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.  

 

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.  

 

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!

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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