Last weekend I ran 10 miles in 2 hours.  This weekend I ran a “practice” 10k and was surprised when Runkeeper told me it was my fastest to date.  I’m still slow AF, but that was a 3 minute improvement over last summer.

I’ll be running the Glasgow women’s 10K on Sunday; the race last year I had hoped to PR, but got injured.  Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome to the 10K that will fuel me on as I start to plan out my training for the Royal Parks Half in October.

I just have to trust in the training and all the running I’ve been doing for the past year.

Other than the running, I took a weekend trip to Mallorca two weeks ago and it was amazing.  I got two short runs in while I was there, and they were terribly slow as I took in my surroundings and stopped to take lots of pictures.  I had a great time, got lots of sunshine, and had a massage on the beach!  I would definitely recommend to anyone, and would love to go again!

Wow, I’ve really sucked at blogging.  Oops.  I do have to say in my defence that I spent the first two months of the year completing my thesis corrections, so. . .  now I have more time on my hands while I look for employment.

The training:

This round of training went well.  I ran the 10k improvers plan from the Edinburgh marathon/half/10k page as it had many of the features I was looking for; 12 weeks in length, speedwork, and were time based rather than mileage.  Normally, I prefer plans that are mileage based (I find them best for half marathon training) but I wanted to try something new and challenge myself.  This plan called for 4 runs per week, which is one more than I usually run.  I felt confident I would be able to handle the additional day and in the 12 weeks I only missed one training run (I was ill and needed the extra rest).  Otherwise, I had a handful of days off throughout the 12 weeks as I have been incorporating strength training back into my routine as well.

My schedule for the past 12 weeks looked something like this:

Monday: easy run + strength
Tuesday: Pilates
Wednesday: speedwork and strength
Thursday: easy run or speedwork
Friday: strength or rest
Saturday: long run
Sunday: strength or rest (depending on Friday)

The race:

All week I’ve been anxious about race day.  Something about tapering for a race makes me a bit anxious, but I knew I needed the rest.  I’ve had a few niggles as of late (my hip this time) but it wasn’t anything that was agonising.  I also made the mistake of trying out some new trainers recently and had a blister/hot spot on my left foot for about 2 weeks, which has been terribly annoying.  I hope that it heals quickly!

I was also concerned about the weather forecast. It’s been pretty miserable this past week; I hadn’t seen the sun in forever and every day it seemed to be raining more and more. Most of this week the forecast had called for heavy rain and high winds for today.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw sun forecast for today (and didn’t believe it).  I re-waterproofed my trainers and had my kit ready last night, prepared for the worst.

I slept pretty poorly and got up around 7, faffed about for a bit, got dressed and then got the train to Central.  It was drizzling, but not raining, which was a good sign.  At Central, I grabbed the breakfast of champions.

 

I took a quick selfie before walking to Glasgow Green.

 

It was a quiet walk over to the Green.

Yay Spring!

Once I got to Nelson’s Column, there was a bit of waiting around in the queue for the porta-loos.  There were only 5, for a lot of people (800+).  The event had been sold out, so. . .

Finally we were off!

Selfie at the start

Km 1: 7:12 & Km 2: 6:48 It was fairly crowded the first 2 km.  I felt crammed in and was worried that I was going to get tripped.  There were a lot of puddles and there was a bit of dodging going on by me and others.  I didn’t really get into a rhythm.

Km 3: 6:41 It has cleared out a bit and I have room to move and run.  I finally settled into a good rhythm and felt good, if not a bit warm. We’ve looped around most of the green at this point and are about to swing back on the loop.

Km 4: 7:13 & Km 5 7:19: Ugh what a bloody awful cramp. Ow.  I was disappointed I had to slow down and walk for about 30 seconds off and on here.  Just ow.  Very glad for the water station at 5km.

Km 6: 7:00 I know that this is do or die time.  If I want to PR I need to pick up the pace.

Km 7: 6:47 & Km 8: 6:28 I obviously picked up the pace.  I felt so much better after the water and a bloc shot. I’ve done plenty of 10K+ without additional fuel but I knew that I was running a bit earlier than normal and it definitely helped.

Km 9: 7:01 & Km 10: 6:49 (and the last .5???? 6:32 as clearly my GPS was different than the km markers).  At this point I am seriously regretting  my life choices of wearing a long sleeved shirt under my t-shirt.  I’m so hot at this point and I very nearly stopped to pull off my layers.  I just kept telling myself that I was almost there, that this is just like any other run.  As soon as I got past the Glasgow G, I ran as fast as I could to cross the finish line.  They called out our names as we crossed, and I forgot I had registered as Dr. Corliss so they called me Dr. Corliss and I had to laugh.

The Glasgow G

Runkeeper told me I had run 10K in 1:09 which is my fastest 10k to date (yes, I am still slow AF).  For the entirety of the run, it was 1:12:09 (this is the time from my Fitbit, which I stopped before Runkeeper).  Last  year I did this run in 1:18 and change, so there was obviously improvement, which is good.

 

Finish line selfie. Yes, I am bright red.

 

So, all in all, a good run.  I really would like to improve pace/speed wise, as after running for over 10 years and consistently for well over 3, I really  should be SO MUCH FASTER.  Hopefully, the next race will be better.  Now, I’m going to eat some more food!

 

I’m always caught between my thesis, writing for pleasure, social media, and writing a blog entry.  Guess what comes last consistently?

So, April.  Let’s see.  I’ve been running 3 times a week and I’ve started going to Pilates again.  I even signed up for a reformer class and that has been going well.

Even more out of character, I joined a run club and I PRed my 5k.

I’m still not sure it’s right for me, to be honest.  I am, by far, the slowest.  I don’t like to be the worst or last at something; probably a character flaw.  I am glad that I tried, and even more that I waited until now to do so.  If I had tried a year and a half ago when I had originally considered it, I probably would have never run again.

This has nothing to do with the club or the people, as they have all been very nice and welcoming.  I just feel very insecure and uncomfortable when I’m so noticeably different.

I didn’t go last week because it was freezing and rain/snowing and I had just gotten my hair done (I know, vanity).  Hopefully this week will be more favourable as I really dislike running in the rain.  I have texture issues and wet socks really squick me out.  Maybe someday I’ll get past that.

I’ve signed up for the Women’s 10K in June and am ready for it!

In thesis news, it’s actually going well, a far cry from where I was a year ago!  My supervisors are pleased, I’m pleased.  I’m getting the support I need.  All I need to do is to stop procrastinating!

I’ve planned out my 41st birthday.  I wasn’t sure anything could top my 40th, but it looks like this birthday is going to be close.  #adorablehusbands #internetBFFs #London #theatre

And last, but most certainly not least, this happened.  It certainly was a great way to end April!

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Ahead for May?  Having the first full draft of my thesis completed (Eeeeek!), attending my first Barre class, and hopefully finding something fun or adventurous to do.

 

I’m a bit sore today, but yesterday’s race went better than I had expected it to!  I PR’ed on both the 5 and 10K, so I’m pretty excited for myself, to be honest.  It was a nice day out, which was a bonus.  No rain and a high of 10C (50F) which was perfect.  The sun was even out right at the start, but it went back behind the clouds after a few minutes.

 

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I started off pretty quickly, which I always seem to do.  Anxiety and adrenaline, I suppose.  At one point I looked down at my watch and it had me at a 9’45” minute mile; unheard of for me.  Only recently have I started to flirt with mile times in the 11 minute zone, so I was confused/concerned and dialed it back down a notch.

Mile 1 time: 11’03”

I was surprised at the time, but went with it.  I was passing people which I never do, but it was crowded from where I was in the back middle, I would say.  I didn’t want to make it harder on myself and end up back with the walkers.  I felt pretty good; my knee didn’t hurt, so I just kept on.

Mile 2 time: 11’41”

What?  2 miles in a row in the 11 minute range was a first.  I tried to calm down and keep my breathing even.  I felt like it got chilly, and I wished I had remembered to use my inhaler before I left.  Oops.  When I saw the time on my watch and the 5k mile marker, I picked up the pace and landed the 5k in the 36 minutes and change range.  My best 5k was somewhere around 42 minutes the last I checked so I was very excited and pleased.  sub 35 here I come!

Mile 3 time: 12’29”

This was the first lap, and this was where I started to get a bit tired.  I was glad of the water station; I grabbed 2 cups and walked quickly through and started back up.  Of course this was when my knee started aching, and I was mildly annoyed by it.  But I kept on.  I thought about how it was nice out and hummed along to my playlist.  This was when I took my first walking break of about 15 seconds.

Mile 4 time: 12’53”

This was where I slowed down.  I had to stop for almost a minute trying to fix my knee brace; it just made me more irritated.  So I pulled it off and kept on.  I ended up walking for 10-20 seconds a few times, but tried to keep my pace up as much as I could, but I knew my knee was holding me back.  My own fault.  I NEED to remember to stretch more frequently and consistently!

Mile 5 time: 13’30”

I knew this was the last mile and that all I had to do was get through it.  I felt like I had run more, and by my watch I was at like 5 miles 30, so I knew it was getting close to the end.  I was excited because I knew how what my old PR was and I knew I was going to beat it (1:28), but by how much was the question.

Once I got up to the last stretch, I gave it everything I had left and just ran as fast as I could.  I was excited and pleased.  For some reason my dream time was 1:18 (not sure why that time was in my mind) but I was so excited when I crossed and that was the time.  So happy new PR for me!  And by 10 minutes!  🙂  (Although technically it would be even greater than that, as my watch showed me having run 6.33 miles.)

Mile 6 time: 12’38”

last bit and change 11’54”

Time on my watch at finish (and on crossing) 1:18:20

After, I collected my goodie bag, downed my water, and went to meet Steph at St. Enoch.  We went for coffee and then headed back home after a stop at Lush for a bath bomb.

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I’m not terribly sore today, although I did pull a muscle in my left glute, but it’s feeling much better today after 2 hot baths, stretching, hot water bottles and plenty of Tiger Balm and a good night’s sleep.  I have a sports massage scheduled for Thursday and I can’t wait.

Tomorrow I plan to go out for a few miles and see how I feel.  Gorgeous weather here right now, so how can I not?

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Total run mileage and steps from yesterday:

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Now I need to decide what I’m going to do next and also make sure I start stretching and foam rolling after every run!

Having so many commitments right now (i.e my thesis) I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to blogging.  I might fling a status on Facebook every now and again and post some photos on Instagram, and I’m certainly still finding plenty of time to whinge on Twitter and participate in Gatiss Wednesday on Tumblr.  But sadly, my blog has taken a back seat.  I’ve a bit of downtime right now, and I thought I’d write up some thoughts about my 10k training, as today was my last training run.

This time around, I was consistent in my training; I didn’t miss any runs.  However, as the runs got a bit longer during the week, I did cut down the length on a few of the Thursday runs, running 4 instead of 5 miles, and I’m fairly sure I didn’t hit the full 7 on Sunday.  Given that I trained for a half-marathon last autumn, I feel pretty confident in any runs up to about 10 miles right now.  I’ve done it before, I know I can do it again.

So, let’s look at some numbers.

I started off with about a 13’49” average pace give or take on 12 January.  (Yes, I’m slow.  A 10 minute mile is me literally sprinting.  Maybe I’ll get faster.  Maybe I won’t.  I can’t make my legs any longer than they are!)  Tuesday, I ran 2.4 miles at a 12’23” average pace.  My outdoor runs are averaging anywhere from 12-13 minute miles, with a few 11 minute miles (!!) (and change) thrown in there for good measure.  Sunday’s long run was at a 13 minute mile average, and that was meant for me to have slowed down!  It’s certainly gotten a lot easier.

I definitely think that consistent training 3 times a week and losing weight has helped a lot.  Probably, the weight more than anything, to be honest.  It’s the best thing I’ve done for my running and for myself.  (Remember, calories in, calories out is what works.  You don’t need fad diets or wraps.  Find your TDEE and eat 500 calories less than that and you will lose weight!  I pretty much eat anything I can get my hands on, as long as I keep under my TDEE.  Some days aren’t perfect because I’m not perfect!  As long as the majority of my days I’m eating under my TDEE, I see results on the scale!)

My 10K PR is 1:37 and I’m very confident that I will be beating that on Sunday.  Considering I ran further than that on Sunday and in less time, it should be a given.  So I am very hopeful to have a new, shiny PR on Sunday.  🙂

The one thing I haven’t been consistent in is stretching or strength training.  I am constantly “forgetting” to stretch after running and I’ve lifted weights a total of once (Monday) this entire year.  So, after this race, I hope to be more consistent in both areas and also want to try to get back to Pilates as well.

So, good luck to me on Sunday!  🙂