Thursday, 27 September 2007

Wednesday 26/09

Type: Long
Time: 1hr15mins
Distance: 8.32miles
Pace: 9m/m
Rating: 6

I felt so good while doing this run that I just kept going. It wasn't especially long but I'm glad I've been having no pains or tiredness since I have been running every day after a bit of a lay-off. My Achilles Tendon does still hurt a bit bt I've been doing plenty of stretches. This run was followed by a 20min row, for 3k.

Tuesday 25/09

Type: Steady/Hilly
Time: 39mins
Distance: 4.66miles
Pace: 8.2m/m
Rating: 5

The middle section of this run was a series of very steep hills which took me about 10 mins end to end. My average pace was about 9.05m/m on the hills, so it was a considerable slow down from before. I had horrible visions of having to stop and walk but I managed just fine. I was a little worried when heading back though because it started to get very dark and it was raining. I also had little in the way of reflectives on, which didn't boost my confidence much.

Also, the end hill took me just over 2 mins to get up, which was a fairly fast pace, all things considered!


Type: Easy
Time: 35mins
Distance: 3.95miles
Pace: 8.51m/m
Rating: 4

Took me 2mins50 to get up the hill at the end this time. I was expecting that to be the hardest part of the run but it actually wasn't. The run itself was actually surprisingly easy given I hadn't run properly for over a week.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Sunday 23/09

Type: With mum
Time: 1 hour
Distance: 5.15miles
Rating: -

3miles - 44mins - run/walk combo with my mum (she's just started getting back into running)
2.15miles - 20mins - 9.20m/m

Did this run at the waterworks because it's nice and flat up there. I've not ran for over a week, though I didn't really feel any kind of strain or anything, I guess because I was doing it nice and gently. I hope the rest this week helped. I don't think it would have been a good idea to dive into the running given the stresses I was having. But it's primarily sorted now and this is a new chapter in my running. My new goals are another half marathon sometime in the winter (If I can find one) and also to plan my marathon for next year. I'm thinking Edinburgh or London, obviously more so Edinburgh becauase there's so little chance of me actually getting into London.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Friday 14/09

Type: Alternating
Time: 47mins
Distance: 5.38miles
Rating: 8

23mins13 - 2.7miles - 8.35m/m
12mins - 1.35miles - 8.55m/m
9mins10 - 1.08miles - 8.30m/m
2mins10 - 0.3miles - 8.55m/m

This run was very tough, I hadn't had enough sleep the night before and I've also been a little stressed, so have lost my appetite. I was very much up for this session though half way out I really started to feel the toughness. Also, I'm not sure but I think I have a mental scarring about the road I was running on! See, it's a flat road and about 2miles long, but I'm absolutely positive that it slopes upwards. I start out with the best of intentions but once I get out about 1/2mile I'm absolutely exhausted and need to stop. It doesn't happen on any other road...and this one seems to be completely flat too! What's with that?

I think I've been pushing it a bit recently, especially with the gym sessions so I think I'm going to take a little break this weekend, maybe into next week too. I have a few things planned, and I'd like to settle back down into my routine before I have a run which is so tough it puts me off.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Tuesday 11/09

Type: Short
Time: 20mins
Distance: 2.38miles
Pace: 8.30m/m
Rating: 5

I wasn't planning on running today but I felt quite "stressed" after work so went to the gym and ran in the west end. (The reason I put stressed like that is because my job isn't really very stressful most of the's very satisfying actually, I just hate sitting still for 5 hours at a time) I headed out the usual route but my battery went dead in my ipod, and I was really getting into the music, so I decided to up the pace and just do a very shortened version of my run back to the gym again. When I got back, I did some cross training to give my Achilles Tendon a wee rest (it's been hurting a bit more recently - especially when I stood back up from my desk after my run yesterday) Here's my very light cross training diary:10mins rowing10mins cycling 20mins total body x-trainer
The machines at the gym have now had tv's installed in them and so it's a little bit more interesting than simply working out to music...although I still think running outside beats everything I did this afternoon. However - something interesting - I checked my heart rate on some of the machines today. I've not checked it since my heart rate monitor broke a couple of months ago. On the bike it was 135bpm when I was going fairly slowly. On the x-trainer it was 145bpm when I was pushing it slightly. Now I've been looking over the training diary which I kept from 1st October last year, and I've noticed that my heart rate used to be (on average) about 150-155bpm on the cross trainer and about 150-160 when I was cycling. So it has lowered quite significantly, and when I say "pushing it", I wasn't even breathing through my mouth which is good.

On another note, I've been looking to enter another race - I'm thinking a Cancer Research Race For Life 10k in Edinburgh. I'd like to raise money with a run sometime, and I think that is an excellent cause. Anyway, I'm also going to enter another half marathon because I think that is my favourite distance! I'm going to look for some big ones, even if they're not in Scotland I think I could make a wee holiday out of it if I travelled for one. There is a 10k in Inverness which has an absolutely stunning course, and I would love to do that but it's perhaps a bit soon after I go back to Uni, so I'll have to wait and see.

Oh, and my cycling friend has broken his hand whilst out on the West Highland Way! It's in a cast and he won't be able to cycle for a while, which is a real shame. Wishing him good luck and a speedy recovery.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Monday 10/09

Type: Long(ish)
Time: 1hr22mins
Distance: 9.5miles
Pace: 8.4m/m
Rating: 7

The pace here is perhaps a little inaccurate, my pace was really all over the place. I belted the first couple of miles, slowed in the middle and then belted the last few too. I blame the stupid car game. It really is addictive. Today I was racing the 159 all the way from St Georges X to Hyndland (where I lost it) but I managed to pretty much keep up with it the whole way, so I must've been doing some speed.
Add to that, that I saw my old driving instructor, though wasn't entirely sure if it was her or not. So I sprinted about half a mile up a hill to try and catch up with her car. Turns out it was her, but she didn't see me. I don't blame her really - I'm glad she never took her eyes off of what I was doing when I was learning to drive in her car!!

It was really hot today too. I had planned to go on for longer but I ran out of water. Stopped in Bradfords where the kind lady filled me up, but I went through that pretty quickly too. I also felt kind of drained. I was camping at the weekend and hardly ate at all...I can't really afford to buy meals out anymore! On Sunday I hardly ate anything at all - I had such a long, bad drive down from Fort William and by the time I got in at 8.45pm I just wanted my bed. So I think my theory was right - I know it's obvious, but the more you eat (well, the more proper meals) the better you are at running. My eating patterns have been all over the place this last wee while, I think it's just trying to balance the times I run with working, and doing Uni work too. If I run in the morning, have lunch at work and then go to Uni, by the time I get home at 7ish I have no appetite....which means that the following morning I'm sapped and knackered.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. On that note though the Mountain Biking Championships were great! The cross country wasn't as good as the downhill - that was awesome. Biking seems like a good sport, but I must say I still think I prefer running - it's much cheaper and more practical. You can run anywhere! (provided you have your running shoes, obviously) Also, I can't see how there can be any greater achievement between the two than running a marathon. You put in months of training and you literally move yourself 26.2miles...on your own feet. On a bike, okay you can achieve some fantastic things if you train, but still, you're not exactly moving yourself - it's you AND the bike. The bike is moving, you're just helping it move along. But who am I to judge.

Friday 7/09 (Run 2)

Type: Steady
Time: 29mins
Distance: 3.4miles
Pace: 8.31m/m
Rating: 3

This run was absolutely fantastic! I ran really late at night before joining my dad and some friends for a well earned drink (and by drink I mean cup of tea, haha) I didn't have a route in mind when I headed out - I just strapped the reflectives on and headed down the road. I like running when there's no traffic because I love to run on the roads (keeping an eye out obviously)
The reason this run was so easy, I've deduced, is because I had my dinner about an hour and a half before I went out. Pasta, quorn dippers (kind of like chicken dippers but...well...made with quorn) and beans. So I think I had a good mix of things in there and it really did fuel me. I think that's maybe why I struggle on some of my morning runs - because I don't eat late enough the night consequently I've no energy when I actually do run. I'll need to test this theory.

I've also become obsessed with this song which I think I must've mistakenly put on my ipod - "Charlotte" by Air Traffic. It's brilliant! It came on just as I was sprinting up a hill and I swear it kept me going. I was so shocked at how fast I went during most of this run - for once I think I actually kept the pace the whole way through, which made that cup of tea afterwards all the more satisfying...

Friday, 7 September 2007

Friday 7/09

Type: Easy
Time: 26mins40secs
Distance: 3.17miles
Pace: 8.25m/m
Rating: 5

PLUS 2mins14secs - 0.28miles - 7.58m/m uphill run.

I thought it might be fun if I began to record my times for the hill at the end of the run. I wasn't actually planning to run the whole way up, I was going to take the early turn off to my house but then 2 postal workers crossed the road and, not that I try to impress people or anything, but I just kept bolting up and on. My breaths were burning in my lungs afterwards, however I felt great. It's nice sometimes to just play things by ear - just go where you want and run as fast as you want without any planned destination in mind. I wasn't even planning on running today but I woke up at 3.30am and couldn't get back to sleep (I dreamt I was trying to hold a shark still which got away from me into my bed) I finally did get back to sleep and was planning a lie in but I woke up at 8am and was wide awake, so set out for a wee easy run.

I went to see Run, Fatboy, Run last night. It was fantastic! Although highly unrealistic...I mean, I did months of training for the Edinburgh Marathon and - okay fair enough I ran the whole way, didn't limp on a sprained ankle - but still, I found it bloody hard!! Okay, beingway too critical here. Excellent film. Even more excellent when your friend keeps turning to you every minute of the film going "is that really how it feels?" or "why the f**k do you do that, man?"
Ah she doesn't get it, but she rocks nonetheless.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


I think I know what my heel pain is: Achilles Tendon Bursitis.

This is, of course, after some online self-diagnosis. Maybe not the best way to do things, but from (about 1/4 way down the page) it all becomes clear. Where the sight of inflammation is, that's where my heel hurts.
Here's a closer up image:

Now, my heel isn't particularly bad - I'd say in fact that it has gotten better since I first felt the pain. However, I'm happy I know what it is. Honestly, the number of times I've done internet self-diagnosis, found out that I "have" horrific injuries which will prevent me running for weeks, and then consequently put the laptop away and head out for a run to mull over my options from the sheer stress of the situation...I've lost count.

So really, I'm not planning to stop running because of this, but I will try and do less hills. I think the hills are the things which cause the pain to flare up. I often wonder what it'd be like if I spoke to a sports physio...told them about all the injuries I've had and how I could have prevented them. The worst injury I've ever had was in February this year - doing speeds on the treadmill (of all places) - about 30mins into it I remember this horrible, horrible pain in my forefoot making itself known. Normally, I just run through pain and hope it goes away, but this - this was terrible. I stopped running and hobbled to the changing room, got changed for my lecture and the walk there was horrific! I even put off leaving there at the end of the day because it hurt so much to walk. When I self-diagnosed that time, I found out that I had second/third metatarsal problems, so I rested and the pain did go...though not entirely. And I felt so guilty about not running, I got back into it within 2 weeks.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I know what the problem is now. Rockin.

Thursday 6/09

Type: Steady/Speeds
Time: 50mins
Distance: 5.9miles
Rating: 7

10mins50 - 1.23miles - 8.48m/m warm up
9mins - 1.2miles - 8.10m/m (plus a few short bursts)
8.36mins - 1mile - 8.36m/m (then 5 min stretch)
17mins - 2miles - 8.54m/m (hilly)
2mins30 - 0.28miles - 8.55m/m

This was pretty much a run including everything, I'm not sure what made me do that...maybe the fact that I like to decide what kind of run I'm going to do before I leave the house, and today I hadn't done that. The first part was largely downhill, hence the speed. Mind you, part of that speed was racing to make the pedestrian crossings - always a good excuse for some long strides. The stretch in the middle was good too - I stopped on the main road by a wee path leading into my sister's friend's house (or mansion, should I say?) and did some quad stretches there. My achilles tendon has been very tense so when I stop I lift myself up and down onto my tiptoes for a few minutes. I'm not sure if that's a good thing to do, but it does seem to loosen things up. Having said that, I remember about 6 months ago I went to the waterworks (a completely flat route) and , after warming up, ran on my tiptoes for a while...and consequently did my ankle in.
It's always good when you learn from your mistakes....

The last part of this run was recorded for no purpose other than to see what my average pace is on going up the dreaded final hill of my runs. And, as shown, it's pretty much the same as my pace before that. Rock on. Maybe a good session would be speeding up the hill and then walking back down it over and over again? We'll see.
I plan to leave a rest day tomorrow so I can have a wee long lie in the morning. I might do an easy run in the west end before the gym closes, I don't know. This weekend I'll most likely be out of Glasgow, so I'm going to get up early on Saturday morning and find a flat place - either the school's running track or the waterworks - and I'm going to do laps. I think the waterworks is about a mile around, but you can cut parts out of that, or do figure of 8's. Anyway, we'll see.

On another note (and one completely unrelated), I bought some shoes yesterday which were reduced to £10. When I took them to the till I chanced my arm asking if I could get a student discount on top of that....and the cashier said yes! Wooo hoo! Okay, so the discount was £1, but still! Shoes for £9...there isn't much sweeter in this overpriced universe. So there, head down to Topshop for great savings, that's my advice for the day. My second piece of advice is go to Uni and get a student discount on EVERYTHING. I get money off apples man, it's absolutely insane. Of course, the downside is that it is then tempting to buy things just so you can get a student discount, kinda counterproductive I know, but it's like a disease...some kind of awesome, poverty inducing yet oh-so-feel-good disease which makes life just that bit more interesting.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Wednesday 5/09

Type: Steady/Easy
Time: 43mins
Distance: 4.85miles
Rating: 6.5

29mins40 - 3.33miles - 8.54m/m (then a 3minute stop to stretch)
5mins50 - 0.70miles - 8.20m/m
7mins20 - 0.85miles - 8.37m/m
Wanted to keep this an easy run, though my speed did creep up in the middle. Felt a little tight after 2 days rest so really think the stretch helped, and I managed to do it in the middle of a wooded area where little rabbits were bobbing about and stuff. It was cool. The start of this run also included the woodlands where I used to finish all my long runs, except I ran it backwards (not physically, obviously). Also passed a few dogs which I kept my eye on constantly! Luckily though, their owners called them all back to them...apart from the one dog which wouldn't be called back because it was so interested in eating the dirt at the side of the river...I really, really want a kitten for my 21st birthday but I've been warned I'm not allowed one until I move out. That's not so good at all.

Anyway, I've been looking for my next race, I think I've been bitten by the bug! I'd love to do another half marathon in a couple of months and really push myself to beat 1hr45. And I've been thinking about my next marathon. I want to apply for London, but truthfully, I'm not sure it's at the right time. It would be at the very start of my exams, so I don't know if that would be better than doing the Edinburgh marathon during my exams...I know that the running would give me a bit of time to myself from the studying, but I'm not sure if I could get the balance quite right. I'd love to do another big marathon somewhere where there's amazing scenery - both town and country, but I'll need to look into that a bit more.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Sunday 2/09

Great Scottish Run Half Marathon

Time: 1hr47mins
Distance: 13.1miles
Pace: 8.18m/m

I don't know where to begin! First off, I need to point out that while I did have my heart set on beating my half marathon pb, somewhere deeper down I know I wasn't going to beat it. Since the marathon I've been concentrating mainly on speed rather than distance, which makes me think that if I'd done the 10k I could have probably gotten a rather good time. But, what's a 10k when you've the chance to do a half marathon.

The route was absolutely fantastic, across the Kingston Bridge (always excellent!), through Bellahouston Park, Pollock Park (which is actually superb! They have Heelan' Coos roaming about in there!!) and the run up to and through Glasgow Green is great too. I must admit that there were a couple of points which lessened the enjoyment of the run a little though.

Firstly, the congestion at the start. Now I know that it's a given on a race of this size, but being stuck behind people unable to scoot ahead for the first mile or so was a bit frustrating. I was going to actually start at the back of the "white" runner's assembly, but I decided against it. That may have helped me out a little in retrospect.
Another thing was that there were a few gradual slopes upward which did get the better of me. Especially entering Pollock Park. My pace slowed considerably there, and I caught sight of a few people stopping and walking too. Despite this, the second half of the race was very much downhill, so I felt I managed to creep back into a good pace there.

Having said that, there were also a few things which really made the run fantastic. At about 7miles there were people outside their houses handing out water and orange segments and giving runners a gentle sprinkle with the hose. That was awesome! So kind of those people. I doubt theyll ever read this but that really was an act of total kindness and I'd love to have the chance to thank them. Also, at the end of the run we were given space blankets! They are the cosiest things, I have to say. That was an excellent idea, it made the drive home a lot less uncomfortable - there's nothing worse than being freezing cold after you stop running.

All in all, a great morning. I was out pretty late at a party last night and I'm absoultely shattered now, however. At the party I was chatting to a girl who'd run the GSR 10k last year too - she told me that she'd taken up running to help her asthma and it had. She now has less attacks than she used to and feels she can breathe more easily. I thought that was a really encouraging story.

Anyway, I'm off for a nice cup of tea and perhaps a well-earned empire biscuit now. I think I'm still on the adrenaline high from crossing the finish line - if there is a better high out there, I've yet to experience it.

Saturday 1/09

Type: Easy
Time: 30mins23secs
Distance: 3.4miles
Pace: 8.56m/m
Rating: 3.5

This was just an easy run because I was travelling on Friday, so didn't get a chance to run. I wanted to loosen up my legs so I headed out after having had a little nap after shopping with my mum. We got a flat tyre and my mum was so awesome in changing it! We had it done in next to no time at all, despite my dad's telephone instructions including the words "see if there are any men around who can help you"...tskkkk. I was so proud of my mum, though a bit disappointed because the only people who stopped and offered to help were a woman and her kids. It was really funny actually because my mum and I were stamping on the spanner thing to unscrew the nuts, and the woman who came up to us said "let me have a go, I can add another stone onto that weight!" It was really funny, and she actually did get them all unscrewed.
So that as a little traumatic and I needed a little nap before I ran, naturally. When I got out I went as slow as possible, though this pace was actually faster than I thought.