I’m currently training for my first half marathon in Aviemore, October 13th, 2013. Half Mary Musings is my weekly reflection of how training went, what I’m doing well and what I need to work on.
This week can be summed up as a very busy, haar-y, getting tough and lots of restaurant food week!
|This is haar on a good day|
Keep in mind these different speeds as you read:
– easy run: 60% effort, you can run and easily carry a conversation.
– long/steady run: 65% to 75% effort, at least 1 min slower than race pace.
– threshold run: 80% effort, comfortably hard, also known as tempo
– intervals: 85% to 95%, close to all out effort, leaves you out of breath.
Haar is a coastal fog formed over the sea which is then blown to land by the wind. This past week, the east coast of Scotland has been plagued by some of the thickest haar I’ve seen since moving here! The days have been warm but extremely muggy, and are totally overcast from the fog. The haar also makes for low visibility, as though you’re in front of a constant wall of smoke; it has been a while since I’ve seen a clear blue sky. This makes running a bit more hot and tougher to breathe, but we still survived!
Monday: I actually did some abs!!!! After writing last week’s post and finishing it before 9pm, I had enough time to get in an entire ab work out. Too bad this was the only one of the week….
45-min. steady run unplanned rest day.
This looked like: sleeping in my bed. What should have been an easy recovery run after the Forfar 10km, was actually one long, much-needed, after-work nap.
I got home with enough time to have a short snooze before heading out to running group. I used the time alert feature on my old Garmin FR60 and set it to sound after 20 minutes. My head hit my pillow and I was basically dead to the world. After what felt like about 5 minutes of sleep, I suddenly woke to see my watch timer hit 53 minutes; it was 6:38pm and running group started at 6:30pm. I had missed it. I ran out to my car to retrieve my mobile phone, and called Amy to tell her I wasn’t going to make it. While I was speaking to her, I began feeling woozy and pins-and-needles-y. I took these both as a sign to go back to bed. I dozed until 7:15pm when the hunger pangs and imminent start of the Great British Bakeoff premiere coaxed me out of bed.
The busy days at work and busy weekends lately have left me totally zonked, and clearly I was in need of the sleep but also the rest. I’m still not sure if my time alerts actually went off and I didn’t hear them, or if I hadn’t set my watch properly. Regardless, I was grateful for the rest, and apparently Amy and Wendy were too because they called it a rest day as well.
Wednesday: rest day and day of gluttony #1 for the week. After another particularly tiring and crap day at work, I came home incredibly tired. Rather than cook, I suggested Pat and I go out for dinner, which let me inform you, is incredibly rare for us during the week. We took advantage of a gift from his parent’s, and went to the Creel Inn for a delicious meal.
|Clockwise from top right: My raspberry beer; my chicken stuffed with mozzarella cheese and wrapped in prosciutto; our starter of Cajun prawns, and Pat’s Asian seabream with crab cakes|
This was a good choice. I also was in bed, lights out by 9:45 that night. Clearly I needed more sleep.
Thursday: 10-min easy run, 2 x 10 mins of continuous hills at threshold (approx 45 secs up/45 secs down), 10-min easy run.
This looked like: a hybrid of Tuesday’s planned run and the above. I was going to try a progression run, where you start slow and each mile becomes progressively faster, but after a (nice) constructive pep talk from Amy, where she basically told me that I sell myself short when I race and settle for less than what I’m capable of, we turned it up a notch and basically did a threshold run at intervalled times. Amy and I discussed how through all this training we’ve totally gotten out of our comfort zones and embraced it, but it seems that when I race, starting out too fast aside, I’m admittedly too scared to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s so true and something that I plan to write an entire post on.
With Amy’s support and encouragement, we continued this intervalled threshold pattern for the rest of the run, kicking it into full out effort up hills at the end. Because of this push and (nice) kick up the backside, I ran a new 5 mile PR of 46:19.
distance: 5.02 miles in 46:19, (9:10, 9:18, 9:01, 9:25, 9:16)
Friday: rest day and day of gluttony #2. To celebrate a very busy and stressful term at school, some of my colleagues and I went for a very indulgent meal at Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian in Aberdeen. It was coincidentally pay day, so naturally we all treated ourselves to a three-course meal with drinks.
I started with arancini: balls of risotto and mozzarella, breaded and deep-fried, and served with a spicy tomato sauce:
For my main, my colleague Fiona and I split two meals; she ordered the Shetland Salmon:
And I had the Chicken Ragu with papardelle special:
Both were brilliant! I ended my supreme gluttony with a slice of chocolate-orange tiramisu with large dollop of orange mascarpone on top: