Mileage counter

Monday, 28 March 2011

Loving the Long Run

I had a great run yesterday! Despite feeling really tired and mentally thinking of every excuse in the book why I should stay at home I knew I'd feel better once I'd got out there and done it and I was right! The only way mentally I could get out for the run was to not worry about pace and just go on feel. That ended up being absolutely the right tactic and I actually pulled out an awesome run! I was so pleased with myself, poor Mike never heard the end of how wonderful my run was all day! I've only done one 12 mile training run before and that was 3 mins slower than this one, good result! I feel fitter and stronger than I did this time last year anyway! Plus, this time would put me right on target for a sub 2hr half marathon! I know I have it in me it's just whether I can pull it off on the day!

12 miles 1:50:04 average pace 9.10
Mile 1 - 9.45
Mile 2 - 9.34
Mile 3 - 9.41
Mile 4 - 9.29
Mile 5 - 9.41
Mile 6 - 9.39
Mile 7 - 9.26
Mile 8 - 9.11
Mile 9 - 8.52
Mile 10 - 8.32
Mile 11 - 8.23
Mile 12 - 7.54

I went easy for the first 2 thirds of the run and then started to pick up the pace for the last 4-5 miles, somehow pulling out a last mile which begun with a 7! Very exciting, about 1.5 years ago my fastest ever mile time was 7.53 so it felt amazing to be running that pace at the end of a 12 mile run. As you can see I'm buzzing a bit off this run!

I also tried out using gatorade on this run... good news is it didn't give me tummy ache, bad news is, not keen on the taste. It's a fair bit cheaper than coconut water and provides electrolytes and more calories during a run but coconut water tastes better and is all natural.. I felt good drinking it too although I'm not sure if the effects were physiological or psychological hah! I'll have to keep experimenting! I actually ran holding the bottle which I always thought would be really annoying but I think it might have helped me a bit as I often clench my fists when I run which I think is putting a lot of tension in my shoulders and holding the bottle seemed to alleviate this. Maybe I didn't need to buy the fancy camelbak afterall!

How do you like to fuel your long runs - gatorade or coconut water? Do you think electrolytes are important or all psychological? - even if the positive effects are just psychological I'll take it!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Pushing out the Push-ups

How's everyone's week going? I bet you're all glad it's the weekend tomorrow. I'm working Saturday but I can't wait for my day off on Sunday! So ready for it!

Thanks everyone for the input on my half marathon query. I got the advice I was hoping to hear, I'm going for both of them.. Just need to convince my dad he wants to be my taxi/cheerleader for the first one as it's a little far away!

We went to do intervals after I finished work on Weds and I wore a tank top and shorts, yes shorts! We've been having a mini heatwave. Unfortunately I think the lovely weather is about over :-(

I realised while I was at work that I'd forgotten to check my plan to see what I was meant to be running... duhhhh As Mike was out at uni and meeting me at the track I couldn't get him to check either so I had a bit of guess work and decided to go for 10 x 400m 60-90s rest, all the first 5 were 60 and almost all the rest were under 70. My pace according to my new times was 1.42 and I accidentally smashed that. It was tough though and I'm still feeling the effects of such a kick ass workout today!

1 - 1.24
2 - 1.35
3 - 1.35
4 - 1.36
5 - 1.42
6 - 1.42
7 - 1.36
8 - 1.39
9 - 1.41
10 - 1.35

Who am I? I had no idea I had those times in me. Especially as it was so hot, I hadn't had a sip of water all day, not at home or at work and it had been rather a long time since my last meal. Just proves how much a good mental attitude can help you push through.. Sometimes that just doesn't work though, not sure why! I did feel the effects of poor fuelling though, round about halfway I was balking as I was running. That coffee I had at the end of my shift was not happy in my tummy... Should have known though, why I thought drinking coffee at 2.15pm then running intervals just before 3 was a good idea I'm not sure... Why didn't I go to the water cooler?? Really no excuses haha

Good news, no shin pain during the run, my left knee felt tight on the walk home but I often have tightness in my knees so I don't think it's much to worry about, just need to be careful!

And loooooooook I finally started my push-ups! I did these on Wednesday too, now I just need to keep up with them!


10-12-8-8-max (12)

The push-ups hurt so much today! My body feels really achey lately! Still, glad I bashed them out, I feel better for doing them.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I wrote this a few days ago now but instead of editing it all I'm just gonna tell you all it's old writing!

After all my recent fab runs it was inevitible that I would at some point have a bad one.. That bad one came today! I planned to do 5 miles at mid tempo pace which was a terrifying 7.59 per mile.. My plan was to use the first mile as a warm up and average 8.30 for that mile.. Started off as per plan. The second mile I could not get my legs to pick up. They just weren't listening to my brain! My breathing was laboured and it just didn't feel good. Then my right shin started hurting.. ironically my left leg was causing me bother on Monday, maybe I overcompensated and put too much on my right leg... I dunno.. I ran another half mile and decided I should probably stop. It just felt bad and I was limping a bit so I thought even if it isn't an injury I might cause one by having odd running form... I stopped at just after 2.5 miles walked about half a mile and then decided to try jogging again.. I jogged to top it up to 3 miles and then decided it was best to call it a day... I iced it when I got home.. I hope I haven't done any real damage!

Ok, back in the present.. I haven't run since but I think I will be ok to run again tomorrow. I think I might have been showing the beginning signs of being overtrained too. I was getting really overtired and rundown. Of course I could just be being a drama queen! Who knows?

Question for runners: I have my eye on two half marathons I want to do, one on June 5th and one on June 26th... Are they too close together? Will I have time to recover? Am I crazy?... I believe Mike thinks the answer to that last question is yes which is why I'd like some more opinions! Also doing the half on the 5th would mean my training plan would be cut short... bad idea? Overthinking it? I feel like such an inexperienced runner sometimes!

Right, I'm keeping it short and sweet, I'm off to watch Supersize vs Superskinny kids... I'm not sure whether I think this show is a good idea, I loved the adult version but is it a good idea to do it on children? I guess I'll have a better opinion after the show! Anyone else watching?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Well I successfully completed my new speedy interval times!

1200m - 5.02 (5.18)
1000m - 4.19 (4.22)
800m - 3.23 (3.28)
600m - 2.37 (2.35)
400m - 1.36 (1.42)
200m - 0.41

= 3.6 miles in total

And.... I tested my push-ups!! Finally... My max has halved doh! But it's a starting point.. now I've finally got round to testing them I can start the program. I think I'd partially been putting it off 'cause I knew my numbers would be down but partially because of the other stresses which have been going on in my life recently. Sadly they're still a problem but I think I've got my eating more under control.. I almost skipped breakfast today but I thought about going for a run and went to the kitchen and made my porridge. I'm going to head out for 5 miles soon.... Mid tempo pace... absolutely terrified haha! Wish me luck :-)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Half marathon training just got so much harder...

How is everyone? I've had this post in draft for almost a week now! Dear me!

I ran intervals last Sunday, they ended up being a bit rushed as I had to do them and fit in a shower and a food shop before work! I was supposed to be doing 800m intervals but decided to do 1600m intervals to lessen the rest time! I also kept the warm up and cool down short to save time. It's better than not doing anything right?

400m warm up
1600m - 6.59 (7.47)
1600m - 7.13 (7.47)
800m - 3.28 (3.44)
400m cool down

1.30 RI

3.5 miles in total

Now, pretty much same thing happened with my tempo run.. It was supposed to be 2M warm up, 3M short tempo and 1M cool down. Well I totally ran out of time before work to fit all of that in and get a shower... Much as I'd love to skip the shower it would be unkind to my colleagues so I decided to do a 5k time trial instead. I was feeling stressed out and I knew a good fast run would make me feel a bit better!

0.5 mile warm-up (a little fast at 9.03 pace!)

5k time trial
Mile 1 - 7.18
Mile 2 - 7.39
Mile 3 - 7.28
0.1 - 0.42 (7.13 pace)
=5k in 23.08!! 7.28 pace :D
Also 2 miles along the way came in 14.57 so that's another goal ticked off! woop woop!

Funnily one of my colleagues said to me the day after 'I think I saw you running near my daughter's school' which was right near the end of my run.. I said did I look like I was dying and she said yes! Haha I always think I must look awful at the end of a really tough run and now I've been spotted!

Now, whilst I'm ecstatic to have shaved 1.43 off my previous 5k time I am now dreading the rest of my half training plan. The times of my long runs, tempo runs and intervals are based on my 5k time and I'm not sure I can acheive them anymore. I'll try though :-) And if it gives me a super speedy half it will be so worth it!

New interval paces
400m - 1.42
600m - 2.35
800m - 3.28
1000m - 4.22
1200m - 5.18
1600m - 7.11
2000m - 9.04

ok, they're probably just doable....

Tempo paces
Short tempo - 7.44
Mid tempo - 7.59
Long tempo - 8.14
Easy - 9.19

ummmm.... help?! Even my easy pace is scary haha! Time will tell, I'll give it a good go! Maybe I'm faster than I realise... I suspect that's wishful thinking, I think I'm just faster over shorter distances..

This plan puts my MP at 8.36.... My HMP which is what I'll be using for long runs as it stands and plus 20-30s per mile depending on the week is 8.16. I would love to run a half at that pace but I don't feel like it's possible at the moment. We'll see. I'd still be ecstatic to break 2hrs and that remains my main goal I doubt whether that's possible on the course I'm doing!

After all that speed work recently intervals x 2 and my fastest yet 5k being my last three runs I was somewhat relieved that my next run was 10 miles, easy, at no specific pace. I did my best to include hills, ignore the pace on the watch and run slowly. I even stopped a few times to pet some horses. I wish I'd had my camera there was a very cute black foal and a really loving black and white horse who snuggled her nose right into me ahhhhh very happy pit stops!

I structured my run in a way to include a long hill twice - basically I ran up and down one side then I ran up and down the other side to try and make it slightly more interesting!! This took me almost 5 miles. Then I ran another 5 mile loop which was flat. Surprisingly it felt ten times harder but I think this was due to the wind becoming strong towards the end of my run.

10 miles in 1:36:09 average pace 9.37
Mile 1 - 9.17
Mile 2 - 9.38
Mile 3 - 9.17
Mile 4 - 9.53
Mile 5 - 9.22
Mile 6 - 9.51
Mile 7 - 9.56
Mile 8 - 9.27
Mile 9 - 9.53
Mile 10 - 9.35

All in all this slow run felt so much harder than my 9.7 mile run of last week where my average pace was 8.57.. It wasn't my lungs as it usually is that lets me down it was my body. I just felt achey the whole way, my shoulder was stiff and sore every time I moved it and my lower back begun to ache in the latter half. I'm guessing those few recent speedy sessions have caught up with me. I almost waited until today to run but I changed my mind. I was feeling low yesterday and I thought a run would boost my spirits a bit. I'm still glad I did it yesterday. The weather is grey and drizzly today! I also might have been a bit overdressed for the run as it was lovely and sunny yesterday. I wore a jumper which was quite obviously a mistake from 0.5 miles in! Oh well, I told myself it would be good practice for coping with the almost inevitible heat of the half I'm doing!

Hope everyone's enjoying the weekend I'm doing as little as possible today after tidying the whole house, sorting out a mountain of washing and running 10 miles yesterday, what are Sundays for!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Day in the Life...

Work day edition...

0800 - breakfast porridge with PB&honey, glass of water, large black coffee
0845 - walk Roxie
0915 - sit down with laptop and green tea and Roxie
1100 - tweet my lack of motivation to go run... get some positive responses, thanks Jo!
1105 - get ready to run
1115 - off I goooooooooooo

Before the intervals....

800m warm up
400m - 1.46 (7.10 pace) (1.51)
600m - 2.45 (7.28 pace) (2.48)
800m - 3.43 (7.27 pace) (3.45)
1200m - 5.33 (7.25 pace) (5.44)
800m - 3.48 (7.38 pace) (3.45) - I spent most of this interval scoping out places to puke.. not good!
600m - 2.40 (7.16 pace) (2.48) - back in the game!
400m - 1.40 (6.41 pace) (1.51)
800m cool down

400 RI

Total distance covered = 5.5 miles

Sporting the sweaty tomato look.. complete with steamed up glasses... Oh dear.. This is my new neighbours first impression of me? Unfortunate haha!

I folded down my intervals after I'd completed each one, it was a good way of visualising how much or how little I had left to do!

1200 - get home, meet new neighbour for the first time looking like a sweaty tomato.. doh!! Run bath, drink green tea and eat nakd bar in bath. Ahhhhhhhh relax for 20 mins before work. There is nothing better than a red hot bath after a run... Don't think I'll ever be one for ice baths!

The nakd bar was taken from our rather awesome nakd bar stash... They had a great offer on last week, all of that cost us twenty pounds! Bargain!! I was gonna link it but sadly I think it's finished.. I was going to get some more too.. Oh well, knew I should have bought two lots of it, they've gone down fast!

1230 - make lunch to take to work, snack for before work, put on some mascara - I'm not a big makeup person but I like a bit of mascara!
1320 - sit down with snack and more green tea and type up some of this whilst eating snack... work days call for multi tasking! Upload pictures taken earlier on...
1355 - Set off for work, I walk there today but sometimes I bike. It's probably just under a mile.
1415 - Arrive at work have handover then start my shift. Unfortunately do not arrive in time for a coffee before the start of the shift :-( Oh well!
1550 - First break at work, 10 mins for a coffee.
1750 - Second break, 30 mins have all my food. I took the pictures before I went to work as I didn't want to explain why I was photographing all my food to my colleagues!

I've photographed both the tupperware boxes next to the teapot so you can see how mega my salad and fruit boxes were!

I started with one of my favourite salads, it's kind of a cross between a nicoise and a greek salad, more info if you click salad!

gratuitous close up shot!

Finished off with an entire small melon

And I couldn't resist packing my fave sneaky treat. Twirl chocolate, so bad but so good!
2200 - Finished work and went home, I got a lift home. My dad's been picking me up since the attacks, usually I bike. Also usually I have something to eat when I get home but today I had a glass of wine instead (or 3...ooops!)... probably not the best decision but I couldn't quite bring myself to eat anymore.. I want to add a disclaimer to this post - I think I probably usually eat a bit more than this. I'm doing a lot better but looking at it I'm not totally there yet.. So maybe I'll do another day in the life post when my eating is a bit better.. actually I kind of enjoy doing these posts but I couldn't do it every day! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, 4 March 2011

February Recap

Well February is over and we're already into the third month of the year, how on earth did that happen??

February goals

Push-up challenge
Run 3 x weekly
Start half training plan
Would love to do 45 miles in Feb

February Acheivments
Miles - 33.1
Push-ups = fail I didn't do much other than run in Feb...
Tried Body Pump

Not a great month but as you all know I've been struggling with my eating so I'm not too disappointed with my month. I'm disappointed I was struggling again but I think I coped fairly well. I would like to say I'm past the worst but I don't want to jinx it!! Lets just say I hope March is a much better month!

March goals
Start that blasted push-up challenge - no more putting it off!!
Run 3 x weekly
Would love to do 50 miles in March, I think that's possible..

I've seen this around on a few blogs now so I'm gonna hop on the bandwagon! If you're not interested in the ABC's then feel free to skip the rest as there isn't anything else on this post :-)

A. age: 26... Feels the same as 21 tbh.. not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing!

B. bed size: King, it sleeps me, Mike and Tia

C. chore you hate: I don't really, really hate any of them, I just wish I had a bit more time for them! I hate the fact they take up valuable time haha

D. dogs: I loooooooove dogs! I love my Roxie dog! In fact, I think it's been too long since she made a blog appearance!

E. essential start to your day: Coffee. Don't try and get me to do anything until I've had my large black coffee. A bowl of porridge wouldn't go amiss either... only if it's got PB in though ;-)

F. favorite color: probably purple, or lilac, or pink...

G. gold or silver: Can I say white gold? My engagement ring is white gold and I'd like my wedding ring to be too.

H. height: 5’8" getting up to 6' in my highest heels!

I. instruments you play(ed): Clarinet, saxaphone, I used to sing a lot too but not anymore.. I'm going to learn the piano... I just need to get one first!

J. job title: personal carer, music teacher and loads of other stuff.. always driving Mike nuts by signing up for too many different things..

K. kids: not for me, at least not now.

L. live: life to the full.

M. mom’s name: Susan

N. nicknames: don't really have any..

O. overnight hospital stays: I had my adenoids out when I was teeny tiny and had one or too stays in A&E when I was younger due to ED complications but nothing really major.

P. pet peeve: People who are lazy and avoid doing work. There are some people at my place of work like this and when you work a shift with them you are constantly having to pick up their slacking. I also hate it when people leave work early, you have to wait for the other shift to arrive before you leave but some people b*gger off as soon as it hits 2.30/10.00 and leave you hanging for the others. It's just inconsiderate. I don't mind it when they ask or say do you mind if I get off but just leaving without any regard for the other people really bugs me. Okk rant over! I'm sure I could think of a few more though.. I must be a closet grump!

Q. quote from a movie: I wouldn't say it's my favourite quote but this did make me laugh today!

R. right or left handed: right

S. siblings: A little brother who's not so little, Jonathan 23

T. time you wake up: 5.30 on early shift days, 7-8ish on days off or late shift days.

U. underwear: Bhs cleavage enhancer bras to help my rather inadequate bust! Incidentally one of the residents at work has taken to calling me tiny tits... wonderful!!... (She has dementia, she's not just rude!)

V. vegetables you dislike: I can't really think of any, I'm not a huge fan of rocket though..

W. what makes you run late: Not realising how much time I've spent doing something.. Like writing this or faffing about tidying or cleaning when I should be getting ready.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: dental is all I can think of

Y. yummy food you make: I make rather yummy brownies, homemade nachos, healthy baking...

Z. zoo- favorite animal: All of them!! I'd love to cuddle a monkey though!

Here's to a good March!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A Few Long Runs

Well my eating has been a bit better these past few days and that has resulted in some pretty strong runs! I'm feeling much better about my half marathon training right now. And my eating but I don't want to jinx myself, last time I said I thought I'd sorted things out I lost it again so now I'll be careful what I say!

I ran 8 miles about a week ago now, or just under a week probably.. I was really surprised to see I'd completed it with an average pace of under 9 minute miles. It felt really good, my breathing was controlled, my legs felt good until the last mile when they got a bit tired and I felt like I could have pushed through more. Yippeeeeeeee!

8 miles in 1:11:39 8.58 pace

Mile 1 - 9.33
Mile 2 - 8.55
Mile 3 - 9.08
Mile 4 - 8.52
Mile 5 - 9.03
Mile 6 - 9.02
Mile 7 - 8.46
Mile 8 -8.21

plus a little bit to get home 0.2 (8.35 pace)

On Monday I took Roxie out on an attempted 5 mile mid tempo run, proposed time per mile of 8.35-8.45... Ohhhhhh no. This was just not going to happen. I just can't run fast with Roxie. She pulls me, she trips me up, she generally drives me batty. I almost took her home but decided to carry on as she hadn't had a walk and I didn't have time to run and walk her before work. I decided to cut a mile off as I was not enjoying it and just getting really frustrated. I don't think I'll take Roxie out on any proper training runs only recovery runs now. It just doesn't work! Overall we covered 4 miles in 37:28, average pace 9.31.. I won't bore you with the splits on this one!

Now on to yesterdays rather awesome long run!

9.7 miles 1:26:31 8.57 pace
9 miles in 1:20:55

Mile 1 - 9.26
Mile 2 - 9.07
Mile 3 - 9.01
Mile 4 - 9.06
Mile 5 - 9.11
Mile 6 - 9.09
Mile 7 - 8.43
Mile 8 -8.37
Mile 9 - 8.37
Mile 0.7 - 5.35 (8.25 pace)

If I'd realised how close I was to 10 I would have probably finished. Especially since I would have got 10 miles done in under 1:30 something I tried to do for ages last year! Oh well, next time! I actually ran this rather a lot faster than I should have been doing.. It was supposed to be HMP+20s which would be around 9.20 per mile but I just felt really good. My legs were ok and my breathing was really controlled. It was tough to slow down. If I can run my half marathon like this I will be so happy. I don't know if I can though, it's a hilly course and it will most likely be red hot! I can dream! I should be practicing more hilly routes at the moment but the hilly route I like to run is a bit secluded and there have been 3 sex attacks on women very close to my house and this route over the past month so I decided sticking to a crowded but flat route was definitely my safest option. You can't be too careful can you there are some awful people in our world. We're considering buying a treadmill so we can run when it's dark and for hill work... I'm not sure how I feel about long runs on a treadmill but it's better than not at all I guess.

Are you a treadmill lover or a treadmill hater?