Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday 27/12 - First post xmas run

Time: 22mins
Distance: 2.8miles

Phew, this was a pretty hard run. Running in the snow is not something which requires minimal effort! I was really tired this morning, despite having a great lazy Boxing Day yesterday, but I got up and went out a run in the woods behind the house. Man it was tough! I thought it was maybe my stamina or something but pushing off the ground on slushy bark is really not the funnest thing to do. I also got a hair in my contact lens halfway through my run so had to stop for ages taking the lens out and then putting it back in. I contemplated washing it on the snow (for about a millisecond) but then was deterred by the dubious looking yellow snow further along the path. Beautiful.

As well, I'm not sure if this is a common complaint at this time of year but I seem to have lost my enthusiasm a little bit. I would love to have gone out on whw to balmaha or something, but see the thought of doing it myself, it puts me off 100%...and the thought of actually being out in the cold for hours at a time is putting me off doing my long runs.

I feel I've had a pretty good year, running wise. I also have nice plans for next year, but maybe I need a little bit of time off to re-jeuvenate, I don't know. The 2 weeks I had off affter Loch Ness I feel did me the world of good, but maybe in the winter months it's better to take more time off before training for a spring marathon. I don't want to push and push and then end up being put off running all-together.

We'll see.

Anyway, other runs this week were few but good. I was at the Frightened Rabbit gig on Tuesday night and a work lunch. Also was busy on Wed night as I got some bad news and didn't really feel like running. The runs I did do are:

Thursday 24/12

Distance: 4.5miles
Time: ~35mins

On this run I learned that walking shoes, though they may have more grip, are NOT very good at cushioning your foot on the tarmac! My godness my feet hurt afterwards! Also was very hilly on this run so my legs were quite tight afterwards.

Monday 21/12

Distance: 4.5miles
Pace: ~8.15min/mile

This run included a big downhill which is normally fun but was perfectly terrifying in the snow!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Sunday 20/12

Time: 40mins 40secs
Distance: 3.9miles (+hill sprints)

The snow, whaw! I love it! I had thought about going a cycle today with Derek and my cycling friend but my dad wanted to go for a run so I thought it would be nice to go out with him. I love the sound of the snow crunching underfoot. Dad and I had a good chat and then he went back to the house while I went on. I did 4 30 second hill sprints but it was so slippery, I almost slipped onto my bum a few times so decided to head back through the woods. It was a great run! Think I did the first part at about 9.45min/mile pace then the latter part about 8.45min/mile after the hill sprints.

Have been deliberating over whether the snow will get worse tomorrow, and how getting to work will be! They don't normally grit our street as we're in a wee cul-de-sac, so we'll see how this might pan out! I'm looking forward to this week and enjoying the Christmas run up as much as I can. Finish work on Wednesday - very excited about that!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Friday 18/12 - my first run as an engaged lady!!

Time: 48mins
Distance: 6.08miles
Pace: ~8.15min/mile

Well, the title may have given it away but as a wonderful birthday pressie yesterday I was given the most beautiful ring (plus a very lovely proposal), and I cordially accepted (: The ring is unfortunately too big so away getting fixed, which I went in early to do this morning. I'm off work today on annual leave so I also did some errands and cleaned up the house then went out this run. It was so cold, and to be honest I wasn't really feeling up to going far. My shoes are wrecked, and I know I'm going to have to replace them as I've started to get pains in my ankles and knees. I'll be holding out for the January sale though!!

Wednesday 16/12

Time: 27mins
Distance: 3.35miles
Pace: 8.05min/mile

I think my Nike+ is truly screwed. It tells me ALL my runs are done at a pace of 8.11min/mile, no matter how fast or slow I go throughout. I fail to believe that it all balances out wonderfully every single time to this pace of 8.11min/mile. Think I will really need to be replacing it soon (I know I've been saying that for months!!)

Tuesday 15/12

Distance: 4.18miles

This run was great and included 3 fairly big, long hills. I tried to keep the pace up or push it on the hills and actually think it worked really well. I felt it the next day, so that was good! Though it does mean I don't really have an average pace for this run.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Saturday 12/12

Time: 1hr 5mins
Distance: 7.8miles
Pace: 8.25min/mile

Got up fairly early this morning (I'm in my 6am start routine now!) and did some bits and bobs before heading out. It's so misty and xmassy, I love it. Ran round the waterworks and along part of WHW, it was really nice. Also think I started off a bit slower but sped up towards the end. My little bowl of porridge was fairly insubstantial though - was starving by the time I got home!

Was thinking about some plans for next year while I was out running...incl. my running plans. More to come later...

Thursday 10/12

Time: 37mins
Distance: 4.56miles
Pace: 8.10min/mile

Despite doing this after coming in from work had quite a lot of energy, I think it's the bowl of wheetos I ate before I ran! There must be an experiment in there somewhere...

Tuesday 8/10

Distance: 3.70miles
Pace: 8.25min/mile

Yet again another great late night run. I'm wearing this flourescent vest out on the misty nights - it's really cool! A bit too big though, it kind of flaps around. Hopefully this helps the cars see me.
Here's the Nike+ output for the run just before the battery in my ipod died:

I thought the shape is rather amusing!

Sunday 6/12

Time: 1hr 12mins
Distance: 8.42miles
Pace: 8.40min/mile

Did a little lap of the estate and then ran out along the WHW to the Beech Tree. Was a really nice day for a run - not too cold and not raining, though there was a little downpour just before I got to the muddy part, and boy - was the muddy part bad! I had to leap over quite a few mud divets (silently laughing as I remnisced about the times both Derek and my cycling friend have gone over their handlebars!). Got to the Beech Tree feeling good though and will hopeully attempt conic hill at some point during the festive period.

Friday 4/12

Time: 34 mins 30 secs
Distance: 4.22miles
Pace: 8.10min/mile

Was meeting up with my MSc class for some dinner tonight and got away from work fairly sharp today so managed to get out while it wasn't too dark.

I had a cold for the start of this week, from about Monday 1st - Thursday so was itching to get out today. Throat was still a little dry while out though and could feel a slight cough coming on.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday 29/11

Time: 35mins
Distance: 4.30miles
Pace: 8.05min/mile

Didn't have too much time to do this run today, as I got up early and was busy working, then needed to be somewhere by 12. Was planning on doing a long run but just didn't have enough time! As a compromise I did try to make this a fairly quick run. Felt tried at the start so it's probably a negative split, but did find some energy towards the end and really did pick it up afterwards.

Couldn't believe how cold it is today! Feels really xmassy though. Was wandering through the village last night and with the fog and all the xmas lights on it just looked so nice!

Saturday 28/11

Time: ~19mins
Distance: ~2miles

Did this run with my dad this morning, he's just getting back into running and felt it on this run as we did a route with a hilly start. Cut it a bit short towards the end but he went out on Sunday and ended up doing a fairly good run farther than me! Was good to get a wee chat in.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning out my car before meeting a friend for a late lunch. Was so cold my fingers almost froze!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thursday 26/11

Distance: 2.45miles
Pace: 8.05min/mile

Have been in Inverness for the past few days for a wee holiday. Think I'm getting over a slight cold so was just taking it easy. Had a great time - the weather wasn't nearly as bad up there. It's insane here!

This was just a wee run I did when I got back from the train station today. Wanted to go through the woods but it was getting dark really quickly so couldn't really go too far. Tried to keep as fast a pace as possible.

Also ran into the school kids coming out. Was bashed in the shoulder by some walking towards me. Seriously - are teenagers inherently rude? I don't want to make sweeping generalisations but I'm fairly sure at 16/17/18 years old if I was walking 4 abreast on a narrow pavement I would have moved to let someone past who was walking towards me. Any trouble I have had while running (besides some stupid dogs and their owners) has been with teenage children. And I call them children because I think only a child would lack the common courtesy I witnessed today. Doesn't help that I get so angered by it that I generally say something which always surprises them...shouldn't let them get to me I s'pose. Is it just me or does this happen to many runners? I'd hate to think I look that vulnerable! (:

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sunday 22/11

Time: 1hr 6mins 30secs
Distance: 8.1miles
Pace: 8.11min/mile (~8.20/8.00 split)

What a fantastic run! Woke up really late (I hate doing that) and did some work then headed out mid afternoon and just went as far as I felt. Ran through the woods around my estate then onto WHW and up to waterworks and back via the village. Saw lots of walkers and cyclists out which was nice. Got back just in time though as it got REALLY dark suddenly and did begin raining quite badly.

Adding to my "list of top-class songs" I have another which would be in top 10 probably, at least top 20.

This song is so incredibly sad, if you actually listen to the lyrics they cry out solitude and a broken heart. Despite that, I think the song is quite uplifting in a way - each of the instruments adds something and I think violins will make any song stand out. Enjoy!!

Friday 20/11

Time: 56mins
Distance: 6.35miles
Pace: 8.45min/mile

This turned out to be very exciting. I ran along the path at the back of Murray Park - the Rangers training ground. Normally there is a little stream which runs alongside the path but due to the presistant rain over the past few days, the river had completely burst its banks! Add to that, the field on the other side of the little path is at the bottom of a huge grassy hill with a road at the top. The water had built up so high in the field that the little path was no more than about 2m gap along the middle of the two floods.

To be honest, it was quite dangerous in retrospect as they were both pretty deep. They did, however, cross at one point and I had to take of my shoes and socks and wade across a fairly deep puddle. I warned some walkers I met at the other end but they seemed to be having none of it. Perhaps they thought I was exaggerating but there's no way you could get past without being almost knee-deep in muddy water. Oh the excitement.

Add to that, on Wednesday I was driving on Maryhill Road. Oh my - did anybody else see that flood past Garscube roundabout?? I drove into it and had to completely re-think my actions. The broken down car at the other end did nothing for my confidence, and I can rememeber a mechanic once telling me that his sister wrote off the engine of a brand new Merc by speeding through a deep puddle.

So, of course, me being the spoon I am put on my reverse light and hoped those behind me (everyone was in the outer lane of the carriageway) would accomodate. Luckily a white van man had stopped quite far back and I reversed back onto the other side. I couldn't belive all the people driving through the puddle! If they'd stopped in the middle and opened their doors the car would have been flooded with water, that's how bad it was. I sat there for a while and then merged back into the flow.

Whether it's legal or not I bumped up onto the central reservation and drove past it. All the cars behind me did likewise which i felt quite proud of =D What a nightmare! Though it was pretty fun, I must admit!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wednesday 18/11

Time: 33mins 30secs
Distance: 4.05miles
Pace: 8.20min/mile (8.16, 8.30, 8.20, 8.00 - plus little sprint at end)

What a fantastic run! Very fortunately I have some time off so managed to get out about midday today and just do a short circuit through Milngavie and Bearsden. I included 3 fairly large hills (taking me over 2 mins to run up) in this run and tried to keep my pace as fast as I could on those hills. Quite tough on the second one! (Hence the slower 2nd mile)

Not too shabby! I'm currently trying to sort out files for transfer on my new laptop (she's a beaut!) and in my attempts I have been looking at my music. I think I may have a rough draft of my top 3 songs of all time. I will probably change my mind before the transfer is complete (not on number one though!!) but currently my list is (click on the songs to hear 'em and please comment if you like!!):

2 & 3. Mountains - Biffy Clyro OMFGALMIGHTY this song is so immense, seriously. I can't listen to it without getting goosebumps all over my body.
"Nothing lasts forever, except you and me
You are my mountain, you are my sea"
Seriously. It's sick, I love it so much.

The Further I slide - Badly Drawn Boy Sadly the only link i could get to this song which wasn't live was a Christiano Ronaldo music video (...he's pretty damn fit anyway, enjoy ;D) This song is so beautiful and so uplifting. Don't think you can beat Badly Drawn Boy for his awesome style of obscure instrumentals and fab lyrics.

1. The Modern Leper by Frightened Rabbit Whaw. Just whaw. This is and remains my all time favourite song. There are songs I listen to more, and songs which I'd recommend to others before this one, but I will always come back to it - especially when I'm running. It's so F*cking powerful (excuse my french) and just evokes such happiness within me, seriously! Listening to the lyrics too, they are awesome. I read them almost like a poem, or a very simple, kind of warped, "childlike" fairytale:

A cripple walks amongst you all you tired human beings
He's got all the things a cripple has
Not working arms and legs
And vital parts fall from his system
And dissolve in Scottish rain
Vitally he doesn't miss them
He's too fucked up to care
Well, is that you in front of me?
Coming back for even more of exactly the same
You must be a masochist to love a modern leper
On his last leg
On his last leg
Well, I crippled your heart a hundred times
And still can't work out why
You see, I've got this disease I can't shake
And I'm just rattling through life
Well, this is how we do things now
Yeah, this is how the modern stay scared
So I cut out all the good stuff
Yeah, I cut off my foot to spite my leg
Well, is that you in front of me?
Coming back for even more of exactly the same
You must be a masochist to love a modern leper
On his last leg
Well, I am ill
But I'm not dead
And I don't know which of those I prefer
Because that limb which I have lost
Well, it was the only thing holding me up
Holding me up
Well, I'm lying on the ground now
Walking through the only door
Well, I have lost my eyesight
Like I said I would
But I still know
That that is you in front of me
And you are back for even more of exactly the same
Well, are you a masochist to love a modern leper
On his last leg
And you are not ill
And I'm not dead
Doesn't that make us the perfect pair?
Just you and me
We'll start again
And you can tell me all about what you did today
What you did today

It's so obviously about a man who is so wrapped up in his own world that he has completely abused the trust and love of those around him. He obviously cares very much for one girl in particular, and yet he continually ignores and abuses her love due to selfish acts/destructive behaviour or whatever. A few people think it's about drugs, a man who is addicted but I really don't think so. (I mean, come on, they said "Run" by Snow Patrol was about drugs - pfft) Anyway, that's my take on it. "You are not ill and I'm not dead - doesn't that make us the perfect pair?" - Seriously, can you beat lyrics like this? It's so poetic because it's so remniscent of so many modern day relationships where anything and everything gets in the way of seeing what's truly important. She's not ill - she isn't crazy to want to be with him even though he's probably a bit selfish at times (aren't we all?). He's not dead - he may be partially destroyed inside but if you're not dead there's nothing to stop you trying to better yourself. It DOES make them the perfect pair. In the end he's obviously realised this and is willing to change - "Just you and me, we'll start again and you can tell me all about what you did today"

Excuse the small sermon above, but at the end of the day listening to these 3 songs whilst surrounded by my closest friends and family would be the ultimate bliss for me. Listening to "Mountains" whilst trying my hardest to push it up the final hill of today's run REALLY made this run 10/10 for me. =D

Tuesday 17/11

Type: Cycle
Distance: ~16 miles

Went out on WHW this morning with Derek - just to the Beech Tree and back to my house. The WHW was SOO muddy! All that orangey clay on the big downhill after the Carbeth Huts. Derek almost went a*se over elbow at one point as well (tut tut - and he says I need to be more confident on the bike!), but luckily he just sort of went head first into a divet of mud and stood for about a minute with the tail end of his bike in the air. Ah, t'was a funny sight to behold.

Arrived at the Beech tree with numb everything to find it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during the winter, so just turned around and came back. How exciting! Was a good cycle and I was happy to get use out my bike (EXTREMELY glad I didn't buy a really expensive one as all my biking friends would have had me do!) though the gears aren't changing too well. Just meant I had to really push it in a high gear on the uphills. All part of the fun ;D

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sunday 15/11

Haven't been on here for a while as I've been pretty busy - it all seems to be happening at once! Got a start date for my new job (end of the month), got a new laptop (It's so fast!!), finishing off at my part time job and was away in Leeds this weekend for a friend's 50th. Travelled down on the Friday with Derek and my sister and met up with my parents who were already down there. Was a great weekend.

On Saturday we looked at a David Hockney exhibit and ate at the "Salts Diner". I'm not sure whether I can say with all honesty I like Hockney's work. It's a bit simplistic for my tastes. I know that's maybe the appeal, but as an artist myself (not to sound too pretentious) but I feel I could do something much nicer myself! Anyway, was nice to spend the day out as a family for a change. We are normally too busy caught up in our own lives to get together and do something like that. Had a lovely meal that night too. I did miss doing a run today but I have to say it was nice to be able to have too non-carb meals - mexican and indian - on weekend nights without having to worry about being under fuelled for a run the next day!

So here's the runs for the week:

Friday 13/11

Distance: 3.55miles
Time: ~28mins
Pace: ~8min/mile

Same route as last 2 runs - through woods at the back of the estate and down main road to the other woods. Did this with Derek just before we drove to Leeds. The heavens opened towards the end though!

Wednesday 11/11

Distance: 3.55miles
Time: ~29mins
Pace: ~8.25 min/mile

Same run as yesterday - I do love this route! It's just nice enough for a short run and you can speed right up on the main road at the end. (Cheating slightly as it's a downhill...)

Tuesday 10/11

Distance: 3.55miles
Time: ~30mins
Pace: ~8.40 min/mile

Did this slowly as I just wanted to keep my legs loose after the run yesterday, plus the weather was pretty terrible for the past wee while.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Saturday 7/11

Time: 1hr 28min 48sec
Distance: 10.75miles
Pace: ~8.20min/mile

This was a really great run, though quite hilly and I was very tired at the end. I am convinced my Nike+ is broken now. I stopped and walked up the Kyber Pass (just at the end of the first strech of WHW) and it isn't reflected in my speed at all. It has also underestimated my distance, so I had to use mapmyrun and the above is a very average speed. Like I say, I walked the big hill at the start but for an equally long strech I had a huge downhill where my speed was very quick indeed. Found the end of the run very hard going - maybe because I'd included quite a big ascent right at the start?

Friday 6/11

Distance: 3.04miles
Pace: 8.25min/mile (8.40, 9.00, 8.00)

Slept until midday today! Couldn't believe it. I was off work so didn't have to get up for anything - and boy, did I take advantage of that!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Another thing!

Oh, and there's something else I forgot about which is just hilarious. At work today I was setting up a printer and while I was waiting for all the stuff to load I was (yes, shun me) listening to some good old christmas tunes on youtube. I stumbled across this and it is just fantastic. Enjoy! I may be starting my christmas shopping tomorrow now I'm in the mood...

Thursday 5/11 - No run

No run today. Was planning to but was at hospital this morning getting more treatment on my feet and boy, are they sore now. I can barely put weight on my left heel let alone run on it. I'm off tomorrow morning, just have some bits and bobs to do tomorrow afternoon and was planning to head out on the WHW, but will have to see how my feet are.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Tuesday 3/11

Time: 33min 37 sec
Distance: 4.04miles
Pace: 8.18min/mile (8.30, 8.40, 8.35, 7.15)

Got back from Inverness this morning. Was a great trip - very relaxing. I was so tired I slept in quite long most of the days! Fortunately, it was a lot drier up there (except Sunday when it was frequent, persistent rain) so managed to get out and about quite a lot. Ran yesterday but was itching to get out today, especially while it was still semi-light.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure my Nike+ is averaging my runs properly. The above splits are what my pace was on the mile markers. It fluctuated a little in between but really picked up towards the end. I was pushing it but wasn't sprinting though, and it was a huge uphill!! Is this normal? I don't know if paces should be increasing, decreasing or staying roughly the same at mile splits...I know it depends on what kind of session you're doing, but mine are generally the same (except (hill) sprints and long runs)!! Maybe that's something I should be working on...

On that note I am on the reserve list for Devil of the Highlands in August next year. Figure 9 months is a suitable time to prepare/psychologically prep myself =D

Monday 2/11

Time: 1hr 5mins 35 secs
Distance: 7.72miles
Pace: 8.29min/mile (8.56, 8.20, 7.35, 7.45, 8.50, 8.30, 8.11, 8.15)

Did this run in Inverness with my boyfriend. Was really great - we went out the back roads towards Nairnside and kept up a good pace. I think it's really interesting to compare the speed chart to the elevation profile:

As you can see (I feel like I should have a pointer), there was a big uphill at the beginning which made both our breaths burn the back of our throat, but we did manage to get a good pace on that hill. My bf and I have been talking about doing the Highland Fling race as a relay team - him, my friend who did the Great Scottish Run this year and me. I'd be looking at a 10/10/33 mile split...that way I'd still feel I was doing an ultra and they wouldn't need to train too hard to run it. I actually don't even know if you're allowed to just split the route yourself like that or if the relay teams have set markers they take over from one another from. More research is required I think...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Thursday 29/10 - How I overcame the hair "problem"

Distance: 2.45miles
Time: 20mins
Pace: 7.52min/mile / 8.24min/mile I decided I wasn't going to let a stupid little problem like not wanting my hair to get wet deter me from going a run, especially since I had the chance to go while it was still light. So I put a shower cap on and pulled all my hair up into it (hear me out)...and I put a beanie hat on on top of that. I did look slightly like a man with love heart earrings...but I made sure there was a wee bit of hair sticking out the bottom of the hat so that it looked slightly more feminine. (My sister called me a fanny as I was standing at the mirror adjusting the little bit of hair before I left)...and I kept on adjusting the little bit of hair as I did my run. It was quite funny really though of course I ran past the secondary school and ended up amongst school kids. Grr. Not so funny.

Anyway, a good run in the end, though short.

Weather, urgh!

I don't think I'm going to be able to go out a run today unfortunately! I'm not long in from a short day at work, but have to finish some stuff online before going to get the train to Inverness this evening. Ordinarily I would make time for a run, but this weather is appalling! This sounds very sad, too, but I have my hair in a plait so that it'll be nice and curly later...if I go outside it's going to get soaked and all my efforts will be for nothing! ( My hair is naturally long and very's nice to have it curly once in a while!)

Ok now that little very sad, girly excuse is out the way I'm back to work (though thinking about wearing a shower cap out a quick run ;D )Anyway, last night's run follows.

Wednesday 28/10

Distance: 6.59miles
Time: 53min 26 secs
Pace: 8.10min/mile (9.00, 8.18, 8.33, 8.41, 7.46, 7.20)

Maybe my Nike+ battery is ok after all...I do think this is exactly the pacing during that run. There was a huge dip in the middle as I ran a big, gradual downhill to (effectively) the bottom of our area, then had to run all the way back. I did take a detour in the middle though so I wasn't doing a big gradual uphill back, so that I could go to the highest point (which is a bit out the way of my house) but then run back down from there. That doesn't really make sense reading it over, but it does in my head!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Tuesday 27/10 - No run today

I didn't manage to get out a run today unfortunately, but glad the weather wasn't on my side anyway! What is it like? I can't believe it has been raining like this so much, it's horrible. I was in work today but left at 3pm as I needed to go sort out some stuff in the village. Ended up forgetting all the documents I needed to take to the post office (d'oh!) though so the trip was a little unworthwhile. I got in and it was getting dark so I changed into some comfy clothes and then got started doing some work for the Higher I'm doing through open learning. Was also filling out some documentation and ended up having a dominos pizza for dinner (was meant to be going out)... I'm not sure what stance runners have on pizzas...are they considered carbs? I had about half a vege delight and half a box of potato wedges. I didn't feel partiuclarly energetic (the exact opposite, in fact) afterwards, so decided to head up to bed and just relax.

Moral of the story runs BEFORE pizza dinners =D

Monday 26/10

Time: 27mins 20secs
Distance: 3.37miles
Pace: 8.20 min/mile (8.03, 8.35, 8.30)

Still not sure if the Nike+ is working properly yet...and I don't actually know how to replace the battery! Uh oh. The chart looks awful...evenly paced. This isn;t my normal running style. Ah well, I will monitor the problem and see what happens!

Also, out this run something weird/annoying happened. As I was running back through the village, I saw some young girls ahead. Now normally I'd be thinking "Damn", as I usually get stuff shouted at me out running at night (do they have nothing better to look at?!) But I saw all these girls were dressed in army gear - they looked like they were in the t.a or something. So I felt a bit better. Ran past them, without looking at them but they all turned and looked at me. As I moved away I heard some things being shouted, so I turned my music off and heard them shouting stuff like "look at her" (Unfortunately in a very unimpressed/derogatory way). I turned back around to see one of them doing impressions of somebody running in a really stupid, stupid way (i.e. legs and arms flaling all over the place)

Now, I'm fairly sure I don't run like that (I'm sure a good friend would have told me by now if I did) so I can only presume they were taking the piss. Excuse my french, but people like that annoy the h*ll out of me. Seriously, what was funny? The only thing that MAY have been funny about me at that point in time was that I PERHAPS had a visible pant line (hey, it's pitch black, who've I to look good for?) So me being me, of course, slowed down substantially and yelled back to them "SERIOUSLY, what age ARE you girls?"

That shut them up ( =D ) they looked at one another and I tutted before running away (a lot more speedily than before, may I add...there were 6 of them and they were in the army for goodness' sake!) I was shocked though - I would not have expected that kind of juivenile behaviour from those girls. Just goes to show, people can be eejits!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sunday 25/10

Type: Long
Time: 1hr 9mins
Distance: 8.36miles
Pace: 8.15min/mile

Not blogged for a while! I have been away in Porto visiting my friend from my undergrad course who moved there to do a PhD. It's a beautiful city - split by a river with some beautiful bridges over the river. One designed by "Mr Eiffel Tower" himself. Arrived home though feeling ready to start running again - despite not being able to walk properly one day on holiday after getting a horrid pain up my shin. think it was from walking around for miles in flip flops all day, but it only seemed to flare up that day and was fine the rest of the time! Weird...

Anyway, today's run was good, though wet! I just bit the bullet and went out because I really wanted to. I thought if I was going to wait for the rain to go off I'd be waiting a long time! (My cycling friend, however, got to the end of his street practically before turning back as he was "soaked" .... pfffft ;D ) Met a runner at about mile 5 and smiled at him, then just as I was finishing on a big downhill he was running up in the opposite direction. We gave one another a "yeah, we're both insane, aren't we?" smile as the rain pelted down around us. I also waved at him from close proximity which was a bit weird, but he laughed. That's runner fellowship!

Also, I'm not sure my Nike+ is really doing it's job properly. Here is the pace chart from today's run:

I walked up a hill at the end for about 100metres for goodness sake! Although I do feel I kept a consistent pace, I have no idea how this could have happened! Maybe I am becoming one with my internal pacer......or perhaps the battery on my Nike+ needs replaced. Either way, I like the straight line very much (:

Friday 23/10

Type: Short Fast
Time: 28mins
Distance: 3.42miles
Pace: 8.10min/mile

Tried to stay really quite quick throughout this run, despite being starving after leaving work and stuffing myself with bananas to compensate! I remember speaking to somebody in Cardiac Surgery during my work experience, about how they use Potassium injections to induce a temporary stop to the heart before bypass surgery. I wonder hiw many bananas I'd need to eat before that would happen... *ponders* ... Best not to find out, I think.

Thursday 22/10

Type: Steady
Distance: 4.62 miles
Pace: 8.25min/mile av (7.44, 8.33, 8.56, 8.40, 8.30 splits)

First run after coming back from Porto. A good one, though slightly erratic pacing.

Tuesday 13/10

Type: steady
Distance: 5.61miles
Pace: 8.20min/mile average (8.24, 8.09, 8.15, 8.25, 8.24)

A really good run the day before I went on holiday. Felt quite pleased I managed to keep a good pace, considering the profile was quite hilly. Also the darkness suddenly fell whilst I was out running! Left and it was quite light, got home and it was pitch black. Despite my complaints I do love the wintery nights!!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Saturday 10/9

Type: Short Steady
Time: 43min 30 secs
Distance: 5.11 miles
Av Pace: 8.30min/mile (7.50m/m, 8.45m/m, 8.44m/m, 9m/m, 8.30m/m + short sprint)

As may have already been seen from the post quite early this morning, my cycling friend and I had a little bit of a debate about what cycle to do the end I didn't wake up until quite late and he was going into town so I decided to bite the bullet and do that always-unpredictable "first post marathon run". So here is a little speed chart along with an elevation profile.

Last year I remember my first post marathon run after Loch Ness was an 11 miler. It went well as I recall, but I think that I got back into the swing of things way too early. In retrospect, that may be why the Edinburgh marathons generally don't go so well - because I build up to my 17 mile runs around xmas time and by the time April comes around I'm knackered!!

I think, if anything, the marathon last week has shown that training really is quality over quantity. I only started training for Loch Ness properly mid-late August. I was doing a lot of swimming and x-training before that. It's the tactic I will be following again this year, but with a few twists.

Firstly, I will push the speed on my 8-13 miler runs, I think with the view of maybe beating my half marathon pb. I need to treat these as less of a training run and more of a race. My dad has recovered well from his mild heart atttack (which he had in August) and I think he may be up for doing the Edinburgh half again next year which is great! I would love so much to run with him again.

Secondly, I will do more distance runs mid week. It's always so hard to think I have to go out and do anything over 7 miles when I've been really busy all day, so I'll maybe try doing these in the morning again like I did for my first marathon.

Thirdly, I'll include a cross training day in my work out schedule. I love going to the gym and playing around on the machines. I have a teensy little non-manly "6 pack" making it's appearance and I'm very proud. I plan to cultivate it nicely with the view of it building my core strength =D

Forthly, (and this is still under debate) I have been thinking about starting to train for an ultra. Now, I know this requires a huge amount of commitment, and I think I have proven quite clearly to myself that I can do anything I want when I put my mind to it, but I just want to be sure that NOW would be the best time to do it. Obviously I have finished my MSc, and am currently at a little crossroads, with some free time whilst I look for what I'll be doing next. My worry is that training for an ultra would become such a huge change to my marathon running sometimes is what with having to eat the right foods, get enough sleep etc. It's not a big deal, but being at the age I am at it can be a little struggle sometimes. I'm not a party animal by ANY means, far from it, in fact. I hardly drink (when I do I seem to get drunk prrreetty easily...) and I don't like going to clubs or whatever. But, that said, it is nice to hang out with friends and go with them to a restaurant/bar or whatever on a Friday/Saturday night, without having to worry that I get my protein/carb intake and enough sleep for the long run the next day. I want to commit to training and running an ultra 100%, but this could prove tricky right now considering it would be so much more of a commitment than a marathon. The idea of getting out there though - West Highland Way or wherever - and just running and running is one which is incredibly tempting!!!

Oh well, let's just see how it goes.

Something funny I've seen, though, is my official race photo's from the Loch Ness Marathon. I'm totally grimacing as I run up the home straight!! Not pretty. But this one is quite funny. It was taken at 25 miles and I spotted the guy and waved to him...but just kept on waving. HE eventually had to give me a "thumbs up" to get me to stop =| Oh well, at least I look happy!

A wee break...and a WHW cycle report!

Well, I haven't run since the marathon. My legs were pretty sore on Monday, Tuesday and only started to ease off on Wednesday. Feel much better I could go running again but whilst I'm resting I'd like to get out on the old bike for a while. Trying to plan a route with my cycling friend but his back is sore so we can't do anything too strenuous. Both of us really wanna try and do the WHW in 2 days, just seeing how far we can get to on day 1.

Now, I can see both ups and downs of this idea. On a plus, it would be amazing to finish it intensively like that. Last time we cycled it we went over 3 days in April. Started off about 10am as a group of four, hitting rowardennan feeling good late afternoon. However, the rain then hit and my friend's bike broke (something to do with the cog which turns the pedals or something). Then my boyfriend's brother got cramp. We stood just outside Inversnaid for ages using what little phone signal we had to get my friend's parents to bring him a part to fix his bike. Our night's stay in the Bunkhouse was great! I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Getting back on the bikes, however, I would not recommend! Day 2 is always the worst for bum pain. Carrying the bikes on our shoulders up the side of Loch Lomond was hellish also. Bear in mind I am a girl and do not have any muscles in my upper body! So that part took us FOREVER. Literally about 2 hours to cover a couple of miles. Then on the way to Bienglas farm, too, there are all those little drainage ducts which you can't cycle over(as my boyfriend is only too aware of...3 bust tyres!) Then the chains started snapping. Seriously, I have never seen this happen before and get every single person's chain snapped at some point on that ride (apart from me - *smug* ) While day 2 was fun, we were approaching Tyndrum as it was getting dark, and still had to push on to Bridge of Orchy. We realised that if we did push on, we would miss dinner at the hotel. We thought about leaving the bikes in Tyndrum, getting a taxi to BoO and then just coming back for the bikes in the morning. It seemed like defeat though. These were all options we were mulling over whilst in the reception of the really nice hostel in Tyndrum. From somewhere behind us we suddenly heard a train, and it was as though all our dreams had come true. We could get the train to BofO! I know it was kind of cheating, but it was only 7 miles and we had carried our bloody bikes for miles that day!

This was where the fun began. Ok, so the hostel owner says to me "that's the train at lower tyndrum station" and we hear over the tannoy that some people coming off the train there had gotten on the wrong train, and needed to get across to upper tyndrum station to cacth the train that was just arriving there. This was our chance. We all jumped on our bikes. In our haste, however, the hostel owner said something which I completely misunderstood. He said "do you know where you are going?" and I seemed to think he meant "do you know what you are doing?" so I shouted "yes" and the 3 boys followed me on their bikes. So I shoot out at the end of the street onto the A82, battering furiously towards the Green Welly stop. It was then it hit me, I really had no idea where the hell Upper tyndrum station was.

They were all a bit pissed off (and exhausted), but noone more than the 4 japanese tourists (the ones who had been on the wrong train and had gotten off at lower tyndrum) running behind us knowing we were also heading to catch the train at upper tyndrum. So we did an about turn and battered furiously back down the A82 out of the little village. Then we saw a sign for the station....up this mother of a hill! (hence the "upper" tyndrum, I guess) Needless to say the tourists surely caught up with us at this point. Knackered as they were, they managed to run quite quickly up the windy road to the station. As soon as we started cycling up it, yes, my friend's chain broke! It was wonderful. So here we were; me, 3 boys, and 4 japanese tourists making our way up the almighty hill through the means of running, cycling (slowly) or running whilst pushing a bike.

We made the train, though it did have to wait for us and we got some awful glares as we sat down. But, we arrived at BofO safe and sound, enjoying a large meal and a nice Gin and Tonic for our efforts. The hostel wasn't the nicest, and my boyfriend's brother was put off by being initially assigned to stay in a room where 2 people were sharing one bed (hmmm). A team meeting at dinner brought to light the fact that we probably wouldn't make it to Fort William by 5pm the next day...since that would be over 35 odd miles, including the Devil's staircase and that almighty b*tch of a hill out of Kinlochleven. A consensus was decided. My boyfriend's brother would get train back home to Inverness in the morning, and us 3 would go for a wee day cycle then come back and get train home at night. I was sad, but it seemed like all hope was gone.

All hope was gone until the morning, however. 4 fry ups, £40 for those 4 fry ups (!), and 10am came around. We said goodbye to Invernesian David and went on our way, cycling towards the next part of the WHW. Lunchtime rolled around and we arrived at Kingshouse unscathed. Soaked, but unscathed. Everytime (all both of them) I have been at Kingshouse I have been soaked to the bone. It's not good! We realised then, though, that we were making good time and really, we could probably get it finished. So we did. Without much going wrong, we finished it and arrived in Fort William about half 4. Of course, the hill out of Kinlochleven was awful. And I did feel like a prize a fanny overtaking some young boys just before the Devil's staircase where they swiftly overtook me as I came right off my bike. Also wasn't so great when I cried and threw my (boyfriend's) bike down in frustration half way up the Devil's staircase. He consequently broke his back running up to the top carrying his bike so he could come back and carry the one I was carrying up for me. But....I found some strength and took mine the whole way! Oh yes.

Overall, it was a very good cycle. I don't think I could do it mid-marathon training again, as it didn't really do me any good fitness-wise. But it was a good trip and I'm glad we stuck it out right to the end =D

A photo journal:

At the start

When we found the Stargate...all we needed was the address to engage the chevrons...

My bike at the end of day 1 (not really)

look at this manual labour!

Yes, there were many obstacles in our path...(this was NOT as fun as it looked, the mud was pretty damn deep)

My boyfriend (in the stupid hat he found and insisted on wearing over his cycling helmet, ignoring how it did NOT make him look like a "gangsta") at the place we all camped when we walked the WHW in 2008

Me having a tantrum half way up the devil's staircase (yes, I was actually sitting in a retrospect it was a bit childlike)

And we were all happy to finish, pleased at our magnificent biking skills (but incidentally not our self-timer camera ones)

A fun trip had by all!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Sunday 4/10 Loch Ness Marathon

What a beautiful way to start the post! This was the Loch Ness marathon - which I claim I finished in 3 hours 51 mins, despite the championchip saying 3hrs 52. My Nike+ hasn't failed me on timings, and even then if it was slightly out, it still said 3hr51min20secs. I don't see how it could be out a whole minute!

Anyway, let me begin. I had an awful night sleep the nigh before the marathon, and only managed to eat a small amount of porridge in the morning. I felt so nervous, more so than any other marathon! Speeding down the A82 towards Ft Augustus we got stuck behind 3 identical minivans - they must've been tourists, as I don't think anyone in Scotland would do under 40mph the WHOLE way down the side of Loch Ness! I was panicking badly, as we then got caught behind the swing-bridge thing at Ft Augustus! Had to wait there for ten mins. I arrived at 9.55am, parked and ran to the start line, only to see a handful of people. I nearly wet myself.

Then, however, one of the marshalls told me that the buses had been delayed leaving Inverness and had technical problems. When I thought back, I remembered seeing them all going the opposite way (towards Dores) as we were driving through Ness at around 8.50am! Apparently one bus from Ft Aug had broken down and the runners had to walk 3 miles uphill to the start! Oh dear. Needless to say, I was relieved but we actually didn't start until 10.55am. It worried me slightly, as I was freezing and had only had a little meal for brekkie.

Started off strong - kept the pace up on all the uphills and belted the downhills - figured I may as well make up some time on those! At about ten miles I started to feel a little low...simply because Dores was my point where I knew I could start pushing the pace and that was 7 miles away! What kept me going tho was the magnificent podcasts I was listening to on my ipod. Scott Mills from radio 1 - I was actually laughing out loud at some of the stuff. It is a fantastic way to while away the hours whilst you plod along.

At Dores Derek was waiting for me (almost missed me as he didn't have his glasses on!) He took a pic and I kept going. The hill out of Dores was a toughie but I kept going. Stopped momentarily at the top but had a few people in my sight who had slipped ahead of me at the start, so was a good incentive to push it and catch up with them. The hill at 20 odd miles though, ouch. That was a tough one. Nonetheless I kept some people in my sites and at 22 miles the people from the Scottish veterans' Residencies were there - providing some isotonic drinks and a great energy boost! I really picked up the pace from that point, without having looked at my timer the whole way. I figured that I would regret it if I didn't.

The last mile was TOUGH. In every sense of the word (I was using it loosely before ;D ). I really struggled to keep the pace and the loop round the park to the stadium seemed to go on forever. Looking over however, about 400m from the finish I saw the timer above the finish line. 3 hours 52 mins, it said. I was overjoyed! Just pushed it and gave it my all...grimacing as I crossed the finish line and completely missing those cheering for me (sorry!!!) but crossing the finish line feeling like I wanted to cry. I had done it. Pushed it and got a great time. Still makes me smile (:

Thank you to all who came to see me finish, and thanks to Derek, for being my designated driver. Also thanks to the guys from SVR who gave me great words of praise at the end. What a fantastic day!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Loch Ness Marathon

What a great day! Despite a 50min delayed start (buses from Inverness were late!) still managed to get a good time - 3 hours 51 mins!! I am chuffed to pieces - one min over my pb and a staggering 20 mins faster than my last marathon in May! I'm a happy bunny though my legs do ache a bit today....

Am still in Inverness so will have more time to write up a full report later (:

Saturday, 3 October 2009


As I type this I am chilling out in Inverness before the marathon tomorrow. Planning on going to pick up my race number later, have a nice coffee and chillax some more. I think it's really going to be a case of playing it by ear. I built my mileage up quite nicely but after the 20.95mile run a few weeks ago I kind of let my long runs slide, so will just have to wait and see what kind of effect that has. Will be meeting the guys from the Scottish Veterans Residencies at the end and my boyfriend will be en-route hopefully, taking photos, providing general cheer etc. I hear there are over 7000 people running this year so should be good!

Feelings at the moment: a little nervous, excited and craving some caffeine =D

Anyway, my runs for last week are as follows:

Friday 2/10

Type: Short
Distance: 2.65miles
Pace: 8.20min/mile

A really good run in the west end just before I went to get the bus to inverness. When I did get to bus station (around 4pm) the 4pm bus hadn't showed,so when 4.30pm came around and our bus arrived there were about over 100 people waiting at our stance! When the bus did show up though she called the people only going to Inverness and Perth - oh yes! We were one of the first on! What luck.

Wednesday 30/9

Type: Short fast
Distance: 3.4miles
Pace: 8.15min/mile

Felt good on this run, but didn't want to go too far. A lot of people I come in close proximity to every day (inlcuding the 2 girls I work with and my little sister) have developed a flu (of the swine nature?) of late and I'm trying hard not to try my immune system too much this next week. Taking zinc tablets regularly and lots of vitamin C!

Tuesday 29/9

Type: Short
Distance: 2.8miles
Pace: 8.40min/mile

Just loosening my legs up on this one really, though felt I could have ran fine after the long run on Sunday.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Sunday 27/9

Type: Long
Time: 1hr 40mins
Distance: 11.4miles
Pace: approx 8.55min/mile

I really enjoyed this run today. I was dreading it a little since the weather was throughly miserable when I woke up. Had loads of cereal and a huge bowl of porridge then headed out early afternoon. I did a few laps of the estate then went onto the WHW towards the Beech Tree. Luckily it didn't rain at all, and I managed to keep up a good pace the whole way, even increasing towards the end.

My boyfriend and cycling buddy had decided to meet me on their bikes, but left a bit of time after I started so that they could cycle fast and catch up with me at some point along the WHW. Well...fool to them for leaving so much time! I reached the Beech Tree about 40mins before them! Ok, so one of them did get a flat tyre, but even then when he text I would have still been at the Beech Tree just as they were reaching me. And the superior sport is....

Also would like to say a massive congrats to John Kynaston who finished what sounded like a pretty difficult race on Sunday!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

A nice picture

I just synced my run from itunes and saw this pretty! (:

Friday 25/9

Type: Speedy
Distance: 3.93miles
Pace: 8.09min/mile

That's it! The dissertation was handed in yesterday at about 4.25pm (deadline 4.30pm!!) After weeks of doing it, including some intensive typing sessions over the past week it is in. I'm glad, but already beginning to feel the anti-climax of the course being (pretty much) over! After I handed it in I chatted to a professor for a while, bought some food for a nice celebratory dinner, had a nutty cereal bar and headed out this run. I was very tired, and hadn't eaten much, so had psyched myself for a hard run, but this was brilliant! Kept a good pace as seen in my chart:

Other runs this week:

Wednesday 24/9

Type: Longsh steady
Distance: 5.7miles
Pace: splits roughly 8.25min/mile, 8.40min/mile

This run was really hard. I was really tired after and had to stop twice during it. Kind of annoying, but I'm sure it was just due to the stress of my project. It was all I thought about during the run, and mostly what I thought about after too. It's so strange how having a lot on your mind really drains you physically as well as mentally. Seriously, I thought I was losing my mind and actually considered whether or not I would be able to complete the marathon during this run! Of course, I know I can do's just a case of playing it by ear as to what time I get.

Tuesday 22/9

Type: Easy
Distance: 4.10miles
Pace: 8.25min/mile

This was the run I was dreading doing, but it was actually ok. Good pace and felt ok afterwards, kind of refreshed actually!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Monday 21/9 and strangeness...

I still wasn't feeling great yesterday, and was working during the day (taking a day off from doing my project...still doing it all night!) so decided to go to the gym for a little gentle work out in the morning. I did the ellicptical cross trainer for twenty mins or so then played about on the weight machines. I really enjoy those machines! It's crazy how much more strength I get out of my legs than my scronny wee arms though...anyone watching my whole body work out must think I'm seriously out of proportion! So it was a good work out anyway....even if I did eat roughly 1/4 tub of minature heroes when I got into work (curse free sweets!).

So that was all fair and well, and after work I went home, had dinner and worked on my project until about midnight. I slept well last night, in fact I was in a very deep sleep with some seriously weird dreams. When I woke up this morning, however, I felt very strange. I'm still really tired (despite having a sneaky 9 hours sleep), and I seem to be in a bit of a daze. I really have to focus on my dissertation, which I'm ok with....but the thought of going out a run later is really worrying me. I don't know why! I don't know whether it's because I'm frightened I'll have another bad one like on Saturday, or because I feel I might have stuffed up my marathon training (having done only a few 17+ mile runs)...or maybe I feel guilty about taking time off work, I don't know.

If anyone can advise I would be seriously appreciative, because it's kind of depressing. I was planning on going out a fairly steady 4 miler, nothing too tough at all! But I just can't motivate myself to do it. And then when I think to the weekend, and doing a long run then I think "oh man..." but when I remember the project will be handed in by then and I'll be free as a bird, it's not so bad. Maybe that's the issue then, I don't know.

For now, anyway, I'm back to visit my old friend Word and our mutual friend Excel. Come to think of it maybe I am else could I have just said that?

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Saturday 19/9

Type: I shall entitle it "A long run destined to fail"
Distance: 13.5miles
Pace: ~8.50min/mile

Ok so I should explain. At a night class the other night the guy next to me sat coughing, spluttering, breathing incredibly loud and just being generally gross the whole time. He must've had a cold, and I immediately regretted sitting next to him...but he had asked to share my book so it was too late to move. Now in a vain attempt to try and stop myself getting a cold I was popping zinc tablets, drinking tea and generally keeping my back to him. Felt ok for a day or two but last night I picked at my pasta and this morning I was up early and cleaning the house, feeling ok, but by the time I headed out my long run (which was meant to be an 18miler) at 11am I was feeling drained. I had achey muscles and was coughing. Got to about 5miles (hence the dip)and had to go sit down on some grass to debate whetehr I should keep doing or not.

I don't know if anyone has ever been in this position, but I felt like if I stopped, I'd regret it for the res tof the week...because I wouldn't have another chance to do a long run again (my dissertation is due in on Friday and I am *insert some word mixing nervous, worried, terrified and can't be bothered here* Nonetheless, I kept going. Thought if I could at least do ten miles I'd feel ok. I ended up doing 13.5 and kept a good pace, so was quite happy about that. I did sort of collapse and have to go for a nap when I got in, but I'm glad I kept going. Here's my chart.

I feel that this marathon 2 weeks tomorrow is going to be a bit of a "blag your way through" kind of thing. The only good thing is that sponsorships have increased exponentially this week so I'm REALLY pleased about that. I will try my best but my MSc project is really my priority so will just have to resign myself to that. I look forward to the day I might be able to run a marathon without having finished an intensive Uni course involving heavy exams and/or a dissertation a week prior to it....I'd take bets from people on how that would pan out (:

Anyway - here's my runs from the week prior.

Thursday 17/9

Type: Longish
Distance: 5.7miles
Pace: 8.14min/mile

This was a good run just before I started doing my dissertation for the day. My pace was quite consistently between about 8.25min/mile and 7.55min/mile which Iw as pretty pleased about. I'm not going to continually post my speed charts that the Nike+ guru shows me...but needless to say there was a big dip midway through my run...why does that always happen?? I don't feel like I slow down THAT much! Mysteries...

Tuesday 15/9

Type: Hill Sprints
Time: ~40mins
Distance: ~4miles (incl. recoveries)

I did a 1.2mile jog warm up, then 7 x 1min hill sprints (roughly 0.15miles with jog recoveries) then I did one more hill sprint with my boyfriend (who had his pacing allll wrong ;D ) then I had roughly 1mile recovery with a nice sprint at the end.
Here's the Nike+ breakdown:

(I do love these diagrams!!)

Monday 14/9

Type: Easy
Distance: 2.67miles
Pace: roughly 8.30min/mile (but did speed up quite a lot then slow down)

Monday, 14 September 2009

More thoughts

Had a run this morning before work which really woke me up. I read people's blogs, people who go running at 7am and earlier, and I completely admire the "oomph" they have that makes them able to do this! Don't get me wrong, I get excited when I'm going out a run...but if I woke up at 7am I wouldn't have the energy to go out a run - that I'm sure of! Do people who go running at that time do it without eating breakfast first? If so do they not feel completely drained of energy? I have a friend who, although new to runnning, swears by running first thing without eating first. He does 10+ miles without eating before, and wihtout drinking anything while running, too. Is this good? It works for him, but can it work for everyone? I'm baffled. I used to go to the gym every morning for 7.30am, and I'm sure I still could...but I needed to get up at 6.30 and have breakfast first...which rendered me useless come 5pm. But others seem to keep going all day long! Mysteries of life I guess.

On another note, I'm doing my medicine application right now. It's due in soemtime in October, and I'm having a bit of trouble squeezing in everything I want to say - why do I want to be a Doctor....It did get me thinking, however, just how my running has pushed my confidence to limits I didn't know I had. I feel that now, after completing 4 marathons and putting in all the training around my Uni work, that a whole gateway of opportunites have been opened for me...and there's very little I can't do - including another 5 years at Uni in an intensive course like medicine. Call me big headed (please don't actually), but I feel I'm a lot more capable than many people coming straight from school, and even some who have already done a degree as well....because I know if I want something badly enough I will be able to do it, and put in the effort required to make myself and others proud. This gives me a unique sense of confidence whilst going through the application process.

Sappy, I know...but I needed to get that off my chest.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Saturday 12/9

Type: Long
Time: ~ 3hrs 10mins
Distance: 21 miles
Pace: ~9.30min/mile (including walkingna few times)

After a comment left on my last post (thank you, Davie), I decided to try a new route, so went along West Highland Way from near Carbeth to the main road leading to Killearn, then ran down that road back to Stockiemuir Rd, and then along a track road ultimately heading towards Dumbarton. Better explained here:

The run went well I felt, for the first 16 or so miles (despite having to walk up a few hills). Then, however, I think the hills started to kick in. The heel of my right foot has always given me problems, and it was really sore this time - so much that I had to walk more than I would have liked.

Ultimately, I thought when I did run, I kept a good pace (roughly 9.15min/mile, right at the end too) but the walking was the big annoyance. Plus my Nike+ thing konked out on me at the very end so I can't even see my speed chart thing! At the end of the day I'm glad I covered the distance but am kicking myself (not literally - that would hurt) for pushing myself at the start when my heel wasn't so bad.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Some thoughts....and musics!

Ok, so I want to get this out my head really quicklyu before I start my Uni work...

I have to do a long run tomorrow. I say "have" to - what I mean is I want to do a run on west highland way, but I don't think I I'm training for an on-road run. This run needs to be 20-22 I was thinking I would run out to Balmaha from my house. That would be 21miles no problems...but I don't think I could run up conic hill...this cutting out a section due to walking which I don't really want to do. I could always run to Drymen then run along the road to Balmaha....but I still don't think that's 21miles (I'm fairly sure the road round conic hill cuts out a lot of the mileage).

So another option is to run towards Drymen then along cycle route 7 to Balloch and get the train back from there. This seems more appropriate, but it's not the WHW, is it? This is one thing that gets me down about training for road races. I love the races, and I love all the training up to about 4 weeks before when I need to crank the mielage up. Then I find it really hard to think of nice road routes I want to do 20+ milers on.

I'm fairly sure this blog is only read by a few people but if they have any advice for a nice, 20-22 miler from my Milngavie somewhere...where I won't be stopping much and yet still enjoying scenery other than some trucks, buses and car fumes please let me know!

Another thing to say, quickly, is that I discovered this blog online:

If you scroll down the page there is some great mixes from 2008 with some fantasic songs for long runs...keep you bobbing along the whole way (:

(I'm not sure how legal it is to advertise other people's sites online...especially if they don't know you read if the creator sees this I hope he takes it as a compliment!)

Thursday 10/9

Thursday 10/9
Type: Speeds
Distance: 5.4km (3.36miles)

I warmed up for 800m then did 1k @ 8min/mile, 7.45min/mile, 7.25min/mile (with 400m jog recoveries) plus a 800m cool down

This was done on the treadmill, admittedly, but I did keep the incline up for most of it (bar 400m) which I felt quite good about. In addition, I forgot my I did it without any music. Outside, this wouldn't be a problem...but on a treadmill? Not so fun. The run though was good and I felt very pleased! I went and did the muscle machines after - abductor/adductor (ie, the machine where you have to spread your legs apart to a room full of people....losing dignity slightly...though makes you feel the need to keep pulling those pads towards one another...hence working the muscles....hence giving you a good incentive to keep going!)

Ah the joys of being an active person =D

Tuesday 8/9
Distance: 3.85miles
Pace: 8.22min/mile

This was meant to be an easy run but it really wasn't! My inner thighs for some reason were incredibly tight after the GSR on Sunday...It's not really happened before so I didn't want to push it too hard. It was raining like crazy when I did this run, right after a job interview. It really helped to clear my head before I started my Uni work, though it definitely wasn't easy!

I used to think that my easy run pace was roughly 8.50min/mile...but latelly it has been faster...I'm at a loss wondering why this is? Am I getting faster? I don't think so!!

If I compare this to the elevation though....similarities?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Sunday 6/9

Great Scottish Run
Time: 1hr 51mins
Distance: 13.1miles
Pace: 8.31min/mile

Despite the rain, this turned out to be a great event. As usual, the start was incredibly crowded. My friend (his first half) and I had to kind of shove our way into the muster, then it really took a while to start moving properly (I'm sure this put at least 2 mins onto my time...) Once we did though, it was a good run. The crowds were fantastic! Seriously, nobody does support like the Glaswegians! I felt I managed to keep a good pace, however I did lag a bit in the middle (as my Nike+ confirms ;) )

That, I'm sure, is a result of the horrible "new" race strategy which goes through my head as I approach the middle of a race! I decide that, after starting off at a good pace I should decrease speed then pick it back up at the silly, but at the time I think "yes! What a great idea..." just as my pace slows slightly. Also, I actually cut my foot (inside my shoe...who even knows how that happened) and had to stop momentarily which explains the serious lag at 10miles.

Anyway, finsihed in good spirits, though not really feeling I'd pushed myself 100% (thank you spur-of-the-moment race strategy). My friend finished in 1hr 44, which is a great first effort, though he did have slight chaffing of the nippular area (something he suddenly remembered at the start of the race).

As an after thought too, I;ve been thinking. After Loch Ness Marathon I think I have 2 plans (for this year anyway!). I will do the Nike+ Human Race 10k on 24/10/09. This is basically where hundreds of people go out on that day and run a 10k then connect their Nike+ to the computer and log their's a virtual race! (: Also, I will try and do a half marathon in November, if I can. I think after I've logged the miles for the marathon I might be able to do some more speed sessions and maybe get a half marathon time that ISN'T around 1hr 50 (as they always are!!).

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Saturday 5/9

Type: Easy
Distance: 2.79miles
Pace: 8.24min/mile

Just an easy one before the half marathon tomorrow, though ended up being faster than expected. I was busy doing Uni work too, so wanted to get back and do that. As it so happens, I managed to get a lot of work done...finished a chapter and started another one.

I've just been messing about with my Nike+ thing online, it's actually pretty neat. It monitors exactly when you slow down, when you speed up, when you play your power song (yes, that's what it's called - the tune that gets the hairs standing up on the back of your arms!!)
Here is an example from my 17/18 miler at the weekend past.

As you can see, I'm not the most consistent pacer in the world! I always dwindle a little in the middle and then pick the pace up at the end. It's ok for training runs but I worry it'll be my downfall in achieving pb marathon and half marathon times...Oh well. Off to watch a film (The Fall...very good, beautifully acted!), have some smarties and get an early night before the Great Scottish Run tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Thursday 3/9

Type: Long-ish
Time: 47mins
Distance: 5.8miles
Pace: 8.18min/mile

Headed out today after writing up my dissertation for quite some time. It makes you feel so energetic sitting at a computer for hours on end. This run ended up being at a good pace, despite the wind in my face for most of the way back. Was out for dinner tonight too, which was a cool treat I was very hungry!

My eating patterns have competely changed recently. I eat so much for lunch and just seem to kind of pick at dinner. I don't think this is good for doing morning runs though, especially since I've re-started doing my speed sessions on the treadmill. Also...if I eat a big dinner I get excited going a run 1-2 hours afterwards because I know I'm giong to have loads of that weird?? I heard you're not meant to run just before you sleep as running awakens your "happy hormones" which keep you awake, it tends to put me to sleep though. Maybe it's just backwards for me, who knows.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tuesday 1/9

Type: Tempo
Time: 35mins
Distance: 5.8k (4miles)

1k warm up then 3 x 1k @ 8min/mile, 7.50min/mile, 7.40min/mile (w/ 500m recoveries) then 800m cool down (plus weights)

Monday 30/8

Type: Easy
Time: 35mins
Distance: 3.85miles
Pace: 8.35min/mile

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Saturday 29/8

Type: Long
Time: 2hrs 24mins
Distance: 17.70 miles
Pace: 8.59 min/mile

A good run on what was a very unpredictable Saturday. It had been raining on and off all day but fortunately didn't rain at all the whole time I was out. I think I was running away from the rain clouds to be honest. Only stopped once or twice on the way round - my bf came to meet me for the last 6 or so miles which was good too.

This week too, I did:

Thursday 27/8
Type: Hill sprints
Distance: ~ 3.5miles
Pace: 1.2mile jog then 6 x1min hill sprints then 1.2 mile jog

Tuesday 25/8
Type: Tempo
Time: 35mins
Distance: ~5k

Warm up then roughly 3k fast followed by cool down.

And last week's long run (15.5miles @ 9.25m/m pace) elevation:

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday 16/8

Type: Long
Time: 1hr 46mins
Distance: 11.85miles
Pace: 8.55min/mile

I was so glad it wasn't raining when I started this run! It's been raining continously for about 3 days now, and although it's windy the weather held up for me today. It took me a while to get out and ready for this run but when I got out it was good when I did. Headed a route I used to run which includes a few big hills, and is mainly uphill (I think!). On the whole felt I coped well, though running out of water at mile 9 meant I needed to cut this run about a mile short...just couldn't keep going!

So far in August I have run 49.5miles. This is roughly 3 or 4 runs a week including one gym session (x-trainer/rowing/swimming). Now, the GSR half marathon is coming up and I am feeling a little pessimistic. I think I'll get over 1hr 50mins. Obviously I will try for under, but my speed isn't great on my longer runs. When I go faster, I tend to have to stop. When I don't stop, I feel so negative and it just dominates my thoughts so when I come to a hill or something I NEED to stop.
Something else I'm conscious of is that my long runs aren't building up well for my marathon in October (Loch Ness). I'm finding it hard to motivate myself whilst I'm out, even though I look forward to it the day before (if it's sunny) and put listen to podcasts the whole way. I generally stop for a time and walk...which sucks when I used to be able to run 26.2 miles without stopping!!

If anyone (who still looks at this blog!!) has any advice on this I would greatly appreciate it. I have been thinking about running with a club recently but I just don't know if I'll have the time...I may look into it though - it would be a great motivation I'm sure.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Once again, it's been so long

Can't believe I've not posted here since November last year! Another marathon and another New Year later here I am again, training for Loch Ness which I am again running for the Scottish Veterans Residencies.

Edinburgh went ok, though nowhere near my best time - got roughly 4hrs 8mins on what was probably the hottest day of the year! Did manage to raise nearly £200 for Christian Aid, which was fantastic though, considering the marathon was run during exam time and I had very little time to do anything remotely related to fundraising! Passed the exams well though, and am now concentrating on doing a dissertation as I search for a job...what joys. Applying to do medically related jobs while I do my application for going back to actually study the subject next it's all go, but enjoying getting the balance between work and play nonetheless......
........... It is summer after all!

So here's the monthly run down of running...and here's to a good summer before a good Loch Ness!

April 2009: ~130miles plus West Highland Way cycle (95miles) - fantastic but pretty damn hard!
May 2009: 148.97 miles plus Edinburgh Marathon
June 2009: 26.33miles (!!) plus lots of tennis, squash, gym and cycling
July 2009: 23.85 miles (these are the months of "rest"!) plus Great Glen Way cycle (75miles) plus gym and lots of swimming