Monday, 30 June 2014

Hot hot hot!

There appears to be a notable lack of races in my calendar for the moment and I feel like I'm missing that a bit at the moment.  Still, there is a lot of training going on!

I was back at the track again on Wednesday for 800's this time.  Only girl doing this workout so proud of myself for sticking with it.  The coach did make me stay back on the 4th one and only do 400 for that as I wasn't getting a full recovery.  Apart from that I completed the session.  So that's three track workouts in a row.  Yay!

Thursday I did 8 rainy miles.  It actually wasn't a bad evening at all once you were already wet.

Friday I met up with my lovely friend N in Galway for a long awaited night on the town.  We had a blast and were proper social butterflies (well we thought so anyway!) For this reason the only exercise done on Saturday was a walk to Sheridans Bar in Knocknacarra for a late breakfast (they serve until 1pm) and much rehashing of our night over sparkling waters.

Sunday I had a long drive to pick up my baby boy in Achill.  So good to have him home!
By the time I got back it was nice and warm and I realised I had forgotten my headphones.  I headed off anyway for a very uncomfortable 10 miles but it's done and they can't all be nice I suppose!

I followed that up with another fairly crappy 5.5 miles in the heat today.  My legs were tired and my lungs were hating the pace.  Probably should have slowed it down a bit due to the heat but never mind. I'm going to run by myself Thursday to keep my pace comfortable after track Wednesday.

Rest day tomorrow and perhaps a picnic somewhere nice.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

So where was I??

Oh yes! I was injured, or pre-injured rather.  That rest seemed to work quite well and I got back to running again last week. I was probably well enough to run by Monday but I had an exam that day and was wiped. (Passed.  Phew!  I get to put AVS after my name on LinkedIn. Something about which nobody cares except me!) and then belatedly brought my daughter to Dublin for the night to celebrate finishing both of our sets of exams. Tuesday I was predictably still wrecked after a busy few days so got back to it properly at the track on Wednesday.

It was the hottest night I've been there so far and I'm proud to say I did the whole set session of 4x400 warm-up/10x90seconds/4x400 cool-down.  For most people it's 10x400 but the whistle always goes before I get all the way round so that's me done at about 330m. I could probably get all the way round maybe three times (and then get sick after) but it's not worth it if I want to do the full 10. When I started in November I was getting to maybe 250-280m and could only do 6 so I'll take it. Hopefully with consistency I'll get all the way round for the full set of 10. And on that night I will buy myself a lone beer in celebration!

Thursday was dinner out with the athletics club girls at a local restaurant that does two courses and a glass of wine for 20 euro. Stuck with that and went home hoarse from talking and sore in the belly from laughing so a good night was had. What a great bunch they are!  I've fallen on my feet there. Oh and I snuck in 5 flat miles by the canal after work before I headed out. Uneventful but a bit on the warm side.

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Achill as the guest of a friend and her grandparents. Again, I must say I have absolutely lucked out with the people I have met recently. Everyone has been so positive and generous with their time and seem to want to be out in the fresh air as much as I do. Very good influences all!

Anyway we squeezed in about as much activity as it's possible to while still getting some sleep.
Saturday started with a 5 mile run on the beach.  I followed this up with a cycle from Achill to Mulranny and back with my number 1 son. This was garnished with a side of 3 hours of hiking from Keem beach up to the Shepherds Hut?/Lookout? and along the sea cliffs to the megalithic tombs. This took 3 hours as we took a boggy route back that required quite a bit of zig-zagging.

Oh and we also cycled to the pub and back (only a mile mind!)

Sunday was more of the same only we had to head back early afternoon so we only managed a run to Keem from Keel and a 1.5 hour cycle around the island. Lazy wagons we were.

And then on Monday I ran 8 easy miles and my legs fell off. The end.
Well almost!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A niggle and some enforced rest

So it was all going a bit too smoothly obviously!
After my easy miles Tuesday I hit the track on Wednesday for a hot, sweaty pyramid interval session. I'm glad to say I completed the whole thing which is not always the case. Felt good after it too... No issues.
I should have run easy Thursday and warmed up properly but due to leaving my wallet at work and not realising this until I should have been doing my warm up myrtls I ended up arriving just as the group was about to set off. My calf felt uncomfortable from a mile in and we were running much faster than i was comfortable at. Did I complain or slow down?  Nooo!  I just let my ego take over and kept on running.
On Friday my calf was painful at rest but by yesterday it was only uncomfortable if I tried to run. I had been registered for a local charity 10k "The Run for Ollie" and didn't want to miss it as it's a lovely day.
So I walked it and it was absolutely the right decision.
I feel much better today and will try some easy miles on Tuesday (I'm all over the country by car over the next couple of days so Tuesday may be the first chance I get!)
Maybe the enforced rest will do me good before marathon training starts on June 24th!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Study and a rest

I awoke yesterday with the full intention of doing some form of recovery run at some point.  It was apparent by the time I walked down the hall to the kitchen that my body disagreed.  Maybe I had overcooked last week with all that mileage? (Relatively's high for me!) What to do?  

I've been getting better recently at discerning when I need to listen to my body and rest, and when I'm just being a lazy old sow and get out the door.  My hip flexors were sore, especially on the right, my glutes ached and most worryingly I had no interest in running despite it being quite a nice day.  Also my stomach was upset and didn't want me to stray too far from my apartment.  So I didn't!

I foam rolled and tidied, and foam rolled and ate, and foam rolled and studied for an exam.  Then I ate some more.  Then I cooked for my daughter so she had something delicious waiting for her when she came back from doing exams.  Then I ate again!  I ate a ridiculous amount actually so that needs to stop.  Mostly salad and veggies with hummus (and quite a few spoons of peanut butter.  And a granola bar)  Maybe it's my body getting used to the higher mileage but it's the other direction I need to be heading on the scales so I need to cop on.  I easily have the highest BMI in my running club which is not something I'm about to go off the deep end about but I do know that the fastest way for me to improve my speed would be to lose a couple of stone.  With my history with food I'm unwilling to start counting calories or cutting out food groups but I do have to stop taking the mickey completely too!  Anyway back to work tomorrow so that kind of takes care of itself there as I can only eat what I bring with me.

Anyway I felt much better today and did a lovely easy 7 miler with not too many hills for a change.  Felt brilliant after it (but hungry again FFS!!)

Still miss this place :(

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A lovely Irish morning

Last night I slept well and was greeted with blue skies when I awoke at 7 (early bird...nothing I can do about it.) I was itching to get out for my promised 10 miler and was contemplating sunscreen, visors v's shades, my warm weather gear.  By 8:30 when I was due to leave to meet the running club it was overcast, blustery and ominously dark.   By the time I arrived at the parking spot, chatted and waited for any latecomers it was properly raining and chilly....what was I letting myself in for.  Also there were only 7 minute milers and under so I resigned myself to a long lonely run.  

To be honest I was on my own but I had a good run and it was certainly faster than if I had set out alone. Although I had already decided there wasn't any point in trying to keep up with the others I had decided to try to keep the others in sight as much as possible as I didn't want to be completely on my own and I wasn't sure of the last part of the loop.  I usually do the 8 miler on that loop so the route out past 6 miles I wasn't 100% certain of.  

Once we set off the rain stopped for the moment which was a relief as this part is on fun to have wet shoes that early in the game!  It takes me a while to get going so I found the first couple of miles difficult but by 4 miles I was settled and in the zone.  This was good as it then proceeded to lash rain for the next couple of miles.   At this point I was hot so I was getting strange looks from drivers as I grinned like a crazy person into the wind and rain.  What can I say?  I love a rain shower once I'm warmed up! 
I was really pushing it on the hills between 6 and 8, struggling to keep the last of the faster group in view. Luckily I seemed to always just get them back in sight as they were about to round a corner so that kept me moving knowing I was on the right track.  

I got back in 1:30 approx giving me about an 8:30-8:40min/mile pace which I was really happy with considering the wind and how hilly the route is.  I don't fancy doing all my long runs at that pace but nice to know I can manage it without being absolutely wrecked.  When I got back one of the other girls asked me how far I had gone.  I told her 10 miles and she couldn't believe it.  Only the guys and eejit here continued on in the bad weather and did the full 10!  The other two girls had turned off at 6 miles to do 8 instead. Oh well! 

Afterwards I was glad I didn't know as I think it would have made it harder if I knew there was an easy way out.  Need to work on my mental toughness next obviously.  And also not also being last so I know what's going on would probably help too.  

Saturday, 7 June 2014

A good week of training

This week has been really good in general and with a view to training.

I had that 8 miler on tired legs on Monday and some solid strength training on Tuesday.  This was followed with the club 4 mile handicap on Wednesday night so with warm-up and cool-down that makes at least 6 miles.  Thursday was 4 recovery miles catching up on a friends holiday and then Friday I did another 8 miles on the Curragh pushing myself on hills and into a strong headwind on the flats.  I rewarded myself with pizza and wine!

Today was a leisurely hike with a friend from Ticknock to Johnnie Foxs pub (I was a JF virgin up to this point) and back.  One pint of the black stuff each was purchased to punctuate our journey and the conversation flowed from the first step to the very last.  Oh and the sun shone unexpectedly.  Can't ask much more than that of a Saturday afternoon!

I'm hoping to get 10 miles in tomorrow morning with some of the running club......hopefully someone slow will show up or it will be lonely out there!  I had better bring my headphones just in case I'm on my own.

If I include the hike that will put my mileage for the week well into the mid 40's which is exactly where I want to be right now.  Feeling very happy with my lot in life right now!

Oh and I may have the beginnings of a team for the Sionnach Relay (same as Ragnar in the USA) which is something I wanted to do since it was first announced but I couldn't find anyone to do it with me.  We have four now so four to go and we are all set.  Yay!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Another first

Not that long ago I had my first ever DNF(did not finish.)  Yesterday was my first DNS(did not start.)

I hadn't really thought about doing the Flora Women's Mini Marathon until a friend contacted me a few days after the closing date to say they were reopening registration briefly and would I think about entering?  I thought "Why the hell not!" and duly entered.

Entry was a reasonable 19 euro and I figured I wouldn't be doing anything else that weekend.  For some reason though I never really got that enthusiastic about it.   Probably a combination of the logistics and the 10k distance.  If I'm doing a 10k I sort of want to turn up, warm up and do the thing as quickly as possible. I could imaging entering a half marathon or marathon for the spectacle, city, scenery etc but not a 10k.  It's just not long enough to be worth the hassle.

After Sundays 5k pb recapped here I had absolutely no notion of running a fast 10k.  I didn't even know anyone who I could have jogged it with so it seemed a bit silly to go to all that hassle so I didn't bother.  As it happens I'm glad I didn't as I went for a very slow 8 miler on the Curragh and my legs were like lead for the first 5 miles.  In fact I stopped three times in the first 2 miles which is really not like me but the outsides of my calves were burning despite doing a good warm up and going very slowly.  Anyway I'm sure it was good training to run on tired legs but it wasn't pleasant at all and I'm glad I was on my own and was able to stop and try to stretch the cramps out without too many people around.  I probably looking a bit nuts to the dog walkers.  My legs finally starting feeling capable of more than a shuffle after mile 6.  Also I saw puppies at this point so all was well in the world.

Today I rested from running and did some strength and stretching.  A good start to June so far!  Tomorrow evening at 7pm is our club 4 mile handicap.  More racing!

Monday, 2 June 2014

New PB and a prize!

So the (patent pending) altitude training must have worked cos I have a shiny new 5k pb of 23:23 as of yesterday. Woohoo!  This was good enough for 2nd lady overall so I won a €20 elverys voucher.  My first ever race winnings!  Might as well give up the day job right now! 
Obviously it was a small race but it's an important one to me as it's in the village both my sets of grandparents are from (yup, I'm properly smalltown and possibly inbred!) 
Added to that I had dropped out of the last race I'd done locally so I felt under scrutiny to finish. Oh and my family sponsor the ladies race.... NBD!  So no pressure then....

I prepared properly by drinking a couple of glasses of wine and a rum and coke the evening before. What do you mean that's not proper pre race nutrition??

I turned up at the start line about 40 minutes before the start which was stupid in such a small race, especially before a 5k where I have time to think about how much it's going to hurt. I chatted to some people I hadn't seen for twenty years or so to pass the time. It's amazing how people who used to seem way older than you are now miraculously almost the same age. How did that happen?

The race started on time just as the sun was coming out. Reason prevailed and I set off at a nice steady pace and let everyone stream ahead of me. Predictably most went off too fast.

The first 2k was okay but then this was mostly downhill. The next 3k sucked really badly but I fell into step with my cousins husband and we kept each other going until the final kilometer. At this point I wanted to puke and walk and all the usual 5k mind games but I could see the finish line so I pushed on ahead.

Crossing the finish line was followed immediately by having a little sit down on the curb. I was not feeling the love for running at this point! By the way I ran this race without a watch so I had no idea of my time at this stage. When my aunt came over and told me I was second lady home I was delighted! I chatted for a while to the 3rd lady and she indicated that her time was under 24 minutes so I knew I was on for a pb.  Also I didn't know there were prizes for 2nd and 3rd too! I was absolutely delighted with 23:23 and of course now I want to do another 5k ASAP to get a 22:xx. Possibly on a weeknight so I don't sabotage myself with booze.

Time to get serious this week about my diet and building my miles back up. My total was 25 miles this week which isn't bad for a comeback week but I want to be back up around 40 by the middle of the month with long runs well into the double digits.