Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Well, the w/end was great. I'm now in post w/end slump. We had a lovely Eastery time and played more than the usual amount of games. (It was fab!) Poor HH got a nasty bout of tonsillitis thought. I swear I too would have it - if I had tonsils; I'm left just feeling a little below par today. Ah well.

This explains, to some crappy extent, the shitty run I had yesterday. It was meant to happen on Saturday, it was meant to be about 10 miles of easy recovery. It really took place 3 days late and only covered 8.5 miles. Hmmm. Also, it was mind numbingly slow. I began to wonder if the only reason I got faster as a runner was because I couldn't stand to watch the milage tick up sooo slowly?

8.53 miles
avg 10.37

11.01 - boo hiss

1221 - calories - really!!! Sooo slow

Just couldn't get up to speed. Was aiming for a a nice slow run - and it was all pretty flat, and the wind was behind me - but it was torturously slow. Kept thinking: Ah, this is comfortable and discovering it was 11min/mile pace ...

At least I covered the miles, and feeling a little crappy today does help to explain (that and the rubbish diet over the w/end) why it was so bad. Nevermind. Rest today with plenty of fluids and I'll be back on form in no time. If my head doesn't explode from work pressures that is.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Not a week off...

Did go to the doctor to see about my hip. Let me recount:

Me: I was doing this race at the week end and after about 7 miles my hip started to hurt.
Doc: So you stopped?
Me: No, it wasn't that sore, it was a race!
Doc: So you didn't stop? *shakes head disparagingly*
Me: No, it was a race. I'd have stopped during a training run. *presents winning smile*
Doc: Right. Shoes and jeans off - on the table, please.
Doc examines "hip" and tell me, with a big grin: You'll be delighted to know there is nothing wrong with your hip. It's just some inflammation in this muscle here *pokes "hip" v hard*
Me, left whimpering - so glad there's nothing 'wrong'.

So, he said keep it moving and don't do anything that hurts. Genius - not off the running.
Downside is that my allergy to ibruprofen is not an allergy to that drug - it's an allergy to all anti-inflammatories. Seriously. I just have to ice stuff and see what happens. Nice.

So, taking his advice on board I went to the gym on Wednesday (19th) and did 4 lovely miles. I stopped and stretched my hip out after 1.3 and the dull ache disappeared after that. 4 miles @ 9.45 pace. Then tricep pull on 4 (3 x 12), lateral pull on 6 (3 x 12 - this was HARD). Tummy machine on level 14 for 20 reps; then level 15 for 17 reps, then 13 reps. Again, this was the highest weight so far and it was brilliant fun. Weird.

Thursday (20th) met two old friends from school and reminisced for 4 hours (oh, and ate cake too). It was bloody hilarious. Nothing like being reminded of quite how nuts you were at 16. (It was a girls school if this helps to explain in any way.) Also, I felt less wrinkled than others present. (evil but true)

Today (21st) I managed to get yet more work done (a habit I really have to keep up) and go to the gym. I decided to do a fast session. 5 miles in 44 min, all at 2 %. It was like doing 10 yassos with no stops at 4.24 per yasso - I'm quite pleased with that. 8.48 average pace for the whole thing. It was tough and sweaty but made me feel much better. The cake later made me feel much worse. :(

Looking forward to a great Easter w/end. Friends coming to visit - should be fun.

ps/ Thank you for all the kind comments. They made me : )

Monday, 17 March 2008

Official Timings Update

2007.................... YEAR..............2008
2.13.17.................. TIME............ 2.06.20...... 6.57 faster
2432............... POSITION ................. 1902.... up 530 places
2756.......... No OF FINISHERS......... 2372......8% improvement
401....GROUP (Female, Senior, Non-Reg Club)..311.. 90 places higher

Celebration and Memory Lapses - The Edinburgh Half 2008

Yesterday was the Edinburgh Half Marathon.

My garmin time. (I'll update with official chip time when it comes in.)
7 min off my last half!!!!!!

Average 9.38 - 37 seconds a mile faster than last time (I think you get the level of excitement about this.)

1852 calories - all replaced with burger and cheesecake!

9.40 - it was a good flat start, the 9.40 was a sensible move as it slowed me down to a pace I could really maintain. This was also where the small rise was.
9.39 - I see these 3 miles as FREAKISHLY consistent. I couldn't do this if I was trying!
9.50 - it took hideous amounts of determination to make this mile a sub 10min mile. I knew that my average would be sub-10 but I really wanted every mile to really be sub-10. Luckily the racecourse finish was visible for the last 3/4 of a mile so it was a boost to keep pushing!

4 sub 30min 5ks back to back
2 sub 60min 10ks back to back (obviously!!!)
An amazing run I didn't know I could do it. It was a constant surprise that the miles kept passing at the speed they did.

Staying with RF the night before really helped. V relaxing, great (and HUGE) spag bol. Good, organised morning, TheO dropped us off at the start (bless, it being dawn) and was there for us at the end too! Ate properly, took mile sleeping pills to knock me out. Had got up early to be tired enough for bed. All the preparation had really clicked into place. The small details seem anal when you're planning them, but when the results come in all the dithering over which socks, and gel seem worthwhile.

My initial reaction was/is that there were some good and bad points about the race. The lack of support was weird; spectators had been actively discouraged. But the course was brilliant, wonderfully flat with some gentle rises to challenge your pace. The wind wasn't great, and really did rip into you occasionally, but overall it was more sheltered than I had feared.

TheO and RF (who'd finished in her hoped for sub 1.50 [1.48]) were there to see me at the end. It makes me so chuffed that TheO saw me finish. I don't even know why - there's just something about that simple level of support that makes me v appreciative. (Particularly when you know they've been outside in a cold stand for 3 mind-and-body numbing hours.)

Despite all my concerns about not having improved significantly since last year I can't believe the difference in how I felt, particularly at the end. Knackered obviously, but not sore (apart from the fecking hip ... more later) - no leg aches, heart and lungs working effectively. Also: remembering the last 3 miles last year they were so hard it was horrible, this year they were just part of the race (a little slower than the ones before - but not hideously so).

My plan was to do better than last time. But my emergency plan was to make the last 3 miles better than the last 3 miles last time. Those 3 miles alone were 4.5min faster than they were last time. A real result for looking at long term, and high milage stamina growth.

Although - I've just looked at last year's race report and the first 7 miles are surprisingly similar. Oooooh ... I'm delighted I've got my report from last year. It makes v interestng reading:
I bitch about the lack of support then too -oops I thought it was just this year. Also the "hill" I desciribed at mile 8/9 was at mile 3ish this year. And yes, I now know - it is not in any way a 'hill' - it is a small rise, a very small rise. Thankgod for speed training and hill training - well, thank god they actually make a difference and all the effort is worth while.

Still scared about the marathon though. And this damn hip hurts like buggery, it started aching during the run, at about mile 7/8 and then was damn sore when I finished. It's still sore now, and having looked it up online I'm pretty sure it's hip bursitis - DAMN. I've got an appointment with the doc tomorrow so hopefully some anti-inflamatories will be coming my way.

Pah! Where are the official results? They're meant to be available 24h after the end of the race.
Ill do an update on official results and placing when they come through.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

3 early things

1. Do multiple packets of Hula-Hoops count as carbo-loading?
2. I'm up early to try and get by body adjusted for tomorrow - it's the hardest part of my training.
3. I've got a personalised Google page that changes colours according to the time - I'd never seen this colour before. *shudder*

Friday, 14 March 2008

A good day.

I've had a day so productive it only seems fair to take some time out and blog. Lots of work was done today - lots of bits and pieces sorted out. A lovely order from Canada - god bless tinternet.

Had a good week exercise wise. 10th Did a nice 5.25 miles on the treadmill. All at 2.5%- good to make a workout subtly harder. All 9.40 or faster. Properly hard work, even if I meant to do 10K and was driven away from the machine by two young guys who smelt so bad I thought I would vomit.

The 11th and 12th we gave the pooches some lovely walks and had a great lunch with Farmer's Wife(tobe). It's been great to take advantage of the nice(er) weather. SUNSHINE makes me happy - even when it's a bit blustery.

13th Headed to the gym again for a speed session. Did yassos. 6 sessions at 4.03-4.10 pace (much faster than last time) then an extra 0.1 of a mile just to get to 5K. All at 1.5% incline. Then the tummy machine - I managed to do it on my highest ever setting - 14! I can't wait till I can lift the whole lot (maybe someday in a galaxy far far away). Did the lateral pull and the tricep pull too. However, the BIG news of the day was definitely TheO managing her fastest ever 5K and getting it in under 30min. It's such a great psychological barrier to be broken, I'm horribly proud.

Today was a gentle dog walk and oodles of work. Need to do a slow 30min on the elliptical and then I'll be all prepared for the Half on Sunday. Quite nervous as I have personal goals in mind, but the point is to enjoy it and get round safely without swearing too much or kicking small children out the way.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Crap blogger needs kick up the arse.

It's been a long time since I felt like blogging; luckily life still rolls onwards even when not diaried online. Generally all is well - I'm just about to get snowed under with work so this week has been a flurry of small events before I knuckle down/under.

It was amazing to get home - just what I needed.
Was off again (albeit briefly) on Sunday (2nd) to see yet another crap house. This one was both in a bog and up a steep rutted track - how that was possible simultaneously amazes me. Before we headed off for our 'nice drive' (as we both knew the house would be useless) I managed to get a quick 5k in. Went up past the quarry to practice some hills and made it back in 29.30. I didn't give myself enough time to digest brekkie however and it made me feel more than a bit queasy - yet another lesson learnt in disgusting manner.

Monday 3rd saw me try a new form of cross training. The gym bike. It was sore on the arse and a bit boring but it gets the job done. A tough 30min hill session covering 8.1 miles - I was v pleased. Did a few weights too: tricep, tummy machine, and really dodgy shoulder press. Then I ran away like a girl.

Tuesday (4th): I was meant to really be getting back into the swing of things but was quite unsettled and grumpy and bored. TheO had a magical answer - we decided quite whimsically to walk West Lomond. It was bloody brilliant. The dogs were delighted and so were we. It's a nice gentle walk with a bit of a hill at the end and takes around 2h. The sort of walk that makes you feel like you've achieved more than you really have! Beautiful weather too, as we chased the sunshine back down the hill and got back to the car before dusk.

In between getting a fair amount of work done (lots of little things to get sorted out) I did my last long run (6th) before the Edinburgh Half (on the 16th). TheO (bless, bless, bless) came with me on her bike and provided a cheering presence as we battled the weather. It was a lovely day (a tad warm for me, but I like it frosty) and things were going really well until at mile 8 we turned into the full force of the wind. It was so damn hard and really sapped my strength. Having been at least a minute ahead of my desired time the pace just slipped away from me in the last few miles.

I ran my furthest ever at 13.5 miles.
My pace was 10.21 - which was good for a training run.
My cardio-system held up well.
It was meant to be 14miles and my brain and legs refused to head up the final hill (slight rise).
It was the first run that made me seriously question "what the fuck I am doing" entered into a marathon - am I even capable?
I also felt crappy that I've not really improved much since last year's Half time.
It really hurt my legs.
I know that my weight is holding me back, and I lack the appropriate amount of willpower at present.

Luckily I couldn't dwell on that for too long. We were booked to go to my favouritest hotel with Tigger and Saki on Saturday (8th). We spent a relaxing time at home, then high tailed it to Glasgow (a city that v begrudgingly grows on me ... like mould) and headed to the hotel gym. Sounds like madness? Made me feel much better about the fabulousness of dinner and drinks that followed. Mostly did cardio - 12min on the rower and 18min on the bike, enough to burn a few calories and get a real sweat up. Made the huge hotel shower feel even better; I want every day to be filled with fluffy towels and endless amounts of hot water.

The meal really was sublime. I don't want to take forgranted how great the grub is - I want to savour it and relish every single mouthful. I finally had the soft boiled egg all to myself - it was worth the wait. TheO and I went halfers on the main course so I had some exquisite beef and the most incredible pigeon imaginable. It was a really lovely night and my favourite whisky really topped everything off.

With reg to the ever present house hunting there are some phrases I like:
Former Manse
Detached Rural dwelling
Excellent Views

And there are some that fill me with dread:
Part of an exclusive development
Easy access to the ... (name a really noisy main road that you knew it's just beside)