Half Mary Musings | Week 2

I’m currently training for my second half marathon in Edinburgh, May 25th, 2014. Half Mary Musings is my weekly reflection of how training went, what I’m doing well and things I need to improve upon.

I’m not going to lie, after a very productive day at work, I would much rather lay on my couch and veg, or do a session of yoga than write this post. I’ve chosen to be a blogger, but let’s face it, sometimes you feel like you just, as my students say, CBA (or can’t be arsed). I will do it though, because it’s a good chance for me to reflect.

With that little bit of patheticness over, (is that a word?), on a lighter note, spring is here in Scotland. And in typical fashion, it’s marked by the arrival of daffodils. Everywhere.


Keep in mind this information as you read:

easy run: 60% effort; you can run while easily carrying a conversation, and you’re running significantly slower than normal pace.
steady run: 65% to 75% effort; at least 1 min slower than race pace.
threshold run: 80% effort; comfortably hard, also known as tempo. Conversation is simply a breathless ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’
intervals: 85% to 95%; close to all out effort, leaves you out of breath, and you can’t speak at all. Only week 10 calls for intervals.

Monday: essential yoga and 2 minutes straight of planking. I practically collapsed in a heap at the 120 second mark.

Dinner was keto-adapted Huevos Rancheros with beef chilli and protein tortillas.


Tuesday: 2 x 10-minute easy / 10-mins threshold -> this looks like running at easy pace for 10 minutes, followed by running at comfortably hard for 10 minutes. Repeat this once.

This was a mixed run: I started out well and ran a very fast first threshold set, which meant I took a bit longer to recover. Mile 2 was only 8:19! My second set was harder; my legs felt heavy and as a result, I ran this set slower. I still finished with a great pace and time though: 4.55 miles in 41:49, average pace 9:12.

I also did abs.

Wednesday: core yoga.

Thursday: 10-min easy run / 2 x 7 mins of hills at threshold / 10-min easy run -> this looked like a warm-up of 10 minutes easy running, followed by running uphill at comfortably hard pace for bursts of 45 seconds, followed by easy downhill running for 45 seconds. Repeat this until 7 minutes is up, then easy recovery jog for 3 minutes. Again, another set of 7 minutes, 45 seconds up, 45 seconds down, then finish off with 10 minutes easy running. It’s tough but so rewarding.

Pretty much everyone from running group is doing this half marathon, and we’re all following this plan. It was great to see so many runners together, running up and down hills with me shouting at them when the 45 seconds were up. There were a few choice words, lots of panting, layers removed, but overall, everyone came out the other end tired, but with a sense of accomplishment.

I can’t give you my time, distance and pace because I kept stopping my Garmin when we’d stop between intervals, only to start it after we began running again.

Thursday night’s dinner was keto-adapted Salmon with Avocado Cream and brocoli roasted in coconut oil. Thank you Maria Emmerich!


Friday: rest day and 2 x 1 minute plank. And we watched Sunshine on Leith, a musical set in Scotland, with all songs by the Proclaimers.

Saturday: rest day and 2 x 1 minute plank. I figure if I’m not going to do anything, I could at least plank, right? The highlights of the day were the glorious sunshine and temperatures of 16’c! And going up to Aberdeen to buy three gently-used tires for my car and having them fitted too. All for less than £100!

And taking more photos of the flowers around our house.




Primula? My landscape gardener husband is asleep and can’t help…

Sunday: 70-min easy/steady.

The day brought more sunshine and warmth, but about 30 minutes before we were due to head out, the wind picked up. Wind and sun make for good laundry drying weather, but not good running weather. What was supposed to be a 70 minute 7 miles turned into a 70 minute 6.5 miles. I should’ve taken into account a headwind when mapping the run; something to learn from. Pat, Wendy and I ran until my watch hit 70 minutes with just less than a mile from home. We walked for a few minutes than did a slow jog back.

I found this run a bit difficult and I wonder if it’s because I may not have eaten enough the day before. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner, but not any snacks, and I’m wondering if that’s the reason? Don’t know. I did pick up the pace in the last mile though, just when my body finally got into the groove only for the run to finish. That’s the way it works, isn’t it?!

Areas of strength:

– adhering to the programme -> A given since it’s so easy to just say CBA and do an easy run. But easy runs don’t help you run a strong half marathon injury- and illness-free, and be able to bounce back from it.

– running friends -> it helps that we’re all doing the race. You’re never left without a running partner, apart from last Thursday… and there’s plenty of high-five’s and well done’s post-run. We’re good at encouraging each other, and I think that’s very important.

Areas of growth:

– abs -> one day a week of the routine isn’t good enough. Let’s try for at least three days a week, with core yoga and planks.

– yoga -> I did essential and core, but never did a session of power yoga, which focuses on the hips, glutes and hamstrings, and which I love. My rest days could be more active with at least yoga, right?

And now to look forward to week 3, starting tomorrow…

How’s your training going?

Which type of run do you love: threshold runs? Hill repeats? Or long runs?

Which runs are you totally CBA about?


11 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | Week 2

  1. Well done on your training this week.
    I love my easy run on a Saturday morning when it really doesn’t matter about pace or distance and I can just enjoy the route and saying hello to the people I meet. At the opposite end of the scale, I really enjoy my Sunday long runs (although I could certainly do without all the wind!)

  2. Wow- you’re doing awesome! I love the different workouts you get. I’m still intrigued by the hills and may want to try that myself when I start to train for something.
    All the flowers are amazing! I love that about spring…when we eventually get a true spring 🙂

    • Thanks! You should try the hill workouts, the river valley in Edmonton would be ideal for them.

      I’ll post more photos of flowers: I pass daffodil farms every day on my way to work. It’s a a field of pure yellow, kind of like canola, but flowers instead.

  3. I really wish I could start saying “can’t be arsed” without getting funny looks. Lots of good looking meals this week and love all of the flower photos 🙂

    Great workouts, too!

    • I bet you if you started, others would follow suit 😉

      The meals were delicious, especially the salmon one with avocado cream. I’m making it for dinner again tonight.

      Thanks Hyedi!

  4. Pingback: Half Mary Musings | Week 3 | I Eat Therefore I Run

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