Half-Marathon training: Week 2

This week was far better than the last.  I was far more mobile and there was little pain while running, which is a bonus- obviously.

Sunday: I walked to Pilates class which was cancelled.  🙁

Monday: I had a very painful sports massage and ran a little over 2 miles.  It was a slightly achy run, but I felt ok.

Tuesday: Physio and Pilates class, not to mention a lot of walking.

Wednesday: Rest day that was spent at the library.

Thursday: I was going to go to run club, but I didn’t get home until after I needed to leave.  I had a long day at uni and when I got home I realised I had forgotten my computer cable.  Instead of going to the gym, I ran back to uni to get my cable and then back home for a total of 3.09 miles.

Friday: Unintentional rest day in the wake of Brexit.

Saturday: 5K on the treadmill.

This coming week I need to get back on the strength bandwagon and stop slacking off!

An injury update and half-marathon training week 1

When I last left you, I was feeling pretty down about being injured.  I was so sore and uncomfortable and even walking was causing discomfort.  I saw my physio right away and got stretched and massaged out.  I was re-assured that the injury wasn’t major, but that I needed to make some changes.  I took the week off from running, which pretty much made me crazy, and was able to walk, bike, and strength train instead.  I made sure I stretched, massaged, and foam rolled like I had never done before.  And now I need to make sure I stay on top of it.

When I woke up Monday, I felt SO much better.  When I went to the gym, I was able to manage 2 miles at a pretty slow pace, alternating with walking when I needed to.  I felt pretty good after and was so glad I was able to manage 2 miles with out any pain.

Tuesday I went to physio again and also Pilates class.

Wednesday I took the day off.

Thursday I warmed up on the bike and then ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill without too much discomfort.  I was wearing the newer trainers, whereas on Monday I was wearing older ones, and I’m wondering if it’s the newer shoes.  Hmmm.

Friday I was really lazy and had every intention of going to the gym but OINTNB.  You get me.

Today, I ran outside (since for once the sun was outish) 5K and felt pretty good.  I did have to take a few walk breaks, and I did notice that the newer sneakers don’t feel as “loose” as the older ones.  I think it’s time for another gait analysis.

All in all, it was a good week.  I have decided to modify my training schedule, and slowly build up my mileage again.  I’m a bit disappointed to not be working on speed vs distance, but right now the goal is to remain healthy while training.

And hopefully I will remember every Saturday to write up a brief update on the week.  I meant to do this last year and never did, and I think it will be beneficial to me and to others (if anyone else who is a slow runner who is thinking about running a half).

Glasgow Women’s 10K recap

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!

April 2016 recap

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.

 

Glasgow Resolution Run 10K recap

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!

10k training in review

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!  🙂

2 years

I can’t believe it has been 2 years.  Just as there are still days I pick up my phone to call mom, there just as many as I sit down to write you an email, dad.

If I could e-mail you, one of the first things I’d tell you is about my Paul.   You’d probably reply with a tasteless joke; the same joke you’ve made for years.  Only now it’s true.  I’d still laugh, because it was an old, long running joke between us for decades.

If I could e-mail you, I’d tell you about how I’m behind in my work.  Or maybe I wouldn’t.  If you were still here, maybe I’d have gotten my act together quicker.  We’ll never know.

If I could e-mail you, I’d want to know how you felt about the Patriots this season.  I wish they won for you again.

If I could e-mail you, I’d want to know what you think of the X-Files.  I know you would have loved that it was back.  Episode 4 was hard to watch.  If you were here, it wouldn’t have been.

If I could e-mail you, we’d probably talk about how Twin Peaks is coming back too.  You’d have gotten down the Twin Peaks mug and the Laura Palmer diary (wrapped in plastic!) and had a good cup of coffee.

If I could e-mail you, I would tell you that I love you.

For now, I will sit down and watch some Blake’s 7 and think of you.

Whole 30 (round 2): The first 2 weeks

It’s been 2 weeks since I started my second Whole 30.  The Whole 30 police haven’t shown up to chastise me for calorie counting, weighing my food and body, or anything else that I’ve done to deviate from the plan fully.  For me, it’s not about the plan per se, but about resetting my body, cravings and so on and so forth.  I could just call it clean eating, but Whole 30 does pretty much give a better idea/picture.

I do have to say when I’ve explained this to people as of late, I’ve been getting a lot of odd looks.  Granted, I know it’s not an easy thing to undertake.  Of course that didn’t keep me from feeling smug on 1 January when I felt pretty awesome and most people were struggling with hangovers.  I didn’t drink or do anything on NYE b/c I’m a very pathetic and lame person with hardly any friends, so . . . but that’s another story for another day.

The food hasn’t been an issue.  In fact, I’ve been able to go for longer with less food than I had pervious.  Perhaps the additional fat intake is keeping me full.  Perhaps I’ve finally come to a realisation in terms of satiety.  I don’t know.

Meals have typically been the following:  Breakfast:  bacon, eggs, tomato and peppers.  Lunch: salad with tuna or chicken if I’m hungry, coffee or tea if I’m not.  Dinner: chicken and veggies, chicken and salad, chicken, veggies and potatoes or some combination wherein.  (I don’t eat red meat or pork other than bacon, so I basically eat chicken and turkey.)  If I’ve needed a snack (like on a higher cardio day) I’ll eat some almonds or cherries.   Given that my breakfast time is eaten at lunch time for most people, it’s no wonder I’ve not needed an actual lunch.  I also must thank Stephanie for once again being my chef, since my ability to cook eggs is still appalling.  I can at least manage chicken in the oven and the salads.

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I’ve not really had any cravings (except for cheese, as our fridge is filled with it).  I’ve not had any dreams about bread this time around, which is good.

Physically I feel fine.  Sadly, my headaches have not improved, but the achiness that had plagued my hamstring since the half-marathon has receded.  I’m still just as tired, and if anything, my sleep has declined, especially this week.

I’m hopeful that the next 2 weeks pass just as easily and quickly.  I’m looking forward to sweet potato soup tomorrow.  🙂

2015 in review

This year has been filled with the lowest of lows, and highest of highs; a mixed bag if you will.  It was a horrible year for blogging, and I am hoping I can be more consistent in 2016.

 

January 2015

January started off horrible.  I was ill, I had no money, I felt hopeless.  Nothing was going right and my future here was in jeopardy.  I was injured and I couldn’t run to alleviate the stress.  Finally, everything got resolved (at least financially) and that made a huge difference.

February 2015

In February I did my first Whole 30.  That is pretty much all I can say about February.

This picture pretty much sums up the first 2 months of 2015.

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March 2015

March can be summed up by this picture.

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I saw Ian Hallard in Lovesong of the Electric Bear (twice!).  This play literally saved my life in so many ways.

 

April 2015

Despite the brief reprieve of March, I struggled through the rest of the spring.  I struggled academically and emotionally.  I cried a lot.  I ran a lot too, but finally, I was very, very lucky and once again I managed to survive.

May 2015

In May I was lucky enough to have got into the ballot to see the Vote!  Which meant this happened!

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June 2015

In June, we celebrated a year of having Bailey!

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July 2015

In July, Steph and I went to London.  We visited the Doctor Who store, I saw Robert Sean Leonard in To Kill a Mockingbird, and I took a walk past the Diogenes.

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August 2015

The beginning of August was pretty awesome; guess where I was?

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The rest of the month was spent working on three chapters that needed to be completed by September.

September 2015

In September I got the all clear to continue on working on my thesis.  It was such a relief to not have to worry about my status here anymore.

I also went to see the premiere of Doctor Who Season 9!

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October 2015

October was a huge month.  Not only did I run a half-marathon, but I went to London (again!) and had Mark Gatiss wish me a happy 40th birthday.  Pretty much perfection right there.  Definitely the moment of the year!

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Me and Steph moments after the birthday wishes!

Me and Steph moments after the birthday wishes!

Hamlet wasn’t half bad either!

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November 2015

The majority of November was spent working on my thesis and struggling mentally.  I took an overnight trip to see Lovesong of the Electric Bear in its West End debut, but the remainder of the month was spent close to home.

December 2015

I’ve really struggled this month both mentally and pain wise with NDPH.  It’s been really, really hard.  Steph and I went to London; it was for her birthday as she wanted to do the Harry Potter studio tour all done up for Christmas.  It was gorgeous!

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Overall, it was a pretty good year (at times).  I didn’t really get into a lot of the things that went on this year, and this isn’t the place for it.  Perhaps, soon, I will discuss it publicly.  A lot of it was mental for me.  Some of it was physical.  I lost some friends and made some new.  Things weren’t easy with academics and I have a lot of work to do over the next few months.  Hopefully I will come out of this with my PhD!  🙂

So many things are ahead in 2016.  Finishing up this thesis, finding a job, and figuring out the rest of my life.  Pretty scary stuff!  Hopefully, I’m ready for it.

 

 

#40thbirthdaytheatrepalooza part 2- Hamlet

After we pet the kitties, we walked to the St. Paul’s area for lunch at Hush Brasserie.  I had a wine spritzer and a chicken Caesar salad, and Steph and I shared truffle fries with parmesan.

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Afterwards, I took a few pictures before we headed back to the hotel so I could get ready for Hamlet.

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Once I got to the Barbican, I got myself a water, a snack, and a program and sat down to people watch.  I missed breaking my drink tradition before the play but I was still worried with the random allergic reactions and the fact that I knew there was a long way to go before the interval, and booze wouldn’t help that.  I made sure to take a dorky pre-theatre selfie.

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Once we were allowed in the theatre, I went in and sat down.  I had been third row for Much Ado About Nothing, and maybe 8th row for To Kill A Mockingbird.  However, tonight, second row here felt, very, very close.  This was really emphasised once the screen went up and I could see the stage.  I was astonished.  It was the most elaborate stage I have ever seen.  I had a hard time taking it all in *and* watching Benedict, so I had to stop watching him and take a moment to take in everything I could.  Unfortunately from my seat, I couldn’t see the entire stage, especially the centre and where it went all the way back.  Luckily, this didn’t take away from the absolute brilliance of the performance.  I was completely transfixed and couldn’t believe how much time had passed once it was time for the interval.  I really hope that I get to see it in the encore performance in the cinema so I can get a different perspective.

After, I did go out for stage door, but I didn’t have any expectations (especially considering when I got there before the performance, people were already queuing up).  I did see Benedict as he signed for people across from us, but I was more shocked at some of the behaviours of the fans, to be honest.  I’m not going to talk about that here, but let’s just say I was not impressed by how some people were acting.

By that point, Steph had come to meet me and we walked back to the hotel.  She had gone to Whole Foods and got me sandwich fixings, which I hungrily ate as I checked my messages.  She got me this as part of my birthday present (so I had something to open).

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Friday was our last day in London.  I didn’t have any specific desires or plans, so we left our bags at the hotel and just walked around the Southbank area after getting another coffee at the Coffeeworks project.

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For lunch we went to Wahaca for fish tacos.  I had been craving them for days and I could have eaten twice the amount I had!

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After, we walked around a bit, poked a bit into Borough Market and then headed to Hummingbird Bakery for a birthday cupcake.

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My cupcake was delicious!  I wish I had taken a second one to bring home!

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After we went to pick up our bags before heading to Euston and the train home.

So, that’s it.  I wish the trip could have been a bit longer, so I could have done some things/seen some sights I have yet to see, but hopefully there will be time for that in the future.  I was so glad to have been able to spend my birthday this way.