Sedate lady running 15-21 October 2018 #amrunning #running


This week I have to runfess that I have NOT gone to yoga and I have NOT done my Coach Paul circuits. We only got home on Monday and it’s been laundry, collecting the cat from the cattery, and lots of work (I did NO WORK on holiday, apart from answering a few emails – hooray!) including a very urgent booking that overlapped with Friday yoga. I will do better in coming weeks. I have also run the requisite number of miles, (feeling very much that lack of stretching!) and formulated the beginnings of an ultra plan. I haven’t run continuously during any of my runs, taking a “jeffing” approach, but that’s completely OK, as we all know. More importantly, as, having had a not-great run last Sunday, I was starting to worry I’d booked an ultra then immediately stopped running so much/ fallen out of love with it, I enjoyed my running week.

Monday – OK, hauling my (4-wheeled, runs along vertically SOOO easily, right) suitcase through Penzance made my biceps ache for a day or so. So I’m counting that as strength and cardio!

Tuesday – I was supposed to go to club run. It was the route some people had some hassle on the other week. None of the Sedate Ladies were going (or maybe one, who is faster than me). I was TIRED. And I wimped out, but usually when I don’t want to run there is good reason, so fine. And I got a nice early night in.

Wednesday – Jenny, who is working her way back into running after being unwell for quite a while, suggested a before-lunch run. It was nice not to have to don day-glo colours (I know some bloggers I follow like the bright colours and matching outfits; I quite like slipping along quietly in the daytime at least).

I started off a little late and had to dash up to our meeting point, scoring a 10:41 minute mile (way fast for me) and a couple of Strava segment PRs. Phew! Had to have a pause when we met (not late!) then we took a gentle run-walk around for around 4.5 miles before I nipped back home again. Lovely to catch up and put the world to rights. It was pretty sunny, too, and I was a little warm in my black top.

6 miles, 13:26 mins per mile

Thursday – Our running club runs a “5k and beyond” course twice a year, autumn and early in the year, to support new or returning runners through a couch to 5k type programme then progressing onwards to 4 miles (I know, mixing the units!) to enable them to run with our weekly Tuesday club run. It’s led by the excellent and supportive Lee, helped by three volunteers from the rest of club each week. I LOVE LOVE LOVE helping with this and have usually done a few sessions covering for people who can’t come for whatever reason, but today was my first run out with the current group.

New lights!

I tried out my new little lights, bought from Lidl a while ago for a small amount of money each. A flexible loop on the back clips to the clip you can see on the orange one, so they’re great for on your rucksack or belt and I hung them round the wide elastic bits joining the front and back of my hi-vis tabard. One is red, one white and they do continuous or two kinds of flashing, and they worked well.

I ran up late as ever so quite fast for me, then supported the lovely Chloe to do 8 mins run, 5 mins walk, 4 mins run, 2 mins walk, 2 mins run. She did very well and we covered 1.45 miles. I love it when people don’t think they can do it, then they can. Hooray! I then ran back home with fellow-volunteer Kate and did some local loops to make up the miles.

0.7/1.45/2 miles for a total of 4.1, 10:33/14:33/11:38 mins per mile

Saturday – Off to Wolverhampton with my clubmate Paul to officiate at the Cross-Country Relays. Good fun as ever, though a long day as we had junior races in the morning then seniors/masters in the afternoon. I was in the start/relay changeover team, so had variously over the races the roles of looking after the start, then sending off the B and C runners as I saw their A or B runner cross the finish line (with an experienced colleague: I’d never done this before and it’s a bit nerve-wracking to start off with; I will confess that I messed up the first start line we did and had to be told to get out of the way!); checking there was a runner in the start pen for each runner coming to the line; checking numbers and letters going into the holding pen; and then sending off B, C, and D runners for the seniors and masters again (so many of them!). It was lovely weather, amazingly, and another experience for my record to put towards achieving Level 2 Endurance Official certification. My lovely husband cooked us a great chili with brown rice for dinner.

Sunday – Long run day. I had some cheese to deliver to my friend Ali, who lives about 4 miles away, so based my route around this. I met Trudie and Ruth on my doorstep just after 9 and we had a brief encounter with Jenny on the way, who ran with us for about 10 minutes before veering off home.

Ruth, Trudie, Liz, autumn leaves. Thanks to Trudie for the photo.

What a lovely sunny day it was. Tracie joined us, she’d run down our route from home and stuck with us for her 4 miles of recovery run after the Royal Parks Half last weekend.

There was a more flattering one of me but this shows our friendship as a group. Thanks to Trudie for these two, too.

Ambitious shadow selfie!

Trudie left us to pop to her mom’s; lovely to run with her again after a bit of a gap. Tracie turned back when it was time, leaving me and Ruth jeffing along happily (we were doing a 1 min run / 30 sec walk ratio). We got to Ali’s and delivered her cheese, which had done well in my backpack with an icepack the other side of the cheese from my back.

Ali’s photo of the day!

Then we worked our way back, popped to my house to shed my rucksack and retrieve Ruth’s jacket, which we’d posted through my letterbox on the way out, then I did another 2.5 miles up to the park, round a couple of times (running into Louise doing a Pokemon event, somewhat surreally) and home to make up a decent and comfortable distance. I did run continuously for this last bit, just to get it done, I think, and because I hadn’t set up the intervals on my watch.

10.5 miles, 12:51 mins per mile

Ultra plans

I’m not going to go on about the ultra every week until I’m on the 24-week programme, but here’s my plan for the rest of the year:

October – keep at 20-25 miles per week for one more week.

November – December – build to 25-28 miles per week. Stretch 5 days out of 7. Do 1 building to 2 Paul circuits per week and at least one yoga session per week. Continue with head on pillow, lights out between 10 and 10.30 pm (this is working well for me and Matthew at the moment).

January – start the 24 week programme to allow for missed weeks as I go along.

Does that sound feasible to experienced ultra-runners? I will try to get some trail shoes and do some off-road stuff gently, too.

Miles this week: 20.6

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  840 (target to reach by the end of this month: 833.33)

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kimberly’s (standing in for Wendy) weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Sedate lady running 08-14 October 2018 #amrunning #running


A holiday week this week in which I did – shock, horror – very little running! But I’ve been pretty active, so I think it’s all OK. In fact we walked an average of over 5 miles per day, and a lot of those miles were pretty hilly or uneven, requiring walking boots, concentration and hard work.

I do have some runfessions, too, apart from that one. I runfess that I forgot my running belt and had to buy a new one. How many belts do I have now? Four belts. But the new one is quite good, so that’s all OK (right?). I also runfess that I do run on sugar and caffeine and if I’ve had cereal without sugar and then a non-caffeine gel, it’s not such a fun run. Oh.

Last Sunday – I already shared last week’s run details with you, however I didn’t post where I went and pics as I was still away. Wanted to share these quickly. I ran round to St Michael’s Mount, which is joined to the mainland by a causeway. I do love a causeway, so I picked my way across it and back – hooray! Now, a rather nasty comment on my last week’s blog post (I didn’t let it through) took me to task for taking too many selfies, but I like all my running blog buddies’ pics so please excuse mine.

St Michael’s Mount across the sand

Me by the Mount entrance

The causeway I’d just run across

Tuesday – I had a giggle on a book blog I follow when I’d commented that I’d spent time on an island, as the US blogger mentioned that I lived on an island anyway! But we went to the Isles of Scilly (off the tip of Cornwall) and I went riding! I go riding about once every 2 years and I was pleased my running muscles helped me stay on firmly and do rising trot. We had a lovely trek for an hour as well as walking 8.5 miles that day so I’m treating that as my normal run.

Me and Kieran

Kieran was a small Shire horse and adorable!

Sunday – I didn’t have all the time in the world and ended up having a not-great run, although actually I got a couple of PRs in the first part of the run so might still have gone out a bit fast even if it didn’t feel like it. I did get to run past three harbours: Mousehole

Mousehole harbour

… then Newlyn and Penzance, and also Penlee Park. I wanted to get in 10 or even 13 miles but had to settle for 9 increasingly slow ones. Oh well. It got done and I did enjoy the sea views (not the seaweed on the path or the flies coming out of it!).

9 miles, 12:21 minute miles

Miles this week: 9 

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  819 (on target)

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Sedate lady running 01-07 October 2018 #amrunning #running


A kind of standard week with not much of interest to report. Oh, except I signed up for Race to the Stones (2nd day only, NO  CAMPING). I’ve bought a book (of course I’ve bought a book) which suggests developing a 25-mile-a-week running habit before starting the 24-week training plan, so I’m quite reassured that I only need to ramp it up a few miles a week till the end of the year. All ultra tips gladly received!

Tuesday – Our other four-mile club run, which takes an alternative route but still has an impressive hill, this time in the last mile. It’s properly dark from half way through now, so I got out the head torch and went dressed inadvertently as a character from a well loved film series. No one actually mentioned I looked like a Minion, thank goodness.

Accidental minion outfit!

I ran with Ruth, my lovely friend who’s doing a half every month in memory of her dad, and Ursula, who is a seasoned marathon and ultrarunner and gave me some good tips along the way. This route goes through a slightly sketchy junction and there were some kids around hurling insults and some throwing eggs from a car. I’m not entirely sure I’m happy doing this route again but I trust our club leadership to work out what should be done.

I’d had what I thought was a terrible dash up to club, after getting caught up talking to a neighbour, but actually dashed home more quickly, these giving me a higher pace per mile on average.

5.5 miles, 12:12 mins per mile

Wednesday – circuits. The only way I was going to get these done today was starting when we get up, before breakfast. Here I am demonstrating how dark it was, although of course I did it perfectly normally with the lights on in the sitting room!

Early circuits!

I’d had a chat with Paul the coach about my progress and what to do to change things up, so I took out the step-ups, which are just fiddly and are replicated by my warm-up up and down the stairs, and moved the one-legged-bridges to 45s each side (aiming for a minute). I should see it in my running soon, but I don’t do much that I measure. We’re going to have a running form session soon, too, to check I’m not wasting too much energy. We’re so lucky the chaps got trained up as coaches for the club; it’s such a good resource even if you only dip in and out, like I do.

I meant to do yoga mid-morning but I was wobbly of limb so didn’t! Oops! One day …

Thursday – I had a pre-breakfast solo run around the usual morning route and added a run down a side road to bring my mileage up. I slightly pushed it on this one as I wanted to keep under 12 minute miles, so I was pleased to see the GAP, which is your pace adjusted for the elevation change, went upwards through my miles even though my actual pace didn’t, once it was loaded into Strava:

I’d gone out a little later than usual so was feeling quite hungry by the time I got home – I can’t do a very long run before breakfast but it’s nice to sit down to your Shreddies having had a good push round. Oh, and here’s Highbury Hall, Joseph Chamberlain’s residence. You’ve seen Highbury Park, which is a public park made of the grounds of the house, in last week’s report.

Highbury Hall

4.7 miles, 11:40 mins per mile

Sunday – A lovely solo 10-miler today. It’s not often that I run that far on my own, but I had varied surfaces and a good number of dog walkers to keep my interest. For some reason I can’t get my photos up on here so I’ll add them to next week’s round-up.

10.1 miles, 12:11 mins per mile

Miles this week: 20.3

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  811 miles (ahead of target. In fact, I’ve now run further than I’ve ever run in a year before! I’ve also apparently spent a full week of 24-hour days running this year!!)

The big question

Thank you for helping me decide to sign up for my first ultramarathon last week (eee! Yes, I’ve bought a book already, but tell me other ones – I’ve already read Jurek and Karnazes). It’s the 31-mile Race to the Stones Day 2, on chalky, stoney but not apparently horribly technical surfaces. So …

If you’ve run an ultra (or more than one!), what’s the one thing you wish someone had told you beforehand? What did you wish you’d done differently?

Thank you!

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Sedate lady running 24-30 September 2018 #amrunning #running


A bit of a funny week this week, in that I ran four shorter runs rather than one long one, and my weekend runs were split up into short blocks. But I got the miles in and a bit of effort here and there, so all good. I’m also pondering a new challenge – see below and I’d really appreciate any thoughts / advice!

Tuesday – running club run, and back on the “Feck Hill” winter route, having missed the alternative route last week. A decent run given that I was tired and a bit stressed, on a hard route and the head torch came in handy for the second half of it!

5.4 miles 12:14 mins per mile

Wednesday – did my Circuits. Still only managing one batch a week but I am getting faster or stronger or longer in all areas. I saw Paul the coach on Sunday and so typed up my progress so far to send on to him for advice – the parts marked yellow are those where I feel I can’t go any faster/do more within the minute while retaining my form, so I need a stretch goal.

(hard = that many both sides; changed to doing my single bridges 30 sec one leg raised, 30 sec the other leg raised this last week; changed to 1 min each side of clams 4th week)

Thursday – I fancied running in the day rather than the dark and put the call out among the Sedate Ladies. Sara and Sonya answered the call. I was a bit worried about this run because I’d eaten at 7am and we met at 9.30 but it looks like that’s an OK gap and no stomach issues (hooray!). We were three tired ladies who complained a bit but it was such a lovely day, with bright sunshine (hence odd photos) and we ran through three local parks in 6-odd miles (for me: they both did 8, as they’re tapering for the Birmingham Half Marathon).

I had to dash up as ran into a lady outside my neighbour’s house and had a chat before I set off. Oops! We ran through Kings Heath Park (Sara and I did a loop of the park while Sonya got there to meet us) …

Kings Heath Park – Sara and Liz

… then through pretty Highbury Park, grounds of Joseph Chamberlain’s mansion given to the people of Birmingham …

Highbury Park – Sonya, Sara and Liz

… then through Cannon Hill Park, where we do parkrun: the planting is lovely at the moment.

Cannon Hill Park – amazing municipal flowerbeds and blue, blue sky

It was a really nice run in the end and well done to the other two for pushing on to complete their miles. There was some walking, after I’d tired myself out dashing up there, so I was pleased with the overall pace.

6.3 miles, 12:35 min miles

Saturday – set of short runs part 1. I was volunteering at parkrun and thought I might be tailwalking so decided to run down. That was 2 miles, and I ran into my friend and neighbour Andy part way down: he runs exactly twice as fast as me but kindly slowed for me so we could have a catch-up chat. Still pushed my pace up a bit. I popped my marathon fail top (the top you get sent if you donate your fee for applying for London Marathon if you fail to get in the ballot) in my running belt and put it on as I was a bit cold.

Volunteering in club buff and top

I was on the funnel in the end, keeping people moving and in the right order, seeing lots of running friends, so all lovely. Then it was Run and Talk time, the mental health initiative. We just had a few of the core volunteer team, two from Kings Heath Running Club and three from Bournville Harriers – three of us had another 2 mile run, talking about all sorts.

Run and Talk folks at the bandstand. Thanks Nicola for the pic.

… then a cuppa (for me; I couldn’t eat any of the cakes on display and I was running home!) and cakes and pancakes, all part of a good, rounded runners’ diet as far as I’m concerned.

MAC tea n cakes

I ran home, another 2 miles! This included an uphill section, and I was full of Earl Grey tea, so I was pretty happy that my final mile was, at 11:11, the same as my first two (11:12 and 11:11).

In the afternoon, I went for a coffee date with my husband, Matthew – where I did have a scone (I can tolerate standard scones, not fancy ones, which is good). Just wanted to reassure people it’s not all running and volunteering and officiating!

2 + 2 + 2 miles, 11:12 + 11:52 + 11:40 min miles

Sunday – set of short runs part 2. I was up to 17.7 miles for the week and wanted to finish the week and the month hitting my weekly target. So I needed about five miles and realised it was 2.5 miles down to Bournville Harriers’ home to spectate at their Leafy 10k race. So I ran down there (wheeee) although there was sadness when I had a chat with a man who seemed in despair sitting on a wall, just out of prison and drinking again (it was daylight in a busy area and he was the other side of the wall from me), I tried to give him some ideas of places to go but felt really sad I couldn’t do more for him. Anyway, I pushed on and reached the finish line as the first runners were coming through.

I’d dressed the part – Kings Heath tshirt but over a teal (Bournville’s colours) top and leafy patterned leggings! Win!

It was lovely seeing everyone come through, shouting “Swifts Ahoy” at the brilliant LBGTQ running club and cheering our runners and Bournville’s and others’, chatting with friends as they came round after the finish. It was great to see Dave racing again after 15 months off having a horrible leg operation.

Then I ran back home, which involved running UP so I put the effort (and some walking steps) in and was pleased it only took me one more minute to run back than running there. I had the fun coincidence of saying hello to Andy (again), an ex-colleague and the vicar within a few minutes of each other!

2.63 + 2.61 miles, 11:15 + 11:46 min miles

Miles this week: 22.9 miles

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 790 miles (40 miles ahead of target for the end of Sept and I think only 6 fewer miles than in the whole of 2017!)

The question

So my friend Bernice, who I ran the Canal Canter with and trained for her first marathon/my third with, has signed up for the Race to the Stones ultra (2nd day; 31 miles). It’s fairly flat apparently, there’s no terrifying cut-off as it’s a walkers’ and runners’ thing and it’s in July. I’ve run three marathons, I’m running around 22 miles per week at the moment and comfortably doing 12-14 mile long runs. Feel in OK shape but have a few weekends with officiating duties through the winter season. Do I dare to sign up???

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Sedate lady running 17-23 September 2018 #amrunning #running


A funny week this week, basically pretty tiring so I ended up running tired. Ups and downs, hard work and hard days. Not very good photos, either, so a bit of a bare post!

One thing I do want to share – I was reviewing Bart Yasso’s “My Life on the Run” the other week and two of his principles were “Run till you puke” and “Run on the edge”. Well, you know what? My matching principles are “Run till you need to stop for a wee at a shopping centre” and “Run in the middle, with a friend”. And I’m OK with that. It doesn’t make me a race contender, but it does make me a reasonably mentally and physically healthy person who’s able to enjoy sharing running with others and supporting their efforts. I’ll take that.

Monday: Did my circuits ON A MONDAY. I did think I might get to do them again this week but that did not happen. I was going on a trip on Wednesday so thought it would be good to get these in early. It helped that I’d done my long run on the Saturday, not the Sunday.

I did all my usual stuff and even though I’d spent a while vacillating before making myself do it (I am still like this for these sessions, while leaping eagerly out of the house for runs), and managed to do the same or more for every thing I do, which was gratifying. This was my fourth session and it does feel like I sort of know what I’m doing now.

I’m finding taking photographs of myself, even though I find them quite embarrassing and wonder why anyone would want to see them, to be quite useful for checking my form. I can’t help being a bit wonky from the back but I need to lean forward less with less of a curve to my back when doing wide arm raises! I added the tricep back things (what are they called??) as felt the need to do some tricep stuff.

Here’s my progress since my first week.

The front plank I forgot to time the first time, or rather pressed the timer then immediately pressed pause, so we can add some seconds on. The first press up column reads “1 real, 9 crap” and I’m managing to get about half-way down now. Plus I’ve managed to add in the weights twice now. I need to share this with Paul the Coach, as I’m not sure how to progress – some things (e.g. clams, now moved to 1 min each side) I can’t really do any faster while maintaining form.

Tuesday: An awful day generally as I discovered our lovely next door neighbour had passed away suddenly. Fortunately I found out from his family almost immediately so could let Matthew know and sort out a card. But it was so upsetting. I’d arranged to run with Jenny, who’s having a come-back after being unwell, and I still did that, as I needed to process the bad news. On my return, in a bright flouro t-shirt, I ran into one of our neighbour’s family and apologised for any disrespect caused by my bright clothing – but I shared my story of how he thought my running was absolutely HILARIOUS: he used to double up laughing when I would stop by the house to refuel – “You’ve done how many miles? And how many to go?!” – and she liked hearing that.

5 miles, 12:41 mins per mile

Wednesday: Went down to London for the day to meet up with my best friend Emma (friends for 25 years next year!). Her second twin child had just left home two days before so this was a planned trip to cheer her up and talk things over. She’s a  big one for the walking so I wore my Garmin on watch mode to record my steps: including the journeys to and from the railway station, I walked 8.8 miles!

We visited the Orla Kieley exhibition on the South Bank (yes, the day the company was closed down!) as well as popping in on the Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, getting lunch from Gaby’s on Charing Cross Road and eating it in the wind by the Thames and having a disappointingly cakeless coffee. A lovely but tiring day.

Friday: I was too tired to run on Thursday so I went on Friday instead. I had an early breakfast (I have to leave 3 ish hours between eating and running) then went out at 8.45 to the park. I was going to do 5 miles but was worrying about time (see later) so decided instead on 4 miles in the park doing some speedwork. I don’t THINK I’ve really done speedwork, apart from showing Sara the other week, since the weather got so hot: now it’s breezy and cool it was ideal. So I did one mile running briskly, a mile of pick-ups (run 10 paces fast as possible, 50 paces recovery, repeat for a mile), a mile of random fartleks (longer than 10 paces) then a mile back home. I did a little sprint at the end, too.

Because the park has a slope I was doing to get the miles in without endless loops, the speedwork wasn’t really reflected in my actual speed … but it certainly was in my cadence. I thought this looked quite cute and was a good way of remembering what I did!

I then got my shower, got my hair almost dry and popped round to Claire’s “hard yoga” aka her ashtanga class, at 10. This was the one Jenny could make – how hard could it be? Well, I might have mouthed “I can’t do this” in the middle of it. Straight into sun salutations, all quite fast, and I forgot I can actually do a very basic not high-up version of crane/crow pose sometimes so did a hindi squat then and did the basic just legs in the air version when it came to shoulder stands because I was Just Too Tired. But I got through the class, the first time I’d done that one since before my operation in May 2017, and I’d do it again, although the 11am hatha class is good for holding poses for a long time, too.

4.1 miles, 11:27 mins per mile / 1 hour yoga

Saturday: I did my first officiating wearing my Endurance Level 1 licence – very exciting. We were at the Midlands Counties Road Relays in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, which involved clubs from North Somerset up to Newcastle-under-Lyne, my club had a few teams in the seniors/masters side of things, but we were busy during the morning with the under-13s, under-15s and under-17s. I was a Recording Judge which meant rotating between recording people’s race numbers in order in two different places (the finish line and the end of the finish funnel), which provides back-up for the timers’ recordings of race numbers and validates the results, and controlling the funnel, making sure people stayed in their finishing order (and explaining why) and also looking after any runners who became unwell. We actually make sure we’re in male-female teams to provide appropriate support to male and female runners.

I got to be in the team photo, waving my licence around. Photo courtesy of Mike Green.

A few nauseous (and worse! thank you, hypnotherapy tape, for sorting out my phobia!) runners but nothing too bad, and generally good-humoured. I saw lots of runners I knew and as usual it was a pleasure and a privilege to support them. It was also nice to catch up with other officials I got to know last season – some are also track and field folk and people were so pleased to see I’d got my licence (and I’m now working towards my Level 2, for which this provides one experience ticked off). I popped to see our team during my break and was able to explain how the relay handover worked, and although it was a long day with 3.4 miles walked in total, it was very enjoyable. Hooray for the road relays/ cross-country season!

Sunday: Oh dear, I woke up tired from yesterday and full of DOMS from yoga on Friday. But I’d arranged to go running with Mary Ellen and Ruth and I went for it. I am NOT obsessed with getting my 1,000 miles for the year but I am slightly obsessed with the fact that running 20 miles per week up to about 33 does seem to boost my immunity. So that’s what made me determined.

Determined and in autumn shades of kit

We did my 10 mile loop because no one could think of another route (I need some new routes!). Mary Ellen and I set out and met Ruth who ran down the route towards us then ran back with us, as she wanted a shorter distance. No one really got lost, and we did really enjoy running down the Bristol Road, which is lined with trees and is spectacular in all seasons: the leaves are juuuuust beginning to turn at the moment so it was really pretty but not ankle-deep in fallen foliage.

Autumn foliage on the Bristol Road

I left the others on the high street and added in a bit to round my week off. I actually managed my final mile at a decent for me pace, although I’ve been tired all day. The slow mile involved some walking up a steep hill (and a sit down on that chair that Cari liked when I ran with her up the hill, although I took such a spectacularly unflattering photo I am not going to share it!)

11 miles, 12:36 mins per mile

So, a week of mixed emotions and a fair bit of fatigue. I’m hoping for a bit of a quieter more stable one next week! How are all the runners doing? If you have to make yourself do your non-running fitness stuff, what’s your top tip for motivation?

Miles this week: 20.1 (plus 8.8 / 3.4 walked)

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 767 miles (ahead of target with some wiggle room)

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Sedate lady running 10-16 September 2018 #amrunning #running


I feel like this was an easier week running-wise but harder with my other exercise. I ran 22 miles for the second week in a row, which is dangerous, as I do like patterns and repetition …

Tuesday – First winter club run route and it really was dark when we finished so I’m glad I wore my flourescent bib. It was the “Feck Hill” route, so named for the mean hill all up the main road in the middle of the course. While both our summer routes go up a brutal hill in the end of the park, the winter routes alternate between this and another one. Anyway, I sort of forgot the place we meet in winter is slightly further away than our summer meeting point, so had to zip up there. I ran round with my friend Fay, and I could tell her how proud I was of her completing her first 10k (after announcing to me a couple of months ago that she would never get to that distance: there she was in her race tshirt!). We sprinted the last little bit, as is traditional, and I got my second fastest time for that Strava Segment out of 66 times! Ran back with Trudie and Dave because some kids had been lobbing water bombs from one of the tower blocks as people came in (I’d missed this by being slightly late) so safety in numbers.

5.4 miles. 12:13 mm

Wednesday – Circuits time. I was a bit apprehensive about this as I was feeling a bit nauseous from a not-well-thought-through dinner combo on Tuesday night after club run. I spent ages looking up YouTube videos of how to do press-ups properly. As shown, I can manage one, and get back up, then did the others kind of half. I may need to re-start them propped up on the stairs and work back down to flat ones! I was pleased that I manged to do my two arm weight exercises at the end, as well as equalling or exceeding last week’s totals, but I was staring into space by the end (last pic).





Here’s my record – amazingly even only doing it once a week I’m seeing an improvement. The Burpees I pushed the mat aside then realised noooo and grabbed it back, wasting a good few seconds!

I have found some extra muscles on the side of my thighs (or streamlined knees?) so something is working in some way, and at least I’m managing to do this once a week, right? I never have to make myself run; I do have to make myself do this!

Thursday – I really do love not racing, not being on a training plan, and doing what I want. Thursday, my friend Sara ran the same 10-mile route we did on Sunday (strong woman!) and I ran down the route to join her and run back with her. I did get a bit further than I’d thought, and worried a little (but she’d set off 5 minutes later than I’d thought) and spent a bit of time taking some (bad) photos myself, but here we are outside Edgbaston Cricket Ground on the way back. I got a bit longer of a run than I’d expected then added some weight training carrying 2 x 10kg bags of cat litter home from the supermarket. I had DOMS from yesterday but keeping moving did help.

Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Thanks to Sara for the photo.

6.1 miles. 12:21 min miles

Friday – Claire yoga, and while I was really happy to find out that Claire finds it hard to do press-ups (given that I’d expected my yoga training to help with that), I was chatting with her with wobbly legs, having had a very hip-opening-filled class. Goddess pose is something I find very challenging, but it was useful to go from that into Warrior Two, as I was more aware of where my bottom should be. Lots of thigh squeezing meant I was stiff the next day!

Saturday – Time for a three-stage long run. Our club was doing a parkrun takeover, taking most of the volunteering roles. The aim of this is to get people starting to volunteer and so I decided NOT to volunteer, as I do usually, but to run instead. It was also parkrun’s alternative (off-road – eeps!) route and I wanted to experience it as a runner so I understood it (ummmm). My friend Jenny’s been poorly and through a testing time and wanted a little run with safe old me, so I ran up her way, met her and we ran down to Cannon Hill park together. It was a perfect day for running, sunny but cool. We’re lucky to live in such a leafy place.

Suburban early morning Moseley

Jenny left me at the park and I ran all the way through, collecting a new parkrunner who was heading for our usual start in error along the way and chatting to him. I got to the new meeting place and ran into my friend Greg, reminding him that it would be good to get a picture of the two of us for the Project 365 photo group we’re both in (he had to do much bending of the knees to get us both in).

Liz running, Greg volunteering. Thanks to Greg for the photo

As for understanding the route – erm.

Just … what?

It started on grass and there were gravel slopes, concrete, more grass, park paths, woody paths with tree roots, little bridges – quite cross-countryish really! We had to walk in the early part in the woods so no PBs (I got a time of just over 40 minutes). But I enjoyed my 21st parkrun – I knew most of the marshals so got a lot of personal encouragement and it was good to remind  myself I can do off-road, so I can face other parkruns that do the same. I met up with my friend Meg afterwards, who had been marshalling for her first time at volunteering (hooray!) and had a chat with her and a few others before setting off again. Meg kindly photographed me going off to the main part of the park (I love my shadow in this pic):

And off I go. Thanks to Meg for the photo

3.8 / 3.4 / 3.3 miles for a total of 10.5 miles. 12:26 min miles.

So a good varied week. Next week I have a day in London and officiating at the first Road Relays of the season, so may end up with slightly fewer running miles and will have to work out where to do my strength training … Lots of races on today so thinking of everyone and  how they’re getting on, including the Berlin marathoners from the link-up and my club friends Hannah and Haybie doing the same race!

Miles this week: 22

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year: 747 miles (only 3 to do in the whole of the rest of the month to hit my target!)

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.

Book review – Bart Yasso – “My Life on the Run” #amreading #running @RunBookshelfFB


I pulled this book out of order (I only acquired it last month, from the lovely Cari, when she was visiting) because it was the Runner’s Bookshelf book of the month. But in truth, it’s no hardship to pull a book on running off the shelf a few months (OK, a year) early. I ended up feeling a little ambivalent about this one. Oh, but who else pores over race training plans that they never intend to use? It’s a bit like reading cookery books from cover to cover, isn’t it! Does this happen in other genres, too?

Bart Yasso – “My Life on the Run”

(23 August 2018 – via BookCrossing, from Cari)

The autobiography and race reports (for some races, though: an Antarctic marathon among others!) and training plans in the back (including an interesting 10-day based plan: what??) from the Runner’s World Ambassador and massive distance runner who invented the Yasso 800 (basically, the average of 10x800m repeats will echo your marathon time: run 800m in an average of 04:25 and your marathon time will magically be 04:25:00).

I liked his story of his own redemption from a hard-living lifestyle, especially as he later teaches a group of prisoners to run (although he doesn’t disclose his history to them), and the humility he shows in discussing his Lyme Disease and his decision to make every run he has left count, basically by going out in perfect conditions, doing races and pacing that he really cares about, but limiting general runs to a few miles. This must be an awful trial for someone who’s been up there doing Death Valley runs and whatnot. I like his emphasis on running as a form of therapy in his recovery, and his depth of experience means he can tell tales of running in the Boston Marathon of 1982, 50 minutes behind the epic Salazar/Beardsley battle.

But I wasn’t so personally sure about his early exhortation to “Run on the edge of death” and “Run until you puke” – not my style at all and I found that off-putting (I do realise that one has to try hard and that I don’t like pushing myself, but I don’t think this emphasis is particularly helpful), and his drip feed of attitudes to women being based around them being “cute” or not is wearing. To be fair, he is respectful of those women he lists in his running heroes section, and he’s friends with Amby Burfoot, whose own weird attitudes I detailed in my review of his book. But when, talking about his wedding, he inexplicably feels he has to mention that they’re married by a mayor, who happens to be a woman (“That makes her a mayoress” (it doesn’t)), it does grate a bit.

One other thing I did like to round up this slightly ambivalent review: under the newbie’s marathon training plan, he mentions that next time, “You can … improve either your time – or how easy your time is” (p. 230) and he does mention that the effort to do a 6-hour marathon is just as important as faster efforts, so that’s encouraging.

I’m currently reading “The Vikings in Britain” and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve had quite a lot on and am really hoping to get to my Iris Murdoch read for the month soon – I know at least two of the Readalong-ers have already finished it!

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