Half-Marathon training: Week 6

Wow, 6 weeks in already!  Crazy!  This past week was a good week, busy but good.  I had a lot of things going on all at once, and I feel like, looking back I can’t remember half of it!  I wanted to write this up yesterday but was rather busy and then I was very distracted by this, of course:

 

 

I can’t wait!  Anyways, on to the week in review.

Sunday: Pilates was cancelled so  . . . to be honest, I can’t really remember what I did!  I looked back in my calendar and my Twitter and besides getting 20K steps I’m not quite sure what else I did.

Monday:  I got my braces off in the morning- horray! I only had them on for 2 months, but it felt like eternity!  I also went on a quick 2 mile training run and it was humid as fuck out.  It was really, really gross and I was very glad it was only 2 miles I was meant to be doing!

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Tuesday:  I was meant to have supervision on Tuesday but it was rescheduled at the last minute.  Steph and I walked around during the day catching Pokemon as it was a hot and gorgeous day in Glasgow!  I went to very hot and steamy Pilates that evening as well.

Wednesday: Wednesday was a rest day.  I had a day full of errands to take care of.

Thursday:  What a day!  I had supervision (all good!) and cleaned out my uni desk.  I also ran 5 miles and then went on a 2 hour walk later in the evening and ended up with 37K steps!  I was very tired after all of that activity!  My knee was a bit achy after the run, but felt fine during the walk, so that was good.

 

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In addition, it was so nice to have the sun out!

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Friday: Unofficial rest day.  I went to the movies and walked home from seeing Star Trek Beyond (SO GOOD)!

Saturday: 6 miles.  I didn’t feel particularly fast but I was faster (barely) than either previous (official) 10K run, so I count that as a win.  It was really humid again, and I also had to spend a lot of time dodging Pokemon Go players.  I love playing too, but you can’t block the narrow walkways on a Saturday especially, with all the runners and cyclers about!

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Another great training week in the books.  This week looks very rainy and I hope I don’t need to do all my runs on the treadmill.  I am hoping to go to the gym today to run and get some strength training in (yes, seriously!).

Half-marathon training: Week 5

I’m so behind in getting things done right now.  Pokemon Go My thesis is obviously my main priority right now and I was so wrapped up in getting my first full draft done last week and the bits that never made it into it over the weekend, that I didn’t even think to write this up.

Sunday: Hour reformer class + walking.

Monday:  What was supposed to be a quick 2 mile run turned into a slow 4 + mile jaunt hunting for Pokemon.  I don’t know why I’m so totally into this.  I never saw the show and know absolutely nothing about Pokemon or games.  However, that being said, it’s allowing me to most definitely meet my step goals!

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Tuesday: Double Pilates.  I went to trigger point and regular mat pilates class as they were having a demo/open house for a launch.

Wednesday: Rest day.  I was completely wrapped up in my thesis.

Thursday: 5K for thesis related stress relief.

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Friday: Walking everywhere catching Pokemon as a reward for finishing my draft.

Saturday: Just about a 5 mile run.  It was meant to be 6, but I was silly and forgot about my long run day when I made my sports massage appointment.  I got up early and ran very slowly before walking to the studio and back and then a bit more.  I hit over 30K steps on Saturday!  (I’ve put the Runkeeper time/distance up instead of the Fitbit one b/c I managed to stop the Fitbit halfway in and this one has the full distance.)

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This week looks to be another busy week with my thesis and general life things.  Hopefully I can find some time to hit the gym and get some lifting in!

Half-Marathon Training: Week 4

Sunday: an hour Pilates reformer class.  It was just me, so we had a great one-on-one session.

Monday: 2 quick miles in the rain.  I was feeling really, really stressed out, so I grabbed my trainers and off I went.  I normally refuse to run in the rain, but I knew the gym would be too packed at that time, so I just went and ran.

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Tuesday: Mat Pilates for an hour

Wednesday: 30 minutes on the reformer + close to an hour sports massage.

Thursday: 5K.  This was the first run where I can say that I felt really, really good (since the 10K that is).  I felt confident, fast (ha!), and I had no pain whatsoever!  It was really nice to get out and just run, although I could have done without the headwind on the way back.

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Here I am at the halfway point- note the wind!

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Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 5 miles.  It was insanely humid (and warm for once)!  I felt really slow, like I was running through treacle.  I was nowhere as fast as Monday, but as this was a long run, I wasn’t really bothered.  My right knee was a bit achy about halfway in, but nothing close to like it was during the 10K.  It feels fine now after yesterday’s 22K steps and today’s 16K+ and an hour on the reformer.

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Overall, I feel like this was a solid week of training.  This coming week is very thesis heavy as I have a first draft due on Friday! (EEEEK!) I’m hoping that I will get it done and still have time to work out.  I’m sure it will be doable, if I manage my time well enough.

Half-Marathon training: Week 3

This week was pretty stressful and hectic and unfortunately other than Pilates, I didn’t make the time for strength training.  Sadly, at this point in finishing my thesis something has to give!

Sunday: 40 minutes on the spin bike
Monday: 2+ miles on the treadmill.  
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My right knee was a bit achy, so I didn’t push it too much.
Tuesday: Mat Pilates.  
Lots of hip work which I still felt the following day.
Wednesday: 5K on the treadmill. 
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I would have taken it outside, but it was late and it looked like it was going to downpour, so I hit the gym (again).
Thursday: 30 minute one-on-one Pilates Reformer session + 30 minutes sports massage
 I’d not done a one-on-one session before, and it was challenging but it was just what I needed after a stressful Wednesday evening and not a lot of sleep.
Friday: Rest day which involved wandering around Whole Foods.
Saturday: 4 miles on the treadmill.

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It looked like it was going to rain and rain hard, and I totally do not run in the rain (b/c I’m a pussy) so I hit the treadmill.  Of course it only rained for a second, but better safe then drenched.  🙂  I really wasn’t feeling this run at ALL but I pushed myself for the last 1.5 kilometres.
Again, I didn’t get any real strength work done other than Pilates this week.  I suck.  But getting my thesis done is slightly more important than lifting weights right now.
I’ve also realised that running is really very mental for me.  I tend to stop myself and walk or outright stop if I perceive that it is “too much” for me, even if I’m not breathing too hard or my heart rate isn’t sky high.  I know this is something I need to work on, especially if I want to improve speed-wise.  Granted, right now I’m just concerned about getting the distance in (with the knee issues and all) but speed is still on my mind.
This coming week looks to be pretty busy.  Lots of things going on, so I’m hesitantly hopeful about getting some strength work in.

Half-Marathon training: Week 2

This week was far better than the last.  I was far more mobile and there was little pain while running, which is a bonus- obviously.

Sunday: I walked to Pilates class which was cancelled.  🙁

Monday: I had a very painful sports massage and ran a little over 2 miles.  It was a slightly achy run, but I felt ok.

Tuesday: Physio and Pilates class, not to mention a lot of walking.

Wednesday: Rest day that was spent at the library.

Thursday: I was going to go to run club, but I didn’t get home until after I needed to leave.  I had a long day at uni and when I got home I realised I had forgotten my computer cable.  Instead of going to the gym, I ran back to uni to get my cable and then back home for a total of 3.09 miles.

Friday: Unintentional rest day in the wake of Brexit.

Saturday: 5K on the treadmill.

This coming week I need to get back on the strength bandwagon and stop slacking off!

An injury update and half-marathon training week 1

When I last left you, I was feeling pretty down about being injured.  I was so sore and uncomfortable and even walking was causing discomfort.  I saw my physio right away and got stretched and massaged out.  I was re-assured that the injury wasn’t major, but that I needed to make some changes.  I took the week off from running, which pretty much made me crazy, and was able to walk, bike, and strength train instead.  I made sure I stretched, massaged, and foam rolled like I had never done before.  And now I need to make sure I stay on top of it.

When I woke up Monday, I felt SO much better.  When I went to the gym, I was able to manage 2 miles at a pretty slow pace, alternating with walking when I needed to.  I felt pretty good after and was so glad I was able to manage 2 miles with out any pain.

Tuesday I went to physio again and also Pilates class.

Wednesday I took the day off.

Thursday I warmed up on the bike and then ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill without too much discomfort.  I was wearing the newer trainers, whereas on Monday I was wearing older ones, and I’m wondering if it’s the newer shoes.  Hmmm.

Friday I was really lazy and had every intention of going to the gym but OINTNB.  You get me.

Today, I ran outside (since for once the sun was outish) 5K and felt pretty good.  I did have to take a few walk breaks, and I did notice that the newer sneakers don’t feel as “loose” as the older ones.  I think it’s time for another gait analysis.

All in all, it was a good week.  I have decided to modify my training schedule, and slowly build up my mileage again.  I’m a bit disappointed to not be working on speed vs distance, but right now the goal is to remain healthy while training.

And hopefully I will remember every Saturday to write up a brief update on the week.  I meant to do this last year and never did, and I think it will be beneficial to me and to others (if anyone else who is a slow runner who is thinking about running a half).

Glasgow Women’s 10K recap

This race should have been a massive PR for me, and up until the 6th kilometre, I was on pace for smashing my old record.  Until it wasn’t.

 

The start line

The start line

The first 3 kilometres were fine and great.  I felt good and I managed a steady pace.  Yeah, it was hot (by Scotland standards, not anywhere else) but I didn’t feel overheated or anything.  I wasn’t sprinting, nor was I dawdling.  I didn’t want to start out too fast and not have anything in the tank for the end.  Sadly, neither of my knees got the message.

Steph was outside the flat (I love a race where I can run past my home and the route I regularly run!) with a sign for me to cheer me on.  This was about 3.5km in.

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It was just after I saw her sign that I had to stop and stretch.  I hoped that stretching would alleviate the slight niggle from there, but it just seemed to get worse and worse and in both knees, which is something that has never happened before.

Somewhere around mile 4-5 was the worst and I had to stop running altogether.  I would try again every few minutes to see, and the pain was just unbearable.  I stopped to stretch a few times to see if I could just loosen up, but unfortunately, nope.  I walked as fast as I could without having any pain, but by the end I was practically limping.  I was really frustrated because I had trained well, and was really very well prepared for this race (having a UTI this past week not withstanding).

When I saw the finish line, I made every attempt to run; I wasn’t walking across that line!  I managed a very sad hobbling gait, but I did it.  At least I was faster than the first time I ran this race!

I was so glad that Steph was there, because it was terribly crowded and people kept shoving me (not for the first time today) and I nearly burst into tears as I was so frustrated.  I had her lead me out of the park and home (the wait for post race massage was insane!).

I am pretty bummed about my time, especially since I was making good time and felt really confident at the 5K marker.  It’s terribly frustrating to set out to PR and totally bomb the race.  🙁

At any rate, I’ve stretched and Tiger Balmed my knees and they are feeling better now.  Not 100%, but I know I will get past this.  I have a half-marathon to train for!  I will definitely be making a call to my physio tomorrow!

Post race ice cream!

Post race ice cream!

 

An aside about the race itself- this was the first time this course had been used, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I was a fan.  I loved the fact that I was able to run past my flat and run along the river as I normally do.  However, when we were restricted to the narrower paths of Kelvingrove Park and along the Clyde, I was shoved, punched, and hip-checked several times.  I’ve never had this happen in a race before and it wasn’t a good experience.

I also found it difficult to pass people while on these narrower paths as those that were intentionally walking the race were walking 3-5 across and generally didn’t appear to be aware of others.  I made sure I checked to the side and behind me anytime I moved over or overtook anyone as to not bump into anyone else, but not everyone was as vigilant.  I think this could have been remedied with an additional wave or two and have anyone walking stay at the end of the wave they were in. I know this was difficult to do today considering I was in the queue for the porta-loos well into the warmup and just jumped in the middle of my wave where I was able to find a place to stand.

Hopefully, if the course is still the same for next year (and I’m still here to run it), these issues will have been ironed out.  For now, it’s icing, stretching, and on to the Great Scottish Half in October!

April 2016 recap

I’m always caught between my thesis, writing for pleasure, social media, and writing a blog entry.  Guess what comes last consistently?

So, April.  Let’s see.  I’ve been running 3 times a week and I’ve started going to Pilates again.  I even signed up for a reformer class and that has been going well.

Even more out of character, I joined a run club and I PRed my 5k.

I’m still not sure it’s right for me, to be honest.  I am, by far, the slowest.  I don’t like to be the worst or last at something; probably a character flaw.  I am glad that I tried, and even more that I waited until now to do so.  If I had tried a year and a half ago when I had originally considered it, I probably would have never run again.

This has nothing to do with the club or the people, as they have all been very nice and welcoming.  I just feel very insecure and uncomfortable when I’m so noticeably different.

I didn’t go last week because it was freezing and rain/snowing and I had just gotten my hair done (I know, vanity).  Hopefully this week will be more favourable as I really dislike running in the rain.  I have texture issues and wet socks really squick me out.  Maybe someday I’ll get past that.

I’ve signed up for the Women’s 10K in June and am ready for it!

In thesis news, it’s actually going well, a far cry from where I was a year ago!  My supervisors are pleased, I’m pleased.  I’m getting the support I need.  All I need to do is to stop procrastinating!

I’ve planned out my 41st birthday.  I wasn’t sure anything could top my 40th, but it looks like this birthday is going to be close.  #adorablehusbands #internetBFFs #London #theatre

And last, but most certainly not least, this happened.  It certainly was a great way to end April!

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Ahead for May?  Having the first full draft of my thesis completed (Eeeeek!), attending my first Barre class, and hopefully finding something fun or adventurous to do.

 

Glasgow Resolution Run 10K recap

I’m a bit sore today, but yesterday’s race went better than I had expected it to!  I PR’ed on both the 5 and 10K, so I’m pretty excited for myself, to be honest.  It was a nice day out, which was a bonus.  No rain and a high of 10C (50F) which was perfect.  The sun was even out right at the start, but it went back behind the clouds after a few minutes.

 

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I started off pretty quickly, which I always seem to do.  Anxiety and adrenaline, I suppose.  At one point I looked down at my watch and it had me at a 9’45” minute mile; unheard of for me.  Only recently have I started to flirt with mile times in the 11 minute zone, so I was confused/concerned and dialed it back down a notch.

Mile 1 time: 11’03”

I was surprised at the time, but went with it.  I was passing people which I never do, but it was crowded from where I was in the back middle, I would say.  I didn’t want to make it harder on myself and end up back with the walkers.  I felt pretty good; my knee didn’t hurt, so I just kept on.

Mile 2 time: 11’41”

What?  2 miles in a row in the 11 minute range was a first.  I tried to calm down and keep my breathing even.  I felt like it got chilly, and I wished I had remembered to use my inhaler before I left.  Oops.  When I saw the time on my watch and the 5k mile marker, I picked up the pace and landed the 5k in the 36 minutes and change range.  My best 5k was somewhere around 42 minutes the last I checked so I was very excited and pleased.  sub 35 here I come!

Mile 3 time: 12’29”

This was the first lap, and this was where I started to get a bit tired.  I was glad of the water station; I grabbed 2 cups and walked quickly through and started back up.  Of course this was when my knee started aching, and I was mildly annoyed by it.  But I kept on.  I thought about how it was nice out and hummed along to my playlist.  This was when I took my first walking break of about 15 seconds.

Mile 4 time: 12’53”

This was where I slowed down.  I had to stop for almost a minute trying to fix my knee brace; it just made me more irritated.  So I pulled it off and kept on.  I ended up walking for 10-20 seconds a few times, but tried to keep my pace up as much as I could, but I knew my knee was holding me back.  My own fault.  I NEED to remember to stretch more frequently and consistently!

Mile 5 time: 13’30”

I knew this was the last mile and that all I had to do was get through it.  I felt like I had run more, and by my watch I was at like 5 miles 30, so I knew it was getting close to the end.  I was excited because I knew how what my old PR was and I knew I was going to beat it (1:28), but by how much was the question.

Once I got up to the last stretch, I gave it everything I had left and just ran as fast as I could.  I was excited and pleased.  For some reason my dream time was 1:18 (not sure why that time was in my mind) but I was so excited when I crossed and that was the time.  So happy new PR for me!  And by 10 minutes!  🙂  (Although technically it would be even greater than that, as my watch showed me having run 6.33 miles.)

Mile 6 time: 12’38”

last bit and change 11’54”

Time on my watch at finish (and on crossing) 1:18:20

After, I collected my goodie bag, downed my water, and went to meet Steph at St. Enoch.  We went for coffee and then headed back home after a stop at Lush for a bath bomb.

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I’m not terribly sore today, although I did pull a muscle in my left glute, but it’s feeling much better today after 2 hot baths, stretching, hot water bottles and plenty of Tiger Balm and a good night’s sleep.  I have a sports massage scheduled for Thursday and I can’t wait.

Tomorrow I plan to go out for a few miles and see how I feel.  Gorgeous weather here right now, so how can I not?

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Total run mileage and steps from yesterday:

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Now I need to decide what I’m going to do next and also make sure I start stretching and foam rolling after every run!

10k training in review

Having so many commitments right now (i.e my thesis) I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to blogging.  I might fling a status on Facebook every now and again and post some photos on Instagram, and I’m certainly still finding plenty of time to whinge on Twitter and participate in Gatiss Wednesday on Tumblr.  But sadly, my blog has taken a back seat.  I’ve a bit of downtime right now, and I thought I’d write up some thoughts about my 10k training, as today was my last training run.

This time around, I was consistent in my training; I didn’t miss any runs.  However, as the runs got a bit longer during the week, I did cut down the length on a few of the Thursday runs, running 4 instead of 5 miles, and I’m fairly sure I didn’t hit the full 7 on Sunday.  Given that I trained for a half-marathon last autumn, I feel pretty confident in any runs up to about 10 miles right now.  I’ve done it before, I know I can do it again.

So, let’s look at some numbers.

I started off with about a 13’49” average pace give or take on 12 January.  (Yes, I’m slow.  A 10 minute mile is me literally sprinting.  Maybe I’ll get faster.  Maybe I won’t.  I can’t make my legs any longer than they are!)  Tuesday, I ran 2.4 miles at a 12’23” average pace.  My outdoor runs are averaging anywhere from 12-13 minute miles, with a few 11 minute miles (!!) (and change) thrown in there for good measure.  Sunday’s long run was at a 13 minute mile average, and that was meant for me to have slowed down!  It’s certainly gotten a lot easier.

I definitely think that consistent training 3 times a week and losing weight has helped a lot.  Probably, the weight more than anything, to be honest.  It’s the best thing I’ve done for my running and for myself.  (Remember, calories in, calories out is what works.  You don’t need fad diets or wraps.  Find your TDEE and eat 500 calories less than that and you will lose weight!  I pretty much eat anything I can get my hands on, as long as I keep under my TDEE.  Some days aren’t perfect because I’m not perfect!  As long as the majority of my days I’m eating under my TDEE, I see results on the scale!)

My 10K PR is 1:37 and I’m very confident that I will be beating that on Sunday.  Considering I ran further than that on Sunday and in less time, it should be a given.  So I am very hopeful to have a new, shiny PR on Sunday.  🙂

The one thing I haven’t been consistent in is stretching or strength training.  I am constantly “forgetting” to stretch after running and I’ve lifted weights a total of once (Monday) this entire year.  So, after this race, I hope to be more consistent in both areas and also want to try to get back to Pilates as well.

So, good luck to me on Sunday!  🙂