Half Mary Musings | The final week

I just ran 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. This is the final instalment of Half Mary Musings….. for this training cycle.

The race is over, but I still have one more week left to muse about!

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.ย ย 

Monday: week 11’s post, and abs. Did I mention I was on holiday this week?

Tuesday: 30 mins: 3 x 5 mins easy / 5 mins threshold

This looked like: Running at conversation pace for 5 minutes, then at comfortably hard for 5 mins, repeated 3 times.

Distance: 3.32 miles in 30:02, average pace of 9:03

My last threshold run before the race! I was a little sad at this thought, and did some reminiscing over all my threshold and speed training runs throughout this training cycle. If I was in a film, my thoughts would’ve been a video montage of all the hard runs, hill training and general getting comfortable with the uncomfortable these last twelve weeks. Not blood, no tears, but a whole lot of sweat and determination!

Last run photo!

I also did quite a bit of house cleaning in preparation for my aunt and uncle’s visit the following week.ย 

Wednesday: rest day and cleaning. I also found this article about How to Fuel for a Half Marathon. I mainly referred to it for Do’s and Don’t’s of carb-loading.

The article also has a video at the bottom which offers a very clever suggestion of keeping your fuel on your person as you race, very useful for anyone racing in clothes that had no pockets (like my race outfit did).

Thursday: 20 mins easy

This looked like: running at conversation pace for 20 minutes.

Distance: 1.98 miles in 20:08, average pace of 10:09

My last run before Sunday’s race! It was short and easy, what more could you want from a run? I did get a feeling of what taper craziness is like though because I definitely thought that I wasn’t doing enough. Then I reminded myself to trust the training, and things were fine.

I also experimented with a new coffee in preparation for Sunday’s race: I wouldn’t be at home before the race, therefore couldn’t drink my ritual latte made from our espresso machine. Instead, I would drink my Nescafe instant-latte, which is what I drink when we go camping. I wanted to run with one latte in my belly, to see if it would upset my stomach.

Good news, it didn’t!

Friday: rest day and cleaning. I would just like to point out that my house isn’t that filthy, I was doing other things too, like getting my fuel packs ready for the race.

Tesco didn’t sell mini ziplock bags so I had to make my own

Saturday: travel day to Aviemore, and the most delicious pre-race beet risotto, made by Pat’s cousin Russell.

Sunday: Race day!!!!! Check out my recap.

Post-race, it took me a day to feel normal in the head (I was SO tired for most of Monday), and it wasn’t until Thursday that my legs felt normal again. They were very stiff, but walking around Edinburgh Tuesday and Wednesday helped loosen them up. I’ve run three times since the race, kinda of reversing my week 12 runs to build up again. The first run was a stiff 20 minutes but I managed, and for my second run, 3 miles at easy pace my legs felt fine, but my head felt tired. I ran almost seven miles at easy pace this past Sunday with friends, and I felt great!

On the other hand, my big toes have suffered: they were very tender after the race, and only seemed to have settle down this past weekend. The walking in Edinburgh didn’t help them, and they were pulsating at night because of the activity. I really hope I don’t loose my left big toe nail! I’ve also learnt a lesson: to buy my running shoes a half to full size bigger. I’ve only encountered purple toe nails since running longer distances, and since I don’t intend to stop this practice any time soon, I’ll invest in some bigger shoes when it’s time.

Toe shots are never pretty, I apologise

One thing that’s definitely contributing to my legs feeling so good is my recent purchase of 2XU compression tights:

I absolutely LOVE these tights, (especially the way they look with the big X on the thigh!), and have been wearing these religiously around the house and during Sunday’s run. They can be a bit translucent when I bend over, but I’ve learned to use my legs to bend instead. These will also be handy in the next few weeks as I prepare for the Templeton 10 mile Road Race in Dundee and the Lifeboats Reindeer Run 10km at Glamis, both in early November.
I’ve got one more half marathon related post in the works, and I’m going to try my best to post it this week. Stay tuned!
Happy Manic back-to-school-after-two-weeks-off Monday everyone!
Do you wear compression tights/socks/sleeves?

What’s your favourite compression brand?

What’s your favourite pre-race fuel?

2 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | The final week

  1. Good call on the half-size larger running shoes! My toenails turned black after my first 13.1, but I haven't had a problem since going up a size. Love the compression tights!

  2. Pingback: 2013: The Year that Was | I Eat Therefore I Run

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