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 🙂

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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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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.

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Attitude, Diet, Race Review, Reviews, Running, Weather

Race Review: Great North Run 15.9.13

Sunday 15th September was the Great North Run, the world’s second biggest half marathon.  56,000 people (including Mo Farah!) descend on Newcastle to run through to South Shields.  This year was my seventh Great North.  I ran it for the first time in 2006 and I’ve only missed one since.

The atmosphere is fantastic and even though this year was a bit of a disaster timing wise, it’s still an amazing day.

Getting there

Public transport is the best way for me to approach the GNR – we drove the first year and the traffic was HORRENDOUS.  The 7.10 train from York gets to Newcastle in plenty of time, and is full of people in running gear.  It’s a 10 minute walk from the train station to the start and don’t worry about getting lost, there are always plenty of people to follow.

Facilities

The GNR has to be well organised, it’s too big not to be.  There are lots of loos around the start, expect to queue but not for too long.  Runners put their bags onto numbered buses, and then you go meet your bus at the finish line.  The bag label on your bag and your race number are cross-checked when you collect your gear, so the security is good too.

The start

As with most big races, you’re put in a pen according to your estimated speed.  I was in my pen an hour before the start, but there are big screens with lots of stuff to watch and you can chat to fellow runners so I didn’t get bored.  We watched the elite and wheelchair races go on the big screen, and the Red Arrows did a fly over – brings a tear to my eye every time!

Once the front runners go you’ll be walked forward slowly – it took about half an hour for me to get to the start line but there’s no pushing or shoving.

It’s tradition for the person starting the race to try and high five every runner – I’m very proud to say I touched Christine Ohuruogu!

Top tip: it’s cold stood around, so grab a charity shop fleece to wear while you wait.  These are collected by another charity from the start line where they are all dumped.

The route

GNR isn’t a hilly route, but it’s not flat either.  There are lots of inclines which can creep up on you if you’ve not done any hills in your training (like me!).  There are bands every mile and the locals and supporters are flipping amazing, what other run do you get people handing out biscuits and ice pops on?

Watch out for bus stop Elvis at about 11 miles – he’s a GNR legend.

The last mile of the route is along the sea front at South Shields – it’s tempting to sprint as soon as you see it but it can feel like a very long mile…

The finish

Once you reach the finish, you collect your goodie bag and t-shirt and head off to your baggage bus.  There’s a changing area, and buses or the metro back to Newcastle if you need them.

The goodies

GNR has a great goodie bag – lots of snacks and some energy drink samples, and rather randomly a mini tube of toothpaste.  I do wish they’d include a technical tee rather than a cotton one though, as I don’t really train in cotton

My time

Well this is my tale of woe.  I was running fine until about 7 miles, when I became aware of some…rumblings…from my stomach.  I tried to ignore them, but a loo on the route at 8.5 miles saved my life!  I won’t go into detail but I was in there for some time, feeling so cross with myself.  After that whenever I tried to speed up, I got stomach cramps so the rest of the run was very patchy.

I crossed the line in 2 hours 27 minutes, a far cry from the 2.10 I was hoping for.  It was still a great day out but I was gutted about my time.  I’d had a pizza with lots of chillis 2 days before and that’s all I can think it was – an important lesson for the marathon anyway.  I wouldn’t mind so much if I’d self-sabotaged on a training run, but it’s gutting to do it on a day you only get once a year.

The weather on the route this year was supposed to be horrendous (the first ‘big storm’ of the autumn) but it wasn’t actually too bad – a bit rainy and windy but no worse than a normal September run.  I do wonder if the forecast had got my nerves going a bit too.

So, this week I’ve been focusing on re-building my confidence and getting my diet back on track.  It’s 4 and a half weeks to the marathon now and I don’t want any more disasters.

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Attitude, Positivity, Running, Training

Week 14 Training

I got my head down this week and tried to get things back on track, with some success.  @YorkMarathon tweeted “10 weeks to go!” this weekend – it seems like a long time away and frighteningly close at the same time.

Here’s my training for week 14:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hours weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: sprint 60 seconds, recover for 3 minutes x 6 at York racecourse
  • Wednesday: swapped a 30 minute jog for a 40 minute spin class
  • Thursday: ran 7.5 miles with some small fartlekking
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (chest), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 15 miles in 2 hours and 37  minutes

Sunday’s long run felt a bit ‘make or break’ after last week’s disastrous long run.  I did 2 laps of a 7.5 mile circuit and felt pretty good.  I ran with my iPod for the first time in years, and I think it took my mind off the distance so I’ll be trying that again in future.

Proper planning also helps for a successful long run.  I’ll blog about how that works for me on Thursday.

Happy running this week!

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10k, Positivity, Running, Training

Week 13 Training

I had some good times and some bad times this week.  I think overall what’s happening is what I sort of guessed would happen – I’ve hit a plateau and the steady improvements I saw in the first few months have tailed off a bit.  It’s only to be expected, so I need to dig deep now and make sure I don’t lose focus or get disillusioned.

The biggest fear/doubt/worry I’ve got at the moment is the long runs.  Once I get past a certain distance I just fall apart mentally, rather than physically.  My long run this week went to pot in the last few miles so I need to make sure I have a good long run experience to get over that.  I wasn’t properly prepared so I finished hungry, thirsty and over-tired – all lessons to learn.

Here’s how week 13 panned out:

  • Monday: 14 miles – I finished it, but had to do some walking and wasn’t pleased with my 11.04 minute/mile average pace
  • Tuesday: fartlek fail – my chafing injury from last week turned 45 minutes into 20 minutes
  • Wednesday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Thursday: run 60, 1 hour climbing
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (back), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: York 10k – race review coming later this week

My main lessons are:

  • Don’t drift away from the training plan
  • Don’t do a long run when I’m tired and badly prepared
  • Focus on the positives and don’t let one crappy run destroy all the progress I’ve made

Onwards and upwards for week 14!

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Attitude, Positivity, Running, Training

Self Sabotage

Last Sunday I ran 9.5 miles in just under 95 minutes.  For me, that’s amazingly fast and strong.  At the end of the run, I felt okay and was able to run again the day after.

So why, in all of the half marathons I’ve done before, have I never managed to get past 8 miles without stopping and walking?  Physically I’m clearly capable, so maybe it’s time to think about my attitude to running.

I am a classic self-sabotager.  In all of my half marathons, I’ve never once followed a training plan.  I’ve run junk miles with no real structure, and told myself I’m slow, I’m not very good at running, I’ll do my best which is pretty poor.  I set myself up to fail, or to finish within the window that I feel comfortable in.   If I don’t push myself too hard, I can’t disappoint myself.

For the York Marathon, I’m following a training plan.  I’ve changed my diet, and the results are showing – I’m getting better.  But even now, I feel worried to say that.   What if getting better is too prideful?  Will I invite the universe to give me a smackdown and put me back in my place?

I need to learn to have a better mental attitude towards my running.  I need to believe in myself and what I can do, and stop telling myself I’m slow.   One of my friends that I’ve done many 10ks with told me I need to stop checking my Garmin and slowing myself down to what I think it ‘my’ pace – just run, she said.  I’m self-sabotaging by running as I think I should, not as I can.

To get through 26.2 miles, I need mental toughness as well as physical toughness.  That’s one of my goals to work on now.

By the way, the night before that 9.5 mile run?  I stayed at a friends, drank beer, ate curry and got very little sleep.  Classic self-sabotage!

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