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