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.
Um, it’s week 11, WEEK 11, of my half marathon training. Only six days until race 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.
Monday: week 10’s post and I’m pretty sure I did abs….. I had a VERY busy last week of school, so busy in fact, I can’t remember much of it….
Tuesday: 48 mins: 8 x 3-min threshold run / 3-min easy run.
This looked like: 5 minutes easy pace warm-up (I added that in), then 3 minutes at comfortably hard, followed by 3 minutes easy running; this repeated 8 times.
Distance: 5.23 miles in 55:52, run on the roads around my house.
This week, I’ve noticed that while the intensity may have dropped, the distance definitely hasn’t. Both runs this week have been over five miles, with the most sets of threshold intervals to date. Tonight’s run seemed like it would never end, and given that it was in very windy conditions, I was alone, and it was getting dark as I was getting home, I was happy to finish it when I did.
I also noticed that it took me about four miles to properly warm up: a bad thing when it comes to 10km races, but a good thing in preparation for Sunday.
We dined on Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Yogurt, photo taken from my BBC GoodFood Healthy Low-calorie recipes. This meal only has 297 calories per serving! And it’s delicious.
Wednesday: rest day. Did I tell you I entered the Lifeboats Reindeer Run at Glamis Castle November 9th? This was my very first 10km ever (run way back in 2010), and I will be running it for the third time. All finishers get a medal, and cute tshirt, felt reindeer antlers and a plastic red, flashing nose. This will also be race #10 for the year, and my last race of the year.
Thursday: 15-min easy, 5 x 3 mins at 10km pace, with 2-min easy run between each rep, 15-min easy run
This looked like: 15 minute easy running warm-up, then 3 minutes at around 9:10-9:15 pace, followed by 2 minutes easy running; this repeated 5 times. The run ended with a 13 minute easy running cool down, (I miscalculated how much time I still had to go!)
Distance: 5.35 miles in 51:06, run with my running group.
As the days are getting shorter and our runs are now finishing in total darkness, in the town, we opted for what was probably our last run through the woods this year. We all admitted that we got a little spooked at the sounds we heard, and I also screamed at what I thought was an animal, but turned out to be a fern. To add fuel to the darkness fire, the terrain is uneven, which given the reduced visibility, wasn’t a smart move, and I found myself wobbling a few times over the stones. I also rolled my ankle at one point, but it was so mild, I was able to keep running and haven’t had any pain from it. Rolling my ankle over a rock, especially in the dark, is a fear of mine as a runner: this is the third time I’ve done it, and thankfully, it was mild this time. I haven’t been so lucky in the past.
This past week has really hit home that summer is over and winter is just on our door step. Scotland has had an incredible summer, and we’re still getting unusually high temperatures now in October, but these shorter days have been a stern reminder of what’s to come for our dark winter running. I’m not looking forward to a decrease in temperature and a decrease in route options for us at night.
Friday: rest day, last day of school (two weeks off, yessss!), and another low-calorie meal, Chicken with mushrooms (and smoky bacon lardons), only 260 calories per serving. And very tasty.
|Photo snapped from the book itself|
Saturday: another rest day. We went up to Aberdeen for our favourite thing to do: dinner and a movie. Dinner was at the best Indian restaurant ever: Rishis. The reason it’s the best ever is because the food is authentic Indian cuisine, not the catered-to-the-British-palate Indian food. Pat has backpacked around India twice, and every time we go to Rishis and he peruses the menu, he comments on the dishes saying “I had that in India.”
One of his favourite Indian snacks was a Mysore Masala Dosa, a very thin, non-egg crepe-like pancake, with masala potato inside. When Pat was in India, he said he would order Dosa after Dosa after Dosa…. they were so good.
One of the street snacks he loved was Chana Bhatura, now my favourite. I actually crave it.
|Pat likes to take photos at an angle….|
It’s basically a deep-fried pillow of delicious dough made with maida flour, that you then break apart and sop up a mild chickpea curry. Indian comfort food at it’s best.
We also went to see Rush, with the incredibly gorgeous Chris Hemsworth. His looks aside, I do recommend the film, considering it’s all about Formula 1 racing.
Sunday: 60 minutes easy run
This looked like: 6 miles of running at easy, conversation pace.
Distance: 6.01 miles in 1:03:17 with my friend Amy
Last ‘long’ run of the training programme! A very easy and enjoyable 6 miles around my house. Can’t get any better than that.
Areas of Strength
– Improved fitness, again: Until recently during threshold runs, towards the end of the run, every easy run recovery interval was run incredibly slow or was done in a combination of walking about 10 seconds then jogging in order to recover. Now, however, my easy run recovery intervals are all run at a faster easy pace, all due to another gain in fitness. My body has changed so much these last eleven weeks, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did.
– Support, again: I’ve been thinking about fuelling during the race, basically to fuel or not during the race, so I put the message out there to Running the World, a runners support group on Facebook, which I recommend you join. I know gels are a necessity to marathon running, but wasn’t sure if they were required for a half. It seems, everyone approaches fuelling and distances differently.
I also put the word out on Twitter, and Erin and Amy both tweeted some excellent advice on gels to try and when to try them, and Erin (a recent Iron[wo]man), went so far as to email me with more nutrition support and advice. How about that? I’ve got some really awesome blends, that’s for sure! (blog + friend = blend).
I’ve come to the conclusion that while it’s too late to experiment with gels, (thanks Erin and Amy), it isn’t too late to think about how I’m going to carry a few handfuls of Jellybabies on my person while I’m making my way around the 13.1 course this weekend (thanks Running the World peeps!). I’m very experienced with eating Jellybabies before and sometimes during a run, and my belly has no issue whatsoever with them.
|Hope it’s for a good reason and not something inappropriate|