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.

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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.

 

 

Hello there!  I’ve been absent, I know.  I’ve been terribly busy, but that really is no excuse, as I have time to waste lots of time on the internet doing other things.  Anyways. . . what have I been up to?

1. I took a quick trip to London.

It was just a quick overnight jaunt, but it was incredible.  I went down to see Three Days in the Country (which if you know me, that should be no surprise.)  The play is absolutely amazing; both Mark Gatiss and John Simm were brilliant!  And I had a great seat with a perfect view of Mark’s  . . . .assets.  😉  I really need to spend a day writing up all my theatre trips this year!

After the play, this happened.  🙂

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2.  I’ve been training for a half-marathon!

I’ve been doing a lot of running!  I’ve just started week 8 of my training plan, and I feel pretty good.  Tired, but good.  Also, rungry!  I’m actually pretty impressed with myself as I’ve only missed one training run in the 7 weeks that I’ve been training.  I rolled my ankle on week 6, so I took a day off to make sure I hadn’t mangled it again.  It was a bit tender, but it didn’t swell or bruise.  Ice and resting helped it, and I was fine to continue on.

3.  I’ve been writing.  And writing.  And even more writing.

My thesis has been progressing.  Not with any amazing speed of course, but progressing all the same.  I have my secondary annual review in 10 days, so I’m freaking the fuck out, basically.  I have to get this chapter finished by the 9th and I am feeling a tiny bit hopeful.  If all goes well, I will be able to finish up my PhD.  If not, well, I don’t want to talk about it right now.

4. I went to the Doctor Who series 9 premiere!

With all the running and all the writing I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for fun (not since I saw Three Days in the Country).  I’ve been pretty focused on getting my work done, so it was nice to take last Thursday to first get my hair done, and then pop over to Edinburgh for the premiere.

The episode was brilliant, and that’s all I’m allowed to say.  🙂

Afterward, there was a Q&A with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, which was pretty cool.

CNcaTmHWEAE0w5W

 

I can’t wait to watch the episode again on September 19th.

Other than that, my life has been rather boring.  I hope to start planning my 40th birthday theatrepalooza very soon (Yay Hamlet!  Yay Three Days in the Country!  Yay high tea on my birthday!), and will share all the plans as soon as they are made.

 

Here’s a random Bailey 🙂

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Oh and if you’re interested, new hair

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I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and get some blogging done.  I’ve been really busy the best week grading essays for the class I was a GTA in this past semester.  I’m also still pretty down after everything that happened last month.

So how did I do in January?  The very fact I was able to get out of bed at all, was a miracle.

1. 10k training:  I managed about 70% of my runs.  Not perfect, but better than nothing at all.

2. I have yet to make a decision on running a half yet.  I’m still on the fence.

3. Floor barre:  I made it to one class.  🙁  I feel bad since I had paid for it, but one week I had a horrid headache, one week an upset stomach, and then the last week I had a grading deadline.  Ugh.

4.  Whole 30 didn’t happen.  I was waaaaaaay too upset after what happened to care about what I was eating or not eating.  I know that people say there are no excuses about giving up when you are under stress or whatever, but you know what?  I was too upset/traumatised/depressed and couldn’t be bothered to have to think about not having coffee the way I like it.  Maybe at some point in the future I will give it a try, but right now I am not in the right headspace.  Also, I like my coffee with cream.

5. Chapter deadline: I made it, but it wasn’t pretty.  The chapter was shite and needs to be re-written.

February goals:

1. Keep running 3x/week.
2. Make a decision about the half.
3. Recommit to tracking my calories.  I’ve been terrible about watching what I’ve been eating lately.
4. Get my life organised.

Wow, it’s been ages since I’ve blogged.  I haven’t had much to say lately; I’ve been really tired and stressed out and have been spending a lot of time just trying to “relax.”   Since I’ve last posted I’ve been to London to see Richard II, done some running, reading, and just general stuff.  I’ve also been starting to make fitness plans for 2014.

1. I started 10K training (again) this week for a 10k in March that I will be running in the London area.  I hope to improve my time.  I used some of the money I got for Christmas from my dad for new trainers to help me with this!

photo (2)

2. I’ve also decided to run a half marathon next year.  I was thinking the Edinburgh half, but I am not sure I would make the sweep time by the time of the event, so I’ve decided on the Edinburgh Rock and Roll half in June!  I am totally crazy I know, but I am looking forward to it!

3. Floor barre classes!  I’ll be taking them in the month of January.  I’m so excited.  I want to take barre core and classes like that, but the options are limited here in Glasgow.

4. Whole 30.  In January I will be attempting to do a Whole30 as best I can.  I’m not perfect and I am sure that I will forget or screw up or get ill and need cough drops or something.  While that may sound self-defeating, it isn’t meant to.  I am just going to be realistic and do it as best as I can.  I’ve not been feeling 100% lately and I am hoping that the Whole30 experiment will allow me a reset.

5. Totally unrelated to fitness, but I have a chapter deadline for the end of the month of January.  I need to be working really hard to get this done (8000 words or so) and I want it not to suck, so hopefully I can do this well.

I’ve also signed on for Jantastic 2014 and Charlie’s 21 day yoga challenge (because I clearly need more things to do!) so it should be a busy month!

I’m really hoping for a good January to start off 2014 with a bang!