Breaking through the half marathon wall

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Here we are, 10 weeks into training, and last week I finally made the great leap of faith in my body and mind’s capabilities. I ran 14 miles. Further than I’d ever run before. And to top that off I did it whilst still having a cold, in fact I think this is what caused it to move into a full blown chest infection. I had 3 days off, and then did two 6 milers, one 4 and another 13 this Sunday. 
Increasing the mileage has felt great. Actually doing it and forcing myself to keep going on those long runs has been difficult. Everything starts to hurt, and I’ve already gone pretty far… But I’ve resisted the urge to turn back, and now I feel like I can possibly do it. 
It is perhaps slightly unfortunate that this Friday I’m off travelling for 3 weeks, so it’s going to be pretty tough to fit in those long runs while I’m in Asia… But I’m hoping I can at least retain my fitness enough to not be starting over a month before the big marathon day! 
Still, maybe I can do it?  

 

One year on

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so according to timehop, I started this blog a year ago! 
  
How exciting! And appropriate, as I completed a goal I set myself on Nike plus today, managing to run 120 miles in 6 weeks, which I wasn’t sure I would. 

  
I was so tempted to not go for a run today, or even go for a shorter one, because I had cramps. Being a girl sucks sometimes. But I’d been doing so well this week, and I didn’t want to let that slip as I’m feeling really good about training right now for a change. So I watched TV for half an hour with a hot water and some paracetamol, and manned up. For 12 whole miles. And I made it, without walking at all, and I’ve got plenty of new blisters to show for it. Not super fast, took me just over an hour and 50, but I made it! This has given me a total of 92 miles for July, compared to only 29 in June. 
My progress has been slightly varied over this last year, dropping in the winter due to a lack of a looming race day, but I’ve ramped it up since signing up for the Yorkshire marathon. The Leeds half was a little disappointing, but I learnt from it, and I’m determined to do better in October for the full thing! Here’s to more goals being completed in the next year. 

Training through illness

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July has been a busy month, with moving and my trip to Belfast, yet I’ve been doing quite well with actually getting the miles in this month. And Here we are at the end of July, the weather is more akin to that of the end of October and I think this combined with my ability to never stop has left me with the dreaded summer cold. 
I woke up on Sunday with a terrible sore throat. However I had not gone for drinks as invited on Saturday night, specifically so I could get up and go for a long run on Sunday. So even though I knew what might be coming, I got up at 10 (still catching up on sleep from the previous two nights  graduation based frivolities) and I ran 10 miles outside. The weather was actually ok, sunny but not hot and it was windy. I did this in 1.37 odd. I’m fine with this, I’ve still got plenty of time to train and that was the furthest I’d run since the half marathon back in May. It was more important to me that I did not stop to walk, than push myself to be fast. 

Then on Monday the throat felt worse. No problem, plenty of liquids consumed, got some powerade for my run and put away 5 miles on the treadmill, 4 easy pace and the final faster. The sore throat was fine, I just had to have more liquid than normal. 
Tuesday was a slightly different story. I barely slept on Monday night from having a blocked nose now too. I had to load up on lemsip capsules, taking 6 during the day. I was very grumpy for 8 hours at work, but I felt fine to run. In fact I ran 7 miles fartlek quite happily. It was arguably the best I felt all day. 
My right calf was complaining a bit during that last run though, so I took Wednesday off. I went shopping for some holiday stuff, then came home, did a covering letter for a job, and made dinner (Homous, falafel and spinach baguette, yum) then relaxed for a bit. Tomorrow I will be back on it (it being the treadmill assuming this rain keeps up) and raring to push through this silly cold… Here’s to hoping ‘sweating the cold out’ is a thing! 

Here is a picture of some feet in Northern Ireland at the giants causeway. Because feet are used to run and I mentioned my trip in this post. Super relevant.  

 

Official race photos

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okay so it was super pricey (Β£18 for one photo) but my parents were kind enough to buy me one of my official race photos from Sunday! They took a few photos of me while I was running on their phones, but none of them were that clear, or flattering truth be told. But this one was quite nice. So I got it and I love it, nice to have a photo of myself in action after all this time! Have to say I was not feeling as calm as I look! But I’m going to print it and stick it somewhere on the wall in my new room when I move in 6 weeks πŸ™‚ exciting.  

 

Race number excitement

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My Leeds half marathon race number is here! YAY. A nice sight to come home to after today’s 10 mile run πŸ™‚ 

It’s green. I have no idea what that means. All that I know is it means training is about to kick it up a notch. I’m slacking a bit in April. Managed 100 miles in March, however between going home for Easter weekend, various birthdays and leaving parties, I’ve had little time to get out and run. I must be the worst person in history for FOMO (fear of missing out), and so turning down fun in favour of training has always been a struggle. Poor excuse I know, but I’m going to compensate for it these last few weeks! 

The race number is here, and it’s time to get serious. The diet has shifted from largely healthy to all the fruit and veg, no more takeaways here. And after my weekend excursion to Warsaw next week alcohol will be banned until that sweet post race pint. Leeds half, I’m coming for you! 

  

February progress

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So I always find February a hard month to train in. Not only is it cold and uninviting outside, but so much always seems to be happening. My birthday alone took out pretty much a week, old friends came to visit and all sorts was going on at work. This Feb, I have managed to clock up 77.3 miles in a total of 11:39 hours, which is miles better (excuse the pun) than last year’s 30.6 miles.

Now here I am just under three months away from the Leeds half marathon, and following my new found love for reading articles on running, and subscribing to Runner’s World, I have decided the key to my success will be to ignore the Nike+ training app I relied on so heavily in the past. Not ignore it entirely, I intend to pay close heed to the weekly km targets. However, I cannot help but think it’s demand for me to run 5-6 times a week is a bit of a big ask. I find I have little time in the evenings when I go for a run after work, and I would have to get up crazy early to run before work (I leave for work at 7.15). Instead, I shall take the more balanced approach of running 3-4 weeks, but covering longer distances on those runs.

I need days off to do things. Today I took a day off, and I have been food shopping, to the bank and to the post office, had time to actually come on here and write a post, AND I am going to cook dinner, make lunch and maybe even make granola bars for lunch box snacks, before meeting my housemate for a midweek drink when she finishes work later. Normally I wouldn’t even be home until half 6/7, have time to cook and shower then have to head out again. I think I’ve been neglecting myself to try and push myself in training. But no more, instead of running 4/5/6/7 miles everyday, I will maybe do an 8, a 6 and a 10 miler in the week, and keep doing my long run on a sunday.

I am enjoying my me time right now so much. I have missed posting, but I have been so busy and constantly too tired to think by the time I get home.

In other running news I got lots of new running gear for my birthday, which was most definitely sponsored by Nike! I absolutely love my new Nike Lunarglide 6 running shoes. They are replacing my old lunar eclipse 2 (which I have kept, don’t want to wear my new ones out!).

I also hit 300K nike fuel, plus I made it into the blue milestone section and I am coming up to my 200th recorded run. Exciting stuff am I right?

Bring on march, and my new training approach!

My first marathon

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So I’ve been thinking over the whole triathlon thing over Christmas, and I’ve decided that it is just not financially viable for me right now. Swimming gear and pool access alone will cost Β£50+ and then there’s the bike situation to think about. So for now, I’m sticking to what I know and have decided this year’s challenge will be: MY FIRST MARATHON.

That’s right people, I have just entered the Yorkshire marathon! I am both terrified and excited by this new goal. Such a big deal ahhhh! Twice as far as I have ever attempted to run.

I haven’t really had time to let it sink in yet. But I’ve got my nike+ coach plan ready to go, and as of Monday I am officially marathon training!

Bring it!

I caved and joined the gym

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Ok so I’ve been back in my beloved Leeds now for nearly a month. It’s been great and I am never leaving again. My running, however was almost non-existent. During freshers I’m not sure that can be helped, all time not at work was mandatory to be spent in bed.

I made it out for a run once, with the Abby dash looming over me, and the spirit of Leeds uni vs Leeds met (or Beckett as they have now decided) making me want to do some sporting activity, I set off. It was nice and autumnal, I ran round a pretty area of Leeds, with big houses and fallen leaves aplenty. It was nice, but the glorious autumn sunshine has rapidly since disappeared, to make way for grey gloom and endless rain. Action had to be taken.
On the plus side, all this rubbish weather means it’s fancy hot drinks season, and as I don’t have a relevant running picture, please enjoy the pumpkin spice latte I indulged in yesterday.

And so, despite my rant earlier this summer, I joined a gym. But you hate treadmills? Yes, that is true, but in this weather it seems to be treadmill or nothing in my brain. I’ve had my gym membership for a week and been 3 times covering a total of 10 miles so far. Not amazing, but a vast improvement on no running at all! And for Β£10 a month for all access membership I really can’t afford to complain. Plus going to a new gym is kind of exciting, and I’m sure the novelty will wear off. I’m generally impressed with the exercise4less chain, but I haven’t had time to go buy a padlock for the free to use lockers yet, so I do lament spending 20p every time I go on a locker! Alas, I will survive. So for now, it’s onwards and upwards!

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The fall

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Ok so I’ve given up on the mile a day challenge. With having to stay with people for a week in Leeds before my new house is ready in don’t think it will be practical for me to be going in and out of people’s houses to run, the key situation will undoubtably be tricky enough as it is. And I don’t want to be taking the piss by needing extra showers. So I thought screw it, il run further today. I also didn’t run at all yesterday due to big meals after a day out at the zoo. Which was great fun. Now I’m in the stage of packing to move back to Leeds. I packed pretty much all my clothes into a case before I remembered I need to take a weeks worth of stuff with me when I go up on the train on Friday. I really hate packing.

In other news, the fall is most definitely upon us. I ran round the countryside this morning for a cheeky 5k (I saw some ducks. Yay ducks) and everywhere I went there were fallen leaves, conkers and the likes. The paths were orange and crunchy. This makes me pretty happy, who doesn’t love the fall? Time to get the jumpers and the uggs back out, and most importantly, perfect temperature for running! Such a beautiful season!

Since I have given up on the mile a day, when I’m in my new house and settled I’m going to start training for the Abbey Dash. More exciting times lie ahead!

Ps, here is a lemur selfie from my zoo trip. Because lemurs. IMG_3374.JPG