Training week (w/e 22/11/15) And an Important Question

I started the habit of posting my training recaps here so I’ll continue that…

But first, I got featured in this last week by monitorthebeat, I was so excited and I like that quote too! Their account is amazing for running photos and quotes, you can check it out here.

monitorthebeat

So back to last week, I din’t do much and my training is still a bit ‘aimless’ as I’m not back to normal running yet and have no specific goals. But here’s what the week included:

Monday:

-Stretching

Tuesday:

-5km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:56

Wednesday:

Off

Thursday:

5.57km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:23 + abs, arms and back.

Friday:

-Gym: 45 min session on crosstrainer; 10 min warmup, 10*2 min hard (1 min recovery), 5 min cool down, 15 min bike + legs

Saturday:

-Gym: 30 min bike + abs, arms, and back

Sunday:

5.56km run in 32 minutes, pace: 5:44

The week started off with a rest day but I did a longer strecthing session. I don’t normally include stretching in the recap if it’s the normal basic everyday stretching but on Monday I probably spent 45 minutes to an hour stretching my whole body as opposed to just the main quads, hamstrings, calves kinda thing..

On Tuesday me and JP went for a run together. This happens like once in a  blue moon. The weather was pretty extreme all morning, gale force winds and rain but we were brave (Well I was and JP didn’t have a choice ;)). It actually didn’t even rain until we were almost home but the wind was preeeeetty strong. We took it quite easy, JP was shocked that we didn’t see any other runners for the first 10 minutes as there’s normally loads around the park. He was convinced we were the only ones out but we did end up seeing 3 others. My knee started hurting a bit towards the end but because of the weather I didn’t really want to walk home so finished the run anyway to make it 30minutes.

JPrunningrunning5

On Wednesday I was meant to do circuits at home but I got caught applying for a job that had a deadline the next day and I was filling that until 11.30pm. Circuits didn’t happen and it was a rest day instead.

I attempted running again on Thursday even though my knee had been hurting a little bit during the day. I probably shouldn’t have but I did (because I’m stubborn). I ran 30 minutes again, this time a bit faster than on Tuesday. Knee was a little bit achy towards the end but not too bad. Finished it off with some core work and weights at home.

roathlake

Friday and Saturday I went to the gym. On Friday I thought I’d get my heart rate up on the crosstrainer. I did 10*2 min hard plus warmup and cool down, then some legs, and 15 min easy bike to finish off. On Saturday I did just 30 min bike plus abs, arms and back.  I had no desire really to be at the gym on Saturday I just went for the sake of going so I didn’t feel like I properly worked out.

bike

On Sunday I attempted running again. It was a very cold morning (3 degrees) but it was nice and refreshing. I took it very easy not looking at the pace at all. I ran 32 minutes and there was NO pain in my knee. I was so happy 🙂 Maybe it’s finally starting to get better. My aim is to stay patient and take it slow. So next week I’m still not attempting more than 35 minutes of running just to be on the safe side.

shoes

And now the question:

I am in the need of new running tights and wanted to know if anyone has experience of compression tights such as Skins and 2XUs? Are they any good/noticeably different than normal tights?

 

 

 

Weekly training recap (w/e 15/11/15)

I mentioned in my previous psot that I’ll start writing weekly training recaps. This is something I know a lot of other runnnig bloggers do and I like to read their weekly training schedules so I thought I’d start it as well. It’s also a way for me to go back and look at the previous weeks to see what I actually do, where I’ve improved or what I could change etc..

At the moment I’m still not fully back at running with my knee so the recaps will include more crosstraining but that’s even better for me so I can analyse later and see how long it took me to run longer runs pain-free etc.

running3

So last week’s training:

Monday: 

-Gym = 30 min bike, 15 min hill walking (treadmill) + legs and abs

Tuesday:

-3.91km run in 22 minutes (10 minutes, 1 min walking and 12 minutes), pace: 5:38

Wednesday:

-Pilates

Thursday:

-3.76km run in 20 minutes (10 min, 1 min walk, 10 min), pace: 5:19

Friday:

-2km swim in 1 hour

Saturday:

-Off

Sunday:

-Gym: 4.57km run on the treadmill in 25 minutes, pace: 5:28, 1%  incline, 20 min bike + legs, arms and abs.

Monday’s gym was an easy session. I didn’t really do anything exhausting but rather just went there for the sake of doing something.

Tuesday I went for an evening run which I haven’t done in a while. It was so dark and cold but so refreshing after a work day. Managed 22 minutes pain free so that’s always good.

garmin

Wednesday we had the Imagine Dragons gig to go to so I wanted to something during the day to justify the drinks 😀 I ended up going to pilates which was eactly what I needed. Some classes are very gentle, easy, and relaxing where others are actually hard and you leave feeling it in every muscle you didn’t even know you had. Wednesday’s class was the latter. So good!

Thursday I went for a little run to shake off the headache from previous night’s gig. I was a bit stressed about my first ever sport psych workshop as well so the run was a good way to get some fresh air and clear mind.

roathpark

Friday I felt like swimming so I hit the pool and swam for an hour. I can only do breaststroke which always makes me feel really embarrassed and slow at the pool next to everyone else who looks like they are professionals. One day I’ll learn how to swim properly, it’s on the to do-list.

Saturday was a day off and Sunday I went to the gym to work on those muscles I tried to ignore all week. I managed a 25 minute run on the treadmill which I was super happy about. The pain free runs are coming back slowly. Then I did some cycling and legs using the leg press and leg extension. On top of doing the leg things with both legs I’ve now also started doing them individually using lower weights and just one leg. It’s crazy to see how much weaker my left leg feels doing leg press for instance. Finished it off with some arms and abs so I could leave the gym very sore and ready for the next week 🙂

plank

How was your training last week?

 

 

 

Currently…

I usually waffle a lot so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

It’s a list of my current favourites/current things going on.

Current thought:

-I miss long runs.

treadmill
25 minutes just isn’t the same.

Current tv-show:

-The Affair. I’m very much against the whole concept of cheating and affairs but this tv show is gooooood!

Current book:

-I’m reading Shantaram and so far it’s incredible!

shantaram

Current song:

-Hello by Adele. No words needed.

Current weather:

-Stormy.

Current favourite piece of clothing:

-My jacket.

jacket

Current food:

-Roasted sweet potatoes, fried egg and steamed broccoli. Yes, all in one meal.

Current drink:

-Tea (I’m so British)

Current chocolate:

-Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Biscuit.. And Dumles (but I just ran out of them :()

tunnocks

Current source of stress:

-Dissertation (and the lack of Dumles).

Current mood:

-Bewildered. I don’t like the world we live in right now.

Current source of happiness:

-JP, he amazes me daily. Love conquers all <3

Current quote:

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. That’s lethal.

-Paulo Coelho.

I saw this quote in Spanish first and it sounds so much more beautiful (I love that language): “Si piensas que la aventura es peligrosa, prueba la rutina. Es mortal.”

Current ideal location:

-Anywhere in Australia.

Current idea:

-I’ll start writing training recaps of each week in the blog.

Current countdown:

-To my sister’s wedding in December 🙂

What’s currently going on in your world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pain or not? And what do I do when I’m not running…

Hi again,

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on instagram you might be aware that I’m still struggling with a knee injury. It started in May but because I kept ignoring it the marathon at the beginning of October made it a lot worse. It’s been almost 6 weeks now since the marathon and I’ve gradually built myself up to running about 20 minutes. It’s been the slowest recovery process I’ve ever experienced. Even with the broken ankle once the boot and crutches were off I was almost immediately back to running 20-30 minute runs whereas this time I’ve had to start with little 5 min segments.

running

With the last few 20 min runs I’m not sure if they are pain-free either. I don’t know if anyone else gets this but when you’ve been injured for a long time or had an ongoing niggle can you almost feel it on every run? I’m not sure anymore if I have pain or is it just normal sensation on the knee or is it just because I’m so used to the pain that I think it’s still there? Does that make any sense? With my previous ITB injury I had the same thing; when I started back running I could “feel” the ITB on every run, it wasn’t pain but I was very aware of it for a long time. At the moment my knee isn’t hurting in a way that I would need to stop and it’s not uncomfortable but I am not running without noticing it either. Weird. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyhow so what have I been doing to keep some sort of overall fitness and more importantly how have I justified all the chocolate eating in the past 6 weeks?

The answer is gym, swimming and pilates.

gymbike

At the gym I’ve mainly focused on just maintaining fitness rather than pushing for improvement. I’ve done a lot of cycling on the bike, hill walking on the treadmill and crosstrainer. Plus this time around I’ve actually tried to do legs, arms and abs as well which I normally tend to ignore. I do find the bikes and crosstrainers quite boring, however, so occasionally I’ve done some intervals like 10*2 min hard with 1 min recovery for instance, just to keep the exercising a bit more exciting and exhausting.

I’ve also been going to pilates. I try to go once a week but it hasn’t happened every week just because.. well life.

pilates

As a new thing I’ve started going swimming. The pool is really far from where I live plus I lost my swimming suit so I haven’t been going before but I do like swimming because of the low impact. I originally went there because I wanted to go aquajogging; my favourite way to crosstrain, but turns out you need to bring your own belt. In Swansea the national pool let you borrow theirs and In Finland you can use theirs as well so I was a bit disappointed. Looks like I’m going to have to invest in one.

swimming

So an example training week for me:

Monday: Gym. Hard effort on cross trainer (plus warmup and cool down), legs & arms.

Tuesday: Hill walking + abs.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Gym. Easy 25 min bike, 20 min crosstrainer, legs & arms.

Friday: Gym. Easy 30 min bike, 30 min walking uphill on the treadmill, abs + back.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: 2*5 min of running plus walking, total of 7km.

The following week included small attempts of running on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, swimming on Tuesday and Gym on Saturday.

autumnpicture
I miss this weather already!

As you might notice, the training is quite easy and not as frequent at the moment. I have big plans for next year runningwise but for now I’m focusing on getting my knee better. I have no pressure to be exercising I’m just doing it to keep myself happy and half-fit  (and to be able to continue my chocolate-eating habits).

It’s completely normal to have a chocolate cupboard like this right?

chocolatecupboardP.S. I have to mention that my brother came 15th in his age group of up to 8-year olds in a Chess World Youth Championships in Greece last week! 🙂

(And I don’t even understand the rules of chess).

26 and on top of the world

Hi,

I thought I’d share with you the highlights from my birthday yesterday because I bet you are all dying to know how wild my birthday celebrations were 😉

I wanted to start my day with a run because that’s the perfect way to start any day. Unfortunately my knee isn’t cooperating with me so I only managed 13 minutes (precisely) of pain-free running. 13 minutes is better than nothing.

running1

As I’ve mentioned my love for breakfast before, me and JP then went out for breakfast. I’d heard Bill’s is amazing but had never been so decided to try that out. There were loads of things on the menu that I could’ve had but I opted for pancakes. Is there a better day to have pancakes for breakfast than on your birthday?

They were AMAZING.

pancakes2

I then went to participate in a sport psych session in one of the schools in Cardiff for an hour before making it back home.

I opened most of my presents in the morning apart from JP’s. When I got home he had cake waiting for me and tickets to see IMAGINE DRAGONS next week!! :))) Soooo excited! I love that band!

Cake

And I also got this mug as I’ve been on about wanting a big mug of my own (I keep using JP’s big mug and he clearly didn’t like that :D)

mug

Rest of the day was very lazy.. It’s impossible to have a bad day when you have chocolate from Estonia, Finland, and the UK. Have I mentioned I love chocolate?

chocolate

JP really wanted to take me out for dinner and also to watch the fireworks. For those outside UK, It’s Bonfire night here on the 5th of November, and there’s basically big fireworks because of Guy Fawkes, a guy who tried to blow up the parliament house back in the days. I’ve seen some great fireworks on my birthdays in the last few years in the UK so because yesterday was one of the most miserable days weatherwise ( it rained allll day) I didn’t want to leave the house at all. We stayed in and JP had to cook for me instead which worked out well for me and I still saw some fireworks from the window anyway.

To top off the night I chose to watch Mrs. Doubtfire, such a feel good-film that I haven’t seen since I was a child.

So overall, an amazing birthday. Thank you again for everyone’s birthday wishes, cards, and presents. And special thank you to JP for spoiling me all day. Can’t wait to continue celebrations next week listening to Imagine Dragons. Definitely on top of the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5tWYmIOWGk

P.S. How great is this t-shirt??

Funnytshirt

Have a nice weekend!

xx

It’s my birthday!!

Hello all,

It’s my 26th birthday. If I was devastated last year about turning 25 you can only imagine how I’m feeling now.. (Hint: old)

But jokes aside, I’ve made a big deal in the recent years about getting older and stressed about it way too much. Only because it makes me think that by now I should be married, have kids, and have my life all figured out.. Or at least I’m closer to the time that it should all happen.. But then, who says I should? Exactly. There is no rules and who cares If I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.

Two days ago I saw this quote on instagram and it couldn’t have been a better timing:

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”

It really made me think and realise how stupid it is to worry about age, even if it is jokingly. What’s the point? I’m happy, healthy and alive, what more do I need? Well a good long run is what I would have needed but you can’t have it all right.

My decision for the new year as a 26-year old is to stop worrying and stressing out about things, especially things that I can’t control. I will live in the moment enjoying the little things. I will be thankful that I could have another birthday and I will consider myself lucky to get the chance  to become older (and wiser ;)).

But then, to the SPLIT challenge…

About 3,5 weeks ago I started my own split challenge, read about it here. I was meant to be able to do the split by my birthday (which is today btw). Things started off well and I noticed improvement during the first week but after about 2 weeks my right hamstring became really painful. Not just normal tightness but actual painful tightness only in one spot so I’ve had to ease back on that leg. I’ve still stretched the other side fair bit but I was a bit ambitious and would’ve needed more time.

Here’s the picture of me today attempting the split:

split

And here’s the one from 3,5 weeks ago (10th of October)

split

As you might notice, I was silly enough to only take a starting photo with right leg at the front and as my hamstring has not been very cooperative I could do after picture with only my left. But you can kind of tell I’ve improved… At least I’d like to think so.

The conclusion is that the split challenge will continue until foreseeable future. I will post a picture when I can actually get into one (with both legs hopefully).

Anyway, remember to enjoy your birthdays, they are to be cherished and not condemned!

xxx

 

My runs in 2015

Hello,

Since I’ve figured that I won’t be racing anymore this year (thanks knee!) and at the moment I’m unsure whether I’ll even run properly this year, I thought I’d share with you my runs so far this year in between my injuries.

In January I was training for Paris Marathon and on one of my longer runs my right ITB got extremely sore and from then on I battled with that pain on and off for few months.

I still ran a Bath half marathon in March even though it wasn’t my wisest of decisions (when are they ever?). I really wanted to beat George since we had pbs that were few seconds apart (mine was faster ;)) and I really liked Bath half the year before. My ITB was super sore from the start but I somehow finished in 1:39, which I was disappointed with at the time but thinking about it now, I hardly trained the 2 months leading to the race and I was only 2 minutes off my pb. George ran 1:36 something so I still have to beat him.

BathHalf

Two weeks later my ITB wasn’t any better but there was an annual Swansea Trotters 5k event where current and graduated Swansea University students race against each other. The two previous years I’ve been too injured to run and I thought if I’ve managed a half marathon with the pain I can suffer through 5k. I managed 21:06 which ended up being my 5k pb. Very surprised again since I had hardly trained. I was happy with that time but it left me very eager to try and get sub 21 next time.

marina5kMy ITB got worse and worse and I eventually realised that Paris marathon in April was never going to happen. Everything was booked for me and Minna already but she got an injury too and neither of us could run it. The disappointment was massive since Paris Marathon is meant to be amazing but I think because Minna couldn’t run it either it helped to share the disappointment. We went to Paris and even to the marathon expo and had a great time just minus the little 42 kilometer run.

My ITB slowly got better when I actually let it rest and strengthened my glutes/hips etc.. I started back running in April and entered my first 5 mile race at the start of May; the Cardiff Bay 5 mile. I hadn’t done much longer runs (think longest was 10k up to that point) and the 5 mile race (8k) proved quite difficult. I ran it in 35:27. I hadn’t run a 5 mile race or even 10ks before so didn’t know what to compare it to really so I was pretty happy with that.

cardifbat5mile

Around this time I started getting my left knee pain (which is still an ongoing issue)… But few weeks later I ran my first ever 10k at the women’s running event.  I had started my blog by then so I actually have a race recap of that here. It was my first 10k so a guaranteed pb. I ran 44:17 which I was disappointed with timewise as I thought I could do closer to 42-43 minutes but I got a third place so happy overall. And I remember my knee didn’t hurt which was a bonus.

10kraceMiddle of June I ran my next half marathon, the Swansea one. I did it last year too and had high expectations as I knew it was a great flat course. Also, I thought I was in a lot better shape than for the Bath half in March and was 99% sure I could get a pb. The race recap is here. In summary, it was my worst half marathon ever. It was a warm day, I felt nauseous and dizzy and had to stop twice (first time in a half marathon). My time was 1:44 which I was majorly disappointed with because of my own high expectations. The only positive thing was that my knee held on and didn’t ache.

swanseahalf

I wanted to race more so I signed up for a 5k race in Port Talbot in July and was looking to get that sub 21. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as I ran 21:17 on a very windy day (excuses).  Race recap here.

Disappointment from the Swansea half left me looking for another half as I was convinced I could run a pb for that distance this year. I ended up doing the Severn Bridge half at the end of August. My knee pain was on and off at this point, it was very sore the week of the half but not during the race. The recap is here. I ran 1:37:38 which was 16 seconds off my pb. If I was disappointed with Swansea half I was definitely disappointed with missing out on a pb by so little. I do have to say that the course was extremely hilly and I had to walk up the steepest hill, plus I started off too fast so my own fault too.

Always happy to finish.And then it was finally time for the marathon. Gutted for missing out on Paris I decided to opt for a more “local” race in Chester on the 4th of October. My knee pain had made training difficult at times but I felt ready enough to tackle the distance. The race recap is here. It was a pb by 9 minutes and overall a very successful race. My knee hurt at the start but then eased off and I was very grateful I managed to run it. I had a major runner’s high for a long time after the race but my knee decided to have an all time low…

chestermaraIt has been just over a month since the marathon and I’ve tried very gentle running but it still hurts. Yesterday I managed 2 times 5 minute-segments and thought it was getting better only to notice it was worse afterwards. So no more races for this year but plenty planned for next year which I will tell you more about later (after I know I can actually run again).

Overall, I am quite happy with the year despite missing out on Paris and some pbs I still managed few good runs in between the injuries.

Let’s hope next year is faster and more importantly, injury-free!

Have a great week guys!

ratinassa33