Cardiff World Half Marathon Race Recap

Helloooo!!

I know it’s been a while and I haven’t really been writing here.. Just been busy and it hasn’t been my priority unfortunately. But I did want to come and report about the half marathon yesterday because I like looking back on the race recaps and compare then.

So yesterday was the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff. My aim was to break my pb and ideally I wanted a time of 1:35, that’s what I’ve been aiming for and trained for. But to come up with excuses (haha) I was ill not long ago with a very chesty cough and had to take two weeks off. I’m still suffering from that cough a little bit and I guess it did affect my running because in the first runs back I had to take a break after 2km because I was so exhausted. Also, last week I did the 5km race missing a pb, and really struggled to keep the pace I thought I was capable of which really didn’t fill me with confidence for the half. Then again, I managed a 12km tempo in 4:30 pace couple of weeks before and it didn’t feel too bad. It’s the pace I was aiming to get 1:35.ย  Before my last half in August I managed a 10km run in 4:30 and it was sooo hard yet I still ran a 1:37ish for the half. So even though part of me wasn’t believing that 1:35 was achievable at Cardiff yesterday the other part was convinced it was doable. Does that make sense?

But then the weather… Wales really showed itself in all its glory yesterday. It was cold,windy and rainy. I mean I don’t mind running in the cold, and rain isn’t that bad either but they were forecasting winds of 40miles/hour and running in that isn’t great. When I saw the weather I started to seriously doubt my chances of a pb.

In the morning yesterday (race didn’t start til 2pm) everything was hurting, I had weird niggles and pains in my knee, achilles, foot.. I wasn’t sure if I was being paranoid or if I was actually in pain. Typical race day morning I guess. The women’s elite field started first and then the mass race started same time as the men’s elite race.

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I made sure to stick with the 4:30 pace from the very start and not get carried away with the atmosphere. I have definitely learnt from my last half (here). Usually the pace feels really easy from the start but I found it quite hard from the very beginning. I guess you’ll know from quite early if you’re going to have a great race or not. By the time we’d ran about 5km I knew it was going to be hard.. it wasn’t even that windy yet but it really felt like I had to work for that pace. I occasionally went slower than the 4:30 but I told myself I’d just negative split and catch up on the second half so didn’t worry too much. By the time we hit half way I did the maths and knew that 1:35 was still doable if I made sure not to drop the pace. At some time around 12-13km a torrential downpour started with horrandeous wind and I was just conveniently crossing a bridge. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh it was sooo bad. Everyone pretty much turned their heads to the side because the rain/hail was so painful coming from the side. It only lasted for about a minute or two but it made sure that I was completely drenched from head to toe. My shoes felt so much heavier after all the rain had got in them it was ridiculous. At that point I really regretted having shorts and top on as well because it was so cold.

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Anyway I survived and then the wind and rain calmed down a bit again. I saw JP around 14km. I was feeling okay at this point and even smiled at him although in the below photo I look like a crazy person ๐Ÿ˜€

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After that I thought well it’s only 6km and all I need to do is keep the 4:30 pace to make it 1:35. How hard can it be? Well the wind picked up again and my legs started to feel heavy and suddenly when I felt like I was running 4:30 pace (the effort was definitely there) to my annoyance I saw I was running 4:45 pace. It was so frustrating. I swear my legs were going the same pace and it felt so hard but I just couldn’t pick up the pace. I guess the wind had an effect. We looped around Roath park and this is where I’ve been doing all my runs basically so I kept trying to push because it was such familiar grounds but for some reason my body just wasn’t doing what my brain told it to do. The next few km’s were so much slower that I knew 1:35 had slipped away. My only focus was to make sure I can get 1:36. There’s a bit of downhill in the last few kilometers as well which I was so thankful for, however the wind was against us at that point which made the downhill running slower too. Anyhow, I got to the last bridge just before you turn to the finish and realised how close I am to not getting 1:36 time so the last bit of the course was definitely my fastest bit. I made it in 1:36:48.

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My splits were: 4:29,4:31,4:32,4:31,4:32,4:35,4:28,4:30,4:29,4:33,4:31,4:32,4:33,4:34,4:32,4:39,4:41,4:39,4:34,4:42,4:24 and then 4:11 pace for the last 300meters.

It’s a small pb, exactly 34 seconds from my last half marathon pb that I set in Cardiff at that exact same course in October 2014 (in a lot better weather though!!) I’ve been trying to break that pb many times in 2015 and never managed so even though yesterday’s time wasn’t what I wanted, it’s still proved me that the 1:37:22 time wasn’t unbreakable ๐Ÿ™‚

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Training recap

This is probably the earliest I’ve ever writtenย  a training recap, usually it’s like at least Thursday before I recap the previous week’s training.

So last week looked like this:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Off (arms)

Wednesday: 1 hour bike + legs and planking

Thursday: 20min crosstrainer, 6km easy run on the treadmill (pace 5:44) + arms and abs

Friday: 10min crosstrainer, 10km steady run (pace 4:58), 11km in total + legs

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 8km run, pace 5:37

Total running: 25km

Way too many off days for my liking but as I mentioned in my last week’s recap I overdid it on Sunday and really hurt my knee so I kept Monday off. On Tuesday morning my intention was to go and run 1km repeats but I woke up with the sorest shin. It was so bizarre, there was no pain on Monday or previous days and I didn’t even do anything on Monday but Tuesday morning my right shin really hurt. I foamrolled a bit and thought compression calf sleeves will do and I’ll be fine for my 1km repeats ๐Ÿ˜€ Yea right. I left the house and the first step hurt so much that for probably the first time in my life I turned back home after about 300m. All of Tuesday it was seriously sore but by Wednesday the pain was gone. All I did was put some Ice power gel on it and foam rolled my calves. I’ve had similar pain before (lower shin pain just on one leg) and last time it came out of nowhere and disappeared very quickly too. So strange. Wish all of my injuries did that ha.

bike

Anyhow on Wednesday I went to the gym but I didn’t wanna run yet just in case (see I’m learning ;)). By Thursday I wanted to test running so I jumped on the treadmill for easy 6km. I was going to do more as nothing was hurting but again thought there’s no point pushing my luck now (I’m really proud of myself). While I was on the crosstrainer afterwards though I felt some weird pain around my achilles, but this time left foot. I don’t know if I’m just going to be in pain forever or if I’m imagining these pains but these niggles really seem to haunt me.

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On Friday I was going to do the 1km repeats but my only option was treadmill and I didn’t want to do them on the treadmill so I thought I’d do a tempo run instead. I got to the gym after work and I had zero desire to run fast or push myself. I thought I’d give it a go anyway and hopped on the treadmill after crosstrainer. After 500m I felt like my knee really hurt and my legs were so heavy so I stopped and decided it’s not going to be a run day. I went and did some legs and then changed my mind because I wanted to have Saturdaay off. I thought I’d give the treadmill another go but I still had no interest in a tempo run so I decided to make it a steady run instead (around marathon pace). There was no knee pain for the whole of 10km so I don’t know why it hurt the first 500m before that. I finished the steady run with 500m jogging and left the gym happy that I had actually managed to run.

I had Saturday off and then decided to do the 1km repeats on Sunday. JP was ill all week and I finally caught the bug Friday night so I didn’t feel great on the weekend. When I woke up Sunday morning I had a sore throat, headache and a runny nose so I really didn’t see myself running 1km repeats. It’s one of those workouts I probably hate the mostย  and find hard even at best of times so I knew that being slightly ill isn’t gonna help.ย  I didn’t want to skip the run completely though and trusted the advice “Symptoms below the neck require time off, while symptoms above the neck don’t pose a risk” (source). So I opted for another easy run and even that felt quite hard because I didn’t feel 100%.

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Overall okay week, weird niggles continued and then I got ill so can’t really say it was a great week but hopefully next week will be more exciting and I get to finally do those 1km repeats :S ๐Ÿ˜€

Training week recap (and some niggles)

Hi again,

So here’s a recap about last week’s training:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: “hills” on the treadmill, 8km in total, 20 min bike + legs and abs

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 10km easy run, pace: 5:40

Friday: 4*3*2*1 tempo run, 14km in total with warmups & dooldowns + abs

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 16km run, pace 5:50

Running total: 48km

I was meant to go to the gym on Monday but got an unexpected call for an interview that day which changed the plans for the day and I ended up skipping the gym.

On Tuesday I did “hill” training on the treadmill again. After a 20 min bike warmup and 1km running I did 10*2mins at 4% incline with 1min recovery at 0% incline in between with an average pace of 05:17. I started a bit slower and increased the pace towards the end. The workout felt good, it felt like there was effort and it wasn’t easy but it wasn’t too hard either.

On Wednesday I skipped pilates as I was preparing for a workshop I delivered that evening and I also knew that the instructor I really like wasn’t going to be there.

I had the second and third stages of that interview on Thursday but managed to run an easy 10km in between the interview times. What a great way to calm the nerves ๐Ÿ˜€

I did a tempo on Friday this week and tried a workout I read from Katju’s blog. It’s a 10k tempo but done in chunks of 4km, then 3km, then 2km, and then 1km. I’m not sure what the actual recovery in between should be but because it was my first time doing it I decided to do 2-3 min walking/stretching recovery. The first breaks ended up being longer because my Garmin lost satellites (don’t you hate when that happens!!) and I had to wait for it to record pace again. My aim was to run each set a little bit faster than the previous one. I aimed to do the first set around my normal tempo pace (4:30/km) and then each set couple of seconds faster. So I ended up doing the 4km at 4:30 pace on average, 3km set in 4:27 pace, 2km in 4:24 and the 1km in 4:16. It was a nice change for a normal tempo run and again the run was hard but not as hard as a normal 10km tempo would have felt like without the breaks. I averaged 4:25 for the 10km which is faster than I normally run tempos but of course the breaks in between helped. It wasn’t easy either, don’t get me wrong. Especially as I made the mistake of eating way too close to the run and the first 4km I could feel the stitches and my stomach not agreeing with that ๐Ÿ˜€

I was going to go to the gym on Saturday as I had already had an unplanned rest day for the week but my left calf started hurting completely out of nowhere while I was at work. It was a very weird pain, almost like a trapped nerve and it just got worse and worse towards the end of the day. So I decided to skip gym and just go home from work. I’ve had a similar calf pain before, I think few months ago and it came out of the blue then as well and disappeared the same way… both times not when I’ve been running but just without any obvious reason.

So Sunday morning I was going to try and trun 16km as my long run but decided to skip it because of the calf pain and also because I had a lot of uni work to do. I spent few hours in uni but then on my way home I got really annoyed about missing the run so I decided to go anyway. The weather was extreme and stormy and I wasn’t sure how my calf was going to behave (my knee wasn’t feeling great either) so I thought I’d just go and see how I feel not worrying if I can’t do 16km. Well, as you can imagine, once I was out there I really wanted to get the 16km done and despite my knee hurting and some niggling pain around my achilles and shins I did that 16km. It was stupid. Towards the end I was in serious knee pain so I knew I made a mistake. Surprisingly, my left calf wasn’t in pain at all but my knee was, and in general I didn’t feel great, probably because of the horrandeous weather as well.

I got my 16km done, longest since the injury and marathon in October but I should’ve cut it shorter. Stubborness is not the greatest of qualities.

As I’m writing this I am in serious shin pain (this time right leg) so I guess I overdid something last week and I’m paying for it now.

Oh well, fingers crossed my niggles will go away as quickly as they came.

Hope you’ve been able to run injury and niggle free this week.

P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos,ย  I didn’t take my phone on any of my runs this week. Either because it rained too much or because I just wanted to run and not have the urge to take photos ๐Ÿ˜€

P.P.S. I got the job in case you were wondering ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Training recap w/e 31/01/15

Last week’s training:

Monday:ย  1 hour Crosstrainer, 10 min bike + legs and abs

Tuesday:ย 4x5min effort + warmup/cooldown, running total 9.6 km

Wednesday:ย Pilates

Thursday:ย 11 km easy, pace 5:37

Friday:ย Off

Saturday: 8 km tempo (4:30 pace) on the treadmill, 10 km in total, 15 min crosstrainer + legs

Sunday: 14 km easy, pace 5:38 + arms

Weekly running: 44.6 km

I have sort of established a pattern for my workouts, at least for now. On Monday I went to the gym after running both Saturday and Sunday. I am aware that my knee is still causing me trouble and I don’t want to run in 3 consecutive days for instance.

Sian was kind enough to let me run with her again which was nice as I love having running company. Tuesday evening was horrible weatherwise, I already mentioned it in my last post here but it got done. Sian had 4 x 5 mins hard on her schedule. I didn’t have a set plan for that day but I wanted to run a bit faster so I tagged along. I am very very bad at estimating my pace for intervals and have always ended up running the first ones too fast and dying at the end. So with this in mind I made the decision to really keep my pace controlled for the 5 minute segments and try and pick up pace with each one. The average pace for the 5min efforts were: 4:16, 4:13, 4:10, 4:12. So I did well until the last one. I’ll just blame the wind for the last rep ๐Ÿ˜€ I was happy that I managed to keep the pace relatively steady. I am not a fan of running in the dark on uneven roads so it was a bit more challenging to do these reps in rain, wind and dark but excuses aside I think they went okay. I didn’t feel as exhausted at the end as I did after my 500m repeats the previous week for instance.. and my pace wasn’t that much different so maybe I could’ve pushed harder. Next time ๐Ÿ™‚

I went to Pilates again on Wednesday and just an easy run on Thursday. I am being very careful not to increase my kilometers per week more thanย  about 10% at a time so I only increased my easy run by 1km. After Friday’s day off I tried tempo run on the treadmill. The aim was to do 7km but because the tempo felt okay I added an extra 1km. I was so happy with how 4:30 pace felt considering that before my half marathon last summer I did 10km in that pace and it was really hard. Obviously treadmill running is different and I can’t wait to do tempos outside but still, I was happy with that run.

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Because of this extra 1km for tempo I decided to keep my Sunday “long” run at 14km like the previous week instead of increasing it to 15km as I had planned.. I am being very specific and careful and I really don’t know if couple of kilometers makes a differenceย  but I hope my knee will reward me for it.. (my knee is aching as I’m writing this so I’m not too sure about that).

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Overall I’m really happy with the week. My knee hardly hurt and both of my faster runs felt good and strong so looks like we’re making improvements ๐Ÿ™‚ The only thing I should try and remember to do is more core work and strength training.. If I don’t do it at the gym I always “forget” at home. The other excuse is that most of this week’s runs were in the rain and when I get home I just want to shower and change into comfortable clothes and at that point I can’t be bothered to do the abs etc anymore.. If I did them straight after the run it’d be fine but no one wants to stay in wet clothes. Sorry abs, rain wins you lose.

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Still okay to run in a t shirt though…

Have a great rest of the week guys!

 

Currently…

I wrote about what was going on in my life in November here, and thought I’d do one of these a month.. Obviously I forgot as it’s end of January but the intention was good. Here we go again..

Current thought:

-I am very lucky (but I need to be more lucky and get a job).

Current tv-show:

-Making a murderer (yes I jumped on the bandwagon because everyone seemed to be talking about this show)

Current book:

-Shantaram. I know one of my January goals was to read more books but I’m still reading Shantaram (in my defense it’s a big book).

Current song:

-Renegades by X Ambassadors

Current weather:

-You guessed it, rainy. And windy. The worst combination.

Current food:

-Chicken soup. I made this for the first time yesterday and I’m so proud of myself, it turned out amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

Current drink:

-Still tea, I really am turning British.

Current chocolate:

-Dumles (I still have some left from my last trip to Finland and I treasure them)

dumles

Current source of stress:

-Not having a full-time job.

Current source of happiness:

-Running <3

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Current mood:

-Happy and grateful.

Current quote:

Picture from www.tumblr.com
Picture from www.tumblr.com

Current ideal location:

-Finland. My sister is giving birth anytime now… ๐Ÿ™‚

Current idea:

-I am going to be more organized. Definitely.

Current video:

I saw this years ago and for some reason remembered it again the other day. I absolutely love it! It’s such a positive feel good video, I highly recommend it.

Current blog/article:

I found this blog the other day and loved his posts. This one is my favourite at the moment:

7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose

Current countdown:

-To my first race of 2016, can’t wait to break those pbs.

What’s currently going on in your world?

 

 

 

Training recap

Last week’s training:

Monday: 30 min crosstrainer, 10 min bike + legs

Tuesday: 10km easy run, pace 5:37

Wednesday: Pilates

Thursday: 6x500m repeats + warmup & cool down, 6.5km in total

Friday: Off

Saturday: 10km progression run (treadmill), pace: 4:44, 15 min cycling + arms

Sunday:ย 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.ย  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.

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So until Wednesday I was happy but then on Thursday I decided to try my first bit of “fast” running since the injury..ย  I thought I’d start with something easy and short like 500m repeats.. It was far from easy and didn’t feel short either.ย  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.

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At least you can see me in the dark ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

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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.ย  Welcome to Wales and its weird winter.ย  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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Running in the rain, yay or nay?

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.

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Picture from www.pinterest.com

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.

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Picture from: www.fuelrunning.com

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 wetย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so particular I know.

rainyrun
You can’t even tell I got wet. I did. I promise.

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.

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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 ๐Ÿ˜€

So next time it rains, pick the right clothes and go out there. Don’t think about it too much, just do it.ย  And smile at others!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy rainy runs!

 

My “A”-race for spring half marathon

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,ย  here, and here, for the first race last year I hadn’t started my blog yet.

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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 timeย  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.ย  This is something I’ve been really jealous of since all my half marathons have been just serious pb-chasing attempts with some funย  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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  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.

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Definitely happy about the pb back in 2014 ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you like racing for fun or only for pbs? Anyone reading running the worlds this year?

 

 

Training week recaps are here again

Hi,

Sorry for the silence and failed training recaps.. It’s beause I’ve been lazy, in both training and writing..ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

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)

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 12km easy run,pace: 5:42 + abs

Friday: 8km run (5 of it tempo pace: 4:32)

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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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.

strecthing

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 andย  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.

swanrun

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.. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ˜€ Sunday involved a lot of tea and cuddles.. Oh and pancakes. Lots of pancakes.

Have a nice week everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Goals for 2016

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.

Running/Exercise related:

  1. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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.

Educational/Work related:

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.

tractordriving

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:

5. TRAVEL.

-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.

africa
Tanzania, Africa 2013
australia
Western Australia, 2010
paris
Paris 2015

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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”.ย  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.

lifeishwathappens
Picture from quotesvalley.com

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have an amazing year! What are your goals?