Horray!  That’s the first week of training done and dusted!

The basics:

Run designation: long, easy

Distance: 5 miles

Goal pace: 11 minutes per mile

Actual pace: 11’48 (UGH!)

Weather: mild but windy AF

How did the run go:

I was well fuelled and hydrated for this run.  The first mile is always a bit slow as I walk for a few minutes to warm up.  I felt I really got into my stride during the second mile, mostly as the wind was at my back, (10’56).   Once I turned around and headed back home, I was running INTO the wind and oh did it suck.  I felt like the wind was tripping me up and several times I tripped over my own feet.  There were points where I was running so slow because I couldn’t get up enough resistance against the wind.

I run along the river and there are points where I feel like I’m just running into a wind tunnel on a windy day.  That was most certainly the case today.  It felt as though I was trying to run in water; my thigh muscles felt like they were working overtime!  Hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow!

While I wasn’t pleased with the overall pace, I’m glad I went out there and took on the weather.  Hopefully someday I will be better at running in windy conditions!

 

How did week 1 go?

Overall, ok.  I definitely need to work on pacing myself better.  I foresee some treadmill running this coming week, due to the rainy forecast, so I can work on finding a comfortable pace for these easy runs.  I also need to work on nutrition and fuelling these runs.  The past few days have contained far too many Timbits, so I need to come up with a better plan!

Next week also sees a deviation in schedule as my graduation is Tuesday, so I’ve had to move some of my other workouts around.  There will be some double workout days in the plan for sure!

Today’s run took place later than usual due to the fact I was out all day attempting to find shoes for graduation!  It would be easier to find a needle in a haystack!

The Basics:

Run designation: easy

Distance: 3 miles

Goal pace: 11 minutes per mile

Actual pace: 11’24” (but miles 2 and 3 were 10’46 and 10’59” respectively)

Weather: Windy, mild, cloudy with breaks of hot sunshine

How did the run go?

I’ve certainly had better runs!  I felt like I was very slow and sluggish the first mile (and at a 12’28” pace I was!) I don’t think I had waited enough time between eating my late lunch and running and it was later than I liked and I was just tired overall and really wasn’t feeling it at first.  Once that first mile was under my belt and I had finally got into a rhythm, I felt much better and the run ended on a better note than it started.

No running tomorrow; Friday’s a rest day.  I’ll be getting primped at the salon ahead of my graduation on Tuesday!  That is if I can find a pair of shoes tomorrow afternoon.

 

Hello! Welcome to my training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon! I’ll be blogging each of my running workouts over the next 16 weeks. Maybe I might even post a vlog, if I can get over the fact that I sound like a 10 year old. Each post will contain the basics of the workout, what kind of run, distance, goal pace, actual pace, and weather conditions as well as a summary of how the run went.

I’ll also be talking about how I’m running for Switchboard and fundraising for them again! I’m really excited to be doing so and hopefully it will be as great a success as the previous two fundraising endeavours. I’m just setting up the donation page, and there will be a link in the coming days.

You can also follow my training on Strava.

The basics

Run type designation: easy
Distance: 4.5 miles
Goal pace: 11 min/mile
Actual pace: 11’47”
Weather: Sunny, humid, windy, and about 22C (or really flipping hot to me at least!)

How did the run go?

I prefer to run after breakfast, around 10am-1pm. However, today I had an eye doctor appointment, which meant I had to run a bit later than I normally do. I went out around 6pm and it was sunny and hot. I’ve obviously acclimatised to the weather here, as 20C/70F feels really warm, especially when running. So this run wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it could have been worse.

Hopefully, the runs planned for mid week will be better and a bit faster!

This was not the race I planned on running.  I had trained for 16 weeks. I worked hard.  But in the end, it. . . well it sucked.

The day before I wasn’t feeling well at all.  I was stressed out and anxious about the race and my upcoming trip and my stomach was in knots.  I could barely eat anything all day.  What I did manage to eat was purely carbs at least.

The day of the race I felt fine.  My knee was fine.  My hamstring was fine.  I had a bagel and a coffee and got ready.  I didn’t rush down to George Square as there was no reason for it.  I do wish I had gone a bit sooner, b/c it took forever to find the bag drop, as I was misdirected three separate times to its location.  I then spent about 40 minutes in the queue for the toilets.

When the race started, I was ready and I felt great despite its start up St. Vincent Street and I managed the first mile in 10:48 which is pretty much unheard of for me, especially going uphill.

The next 2 miles involve running along the motorway and you get a really good view of the city.  It was still really crowded at this point as the motorway was narrow (and very bumpy).  People were stumbling a bit and I saw people having to stop b/c other runners were tossing water bottles in the crowded path and people were literally tripping over them.  I was very cautious here and was appalled that runners were behaving in such a way.

Mile 2: 11:15
Mile 3: 12:00

I slowed down a bit in miles 4-5. I was really feeling the uneven road in my right knee and legs.  At this point I was still running but was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with the road conditions and the hills.  It was a really nice and sunny day, but once I got into Pollock Park I got a bit chilly with the tree coverage.

Mile 4: 13:27
Mile 5: 13:24

It was at this point, somewhere in Pollock Park that my right knee was absolutely done.  I have no idea why this keeps happening.  I’m doing the exercises.  I can only assume it’s something that is occurring in race day conditions that is causing this as the same thing happened in the Women’s 10K this summer.  It must be the uneven roads that we were running on, as opposed to the paths along the river and through Glasgow Green that I run on on a regular basis.  I kept trying to run every few minutes, and every few minutes my knee would tell me no.  I didn’t hurt all that much walking, so I concentrated on walking as fast as I possibly could.  I try to enjoy my surroundings as the parks are lovely, but was just too miserable to do so.  I was very glad for the water/Powerade stations at that point as I had gotten quite thirsty/sweaty throughout the first half of the run and desperately needed hydration.

Mile 6: 14:18
Mile 7: 14:45
Mile 8: 14:24
Mile 9: 16:12

At this point I was in Bellahouston Park and I was cold and grumpy.  I didn’t feel quite right and was feeling really disappointed and frustrated with myself.  I texted Steph and tried not to cry as I reported my failure.  At this point I finally took on more fuel, and that did help a bit as my times did pick up a bit once I had finished my Powerade and chews.

Mile 10: 16:00
Mile 11: 14:54
Mile 12: 15:09
Mile 13: 15:09
Mile 14: 12:05 pace for 3 minutes and 42 seconds
Final time: 3:05:12 🙁

Towards the end I walked with a couple of other women and chatted a bit.  I absolutely forced myself to run the last 400 meters up to Glasgow Green and toward the finish line.  It hurt like a bitch but I was NOT walking across that line.

I feel absolutely terrible and ashamed of my final time.  This was supposed to be a race where I blew my first half’s time out of the water, not beat it by a few minutes.  It is unacceptable that I should be running these times after running off and on for 10 years and consistently for 3.  This is something that needs to be addressed as my times overall are appalling and I feel embarrassed to call myself a runner right now.  I am seriously considering hiring a running coach to see if there is something wrong with how I am running.  I’ve had my gait analysed and nothing was found to be wrong with it; on tape I look just fine. I hope I can figure out what the problem is as I feel like I’m not getting any faster, in fact my 5k times seem to get slower!

I was really glad that Steph met me at the finish.  I was so upset that it took everything I had not to cry right then and there. I walked slowly around to find the bag drop pickup and then on to the subway.  Why we don’t finish the race at George Square is beyond me, b/c I hate having to walk to the subway from the Green.  By then I was done and I didn’t even want to go to Starbucks for a PSL.  That’s how upset I was.

At the finish line

We did stop for coffee once we got back to our stop and once I had that I perked up a bit.  Steph picked up ice cream and eggs for me on our way home, and once I was in the bath I was able to eat something substantial.

I had a massage the following day, and by Wednesday I felt pretty much back to normal.  I spent the past week in London walking everywhere, so I was glad that the half didn’t impact my trip.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve run twice and haven’t had any pain whatsoever. So, who knows?

Last Sunday I ran my first half-marathon.  It was the hardest physical thing I have done thus far in my life.

The week prior to the half, I was fighting a cold and an achy knee.  I was pretty sore from the previous Sunday’s 10 miler, so I took Tuesday off.  Wednesday, I went to Pilates, which while relaxing, made my knee ache even worse.  Thursday, I ran a quick mile, but I didn’t want to push it with my knee.  I spent the rest of the week stretching, icing and applying heat, resting, and eating all the carbs.

Sunday, I woke relatively well rested.  I was still hesitant about running, but I had more than 12 weeks of training under my belt, and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go out and do it.  So I got up and got dressed.  I ate a bagel and drank some orange juice and headed into George Square.  I stopped and grabbed a flat white; I knew I needed the caffeine.

When I got into George Square itself, the elite men were warming up and people were walking around, getting water and stretching.  As I went off to find some safety pins, they announced people should get to their wave areas, so I headed over to the pink wave where I proceeded to stand in the queue for the porta-loos for 40 minutes or so.  I listened to the chatter around me and was amused by this:

When it was finally time to start, I was nervous and excited, and as usual I started off way to fast up the hill.  I noticed my pace and breathing were too much at this juncture, so I backed off on my pace.  I kept up my previous plan of fuelling with a clif shot block every mile and drinking water when I needed.  I know that this might seem a bit much to some people with the shot blocks, but I know that from previous experience without proper fuel, I get pretty lightheaded and woozy easily.  So it worked for me in my longer runs, so I kept to it for the half.

As the miles passed, I knew that I wasn’t going to make my A time, but I felt pretty good about hitting my B target.  I also wished that I had done some more hill runs instead of focusing on time/distance.  Something to remember if I plan to do this run again; the hills.  Something I also noticed?  How much running on the motorway/roads hurts.  I’m used to running the Clyde River path, or through Kelvingrove Park, where the paths are smooth.  The roads themselves had a different texture and my toes ached from it.

Once I got to the 10k point in Bellahouston Park, I was tired, but ok.  I was glad for the Lucozade station as well!  The sugar boost helped me along the next few miles, and I was able to keep a steadyish pace, despite my wonky knee.  Yes, my knee pretty much hated me by mile 5, but I kept on.

I was so overwhelmed with all of the cheering and encouragement by those spectating and those who were cheering for charities.  I now knew why our names were printed on our bibs; it was so overwhelming to have people call out my name and wish me luck.  I was moved to tears more than once by the kind words of people.

Once I hit Pollock Park, I knew that I was more than halfway done, and despite my knee, I was still overall feeling ok.  I continued my fuelling strategy and walked to stretch out my knee when I needed to; making sure to not keep the walking breaks more than 2 minutes.

Now back in the Southside, I was starting to recognise my surroundings and once I saw the Finneston Crane, I knew I was close.  I was also approaching the area where I did my training runs and felt confident about finishing strong.  I had a second Lucozade and the additional sugar gave me a boost.  Once I could see Glasgow Green ahead, I picked up my speed as much as I could, and when I could finally see the timer, I saw I was very close to my B time.  I somehow managed to come up with a spurt of energy and ran as fast as I could across that finish line!

I was very emotional when I finally crossed.  I hugged a woman who I had befriended on the way, who had also crossed right behind me.  We were both soon to turn 40 and it was really great to have someone else there who was experiencing the same thing I was.

I got my “goodie” bag and walked around a few minutes trying to organise my thoughts.  And take a selfie.

2015-10-04 15.19.44

 

I made it home and collapsed into the bath.

My legs were pretty sore until Tuesday night.  I’m not sure walking around London is the best post half recovery, but it worked for me.