Attitude, Race Review, Reviews

Race Review: Great North Run 07.09.14

I ran my first Great North Run in 2006.  It was my first half marathon and took me 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Since then, I’ve run every single one expect for 2012 which was the husband’s 40th birthday.  I’ve got my half marathon time down to 2 hours 15 although recently it’s stuck at around the 2 hours 20/25 mark.

I absolutely love the Great North Run.  It’s amazingly well organised, the atmosphere and the spectators are fantastic and I get a lump in my throat every time the Red Arrows go over.  I run with a good friend and we travel to Newcastle on the train together then she waits for me at the end and we go home.

This year we said would be our last GNR.  It’s getting expensive and to someone who trains in flat York the whole course feels like it’s uphill.  But I might have changed my mind on the finish line…we’ll see!

This year was astonishingly hot for September in the grim North East of England.  I knew as soon as I set off I would struggle with the heat so put any thoughts of a PB out the window and focused on enjoying the run. There are bands every mile, people in costumes and of course Bus Stop Elvis as mile 11 – love him!

Maybe I just wasn’t in a competitive mood but I felt like I’d had a nice day out.  I finished in 2 hours 28 and I’ll take that – anything over 2 hours 30 and I’ve have been gutted.

I wasn’t the millionth finisher (it looks like she was about an hour after me) but congratulations to her – and to GNR for being such an amazing event.

Happy running this week! 🙂

Advertisements
Standard
Attitude, Positivity, Uncategorized, Weather

Some success…at last!

After my visit to the sports therapist I felt a bit more confident knowing I’m not completely and permanently broken.  I’ve got some weird ankle moves to do every day to build up strength and reduce clicking, but I’m free to run.

So, last week I did a steady 3 miles…and it felt good.  And then on Saturday, I managed 9.5 miles! It was a good, steady run with no stopping except to cross roads and it felt so nice.  So nice to run, not to be in too much pain, not to feel like I was melting.  There’s been a change in the weather and I can safely say now that sunshine is my kryptonite.

I’m now about 6 miles behind where I’m supposed to be in my training plan, but I’m not too stressed about that.  I know I can do these distances, and I’m starting to feel more confident that my body remembers how as well.  I’m resisting the temptation to head straight back out and run, instead I’ve got 2 weights sessions and 1 yoga session this week before my next long run on Monday where I’ll try to add another 4-5 miles.

My (revised) training plan is now 1 short run or sprint session and 1 long run per week until the marathon.  Everything else will be weights, spin classes and yoga.

Happy running this week and hope you’ve had some good times too 🙂

Standard
Attitude, Positivity, Training

Week 1 and 2 Training Report – York Marathon 2014

If you read my blog last year you’ll know I followed a six month marathon training plan because I was nervous. It was great because it made me feel like I had forever to prepare.

This year now I’m a super duper experienced marathoner with one under my belt I’ve chosen a four month training plan.  Less time to fall off the rails, but the marathon does feel like it’s coming towards me very quickly!

Here’s how the training has gone so far:

Week 1:

  • Monday – should have run 4 miles, but there was a road closure on my planned route so did 2.5 miles
  • Tuesday – rest – I can these 🙂
  • Wednesday – should have run 4 miles, did a 45 minute spin class and some weights
  • Thursday – rest – getting good at this now
  • Friday – cross train – did some weights
  • Saturday – rest – oh yes
  • Sunday – run 6 miles.  I did it!

Week 2:

  • Monday – rest – my technique is amazing
  • Tuesday – should have been hill training, but I read the wrong week on my plan and did sprints.  Oh well
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday Friday Saturday – go on a training course to London and don’t do anything
  • Sunday – should  have been 7 miles but I managed 4.5

Reading back, it’s not an awesome start 😦   If anything is holding me back I think it’s my attitude (and also my sore knees, ankles etc.)  I need to get back into a routine with this and get serious.  I’m a stone heavier than I was this time last year so upping my training and improving my diet should help me lose weight and therefore run faster.  In theory.

 

Standard
Attitude, Kit, Running, Training

The final furlong

York Marathon are being very good about emailing me EVERY day to remind me how many days there are left to go now…like I can forget!

In 3 days time, I should be coming towards the last few miles of my first ever marathon.  This week has been more tapering and little bits of mental nagging.  I mustn’t forget this…I must be careful to…I should do…

I’ve got my number and my pins ready to go, and I’ve got my outfit prepped as well.  Unless snowpocalypse arrives, I’ll be running in shorts, a compression t-shirt and an asthma UK vest sent by my charity of choice.  Ipod, sunglasses, baseball hat, Spibelt, garmin will then be added on top.  I’ll have some timings written on my arm too so if I fall below my 5 hour goal pace I’ll know and can recover.

The biggest thing I need to do now is sleep!  I need to get lots of rest because I’m pretty sure I won’t be sleeping the night before.  I also need to charge all of my gadgets and gizmos – nothing worse than a flat garmin when you set off on a run.

Have you got any pre-marathon rituals?  Is there anything I should remember or do?

Standard
Attitude, Positivity, Running, Training

Week 23 Training

I’m still not sure I’ve got my head round the whole ‘tapering’ thing, but week 23 was okay.   I’m struggling with tapering because it feels like a chance to relax, when my brain wants to carry on at fever pitch until the big day.

On Sunday night I thought ‘this time next week it will all be over’.  Looks like I’ll need a new goal after that.

Here’s how week 23 looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: run 25 minutes
  • Wednesday: run 55 minutes
  • Thursday: walk 20 minutes, 10 minutes to yoga, 1 hour 45 minutes yoga, 10 minutes home
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (shoulders), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: 10 mile run
  • Sunday: rest

I swapped my rest day to Sunday because I had a lot to do.  The 10 mile run on Saturday went brilliantly and I’m so pleased about that, just what I need to boost my confidence.  I’m having no booze until the marathon is over and I’m eating fairly well, although a few cakes have crept in to my mouth 🙂

This week I’ve got minimal runs to do but I’m keeping my two weights sessions and my one yoga session.  Yoga helps me to stretch out and I’ll train my back on Friday so it won’t affect my running.

I’m very nervous and very excited!  Obsessive checking of long range weather forecasts will start soon…

Standard
Attitude, Running, Training

Tapering

Well, this whole tapering thing is a bit weird isn’t it?  I feel like I’ve stopped training before the event, I’m even one day late with this blog post!

My training schedule for this week and next is very cut down, with fairly short runs.  I’m throwing in some yoga and spin sessions as well to make sure my feet and ankles are rested before the big day.

I’m trying to stay on track with my eating and keep the training mentality going but it’s just…odd.  I feel like I’ve lost my goal and my direction, my focus.  It’s a taste of what’s to come after the marathon too I suppose.

I hope my body is taking advantage of this rest period and will be ready to go, strong, fit and healthy on the big day.

9 days to go!  Have you done a taper before?  How did it make you feel?

Standard
Attitude, Positivity, Running

Uninspired

This week I’ve been completely uninspired – uninspired about running, blogging…doing pretty much anything.  With 2 and a half weeks to go before the marathon, it’s probably not the best state to be in.

I’ve blogged before about  my tendency to self-sabotage, whether it’s going out drinking the night before a long run or eating a massive chilli pizza 2 days before, I don’t seem to be able to help myself.

It occurs to me looking at my life now that I’ve embarked on my biggest self-sabotage exercise yet.  At the same time as training for my first marathon, the husband and I have embarked on a huge extension build that has turned our home into a filthy, undesirable place to be.   Dust and dirt is exacerbating my asthma, and we’ve had no kitchen for 2 weeks so I’m trying to cook healthy meals in a microwave and will be doing so until after the marathon.  What was I thinking!?

I do wonder if the front of my brain (I can do a marathon!) is in complete conflict with the back half of my brain (no I can’t, and I’ll make sure of it too!).

So, where do I go from here?  I’ve taken a little break to nourish myself.  I had a rest day yesterday and I’m going to do yoga today with only a very short run.  Saturday will also be a rest day before I do one last longer run (about 15 miles) on Sunday.

After that, I’ll follow my taper plan for the last 2 weeks and eat completely cleanly.  No booze, no pinching biscuits from the builders…my front and back brain are going to have to get used to the idea.  I CAN DO THIS.

Standard