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. 

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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.  

 

Coming back after a breakΒ 

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It happened again, I was forced to take a lengthy break. And when I say lengthy I mean two weeks. But if you’re a runner you will know that kind of time feels like FOREVER. 
Why do that then, in the middle of marathon training? Well that would be for something I’ve wanted even longer than to be able to say I can run a marathon. That something would be a dinosaur tattoo. 
I finally did it, and got a velociraptor skeleton inked onto my left hip. I absolutely love it, he looks incredible! However because of the detailed nature and placement of Barney (yes that is his name), I could barely walk comfortably for the first few days, let alone run. I didn’t want to cause any excessive rubbing, and gym clothing as we all know is pretty tight. It’s also pretty sweaty, and moisture is not good for brand new tattoos. 

  
So having got Barney on May 30th, I finally went for a run on June 13th. I’ve run 20 miles in those 10 days. Shabby I know. But I ran 5 miles after work today and once I got going it felt good. So I’m going to get back into the swing of it, trying to stick to my Nike training plan as closely as possible. 
As usual last week I struggled to follow it exactly due to my demanding social life (I may have gone on a spontaneous night out Friday, worked all day Saturday then spontaneously driven down to London to surprise a friend for his birthday…!) and so failed to do the 10k ‘long’ run I should have. Here’s to hoping I can do it this week! 

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.  

 

A disappointing result

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So yesterday I completed the Leeds Half Marathon, in a time 3 minutes slower than last year, and I am a bit gutted about this backwards progress. I was hoping to go sub 1:50 and instead ended up with a time of 1:54. That’s a good time, everyone keeps telling me. It’s not that it’s a bad time, I’d have been thrilled with that last year, but this year I wanted to do better. 
I only have myself to blame, I’m well aware that I lost my time in the first half of the race which is largely uphill, as I completely neglected any form of hill training this time around. I got complacent, knowing I had done it last year, and didn’t have the fear of hills I did last time around. That has cost me 63 places – going from 327th female last time to 390th! 

Other causes I suspect include how much hotter it was this year, and the fact that my iPod apparently needs serious recalibration, as it thought I’d run 15 miles. This means I hadn’t been running as far as it told me during training, presumably, so I hadn’t trained for as far. Last year it was almost spot on, so I’m not sure how it has managed this! 
I hope this set back will motivate me to train much harder for the upcoming Yorkshire marathon, and am going to try and put my self-frustration to positive use! 
Anyway it was a nice day after and my friends and family came to support me and take hideous photos, so I shall share those with you all  

      

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! 

  

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.