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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10k, Race Review, Reviews, Uncategorized, Weather

Race Review – Leeds 10k 20th July 2014

The Leeds 10k is an old friend of mine – I’ve done the race on quite a few occasions now and I know the course pretty well.  It’s a fairly flat (and supposedly fast) out and back along Kirkstall Road.

It’s not the most exciting route, but I love watching the people who are ahead of me when I’m running out and those behind me when I’m running back.  It gives me something to focus on and takes my mind off the road.

Last year my time at Leeds was 57.31.  Could I break the magic 60 minutes again this year?  I hoped so, but the weather had other ideas.

We are in a HEATWAVE in the UK at the moment. I’m not complaining, but it’s killing my running 😦

Sunday morning was foggy, but the sort of fog that says “very soon it’s going to be toasty here”.  Sure enough, I was sweating on the start line before we’d even gone anywhere. I tucked my t-shirt up into my sports bra (apologies, those of you who had to watch my belly running) and off we went.

Up to 5k…not bad.  Post 5k…are these my legs??  I just couldn’t make my feet work!  I switched to 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking and then to 1 minute running, 1 minute walking.  The last mile was rubbish and I just wanted it all to be over.  It’s always nerve racking seeing other people collapsed by the roadside, particularly the man wearing the same running outfit as the husband.  Best wishes to you all, I hope you’re all okay.

Scores on the doors? 1.05.37.  Not good, but not terrible either.  York 10k is in 2 weeks so I have chance to redeem myself.

Even the husband was 6 minutes slower than last year – and he’s not impressed.

Route – 8/10

Goody bag – 8/10 – loved the Kitkat Chunky

Congratulations to our friend Richard who was completing an Ironman while we were complaining about the 10k.  Nice work!

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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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Running, Training, Weather

Week 17 Training

Aaargh it’s getting closer!  Less than 50 days to go now, I’m equally excited and terrified.   The York Marathon will be my first marathon, and I’ve got no idea what to expect from my body.

Sunday’s long run was into a headwind this week which really set me back.  It occurs to me I’ve got to toughen up or I’ll have a rubbish marathon if the weather’s not absolutely perfect.  At the moment I will whinge quite happily about sun, rain and wind but I can’t really on a perfect, still, not too hot not too cool day in October 🙂

Here’s how week 17 looked:

  • Monday: rested after my 19 miler on Sunday
  • Tuesday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Wednesday: sprint up a hilly bank, walk back down x 10
  • Thursday: jog 55
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (chest) , 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest (and waaaay too much gin on a night out in York)
  • Sunday: a rather dehydrated 15 miles

The only major change to the training plan was the extra rest day on Monday.   I’ve added the long runs to the plan myself so I’m happy to fit in some extra rest when I need it, I was exhausted after the 19 miles!  Next weekend is my longest run (21 ish miles) so I’ll definitely need an extra rest day after that, and then the distances start to come down again.

I used my lap technique for the 15 mile run and called home at 7.5 miles to refill my water bottle – this worked much better than worrying about water on the route.

Happy training this week!

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Running, Training, Weather

Week 16 Training

This week I got back on track with my training – except none of it was on a track because I did everything on a bike to give my whingy ankle a rest, but you know what I mean.

Here’s how week 16 looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: sprint 60 seconds, recover 3 mins, sprint 50, recover 3, sprint 40, recover 2, sprint 30, recover 1 on a spin bike
  • Wednesday: 1 hour on a spin bike, which was quite dull
  • Thursday: did a yoga session that absolutely killed me
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (back), 10 minutes home,
  • Saturday: rest (my birthday – nice timing!)
  • Sunday: 19 miles!!!!!!

Sunday was amazing.  I did 2 x 9.5 mile laps and managed to do 19 miles in three and a half hours.  This is the longest I’ve ever run and I feel like I’m actually getting up into “I can do this marathon” territory now.  The second lap was hard and I had some walk breaks, but even so I’m on track for a sub-5 hour marathon which is my target.

One thing I’ve found is that heat really kills me when I’m running.  It’s no coincidence that on the second lap the sun had come out.  I’m finding it very  hard to carry enough water for these long runs, thank you to the cafe on Skeldergate who refilled my bottle for me.

It sounds weird, but for my remaining long runs I’m going to run laps that go past my house so I can dip in, grab water and get back out again.  It’s better than stressing about water or trying to work out a new system when there will be water stops on  the marathon route.   Running in and out of home should be good for mental strength too.

It should cool down soon as well which will mean I drink (and whinge 🙂 ) less.

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Positivity, Running, Training, Weather

Week 10 Training

Heatwave!!! Summer arrived with a vengeance in the UK this week – time to pack up the thermals and bring out the suncream.

Here’s how week 10 looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: should have been fartlek 75, ended up run 60
  • Wednesday: jog 10, run 10, jog 15
  • Thursday: sprint 75, recover 3 minutes, sprint 60, recover 3 minutes, sprint 30, recover 3 minutes
  • Friday: jog 20 – 1o minutes to the gym, 1 hours weights (shoulders), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest up and a visit to York Races
  • Sunday: Leeds 10k

Tuesday was the first day in 10 weeks that I’ve not completed what I should have done – I went to a friend’s house to run with her as she has more hills than I do, but the heat was punishing and I called time after 60 minutes.  I’m proud of the 60 minutes I did though!

Saturday at York Races was great, I spend so much time running round the access road there it’s nice to see what it looks like when it’s being put to proper use.

Leeds 10k on Sunday was another hot one, but I PB’d and will write the review this week.  Happy training!

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