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!

Change of discipline

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Due to the ambition of some friends of mine, I have decided to switch my focus for the next few months, away from pure running, and onto triathlon. We seem to have decided on the York triathlon in April: a 250m swim, 18km bike ride and 5k run. The run part I feel pretty prepared for even now. Although I am no where near my peak fitness, I know I could run it in under half an hour if I had to now. My aim for the run is to go sub-25. Should be do able, I have 4 months…

Swimming will be the biggest challenge I feel, since I haven’t actually done that since I was about 14, other than as an occasional leisurely holiday activity. It isn’t far to swim, 16 lengths, so with a bit of training it will be fine. However, since I go to a budget gym chain, there is no pool. Herein lies the problem. Luckily the Uni gym does have a pool, so I may just have to suck it up and pay per time.

This is certainly going to be an expensive challenge, I need a swimming suit and goggles for a start, maybe a hat. And then there is entry fee too, plus getting to york (I will worry about that nearer the time). The main expense will be the fact that I need a bike. My mum has a bike, I shall look at it when I go home, but I may need to buy a road bike. Oh boy. bit of research has reviled that these things aren’t cheap. I could cycle to work maybe to help justify the costs…

But for now I am going to train in the gym (I’ve done 2 hours cycling and an hour running this week, no swimming until I get a costume!) and sort out equipment nearer the time…

First triathlon, I am excited.

A slight set back

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Ok I admit it, I’ve failed the mile a day challenge. It wasn’t through laziness though, so don’t judge me too much.

How did I let this happen then? Well I went to Leeds yesterday to go house hunting. It’s a 3+ hour journey, so I got the first train to maximise available house hunting time. That train left Ipswich at 6am. I got up at 5am. I left Leeds at 7:45 and got back at 11:30pm. I thought that I’d have enough time when I got back to squeeze that mile in, but I underestimated just how exhausted I would be. I walked all over Leeds, and I just couldn’t do it. By the time I got home from the station at 11:45pm all I wanted to do was go to bed. So I did.

However since the failure to run was more down to inconvenient circumstances than a lack of motivation on my part, I decided I’d allow myself to continue with my challenge, as long as I went for an extra run today. So I ran one mile this morning and one this afternoon. Not like I have much to do right now since all my hours got cut for the week after I handed in my notice! And my gym membership has ended too. Set backs happen, and as the featured image so aptly puts it, this won’t be my only one. It’s overcoming the set backs that is important. So, on with the challenge I go.

In other news: Genuinely considering signing up to the Manchester marathon in April which a friend is trying to convince me to do, because goals give me a sense of purpose. And I’m bored. Even though it’s only for a week or so. 26 miles still feels like an awful long way though I must say. I don’t know that I could keep going for that long! I have however signed up to the pre-sale list for the Yorkshire marathon in October. That feels less intimidating, seeing as it’s over a year away. April is kind of soon…

And finally an update on my nike+ achievements. My next run should take me to 200K nikefuel so I can cross that one off. I also randomly got the year anniversary award. Which is odd because I joined in June 2013. Seriously, I’ve attached pictures! Also of my sign up and today’s two miles.

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Hungover running

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Ok so last night escalated quickly. I was at work until close, one of the locals bought us a drink, and then we headed off to one of the other staff girls birthday party. She had a marquee in her garden which was really cool. I was offered wine on arrival, most of the alcohol had gone by this point, so I took it even though I don’t usually drink wine other than with food at my parents. I then proceeded (thanks to some peer pressure) to drink the entire bottle. Needless to say this morning I felt as though The battle of helms deep was happening in my head. I managed to struggle through my 5 hour lunch shift at work. On coming home my father suggested we go out for dinner. I was at the hungry stage of my hangover, so I was all for this. However, my tendency to eat loads when I go out for food meant that running was unlikely to occur after eating. I had to go before. The hangover was still going fairly strong. It’s only a mile I told myself. You can do this.

Usually if I am hungover, I won’t go for a run or to the gym. Usually I will only get out of bed for important plans, work, or hungover discussions of the previous nights events over some form of food. And maybe more alcohol. I did however have to make an exception to this general no running attitude at the 2013 Leeds abbey dash last November. I hadn’t trained for the race as I was meant to go away for the weekend, but ended up having to stay for work. I decided to run it anyway, just for the experience. It was my first race and I was excited. Meanwhile, it was one of my best friend’s birthday on the Saturday, and I made the foolish decision to go to the German market beer tent in millennium square. Little did I know the consequences of that fateful evening would be far more complex than a hungover 10K… I digress. I don’t know what they put in that beer but it gets you smashed very quickly. One led to another (we queued for 3 hours we had to make the most of it) and the next day I woke up with the urge to vomit. Not from nerves, I knew I wasn’t taking the race too seriously, I was using it as a chance to ease myself into racing: pressure free. I felt pretty rough. The entire run all I could think about was how much I wanted water. Well, that and how to handle the previous night’s complications. I do usually enjoy thinking things through on a run but not this time. I had to walk for a bit between 4-5K because of the killer stitch I got, which I suspect was connected to the amount of alcohol in my system. My time in the end was 1hr 1min. Which was annoying. Under an hour would have been nice. So after that experience, hungover running hasn’t really been something I have been up for.

However, mile a day challenge, the name speaks for itself. I had to run a mile at some point today, and this was the best opportunity. So I geared up and went outside. I told myself to go at a comfortable pace, aiming for a 9-9:30min mile. The mile was 9:08 pace in the end. And you know what, I actually quite enjoyed the run. The fresh air was nice, and the comfortable pace wasn’t pushing my body to a place it was unhappy at. I felt capable, despite my state, which was a nice feeling. Much better than I had done at work.

So there we go. Moral of the story: Hungover running is not that bad, and I think I will be forcing it upon myself more in future. Any longer than a mile though and I think water will be a necessity!

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No more tiny gym!

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So this mile a day challenge thing. So far it’s been four days and the drop in my average distance is making me sad. I’ve run 5 less miles this week than average, and since I have to do this for another 26 days, my average week distance will likely be effected. This is irking me somewhat. I don’t know why I care so much about statistics, especially when I’m the only one who sees them. It’s going to be a tough 3 and a half weeks to stick to my goal and restrain myself. Then I will have 8 weeks until the Abbey Dash, perfect timing to complete the Nike+ training intermediate 10K plan. Bring it on.

In other news, weird gym guy has now taken to hiding in his office every time I go into the gym when he is working. This is a vast improvement on his annoying attempts to make small talk. Fortunately for his pride, I am moving back to Leeds in 2/3 weeks (notice is in, and I’m off house hunting next week), beyond excited and it means I get to QUIT THE TINY GYM!!! And not run into people from high school on a daily basis. Whether I will be able to afford a gym in Leeds/ if there will be a convenient and affordable one near my house is a different matter. Time will tell.

Photos attached of my run records.

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Mile a day month

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So I think I saw this on twitter or somewhere, someone saying they were challenging themselves to run a mile a day for a month.

I thought this was an interesting idea, and a good way to shake up my normal workout routine at the moment. I hope running everyday will motivate me, and improve my speed over a short distance. This goal will be hard for me to stick to in two different ways.

It’s only a mile though, I hear you say. Well that actually is problem number one. It’s only a mile. That’s not very far, and there is something very Unsatisfying about connecting to nike+ and seeing your total km barely change and so forth. Progress will feel minimal I suspect. I love looking and seeing I outran last week, last month etc, and I think I will struggle to stick to the shorter distance.

I started yesterday, when I managed one mile on the treadmill for my evening gym session. The idea actually was brought to mind because I was struggling to run even that having eaten my dinner not long before. Essentially it was a way for me to justify not running very far, but having thought about it overnight I think I could actually benefit and learn about my running ability and motivation from the challenge. So out I went this morning and ran the 2km round the block. Which is just over a mile I know. But it was a convenient loop and I didn’t want to stop running that close to home. See, as I said, it will be a struggle. Particularly since on learning I will definitely be moving back to Leeds in the next few weeks (YAY) I signed up to the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k in November. More on my training for that to follow.

Which leads me (no pun intended) onto the second reason why this challenge will be particularly tricky for me: house hunting and moving 4 hours across the country and still finding the time to run every day. It can be hard to run when you feel you have a lot going on, it’s easy just to promise yourself you’ll make up for skipping a day by running further another day. I’m hoping this challenge will help me to kick that habit.

So, my first run yesterday of 1 mile took me 9mins 30secs. This seems like a good base pace to improve upon. Today I did 2.1km in 11min 20sec, since my pace was 5’24 mins/km I’d estimate that to be 8.40 mins for the mile. An improvement already, probably due to the fact I ran on the road not the treadmill today. Another thing I’m keen to see during this challenge – how the setting affects my performance.

I will aim to update every week how I am getting on, along with other general posts!

I will also attach nike+ analysis photos. So you know I’m not fibbing!

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