Monday, 26 October 2009

Racing away

Well, this should be a long blog about the race. But it was beyond hideous. Many things that have never happened before all occurred.

1. Very sore legs from mile 6 onwards
2. No endorphin rush at all
3. I apparently 'forgot' to drink enough
4. Had to take walking breaks

So - as you can see it wasn't the most pleasant of experiences. I managed a stonking personal worst which I will discuss in detail once I get back from a few days away with TheO. I'm still at a point where I need a little distance and perspective to try and work out why it all went tits-up.

The 'going away' is TheO's birthday present, so tomorrow we head off ... and she has no idea where she's going, which makes a v nice change.

However we're both recovering from a crappy, crappy cold. I came down with it yesterday morning, it attacked the lungs first with a rubbish cough. Now I've had a fever and sore joints. But luckily the fever has broken (it topped out at 100.6) and I'm really feeling much more chipper, I just seem to need more tissues.

TheO has been working through it very womanfully for a good few days and I really haven't been sympathetic enough. I'm rubbish when others are ill, and then need maximum support and understanding when I have a sniffle. She needed much more care than I gave, and deserves extra, bonus "super supporter" points for coming and supporting me and Dr.S on the run. How she managed to stand and clap/cheer/hand out sweeties whilst feeling as rubbish as I've felt I have no idea. Sheer will and determination, plus maybe she likes me a bit... that might help.
(Got knows why RF and Tigger did it... but "super supporters" they are.)

Only regret is feeling sooo utterly rubbish (run + illness I think) that we never made it to Blarney's ... and she made scones and cakes and everything... I'm still v sorry, but luckily she's incredibly understanding (and I told here you can freeze scones which cheered her somewhat).

With TheO in mind we have (yet again) done not a jot (quite willingly) to celebrate our anniversary. We've been together for 11 years now, and 'nedded' for 1 yr 100 days.* It seems to be working quite well. Long may it continue.

Luckily every day just seems to be a little better than the last illness wise, so I'm fairly convinced the next two days will be joyus.

*I need to point out that it's quite easy to remember that your wedding and your anniversary are 100 days apart, I don't 'count the days' or anything freakish. And yes, if you do count the days, I definitely consider it FREAKISH.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Getting jittery now.

So, the time is nigh. Sunday dawns with a proper half marathon. I've not raced since August 2008 and I can tell.

I've done my training; my panic about sudden illness is overwhelming; and I'm desperately trying to think of all the things I might just need for the race. (Trainers, spare trainers; long running leggings, capri leggings; no sleeves top, short sleeves top, long sleeves top; running jacket, running gillet; sports beans, sports drink... it just seems endless.)

Managed one short leg-sharpening session this week. 3 x .5 of a mile in 4min each. Then lots of stretching, then 1.6miles on the elliptical in a lovely and slow 19.15. Just keeping the wheels turning.

So jittery - and I've got all of tomorrow to live through before I get a chance to sleep on it and get all prepared for Sunday. And the clocks change just to confuse me. And I might have to eat my breakfast in the car.... full of dogs and packing, and everything.

Off to finish some work bits and pieces, then panic some more before bed.
Why does running do this to us - it's not that hard really, and we can stop if it hurts - so why in godsname to I get so freaked out.

Off to check my glands one more time as I convince myself I'm about to get flu.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Just a Run

So much has happened over the last 8 days - mostly a whirlwind of family and friends staying. 10 for dinner 3 nights in a row ... who does that sort of thing? TheO (and me)... apparently. Luckily all was wonderful and I do love using the house to its full potential. I occasionally come to this realisation after people have left. The contrast can be quite stark, esp. after 10 days of company.

I love the house mini-margin less when the pump - which brings ALL of our water from the well threatens to give out on us. This gives me palpitations with a house of 10. Luckily plumber comes tomorrow morning. Unluckily plumber probably has to be paid. (Unless we really do live in a mythical place, but I can't imagine the plumber needs jewellery, dog sitting or writing services.)

We celebrated with Islander, MaYa and many weans (both theirs and others) the christening of their 3rd. It was a lovely day with much food (a gut bustingly lovely tea, and a fine supper) and chat.

TheO celebrated her birthday in fine style and we didn't head for bed until 3am on Sat - thereby demonstrating that we are officially NOT OLD. However, knowing that you have to celebrate not going to bed seems to take the shine off the 'not old' thing.

All visitors were in fine fettle and were quite relaxing to have around (apart from the fear of imminent pump-death).

But I didn't really pop in here to talk about any of that. This blog was meant to be about running and has become increasingly domestic. (New blog about such matters due to start... then my faithful readership can split their attention into topics which interest them - rather than hear yet more tails of hoovers and interior designs.)

So, with the running in mind.

On Tues I managed a 4 miler just as the islanders arrived. Just desperately trying to fit in any running is quite hard, particularly when energy is sapped and eating is more structured... But 4 miles was dutifully done in 37.30 avg of 9.23 which made me quite happy, esp as there was a 1mile hill at the start.

But today I managed to do my last long run before the half. 12 miles - OUTSIDE in the quite mild but quite wet weather. After mile 4 I was just loving it. It was a great run where it didn't feel like too much effort (but still hard) and everything flowed. I followed the route to the gym, which does involve some running along a well used B-Road, but it wasn't too bad today.
Managed the 12 in 1.58.28 (9.52 avg - so still a bit down on my inside speed training, but not too shabby) which knocks 2.28 off my last best-ever time. I'm pretty pleased as this is hillier overall than my old route, and any improvement in time makes me happy.

There really is nothing like running outside, and running with a destination rather than just for mileage. I'm fortunate enough to have a partner who'll happily go to the gym when it suits me, rather than them, and then pick me up (almost literally at times). V grateful for this. Destination runs would be almost impossible without her. Now I just need to keep stretching and put loads of Glucosamine gel on my old and aching knees.

Right, plumber coming early, I was only meant to be here for a minute or two to tell you about the run, and I'm knackered. Even more knackered than I was yesterday. Luckily the rest of the week should be quite quiet - only one dinner before the w/end. A v quite week indeed.

Toodle Pip

Monday, 12 October 2009

10 miles

Now this should be a short post as I'm using the lap top, lying on the bed, and seriously giving myself neck strain.

*lies down for a short while*

We've reached a period in time where everything gets genuinely busy. Litt'lest 'phew had a christening party over the w/end, and we've got family staying. Tomorrow MaYa, Islander and the boys arrive, then we had a dinner for 10 on Thursday and another on Friday, and another on Sat.

Then we lie down and chill out for a few days.

But, more importantly let me tell you about the 10 miles.
I had to fit it in on Friday as I knew time was v much against me for the rest of the w/end.
And it was raining, and I needed to push myself so I went to the gym.

1 mile in 9.13 on a dead-flat treadmill
Quick shift to the better treadmill which did make me look a little psychotic, but the dead flat one (I swear it has a negative gradient) is no good for training.
Next 9 miles were done on the aerobic setting, so the machine went up to 3% for 3 hills over the course of those miles, and all but 9min were at 1% or above.

I was delighted by my 1h 32min for the whole thing. (Sadly I don't know how many seconds as the machine doesn't tell you those if you run for over an hour.) I really did push myself but I generally felt quite comfortable. It does suck not to have done it outside. But given the gradient I'm prepared not to beat myself up too badly. I'll just enjoy my new record... a whole 4 min faster than the old one; this sounds great but is really on 15seconds a mile faster.

Still feel like I'm quite on course for the half in 2 weeks time. But know I still have another long run to go before that. And so many other things happening. And dogs coming to stay. And work to be getting on with.

Just thinking about it all makes me want a lie down.

I am however mighty,mighty proud of TheO who went for a 5 miler today. And then managed to only have a small salad for lunch afterwards. That's what I call dedication to the cause.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Getting back to it - and oh god it hurts.

It's been a fairly hectic week domestically and socially.

Brunch and Dim Sum to celebrate with Teech. Oh, the glory of msg and weird gloop with 1000 yr old egg. Mmmmm.
Blarney and Babybelle came for a visit, my child holding skills are still standing firm. As is my love for the little tyke. She gets bonus points for not giving me her cold.

We got a new freezer for outside to finally hold the vast amounts of meat we keep being given by neighbours. Also stores extra supermarket offers! And, the cherry on the domestic cake, a new Hoover. I could wax on for hours about hoovers, but finally I decided I could live with the current arrangement no more. Despite having good 'suck' I would not drag our 8.5kg upright dyson around a house with a large surface area which is all hard floors. As soon as you start to kick an appliance hoping it will DIE you know the time has come to move on. Found a great wee, cheap, hoover that got a Which Best Buy in April 2009 - it's bloody marvellous. (But enough about that - and I haven't even mentioned the search for a spray mop... oh what an exciting time I've been having.. TheO found me researching the options and practically wept with laughter... it is only a mop after all.)

I've also been trying to 'up' the running this week. And sort of managed. Early in the week I set out to do my 9 mile run. After 5 miles (in 49min) I just gave in. It wasn't working, in any way. I did then follow it up directly afterwards with a 2 mile dog walk... but this doesn't really add to the running.

We then went to circuits, having missed out for several weeks. It was being taken by Springbok who can give a fairly half-arsed workout. Not this time. Oh god. 3 days later I'm still wincing when I laugh. We did the usual circuits for 1min each, but between each one was another 1min of core torture. Sit ups, plank, leg raises - the works. Then do it all again with the core torture between every second exercise. All v v hard work but made me feel all endorphiny.

A lovely dinner with some semi-distant relatives of TheO's on Friday rounded out the week. Why do people keep making us 2 puds at dinner? It's happened a few times now and I just can't say no to sweet food.

The following w/end was packed. We met up with the Cheese Board in Harvey Nicks to have lunch and discuss quilt making... I know, sounds a little odd, but worked v well. After a lovely lunch we discussed designs, plans and themes for our own squares. Much discussion and decision making was done. A result all round.
On the way home we then popped in on Meeper and Ceegar who were on fine fettle, and the dogs appreciated a long walk around the school grounds. More plans were made for further catch-ups and we finally wended our way home.

Just before we got back we discovered a tree down across our road. Too big too move, and too precarious to get under. Luckily Dotty filled us in with a secret back road which led us round to home, we met Farmer (the clue really is in the name!) and told him about the tree. By the time we got back and changed in anticipation of having to move the sodding thing, all had been done. Nothing like a team of people with a tractor and the desire to scavenge wood.

That takes us to today:
I awoke at 8.30am; a time I know is laughable to many, but which I will refer to as DAWN. I stumbled downstairs, made my porridge, ate it, and went back to bed. At 9.45 I made it up, and started to dress and prepare for the run. Finally I managed to have some coffee -this improved the day immensely.

I did 9 miles in 1.28.50 avg 9.53
9.16 - flat
9.39 - short climb
10.16 - generally up but gentle gradient
9.43 - flatish/ down slightly
9.58 - flat
9.31 - slightly down
9.50 - flat
10.16 - half mile climb
10.18 - flat one very short rise

This was quite momentous as it really cleared my mind of the crap distance runs that have occurred recently. I needed to know that I could do it - I needed to know that it was all as possible as it can seem on a good day. I was very lucky with the weather. Quite cold, but not nippy, some breeze but not too much, and perfect sunshine. A great day for running.

It gives me far more hope for the run in a few weeks. I think I might, once again, be ready for the half marathon distance.

Now I wasn't overly excited by my time for the 9 miler as in the gym recently I've been so much faster and averaging just under 10min/miles seems like a bit of a back step. But my carefully kept records tell me that it's a 9 mile training run record. A good 5 min shaved off the old record. This gives me even greater hope for racing as I always get a bit of a boost from knowing it's all or nothing.

But the 9 miler wasn't the highlight of the day. We got to celebrate Tigger's birthday. Her delightful otherhalf had baked an enormous mountian of various and delicious cakes. It was lovely to celebrate, laugh with friends, eat great cake, and chill out. Although the sugarhigh after the run did almost do for me. I'm just coming down now.

But that's it - I'm off, it's late and the family descend next week - need to get that hoover into action sharpish.