Positivity, Running, Training

A tough decision…or not

11 days to go until the marathon!

This weekend was pretty busy for me – I had a full day of work on Saturday then walked 10 miles with my dad on Sunday.  That meant no time for the official ‘make or break’ long run, which got shifted to Monday instead.

I intended to do 21 miles on Monday and managed 19, so I’ve still not broken the magic 20 but I am getting closer to the distance.  I also averaged a pace that would get me in under 5 hours, the magic number for me.

The first 10 miles were pretty good.  After they were finished, I looped home and restocked on water and took a gel.  The next 5 miles were HARD.  Back home again, water, gel.  The last 4 miles were rubbish and I was run-walking and thinking ‘what on earth am I doing?’

At that point, I made a decision in my head.  I would drop out of the marathon, and that would mean the holiday we plan to take on October 13th could move forward a couple of days and we could have a much nicer break.  Decision made, I felt lighter.  When I got home, I found that the husband couldn’t go on holiday until the 13th anyway, so the marathon is back on the table.

I can decide right up until that morning whether I’m going to do it or not.  I know I probably can do it (slowly) but I’m not sure if I want to do it, and that’s been the whole issue this year with hindsight.  Will I do it? Probably 🙂  Then standby for the world’s whiniest race review.

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Running, Training

The Yorkshire Marathon…it’s getting close!

Not next Sunday, or the Sunday after, but the Sunday after that I’ll be stood…waiting…nervous…on the start line of the Yorkshire Marathon.

It looks like the husband won’t be able to join me this year due to an injured calf.  The therapist did suggest he could rest and then make the marathon his first run for 3 weeks, but that’s not comfortable position for a first-time (or any time) marathoner to be in.

Last week I was in Italy having a lovely time, eating cheese and sausage and drinking prosecco while not even thinking about running.  When I got back on Sunday I did 15.5 miles, that’s 8 laps of the service road on York racecourse!

If I’d trained better this year I’d be thinking about tapering now but I’ve still not broken the magic 20 mile mark that will be so important for the my confidence on the day.  It doesn’t help that this year has coincided with a very busy time for me at work so even this weekend I have no time for a long run.

The plan is:

  • Long run Monday (break 20 miles!)
  • Then start to taper.

I’ll keep doing between 9 and13 mile runs between now and the big day after that, pray for cool weather on the day and wish myself luck.  Honestly, I’ll be glad when it’s over 🙂

Happy running this week!

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Marathon tips, Running, Training

Getting there – 16 miles done!

The one thing I need to give me marathon confidence is distance.  The one thing I’ve really failed at this year? Yep you guessed it.

This weekend I knew time was running out and I had to get some big miles done.  Slightly hampered by two things – one, a wedding the day before, and two, a big chunk of my normal running route shut because of a SkyRide.  Thanks Sky!

Rather than try and work out a new long crazy route I went for a boring mental challenge instead.  I ran to the race course (2ish miles) then did 6 laps of the service road (also 2ish miles per lap) before running home.  It was pretty dull but at least I knew where I was going and I saw lots of nice dogs.   I chose an audio book rather than music and it worked quite nicely.

When I got home, I had 16.25 miles in the bag.  Hooray! I took one bottle of water and one caffeine gel and there were some walk breaks, but I’m expecting to have some walk breaks on the marathon so I’m not too stressed about that.  As long as they’re managed and structured rather than an elaborate collapse I’m happy.

I find thirst and carrying enough water a massive problem on long runs – to the point where I’m looking at other people with drinks and wondering if they’d mind if I asked them for just a little sip? The husband suggested next week I drive to the race course and load up the car with water and snacks so I can keep replenishing when I run out.  Sounds like a plan to me!

Marathon training…plus picnic breaks 🙂

I’m off to Italy for a few days now so no training AGAIN, but next weekend I plan to do 20+ miles.  That’s a lot of racecourse laps!

Happy running this week.

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Training, Yoga

The aptly named awkward posture

If I was starting this blog again, I’d have to call it Clairewhinges rather than Claireruns because honestly, that’s all I feel like I’ve done with my training this year.  Too hot, too ouchy, too far….whinge whinge whinge.

So, instead of whinging about how I got a blister on my long run on Sunday and it was all rubbish woe is me I’m going to share a few random yoga exercises that are very helpful for runner’s knees and feet.  With no whinging at all.

1) Yoga squat

This one is great for your knees, quads and feet and ankles. It’s tough, but you can feel it working and stretching things out.

Stand with feet pointing out like Charlie Chaplin, heels connected.  Breathe in and lift your arms over your head so your palms touch, with elbows slightly bent.

Come up on your toes.  Breathing out, slowly drop down into a squat, without letting your bottom poke out to the back.  Your knees will point out to the side.  Hold for a few seconds, breathe in as you come back up and drop your arms.

Feel it in your quads? Me too!  Repeat as much as you like.

2) Awkward posture

This one’s good for feet and ankles. 

Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.  Breathe in and lift your arms straight out in front of you (like a zombie).  Come up on your toes (wobbling like a weeble at first) and then as you breathe out, drop your bottom to your heels.  Again, don’t let your bottom stick out behind you.

Hold for a few seconds, breathe in and come back up.  Repeat as desired.

Both of these are good for strengthening feet, knees and also a bit of core.  Hope you enjoy them!

Great North Run on Sunday, race report to follow.  Wish me luck 🙂

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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.

 

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Training

Time to run

I’m lucky enough to work from home which means I can run when it’s right for me, rather than squeezing runs in around a 9-5 schedule.

The best time for me to run is mid-afternoon.  In the mornings I’m quite productive at work, but from 2.30pm onwards I find myself zoning out, staring at my screen or playing on the internet, and it’s easy to lose a couple of hours.

If I strap my trainers on around 3pm, I can have a good run and then come back to work for a few hours with my brain re-charged.

Running in the morning works okay for me, but evenings aren’t so good.  If I leave it too late then I don’t have enough energy late afternoon, then it’s dinnertime, then I’ve sat down…it’s too easy to make excuses in the evening.

I was a running club member for a while, with a club that did 7.30am runs on a Sunday.  I did it, but I always needed a nap when I got home afterwards!

It’s important to find your optimal running time.  You can get the best out of your training, and be prepared if you’re entered into a race that isn’t at your best time of day.

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Running, Training

Oh hai!

In 2013 I ran the first York marathon.  It was my first marathon too.  After the marathon, I made some ambitious promises.  Of course I’d keep running regularly.  Of course I’d keep blogging, why wouldn’t I?

So, 7 months since my last post, here we are.  I haven’t been running regularly and I certainly haven’t been blogging.  In 2014 I’ve done Leeds and Sheffield Half Marathon in average times (for me) and some training runs, but nothing I’d describe as structured training.

But then (but then…..) dun dun duunnn…there was a little note in my diary on June 22nd that said ‘start marathon training’.

Yep, not only did I enter York again, it’s in just 4 months time.

So, running resumes and regular blogging resumes – every Wednesday, I promise.

This year I’m following the Women’s Running Improver Marathon Plan.  It’s 4 months compared to the 6 month plan I followed last year and comes recommended by a runner I respect who blogs here.  The plan will give me plenty of time to cross train (I’ve kept up the weights and am doing regular spin classes) and I hope to avoid the overuse pains I developed towards the end of my training last year.

I was thwarted on my first training run by the railway tunnel closure on Hob Moor (thanks, running gods!) but things can only improve from here.

See you on the streets.

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