Thursday, 29 March 2007

Go Running - TICK

Well it happened. Yesterday I went running. This was an undeniably big-deal. I felt just about up to it and, to be fair, the 4 mile stint wasn't really too bad. It just felt bloody awful. From 3.4 miles I just wanted to stop, it felt horrible.

However I didn't stop and the splits were as follows:
------5K time 29:40
total - 38.40 average time 9:40 a mile

So after the hideously fast first mile (looks like my legs needed a run out) I managed to settle down and run at a somewhat gentle pace. After a few minutes at the end I felt fine though - very frustrating. Also felt worryingly unconvinced in my ability to do 3 times that amount of effort in a few days time.

But the show must go on - I'm sure 3 more days of improvement and I'll be tip-top.

My views on yesterday's run weren't helped by having to go and celebrate a friend's 30th last night in Edinburgh. It was a looong night because the restaurant were slow - 3 1/2 hours for a meal!!!!! - and then I was the designated driver (as I wasn't drinking pre race) so it felt like a very tiring night. Also had to shout at each other in the restaurant to be heard so came away with a very sore throat and a dislike of other people and their noise. Got home at 1am asleep by 2:15 ... so I had a lie in which buggers-up my getting up earlier and earlier each day so Sunday's 7am start doesn't feel like torture. Generally a bit grumpy this morning.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Keeping it nice and quiet

Well, the panic is setting in. But some lovely bloggers at RealBuzz have been setting me straight. Letting me know that as long as my preparation has been good enough I can relax. Their only suggestion is a little 4mile run mid week to keep the legs ticking over. Nothing too strenuous.

I'll see how I do. The illness has felt much better today and yesterday. Still need a hankie with me at all times, but the use is a little less frequent. Only problem is the slight tickly cough - it could really prove to be a right bugger come half-marathon day. I keep thinking it's going away - then it clobbers me at night - woke up coughing 4 times last night ...not conducive to a restful home and a peaceful kip.

Hmmm, off to bed now - hoping for a non-cough filled night. Maybe just some good quality sleep.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Went to the gym

Decided yesterday that despite hideous illness I was NOT going to be beaten.
Two miles on the treadmill convinced me otherwise. It was meant to be 5K but I just gave in. I set it to interval training (why??) and did 2min flat/2min uphill for the 20min it took to cover 2miles and I'd just had enough. I'd slowed to a fast walking pace twice so I could blow my nose. My body was having difficulty regulating heat (always a problem in the gym - but def. compounded by illness) - so being hot felt horrible.

But, having done the two miles I though some weights work would finish off the workout. This was more successful as I decided to take it slow and do no more than 3 sets of 12 repetitions with a good heavy weight on the machines. Leg press and knee lift were successful. Triceps press was acceptable, the pectoral thing went well, biceps were ok and the tummy machine was a joy. So overall it seemed to work. I took it really slowly with lovely rests in between all the repetitions.

I needed to drink more than usual and felt hotter and more tired than usual - but it was a positive experience.

Today a gentle 2.5 mile dog walk over a hill was all that took place. All I'm capable of really as I do feel extra tired today and slept for about 10 hours last night!

Still a bit panicky about not being well enough to complete the 1/2 the way I hoped - but I've still got 8 days - a lot can change in 8 days.


Friday, 23 March 2007

Playing Catch-Up

Oh Boy - there's so much to say.
Let me take you on a journey back through time... to Sunday 18th March.
I arose, had my porridge, drank my lucozade sport, put on my running kit, and mentally prepared.

After reading a few running programs/training schedules for the 1/2 marathon I decided that it had to be my last long run as the body appears to need 2 weeks of more gentle running pre-race. My last 10miler had gone well, no real problems during or after.
So, I set of to do my 12 mile run. It was a great day for running, sunny patches but a cold wind... lovely, stops me over heating.

Splits were as follows:
At this point I was pretty happy, I'd turned back towards home, and I'd managed 7 miles in 70min exactly.
11.02 these two miles were directly into the wind, a wind so sharp and fierce it took all my effort to keep moving forward.
11.42 these last two miles were extremely rolling and sapped the very last embers of my energy.

Luckily TheO appeared in the car when I only had a mile to go; so I got a lift home when I was done. (Living on a big hill I'd decided that my run would end in the village and I would walk the last mile up the hill - I couldn't face the thought of having to run it ... wimp that I am!)

I stretched, showered and felt not too bad. The odd ache here and there and am immense sense of tiredness but nothing out of the ordinary.

It was that night when everything started to go wrong.
I was hot/cold/shivery/weak/aching so much I couldn't sleep. I hurt so badly that every time I tried to roll over in my sleep I woke up in pain. I really did think I'd managed to contract flu. But no, just a hideous cold that had flu-like starting symptoms as caught from the godlet (my adorable godson/nephew). It floored me for two days. I was weak as a kitten and hideously tired. I had to take painkillers solidly as the small ache I usually get from a looong run had been compounded by the illness and I was in agony all over.

The timing was shocking and made me doubt my ability to run, made me feel as if I'd brought it on myself through the running, and generally made me more miserable than I've felt in years.

So the 19th and 20th were full days of child sitting and general madness when I should have been in bed.
The 21st and 22nd I still felt pretty awful and am still a snot-factory with a huge cracked red nose and a slight tickly cough. (Seriously, small children are like rats and pigeons - little plague carriers!)

But today I am going to risk 30min run in the gym and some weights... wish me all the luck in the world.

It's 9 days until the real half and I'm two runs behind in the schedule.....

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Just about what I'd call exercise

Getting there - tiny increment by increment. Last night did 20, brief but sweaty, minutes on the elliptical machine. I set it on rolling from 3 to 9 in effort (averaging at 7) and panted my way to 2.1 miles. It makes the body burn to work on that thing.

Running mags and websites say that cross-training (particularly non-weight bearing) time-done is roughly equivalent to 50% of running outside or on a treadmill. Therefore a 20min elliptical is the same as 10min weight-bearing.

Hmmm why does it really, really, really, not feel like that? It's sweatier, the muscles ache more, and the level of effort in the arms is distinctly harder (as our elliptical is one of those arm and leg ones).

Desperately just trying to keep the energy levels up despite lack of sleep and complete disruption of my normal pattern. Got to do a LOOOOONG run tomorrow and I can feel the anxiety building already. 11miles here I come.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Did I mention

My life is not used to small children.
They eat biscuits. (Something we don't usually have in the house.)
They make noise - constantly.
They need to be watched - at all times.

My house is not precious, there's not much to break but bychrist small children can destroy anything and everything.

They are wonderful bundles of joy and laughter (sometimes) but mentally I am more than frazzled.
They are also wrecking my running schedule.
Damn them and their big fat smiles.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

she made it

She made it out the house despite the two small nephews making things a little tricky on the time front. Yesterday was a proper run.

10K - 6.2miles in 62minutes - seriously - it was that precise. I'm less than whelmed by my progress and it was hard work, but very enjoyable. After being with small children, running did suddenly feel like the epitome of freedom.

Big work meeting to do, lots of orders to get done, mother-in-law (lovely) arrives on Saturday, house turned into tip by children...

Okay, must go. Too quick... arg

Sunday, 11 March 2007

It's a new concept here - a poll ... enjoy.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Running ... and running ... and running

Race Day

Had a lovely lie in as the race wasn't until 3pm - very civilised.
Everyone was lovely - even though they looked scarily thin and professional.

The race was on a quiet road (only 2 cars crawled past me v courteously) which was remarkably rolling on the way out - but only seemed to contain one hill on the way back, strange!
2.5 miles out and back. Very few supporters - but all in good voice. TheO and another three (the professor, rock-god, and his mate) came and had a good cheer for me. Bless them, it was a bit cold, dank and generally a bit dull - so I was very, very grateful.

I set out with a strategy - I don't normally attempt this, but this time I thought I'd give it a go.
I set out determined to try a 9.24 pace (thereby aiming for 47min finish) I was managing to keep roughly to it and after the first mile or so, once the field had settled, I started to overtake people. Now, I only overtook about 4-5 people but I swore that on the way back they weren't going to overtake me! Also I made myself NOT turn round and see how near the back I was - I thought it would only make me feel bad.

At the turn point I began to count the people after me - there were 11. I expected to be in the last 10 so I was delighted. About 2 miles from the end I finally managed to overtake a woman I'd had in my sights for a while. It was tough but she walked for a few paces going up hill so I took my chance and swept on by. (Lumbered and panted would be more accurate.)

This made the last 1.5 miles really tough - periodically I could hear her breathing and I promised myself I wouldn't let her overtake me. I made it to the line just before her. And after I'd stretched for a bit she came and found me and thanked me for dragging her round - she was trying to catch me once I overtook her; because I kept pushing so hard she got a better time and was delighted. It was a lovely moment and made me feel really chuffed.

Splits/details as follows:

47.08 - 5.05 distance - according to Orwell(Garmin)

average pace 9:20

best 7:57
691 cals

9.00 5 miles in 46.43
0.25 seconds

47.08 was my time from crossing the line to finishing according to my timing.
46.43 is 31 seconds faster than my previous pb for 5 miles ... feels amazing.

official race time - 47.13 on website as provisional from whistle to finishing - their timing with a stop-watch and a bloke yelling out numbers ... which system would you trust more?
I think it took about +/- 5 seconds to cross the line.

I've probably decided to join the Fife AC running club - they were nice and it was a lovely race. We'll just wait and see shall we.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Crumbs... weird day

Well I intended to have a short 2-3mile speed session yesterday in preparation for the race tomorrow. But, as with all things important - it got left 'til last, then had to be sidelined. So, instead I did a lovely 45min yoga stint today.

I stretched and strained and do feel much better - almost like I'm prepared for tomorrow. After the 23 miles of last week this is definitely the lazy week before 2 hard weeks and a taper.

But, onto the weirdness. Last week I was away at a friend's. I was cat and donkey sitting and also 'old man' sitting. Her husband is much older than her and he's partially sighted so he needs someone to drive him round, cook for him etc when she can't be there.
I was more than happy to have the job - apart from crappy internet access the place is lovely and he's an interesting guy who I've known since I was a nipper. He was a brain surgeon, who was taught by Fleming, and travelled the world.

This morning my Dad called to say that he had died - yesterday, which was his 88th birthday. It was very unexpected - he'd gone into hospital that day to receive fluids after a tummy bug made him a bit weak and was picking up nicely. Puts a different slant on things sometimes. He had an incredible life, he knew he was reaching the end, but was talking about plans for his 90th birthday - so he wasn't waiting for death.

There's not much more to say on that topic, sometimes expression is a bit limited.


Plans for the 5 mile race tomorrow go on apace - I'm not sure Chinese beef (home made and lovely) and chocolates was the best pre-race dinner but hell - it's not 'til 3pm, I can eat sensibly tomorrow.

I'm going to wear the camelbak even though real runners will stare at me weirdly - it's not like it's some kind of ultra race! I've put my kit out, I just need to check my entrance fees and the map of the route - compare the 'rise' to hills I have known.

Have a good w/end people - I'll get race details/times posted as soon as I know.

ps Off to check my previous best for 5 miles.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Shooeeees As Promised

Finally the shoe pic. Can you tell new from old? (I'm still in that sweet stage where I don't want to get them muddy... awww, bless.)

But there is more news. Despite only having one day off since my BIG run of the week - I went for a run with TheO yesterday, and my delightful little black pup. There's nothing as cute as watching a young dog bound along, and then decide to paw her nose, with both paws simultaneously, between bounces.

So, the actual run, you might want details, rather than the ramblings of a mad dog-owner:

5k run on the F.L.A.T whoo hoo.

I don't know where the extra 0.1 of a mile is so the splits are roughly 1.033333 miles each.


Minus 40 seconds of dog time - lack pup held up paw and refused to move - she had a thorn (invisible to me, but some wiping and general attention and she was good to go).

Huge admission: I walked for 0.1 of a mile too - after kneeling down and dealing with the evil pup it took a little while to coax the legs into speed mode. I'd just completed 2 miles in less than 19mins and was settling into the run properly when she complained.

At the end of the run I was a bit down heartened, having to stop really irritates me. I was hoping to have all sub 9:30 sections as I've been really missing the flat, fast, runs.

But on reflection it really pays to have everything written down in a running log as:
It turns out this is my best ever 5K - my previous best was slogging my guts out for 28:50. I managed to pretty much equal this despite walking for a wee bit AND stopping for 40 seconds to deal with a dog paw.

Chuffed! (And scared stiff about my w/end race - 5 miles, a small field, I might come last, Liz McColgan set the course record, there's a little hill...)

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Training, training, training

Hooo Haaaa, me legs are knackered. Did the 10 mile stint today, stats below:

10 miles in 1:43.11
Average Pace 10.19 /mile
Calories burnt - 1441

11.03 - all uphill from short steep to gentle rise - it's all a climb
10.52 - 50/50 uphill and downhill (gentle downhill)
9.12 - pretty flat, gradual downhill
10.24 - 50/50 uphill downhill. Had to walk for 0.15 of a mile on a very steep UP
9.40 - flat/gentle down
11.12 - gentle up most of the way, small bit flat
10.12 - 50/50
11.05 - generally a gentle up
9.52 - 50/50
9:35 - all delightfully downhill

Other points to note about this run.
It was very, very sunny and bloody hot at some points (out of the Baltic wind). Might have a tiny bit of a tan (mental note, wear more sunblock).

Used SiS Go Gel for the first (and last) time. OH.MY.GOD that has to be one of the most foul experiences known to humanity - it is minging. On a family site it would be unwise to mention what I thought the texture was like. I never want to think of it again, ever, ever, ever. (On a marginally more positive note it worked really well; I felt like 'the wall' was approaching at about 7.5 miles - I had my gel with gallons of water and felt fine through to the end.) Think I might emulate Paula and get some jelly beans or jelly babies - anything unrelated to that weird, clear, goo. Bleurgh

The CamelBak was brilliant, yet again, but I've managed to lose the clip that holds the water-line in place. I knew this would happen, I just didn't expect it so soon. I've retraced my steps but to no avail. Damn it. I was a bit concerned that I drained it dry at the end of the 10 miles, but lots of that would be trying to get rid of the goo taste.

Used the new trainers again (I know, probably stupid). I thought a quick 4 mile stint was enough of a wearing in and lo - it turned out to be true. They are brilliant. No blisters, no settling in period, they really, really, rock.

Had some good runs in Northumberland but I can't wait to get back to something a little flatter. This week has probably done me the world of good, and I can take rolling countryside in my stride now; but I like a nice, flat, fast course for preference. I think my heart has had enough of dragging this lardy arse over the gradients anyway.

Hmmmm, making chicken fricase (sp?) tonight, with no real recipe just an idea of what might work - fingers crossed.