Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday 31/1 - Out and About

Time: 47mins 30secs
Distance: 5.7miles
Pace: ~8.25min/mile (slower on hills, plus faster last mile)

As the tennis was on this morning (I don't follow tennis, but know a few people who do - avidly - though I feel sorry for Andy Murray! Poor guy - he's just a kid in the scheme of things don't pressure him so much!!) I realised that I needed to get out early otherwise I'd sit on my own doing studying while tennis was on. I decided I would just go as far as I wanted (using the too-common-these-days excuse that I'm not really training for anything so I am allowed to do that!) I felt as though the run was going so quickly, even though I wasn't running much faster than usual. That said, I just kept going and ended up quite pleased at my distance and pace.

Only problem is though that my running shoes are wrecked. I've had them since September 2008 and they have seen quite a few miles. I'm starting to get pains where there were no pains before, so will have to head to Achilles Heel to get a new pair I think. Was also thinking about my training strategy while out running - think I will aim to do less runs but at a better quality i.e. not just going out 4mile runs at 8.20 pace (my usual!) for no reason.

Just debating what to do with the rest of the day, be it a walk or going to buy new running shoes.... ;D

Thursday 28/1

Type: Treadmill
Time: 25mins
Distance: ~4k
Pace: started at ~6min/km up to 5min/km

Was away at a training day down south and couldn't sleep well so got up early to use the gym. Did a good warm up on a kind of walking machine and then ran for a bit on the treadmill. Don't really know what pace I was going at but I increased it every couple of minutes. Felt quite fast towards the end, but it's probably just the pace I normally run at!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tuesday 26/1

Time: 33mins 30 secs
Distance: 4.35miles
Pace: somewhere in the region of 7.50min/mile - 8.15 min/mile

A great, energetic run tonight before dinner. I have a lot of stuff going on in my head right now and it's nice to be able to get out and just forget some stuff for a while. I am in AWE of how a simple 30 min run can completely destress me. Only time it stresses me out is if I'm rushing to do something afterwards!

The run itself didn't give the correct distance on my Nike+ and it said I was doing 8.20min/mile. I mapped the run out on mapmyrun though, and it was longer and faster than the Nike+ said. Apparently I ran at 7.50 pace, but I really don't think I did. Having said that, I'm not sure that I have a very realistic view of just how fast/slow I run each time I go out. To me, less than 8 min/mile seems like a pretty fast pace, but several times now I've used mapmyrun to get my pace, and it has came up with a speed <8m/m. Maybe I am, in fact running faster than I think!

On a completely unrelated note my cat has been a lot friendlier these days, it even lay with me in bed (under the covers) the other day which it never used to do. Maybe it is gettnig older and wiser, oh how sweet I thought. Then I remembered this picture and suddenly it clicked that I'm generally the only one who feeds him these days...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday 24/1

Time: 41mins
Distance: 5.10miles
Pace: ~8.20min/mile

Had been telling myself I would go out a run all day, and when it came to 1.30pm and I was still doing work I decided enough was enough. Granted, this wasn't the longest run in the book but I'm not training for anything (yet) so I figured "what the hey" and just went anywhere I felt like.

Was good, and being quite hyped up afterwards I consequently washed my new car =O Thinking back the only two times I washed my old car was 1) A few weeks after I got it and 2) the day before I sold it. Luckily I have my fairly on the ball father, who enjoys making the cars in the driveway sparkle, and my happy-to-help (after you ask two or three/seven or eight times) fiancee. Although, to be fair, using an abrasive sponge on the car maybe isn't the wisest thing...despite the "it was only for the tyres!"

Something I have noticed recently is something that hasd been increasingly annoying, and I don't know if it's just me or if others notice it. Whe I'm running on the roads I really feel that I'm taking in a lot of exhaust fumes when I'm breathing through my mouth. It's pretty horrible, not least because when I did some work experience in thoracic surgery and saw the lungs of a (non-smoker) Glasweigian there were BIG black marks all over the place. Carbon deposits, apparently, and nothing to worry about but still. No wonder people up North in the countryside tend to have longer life expectancies. Has anyone else epxerienced this? Please do tell if there's any way around breathing in these horrible fumes! A buff, maybe?

Friday 22/1

Distance: 4.2 miles
Pace: ~8.25min/mile

After having put off a run mid-week I decided that I should redeem myself. Quite a hilly run, where I did try to keep the pace so I do think this was a fairly even reflection of my pace throughout.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tuesday 19/1 - Getting back into the swing of things!

Time: 30mins
Distance: 3.7 miles
Pace: ~ 8 min/mile (slower 8.15 on hills)

Ok, so my upper body is still aching from the squash game on Saturday. I can't believe it! It's been so long since I actually did any upper body work, the fairly intensive game is actually taking its toll. In addition, my bum still hurts so much! I must've really been working the old glutes the other day! This run was done after I got home from work and I was surprised as I actually felt I had loads of energy. I kept up a good pace on the flats and went a little bit slower on the hills.

I feel my training is getting back on track now. I obviously don't want to get TOO into the training just yet - in the past I have found that when I start training for a marathon too early I sort of burn out towards the end and just can't bring myself to repeat 17 mile after 17 mile run in the intermediate stage between <15 mile runs and >20 mile ones.

So I guess I'll just continue heading out "fun runs" and leisurely least until my bum heals ;D

Sunday 17/1

Distance: ~4.7 miles
Pace: ~8.45 min/mile

Just wanted to get out after deciding to play squash instead yesterday. The sun was shining in the sky and it was gorgeous! I'm glad all the ice has melted from the pavement as it's a LOT easier to run on now.

Saturday 16/1

Played a game of squash today for the first time in ages. It was good! Forgot how much I love darting around (: Was quite intensive but we played for over an hour and burned out towards the end. I could also feel my wrist hurting while playing - that's an issue I always have while playing racket sports - how to hold the racket properly!? I hold it right at the tip, whilst pointing my finger up towards the top of the racket (if anybody can actually visualise that!). I think this pulls on the muscle on top of my elbow and makes it pretty sore to the touch afterwards. Ah well. Like Derek keeps saying "no pain, no gain". I think I will start calling him Yoda. ^_^

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Wednesday 13/1 - A Day Off

Well, another day off being off work due to a burst water main. Didn't get up to too much as had to be near the emails all day waiting for updates. It was maybe just as well though, as I'm starting to feel a bit of a cold coming on. My throat was acheing after my run yesterday and I'd a sore stomach last night, so today I just relaxed, watched some rubbish daytime tv (a nice thing to do once in a while!!) and did some bits n bobs around the house.

Don't really have any more running plans for the weekend or for the end of the week, just going to see how tings go.

Tuesday 12/1

Distance: 4.5miles
Pace: ~8.30min/mile

A very uphill run today. Went out early in the afternoon as ended up having the day off work. The pavements were still quite slippy so had to be careful descending back down, but ran on the roads the best I could. I really don't like doing that, but really didn't have much other option. It's very unsafe. I saw 2 guys out running the other day, running 2 abreast on a main road. It was really silly, in my opinion, as it was dark and between them were taking up half of one lane of the dual carriageway. I draw the line at running on the road on busy roads!

Sunday 10/1 - run with Dad and Derek

Distance: ~4.7miles
Pace: ~9.45min/mile

Went through the woods today, which was still really slippery. Hit a big icey downhill which we had to slide down on our bums! It's strange how you can run as fast as at some points on the ice and feel incredibly safe, but then you suddenly lose your footing and just KNOW you're going to slide. Had to stop a few times but went quite slowly and kept it easy anyway. I pushed ahead towards the end and felt quite good afterwards.

Prior to this, had done 2 previous runs this week of about 4-5 miles. I don't really feel like going out in the cold weather, and am really tired for some reason. Probably the weather, who knows.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tuesday 5/1

Time: who knows
Distance: maybe 4 miles?
Pace: ~9.45min/mile...ish

Back to the grind today. Up at the crack of dawn and out in the snow to work. My car is in getting repaired but luckily enough I was able to nab a lift in to work, otherwise public transport would have been a nightmare. When I got home, realising my car wouldn't be ready till tomorrow, I felt tired and really debated going a run. In the end I thought "What the hey", though, and my dad joined me.

I didn't time this run or try to keep any fast pace, I ran at my dad's most comfortable pace. I must say I did find myself pushing ahead quite a lot but I always waited for him. The pavements weren't too slippy and in the end this was a good run. I'm glad I didn't time or measure it. Because my running "mojo" has gone recently I quite like the idea of just heading out without music or a timer and doing whatever I feel like. Obviously as prep for the marathon in May I will be doing some more organised runs, but until then I might just take things as they are. We'll see.

One thing is that I definitely need new shoes. Mine have seen over 1000 miles; 3 marathons and 3 halfs, plus all the training. They've held up well. Despite this, the acheing in my body I really can't see as being attributed to the trainers (snce I've not run in weeks, that's a dead give-away!). My back aches between my shoulder blades, almost as if I've been punched and it's bruised. My legs, too, hurt along my quads despite them having been practically unused in weeks. If anyone has any great insight into this, please let me know! I'm beginning to think it's the position I sleep in. I lie on my stomach with my hands above my head underneath my pillow and my legs stretched right out. When I step out of bed each morning I feel as though I've run a marathon...argh! What will it be like when I really DO run a marathon next?!?

The human body eh? Wonders never cease...

Monday, 4 January 2010

Monday 4/1 - Some end of holiday thoughts

Haven't run in about 10 days, and my whole body is acheing - why on Earth, is this?? It's either attributed to the snow shovelling I did in Inverness, or the cycling yesterday. OR, my new theory is that I stretch all my muscles quite a lot in my sleep. Either way, it hurts a fair bit!

Yesterday, Sunday 3/1 I set off on a cycle with my cycling buddy and Derek. We got to the "circle", as we call it, and realised that there was very little chance we would actually be able to cycle along the WHW at all. After some quite dramatic warnings from dog walkers about the dangers of the ice along the way, we decided that sledging was a better alternative. I say "we decided", I was somewhat coersed by the two males in my company.

So we cycled back to Kilmardinny Loch where there were quite a few kids out on sledges. I couldn't BELIEVE the state of the hill there! Through the woods where there is usually a path, was just a sheet of ice - it went the whole way down the hill and actualy ressembled a purpose-built ice slope! The boys went crazy, going right from the top and crashing into the trees at the bottom, but I just sat in a sledge up the top of the hill watching! I did slide down on my bum at one point which was great fun. I also had a right laugh watching a man walking across the slippy slope - he began to slide sideways down the hill and almost dragged the dog with him! He stayed on his feet for a respectable period though before falling squarely on his backside! Oh how I chortled (from my safe spot in the non-icey ground surrounded by trees). I wasn't chortling though when the bike slipped from underneath me on the ice on the way home and I fell off it! I was fine but the pedal hit my calf and I have a bruise there which hurts a little when I walk.

Ok, so onward and upward. I haven't run much at all these past few weeks over Christmas and New Year, which puts my mileage total for the year at about 1035 miles...only about 30 miles more than last year! I did cycle more this year, mind you - doing 2 rather difficult cycles in April and August. I have been thinking about 2010 today. What will my running targets be this year? So far I have I race planned:
Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sun 18th April 2010
Am on the reserve list for:
Devil of the Highlands on Sat 7th August 2010
Might have a charity place for:
Edinburgh Marathon on Sun 23rd May 2010 (waiting to hear back)
and plan to enter:
Baxters Loch Ness Marathon on Sun 3rd October 2010
Great Scottish Run on Sun 5th September 2010

Not sure what my chances of getting onto the runners list for DoH is, but will wait and see. If it comes around to maybe May time and I'm not further up the list I may pull out of it. I would enjoy running an ultra I think, because I think I'd enjoy the training runs a bit more than pounding the pavements for hours at a time. I realise I tend to repeat the same marathons each year, but I do enjoy them. Maybe not so much Edinburgh since it has grown so vastly in size, but Loch Ness. I love that race. If it came to a choice between DoH and Loch Ness, I think I'd chose the latter. I don't know how viable it is to run 42 miles then a half marathon 4 weeks later and a full one 7 weeks later (Viable for me, I mean!).

I am running the Edinburgh Half with my dad too, so will be training with him. Since he had his heart attack he has lost his passion for running, and tends to stick to the same 4 mile route when he goes out. I don't know how he will begin to train, as he had lost his confidence a bit too. I don't know if that's because of the circumstances or not. I guess only time will tell, as he begins his training.

Ok, more on the plans later once I know what marathons I'm going to enter. I will aim to enter everything I want to do by the end of January.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Saturday 2/1/10 - a WALK (for a change)

I never used to be one of those people who enjoy walking for hours at a time. In fact, I thought they were crazy. How could you enjoy WALKING (walking?!) when you could be running, or jogging ay least. But, I think maybe I am getting older and wiser. Walking actually isn't so bad.

Today Derek and I went a walk along the path from Stockiemuir Road (at the Kilearn turn-ofF) towards Dumbarton. It was very cold and my heels are in tatters after breaking in the ol' Cat boots I haven't worn in years but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We walked about 4 miles I'd say, quite slowly but still I felt good after having not run at all for about a week. I can see now why people do that, just take to the paths and walk for hours. Took a nice photo with my phone but, not being a tech whizz, I can't really get it onto the computer. It is nice though (:

I cycled on Monday 28/12 about 9/10 miles with my cycling buddy. The paths at Mugdock were pretty appalling, and we did have to push our bikes up most of the hills for fear of sliding right back down them. It was also quite fun to slide down hills holding onto the bike for dear life!

I have been in Inverness from 28th of December to 1st January, and it has been fanastic weather! It snowed 90% of the time I was there and was building up and up. Went a walk on the deep snow on Hogmany, which was a good laugh, especially watching all the cars failing to get up the snowy roads! La piece de la resistence was the 11+ foot snowman which Derek and his brother built.

A budding success if ever I saw one!