Half Mary Musings | Week 4

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.

Sticking to my training programme aside, it has not been a very active and progressive week for me. Technically, it is a ‘back-down-off-it week,’ designed to let your body acclimatize to the programme and then build up again, but that doesn’t mean I should back down off yoga and abs too. I blame these guys.

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: Normally, I would do yoga, maybe abs too. Nope, I ate dinner, wrote my post and watched Season 2 episodes of the Walking Dead.

Tuesday: 36 mins: 6 x 3 mins, with 3 mins easy in between. Reps 1, 3, 5 at steady pace; reps 2, 4, 6 at threshold pace -> this looked like confusion 3 mins steady, 3 mins easy, 3 mins threshold, 3 mins easy, repeated two more times. That’s the easiest way I can explain it.

It seemed we all had our own version of how we assumed this was meant to be run. I remember this from my last half marathon training cycle, and I remember how we were all confused again. Part of the battle of training for a race is just reading the programme correctly! I quite liked this run actually, it was nice to change up the paces in short intervals of time.

The only downside to this was my heavy legs. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve been making serious changes to the way I eat, and one thing I’ve cut down on considerably is complex carbs, which is a great source of fuel for endurance athletes. I’m working towards my body burning fat rather than sugar, so while the complex carbs have greatly decreased, the healthy fats have greatly increased. I promise to soon do a post on this.

3.99 miles in 38:51, average pace – 9:44/mile

Wednesday: More Walking Dead, and yessss, Shane died. Twice. And no abs, no yoga.

Thursday: 40-min hilly run. Attack the hills, relax on rest of run. Easy to threshold pace -> this looks like an easy 4-ish mile run around town, and running at comfortably hard pace up each hill.

A very pleasant run, but again, heavy legs! I’ve been eating lots of protein and foods full of potassium, (great for muscle recovery), but I’m wondering if it’s the carb still.

4.18 miles in 40:04, average pace – 9:36/mile.

Friday: rest day with steak dinner for dinner, and the season 2 finale for dessert. OMG! And I had a few potatoes. And a bottle of Corona. And no abs, no yoga.

Saturday: rest day again. At least I took a photo of a field of daffodils for Abby.


And we finally sprung forward; this means more day time hours for running! And the return of my sleeping mask. Who can sleep when the sun sets around 11 pm and rises after 4 am?

Sunday: 60 minutes easy/steady run OR 10 km race -> this looked like an easy run for 60 minutes.

A nice treat, really! It’s amazing to think that a year ago, a 6 mile run was a big distance for me. Now, it’s a nice, easy distance. How much things have changed! I’m also really happy with the purposely slower pace that I wrote about last week. It will help!

We pushed to finish when the 6 mile alert came, rather than cutting the run short at 60 minutes.

6.01 miles in 1:02:25, average pace – 10:24

I also made these delicious Cookie Dough Cupcakes as it was Mother’s Day in the UK yesterday.


I also love this serving plate

These beauties are made with coconut oil and coconut flour. The icing is butter, full fat cream cheese, and almond milk. Both have been sweetened using xylitol, a low-carb, low-glycemic, no-calorie sugar substitute, made from Birch tree extract. It’s also good for your teeth! The icing was silky smooth.


Areas of strength:

– At least I ran this week, right? Keeping the programme going, sticking to it and trusting the training.

– Eating: it was a stressful and tiring week at work, and in the past, I so would’ve caved in and bought a Pepsi (or six), and eaten sugary foods. This past week, however, I didn’t have any cravings and stuck to my healthy fats way of eating.

Areas for growth:

– Get back on the yoga bandwagon! The sessions are only 30 minutes at the most, surely I can fit them in.

– Do abs already! Even during the Walking Dead!

– More sleep – last week, I woke up around the 5 am mark every morning, sans alarm, and then just lay there thinking. I’ve got one week left of school and a stressful term, so hopefully my sleep with get better.

Are you a Walking Dead fan?

Are you a fan of the zombie genre? (I so am!)

Do you use coconut flour?


6 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | Week 4

  1. Oh my- those flowers are glorious!! Thanks for the photo and shoutout! You know what ‘spring’ looks lihere here: brown, brown, brown mixed with black snow!
    Those cupcakes look pretty darn tasty!
    I think you did good for a cutback week! It’s nice to do those things you don’t during the tougher weeks!

    • No problem! Spring in Scotland is marked in three waves: first snowdrops (cute little white flowers that come in January/February), then crocus, then daffodils. I love it! And such a difference from the sandy brown thaw we get in Canada. I’ll see if I can snap a few different varieties, some I’d never seen until I moved here.

      I definitely enjoyed my cutback week (that’s what it’s called!). It’s nice to look at the cycle in shorter chunks too. Only two chucks to go!

  2. My husband watches the Walking Dead and I’ll watch every once in awhile. I haven’t found it to be something that I really want to get into though. I do love Steven Yeun though!

  3. Pingback: A lovely jaunt in the woods | I Eat Therefore I Run

  4. Pingback: Half Mary Musings | Week 5 | I Eat Therefore I Run

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