Sedate lady running 02-08 Dec 2019 #amrunning #running


Back to some decent mileage again and only a week to update with this time … My step count was very variable but I got the right total.

Monday – As I’d run on Saturday, I was able to get a good run in with Claire this morning. Matthew was working from home and keeping an eye on the new cats. We went down to the canal for a nice relaxing route – and do you remember that fallen tree that I posted Claire climbing through one week and a picture of me with it sorted out a bit another week? Well now it’s turned into a nice neat pile of logs on one side of the path and the broken trunk on the other – very efficient!

tidy trees

6 miles, 13:05 mins per mile. 13,746 steps

Tuesday – I was so tired, trying to do work and keep an eye on the kitties, but most of the Sedate Ladies seemed to be going to running club, so I went too. I ran up there and round with Jenny et al, then Jenny kindly offered to miss out the last zig-zag and give me a lift home, too. So I was home early and not quite so tired. Love my running friends!

4.3 miles, 13:03 mins per mile. 10,654 steps

Wednesday – Went to Dave Yoga and managed to actually fall asleep in the relaxation section at the end – I caught myself doing a snore! Oops!

5,886 steps

Oh, and here’s the cat tax …

Willa and Percy

Willa and Percy

Thursday – A lovely dawn run with Jenny and Trudie. We all met at the corner of my and Trudie’s roads then ran Jenny back up to her house, Trudie and I did a loop as the sun came up and the colours were magnificent. It was quite chilly, though.

Trudie, Jenny and Liz, all wrapped up and lit up!

Amazing colours

4.7 miles, 12:49 mins per mile. 11,342 steps

Friday – Very still, working like anything and waiting in for deliveries.

1,294 steps.

Saturday – Our long run happened today as I was officiating on Sunday. Oh, this did get complicated: I was expecting to meet Jenny, Tara and Mary Ellen at my house at 8am, opened the door to see Mary Ellen, Trudie and Caroline running past? Eh? All became clear and off we all set to run Jenny up to her yoga class.

running ladies

Caroline, Jenny, Tara, Trudie, Liz, Mary Ellen. By Caroline, shared with her permission.

We then came back to our area, picked up Ruth on her road at exactly the time we said we would (WIN!) and then dropped Tara off at the park, where she’d parked her car. She got her 6 in for her marathon training – she got a place in the ballot for London. You might remember I was selected as a reserve runner for London in the running club ballot. As the reserve has never run the race yet, I needed to find an alternative as I still have to train up, just in case. I have decided to go for a round the number 11 bus route challenge – 26 miles and I’ve always wanted to do it (I’ve done the Walkathon, which is what it sounds like, and hated it, much harder than any marathon I’ve run!). I hope a few clubmates and friends will join me on the day if I don’t do London.

Anyway, Trudie peeled off, then Caroline, and Ruth, Mary Ellen and I ran down a very familiar out and back – although we did pop down a road “to see where it went,” only to find it went very steeply downhill and turned into a dead end. Oh. Dropped Mary Ellen off at her road then ran back to Ruth’s and I took the long way round to get my 10 (plus) in.

10.3 miles, 13:13 mins per mile. 25,323 steps

Sunday – A slightly chilly middle of the day in Perry Park, officiating at the Young Athletes’ League cross-country. My giant yellow coat came in very handy. I was doing judge recorder (calling out numbers of athletes crossing the line to my partner who was scribing) and one turn at starters’ assisting, keeping a load of excitable U17 Men with their toes behind the white line. A well- and kindly run event as usual, though my heart does always go out to the tiny U11s in their massive vests! We were on the parkland behind Alexander Stadium, which is being refitted for its role in the Commonwealth Games in 2022 – it was really sad to see one stand with its seats gone and the other completely gone.

Remains of Alexander Stadium

Remains of Alexander Stadium

3,988 steps as of 7.15pm

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 25.3 miles. Total this year 979 (20 down on this time last year) Total weekly steps 72,233.

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.


Sedate lady running 18 Nov – 01 Dec 2019 #amrunning #running


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.


Sedate lady running 11-17 Nov 2019 #amrunning #running


So this week I got more balance in terms of not thinking it was a good idea to do cardio 4 days in a row, but I didn’t manage to do any yoga. I will get there. And my steps weren’t very even, although I did walk more on the days I didn’t run (and one low-step day had a spin class) and I did reach my 70,000 total by the end of the week. So positive really. Oh, and I got horribly lost in the DARK one day.

Monday – Went to the Monday spin class to try that out. A  bit better for timing, in that it starts at 6.30 not 6.45 although it tailed off more gently as the teacher was doing  her next class at 7.30. It was a great one, though – Maria again, the older woman, and we got a good full body workout – plus I understood some of the moves a bit better.

3,340 steps however about 1,000 of them showed up during spin and I have checked a spin class equals about 9,000 steps.

Tuesday – I ran to my friend Ali’s house to collect some cheese she’d bought for me (I eat Eatlean low-fat cheddar and usually order for a few of us direct from the manufacturer, however I was out of sync with the others, so I asked Ali to get me one block in her online supermarket order). This should have been a simple four-mile run over there plus something on the way back, however, I got to one decision point and just chose plain WRONG. Twice. In the dark.

So I was running from the bottom of the picture, went left instead of straight on, went back on myself, turned myself right around and went right, till I was set on my way back the way I’d come again, straight ahead and rejoined the correct road. Sigh.

I asked a man in a bus company jacket the way (and might have announced “my cousin’s a bus driver, too” and the kind Portuguese man set me right. Worst of all, I had turned tracking on Google Maps on so Matthew could keep an eye on where I was, and I was worrying  he’d be panicking (he wasn’t looking at it, it turns out). I did finally get to Ali’s and she took this pic of me, a bit weird in her sitting room in all my gear (I’m loving my chest light, by the way).

Runner in sitting room

Liz by Ali

I decided to run back THE WAY I KNEW and get the bus, however the bus was going to be 16 minutes so I ran along the bus route for a bit so as not to get cold. I ended up doing 6.7 miles, which was further than I thought I’d get! I did have to race to keep up with the bus schedule towards the end.

6.7 miles, 12:14 mins per mile. 15,466 steps

Wednesday – I didn’t get to yoga. I was waiting in for a delivery of fancy French soaps (well, not fancy, very low number of ingredients and including Savon de Marseille and Savon d’Alep – great for both my problem skin and all the scrapes and chafes of running). I did walk some amount of miles, probably because I went to a gig locally in the evening and walked up there to meet my friend Sarah for a curry first.

Ollie, Liz and Sarah

Ollie, Liz and Sarah at The Men They Couldn’t Hang. Fun fact: I met both of them on the first day of university in 1989 and Ollie is a big runner, too, which neither of us would have predicted at the time.

4,413 steps

Thursday – I met Jenny for an early one and although I was a bit sleep-deprived due to the gig, we  had a nice run out on our usual route. I took a photo of this road name because I’d been talking about it with Sarah the night before – we had a friend who had a house here when we were students in the second year. This also shows a very typical red and blue brick wall and a lovely fine old Edwardian house.

5.4 miles, 12:55 mins per mile. 12,999 steps

Friday – No yoga as I just had too much work. I walked to Lidl the long way around to buy oats (they sell them packaged in a paper bag) and felt good I’d even got this many steps in plus 8+ hours of work and some housework!

5,756 steps

Saturday – My main long run was today although I’ve split it over two days because I was supposed to be officiating at a cross-country event today but it was cancelled due to flooding. I’d arranged to do 7-8 miles and then meet Jenny tomorrow for some more, so that’s what I stuck with. I met Trudie, Mary Ellen and Ruth at the end of my road and we did the 5.5 mile canal route I’d done with Claire the other week, picking up Caroline on the way. You wouldn’t think that building was on a main arterial road out of England’s second city, would you?

Strafford Canal at Alcester Road

Stratford Canal looking back to Alcester Road

Here are the other Ladies, doing … something

Four sedate ladies

Trudie, Ruth, Mary Ellen and Caroline

Trudie has thankfully got over her fall from last week (she says thank you for the kind thoughts) and we didn’t have to climb through so much of the fallen tree this time (see photo of it with Claire last week)!

Fallen tree

Just past the fallen tree. Photo by Caroline (with permission)

Most of us finished back on my road but I ran with Caroline back to her house then wiggled my way around the side streets to make my run up to 8 miles. We had a trip up the high street and then walked the mile there and back to a friend’s house in the afternoon, all upping my step count nicely!

8 miles, 13:00 mins per mile. 26,822 steps

Sunday – It turned out when we met that Jenny and I both almost messaged the other to cancel, but we met early and ran/walked, with the run to and from our meeting and parting spots I ran longer than I’d been expected for a good for me weekly total. Accountability in action. It was nice to be out without the traffic and the park was pretty, although I somehow couldn’t get myself motivated to fish my phone out of the back pocket of my hi-viz tabard.

Autumnal trees and an empty road

5.4 miles, 14:11 mins per mile. 14,078 Steps (as of 18:00)

Weekly total 25.5 miles. Total this year 918.3 (I need 916.66 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total; I am still 16 miles down on last year). Total weekly steps 82,874 though could have been more evenly spread through the week.

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.


Sedate lady running 04-10 Nov 2019 #amrunning #running


A good week though I did too many days of cardio on the trot (oops)

First of all I need to share my thoughts on Corinna Korrubel’s Wellness Journal. She very kindly provided a review copy in return for an honest review. You get a page at the front for your main goals, and then a weekly planner for your fitness, followed by a page each day for a week where you can record whatever you want to record. I chose to note down my sleep, fruit and veg portions, exercise and steps, and sometimes made a note of my positives and challenges. I found it really useful and non-judgemental – it didn’t feel “wrong” to be not noting everything down and I felt I could use it as I wanted to. Also, importantly for me, the quality of the paper was good so I could write in the journal in fountain pen!

There’s a weekly journal recap page and pages to record stats at the end, so it would be useful for all kinds of wellness challenges. I recommend it, my only additions would be having a place for a weekly goal and having space to write down the name of the day at the top of the page, as well as the date.  Find out more with more sample pages on Corinna’s blog here and that page also has a link where you can go through to Amazon to order.

Monday – A lovely run with Claire as I’d run on Saturday so was up for a longer one. We worked out a 5.5 mile canal route we hadn’t done before, however there was an obstacle on the way back up from the canal in the form of a very large fallen tree!

Claire among a fallen tree

Claire + tree

Of course I made Claire stand in the middle of the tree while I took my photo of the day! She’s just to the side of the actual path, and it was very muddy having got under the branch behind her.

5.5 miles, 12:54 mins per mile. 13,015 steps

Tuesday – I had to go to club run as I had two hi-viz volunteer tabards from the week before. I ran them up then ran around club run with a whole massive pack of sedate ladies – lovely fun. Jenny gave me a lift home as it was cold and dark. Tara had some lovely laces on her trainers!

Light-up shoe laces

Tara’s snazzy new laces

0.7 miles, 11:30 mins per mile / 4.00 miles, 12:52 mins per mile. 11,535 steps

Wednesday – I didn’t go to yoga as was waiting for a delivery. Managed to overlap with Matthew for 5 mins before I headed out to Spin for the first time in months. Spin was great, with OK music (soul and some pop with some Brazilian zumba-style music and arm movements. There was plenty of upper body work thrown in and it was a buzz like I don’t get from running. I will be back to this class.

5,499 steps (plus 45 mins of spin is apparently equivalent to around 9,000 steps – I think my watch counted some during the class)

Thursday – An early morning run with Jenny running through the dawn. I wore my new chest light which is lovely and bright, however I don’t seem to have taken a photo of it. But this was my fourth consecutive day of cardio and that was too much, so I peeled off and ran home the slightly long way to round things up. I had to wait in all day for a delivery that came at 6.30 (this was the one I waited in for yesterday, too, grr) so it was nice to have got out first thing.

4.3 miles, 12:14 mins per mile. 10,541 steps

Friday – I walked up to the post office to post some presents, then went on the treadmill in the gym for 15 minutes gathering steps, but my Kindle went wrong (seems OK now) so had to watch awful videos on the rubbish TVs. Made it to Claire yoga which was a lovely although quite hard class (deep squats and standing up slowly from them, yay. Goddess pose, not so yay). I had a lovely mail delivery when I got home – a couple of books (see my next book post for pics) and my kit for RED January. This is a month in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, RED stands for Run Every Day but I don’t like to do that or to encourage others to do so recklessly (readers with a streak: I know you know what you’re doing!) so I will aim again to do some activity every day, and days I don’t do something else, walk 10,000 steps. I was pleased with the buff which I ordered as well as the tshirt this year.

RED January tshirt and buff

RED January in aid of Mind

5,293 steps

Saturday – I had a trip out to be a Contributed Official for running club at the men’s cross country league in the Warwickshire country park of Burton Dassett Hills. This is a very high area, with great potential for cross country – but it was FREEZING. It was about 2 degrees (35 F) with a biting wind and heavy rain and even though I wore my hi-viz coat, I was so cold on my hands and feet. My job, which saved club from being docked 200 league points, was to give out round metal tokens with the finish position on to the runners at the end of the funnel. A colleague got batches off a spike and handed them to me but they were so cold and all stuck together. The poor runners were freezing, too. I normally have a jolly word for everyone at these events but I lost my sense of humour a bit (I was also annoyed as I have cold weather gear but wasn’t wearing enough of it!). Got back in the club tent after and someone had to open my flask and pour out my cup of tea for me!!

Runners starting

And they’re off! This gives some idea of the cold, wet misery of it all.

Some of the team and Liz

Some of the men’s cross-country team plus me in the middle in hi-viz. Photo by Tim Livesley, shared with permission.

It took me ages to thaw out when I got home!

3,013 steps (a million shivers)

Sunday – Long run Sunday and it was so sunny, although very chilly again. I met Caroline, Trudie and Mary Ellen at the end of my road and we headed up to Stirchley to get on the canal at the Cadbury Factory. We were pleased to see the Gorilla of Stirchley looking suitably festive.

Gorilla in a santa hat

The Santa Gorilla of Old Stirchley Town

Once on the canals we did the usual route heading back to the boatyard. Trudie’s husband Dave appeared running in the opposite direction (and less cold and wet than yesterday) so we got him to take a photo of us on this lovely part of the canal network.

Mary Ellen, Liz, Caroline, Trudie

Mary Ellen, Liz, Caroline, Trudie. Taken by Dave, posted with permission.

Caroline peeled off but had managed her first 10k for ages, we carried on through the woods and the fallen tree was still fallen (sorry to Trudie’s lovely new trainers, not so white after all that mud) then when we got back near home, Mary Ellen went off home. Trudie and I decided to go and visit a local war memorial, but disaster struck when she tripped on a loose paving stone and fell. Oh no! Sore hands and a bashed and scraped knee and hip so once she’d gathered herself I walked her home and then continued my run, rounding it up to 10 miles, and even with the walking, on 6-hour marathon pace so I left it as a run rather than trying to muck around with my Strava stats. Recover well, Trudie! (please wish her well in the comments if you get a moment and have read this far!).

10 miles, 13:43 mins per mile. 22,940 steps as of 17.30.

Weekly total 24.5 miles. Total this year 868.2 892.7 (I need 916.66 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total; I am still 19 miles down on last year). Total weekly steps 71,836 (I have decided that I’m OK if my weekly total is over 70,000 though will make an effort each day: I just don’t have time to march around every day!).

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.


Sedate lady running 28 Oct – 03 Nov 2019 #amrunning #running


A week that got very damp and breezy and during which I ran just the minimum I like to run to keep me well. Oh well! I did my best! I also took very few photos for some reason.

Monday – A bright and lovely day: I went for two walks during the day and got my steps in.

10,310 steps.

Tuesday – I was one of the two volunteers at our running club’s club run tonight – a four-mile run with everyone doing the same route in pace groups. I was the tail runner and the lovely Rachel looked after quite a few beginners (because we have a 5k and beyond group running at the moment on Thursdays, we get them coming to beginners on a Tuesday, too). Added level of difficulty: it was half-term and we didn’t have access to the school playground so no room for warmup (I tried to get everyone to jog on the spot!) and we had to keep on some grass verges and off the path. People were in general very good, and there were fewer of us than usual – it was dark and cold and half-term. Unfortunately I ended up giving the welcome speech and notices and as I hadn’t expected to, didn’t have my notes! I covered all the bases and then set off at the back with Jenny – we had a good run round and then she gave me a lift home, as it was the Great British Bake-Off Final and I wanted to get it all watched before bedtime!

0.6 miles, 11:45 mins per mile / 3.9 miles, 13:31 mins per mile. 11,003 steps

Wednesday – Another nice bright day and I give you our local signpost (like something from Narnia, right?) in the town square, from my walk


Town square signpost

I also did Dave’s yoga class, which was a good one as ever. I am stiff though and really need to do more stretching and rolling!

7,869 steps (oops)

Thursday – I went for a run with Trudie, who was off because her husband’s a teacher (half-term again) and we decided to run to Aldi (one of the two low-price German supermarket chains we have here, Lidl is the other one) to see if we could snag any of their running kit. Both shops have what I like to call an Aisle of Delights where they sell non-grocery items on a weekly theme. Those leggings with the reflective dots that I have came from there.

Success at the Selly Oak shop

running accessories

Aldi running accessories

I bought myself a flouro buff, a black buff, a pair of flouro gloves, a flouro hat (that won’t blow off, as my cap threatens to do, and isn’t boiling hot, as my other running beanie is, so totally necessary) and a pair of socks (usefully, as I sawed through the toe of one of the ones I was wearing!). I also bought Matthew a beanie and gloves as he walks half the way home from work and isn’t always that visible.

We carried on to Cannon Hill Park but Trudie wasn’t feeling too good (she’s having a lot of stress and strain at the moment, poor thing: hope things improve soon!) so after a toilet stop and picking up some tickets for her at the arts centre, and after me taking my photo of the day …

autumn colours in the park

Autumn colours in full swing

… we parted company and I ran back up the hill and the long way home. A good run and great to snaffle some distance in the week (esp given Saturday’s wash-out).

I had to stop my watch after Aldi as I’d left it running as we wandered the aisles so recorded this in two batches.

2.7 miles, 14:08 mins per mile / 4.2 miles, 12:50 mins per mile. 15,288 steps (making up yesterday’s shortfall)

Friday – I did Claire Yoga (slow and with a lovely long meditation at the end, I was sore on Saturday from doing things properly and sloowwly) and although I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon (just to renew some prescriptions) and a walk up to the chemist to pick up my pills, I just did not have time do all that, work, hoover the house and get more steps in.

5,003 steps (rounded up by stomping up and down the stairs before going to bed!)

Saturday – Because I was marshalling on Sunday, I wanted to get a good long run in on Saturday. I arranged to meet Jenny at 9.30 for a four-mile mini-canal run and then arranged to meet Maria, my fellow Mental Health Champion at running club, to plan our short presentation at the club Awards Night at the end of the month. So it was up and breakfast early and I was out of the house at 8.20, the aim being to do five or so miles, four with Jenny and a few more to round things up, meeting Maria at 11.

As I stepped out of the house, the rain started. And got heavier and heavier. Soon there were large puddles on the pavements and roads. Some roads had water flowing down them and they weren’t that ford you all got bothered by that time! I got to half-way round my five-mile “cricket ground” route and sat in a bus shelter to message Jenny to say “Don’t do it!” It just seemed not the right thing to drag her out in the pouring rain.

wet runner in bus shelter

Portrait of a woman who has made an Error. My new buff worked well, though.

I actually quite enjoyed splashing around in the end. It was the rugby world cup so the streets were quiet. I ended up going to the park and running around for a bit and meeting Maria, who was leading the four-mile club run – I decided just to give up then and run home as I was SO WET. I took the long way round, thinking I had to make up 8.4 miles for the week, but (thanks Strava) turned out it was added up funny and I needed 8.5. I’m proud I managed to drag those miles out of myself, though. I jumped in the shower, got clean and dry and met Maria for a nice coffee, snack and catch-up, and we planned our presentation nicely.

8.4 miles, 12:07 mins per mile.  20,753 steps

Sunday – I marshalled at the National Institute for Conductive Education 10k as usual today. NICE is a wonderful institution, more about it here, and the race is run every year to raise funds (through the fees and a bake sale). I was in my usual position sending runners in two different directions depending on what lap they were on; it all went really well apart from a few loose dogs I had to warn runners about. I knew probably a sixth of the runners by name, and there were loads from local clubs. I was very proud of my lovely friend Tara, seen here resolutely and strongly pushing through, with her lovely husband Matt, who had looped back round after finishing himself to cheer her on. Tara is doing the London Marathon 2020 and I’m very much looking forward to training with her, whether or not I get in!

two runners in park

I walked to the park, to my marshalling position and back to the Institute for a cuppa and the prizegiving, before walking home; what with going out to meet friends for a coffee in the afternoon, I certainly got my steps in.

12,547 steps as of 17:30

Weekly total 19.9 miles (argh). Total this year 868.2 (see, that’s showing 20 added to my total) (I need 916.66 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total; I was about 20 miles over my October target).

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.


Sedate lady running 21-27 Oct 2019 #amrunning #running


A week of variable weather and a decent amount of running, plus all my steps. I wasn’t very good at taking photos so a short and boring post, sorry!

Monday – I ran the long way round to meet up with Tara and the dogs she was walking in the park.

4.1 miles, 11:52 mins per mile / 1 mile, 11:58 mins per mile. 13,036 steps.

Tuesday – I went for a walk in the day but ran into a friend, chatted too long and couldn’t walk as long a way round to the supermarket as I’d hoped. I then went for a walk in the evening, Matthew was going to the cinema so I walked him to where he was meeting his friend then carried on in the dark. Really should have walked where club were running, but didn’t – I ended up walking fast in the dark, having scared myself by being alone in the dark. Won’t do that in a hurry. As my best friend Emma said, go early to get the steps in!

10,101 steps

Wednesday – An evening run meeting Ruth for a couple of miles in the middle. Weirdly, I was only an hour earlier than on Tuesday and still in the dark, but I didn’t mind so much! Weird. I walked-ran with Ruth and ran continuously the rest of it, which was all fine. I don’t mind what I do as long as I’m moving. I hadn’t got as many steps in as I do walking so marched around the house a bit.

5 miles, 12:26 mins per mile. 12,003 steps

Thursday – Had a day out and went to meet my friend Laura in Alderley Edge. We had a super walk in the woods on the Edge and I did actually take some photos. The trees were beautiful and the views very misty.

Alderley Edge view

A misty view off Alderley Edge

We went to my friend Kerry’s for a lovely lunch and then popped into one charity shop (where I got one book, see my post from Thursday) before I got the train home. A good way to get my steps in!

11,040 steps

Friday – Got my first walk of the day in early, between breakfast and starting work. This worked well as I had my phone with me and was close enough to pop home if I got an urgent job in. I saw parakeets in Highbury Park (no photo as I only had my phone camera with me). I had another walk later to run some errands and had a fuss with Kaci the dog on the high street.

10,726 steps

Saturday – I was down to lead the running club’s beginners’ session but it was pelting down with rain so I did wonder if anyone would turn up. I left a bit late because I was waiting for the rain to ease off (it didn’t) and had to belt up there – I hit 9 and under 9 minute mile pace for a minute or two! Two people turned up for the 4 mile run we offer, and Ruth came to shadow me as she’s joining the volunteer rota. No beginners so Ruth and I did a couple of soggy laps of the park while I shared my knowledge of what to do, then she went off home and I continued home the long way round to get the value out of having to wash my clothes and because I couldn’t have got any wetter! I did get some sprinting done on the home straight as I just wanted to get home.

Not actually physically possible to be more wet than this.

0.6 miles, 10:34 mins per mile / 3.4 miles, 12:33 mins per mile. 11,279 steps

Sunday – In a huge contrast to Saturday’s weather, it was so bright and clear, although cold – my first run with gloves on of the autumn and they only came off at mile 8. Started with Mary Ellen and Trudie, picked up Ruth on the way and met Jenny in Moseley, then ran her round a circuit to get her back to her yoga session in time. We dropped Ruth off on the way back down towards her house. Unfortunately I could not make my phone camera work (so Ruth had to take the group photo) and then wasn’t able to understand what route we were taking (a side-effect of the medication I’m taking is enough of a loss of cognitive sharpness for me to notice it) so I got a  bit distressed and felt a bit rubbish.


Trudie, Ruth, Jenny, Mary Ellen, Liz, by Ruth, posted with permission

Pushed on with encouragement (I keep taking, taking, taking recently and am aware I need to redress this, though I have been having some tough times) and said goodbye to Jenny by the park where she does her yoga (in a studio in the park) then parted from Mary Ellen as she needed to go and buy a sofa, then Trudie and I pressed on, surprised ourselves slightly by coming out on the greenway going the other way and knowing where we were and then pushed up the hill, round the park via the supermarket for Trudie to buy limited-edition orange Cadbury’s Twirls (as you do) and then to our respective homes. The sun stayed out the whole way round.

autumn tree

Beautiful foliage in Cannon Hill Park, Runner is not us.

I got home to news my delivery was on its way. I’d better keep up with this endurance running lark as that is a LOT of Tailwind powdered fuel!

Large pack of tailwind

Large pack of Tailwind

10 miles, 13:24 mins per mile. 23,203 steps (as of 7.20 pm)

Weekly total 24.1 miles. Total this year 848.2 (I need 833.33 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total, and I’m now down 13 miles on this time last year).

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.


Sedate lady running 14-20 Oct 2019 #amrunning #running


Continuing trying to get my steps in and have recorded that and my aim for five fruit and veg portions a day (in an effort to keep my immunity boosted) in my new wellness journal I’m reviewing. Quite a good week for distance as I front-weighted it with a good solid run on Monday.

Monday – A lovely canal run with Claire, there was a weather warning so we tried to get round before the torrential rain, and just about managed. We noticed how amazing the construction of the Brandwood Tunnel is for the first time.

Brandwood tunnel entrance

Brandwood Tunnel entrance

7 miles, 13:04 mins per mile. Steps: 16,829

Tuesday – I met up with my best friend Emma in Birmingham and we went for lunch then a look round the Ikon Gallery and a short walk along the canal in town, up and over and back the other side. We both like to get our steps in so I planned for the gallery trip to be across town!

Steps: 13,274

Wednesday – I met Jenny in Moseley at what turned out to be a slightly tricky time when people were taking their kids to school / older children were pouring along the streets. Then we went down a very slippery, leafy hill gingerly and up some steep hills before she went to yoga and I ran home.  I did very varying paces especially for the last mile and a bit where I pushed it because I had a sudden need to get home quickly! Then I got showered and changed and went creakily to yoga.

4.3 miles, 12:31 mins per mile. Steps: 10,814

Thursday – Supporting our 5k and beyond runners is always a privilege and I enjoyed quite a tricky set of runs and walks (thank you Lee for the laminated cheat sheet showing total minutes to help decide when to run and walk) with two nice women at the back. I always provide a back marker when I volunteer, and will do so even when I cover leading the run later in November! Ran back a wiggly way to get some more distance in. And steps.

Dark street, street lamp

It was so dark when I got home. I was wearing a flourescent tabard and headlamp round my waist so all good.

0.7 miles, 11:31 mins per mile / 1.5 miles, 14:25 mins per mile / 1.4 miles, 12:18 mins per mile. Steps: 10,290

Friday – I went to yoga then dropped my yoga mat at home and walked the long (very long, round the park) way to Iceland to buy some bread.

Park panorama

Caught the park in a spell of sun!

I didn’t have enough steps so went to meet my husband, Matthew, as he walked from the bus stop, and round the supermarket. Still at 9,000, I discovered a circuit round the block was nearly 1,000 steps, which is useful to know!

Steps: 10,361

Saturday – Officiating for the day at the Cross-Country Relays in Wolverhampton, even though I was on funnel management and judge recorder (recording athletes’ numbers in order and making sure they stayed in order and moving briskly through the finish funnel) and was on my feet from 11 to 4.30, I only did 2,500 steps. But I was running and then going to a meetup on Sunday so let myself off.

Steps: 2,620

Sunday – Not such a long run needed to make up my miles for the week. Trudie, Mary Ellen and I met up and ran up to meet Jenny. We did about three miles together, including a loop through Cannon Hill Park.

Four women runners

Trudie, Liz, Jenny, Mary Ellen, by Trudie, posted with her permission.

We then decided to run up the brutal Park Hill (I predicted I’d get my 3rd best time on it, as it was the third time I’d run up it in all my years of running, and yes), but were rewarded by the pretty and frilly St Anne’s church at the top.

St Anne's Church Park Hill

St Anne’s Church, Park Hill, can you see the Moon?

We then ran back down and through the forested part that Mary Ellen and I did last weekend, so Trudie and I could learn where it started.

Trees in Cannon Hill

Sun in the trees in Cannon Hill Park

Up the hill to home and I did a bit of running around to make things up to a round number (of course I did). Quick shower, drink and snack and I got the bus to town to meet five other members of my photo-a-day group at the tea rooms in the art gallery. This got me the rest of my steps to make up for yesterday.

8.1 miles, 13:16 mins per mile. Steps: 21,055 (as of 6pm)

Weekly total 23.00 miles. Total this year 824.1 (I need 833.33 at the end of this month to be on track for my 1,000 miles in a year total, and I’m now down just 10 miles on this time last year).

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.


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