Saturday 31 March 2012

Positive thinking

I searched back through old episodes of Marathon Talk (my favourite podcast) to find advice for race week (which is here in episode 13) and found a hidden little nugget of advice: in that last few days make a list of 10 positive things that you did during your race build up, the idea being that you don't spend your time worrying about what you haven't done/what went badly.

Now, as we all know, my "event" build up hasn't been entirely great, so I thought a list of just five would help remind me of the good things that I did manage to do. It accidentally turned into a list of eight...

1) Started running early - I was going out for 2 and 3 mile runs back in October.

2) Found a partner-in-crime - having a regular running evening with a friend made me more likely to go running and to increase the distance gradually. And it was more fun.

3) Discovering that I can keep running whilst in some (moderate) pain. Especially when I started getting sore knees.

4) I went back to parkrun and accidentally PB'ed.

5) I ran in the rain!

6) I discovered how much easier it is to run in daylight and sunshine (which sounds obvious but wasn't).

7) I got out of bed at 6am on a Saturday to fit a run into a busy weekend.

8) I ran 9 miles! All by myself too :)

I am ready

We had a bit of a running photoshoot this evening. More to come...

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Fantastic present

My sister and brother-in-law have treated me with...

...three personal running sessions with a professional coach!

I am very excited and have already emailed to try to organise the first session :)

Sunday 25 March 2012

The salad streak continues

Disclaimer: I am not, in any way, shape or form claiming to eat particularly healthily :)

I don't know what's got into me, but I'm really enjoying eating salad with my dinners!

I've never been a big salad fan, and I don't really rate cold food much at all - if at all possible I will eat three hot meals a day. However, after the surviving the flu (I must have had man-flu as I'm still talking about it!) I started experimenting more. Part of my new-found enjoyment has come in the form of balsamic vinegar - what a genius salad dressing! Beyond that, I don't know where it's coming from but it makes me feel awfully healthy! I've even been trying out different ingredients such as finely chopped mange tout for a bit of crunch...

Wednesday 21 March 2012

More things to try

I've been getting all excited with making plans and adding to my must-try list:

I desperately want to watch a professional ballet - I studied ballet until I went to university and am considering re-starting adult classes. I wasn't any good but I would love to see a real performance.

Monday 19 March 2012

A more positive run

There were a few things that made yesterday's run much better than my recent attempts:

Running during the day (and with sunshine) was really nice.

Not doing it after a whole day at work (which is often exhausting in itself).

Brilliant advice from A. He told me to that I could run the whole 8 miles and that I just needed to believe in myself and keep going.
Taking it slow and steady (more advice from A).

All things considered, the biggest difference was my mentality in approaching the run. And I almost enjoyed it; I'm definitely proud that I did it - 8 miles under the belt is a better position to be in, preparing for my upcoming event. (I daren't use the word "race" as I will be in no way racing!)

Am going to let my legs recover a bit (especially my left knee, which seems to be rebelling slightly) and then maybe go for a stamina-building but non-impact swim...

Sunday 18 March 2012

Sunday Blogging

I think more people should blog on a Sunday :)

During the week work keeps me pretty busy and I struggle to read all the updates that appear on my blog-reader, often just skim-reading to get through them all. Then, by Sunday, the stresses of the week have usually melted away and I have the time to sit back and relax. I flick to the blog-reader but it's almost empty :(

When I started my blog I noticed a real dip in readers over the weekend, but that trend is changing - let's make the most of it! Especially as, for a lot of us, we do our most interesting and exciting things at the weekend!

Please post more on Sundays!

That Sunday feeling...

PS - after the general preparation disaster that I recounted the other day, I'm heading out for a pretty long run today. Wish me luck!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

the depressing truth

I'm entered for a half-marathon which happens in a few weeks time.

I entered last year but didn't run due to a multitude of health and stress issues.

This year I am not dropping out.

Training started back in October with 2 and 3 mile runs and built-up to 6 miles in December.

Then I started getting knee pains and dropped back to 3-4 miles whilst using other exercises to strengthen my thigh muscles and supporting my knee better.

I also started swimming more regularly.

Then, in the cold of January, I started wheezing and ended up at the doctor's to get an inhaler for my (very mild) asthma.

By February I was ready to put in more time, aiming for 3 runs a week. I got flu - I didn't run a step for two weeks and it probably took 3-4 weeks to clear my system completely.

So here I am, less than a month away and totally demoralised. My longest run was 6 miles long and two months ago. I know I am fitter than I was, but I also know that I am not ready. I can't face pulling out this time - I really need to do this. It may end up being a run/walk. It will definitely take me longer than I was hoping for. But somehow (possibly crawling) I'll get to the finish line.

Right now, it's taking all my willpower to get out the door. Yesterday's run was pretty disasterous as I even let myself take two walk breaks.

Please don't tell me I haven't done enough training; I know that only too well. But please do share any suggestions of the best things to do over the next few weeks to make sure I'm in the best possible position...

Monday 12 March 2012

Saturday night and pretty drinks

After a healthy morning at parkrun, I followed it up with pretty drinks in the evening!

Yum :)

Sunday 11 March 2012

parkrun-ing again

I went a-parkrun-ing yesterday. I really should go more often, but I'm not very good at organising myself on Saturday mornings! (And anyway, we are often out and about a lot at the weekekends...)

Things I love about parkrun:
  • it's reliable - any Saturday morning, 9am, it's happening.
  • it doesn't take too much out of your weekend.
  • I get an official time and usually a race photo!
Photo courtesy of Peter Cook (flickr photostream)
Things I hate about parkrun:
  • being beaten around the 5k route by children. Some are really quite little too :(
  • being lapped! The Reading course is effectively a straight, two loops and straight back to the finish. I normally get lapped by a few people as I finish my first loop and they finish their second. However, this Saturday was obviously super-fast and I was lapped very early on by quite a few people (and a dog!)
  • not getting a PB, which I didn't this time. I thought I probably would because I've been running more recently. Oh well.
At least I can enjoy the rest of the weekend safe in the knowledge that I started it healthily.

For more info on parkrun visit the offical parkrun website.