Half Mary Musings | Week 10

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 things I need to improve upon.

Week 10 ended with a little NFL football live from Wembly Stadium in London. Feels like home 🙂

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
85% to 95%, close to all out effort, leaves you out of breath.  

Monday: week 9 post and one set of abs while waiting for photos to upload to Blogger.
Tuesday: 10-min easy, 5 x 2 mins interval run/2 min easy run, 10 min easy run
This looked like: 10 minutes warm up at easy, conversation pace, then 2 minutes of hard, fast running folllowed immediately by 2 mins of easy running to recover; repeated five times, followed by 10 minutes easy running to cool down.
Distance: 4.59 miles in 45:13
My toughest speed workout to date, and finally real interval running. I did this while running alongside my fellow running group peeps, with all of us decked out in some variation of tight and fluorescent bright in response to the days getting shorter. I loved this run because of the support: while no one joined me in the intervals, they all ran past (during my easy run sections) with some words of encouragement for me. I run with some pretty awesome people!
Gotta love the steady peaks and valleys from my heart rate with each interval!
And some delicious spiced salmon for dinner:
Wednesday: Nothing, I mean rest day.
Thursday: 45 min steady hilly run OR 40-min easy if racing Sunday.
This looked like: running for 40 minutes at conversation pace.
Distance: 4.05 miles in 40:02
I had entered the Arbroath PTA which would happen Sunday, so I had a luxurious slow run for 40 minutes. The route had a downhill start and uphill finish, and I actually had to slow my pace down after mile 1 because I was running too fast for easy pace. I never thought I’d write that!
We also had a houseguest: my in-law’s older German Shorthaired Pointer named Brio. She’s stayed with us many times when her Spaniel companions are with her, but this time she got us all to herself. And as a result, some much needed special treatment, like sitting in my lap.
And sleeping on our couch cushions (on the floor, to prevent her from climbing on the couch instead).
I love the freckles on her nose
Friday: rest day and dinner with Pat’s sister, her husband and their little baby girl! And Indian takeaway.
Saturday: rest day full of relaxation. And abs!
I made Chicken and Broccoli Gratin with fried Savoy cabbage for dinner:
And we watched The Commitments.

I used to LOVE this film, the book too
Sunday: 75-min easy/steady or 10km race.
This looked like: The Arbroath PTA 10km race.
Distance: 6.23 miles in 58:31
Check out yesterday’s recap of the race here.
I’m very happy with the overall result because I think to be a good runner you need to run smart, and yesterday’s run was my first step at running smart. Check out my (almost) negative split miles!
 I also got a nice medal!

The day was culminated with left overs and the football game.

Areas of Strength:

– Running Smart! The proof is in the race, and the fact that Thursday’s run required me to sloooooooow down. I could’ve been competitive with myself and gone against what the programme recommended, but I knew to trust the training and what it was doing to benefit me and my fitness, so I stuck to the programme.
Being Realistic: My friend Adrienne, my oldest friend and one my my bestest friends (can you tell I’m an English teacher?), left the following comment on my Arbroath 10km Instagram photo yesterday:
Awesome compliment from an awesome person

I think being realistic is so smart because, as Adrienne points out, it allows you to be constantly setting the bar higher and higher, while always achieving success. I think it’s pointless and a waste of energy to set impossibly high goals, which usually result in not achieving them and feelings of disappointment. I’m a perfectionist, and if I set my goals incredibly high, I will beat myself up over not achieving them, which is counterproductive in every sense of the word. I’ve worked hard this year, although not blogged about it, to not put so much pressure on myself, and I think being realistic about what I’m able to accomplish in running, at work, and with my blog helps me to balance things and feel better about myself. 

– Believing in myself: Looking back to earlier this year, before the Bum Belly Blast training programme and the Balmoral 10km, I wasn’t very realistic about my running at all. I didn’t think my body was able to do long runs (WRONG!!!) because the two I’d done in the past resulted in me being stiff afterwards, heaven forbid! I didn’t think I’d ever run distances into the double digits, and I’ve now done it twice. And finally, I didn’t think I’d ever run a half marathon, and now I’m about to do one in two weeks, and I’m dreaming of more. I didn’t give myself enough credit as a runner, I didn’t take myself seriously enough, but through the Bum Belly Blast and many spring races, I started to strive a bit higher and go for something bigger. I had thought about doing a sprint triathlon this year, but instead, here I am two weeks away from my first 13.1. I had pictured it to be so scary for some reason, and I feared the distance. Through these 10 weeks of training so far, I have learned so much about running, the training and my ability, more so than the last three years before that. I know now that I shouldn’t have been so scared, I should’ve believed in myself and gone for all the distance and speed training earlier. Who knows where I’d be in my running?!?
– Supportive friends: I’m quite lucky to have a great group of running girls. We Facebook and text each other frequently throughout the week, and are always giving each other positive reinforcement, which is definitely needed as a runner. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m grateful for good friends that run.
Areas of Growth:
– more abs: still not enough. I’m doing some tonight! No excuses, just lazy.
more visualisation: This is a bit tricky because there is so much unknown to running a race: features of the route, hills, running surface, scenery, etc. With softball, I found it very easy to visualise my entire practice because there were so many skills involved. It was easy to picture myself swinging a bat, throwing a ball, catching a ball, and thinking about different scenarios. With running, aside from the actual act of running itself, I don’t know what else to think about. Starting slow? Running up hills with a shorter stride, leaning forward, and pumping my arms faster? Picking up the pace at mile’s 8 and 12? It’s all still a bit of a mystery to me.
– diet: Not as in fad diet, restriction, but rather, what I’m eating. I’ve been indulging on some richer foods lately: cheese sauces, Pepsi, fried cabbage and a Peppered steak baguette. I want to tone down the rich stuff and sugar in preparation for the race, so I will avoid my Pepsi and juice-sparkling water drinks, and make a few recipes from our new cookbook, BBC Good Food Low-Calorie Recipes. I might even share some recipes here!
What are some ways you stay realistic with your running?
What’s your favourite healthy recipe?
Have you ever run a negative split race?

2 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | Week 10

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