2 for 1: Half Mary Musings | Week 11 AND 12

I will be running the Edinburgh Marathon Festival half, my second half marathon, this weekend. Half Mary Musings is my weekly reflection of how training went, what I’m doing well and things I need to improve upon.

One day and counting! By the time you read this, I will already be in Edinburgh, dining at my favourite Chinese restaurant Chop Chop. Yes, it’s a cheat meal.

I’m going to do things differently for this post because basically I’m a bit over writing this series, and not as focused on  and passionate about the half marathon like I was for my first.  While training has gone well, life in general lately is insanely busy and I don’t have time to write two posts before Sunday’s race. After this and my race recap are finished, I can focus on what I really want to write about: the true science behind nutrition, the history of where our current nutritional guidelines come from, and of course, food! Recipes included. This blog is I Eat Therefore I Run and it’s been too run-heavy for far too long.


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.’

Anyway, let’s get back to the quickest HMM post ever. Week 11 was the second week of our taper; while the duration of the threshold intervals has dramatically decreased, the reps went up, making the weekday runs feel like forever! Check it out.

last Monday: rest day

last Tuesday: 48 mins: 8 x 3-min threshold run / 3-min easy run -> this looks like running at comfortably hard for 3 minutes, then running at easy pace for 3 minutes to recover. Repeat 8 times.

A perfect example of a run that took forever. We added six minutes to the start for a warm-up, so really, this run was 54 minutes long. And over that time, it’s a bit difficult to keep track of time. We persevered though, and I managed all but one rep of 3 minutes threshold at sub-9 minute pace, (the lone ranger was uphill). I was glad this run was done.

5.56 miles in 54:01, average pace: 9:43

last Wednesday: rest day + Walking Dead – season 4

last Thursday: 15-min easy, 5 x 3 mins at 10km pace, with 2-min easy run between each set, 15-min easy -> this looked like running at easy pace for 15 minutes to warm-up, then 3 minutes at 9:00-9:15 pace followed by 2 minutes easy to recover. Repeat that set 5 times, then finish with 15 minutes easy to cool down.

Another marathon-feeling run (slight hyperbole there). It was a windy evening, which made it feel like I was running in slow motion at times. Also, my pace was all over the place for this, ranging from 9:45 down to 8:30.

5.37miles in 53:03, average pace: 9:53

last Friday: Walking Dead, yo!

last Saturday: lots of cooking and baking.

Namely, Prosciutto cup vegetable fritatas.


And some incredible gluten-free, sugar-free Victoria Sponge cake that was an attempt at low-carb, high-fat. I input the ingredients into a nutrient calculator, and while it’s definitely high-fat (44g per serving!), it’s got the equal amount of carbs per serving, so back to the keto drawing board with my delicious almond flour, xylitol-sweetened cake.


last Sunday: 60-mins easy run. Pretty self-explanatory.

I did this with Amy on a beautiful, clear and hot Scottish Sunday. Pat and I went to our local farm shop café for lunch, where we ordered their delicious burgers, made with grass-fed Scottish beef, but with no bun, cheese, avocado and bacon instead. And rather than fries and salad, just salad. Our server seemed very unsure of what we were doing, and you could tell by watching the kitchen staff that it was also something very new for them to serve a low-carb meal. This is Scotland, they love their carbs! 😉

5.91 miles in 1:00:01, average pace: 10:10

The FINAL week of training

Monday: rest day and my novel of a post ‘How I kicked my sugar addiction.’ I got a lot of feedback on it on Facebook and LOTS of blog visits.

Tuesday: 30 mins: 3 x 5 min easy run / 5-min threshold -> this looked like 5 minutes easy running then 5 minutes running at comfortably hard for 5 minutes, repeated 3 times.

The last threshold run of this training cycle!!!!!!!! A little bit hard but not impossible. Each 5 minute threshold interval got progressively faster as the time passed, with each set at sub-9 minute pace. Our first set at threshold pace, we were at sub-8 minute pace by the end, wow!

3.27 miles in 30:04 minutes, average pace: 9:12

Wednesday: Walking Dead + skyping with my Mom 🙂

I also received my Nom Nom Paleo cookbook!


And made baked salmon with my own guacamole for dinner, with some quinoa to carb-load for this weekend’s race. Nom nom!


Thursday: (yesterday) 20-minutes easy run. That’s it. Just as we got warm, the run was over.

I also tried a nomtastic recipe from my new cookbook: Paleo Smashed Chicken, dredged in coconut flour and fried in coconut oil, with quinoa again for carbs. It was good.

And we’re now finally caught up with the entire Walking Dead series. The wait for season 5 is on!

(p.s. Pretty sure Terminus people have resorted to cannibalism…)

1.98 miles in 20:01, average pace: 10:06

Friday: Keto Chicken wings, baked in butter, with blue cheese dip! I’ve missed eating chicken wings. And sweet potatoes for carb-loading.


With a fat bomb, strawberry on top for dessert.


And since we’re finished the Walking Dead, we’ve started on Breaking Bad….

Thoughts on tomorrow:

My race plan is just like last time – stay at easy pace (9:45 to 10:00 miles hopefully) for the first 8 miles, then pick it up from miles 8-12, fishing for runners to pass. The final mile should be at threshold pace.

My breakfast tomorrow morning will be a bulletproof espresso with some instant stuff I bought, and jumbo oats with 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp peanut butter and a banana. I’ve also bought some Jellybabies, like last race, as mid-race fuel. Hope my palate can handle them!

I’ve been drinking lots of water as usual, and plan to wear my hat during the race. I’m also going to lather on the sunscreen, as I’ve been told the EMF weekend is always hot! However, looking at the current forecast for Edinburgh tomorrow, there’s going to be heavy rain! I’m a pro at running in rain – every Sunday run for January and February this year has been rainy and windy. Regardless of the weather, I’ll be prepared.

I’m excited for tomorrow, but will also be relieved when the race, and training, are over. As much as I love running, training for a spring half marathon this year during exams and then inspection has been hectic! I’m looking forward to a week from now when everything is over.

Stay tuned for my race recap!


4 thoughts on “2 for 1: Half Mary Musings | Week 11 AND 12

  1. Best of luck for tomorrow Danielle! I’m sure you’ll be great. I’ll be thinking of you and all my other emf pals during my first long run back after my break….. 😛

  2. I hope the race went well, and that you enjoyed the buzz around race weekend! Looking forward to the recap.
    (Oh, just read above…hope your knees and feet are feeling better.)

    • Thanks Abby! The race atmosphere in the city was great and I’m working on the recap.

      My knees back to normal but my right foot is quite bad. Physio appointment Friday 😦

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