’d worked myself up into a right state by the time I got to see her but she was excellent and I made sure I told reception so. Didn’t go to yoga as it was almost directly after the blood test.

2,858 steps

Thursday – Matthew finished at work on Wednesday lunchtime (he’s working from home next week) and had to go out to sort out some life admin which delayed my before-lunch run. I worked like a demon all day in my running kit then finally got out of the house after dark with Mary Ellen – had a lovely run with her and spotted this super festive caravan (for US readers, UK people don’t go as all-out as US ones seem to with holiday decorations, there are a good few lights up or trees in windows, wait for Sunday for the most extravagant one …).

What do YOU call this vehicle, by the way? It’s towed behind a car, not a static one you live in. American Mary Ellen and I had an interesting conversation about this, as neither of us speaks of them very often!  Anyway, I carried on for a bit after I left Mary Ellen as I knew there was only space for one more run this week and so I wanted to round myself up to at least 10 miles today.

4.7 miles, 12:32 mins per mile. 10,527 steps

Friday – Went to yoga in my new kit (see last week’s post) and it worked brilliantly. Wearing lycra leggings helped me remember to pull my core in, and the top didn’t flap open when I was on all fours and didn’t slide up my back in downward dog. It was my first session for a week and a half so I was a bit DOMSy over the weekend, but Claire had brought in vegan mince pies (and gluten-free chocolates) so win! It was one session instead of two, so early at 10am and a bit more flowy than we usually do, but perfectly manageable.

I went for a walk up the high street to buy oats and various other things and by going the long way around managed to get some steps in.

I was thrilled when I got home to discover my blood test results were in – all fine, apart from one white blood cell count was a tiny bit high. The surgery had texted me to make an appointment but when I found out why, I looked it up and it was something that indicates an infection – which of course I had (gone now, as of Sunday). So rather than waste an appointment I fed that back to the doctor over the phone and got the OK not to come in. The best news was that my cholesterol was 4.4 (the limit is 5.0 in the UK measurements) with my “good” HDL cholesterol 1.43 when it needs to be over 1.04. I keep my high cholesterol down through diet and exercise and I’m not going to shill my book about how I did it here (but I wrote it under my maiden name of Broomfield and there’s links if you want them in the menu!). I was so chuffed, anyway, as you do never quite know and I’d accidentally let my annual blood test for being on blood pressure meds slide for a year!

bag of oats

Thank you, o mighty oats!


8,205 steps

Saturday – I was supposed to go for a run and let Mary Ellen down, but life intervened (everything’s OK). Went up the high street to look for a storage solution for the welter of running gloves and belts I keep on the chest at end of the bed, messily, and a few other bits; didn’t do much else.

3,970 steps

Sunday – Long run day – hooray! I knew Ruth wanted to run from home to Marks and Spencers to pick up some Christmas food stuff and I also knew Matthew wanted to go to Sainsburys to buy ours. So I went out early, planning to do my last miles with Ruth apart from the final one home. It was pretty mild, about 4 degrees (39) so it was my new leggings again and one layer of fuzzy-inside top plus (Christmas!) buff and glovesI took one trip out to Cotteridge (up a hill there, up a hill back!) and then went to Broad Lane especially to photograph the peak Christmas house in these parts:

House decorated for Christmas

Best Christmas house in Kings Heath

I photographed Ruth in front of this house last year! It was hard work going up some of the hills and I’m a bit worried that this year’s marathon campaign doesn’t leave me much room to get stronger while I run longer, as there’s only one run of each length (I might amend this plan and do two 18s or 19s and one 20, not sure). I am going to get onto the lunging and squatting, might do the 30-day challenge again. Fortunately, if I get into London (I hope I don’t as that will mean a friend is injured) I will have 7 hours to do it in and my DIY round-the-bus-route challenge has no time limit, nor does the marathon in August as it’s a walking event too.

running plan

The plan

I hauled myself up what we in running club call Feck Hill (why did I put so many hills in this run) and was pleased to get to my rendezvous point with Ruth five minutes early. Then I spotted friends Karen and Kate flying down the high street (I’d already seen Chris and Scott in the park and Alessio as I stopped by the Christmas House) and they stopped to say hello.

Karen and Kate

Karen and Kate in fine form

Then Ruth appeared, and as we set off to go to Marks’ the long way round, Trudie appeared, too – which meant I’d have her company all the way back. Ruth led us in jeffing a 2 minute run, 30 second walk strategy, thank goodness – my mile splits slowed here as I was tiring. But what a week I’d had so fine! We got up to the shop and had a selfie, of course:

Trudie, Liz and Ruth

Trudie, Liz and Ruth (taken by Trudie, shared with permission)

Trudie then cheerled me through the last mile and a bit home, I was pleased to get a 12:38 mile in for my last mile as was really tired.  I’m happy if this time round I hit 6 hour marathon pace (13:45 mins per mile) in training runs overall with the option to push it a bit more on the day (or not) but am not aiming to destroy myself. That perfectly trained and completely top of my fitness game mara can wait for another year; these are about fun and taking part.

And then I got home, had half a giant pretzel and the rest of my tailwind topped up a bit and went out to help buy the food for Christmas Day …

Liz looking mis in Sainsburys

The absolute epitome of Christmas Cheer – right? Right?

12 miles, 12:54 mins per mile. 26,912 steps

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 22.1 miles. Total this year 1027.7 miles (one down on this time last year, but I did 1,039 in total last year and hope to beat that) Total weekly steps 71,121 (frankly, I’m amazed I hit an average of 10,000 per day!).

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.