It was lovely coming back to writing these posts last weekend and I had a great reaction from my readers in the comments, too – thank you! It’s been good keeping up my running through lockdown and lovely knowing my running blogger community was here for me to slot back into (of course I also love my book-blogging friends who like and comment in my running post and my running blogger pals who read and comment on my book posts!).

Tuesday – I knew I needed to go out but I was fatigued and really not feeling it. Also aware it would be a four-run week, that’s a longer run needed to hit 20 total for the week. In fact, my friend Barbara spotted me near the start of this one and said I looked strong and in the zone, so that shows you just never know!

I had to stop and restart my watch 0.4 miles from home as it claimed I’d done a mile and a bit and broken all records. I think I’ve been turning on (but not starting) the watch too early while in the house, and it’s found the satellite wrong – when I looked at what it had recorded, I was nowhere near my own house! I added it manually as almost half a mile. Anyway, I was just drooping up a road I don’t go up hugely often when I saw a familiar face … two familiar faces … it was Trudie and Jenny out for a run together, running down the road they don’t normally run down! So I joined up with them, they took me near home, then I ran Jenny up to near her home and looped back round again to get a decent mileage in after all, and a lot happier. Thank you, ladies!

Liz, Jenny and Trudie4.3 miles, 12:58 mins per mile / 0.4 miles, 11:27 mins per mile

Wednesday – To be honest, I don’t remember much about this one apart from the fact it was a pleasant and damp day! But I had a better time than the first part of Tuesday’s run and did a nice big loop up round, taking in Swanshurst Park.

4.6 miles, 11:18 mins per mile

Saturday – After the fun of last week‘s Sarehole Mill Run of the Mill virtual charity race, I signed up for the Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice Chocolate 5k & 10k Personal Challenge – another virtual race. Ā£10 to sign up and you get a chocolate-themed medal (Kim, I finally get one without flying across the Atlantic!) and some chocolate in the post, and I made a donation to the charity as well of course (you could do it sponsored but I’d just done the sponsored run with Mary Ellen for her school so didn’t want to ask people again). I got a great pack via email with sponsor forms and the link to donate, and, as I’d been asked when I was going to do my race, I got a personalised email on Friday afternoon to wish me luck – what a lovely touch!

I set off with Mary Ellen; I’d devised a route that took in running past the hospice itself to pay our respects to it, but also included Cannon Hill Park so I could get my running club parkrun selfie where we start parkrun. We ran into Ruth here and had a nice catch up (plus my friend Terri from yoga, plus one of my yoga teachers, Dave, plus a few other folk from our running club, Bournville Harriers and the Swifts; lovely to see so many people out and about.

Liz, Ruth and Mary Ellen

We then went along the greenway and dropped into Selly Park to go past the hospice – they had a lovely thank you banner up and this reminded me of their charity text number to share (this is a UK only number but makes it so easy for people to donate). I loved the graphic of the hands with hearts, too.

Then we exited Selly Park via St Paul’s Convent, a favourite High Edwardian building of mine – when the first Birmingham half-marthon and the Birmingham marathon routes passed it, some of the nuns came and at outside to clap and cheer!

Back up lots of hills and some loops around Kings Heath and there we were with around 8 miles. My Garmin watch decided to go weird and claimed not to have the activity in its folders (I have to add runs to Strava using the watch as a drive, which is normally fine as it recharges while it’s plugged in) but it did have it on Garmin Connect, so I managed to export and re-import the file into Strava. Then it showed longer in Strava than it did in Garmin – argh! Apparently this is A Thing and when I measured the route in another app it was more like 8.5 (plus I accidentally ran 0.3 miles without my watch recording today, so it all balances out). Annoying, though, and I only bought it in July 2018 which doesn’t seem like long enough to have it. I shut down and restarted the watch and it did work on Sunday at least.

8.5 (or 8.3) miles, 12:24 mins per mile

Sunday – As I hadn’t run as planned on Friday (too much work, too tired), I needed to round up my weekly miles. I also needed to escape the very noisy building work going on next door (yes, pre-breakfast). I actually got round to relacing (I loop the laces through that second hole right at the top of the shoe then criss-cross them through the loop to keep my heel locked in tight) and putting my raise in the left-hand trainer on my new Saucony Guide ISO 2s and took them for a whirl. I’d been a real Guide person until the Guide 10s had horrible tight toes, then have been on Omnis and Hurricanes which I can’t get at the moment, so took a chance ordering these. I can happily report that they were LOVELY.

Waterfowl in the parkA great story which I’ve already shared with my picture of the day (not this pic!) on Facebook: I was in the park and ran past the duckpond. Lots of fun adolescent goslings appeared, all fuzzy/not-fuzzy (you can see them in front of their parents on the left of the picture), and I got my phone out of my running belt to take a pic. They noticed the plastic bag I keep the phone in and more and more birds rushed towards me. Snapped a few pics then carried on, saying hello to a man walking the other way towards the pond. Turned round, back past the pond and there he was distributing birdseed to a huge group of birds, from a plastic bag. Aha! I chatted to him and he started doing this a few years ago to stop himself having his first cigarette of the day – and it worked!

3.4 miles, 11:13 mins per mile

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 21.2 miles. Total this year 579 miles (I need to reach 583.4 this month to be on track for 1,000 miles in the year. I’m still beating 2018 and 2019 me at the moment, however next weekend a year ago 2019 covered 31 miles!).

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.