Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Off road.

As you all know, i've been suffering a bit with general aches and pains especially my niggling left groin which has been steadily getting worse and started to affect my hip. Started getting nasty headaches again over the past few days so last night I decided to do something about it and reassess my training and find a new strategy for dealing with injuries.  I know I should probably see a specialist sports therapist but (probably foolishly) i'm very independent (as well as tight when it comes to shelling out things like that!) so I want to know i've tried everything I possibly can on my own before I go down that route.


I started by having a warm bath to completely relax and try to clear my mind of any rubbish that has been going around it recently, then the last 10 minutes I topped it up with freezing cold water!  It took my breath away, but when i got out I found that the pain in my hip had eased a bit
This morning on my training plan was supposed to be a 30 minute easy run but I thought i'd give the running a miss and head off to the gym to give my body a rest from the same old movement.  I began with a 5 minute slow warm up on the cross trainer before upping it for 10 minutes before a 20 minute session of hills on the bike.  My hip was still a bit sore after this so I headed to the pool next for a gentle swim and some underwater hip stretches.  This did help a bit so I went for the foam roller when I got home - now, that really hurt! Concentrated all around the painful hip and a long session on both quads and hamstrings then jumped in the shower for some more freezing cold therapy.  But at the end of all that hell my hip felt a hundred times better so it seems that self torture is the way to go!

Tomorrow, I'm due for a 50 minute tempo run session but i'm going to do a spin class instead so that way i'll get the same cardio workout but without aggravating my hip too much! 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Happy Hour.

Good morning! 

Last night, I realised that I've managed to totally balls up my training schedule so I'm actually a week ahead of where I should be - doh! So, to correct this I will have to re-do this week to bring me back to where I should be otherwise I'll be ready for the half marathon a week early.

This week has been pretty tough training wise.  The run times have increased a bit and I'm back to work full time now, so staying hydrated is a bit difficult as I can't just have a drink whenever I want to in my line of work so feeling knackered at the end of every day.  Starting to fully realise the extent of what I'm asking my body to go through after 10 years of inactivity, it is coping way better than I would have expected but I do have a new found respect for the kind of distances I'm planing to run!

The week started with a 40 minute easy run on Tuesday which all went nicely to plan - good start to the week.  Then came the dreaded 50 minute tempo run on Wednesday but only managed just over 20 minutes out of 50, which was disappointing.  Unfortunately, I had to succumb to the fact that at this stage of training, rest was probably the better option as I still had that niggling groin strain on the left.  I rested Thursday and did a 30 minute easy run on Friday and it is getting better slowly and seems to go whilst running, especially after 20 minutes or so. 

Sunday morning came around fast again and with it came another long run, this time it was 60 minutes. Surprisingly, it was a success with minimal groin pain and actually kept going for just over 60 minutes with no stopping!  It was a bit of a milestone too because for the first time I actually felt that I could carry on and happily do another mile at the end, which is good progress. 

Here's a bit of motivation for next week...

Monday, 22 July 2013

Running out of bloggy time!

It's Monday again and my training schedule is stepping up a bit from this week so that means my morning runs will all be a minimum of 40 minutes and that will take up the extra 10 minutes in the mornings that I normally use to write this blog.  From now on, I will only be blogging once or twice a week*, probably after my long run on a Sunday and on Monday rest day for a bit of Monday motivation! 

*Don't worry Mum, i'm still running, and if i'm not for any reason you'll be the first to know ;)

Talking of Monday Motivation....

Two things today.  I like the message in this one, but I must stress that my legs aren't quite as hairy as the ones pictured - i'm slow enough already, without all that extra drag!

One of the many reasons I run so early in the day...because I love this -

Sunday, 21 July 2013

In the Long Run....

It's long run day today, 3 weeks into the training and i'm up to 5 miles now for the weekend run.  I've "run" 5 miles a couple of times before but to be completely honest both times it involved a lot more walking. 

Today was the day I refused to walk. So, that meant running all the way, with the exception of two 20 second stops to correct a 'wardrobe malfunction'! I kept a nice average pace of 11:50 min/mile which is a bit faster than I should be going for that sort of distance at the moment but it felt the right pace for me - plus if I went any slower and I might as well just walk!! 

Saying that, the run was tough this morning and I really had to fight with the lazy girl in my head to keep going, especially up the hill on the last mile. Before, I have always walked that hill but I just kept using lamp posts, bus stops etc. as landmarks to run to then tell myself that i'll run to the next one and I made it, not only to the top but all the way to the finish and it wasn't half as bad as it seemed.  I'm glad to say the lazy girl lost that battle :)

Friday, 19 July 2013

Easy easy run.

Following Wednesday's tempo run debacle this morning was a breeze, a lovely little 30 minute run in the sunshine. 

The good thing about today is that I really, really enjoyed it. I didn't want to stop after 30 minutes but had to save myself for the 5 miler on Sunday.

I think the reason I enjoyed it so much is that i've finally come to terms with the fact that i'm not in competition with anyone but myself and I don't *have* to win any races. Anyway, it's important to go at my own pace to avoid injury - going out for a run beats hanging around indoors nursing sore limbs with packs of frozen peas any day! So it is OK to be 'slow' just need to keep plodding on and as long as I keep pushing every so often with hills/tempo runs/interval training etc. I will get better with time. 

Just the fact that i'm out there instead of lazing in bed is good enough for me! 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Allegretto Staccatissimo

Good morning! Tempo run time is upon me again and I have decided to describe my tempo runs in Italian musical terms. This is what happens when I don't zone out listening to music while i'm running...my mind tends to wander.

So, I should be going along at a nice lively allegro, I am mostly achieving a very detached (staccatissimo) allegretto, which I suppose is a great improvement from my usual largo!

As usual with tempo runs, I managed a barely respectable mile and a half before I knackered myself out and ended up having a little walk, problem was that I had 40 minutes worth of running to be done and I had managed a little over 16! I managed a few more trots to take me up to 25 minutes then I found myself wandering home.  

I suddenly thought to myself (and most probably muttered out loud)  "NO! YOU ARE NOT GIVING UP YOU LAZY COW! YOU WILL DO THE 40 MINUTES IF IT TAKES ALL MORNING!!"  So I did.  In the end, I got 40 minutes worth of running done at a pace of 10:44 which is only a couple seconds shy of what I should be running at.  

Just got to make the intervals shorter and be a bit more 'vivace' on these runs!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Back on it!

I'm not gonna lie, this weekend was a write off.  Those nasty, unwelcome visitors (hormones) came to wreak havoc in my life and those around me.  While everyone one else was out enjoying the sunshine, I was indoors, either in bed, eating, crying, moaning and sulking whilst every part of my body ached!  What joy.

Normally, I would rise above this, but it had me in it's grip this weekend and would not let go.  Yesterday morning I was supposed to do a 40 minute long run but when the alarm went off and I found I could barely move thanks to the colossal amount of pain killers/antihistamines (thanks hay-fever) I had consumed during the very restless, hot sticky night! 

Anyhoo, this morning marks the start of my third week of half marathon training.  I'm very glad to say I finally got my shizzle together and got out there.  It was hot, It was sticky, my joints still hurt like hell but I was going running if it killed me!  Not only did I complete my 40 min run, it was the longest I have actually run continuously without stopping for a little walk AND I conquered a long hill that has been bugging me since the days of school cross country (22 yrs!) so I am looking at this morning as a success. Oh and I did it without feeling the need to block the world out with headphones :)

Monday motivation (could have done with this yesterday!):

Friday, 12 July 2013

Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Today was another easy run session.  30 minutes at a pace of around 12:30 so of course I averaged 11:39.  The route I took today was all up hill  for the first half and I even managed to go as slow as 12:15 at one point, but that felt like walking so I had to speed up again!

Yesterday I invested in a foam roller.  I have been reading up about these as a way to maintain flexibility  provide deep tissue massage (self myofascial release) and help prevent injury.  Did a quick 20 minute session and it surprised me all the strange positions I found myself in and it was uncomfortable at times, particularly the IT band roll but felt better afterwards and i'm suffering no ill effects today!  

Here's a little guide I found to using it:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Best laid plans....

This morning was a tempo run, a not very successful tempo run.  When I looked out the window, it looked very overcast and a little breezy, so, in my wisdom I decided that i'd wear a small-ish vest top under my running jacket today. Bad move number one.  

I started with a slightly longer warm up than usual then by the time I was ready to run, the Garmin had lost contact with the satellite so that put me off a bit. Bad move number two. 

Next, in my infinite wisdom, thought that was the time to do a mile speed test (seeing as I was a already sweating like a pig at the butchers (as it wasn't that overcast or breezy, just muggy) and I haven't done any speed work for a few weeks, it was a spark of genius!).  I set off on my mile with gusto and did manage a respectable (for me) 09:35 so this proves I haven't got much slower, but perhaps in better conditions I could manage a 09:25.  When I finished the mile though, 'bad move number one' came back to haunt me.  I was completely boiling but couldn't take the jacket off because I do not believe the good people of The 'Bourne are ready to see my pasty bingo wings flapping around at half six in the morning, so I remained in sweating pig mode for the remainder of my slow trot/fast walk back home to my sty!

So what was meant to be a half hour continuous run at a faster, but manageable pace of around 10:30 turned into a 20 minute disjointed mad run/walk affair.  The important thing is that I have learned two things today: take a bit more care when deciding what to wear; and stick to the schedule!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Easy does it!

Second week of half marathon training and I seem to be getting the hang of the easy run at last!  Managed to slow down a little more today to an average pace of 11:46 so I can tell the difference between easy and tempo runs now.  Still need to re-check my fast mile pace, but i'll do that tomorrow on my tempo run, just to liven things up a bit!

It was a little bit fresh this morning so I decided to try out my new bargain running jacket and it's great! Kept the wind out but I didn't feel like I was going to die from heat exhaustion at any point on my run and there was a fair amount of up hill running!

It's the start of another week so it's time for the Tuesday Tip:

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot!

There's a weird orange ball in the sky in the UK at the moment and i'm really not used to it!  As today is Sunday it is long run day and today it was only 3 miles so it wasn't too challenging but the heat was another thing entirely.   I went out at half six this morning, it was only 13 degrees C but I do tend to get a bit hot when i'm running so it felt to me like running through a jungle with the good old British humidity - and parts of the A2 are a lot like a jungle at the moment where the hedgerows have grown out of control!

Still having trouble with my pace. My long run pace is supposed to be a snail like pace of 12:30 but i'm having trouble going slower than 11:00 my average pace for today was 11:15 in the end.  I might pop out tomorrow and do a quick mile test to see if my target paces have changed in the last few weeks.

So that's the first week of half marathon training done and I've got to say, so far, i'm enjoying it.  Feeling so much fitter and stronger and it really hasn't had any impact on my day to day life either.  Other than getting up a stupid o'clock, but that's not too bad!  

Friday, 5 July 2013

Not so easy easy run!

Today was another half hour easy run and although the running itself was not hard, controlling my pace was.  I should be trundling along at between 11:30 and 12:30 for my easy runs but this morning my average pace was only 8 seconds slower than my supposed tempo run on wednesday.  Either I need to work a bit harder on my tempo runs or take it easier on my easy runs!  

Maybe I'm just getting naturally faster so will have to do another fast mile test to see if my guideline pace levels have changed. Who'd have thought running would be this complicated eh??

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Down Tempo

Today was supposed to be a tempo run which should ideally be at a harder pace for the duration (30 Mins this week).  It didn't go too well, I did go a bit faster than normal but boy was it hard going, about 20 mins in I felt like I wanted to stop, but just slowed the pace down for the last 10 mins and went at a slightly easier pace. My average pace at the end of the run was only 13 seconds faster than Monday's easy run.  I also had about 2 hours sleep in total last night and was wearing my stupid pink mac which is probably like running whilst wearing a bin bag which didn't help things much!

I do tend to have moments when i'm feeling bad for not being fast enough then I just tell myself that i'm still really new to all this and my body still needs to adjust to this ridiculous exercise regime i'm putting it through.  I know that with practice and experience i will get better and after all, no matter how fast or slow I go, i'm still enjoying the benefits of running and that is the best feeling ever :) 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Half-Marathon Trainee

I've had a little break from running lately but it's good to be back!  Just returned from a week away in Cornwall where I indulged in a spot of pasty eating and cream tea consuming but did a hell of a lot of brisk walking over beaches, up hills and over rocks as well as a 17 mile bike ride so I've actually come back fitter and stronger from holiday for the first time ever!

This morning is the start of a new era for me.  Today, I began a half-marathon training programme as it is 12 weeks today until I challenge myself to a 13.1 mile run!  

The basis of the programme I'm following is 3 days of running up to 40 minutes in the week then a long run at the weekend, which starts at 3 miles then progressing up to 12 miles two weeks before the big day.  It looks like it will be hard work but I managed the first 30 min easy run this morning so as long as I take it one day at a time and put the miles in then I can only get stronger.

Monday Motivation.....