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Monday, 28 June 2010

Half Marathon and Big News!

Chips ready...

Bibs ready..

Before the start

I finished it! It was a hard race, really hard race. I struggled a lot - it was a bad day to get the hottest day of the year so far!! I don't have the chip time yet but the garmin time was 2.13 miles in 2.24.30 which means 11 minute miles. I was a bit sad about my time but the weather really got to me and I struggled

Mile 1 - 8.39
Maybe set off a bit fast.. not according to my plan but it didn't seem to work for me today! I got quite caught up in the excitement of the start!

Mile 2 - 9.44
Made a consious effort to take it a bit slower on the hill as I was afraid of burning out too quickly

Mile 3 - 9.44
I wanted to pick up some speed on the flat bridge but I just couldn't, everything felt laboured and the sun felt so hot, it was a bit dizzying being that high up and running with so many people I felt a bit overwhelmed... I saw people start dropping out of the race which was really sad, I guess the heat had got to them too..

Mile 4 - 9.10
I managed to pick up a bit of speed coming off the bridge but the sun was really getting to me, kudos to all those Florida runners I do not know how you do it! I think a large reason as to why I got a second wind here was the two cups of water I poured over myself at the aid station, I did this at every water station after!

Mile 5 - 12.17
I took my first walking break. I felt really defeated as in all my training I haven't took a single walking break. I just thought about what Mike had said to me the night before, he was really concerned about me pushing it too hard and getting myself into danger.

Mile 6 - 11.01
This was where I realised I was definately not going to get my sub 2 hour time.. I was a bit sad but it just made me decide I'll have to do it again next year! Running through Barton was great though, there were loads of spectators in their gardens spraying you with hosepipes as you ran past. Some had even set up their own water stations and some were giving out gummy bears and wet sponges, I didn't actually use any of these but I thought it was really great that people had bought the stuff to give out to runners who they didn't know... I totally would have took a wet sponge but there were none left by the time I got there, Mike was lucky enough to bag one though!

Mile 7 - 10.52
At the halfway point I thought ahh if I keep up this pace I can do it in under 2.14 which was my one and only other try at the half marathon distance. I felt like that would be quite good given the walking breaks

Mile 8 - 11.07
At this point I saw the bridge again and I thought ahhh we must be getting close (turns out we ran right past it haha oh well!)

Mile 9 - 11.37
I started to get nervous here as I knew there was a killer hill coming in the next mile and I just didn't know how I was going to tackle it...

Mile 10 - 13.54
The hill apeared after a corner. I actually put my hand over my mouth when I saw it. It was not something you want to see after struggling for almost the entire race before it!

Mile 11 - 11.15
I tried to pick up the pace a bit here as we got a bit of semi flat land I started to think maybe I could finish strong after all...

Mile 12 - 12.30
I saw a man who had collapsed and was surrounded my the St John's Ambulance workers here. It really got to me and I felt really upset, I got into a bit of a panic because I started to think about Mike and I thought he might not have had enough water and I didn't know he was ok and I felt so sad for the man who couldn't finish the race and might have been seriously ill. I stopped because I couldn't catch a breath my airways completely blocked up, it's happened before once when I got upset whilst running it's not a nice feeling at all. Thankfully two men who were running for Help For Heroes stopped to see if I was ok and I walked with them for a while which took my mind off it and I managed to regulate my breathing. I was really grateful for them stopping cause I think I would have been struggling a lot longer if they had carried on running! When I'd pulled myself together I decided last two miles, lets finish strong! I thanked the men again for making sure I was ok and took off at a steady jog.

Mile 13 - 11.27
Last mile.. phew! I decided there was no way I was walking anymore, no matter how slow I had to jog, it's only one more mile and a tiny little bit right.... I didn't manage to pick the pace up much but I'm glad I kept going! I had another moment when I saw another collapsed runner, I think the sun gave a lot of people problems. I also counted four ambulances blaring past with sirens on during this mile, it was really upsetting. I hope everyone who needed medical assistance was ok.

Mile 0.1 - 9.28 pace
I could see the finish line so I really tried to sprint it! I heard my mum shout my name and cheer but it took me ages to spot her in the croud. When I crossed the finish line Mike was right there waiting for me, he gave me a massive hug and poured water all over me! I don't think I'd ever been so happy to see him I pretty much just flopped onto him cause I was so tired!

Mike at the finish

Mike again, I wish I'd got this background with both of us!

This picture pretty much sums up how I felt at the finish!


I was a lot happier than I look...

Even though I was so far off the time I'd hoped to get and was a bit upset about that I had a great race. It was tough and gruelling but I was so happy to finish. When I realised I wasn't going to get my time I just thought about my charity and thought I don't have to finish it in a certain time to get my sponsors, I just have to finish it. I'm so glad I got to the end!

Mike finished 101st overall with a chip time of 1.38.57, he was overtook right at the end! I came 1246 with a chip time of 2.25.21 which is a bit slower than my garmin time so something must have gone a bit wrong there! I came 275th out of 434 women and 119 out of 204 women aged 19-34. Around 1500 people finished and there was somewhere between 2000 and 2500 people who entered, I can't believe how bad the sun affected people, it should really be a spring race, I don't think us Brits are used to running in such heat!

I told you I had some big news in the title... Once I'd caught my breath had some water and fruit and said hello to my parents Mike and I went for a walk for some more fruit... After I'd got some more fruit he walked me over to a quiet spot aaaaaaaaaaaaaand got down on one knee!!!!! Of course I said yes! I'm so excited haha I thought he picked a perfect way to ask me :-)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Tomorrow is the Day!!

It's my half marathon tomorrow! I've got my stuff laid out and I'm ready to go.. The past few days I've been eating carbs and drinking water like it's my job... Send me all the speedy thoughts you can please eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek it's come around so fast!!!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Boxing and BBQ Food

I'm on a weeks holiday from work! We're not going anywhere but I am loving getting some rest in before we run our first half marathon on Sunday! Aaarrrgh! It's been gorgeous weather the past two days but I can't help but hope it cools off a bit for Sunday, I wouldn't enjoy running in todays heat, it was sweltering by 10am.

I did my first proper boxing workout in soo long yesterday morning and it left me so sore today. That's the only bad thing about having a week off before the half is I'm scared to overdo it because I want to be fresh on Sunday, I've never tapered for anything before so I don't know whether I'm doing it right haha, time will tell! The workout we did was good but tiring, I think I'm still feeling the throat infection a bit I've been sleeping a lot! I hope I've kicked it for good by Sunday.. We did

3 x 3 minute pad rounds (3 minute rest in between as I padded Mike in my rest)
20 minutes technique work
4 x 3 minute interval bag rounds (1 minute rest)
15 minutes of core work

It felt so good to get a workout in without rushing it! I can't wait to get back in the boxing gym after Sunday :-)

We made the most of the lovely weather today and went for a walk, we had to cut it shorter than intended because we got too hot! While we were out I bought some hairdye, it didn't quite go the colour I wanted but I like it! - Not the most flattering photo but you can see the colour..

We ate outside since it was so warm and Tia wanted to play outside, we can't let her out unsupervised anymore as I think she was scratching the rabbit when we weren't there. She knows she shouldn't but that cat is naughty.. Anything she shouldn't do she does and then stops as soon as you see her! Last weekend I was making the greek yoghurt desert and whilst getting rid of the excess water that had settled on top of the yoghurt in the fridge I managed to dump half the tub in the sink :-( Anyway, for some reason I didn't wash it all away, we came down to find Tia covered in yoghurt leaping out of the sink and hiding! I wish I'd had my camera out!

I also snapped one of Trudy relaxing in the shade
We had BBQ food for tea, nut burgers, quorn goujons, coleslaw, potato salad, new potatoes dipped in hummous, veg dipped in hummous, salad with pomegranate dressing Mike's mum bought back from Turkey a huge feast!

I think Mike caught me dipping some potato...

There may also have been a few sailor jerrys and beers consumed ;-)

Off to watch the Dog Whisperer, we're looking into adopting an Akita at the moment so we've been watching it loads. I always thought it sounded rubbish but it's really quite good! Anyone else like it?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Throat Infection :-(

Well I'd meant to get this post up on Sunday but I got struck down with a nasty throat infection. I rather stupidly decided to go on my Sunday run despite feeling awful. I only got worse and had to leave work halfway through the day on Monday and have been laid up in bed ever since. Hmph! I'm going back to work today so I'm feeling much better, just didn't have the brain power to write anything before!

Rewind back to Sunday, got up feeling rubbish.. Mike says leave the run, stubborn Laura says no I'm going I'm not that bad and I want to test out my coconut water! Off I trot, I set out far too fast, burn out quickly, spend the middle two miles catching my breath from the first, panic that my pace is slow and it feels so laboured, can't breath, how on earth am I going to run this half marathon, it's impossible!! - I now realise that was probably due to being ill.. The past few days going up the stairs has been making be feel a bit breathless.. how crazy does that sound! I think it might possibly have been my last run before the half eeeeeek it's on the 27th, I'm not sure how much to taper? Do I do another run? Do I call it a day? I'd like another run to test out my fab arm pocket which I won on Robin's blog! I'll post some pictures of that as soon as I get out in it, it's really cool! I guess it depends partly on how long it takes to get over this throat infection. I was still in bed all day yesterday but I'm on the mend today! Here's my stats anyway;

4 miles in 34:56 average pace 8.45 (It felt a lot slower than this, got a real surprise when it said that!)
Mile 1 - 8.05
Mile 2 - 9.04
Mile 3 - 9.10
Mile 4 - 8.40

After I got home and showered we popped to the shops and I bought some halloumi! I'd seen it on Laura's blog before and after some advice from a helpful commenter, LME, I decided I must get in on the action! Fried halloumi with spicy pasta and salad, yum! I'll be making it again for definate.

Right, reluctantly I must go get ready for work, hope everyone is having a good day!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Sugar Free Raspberry Yoghurt Mess

I don't have any fitness stuff to share today but I do have my new favourite desert to share! It's really simple, all you need is frozen raspberries, xylitol, vanilla extract and greek yoghurt.

Blast about 1.5 cups of frozen raspberries with two tablespoons of xylitol and one teaspoon of vanilla extract in the microwave.
Mix it all up until the raspberries are squishy and the xylitol has disolved.
Stir in the greek yoghurt (half a 500g tub)
Eat and enjoy!
I'll leave you with Tia relaxing in her bed since she hasn't been on the blog much lately!

I think she's had enough pictures!
Hope you're all having a great day!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Longest Run Ever...

...for me, anyway!

I ran 13.8 miles today!! It was so hard! I can't think why I was so desperate to get out there and go through that pain... But I feel ok about how slow and painful I found it today, I seem to have developed a streak, the first time I run the distance I find it hard, painful and slow and the second time it's not so bad. It must be psychological cause this run had gone way downhill by mile 7-8! A few things went wrong, I started too fast, when will I learn?? My clothing choices weren't great at first, a light jacket and jogging bottoms were too hot in the beginning... Let me tell you, taking a jacket off whilst wearing a camelbak, whilst trying to keep running is not easy and will make you look a bit daft! I had to stop and put it back on at around mile 5 too cause the rain had started to pour and I got cold again... Make your mind up Laura!

I ended up doing 13.8 miles in 2:22:25 for an average pace of 10.20, a lot slower than I'd hoped but I was more concerned on covering the distance, I just couldn't do it very quickly today! Hopefully the endurance will be better next time!

Mile 1 - 8.47 (set out a bit fast...)
Mile 2 - 9.05
Mile 3 - 9.50 (ugh this run feels pretty hard)
Mile 4 - 9.42
Mile 5 - 10.06 (stop looking at pace, let's just finish!)
Mile 6 - 9.32
Mile 7 - 10.27
Mile 8 - 10.14
Mile 9 - 10.22
Mile 10 - 10.02 (second wind?)
Mile 11 - 11.33 (that would be a no then)
Mile 12 - 11.37
Mile 13 - 11.47
0.8 - 9.22 (12.02pace)

I did 13.1 miles in 2:14:09... I was really hoping I could get my half time in under 2 hours on race day but I'm starting to think that's really unlikely. I think I could do it on a flat course in perfect conditions but we'll see... This course is hilly and it will likely be hot! Maybe the race day adrenaline will carry me through, maybe it won't!

As I was running today I was thinking about my goals.. I read somewhere that it's good to have three goals, I know I can, I think I can and I would love to....

I know I can get it sub 2:20
I think I can get it sub 2:10
I would love to get it sub 2!

I'm thinking maybe I should try a sports drink on half marathon day.. I'm not sure it would be trying something new on race day which perhaps isn't wise. It's on the 27th so I don't want to do anymore long runs before it.. My legs feel completely shot after todays run, my knees hurt, my feet hurt and a few toenails are hanging on for dear life! Any thoughts anyone? I'm still really new to this running malarky so I'd appreciate any advice!

Monday, 7 June 2010

May Recap and a Tough Boxing Workout!

Well, unfortunately my trainers did not dry in time to go for a run yesterday :-( I got a good workout in nonetheless! I did 6 x 2.5 minute bag rounds, interval style again but I stayed on the bag all the time because Mike was doing a different workout. It was so much tougher doing the whole workout on the bag, I looked a total mess, sweat was flying off me haha! I was really gassed by the end of each round, I recovered well in the minutes rest thankfully! I was still itching to run all day, I'm not sure where my energy was coming from, maybe it would have dissappeared if I'd got out there...

Mike and I did some gymnastics before tea as my trainers were still wet then! My handstands are still awful! But the other moves are coming along nicely, can see some small improvements already!

Anyway, I just realised I didn't do my May recap, it might be a bit sparse because I've been slacking on writing down my weekly totals/embarrassed how low they were! But anyway, here goes!

Monthly Totals and May Recap
New Years Goals

Complete half marathon (current 4 miles) As of end of May longest run/jog is up to 12 miles!
One mile in >7.30 (current 7.55) was 7.16 - New goal to get it under 7 minutes I did it! 6.52!!! Lets see if >6.30 is possible before the end of the year!!
Two miles in >15.30 minutes (current 16.23) 15.24 - new goal >15 not tested this month
Three miles in >24.30 minutes (current 25.25) 24.21 during 5k time trial - not re-tested
Four miles in >35 minutes (current 35.47) 34.49 during a 6 mile run!

Hold a plank for 3.30 minutes (current 2.30) 3.53.. hope I can get to 4 minutes next time!
3 pull-ups in a row (current 0) Not tested
5 chin-ups in a row (current 1) As of end of January 4 but from 90 degree not dead hang, from dead hang can do 1. Not tested this month.
30 push-ups in a row (current 10) Can now do 30! - new goal, 50! Not tested this month.

Improve hooks and uppercuts – practice in sparring
Improve stance so weight is spread more evenly
Angle off – don't stand square
Win my first fight!
The new gym opens officially in a few weeks so my main boxing training will resume after the half, which is this month!!! I'm really excited to go back, it will fit in around work fairly well too, especially if I just get on the bus and go, once I'm there I will be ok, it's just getting home shattered and not wanting to work out that's been getting me, I'm hoping this will help!

New Years Resolutions
Do core workouts twice a week Not happened I've done some but not twice a week.
Neck exercises once a week Lets not go there!
Wrist curls once a week Same...
Isometric punches once a week Same!
Boxing three times a week Not back there that often but hopefully will be soon!
Running three times a week (distance, sprints and intervals) I've mostly done this at least twice a week, running has been my priority as the half is getting so close!
Follow pull-up/chin-up plan Still not been sticking to this one :-(

Monthly Totals - May
Miles -61.45

Only kept track of mileage, which is a shame... I should start doing my weekly totals again, it kept me on track! On a positive note I have managed to increase my mileage. I'm glad I've focussed on my running for the time being because hopefully it will pay off when it comes to my half marathon! Hopefully I've been doing just enough of all the other stuff to keep my base where it was and continue to improve once I've either gone down to my lower hours at work or got used to the high hours. I'm at the place 10 hours a day five days a week at the moment.. Ouch! Even more ouch considering I only get paid for 7.5 of those once you take off my dinner hour and the fact I don't get paid for the opening up or closing of the shop. When I go down to my usual hours there will only be one day a week like that which will likely become my rest day! Even though the money is helpful, I hope I go down to my contracted hours soon, I hate working so much haha!

Hope everyone has had a good day, I'm off to watch a documentary on social workers and then Glee! Hurrah!

Hmmm... Just caught the weather forecast for tomorrow... heavy rain and thunder, annoying! I hope it's just rain, I don't mind running in the rain, not keen on thunder and lightening though!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

A Long Time Coming..

I can't believe this week is almost over, it's gone so fast and I haven't even got round to blogging much again! This post has been half done in my drafts folder for ages!

Back on bank holiday Monday I did some cross training! Mike had a 12 mile run planned and was not really looking forward to it so I decided to bike it with him. I hadn't been on a bike for longer than 10 minutes since I was a child! I was so sore by mile three, I think it gave me bruises on my bum :S... I tried to not complain though because I knew Mike was having a hard time in the hot sun (I'm now sporting a garmin shaped tan line after forgetting to apply sun lotion...) aside from the sore bum, scary roads and sun burn I enjoyed biking!

On Tuesday, after I found out it was my last day of freedom I decided I needed to get some good work in since I've been finding it really difficult to fit workouts in around work. We did a good 10 x 3 minute workout on the heavy bag. We did it interval style, the timer randomly did high and low intervals and whoever was on the bag did hard work on there, the other person shadow boxed. It was tough, especially cause I was still so achey from the gymnastics!

I also met up with Mike's mum and sister at teatime and ran a fun 2.5 miles in 24 minutes, it was fun to run with other people at a pace I could hold a conversation.. A good reminder that you don't have to totally kill it to have a good workout!

I was having some big workout guilt on Thursday, I hate that I'm not managing to do as much since I started working. I just don't have the energy after a full day, I'd prefer to do it before but that would mean getting up before 5am! I just can't see myself not hitting sleep if my alarm goes off at 4.30! I feel like I'm totally full of excuses and should just get on with it but I can't quite seem to make myself do it, so frustrating!!

Now today I was so excited for my long run and my trainers were left out in the rain yesterday, I think Mike put them outside cause they were muddy, now they're drenched and I don't know if I can get them dry in time to run! So annoying! I'm just itching to get out there haha! I'll be back later, hopefully with a nice little run report, and if not I'll have to figure something else out!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Bodyweight Strength

On Sunday Mike and I did a bodyweight strength session. We decided we're going to try and learn some gymnastic moves... note... a handstand is a lot harder than it looks!! It was a good giggle and it's left me incredibly sore today. We'll definately be doing more of it!

Handstand 20 minutes of work, about 10 minutes each - I cannot believe how hard this was!! I just found it so difficult to fling my legs to the wall, the pictures are where I climbed my legs up the wall haha!

L-sit/tuck l-sit
I'm doing a tuck l-sit my feet are off the floor they're just really close... ideally we would have taller handles! Mike is doing an l-sit.. I'm not strong enough to do that yet!

Progressions to back lever
The idea for this one is to be able to hold your body out flat! It takes a lot of strength and balance.. think I'll be doing the progressions for a while! Mike is doing something called 'skin the cat' here and I've no idea why it's called that!

Frog stand
This was my favourite! Probably because it was the only one I could do haha!

This left me feeling totally beat up the next day! In fact today I'm still mega sore! I'd definately reccomend trying it it was a lot of fun but pretty frustrating cause it was so difficult, for me anyway!

I got another work update today... My bold move paid off! I'll be going back tomorrow with my correct pay and will be getting back paid, phew! I did not want to go back on the dole!!