A bit of a funny week this week in that I slightly hurt my foot but sorted it out quickly and the thing I hurt it doing really helped me later in the week – so I dropped two days of my RED January 10,000 steps a day, but made them up during the week.

Monday – I did a recovery run with Claire, our normal four-mile canal route. She had done 10 miles the day before, me 14, so we took it nice and gently. As I left the house to meet her I found some lovely post through the door – my pretty medal from my 12 Day Marathon and a thank you card. The participants raised over £3,000 for two local charities to the organiser, Carly, and I was so proud to take part. The medal has 12 Day Marathon around the inner ring, which you can’t quite see on the photo.

4 miles, 12:40 mins per mile. 10,030 steps

Tuesday – Had a lovely walk with my friend Louise, she did Pokemon gaming as we walked round the park, then nipping in and out of the shops rounded up my steps.

11,288 steps

Wednesday – Yoga with Dave in the morning, nice to be back in the routine of it though I was pretty creaky! In the afternoon I went for a walk to pick up some steps and ended up chasing a lovely sunset into the park and getting very muddy feet running across the grass for another picture! Then in the evening it was Track, which I haven’t been to for ages. Literally over a year.

Tara and Matt picked me up, so I couldn’t escape. I took my new spikes with me – I bought them last spring when I thought I might need to do a very heavy cross-country session in training for the ultra, then didn’t need them, but they’re suitable for track, too. When we got there I tried to put them on then panicked and stayed in my road shoes.

Paul was our coach – he’s brilliant, so inclusive, making things work for a group of people from really speedy chaps to me. We had a warm up concentrating on pawing the ground away behind us as the foot landed. We did cruise intervals which was 1200 m at 5k pace (I didn’t know what my 5k pace was and went out a bit fast) which “are to improve your lactate threshold” and then an 800 m at fastest endurance (not sprint) pace which “improves your Vo2 max”. Then I dared to put on the spikes and did 400 m randomly – I did like the way they felt steadier on the sometimes slippy track and also made me pick my feet up and land on my mid-foot. We then had four x  400 m repeats so 400 m fast then 100 m recovery which “are just anaerobic speedwork” – my left foot which is my shorter leg side and the side that is prone to tendonitis and my ankles started to ache so I pulled up then and swapped to road shoes for the stretching at the end.

I know a lot of people do track and wear spikes but I was proud of myself for going out of my comfort zone, and it felt OK, although as I mentioned, I stopped when it got uncomfortable physically. Lots of clubmates and friends advised and reassured me beforehand and at the session and once again I am so glad to have these people around me.

2.1 miles, 10:26 mins per mile 13,008 steps

Thursday – Unfortunately the arch of my “bad” foot was quite sore today. It’s OK when it’s the arch protesting, I worry when it’s the ball (that foot has always been slightly turned onto the outside, as I got to about 31 before having my leg length disparity corrected with a raise, and so the bones are squashed together and if the tendons get inflamed it’s very painful). I visited my friend Ali but got two buses there and back rather than risking running or walking to her. It is FINE to not do my RED January challenge if it’s going to hurt me – I did 50 squats and 100 arm movements with weights (20 bicep curls etc) so kept moving.

2,494 steps

Friday – Foot was feeling a lot better and I did Clare yoga then had a bit of a walk later on to the hairdressers, and did 60 squats, 10 of them single-leg. All good!

3,461 steps

Saturday – I was all set to go to Oaklands parkrun to marshal – in fact I was over half way there on the bus – when I found it had been cancelled due to ice, as many local parkruns were. Came home and Matthew and I went for a walk along the 4 mile canal route I run so often. It was lovely to show him the boatyard and the wood, and we also went off the path and explored the small nature reserve – saw a heron and an egret (you can just see them in this picture) and I wished I’d brought my good camera. Of course, the path in the first wood was flooded again, and the pond here was rather larger than I think it usually is. Foot felt fine – hooray!

12,859 steps

Sunday – I felt confident enough of my foot to start off on my long run and then we had news and experience that the pavements were REALLY icy. Not the kind of ice my US blogging friends are having, where yaktrax and nanospikes are of assistance, but a thin layer of sometimes black ice over the pavements and roads. Ugh. But we persisted and it was OK, though I had a couple of “slide and expletive” moments.

Not the best selfie in the world and someone didn’t get the memo about ear-warmers! Liz, Tracie, Trudie, Mary Ellen and Tara.

Mary Ellen, Trudie and I set off from my road, then met Tara part way down. When we got to Acocks Green we met Tracie, got this awful photo and then Mary Ellen and Trudie set off home again as they had commitments. Tara, Tracie and I carried on around a route that Tracie had devised taking in areas of Olton and down to Solihull (including a comfort stop in the rather posh Tudor Grange leisure centre) and back to the central area. Tracie got to 9 miles and went home (well done!) then I left Tara, who had done over 11 miles very strongly, in the no 11 bus stop and then got 5 bus stops on before she overtook me!

It was OK getting home on my own (this is where Trudie ran me in last time) and although I felt a bit rubbish in my last mile and was muttering darkly to myself that I was too unfit to do this stuff, it turned out that that was because my last two miles were done in just over 12 mins and 11:30 mins, the latter being my half marathon PB pace. This was mainly because I was thinking about what Paul had been telling us on Wednesday, so I was running more efficiently. Hooray!


I got a personal record on Swanshurst Lane in my last but one mile, a road I run up a lot, so I was tired but pleased. Withnin a moment of finishing typing this, my pizza will be coming out of the oven …

15.1 miles, 13:35 mins per mile. 33,196 steps

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 21.2 miles. Total this year 64.9 miles. Total weekly steps 86,336.

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.