Thursday: 6x500m repeats + warmup & cool down, 6.5km in total
Saturday: 10km progression run (treadmill), pace: 4:44, 15 min cycling + arms
Sunday: 14km run, pace 5:42
Running total: 40,5km
On Monday I went to the gym just because I hadn’t been for a while. I didn’t have much time so I just did a bit of cardio and legs just for the sake of doing something. Tuesday was an easy run day and it felt just that, easy and amazing. My knee was happy too. Wednesday’s pilates focused a lot on the hips and I was so happy because my hips had been really tight so it felt good to loosen them up.
So until Wednesday I was happy but then on Thursday I decided to try my first bit of “fast” running since the injury.. I thought I’d start with something easy and short like 500m repeats.. It was far from easy and didn’t feel short either. I did 6 x 500m with 90 sec recovery, and the aim was to pick up the pace with each one. The result: the pace was linear but I slowed down on each one, averaging just over 2 mins for each rep. I was so upset. Not only because of the time but because of how hard it felt. I really felt like my lungs were exploding and breathing was soo hard. I was hoping to at least get the reps under 2 mins each but oh well. On my last training recap (here) I was so excited for my first tempo and thought I hadn’t lost as much fitness over this break but I guess this long break has affected me somewhat. Anyhow the run got done and even though it was hard I did my planned 6 reps.. I felt defeated but sometimes you will feel that way. The only way is up.
I took a day off on Friday and just spent a looong time stretching. I knew I’d be running on the treadmill on Saturday and because I find it quite boring if I don’t play with the paces/inclines I decided to do a progression run. There are different types of progression runs, and you can read about some of them here but the main aim is to start slower and end your run faster. Instead of breaking the run into three segments like I’ve done before I changed pace at every 1km. My aim was to run 5 sec/km faster on every kilometer but I got a bit confused and miscalculated while running and basically started off too fast (does anyone else struggle with maths when running??). So I started with 5min/km and realised that to do the 10km I’d have to end with 4:15 min/km. Somehow I think I was thinking of doing 8km and thought I’d end up with 4:25 but I only realised this when I was at 4:40 km/pace so I ended up just doing few extra kilometers on that pace before progressing onto 4:35 and finished with 4:30. The run was HARD. The average pace was 4:44 but it felt a lot harder than a tempo run at that pace would’ve felt. So another eye-opening run this week to realise I need to work on that speed to get some of it back and break those pbs.
On Sunday I went for my “long” run which I’ve now managed to extend to 14km. It was a super warm day compared to what we had not long ago and I was actually warm in a sleeveless top. Welcome to Wales and its weird winter. My knee is like me, very indecisive. It hurt at the start of the run for the first couple of kilometers but then the pain disappeared until it came back just at the end.. Strange.
Anyway, overall okay running week, I’m glad I managed to run as much as I did without major pain and hopefully that “speed” will come back to me slowly 🙂
I’ve just come back from a rather rainy run. When I say rainy I really mean it was like rainy, even for Wales.
I had agreed to go for a run with Sian (before I saw the forecast) and she is not the type to cancel because of little rain (wasn’t little though). I was in all day listening to the rain and not excited at all to go out in it. But of course I did and it was fine, I got wet but so what?
I’m not saying I’m a fan of running in the rain but most of the time I don’t mind it. When I first moved to Wales almost 5 years ago it didn’t take me long to realise that I have to learn to like running in the rain as the winters mainly consist of rain.
I remember on my first year in Uni walking back home from lectures and getting absolutely drenched. I had planned to go for a run after I got home and was going to cancel it but then had the thought that if I can walk home in rain with wet jeans and a jumper for 20 minutes surely I can run in that same rain? Wet jeans are a lot worse than wet tights so I went home, changed my wet “normal” clothes into running clothes and off I went into the torrential downpour. And it was amazing. The next day at work one of the regular customers asked me if I had been out running in that weather because he thought he’d seen me. I was so proud to announce “yes that was me”. He said I was crazy and I took it as a compliment. As you do.
There has been of course times where I have not wanted to go out and run in the rain. We have skylights in our bedroom now so I can hear the rain very clearly in the morning. And more than once I have woken up to go for a run and decided not to, but only if I’ve known I can run later on that day though.. If I knew that was the only possible time I have always gone.. Because what does little rain do?
I think the worst part about rain is if it comes with wind. There’s nothing worse than being soaked and then having the wind press your loose wet top against your skin and making you cold.. That is something I dislike very much. But rain itself is quite refreshing and often something I even hope for on my runs, but only when I’m already running and warmed up 🙂 I’m so particular I know.
The clothing can obviously make a difference to how you feel about running in the rain. There are a lot of water-proof clothes designed for this but from my experience in Wales the wetter it is the warmer it is. For that reason, I hardly ever wear my jacket when running in the rain and usually go with short- or long sleeve top. This obviously leads to the scenario of wet clothes stuck to my skin but it’s okay (as long as there’s no wind). I guess it’s personal preference if you rather have wet arms or wet shirt stuck to your arms. Or if you go for that waterproof jacket. If there’s something I find worse than running in the rain is running in heat so being uncomfortably hot on a run is a struggle for me. Hence, in most rainy days you’ll see me running in a t-shirt.
A lot of the time, the anticipation of running in the rain is a lot worse than the run in the rain itself. As is the case with most things in life. People worry when they look outside and who would want to go and get wet when they are nice, warm and cosy inside. But once you’re there and once you’re wet it doesn’t matter. I find it very refreshing anyway. Plus you can always come back after that run and feel nice, cosy and warm again with the added feeling of accomplishment.
Rain can make the air so clear, much fresher and nicer to breathe, and it can make you feel hard core. I often find that other runners (the few crazy ones you see) smile more at each other when they are running in terrible conditions. Probably because they are happy to see that they’re not the only weirdos out running 😀
So next time it rains, pick the right clothes and go out there. Don’t think about it too much, just do it. And smile at others! 🙂
It’s that time again to start thinking about spring half marathons.. or it probably has been that time for a while.. I’ve put a lot of thought into my spring half for this year anyway.
I’ve posted about half marathons in general here, it’s always been a special distance for me and one of my favourites. It’s also always been one where I’ve wanted to improve and get a pb. I hold a pb from a half marathon from 2014 and I spent all last year trying to improve that time. You can read about the attempts nr 2 and 3, here, and here, for the first race last year I hadn’t started my blog yet.
Anyhow, I’ve gone to these races with the attitude that I need a pb and if I can’t get it I consider it a bad unsuccessful race. I have, however, really wanted to run a half marathon where I just enjoy the run without worrying about the pace. I see a lot of people who I follow on instagrams/blogs running so many races a year and a lot of the time they just run to enjoy them. Some of them are run with friends pacing their slower friends to good times, or sometimes people just take them as training runs enjoying the atmosphere. This is something I’ve been really jealous of since all my half marathons have been just serious pb-chasing attempts with some fun in there (but not even always that). So at the end of last year I decided I wanted to change this and run more half marathons with the frame of mind that only one/two of them will be the main “A” races and others I can just run to enjoy.
What is the “A” race for me then?
I have considered a lot of half marathons for the spring and my main race was going to be the Reading half. It just seemed to be at a nice time and a nice relatively fast course. Also, something new as I’ve done a Bath half twice now around the same time.
But, there are the world half marathon championships in Cardiff a week before Reading. This is a race that is on our doorstep and it means that the likes of Mo Farah and Florence Kiplagat will be running there. Obviously I wouldn’t see them myself or run with them but hey ho, still running the same race 🙂
Sooo I couldn’t resist but sign up for that race. I know some people can race in two consecutive weekends but knowing me and my injury-history I really don’t think that’s a wise idea. The initial plan I had was that I’d run the Cardiff World Half marathon championships as a steady training run just enjoying the atmosphere. I even thought I’d maybe add a couple of kilometers before it to make it a proper long run (the mass race doesn’t start til 2pm) and run it in a marathon pace instead. And then I could race the Reading half the following weekend and aim for a pb there.
BUT having thought about this for a while now I’ve realised there is no way that when I soak up that atmosphere and stand on that start line I would want to casually jog that race. I know myself and my competitiveness and I know that it’s inevitable that I’d race it anyway. Which then means I would possibly ruin my chances of a pb in Reading the following weekend. The conclusion is that I may as well make it my goal race for the spring as it’s a prime opportunity to push myself. The course itself is the same Cardiff half course that I actually ran my pb in 2014 so it’s an excellent chance to try and improve that time.
One of the doubts I had was that this mass race has 25 000 runners, and even in half marathons with 15 000 people I’ve really struggled for space. I always end up spending loads of unnecessary energy jumping side to side finding gaps to get past people. This is not so much of a problem at a full marathon because the pace I run isn’t that fast but in a half marathon it gets really tiring and frustrating running that bit of extra and losing time. That’s why I had a smaller half marathon planned as my main race initially but never mind.
They even list the top 10 reasons to run the worlds here, my personal favourite: “because Paula says so”. I mean I’ll do anything what my idol Paula Radcliffe tells me to 😉
I seriously can’t wait to train for and run the Cardiff race now. Fingers crossed my knee will let me train and have a go at a pb. I will talk about my goals for the race closer to the time. Meanwhile, I’ll try to come up with some half marathons that I can run for fun instead because those have to be included this year, too 🙂
Do you like racing for fun or only for pbs? Anyone reading running the worlds this year?
Sorry for the silence and failed training recaps.. It’s beause I’ve been lazy, in both training and writing.. 😀
But let’s see what I did last week:
Monday: 9.4 km run, pace 5:24 + arms
Tuesday: 30 min Cross trainer and “hills” on the treadmill (40 min running in total)
Thursday: 12km easy run,pace: 5:42 + abs
Friday: 8km run (5 of it tempo pace: 4:32)
So the week started off well. Sian asked me for a run with her and I love having running company. I was only a tiny bit scared though because she is so fast (like 1:17 half marathon pb fast) but luckily she was happy to run at my slow pace. I sure couldnt’t join her for her speed sessions 😀
On Tuesday I went to the gym to use the cross trainer but I really wanted to run too so I decided to use the treadmill. I had planned to do some intervals and run 500m repeats last week but I didn’t want to do them on the treadmill. It’s been such a long time since my last intervals so I wouldn’t even know how fast I could push it which means I wouldn’t have known what pace to put the treadmill for. Maybe later on in the year when I already know what sort of times I can do certain distances in (1km, 1 mile etc) it will be good to use the treadmill for interval training but at the moment I don’t know my paces that well.
So after that long explanation back to the workout itself. I warmed up for just 5 minutes as I had already used the cross trainer and then ran 2 min at 4% incline followed by 1 min at 0 incline. Repeated 10 times. Plus 5 minute cool down. The overall length of the workout was 40 minutes, distance 7.31km, pace: 5:28. It felt really good and quite exhausting as well. I did a similar workout last Autumn when I was in marathon training. That time I did 10* 2 min at 4.5% incline with 2 min recovery at 1% incline in between. For that workout the total distance was 11km (because of the longer recovery and longer warmup) and I remember being absolutely shattered. I remember having to take a break in between the sets because it was so hard. Analysing it now I did actually ran it in a faster average pace (5.20/km) and the incline was .5% higher, plus even recovery was at 1% incline instead of zero. So I think it’s no surprise I was so exhausted. But part of me feels good that I could now (even after such a long break from proper running) do a similar workout and not feel as exhausted. I think a lot of it had to do with the recovery being on 0%. After inclines the 0% feels like running downhill and really easy whereas the 1% still feels like you are working a bit. Anyhow, point being it’s worth trying to play with the inclines. Such an easy way to do hill workout without having to run up and down hills. Especially as my knee doesn’t seem to like downhill running.
Wednesday I had a day off and on Thursday I decided to test my knee on a slightly longer run and ran 12km. To my (very positive surprise) my knee didn’t hurt at all. I just ran based on feel trying to avoid looking at paces and just make it an easy run.. it was one of those flow- runs and I finished so happy.
I was going to give my knee a rest day on Friday but because of my other plans for the weekend I knew that I couldn’t fit a run in on a Saturday and Sunday. I had a bad feeling that my knee won’t take it well after I’ve pushed to 12km distance the day before and I was right. (I’m starting to know my knee ;). I did a 2km warmup,5km tempo and 1km cool down. The knee started aching after the first 3 tempo kilometers but I had to make it home and it was too cold to stop so I finished the run.
My tempo pace was a positive surprise as well. I haven’t done a tempo run since September and didn’t know what to expect.. I was hoping for 4:40ish pace so 4:32 average was a nice surprise. I’m not gonna lie I did need a break. I started off too fast and had the worst stitches after 1km. Very weird stitches as well, I rarely get them but if I do they are on the left side. Now they were on the right and it was almost like my ribs were hurting. So I had to have a break twice, once after 1km and second break after 1.5km but then the last 3,5km tempo I was fine and the pace even felt quite comfortable. Baby steps baby steps.. but it’s nice to know I haven’t lost that much fitness over these few months.. 🙂
On Saturday the only training I did was dancing and showing off my amazing moves in the nightclubs.. which led to a very tired and unproductive me on Sunday. With the feeling in the morning after it’s easy to remember why I don’t like going out anymore. It’s sad how the 26-year old body just can’t recover the same way as the younger version 😀 Sunday involved a lot of tea and cuddles.. Oh and pancakes. Lots of pancakes.
I know I’m a bit late with this but it’s never too late for goals right!
So here’s a list of my goals for 2016.
Pbs in every distance; 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon
-I find it hard to set specific time goals because I am still injured so I’m unsure if I can actually train hard. But I do find the times important sooo if my injuries clear up then my time goals would be:
-20:30ish for 5km
-Sub 43min for 10km
-1:33 ish for half marathon
-3:25ish for a marathon
-My previous pbs are 21:06 for 5km, 44:17 for 10km, 1:37 for half marathon and 3:37 for a marathon. My goal for marathon is the most ambitious but I think that with the right amount of training and flat course in Berlin it could be possible. It’s good to aim high anyway right 😉
2. Stay injury-free! I am writing this injured but the aim is to get rid of that injury and train smart all year. This will also be ensured by including stretching, foam rolling, strength training and cross training.
3. Get a new degree-related job!
-I’ve had a job since I was 15 and I’ve done everything from driving tractors to telesales, from McDonalds to delivery girl.. But I haven’t had a job yet that would’ve been directly or even vaguely related to my degree. My Master’s isn’t quite over but I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology so it would be nice to finally have a job doing the thing I studied to do.
4. Write an amazing dissertation.
-I didn’t make the January deadline I was originally aiming for so I’ll have to hand in my dissertation later on this year. I just have to keep motivated and focused to get it done and get a good grade from it.
Other life goals:
-Last year wasn’t the greatest year financially so I didn’t get to travel as much as I would’ve liked/have done previously. So the plan is to try and travel more because there really isn’t anything better than travelling and I miss it so much.
6. Brush up on my Spanish.
-I used to study Spanish in high school and I spent a summer working as a waitress in Madrid when I was 18. I became pretty fluent in it and I absolutely love the language. I haven’t really had to speak Spanish since though, which is like 8 years ago now (It’s been 8 years since I was 18, that makes me feel OLD). So the plan is to relearn it by watching Spanish tv/listen to Spanish radio and read in Spanish. I miss being able to speak it so that’s the aim for the year.. maybe I’ll combine goals 5 and 6 and make a trip to Spain to practise it 😉
7. Spend less time on Social Media.
-I know that blogging and advertising it on instagram etc requires social media plus the fact I have family/friends on other countries require things like facebook to stay in touch with them but it doesn’t mean I need to live in there. There’s a difference between reading some blogs/replying to messages and spending an hour scrolling through some random person’s instagram photos from 56 weeks ago.
8. Read more books.
-I like reading but I don’t read as many books anymore because I “don’t have time”. I guess the time I save from social media can be used for this instead. Good book recommendations are welcomed.
9. Be present.
-I have this tendency to dwell on past and worry about future but like they say “there’s no time like the present”. This is definitely something I need to work on. I want to focus on the present and the life that’s happening right now enjoying the little things around me.
10. Word for the year: Ambition
-I heard that some other bloggers picked a word to live this year by so I decided to pick one too. One of the first ones that popped into my head was ambition. Being ambitious is something I used to consider myself to be but for some reason in the last few years I feel like I have lost some of that and I don’t feel as ambitious anymore. It’s almost like I can’t be bothered to try as hard or believe in myself as much as before. So this year I want to sparke that ambitiousness that I used to have in me, take on challenges, and aim for that moon 🙂
Hope you all have an amazing year! What are your goals?
And sorry for slightly longer silence at the end of the year.. I was sooo busy with work and everything and then when my holiday finally started I didn’t feel like being online all the time so I had a bit of a break.
Soo what I’ve been up to? I noticed I haven’t done a training recap for few weeks now but to be honest there isn’t much to update you on 😀
I had a very lazy week leading up to Christmas, I think I had like 5 days completely off and then one gym session or something similar.. I picked up running again on the week after Christmas though and it felt soo good. I thought my knee would’ve been grateful for the break but a 10km run brought the pain back.
Me and JP flew to Finland before New years eve for my sister’s wedding so I was busy there hanging out with mom and my sister’s family. I have the BEST nieces and nephew btw, they are the sweetest kids around! The wedding was amazing as well, such a beautiful day and my sister was the most beautiful pride!! If I get any photographs later I’ll post them but for now this is the only one:
It was pretty cold in Finland, not too bad on the first few days with about -7 degrees but it was about -20 on the day we left. And now I hear it’s around -25 degrees even in the south of Finland, below -30 in the north. I wanted JP to experience proper cold winter weather but I guess we escaped at the right time because -25 is way toooo cold 😀 It properly snowed two days before we left and it was so funny to see JP so excited about it. We did a little midnight walk just to go and watch the snowfall..
JP came for a run with me there too and I also ran with Minna. Both of us tend to run on our own most of the year so it’s almost a tradition that we try to get a run in together when I’m visiting home. I pushed my luck with a 12km run and could feel it in my knee towards the end so I guess my knee injury followed me to 2016. My plan was to leave it to 2015 but oh well..
I was going to share some of my goals for 2016 with you but I think I’ll leave it til next post. I am being busy again applying for jobs at the moment so keep your fingers crossed for me!