Half Mary Musings | Week 6

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.

This week is very easy to write about, and this rice has something to do with it.

IMG_20140411_173606Keep 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: rest day. I woke up with a really horrible sore stomach, which I thought may have been food poisoning due to some smoked salmon and cream cheese that was left in a car. Throughout the day, the soreness and cramping came and went, and I had to make a few trips to the bathroom.

I did also make these delicious keto steak fajitas with coconut flour ‘tortillas.’


Tuesday: 5-min easy run, 2 x 12 mins at threshold/half-marathon race pace with 4 mins easy recovery, 5 mins easy -> this looked like 5 minutes of easy running, then 12 minutes at comfortably hard pace, followed by 4 mins easy to recover, then another 12 minutes at comfortably hard pace. The run finishes with 5 mins easy pace as a cool down.

This run didn’t happen. My sore stomach got so much worse, and I had made several trips to the toilet that day. I also had flu-like symptoms. I followed the Runner’s World recommendation that if you’re not feeling well, and the issue is below your neck, you shouldn’t run. So I didn’t – first missed run of this training cycle.

I did make this slow-cooked Teriyaki Beef Brisket though.


Wednesday: rest day. The sore stomach continued, along with trots to the toilet. My initial thoughts of food poisoning faded and I started wondering what the issue may be. I’ve recently started taking chelated (amino acid coated) magnesium supplements, which help to get rid of that heavy leg feeling when running among other things, and a side-effect of too much magnesium is loose stools. ‘Loose’ would be a conservative way of describing my stools. I thought maybe I had too much magnesium in my system, despite taking less than the bottle instructed. My solution was to stop taking all supplements (potassium and L-glutamine as well), until this stomach thing went away.

I was also starting to get very put off by food (shock horror!), and the beef I made the day before was totally nauseating to me, despite my husband loving it.

I also painted our window sill in the bathroom. First painting job ever.


Thursday: 10-min easy, 3 x 7 mins continuous hills at threshold (approx 45 secs up/45 secs down), 10-min easy run -> this looked like 10 minutes warm-up at easy pace, followed by 3 sets of running uphill at comfortably hard for 45 seconds, then downhill to recover for 45 seconds, with about a 2-3 minute recovery jog between each set. Once the 3 sets are finished, finish off with 10 minutes easy running to cool down.

Another missed run. My stomach and flu-like symptoms were still the same, and I did a phone consultation with the doctor who diagnosed my issue as a ‘tummy bug’ or, as ‘the Canadians call it – stomach flu’ – his words.  I used to get the stomach flu often as a kid, but with vomiting instead, and more intense flu symptoms. The doctor said to stop eating and drinking anything to let my inflamed guts heal, otherwise everything would just continue. This was fine, as all I’d had to eat that day so far was, what I call, a Fat Bomb Smoothie: coconut milk, coconut oil, avocado, almond milk, banana, blueberries and kale.


I also received my Balmoral 10km race pack!


Friday: rest day, and the guts were healing. I was surprisingly okay during this period of forced fasting, mostly because the thought of food repulsed me.

By the end of the day, I managed some crackers and that bowl of rice, both refined carbs, both which I haven’t had in months.

Saturday: we had friends from Canada that were coming to visit, and we were going to spend the weekend in Edinburgh with them before coming back up to our place. The goal was to do the long run today so that we wouldn’t have to run in very hilly, cobblestone-y Edinburgh, and we could maximise our sight-seeing time.

The run was 80 minutes easy/steady, with last 20 minutes at race pace. Pat did the run. I forced myself to run at least at bit, and managed to run-walk 2.25 miles, with stomach pains throughout. Although I initially felt guilty about missing Tuesday and Thursday’s runs, this confirmed I made the right choice.

By the evening, my stomach felt so much better, and I was able to have my first normal meal since Tuesday. We ate at Chop Chop in Haymarket, the best Chinese restaurant I’ve ever been to. Sadly, I don’t have photographic evidence as my phone died 😦

Sunday: A full day of eating and sight-seeing in Edinburgh, with our friends Alicia and André.


The view from our Air BnB apartment in the Grassmarket

I won’t even include areas of strength and growth this week because what can you do when you get sick?

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Have you ever made anything with coconut flour?

Have you ever used Air BnB for accommodation?


12 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | Week 6

  1. Ugh, you didn’t eat at Handmade Burger, did you? 😛 Glad you’re feeling better, and although usually the first run back after a week or so off is horrendous, I tend to find that by the third everything is back to normal, and actually, quite well rested.

    • I didn’t eat at Handmade Burger prior to getting sick, but I did eat there Thursday and it was delicious!

      Apart from that brief run-walk, my runs this week have been good. It also helps that it’s another easy, cutback week 😉

  2. Glad you listened to your body and took much-needed time off. That’s a bummer, but good it’s closer to the beginning of the training cycle than the end!
    That view is awesome!! I bet your friends are loving it!! Enjoy the rest of the visit!

  3. Bah, so sorry to hear that you were sick! The stomach flu is the worst. I’ve used airbnb a few times, the best experience I’ve had with it was in NYC. Also,

  4. Pingback: 2 for 1: The Canadians Visit & Half Mary Musings | Week 7 | I Eat Therefore I Run

  5. Pingback: Balmoral 10km race recap | I Eat Therefore I Run

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