Saturday, 27 February 2010

Friday 26/2 - a "non-so-long" long run

Time: 1hr 7 mins
Distance: ~8 miles
Pace: ~8.30min/mile

Got up early and headed out this run before work on Friday morning. Wasn't a very nice day - sleet galore! I also met another runner coming out the street one up from mine who crossed the road and sprinted ahead of me. He stayed in front of me for about a mile but never got any further it just me who gets a little "freaked" by this?? I don't want to sound competitive, because when running I'm really not. But I'm not keen on people who move ahead of you kind of purposely and then don't actually get ahead any's obvious we were running at about the same pace! I think it's a man thing - women just smile at you and get on with it!!

Anyway, run was uneventful - very wet. I didn't have enough time to really do a long run so I was quite pleased with this 8 miler. I had also been feeling a little sluggish over the past few days and decided that this week can just be an easy week. Might cycle this weekend - will see how I feel!

Oh, and la piece de la resistence - got new running shoes!! More brooks, 2/3 models up from my ones. They're so nice and shiney!!! I took pics of them compared to my old shoes (which are wrecked in comparison), which I will post as soon as I figure out how to get them from my phone to the computer (!) I spent a good hour in Achilles Heel trying on different types. The guy says because my foot tilts inward I should have more arch he brought out these Brooks shoes which looked like fashion shoes! I couldn't believe it! they were really comfy but I think I'd get a slagging from my dad if I wore them, as they do look like cat-walk style shoes. So I tried on about 5 more pairs, hummed and hawed, and ended up going with the first pair I'd tried on...which were essentially the same as my old ones...

Don't be afraid of change, they say!!

Tuesday 23/2

Distance: ~4.5 miles
Pace: ~8.30min/mile

Wasn't feeling up to this run but decided to go out anyway - bad move! Did a "hill" run, i.e. 2 big hills which I tried to keep the same pace on. When I got back I felt really bad. Ended up lying on the sofa for the rest of the evening with a chinese meal!!

Not sure, maybe it was a cold or something, but I didn't end up running for the next few days.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sunday 21/2 - a little jaunt through the woods

Time: 41mins
Distance: 4.8 miles
Pace: 8.30min/mile

After studying for most of the morning and early into the afternoon I decided to head out a little run into the woods to Bearsden and back. My legs weren't sore after yesterday's run, and I'm thinking what I will actually have to do to make my legs feel as though I've worked them!!? The sorest they have been (in order of my cringing whilst doing things such as sitting down & going downstairs) are:

1. After my first (Edinburgh) marathon in 2007
2. After the Loch Ness marathon in 2009 when I REALLY pushed it
3. After one of my 23mile training runs for the first marathon
(Now they are starting to merge into one giant pain-fest)
4. After the (stupidly timed) run I did 5 days after the first marathon...though that was probably residual from point 1.
5. The day after those hill sprints I did when I got caught up in the running group at Kelvingrove Park

My legs weren't even that sore after the Balmaha-home run I did in 2008 with my cycling buddy. Maybe I have trained better or my muscles have resigned themselves to living with pain or something, idk. Any advice would be appreciated!

But anyway, today's run was great. It's SUCH beautiful weather, I love it. I just kept going as far as I wanted to. Only problem was that I was wearing old 3/4 length running trews and they have gone pretty much see-through =/ I had to wrap a high-viz vest around my backside to hide the flowery pants I had on which were perfectly visible through the trousers. And of course, when I run, nothing stays put. I mean that in the most outerly-layer-way possible. I mean that if I tie something round my waist, or tuck something into my trousers, it ALWAYS pops back out of place. So the vest kept riding up. I'm sure walkers got a good laugh out of it. As I'm sure marathon onlookers do when they see something decidedly pointy sticking out the front of my shorts when I tuck my water bottle down there come 22 miles.

Oh the joys. At least a hat does hide your identity somewhat...

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Saturday 19/2 - run on whw

Time: 1hr 27mins
Distance: 10.4miles
Pace: ~8.45min/mile

Got up early this morning and headed out to the forest at my house. Did a little run there then went onto the WHW and out towards the Beech tree. It was a beautiful morning and honestly, that section of the WHW just after Carbeth before you meet the flat on the way to the Beech Tree I think is just fantastic. Not only is it completely downhill ( =D )but you are completely in the wilderness, with usually not another person in sight. I think it's great. Imagine running down there with "Disarm" by the Smashing Pumpkins playing on your ipod - fantastic. I normally like to run those open parts of WHW with no music on (to appreciate the surroundings and all that jazz) but I had some new music on my ipod which I wanted to listen to, and thought heading out in the morning would be a good chance.

I absolutely love this song by Chase & Status which my little sister actually introduced me to. It's maybe been a bit overused, but I still think it's a really nice song, and a good one to run to. Maybe not for those who don't really like dance music (and this video has some swears in it), but my little sister says that the film the song is from - Harry Brown - is really good too.

In addition, now I'm on a roll and once you start me talking about music...that's it... for those who haven't heard of the WONDERFUL Mumford & Sons, I would THOROUGHLY recommend some of their songs for running. One in particular - Little Lion Man - is very very good. It's kind of new-country/indie, and really (you know I love lyrics) who can dispute the words

"It was not your fault but mine
and it was your heart on the line,
I really f*cked it up this time -
didn't I, my dear?"

Epic. (: Oh, and the run itself ended up being very srong throughout =D

Anyways, back to the rest of this weeks runs.

Thursday 17/2

Distance: 5.15miles
Time: ~45mins
Pace: ~8.45min/mile

I had been in Aberdeen yesterday for what ended up being quite a busy day's trip to the ARI, so when I got home from work today I wanted to get out. Run was good, 3 major hills of note which I kept the same pace on as everywhere else. I'm trying to keep up with the hills this year, trying to either sprint them or keep the same pace on them. Only exception would be my long runs (15 miles+) but even then I am trying to run them as best I can. I actually saw my dad out running at the top of the final big hill (when I say big I mean takes 2-4mins to run up). I ran faster to catch up with him but he was keeping a fairly steady pace...and when I did reach him just before we cut off to my house I couldn't even speak I was so tired!!

There's something to be said for keeping an "even pace" throughout a longer run after all, I think!!

Tuesday 15/2

Type: Hill Sprints
Time: 50mins
Distance: ~5.10miles

Ran about 2.5miles to warm up then stopped on this big hill I normally include in my hill runs, and i sprinted up it 8 times for 30 seconds. I then jogged back down. My last run up was right to the top, which took 40 secs, and just about floored me! I jogged back to the house but overall I was very pleased at getting the 9 hill sprints done. My legs actually felt quite stiff afterwards too!! I reckon this can only be a good thing since I haven't actually done a run which made my legs hurt since some of my long training runs last year.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Saturday 13/2

Distance: 3.9miles
Pace: ~8.40min/mile

Today's run was a really gentle, go-as-far-as-I-feel-like run. My legs were a little bit tight from yesterday's run, even though they feel ok when I'm walking. I also didn't have a lot of time so just went slowly through the woods and up and down some nice hills.

The house was a little bit chaotic getting things ready for tonight's par-tay so I stayed out this morning doing errands in the village. Got the bus out to pick up my car which was in getting fixed. I really miss getting the bus! Used to get it almost every day and I loved it. It's so nice not having to worry about traffic and petrol consumption (like I do a lot!). Going to do some work now before getting ready for tonight. I'm already feeling knackered...this will be interesting... =D

Friday 12/2

Time: 1hr 15mins (ish)
Distance: 9.1miles
Pace: ~8.40min/mile

Since we will be having a Valetine's/engagement party at our house on Saturday night and I was likely to NOT want to run after it on Sunday, I figured I would do my long run on Friday morning and just go in to work a bit later.

What a good idea! Got up at usual time, about 6.30am and had a quick breakfast, then headed out by 7.20am. I ran through the woods then on west highland way, out to the Khyber pass and up round Mugdock village. I love that route, though the elevation at the beginning leaves little to the imagination (it practically bends back on itself).
Here is the hell-ish hill to which I refer:

(n.b. the seriousness of the incline - highlighted bright red!!)

Anyway, besides the big hill (about which I have probably written far too much) the run was great. The sun was pretty strong and was beaming, it really was beautiful running on that road surrounded by countryside. Plus being in work by 9.45am knowing you've run over 9 miles and can rightfully eat whatever you want for the rest of the day is a great feeling too!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Wednesday 10/2 - A mixed up session

Time: ~38mins
Distance: 4.9 miles

Something a little different tonight. I had got in from work quite late and thus had (sadly) missed the gorgeous sunlight. Was in work watching it fade to darkness and could almost hear "Adagio for Strings" playing in the background...

So anyway when I got in I went out and did a kind of mixed up session, which went something like:

800m jog
~1mile @ 7.45min/mile pace
400m jog
8.30min/mile run uphill for approx 2mins
~800m @ 8min/mile pace
8.10min/mile run uphill for approx 2.5-3mins
~1m @ 8min/mile pace + 2-3min uphill @ 7.50min/mile
800m jog

Ok, so the distances there might be a little messed up, but the general idea was jog-brisk-uphill brisk-brisk-uphill brisk etc etc. I was quite tired at the end though so that's a good thing...and when I sat down on the sofa about 5 mins ago for the first time today it felt as though a great weight had come off of my legs. Good stuff.

I sometimes look at the runnersworld training schedules and imagine how I could factor those kinds of runs into my schedule. To be honest I don't think I can. Some of the training plans (for a marathon) involve about 5 runs per week, incl one on Sat and one long run on Sunday. I wouldn't do a short easy run the day before a long run - especially a long run over about 10 miles. Is that weird? I just don't think it's good for the legs or the mind, really. Plus my weekends are usually jam packed - between studying and doing errands and trying to relax I barely have time for the long runs!!

Something else I don't do is I never get my midweek long runs up to the ten miles they suggest. Somehow I never have the time when I get in, and when I do have the time to run ten miles I'd rather keep going and make it a longer run. Maybe it doesn't make sense, but I consider myself a kind of "flexible runner". I have a rough plan of what I want to do in my head but rarely stick to any of it besides the length of the long run.

Ah well, guess that's the most important aspect of the marathon training anyway...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Saturday 6/2 - Run in Inverness

Time: ~ 1hr 5 mins
Distance: 7 miles
Pace: ~9.15min/mile

This run was in Inverness with Derek out at Nairnside. It's a beautiful part of the countryside and I always love running there!! It is quite tough, as it is a rather big uphill to begin with, followed by a quick downhill then level. We went out and back (D on bike), so the big downhill at the end was much appreciated.

I think we went pretty slowly up the hill to begin with - roughly 9.45min/mile pacing. And on the flats and downhill it must've increased to about 8.30min/mile I'd say. Overall a good run.

Anyways, I feel quite good that I've done 3 fairly good longer runs (for the level of training I'm at!!) in the space of a week. I'm just building it up slowly, a little bit at a time. Played about an hour and a half of tennis yesterday which was some feat for me - I was actually doing quite well overall! Was hitting the balls in the right direction (always a positive), lobbing them with rather a lot of strength (that's how they win something called an "ace", apparently...) and I was putting a spin on the ball too! (rather good as when the ball approaches the other player and hits the ground it sort of rebounds and bounces away from them rather than continuing in it's current trajectory!)

Sorry if people are familiar with these tennis terms but I didn't know much about tennis up until now! Hopefully I'll get to play some more. I want to include a day of cross training in my schedule. Since I am no longer a member of the gym and wouldn't really cycle at anytime other than weekends (when I'd normally be doing my long runs), I think squash or tennis is the way forward. But I'll need to mull that one over, I think...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Thursday 4/2 - A wonderful run in the snow

Time: ~50mins
Distance: 6.45 miles
Pace: ~8.30min/mile

Was off work today for a study day so took the opportunity of waking up early to head out a run before working. I'm so glad I did - it was so quiet (well, busy with cars) but I went out onto the little woodlands path at the back of the Rangers training ground and it was so beautiful! The snow was all over the path and I met a nice guy walking his dog on the way. He warned me about the ice under the snow so I was quite aware of that when running at the more narrow sections of the path.

Going to Inverness for a few days so hopefully will get a run in while I'm up there. I am looking forward to a nice relaxing time, as I spent 7+ hours solid today working on my frigging dissertation. ARGH.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Monday 1/2 - Run with Dad

Time: ~33mins
Distance: ~3.15miles
Pace: 10min/mile

Wasn't planning on running tonight but my dad is just back a cruise and insists that since he's put on a stone in weight, he needs to get running again. My legs were actually a little sore after the run then walk yesterday (guess we did go further than I thought!) but I felt like getting out after sitting in work all day so we went out. Had a good chat and ran through a pitch black pathway which was something I wouldn't do if I was by myself!

Felt tired at the end of this run but that must've been something to do with a - the 6pm run straight after work without eating first and b - the tired legs from yesterday. So decided I will take tonight (Tuesday) off. Something I did notice is that I'm SO hungry today! I ate a bowl of soup and bread along with a yoghurt for lunch and snacked heathily throughout the day and was starving by the time I got in! It's really weird how quickly my appetite builds up once I get back into the training. Kinda like having an excuse to eat loads =D

Something I also did all last week is check my resting heart rate while I was sitting at my desk. Here are the results:

Monday: 74 bpm
Tuesday: 74 bpm
Wednesday: -
Thursday: 73 bpm
Friday: 68 bpm

I did take Friday's twice and so it definitely wasn't a fluke. I remember when I was in heavy training my rhr was actually pretty low, so hopefully that's it going back down. Incidentally today (Tuesday) it was around 69/70. Crazy...

Sunday 31/1 - the afternoon

So I was debating what to do yesterday after my run, Derek and I ended up going to Drymen and walking on the WHW. Walked from Drymen to Conic Hill then back, which turned out to be a nice wee jaunt. Kept a brisk pace and it was great just being able to chat about stuff without any interuptions like tv or studying etc. Saw a few runners - will definitely be heading back out there on training runs this year. Think I will sit down and plan them in advance so that I actually do stick to them.