Since I don’t actually have a set topic in mind I thought I’d just share some of the highlights or randomness of my week with you with some added photos. I love reading blogs with lots of pictures so I’ve tried to remember to actually take more now so I can post them too.
-The number 1 highlight of the week will have to be watermelon. Haha. Yeah call me sad but I got beyond excited as I haven’t had watermelon in I don’t know how long and it’s just sooooooo nice and on a sunny day (which we have had loads, in CARDIFF!!) so refreshing.
-The picture is taken right after my pilates class which was amazing as always. I believe that pilates keeps me injury-free or I tell myself that anyway so everytime I’m in the class I just smile like an idiot thinking about how all my injuries will go and stay away now.
-I don’t know if anyone else watches The Affair. I think it’s slightly depressing show but I’m hooked now and I LOVE the theme tune about the ocean haha.
-Another show that I’ve started watching only recently is Orange is the new black. And that theme tune is amazing as well! Can’t go wrong with Regina Spektor, she has such a nice voice.
I wasn’t actually that healthy all week as it might appear.. these were definitely consumed:
-I’ve been stressing out about my dissertation proposal all week so the little treats were definitely needed. I finally handed in a draft on Friday so that was a huge relief. Even though the stress isn’t anywhere near over.
-Few runs were also included.. My first couple of runs this week felt really tough after the last week’s half, but I’m slowly getting back into it. I went for a 22k run this morning which should be on my highlights really but it was such a nightmare of a run. You know one of those runs where everything is just so uncomfortable and annoying. I had one of those. I ran with my bottle belt as I thought it’d be warmer and I needed to drink (I didn’t) and that belt was such a nuisance and kept bouncing up and down and eventually the velcro stopped sticking and it pretty much opened up.. I had to readjust the belt every 10 seconds (yea I counted) AND my knee started hurting halfway through the run but at that point I was 11k from home so there was no other way to go home than run it, plus I had to get to work so I had to hurry. Ahh it was just annoying. I felt good afterwards though, apart from my very sore knee and constant hunger for the rest of the day 😀 Oh well.
As a final note, is it normal that my almost 30-year old boyfriend eats these for breakfast?
On Sunday I ran my second half marathon of the year, the Swansea Half. It was organised for the second time this year and I ran it last year too. It is such a great course and event in general and I was very much looking forward to it.
I took the train there in the morning and was in a very good mood, 99% confident that I would break my pb by about 2 minutes, running it in 1:35.
My training hasn’t been very good these past months as I keep going from one injury to another and back again to the first injury but the past few weeks have been okay and I’ve even managed a couple of longish runs so I was quite optimistic about the race time. I did a Bath half marathon in March with what I thought was a lot less training and with a very injured leg and still ran 1:39, and Bath is hilly. So I was convinced that I’d run the Swansea’s flat course in at least 1:37 but more like 1:35.
Well the race started and the first two kilometers it was all great and everything was hunky dory and I was pacing myself well (I thought). By 3k I was starting to get stomach cramps but it was more of a discomfort than pain so I didn’t think it’d affect anything much. It was a very sunny, warm day and I hate running in warm weather and sunshine. I don’t know why but I seem to really struggle with it even if I am perfectly hydrated etc I still get very dizzy and nauseous easily. By half way point I had slowed down so much that I knew my goal time isn’t happening and I really just wanted to stop altogether. All I kept thinking was that I have never not finished so didn’t want this to be the first time. The nausea and feeling afwul got worse and worse so I slowed down massively and had to stop in a race for the first time. Well first time apart from London Marathon 2014 where I experienced exactly those same feelings just a bit more intense and ended up collapsing. So I guess I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I actually made myself stop on Sunday before collapsing. My legs almost gave up when I stopped but managed to stay up and stretch and drink water even though I felt like puking. After few minutes I took off again just slowly plodding away. It was almost like running with a terrible hungover. I felt afwul til the end and even 2 k before the finish I had to stop again as I thought I’d faint if I didn’t. I sound like such a drama queen but it was truly afwul 🙂
Eventually finished in 1:44, which isn’t a bad time. But considering I was convinced I could run 1:35 I was massively disappointed. And half marathon being my favourite distance I was so frustrated that this felt so bad. I am most annoyed about why it happened though, as I don’t understand how I can feel so afwul because of the heat and sun when it’s not like it was super warm and 30 degrees or anything… Ah well. Maybe I just have to run in the sun more to get used to it and wear a cap. Or just run when it’s cold 😀
Definitely looking forward to running and training now, after such disappointing race I feel more motivated to run. I haven’t actually signed up for any races at the moment but that will have to change soon. So if anyone has any suggestions for good races, let me know!
When I first started running I used my friend’s old trainers as I thought it didn’t really matter what you run in as long as they look like running shoes. Slightly different compared to now where I check if the shoe is for mild overpronators, what the weight of the shoe is etc etc.. When I decided to actually enter my first race I bought my first pair. Without any testing whatsoever I picked a pair that looked nice and wasn’t too expensive. I ended up with a pair of Asics Gel 1160. When that pair wore out I wanted the same pair again but could only find newer versions of the shoe. I was devastated, I didn’t know that there will always be a new version of the running shoes.. I just wanted the exact same one (talking about stuck in a habit haha). Anyhow I ended up buying the newer version of the same shoe again, 1170 or something..
When it was time to replace my Asics again I was devastated to find out that the new model was in an afwul colour. I don’t know about you but I can’t buy running shoes if they look just boring or have ugly colour. (The guy at the shop tried to tell me that during the last miles of a marathon it doesn’t matter what colour my shoes are but I don’t think he understands). I was so gutted that I decided it’s time to change my running shoes. At this point I actually found out what type of shoes I need, and I ended up with Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 because I liked their colour more. They worked well but after a while I got injured and was certain it was due to the shoes. Most likely wasn’t but I needed an excuse to buy a new pair. Quite conveniently at this time, I saw that a new model had come out from the Asics Gel (now called) GT-1000 series and I LOVED the colour. Bought the new pair and yet again got injured. So no, it wasn’t the shoe. I am very easily influenced by other people and last summer when Minna recommended buying Asics DS Trainers I immediately got a pair for myself (partly because again they were in a very nice colour). I started to get some plantar fascitis issues as soon as I got that pair, yet refused to believe it was the shoe as I loved them.
However, I am a bit superstitious and decided I need to go back to the original Asics GT 1000s as I’ve had least problems with them. The nice colour of the new model might have influenced the decision too…
These shoes arrived last week and today the shoes I won from the 10k race arrived: Skechers Go Run 4. Can’t wait to try out a whole new brand along with my Asics, apparently they are meant to be super comfy and they feel so light!
So the take home message:
1. Running shoes do matter.
2. Don’t change something that works.
3. Unless you don’t like the colour, then change it even if it works 😉
I did my first 10k race on Sunday and thought I’d post my first race recap here.
I have raced a 5k twice and half marathons and marathons a bit more but never a 10k. I sort of had a feeling it would be a tough distance to run and my lovely friend Minna kept telling me that too and warning it’s gonna be afwul (thanks :D). And she was right, it was afwul. Maybe it was the fact that my knee had been playing up and I had to take a week of running prior to the race or the pacing or both but it felt tough as.
It was an event in Bute Park organised by Women’s Running Magazine and despite the rainy and windy conditions the whole organization and race was great.
I started off very excited and very quick at the start together with 3 other women. I looked at my watch and realised I’m running faster splits than my best 5k time but was too ambitious to slow down at first. I hang on with the first three runners for about 1k and then passed the third one. After about 2k the front two runners were starting to disappear to the distance and I thought they must’ve really picked up the pace. Looking down at my Garmin I realised it was me who had slowed down drastically. At around 4k mark I was completely done, I felt afwul and literally just wanted to give up. All the typical negative thoughts in my head telling me how I can’t cope it’s too hard I won’t even stay third the person behind me will overtake me soon I won’t get my goal time etc etc.. Until the marathon runner and a future sport psychologist in me remembered the power of positive self-talk and how it’s all in the head, eventually starting to repeat the “I can I can I can”.
Whenever the wind got tough I also reminded mysef that everyone else has that wind too, it’s not like it’s just me who will be affected by it and there’s no point in worrying about the external things you can’t control. A cyclist who went past me at one point informed me I’m third (which I knew but in a way gave me that extra boost I needed). JP was there to support me as well and because it was running laps I saw him three times which definitely helped.
I slowed down massively towards the end and my 1k time between 8 and 9k was slower than my average time for a half marathon last year, showing how badly my pacing went. I really should have stuck with the slower pace from the start but oh well.. Live and learn aye.
My goal time was 42-43 minutes (quite ambitious I guess) and did not happen. It was windy and had some very steep U-turns and some running on the grass which added to the time a little bit but excuses aside, the main reason I didn’t get my goal time was just the lack of fitness and afwul pacing 😀
Ended up running 44:17 and managed to keep my third place. Lucky for me all the “real” and elite runners were in Bristol doing the 10k so I got on the podium. Got awarded with bottle of Prosecco and a pair of Skechers which definitely made up for not running my goal time.