Half Mary Musings | Week 8

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.

Another week where I’m behind. Can I just qualify that statement with the fact that I’ve literally had the busiest, most stressful two weeks in a long time? Now I feel better, and hopefully posts will be a bit more timely now.

Week 8 of half marathon training started with some really cool mail.


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: rest day. And leftover keto moussaka for dinner.


Tuesday: 5-min easy run, 3 x 10 minutes at threshold/race pace, 5-min easy run -> this looked like five minutes of easy running to warm up, followed by three sets of ten minutes running at comfortably hard (with two minutes rest between each set). We finished the run with five minutes easy running to cool down.

I don’t remember much from this run, (note to self: write posts in a more timely fashion perhaps?), except for heavy legs and wind, as in weather wise, not farts. Initially, I thought the heavy feeling would go away once I was more warmed up, but it didn’t, and each set at threshold pace became progressively more difficult. Combine that with running in a headwind for most of the way, and you have a recipe for a much-hated run. Normally, I don’t hate running – you know I love it – but all factors contributed to a horrible, ability-questioning feeling.

4.9 miles in 48:02 – average pace: 9:48

Wednesday: rest day and a fatty meal at Molly’s in Stonehaven.

Thursday: 10-min easy run, 3 x 8 mins of continuous hills at threshold pace (approx 45 secs up / 45 secs down), 10-min easy run -> this looked like 10 minutes easy running to warm up, followed by three sets of running uphill for 45 seconds, then downhill for 45 seconds, until seven minutes were up (programme misread!).  Between each set, we did two minutes of easy running. The run concluded with 10 minutes easy running to cool down.

Although some people at running group were hesitant to do hills so close to Balmoral, we decided to go for it anyway. We did our three sets up and down the Garvock, an almost 600m hill that looks down upon us in Laurencekirk. Although it’s a long hill, I’ve been able to run up it in one go several times. No barriers there!

This night, however, the barriers were creeping in. My legs felt heavy, again, and it made for some difficult uphill bursts. I managed though, and paid attention to form (straight back, square shoulders, leaning forward, pumping the arms and smaller steps) rather than speeding uphill. I survived and was relieved to run 10 minutes easy all the way down the hill, and into town.

4.49 miles in 52:14 – average pace: 11:39 :/

Friday: rest day and Walking Dead season 3

Saturday: that bastard of a race, the Balmoral 10km. My race ended up being more of a steady pace for 65 minutes, so I counted that as a training run instead.



I also caught up with Allison too.


I also made two dozen keto Boston Creme cupcakes for my niece’s naming ceremony the following day. While super tired, post-carsick puking. Ugh.

6.24 miles in 1:05:40 – average pace 10:32

Sunday: 90-min easy /steady, with last 20 at race pace. 60-min easy / steady run. Rest day. If you’ll remember from Week 7 of training, we swapped long runs to time it with the Balmoral 10km, and ran on the beach instead.

Said cupcakes from Saturday. Not the prettiest things but oh so divine, cream cheese filling and all!


Areas of Strength:

To be honest, I’m not very happy with this week of running. Yes, I got all my runs in, but they were all extremely difficult, more than just ‘getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.’ These runs made me truly question my ability to the point of What the hell?!?!?! And shortened the space between I Can and I Can’t. I’ve had much time to think and reflect, and have identified the source of the issue, which has since been rectified. And my runs have gotten better again 🙂

Areas of Growth:

– abs.

– Yoga.

– What’s new. I seriously have forgotten all about them, all the time. Work is only getting more hectic and won’t end until the end of May.

Nutrition: eating slightly more carbs for fuel. This doesn’t mean going back to normal, guilty eating, it means following more a paleo regimen with sweet potatoes and butternut squash, the occasional serving of quinoa, bananas before a run, and even a Cliff Bar (38g of carbs in one bar). Not being so keto-strict.

How’s your training going?

What’s the most difficult run you’ve had lately?

What’s your favourite fatty food?


5 thoughts on “Half Mary Musings | Week 8

  1. Pingback: Half Mary Musings | Week 9 | I Eat Therefore I Run

  2. Pingback: 2014: Average Enroute Wowzers! | Eat Primal, Run Hard

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