Sedate lady running 20-26 Jan 2020 #amrunning #running


A short one this week as I’ve come down with a damned cold, thus missing the lovely Bernice’s 50th parkrun, a trip to the Running Show and a run in the Malvern Hills. Grr.

Monday – A recovery run with Claire, feeling very creaky after my 15 miles yesterday! We just ran to Swanshurst Park and back … but the park was looking lovely.

Although this looks limpid and lovely it was really cold and also icy underfoot: we had to cross from side to side of the roads and hop up onto a grassy verge to run safely at one point there and back!

3.5 miles, 12:53 mins per mile. 11,585 steps.

Tuesday – My birthday! I had a lovely long walk with Louise in the daytime, just wandering in the park, saying hello to all the dogs, etc. Went out with Matthew in the evening to a new Lebanese place for dinner.

12,983 steps

Wednesday – My friend who has RA has also had a bad spell with sciatica, and has been pretty well housebound. She had a physio appointment at the hospital nearish to me today, and they were less than forthcoming about the arrangements available for her to get from the hospital entrance to the dept. Although a phone call offered more hope, I decided I wanted to be around in case she needed help either walking or being pushed in a wheelchair. The bus there is a bit unreliable, so I decided to run (except I ran into our late neighbour’s son and got some info about the buyers of his house, then had to hop on a bus there anyway). Ran onto the university campus (next door to the hospital and as an alumna and ex-staff (twice) I feel I am entitled to go there! to use the loo  and got a message that a chair and a man to push it had been provided (hooray) so had a quick look round the renovated campus (my old workplace knocked down) and was pleased to see a favourite statue was still there.

Barbara Hepworth's Ancestor II in front of the new libraryI then ran home, which is pretty well all uphill, as hard as I could, as I’ve been trying to work harder runs into my schedule once a week. Quite a hard push but with some walking up the worst hills so was pleased with my average time. I was also quite tired; I’d been feeling like I was coming down with something a couple of times this week. That’s because I WAS!

0.58 mi, 11:11 mins per mile / 4 mi, 12:00 mins per mile. 11,275 miles

Thursday – Went for a lovely dog walk with Claire and Kaci in the morning, then went out with the girls to make up the miles I missed not running all the way down to the hospital yesterday. We met up on the corner and there were six of us, which is a large group of Sedate Ladies these days. Some of us peeled off to just get a lower total, some did 5 miles. Photos by Trudie, shared with permission.

Runners in the dark

Mary Ellen, Liz, Caroline, Tracie, Tara, Trudie

Reflective leggings

Trudie has on the dot leggings a few of us have; Tracie and I are modelling one leg each of our new Decathlon Kalenji ones, very bright!

4 miles, 13:30 mins per mile. 16,244 miles.

And that was it – cold came on Thursday night. I am careful not to run when sick and I am not up to running. Did some squats Fri and squats and lunges Sat and will try to do the same today. At least I have room to miss a long or hard run (the Malverns run was going to be 9 or 10) as long as I can get better soon. I’ve just asked for cover for my club volunteering duties for Tuesday and hope I’ll be OK to support our 5k and Beyonders (the new batch!) on Thursday. Yes, am keeping hydrated and taking extra zinc. Pretty sure I helped this come to me by skimping on sleep and fruit and veg groups, though: a lesson there!

However …

Saturday – I need to give a shout out to two brave and strong ladies. Bernice (who I did Race to the Stones with, while she had a herniated disc!!) has seen all sorts of professionals, been given the all-clear to start running again, and did her 50th parkrun at Cannon Hill with some of her friends from where she lives now and a good few of our Sedate Ladies. And Tracie, who was also there, went way outside of her comfort zone on her long run and managed beautifully. Well done, both!

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 12.1 miles. Total this year 77 miles (at this point I am saying goodbye to my 2020 km plan for the year!). Total weekly steps unclear.

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 13-19 Jan 2020 #amrunning #running


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.


Sedate lady running 06-12 Jan 2020 #amrunning #running


A decent week although it was odd only running three times in the week. Two yoga classes done so back on that! And back to volunteering, too.

Monday – Went for a run with Claire and finally managed to sort out re-lacing my new shoes (I like to make a loop in the back two holes and thread my laces through to pull my feet back into the heel cups) and putting in the raise in the left, so could wear them. We went in the afternoon for various reasons, which did feel a bit odd, and it was very grey, so even the lovely park was looking exceptionally wintry!

When I got home I found I’d broken in my new(ish) Saucony Hurricane ISOs quite nicely (although they’re still very bright!)

I felt a lot better during and after today’s run, with less fatigue than yesterday’s 8-miler.

5.5 miles, 12:28 mins per mile. 11,319 steps

Tuesday – Met up with Louise for a lovely walk round the park and then walked to meet Matthew (he gets off the bus a good few steps early to get some exercise, both ways to and from work).

Liz and Matthew out night walking

10,471 steps

Wednesday – Back to the routine of Dave Yoga. Then did my errands up the high street in three trips to get my steps in.

11,220 steps

Thursday – I was waiting for a delivery but feeling too tired to do a morning or evening run in the dark and so risk falling through being tired. I ended up having an early breakfast and going out for a lovely run with Sara, meeting Sonya in the park and dropping each person off at their home before I headed home.


Sara, Sonya and Liz, by Sara, with permission

I wore my RED January buff.

5.5 miles, 12:32 mins per mile. 14,295 steps

Friday – Went to Clare yoga – a very full class so it was packed quite tight but we all managed. In the afternoon I met up with my friend Gill for a coffee and to give her some cheese, then walked home the very long way (seeing Louise in the park again and walking home with her), then went and met Matthew again. Doing 10,000 steps every day rather than just getting an average over the week is pretty testing, but it’s good to do a challenge once in a while, right?

10,364 steps

Saturday – Went and helped at Oaklands parkrun in the morning – I was timekeeper, doing it the first time using the app on my phone, which worked really well (although I should have worn gloves with a hole / thin bit to operate your phone through as my hand got a bit cold and I was worried the phone would stop responding. I got a nice pic of the Swan Island on the way home – I have run through here on long runs and been round it on the bus many times and it shows off some of the less “pretty” views I have (which I still love).

Swan Island, Birmingham

Swan Island, Yardley, Birmingham from the bus. Oaklands Park is just behind the building on the left.

I came home after a lovely cuppa and chat with various friends, then in the afternoon went the very long way round to the cafe for a cafe date with Matthew, then finished my steps stomping up and down while doing my Learning Spanish app. The things we do!

10,111 steps

Sunday – Long run day and 14 on the schedule but I was ready to let myself off if I didn’t manage it as I’m pretty tired (not as bad as last week) and I sometimes have to have a few goes at 14/15 for no particular reason. I met Tara after a mile, and we ran down to Acocks Green to meet Tracie. Tracie had then devised a seven-mile route for us which was brilliant as I didn’t really know where I was and could just run along. We revisited the park we’d been to a few weeks ago and had a lovely time. I felt pretty strong, which was great as the last few long runs were quite hard and I was getting a bit worried about my ability to cope with them.

Tracie, Liz and Tara

Tracie, Liz and Tara, Acocks Green

Tara managed 9.5 miles brilliantly and just after we left Tracie, I put her on the bus home – she gave me a wave as she went past. I was just considering the final 3.5 to get done when I saw a vision in purple – it was Trudie, who had done sums and workings-out and predicted she would run into me just where she did. She’d come to run me home and although I’d been expecting to do it alone, it was superb to have her company. Hooray! We took a slightly wiggly way home and my last mile came in as my third-fastest of the day (I accidentally did an 11-minute mile on the way to meet Tara).

Photo taken on the second attempt by Trudie. On the first attempt, she pressed the button and the phone dropped down the back of the cabinet it was balanced on!!! Which is why we’re giggling.

I had a second breakfast, a shower and some snacks, then went to the volunteers’ tea laid on by running club. There was tea and cakes (including a cake baked by the club captain, Barbara, which I can eat – more hooray), a presentation on how volunteering started in club and a questionnaire to get our opinions on how it’s run. I had some good chats with people and it was lovely.

14 miles, 13:47 mins per mile. 31,378 steps as of 18:00

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 25 miles. Total this year 43.6 miles. Total weekly steps 99,158.

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 30 Dec 2019 – 05 Jan 2020 #amrunning #running


Well I’m really glad I record my runs on Strava and date my photos when I save them into my folder because I could not remember when I’d run where and with whom when I was thinking about this post! Happy New Year everyone!

What’s your running plan this year? I will be continuing RED January with at least 10,000 steps every day (each and every day, not rounded up for the week!) and will aim to raise some money for MIND, particularly in honour of my lovely friend Verity who is a fundraising star. Then I’ll be supporting the London Marathon and running round the no 11 bus route the weekend after, and running the Canal Canter Marathon in August. I want to try to run 2020 km this year but am aware I might not manage that! About what I ran this year will also do.


I went for a recovery run with Mary Ellen just around the local streets after my long run on Sunday. We saw such an odd thing that I had to ask Mary Ellen to take a photograph – quite a few of the hedges have blocks cut in to show the road name signs, but this one had several sticking-out sections – you can see one in the foreground. And no, I’m not in a wetsuit.One reason for this run was to round Mary Ellen’s annual total up to 750 miles! Considering she has a family and a teaching job, I think that’s pretty impressive. Here is a failed photo of her jumping with joy, but you get the idea!

Well done, Mary Ellen!

3 miles, 12:00 mins per mile. 10,500 steps

Tuesday – New Year’s Eve. Matthew bought a spiraliser and hasn’t cut his finger yet. I must have done a long shopping walk or something as made my miles, but can’t remember what I was doing!

10,421 steps

Wednesday – New Year’s Day, didn’t get to a parkrun this time but instead did 6 miles, starting off meeting Jenny and doing our normal route, then I met up with Sara and Mary Ellen who were just starting out for a slightly later run.

Sara, Liz and Mary Ellen. Thank you Sara for the photo.

I was wearing my Christmas leggings and buff and my RED January tshirt and buff. Ignore the fluffy hair (what AM I going to do to it??). I am doing 10,000 steps every day (not making them up with a long day every now and again) for RED January, rather than Running Every Day, and I’ve set up a fundraising page to raise some money for Mind.

Just after I left the other two, I decided to run around the labyrinth in the town square where we’re standing in the picture.

This is a copy of the design in the middle of the labyrinth (man, I need to get my new trainers relaced and ready to go!)

And this is a good motto for the year ahead (the labyrinth has loads of images and quotes set into it).

6 miles, 13:13 mins per mile. 15,488 steps

Thursday – Having thought I’d made up the final six miles in my TwelveDayMarathon I’ve been doing raising money for local charities to Bernice’s lovely friend Carly, I realised I was 0.1 miles off it. Argh! So I did 4.5 + 0.1 with Mary Ellen. It was REALLY windy. We did the shortest canal route possible – the path was still flooded so we had to detour again. Very sadly we encountered some racist graffiti on our way round and Mary Ellen got it reported to the police and council when we got home, but that really upset me. If I’d had a pen with me I’d have obliterated it there and then. I didn’t take any photos because of that. But we’re decent people and did our bit.

4.6 miles, 12:30 mins per mile. 11,017 miles

Friday – Went to yoga and arranged shopping trips over three separate occasions so I could get my steps in! I found yoga quite hard but am struggling a little with fatigue and headaches caused by coming off some medication I’ve been on for a while (doing that sensibly, don’t worry), however it was good to be there.

10,548 steps

Saturday – Went down to London for the day to meet up with my best friend, Emma, and exchange Christmas presents. Eating and walking with one of her children, Grace, then walked to the other, Sam’s, workplace for a drink and catch-up. Didn’t do as many steps as usual but got them finished with the journey home from the train station. And brought home some lovely gifts!

10,617 steps

Sunday – Fortunately, given the fatigue, this was an “easy” week so I just had 8 miles to do. Met up with Trudie, Ruth and Mary Ellen and we set off, picking up Sonya on the way. The idea was to see some Christmas trees before they’re all taken down, as we hadn’t done Club’s Christmas Tree Route this year – unfortunately this involved some killer hills and we gave up before the third one. Still lovely to be out in the fresh air with lovely ladies.

Kings Norton Green. Two Christmas trees, one person in focus!

Bournville – impossible to capture both me and the star on top of the tree.

We did a bit of touristing around Bournville Green – here are me and Sonya looking in at the Community Hub bookshop. Such a pretty area, it was founded by the Cadbury Family around their chocolate factory, and all the houses and shops are in a similar style.

Sonya, Liz and the bookshop. By Mary Ellen.

Back to Kings Heath and I nearly gave up on the long hill back home – but what was I going to do, really? Got the 8 miles in with some wiggles and pleased with an 11:30 final mile (I needed to get home quickly to use the loo!). Really appreciate my lovely running pals!

8 miles, 13:54 mins per mile. 17,647 steps (as of 18:30)

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 21.6 miles. Total this year 18.6 miles (I did 1,056.1 in total last year, beating 2018’s 1,039!) Total weekly steps 86,238.

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 23-29 Dec 2019 #amrunning #running


A better week once I’d ditched the antibiotics (tooth is OK – hooray!) and some good mileage including a record!

Before I start on the week, I’d love some feedback from regular marathoners on my adjusted long-run plan (assume there will be 2-3 other runs per week plus strength training plus yoga). Coming into this from a crappy last 4 months of the year, some medication, a tooth infection and antibiotics, I am a bit tired and was worried that I was going to push the long runs too far (I am fine to train for and do a marathon; I love running long). I have taken down the very long ones for more medium ones (the right-hand column) – does this look more sustainable and sensible? Thank you!

Monday – A recovery run with Mary Ellen and Jen – I meant to do three miles but we went round the usual loop and did a bit more.

Mary Ellen in Christmas kitties top

Mary Ellen wore her amazing Christmas Kitties In Space top

3.8 miles 13:03 mins per mile. 11,878 steps

Tuesday – I wasn’t running on Christmas Day and wanted to get some miles in and see if the boats in the canal boatyard were decorated, so went out for a 4-mile canal route with Claire (who was completing her Advent Challenge – well done!), Tara and Trudie.

Four runners

Tara, Trudie, me, Claire. Was I the only one who got the “dress Christmas” memo?

I tried to do a crouching photo a la Kim to show off my amazing Christmas leggings, but feel I may be doing it wrong …

Anyway, there they are, and they were straight in the wash so I could wear them to parkrun the next day. Oh, and those decorated boats?

Sparsely decorated canal boat


Also, the path was flooded, down from where that tree was, but not runnable-through. We took a detour which was fine but need to bear this in mind!

Flooded path

4.4 miles, 13:13 mins per mile. 13,732 steps.

Wednesday – Christmas Day started brilliantly with a walk down to Cannon Hill Park to support parkrun by volunteering. We had over 540 runners, many of them dressed up, all in good and kind spirits, which was handy as we didn’t have quite enough volunteers. A lovely occasion full of joy and I saw loads of my “parkrun family” and friends.

runners and volunteers

Dave, Liz, Rich and Chris

Walked back home and had a lovely turkey dinner, just the two of us, then we saw Matthew’s (extended) family on Boxing Day.

11,006 steps.

Thursday – Time to beat Last Year’s Liz – I was already on 1036 miles for the year so just needed three to equalise and one to beat! Mary Ellen and I took a straight two miles south down the main road to see where it took us, then turned back around. This was also my first four miles in my twelvedaymarathon challenge, which is a lovely virtual race organised by Bernice’s running friend Carly, with proceeds going to charity. I believe she managed to fill all the places, which is excellent, such a good cause and she’s a lovely woman, too.

Two runners

Mary Ellen and me at the point where I equalled Last Year Me.

4 miles, 12:00 mins per mile. 11,431 steps

Friday – Made it to Claire Yoga which was another combined class like last week, so a few more challenging things in there for people who wanted them. It was good to get out and stretch! We met up with our friend Linda and her dogs for gift exchange and then in the afternoon went up to the pet shop to buy Percy a larger carrier so we can pass one of our small ones to Linda, I then marched around the neighbourhood to get my steps in (I was aiming to get over 10,000 every day in preparation for RED January where that’s the plan all month).

10,067 steps

Saturday – Second parkrun volunteering stint of the week – I went down to Oaklands Park to help out at our newest parkrun locally (I ran to it the other weekend) which has Dave from the parkrun pic above on the core team. I had a lovely time marshalling at the southernmost point of the course – as it’s three laps, I had a constant stream of runners once the first person came through. Lots of friends amojng the runners, including Meg, who’s second parkrun back it was after a longish hiatus. She was struggling a bit so I encouraged her and was so proud that she pushed through and finished. Can we have a Well done, Meg?

Meg and Liz

Meg and Liz and a giant bobble (pic by Meg, with permission)

I think my step counter in my watch went wrong here unless I was pacing back and forth as I marshalled – a bit annoying, but I knew I would have a high total on Sunday.

11,440 steps (maybe!)

Sunday – Long run day and I ran with Tracie, who I haven’t run with for ages (I honestly did but the photo I took of us was TERRIBLE). She lives 3 miles away so I duly ran 3 miles to her, 6 miles round Olton with her then 4 home again (I wiggled up side roads to make up the mile before I was too near home). Memo to self: a veg-based takeaway with white rice is not sufficient to get you round 13+ miles the next day. Weirdly, although it felt hard, I didn’t realise that I basically ran quite hard there, trotted around conversationally and enjoyed a new-to-me park, then belted home again – it all felt the same amount of hard. So I was a bit relieved to find that my average pace was faster than I normally do my long runs (in fact faster than two of my shorter runs this week!). Tracie is well aware that I do a photo-a-day challenge (six years and counting) and found me a new sculpture to photograph!

Horse sculpture at Olton Station

running route

I feel like my route drew something like a santa with a verrrrry long beard?

13.1 miles, 12:46 mins per mile. 27,859 steps (as of 19:00)

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 25.3 miles. Total this year 1,053.1 miles (I did 1,039 in total last year and I beat that!!) Total weekly steps 97,413.

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 16-22 Dec 2019 #amrunning #running


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

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

4,076 steps

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

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

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

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

2,858 steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

bag of oats

Thank you, o mighty oats!


8,205 steps

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

3,970 steps

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

House decorated for Christmas

Best Christmas house in Kings Heath

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

running plan

The plan

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

Karen and Kate

Karen and Kate in fine form

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

Trudie, Liz and Ruth

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

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

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

Liz looking mis in Sainsburys

The absolute epitome of Christmas Cheer – right? Right?

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

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

The Weekly Run Down is run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.


Sedate lady running 09-15 Dec 2019 #amrunning #running


Another week with some decent mileage – but no yoga due to waiting in for deliveries. Doing my best, though!

Monday – A lovely run with Claire, we took Kaci the dog to Sam’s house on the way and it was hilarious running with him (trot, trot, trot LOOK A BIN, trot, trot, trot MUST WEE, etc.) and we then did a good bit along the canals.

Runner plus dog

Claire and Kaci, excellent running companions

Canal in winter light

Wintry canal

7 miles, 13:02 mins per mile. 15,834 steps

Tuesday – I really did intend to go to club run tonight, especially as Trudie was leading beginners and Claire was tail running. However, the weather was HORRENDOUS – it was pouring with rain and very, very windy. At about the time I was going to go out, this was the view from my window.

Rain from window

So I didn’t

2,168 steps

Wednesday – I had to choose between running and yoga as I had a lot of work on and a webinar to attend at 6pm. As I was missing club’s monthly track session, I made myself do a Varied Efforts session: Warm up (0.4 miles), 10 paces fast as I could, 20 paces recovery (2 miles), recovery (up a hill, walking), 4 x 30 paces fast as I could, 60 paces recovery, thankfully ran into Louise and walked round the park for a few minutes with her, recovered enough to run home briskly. Phew! At 6pm I attended a webinar run for the Mental Health Champions which was very useful, covering What is mental health? Boundary setting, Signposting and Self care.

4.2 miles, 12:06 mins per mile. 11,539 steps

Thursday – Went for a very chilly morning run with Jenny. We took some glum faced photos as her son likes the word glum, but I spotted these already charming cottages, charmingly decorated for Christmas, for my photo of the day.

Cottages with fairy lights

Cottages with fairy lights

4.3 miles, 12:53 mins per mile. 13,075 steps

Friday – I was pleased with how many steps I got in today – before things could start arriving in the post I went to the post office and Iceland the long way round to post a last couple of things and get a pizza for long-run fuelling this evening.

7,009 steps

Saturday – So having confused everyone last week: I have a reserve club place for the London Marathon but the reserve has never run it yet. I’m training up for it then I will go and support friends running on the day and then run around the number 11 bus route, handily 26 miles, with friends accompanying me for bits of it, the next weekend. I had put 11 miles on my plan and Tara, who got a ballot place for London, wanted 8, so we decided to run to the relatively new Oaklands parkrun, round parkrun and some of the way back.

The weather was clear on the way down, if cold – and I’d managed to mismanage my laundry such that I had to wear my long leggings with mesh panels on the backs of my knees. Well I froze running down there, then as we started the (beautifully run with fab volunteers) parkrun, it started to throw freezing rain and strong winds at us. Ugh! It was such hard work. I stuck with Tara and we got round; the park was quite elevated (we had a lovely view across to the city):

park with city view

Oaklands park, city visible in the background

and it was freezing!

Tara and Liz in the rain

Tara and Liz, by Matt. Why am I so hunkered down? To avoid being blown away?

And then, THEN, we had to run another darn 2.2 miles towards home. Well I like to keep it real on my Instagram and this is the fun image of me and Mary Ellen once we got to the bus stop when those miles had been hacked through!

Fun in the bus stop

Be a runner, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

As Mary Ellen pointed out, it would have been more horrible if we’d stopped before we intended. Right?

5.7 miles, 13:02 mins per mile / 3.1 miles, 13:13 mins per mile / 2.2 miles, 13:07 mins per mile. 25,247 steps

I hit my 1,000 miles for the year during this run, although that didn’t register until afterwards.

Sunday – After ColdBacksOfKneesGate yesterday, I nipped into town to buy some thermal running leggings (I couldn’t tell online what had a fuzzy inside). I also took the opportunity to replace my walking around trainers (they have actually broken) and get some more running socks (I have gone through a few toes recently) and get a new yoga outfit (found a massive hole in the back thigh of my main leggings after many years’ use and have never worn the pink t-shirt I bought ages ago (will donate it).

new yoga outfit

new yoga outfit

The top is from the walking section but has a good high neck and seems nice and long so will be suitable for yoga. I’m not very good at treating myself (except to books!) so was pleased with these. I then eschewed one bus after getting the main one to walk up and down to my friend Ali’s house (she’s not well enough to go to our BookCrossing Christmas do so I collected her gifts for our friends and secret santa gift) and added some steps in.

9,976 steps (as of 19.15 tonight)

weekly-run-down-final-300x300Weekly total 26.6 miles. Total this year 1005.6 (TWO UP on this time last year) Total weekly steps 84,848.

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.


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