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!

 

This race should have been a massive PR for me, and up until the 6th kilometre, I was on pace for smashing my old record.  Until it wasn’t.

 

The start line

The start line

The first 3 kilometres were fine and great.  I felt good and I managed a steady pace.  Yeah, it was hot (by Scotland standards, not anywhere else) but I didn’t feel overheated or anything.  I wasn’t sprinting, nor was I dawdling.  I didn’t want to start out too fast and not have anything in the tank for the end.  Sadly, neither of my knees got the message.

Steph was outside the flat (I love a race where I can run past my home and the route I regularly run!) with a sign for me to cheer me on.  This was about 3.5km in.

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It was just after I saw her sign that I had to stop and stretch.  I hoped that stretching would alleviate the slight niggle from there, but it just seemed to get worse and worse and in both knees, which is something that has never happened before.

Somewhere around mile 4-5 was the worst and I had to stop running altogether.  I would try again every few minutes to see, and the pain was just unbearable.  I stopped to stretch a few times to see if I could just loosen up, but unfortunately, nope.  I walked as fast as I could without having any pain, but by the end I was practically limping.  I was really frustrated because I had trained well, and was really very well prepared for this race (having a UTI this past week not withstanding).

When I saw the finish line, I made every attempt to run; I wasn’t walking across that line!  I managed a very sad hobbling gait, but I did it.  At least I was faster than the first time I ran this race!

I was so glad that Steph was there, because it was terribly crowded and people kept shoving me (not for the first time today) and I nearly burst into tears as I was so frustrated.  I had her lead me out of the park and home (the wait for post race massage was insane!).

I am pretty bummed about my time, especially since I was making good time and felt really confident at the 5K marker.  It’s terribly frustrating to set out to PR and totally bomb the race.  🙁

At any rate, I’ve stretched and Tiger Balmed my knees and they are feeling better now.  Not 100%, but I know I will get past this.  I have a half-marathon to train for!  I will definitely be making a call to my physio tomorrow!

Post race ice cream!

Post race ice cream!

 

An aside about the race itself- this was the first time this course had been used, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I was a fan.  I loved the fact that I was able to run past my flat and run along the river as I normally do.  However, when we were restricted to the narrower paths of Kelvingrove Park and along the Clyde, I was shoved, punched, and hip-checked several times.  I’ve never had this happen in a race before and it wasn’t a good experience.

I also found it difficult to pass people while on these narrower paths as those that were intentionally walking the race were walking 3-5 across and generally didn’t appear to be aware of others.  I made sure I checked to the side and behind me anytime I moved over or overtook anyone as to not bump into anyone else, but not everyone was as vigilant.  I think this could have been remedied with an additional wave or two and have anyone walking stay at the end of the wave they were in. I know this was difficult to do today considering I was in the queue for the porta-loos well into the warmup and just jumped in the middle of my wave where I was able to find a place to stand.

Hopefully, if the course is still the same for next year (and I’m still here to run it), these issues will have been ironed out.  For now, it’s icing, stretching, and on to the Great Scottish Half in October!

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 honestly can’t fault myself for not sticking to my goals  in February.  It was a bit of a traumatic month to say the least.   I was glad I was mostly able to hold it together.

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So for February:
1. Keep running 3x/week.

According to Runkeeper, I managed 45.4km in February in 11 workouts.  Not great, but it could have been worse.

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2. Make a decision about the half.

Well, that was kind of made for me, as the half has been cancelled.  I may think about one in the fall, but right now, I honestly think I need to focus on my work, improving my current times (my 3k average is still the same after 9 months) and getting weight off to make it easier.

3. Recommit to tracking my calories.  I’ve been terrible about watching what I’ve been eating lately.

HA!

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4. Get my life organised.

HA!

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Yeah, February was a miss.

So for March:

1. Follow my 10k training plan.  Seriously (yes I already know I missed a “long” run yesterday b/c I felt horribly dizzy and nauseous).
2. Track my calories 5/7 days.
3. Get my presentation done early so I can practice it and review it.

Presentation, you ask?

I’m going to be presenting and attending a cyber bullying conference at Oxford University at the end of the month!  🙂

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I really hope March is better than the first 2 months have been.  Seriously.

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As I’ve been reflecting on 2013, I took a look back at my posts and thought about things I’ve done and so on.  I even went so far to see what my resolutions were for 2013 and then realised I didn’t make any.  I did make monthly goals a few months, and pretty much sucked at keeping to them.

Highlights of the year included my trips to London for Write This Run  (twice!) and Richard II, and running my second 10K.  The Red Sox are World Champions, so that was pretty awesome too!

In the coming year, I have so many things I want to accomplish.  Mainly, my goal is to finish my PhD (eek!) and return to the working world (double eek!)  I have no idea where I will end up this time next  year, which is pretty frightening.  I’m just hoping that the journey continues to go well, and that there are no unexpected issues or setbacks in the next year.