Tag Archives: running

Berlin Marathon Recap – my first DNF race

Hello!

Apologies for the lack of posting over the last months. I am going to try and get better at this blogging thing again. There’s a reason I wanted to write now and that’s my Berlin marathon recap, or shall I say a recap of 39km in the Berlin marathon 😀

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Anyone who follows me on social media would know that I collapsed and didn’t finish the race. Before I go into detail about the day, I have to tell that this wasn’t the first time I collapsed as it also happened at the London Marathon 2014. Be prepared, this will be a LONG recap of me talking about not only Berlin but the London one too.

The marathon was on last Sunday. Me and Minna flew to Berlin on Friday, got our race numbers on Saturday at the expo and were really excited for the day. My original goal was sub 3.30. Training for the past 4 months has been pretty good but during the last month I had issues with my hamstring which prevented me from running for a while. The preparation wasn’t ideal, I hadn’t done a long run or a hard run for a while before Berlin so I knew sub 3:30 would most likely be a struggle so anywhere near 3:30 would be nice. We had the chat with Minna beforehand where you tell each other it’s okay if it’s not a pb day, not every marathon is great. It might not be your day and don’t push it too much etc. If it doesn’t feel great at the start it’s not going to feel great at 35km that’s for sure. However, try and tell an ambitious person that maybe their goals are too ambitious. It wasn’t going to stop me from trying.berlinexpo1

Anyhow, we started in different pens and I was feeling good. The first couple of kilometers I felt so happy to be there and have the chance to run it so I decided to just enjoy the race and atmosphere. I started with 4:50ish min/km pace which would get me a sub 3:30. By 5km I had stomach cramps. I had the exact same feeling in my stomach at the London marathon at my worst race and it started really early on. I told myself I’m just being paranoid, this run will be great. By 10km I knew it wasn’t going to be great, I just didn’t feel good. A smart person would slow down a little as it’s not going to get any better later on but I’m not a smart person. I continued to run with the similar pace. By half way point I knew this will be hell. If you don’t feel great at halfway point at a marathon you know things aren’t going well. At that London marathon halfway point is where I pretty much wanted to give up, at Chester last year I felt great at half way but even there I got tired later. I drank water at every water station apart from one. I took my gels religiously every 8km. The weather was warm but not hot at that point. I don’t know why but running just felt so hard. Did I slow down? Nope.

By 30km I remember really starting to struggle not only with running but just feeling a bit delirious and just not clear headed anymore. This is where things went wrong in London as well. I was so focused and determined to run a pb that I refused to take my body signals into account. Everyone who runs a marathon knows that at some point, usually around 32-35km you will feel terrible, you hit the so called “wall”, sometimes it’s very hard, other times it’s not but you will feel like you need to stop. However, your legs can push through and run longer as long as you don’t let your brain convince otherwise. Mind over matter. As much as I like to be a determined person, i think it was my determination that actually caused all of this.

I don’t remember much from between 30-39km, I remember doing calculations in my head an knew that I am still getting a pb. I knew I couldn’t get sub 3:30 anymore and luckily I allowed myself to accept that but I still wanted 3:31-3.32 time. Even though I felt awful I kept pushing at that pace. I told myself it’s just the wall (that has lasted the whole marathon :D) and I have to convince my brain to get over it as my legs can do it. If only I understood that it was my brain warning me that I can’t keep going. Slowing down or stopping to walk wasn’t an option. I was so focused on pb that I refused to read my body. By the time it was 3km to the finish I knew that even if I slowed down to 6min/km pace I would still get  a pb. Did I do that? No, I slowed down but only a little. I think my pace got to 5:15. Thinking about it now, I could have stopped at 39 and walked to the finish and still finish in less than 4 hours; a respectable time for a marathon anytime. But no, that was not an option because in my head I felt like that means giving up and failing. Instead, I kept running and running until my body just shut down. I found myself at the side of the road as my legs just gave up. I didn’t lose consciousness but my body just did exactly what it did in London, my legs were unable to even stand they just went like spaghetti and I was on the ground.

This is when I started to feel really bad as well; imagine your biggest hangover and then multiply that by 10. I was lying on the ground with doctors and nurses helping me (I have no idea how I managed to collapse by the doctors or whether they came there later but I felt like there was immediately people helping me). I couldn’t move anything the feeling was so helpless and terrible and the disappointment when I realised it’s happened again and I’m not getting a pb. As soon as I was on the ground I heard the doctor tell me he has called the ambulance. I remember thinking that’s the end of my race if I have to go there, it can’t be the end of my race. At the same time the thought of actually getting up, let alone walking to the finish was worse. In London, after I collapsed I was taken to an emergency tent and I was there for 1,5 hours. After that I felt a lot better, I got up and walked/jogged 8km to the finish (I collapsed at 34km). In my head I thought I could still finish this race I just need to tell these doctors not to take me to the ambulance, but the words just didn’t come out of my mouth. I think because I was on the side of the road and not emergency tent they couldn’t have just left me there for hours to “wait and feel better”, they probably had to send me to hospital. German efficiency 🙂 But also, I didn’t tell them that I want to finish, I don’t know whether they would have let me or not and I am gutted I didn’t ask and try to stay there for a bit longer. At that point I felt so so bad though that I didn’t know whether I could finish. It’s easy to say now that I was only 2 or 3km away from finish, surely I could’ve even crawled that but never mind. They took me to the hospital and put a drip of electrolytes and water in me. They took some blood tests and said it looks like it was lack of electrolytes or dehydration. I was fine after couple of hours at the hospital. Massive thank you to an Irish man who was also there after collapsing and let me use his phone to call Minna who was super worried at the finish. (She ran 3:01!!!!!!!!!!!) The doctors said I’m not allowed to make an international call so Minna would have waited there for hours as my bag had the hotel keys and everything. Afterwards we walked back, I knew I needed food but didn’t feel like eating anything. Eventually I managed to have a smoothie which came back up 10 minutes later. After I was sick I started to feel better. It was exactly like a really bad hungover, just from running 39km.

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As I said before, I took water at pretty much every station, however the water was in tiny cups which I struggle to drink from as they spill everywhere. Also, some of the cups they gave us were only half full so from the half full cup after I spilled another half I probably only drank half of a half. Still, I didn’t feel super thirsty. I did feel really thirsty in London marathon and remember thinking that even drinking a bottle of water every 5km wasn’t enough. I also took 5 gels in Berlin, I normally take 4 but it seems like they just didn’t digest. Minna suggested that when you run too fast your body is unable to actually utilise the energy you are putting in so maybe because I ran too fast for my fitness levels from the very start the gels just didn’t actually absorb, so I was practically running on empty. Also the stomach cramps are suggesting the same thing, that I went off too fast. It’s easy to try and analyse and explain it now but thinking about the similarities to London there are few obvious ones.

Before London I was writing my final year dissertation for my Bachelor’s degree and I had had very stressful couple of months leading up to it. I basically handed in the diss on the same week as the marathon. I had also been injured and hadn’t trained, I started off way too fast and it was a hot day. In London they never told me why I collapsed, they suggested heat stroke.

For Berlin, I have had a stressful couple of months as well; I have been working full time and then writing my Master’s Dissertation on the weekends. I literally handed in my dissertation half hour before I had to take the bus to the airport to fly to Berlin. I had an injury that prevented some of the training, I started off too fast and it was a hot day. I don’t need to be a genius to realise that most likely my body doesn’t cope well under a lot of stress or at least doesn’t want to run a marathon in a stressed state. Maybe the heat had something to do with it, then again Chester marathon last year was hot too and I didn’t feel bad. Most likely, I went off too fast for my current level and that prevented the gels from absorbing and my body just gave up.

You know in marathons people always have signs that say: “Never quit”, “Giving up is not an option”. I think I should run a marathon where there is a sign saying: “Giving up is okay, you can quit”. I think my determination is so ridiculous that it refuses to differentiate just pure fatigue and lazyness from actual harmful situation and that is how I have ended up collapsing twice. If only I had slowed down, or even walked for a bit, I would have given myself a chance to finish the race but no. I had to keep going.

If anyone read to the finish then I’m impressed. My takeaways would be: “Be determined but be sensible!” 🙂

P.S. If this is read by anyone who was at the race and helped me then thank you! There was one runner who ran same pace as me pretty much the whole time and then tried to help me up when I collapsed. Talk about the great running community 🙂

 

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.  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 😀

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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 🙂

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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 😀

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 😀

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,  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 😀

P.P.S. I got the job in case you were wondering 🙂

 

 

 

Training recap w/e 31/01/15

Last week’s training:

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

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

Wednesday: Pilates

Thursday: 11 km easy, pace 5:37

Friday: 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 😀 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 🙂

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 than  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 difference  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 🙂 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!

 

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: 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.

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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..  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.

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At least you can see me in the dark 😀

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.  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.

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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 🙂

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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 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.

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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 😀

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!  🙂

Happy rainy runs!

 

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..  😀

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 😀

thumbsuprun

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 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.

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.. 🙂

monitorthebeat

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.

Have a nice week everyone! 🙂

 

Training week that actually included training

So after few lazier training weeks I actually did something last week.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday:

-2k swim (1 hour)

Tuesday:

5k run, pace 5:38, plus arms

Wednesday:

Pilates

Thursday:

-Off

Friday:

-6,5 km run on the treadmill, pace 5:20, plus abs

Saturday:

-4km run, pace 5:33

Sunday:

-Gym, 30 min bike, 15 min crosstrainer, plus legs

I went swimming on Monday to start the week off nicely. I can only swim breast stroke (my freestyle is atrocious) so I’m quite  a slow swimmer but I do enjoy it. Learning to swim properly is on my to do list.

cardiffbay
The pool is by the bay, I didn’t swim in the bay…

On Tuesday I set my alarm at 7am to go for a run before work. That hasn’t happened in a while and I didn’t realise it was gonna be super dark. I got up after very little sleep and thought to myself that I don’t need to go, it’s too dark and no one goes running this time in the dark. I looked outside and I saw one runner. That one random runner made me realise that yes people run this time and so should I. So instead of crawling back to bed which I was going to do I laced up and went. Thank you random runner for running past our house at the right moment. The run was made even better because I had zero knee pain.

Pilates was on the agenda for Wednesday. I wish I could go every Wednesday but my favourite class is at 11:30 so I can only go when I’m off work.

I took Thursday off and then on Friday I ran on the treadmill after work. My knee was aching throughout this run but I decided to ignore it. As you do.  Also, my old friend (not) plantar fascitis on my right foot was starting to feel a bit tight too.. But let’s just ignore those early warning signs.

treadmilling

On Saturday I was going to JP’s mum’s birthday after work so I had to get an early morning run in. It was dark and rainy and because it was a Saturday morning 7am there was hardly anyone about.. Running around the park was actually quite scary.. I don’t mind dark that much but I like to see other runners occasionally so I know I’m not the only one about.  I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about my knee (so am I) but it hurt again on Saturday’s short run. It’s so bizarre how it’s completely pain free on one run and the next one it might start aching from the start. It’s driving me mad.

darkrun

I finished the week off at the gym with some cycling, crosstrainer and legs.

gymming

A very enjoyable week training wise because I managed to vary the training but also run almost pain free.

Hope you have a great rest of the week!

xx

 

 

Excellent news, not so excellent news and a lazy training week

Hi,

I found out today that I got into Berlin marathon! WOOOO!! I’ve tried twice before and haven’t been lucky so third time’s the charm. To make it even better, my friend Minna also got a place so Berlin it is in September 2016 🙂

berlinmara

I would normally celebrate with a run but the not so good news is that my knee is back to being painful… The training recap from last week involves little running and lazyness.

Here’s how it looked like:

Monday:

-6km run, pace, 5:29

Tuesday:

-Off

Wednesday:

Circuits at home (30min) + abs

Thursday:

Hill repeats x 3, about 5 km run in total (Garmin switched off).

Friday:

Gym, 30 min bike, 15 min cross trainer + legs

Saturday:

Gym, 30 min cross trainer + arms and abs

Sunday:

1 hour walk, 45 min stretching

I went for a run on Monday even though I had run on Sunday. Since April I’ve had injuries and niggles and I haven’t run in 2 consecutive days at all, just to try and keep my legs as injury-free as possible. I really felt like running on Monday night, and I only had mild knee pain towards the end so I thought I’d be fine especially as I knew I wouldn’t run until Thursday. Tuesday was off day, I was just so tired. Wednesday I did some circuits at home, which was quite intense and got my heart rate high. Since my circuits only involved plank directly for abs I added some extra abs afterwards too.

running7

On Thursday I decided to try hill repeats after a looong break. There’s a nice long hill near me so I did just over a 1km warmup and was planning on doing 5 repeats but I left it so late and was rushing to work so I only managed three. After the third one my garmin switched itself off. That’s never the sight you want to see after your run. I think in total I ran about 5km or just under. I thought that running uphill would be good because it kind of helps with your form because you can’t overstride for instance, and I’ve also noticed my knee doesn’t really hurt uphill. I guess what I forgot was that I also had to run down and that must’ve aggravated my knee because at the end of that run my knee was really sore.

blankgarmin

I went to the gym on Friday and thought my knee would be fine but it mildly hurt even on the bike. On Saturday my plan was to run on the treadmill for half hour ish because it’s a nice softer surface. My knee randomly started hurting at work in the middle of my shift and even walking to the gym it was actually painful. I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes just to see how it is but it was so sore that I couldn’t run. I was so grumpy and went to the cross trainer instead but was really moody the whole time not really bothered about the workout. SO frustrating. Just when I thought it was getting better it’s back to square one. It’s almost 2 months since my marathon and I’m running out of patience..

This was meant to be a sad face 😀

On Sunday the weather was horrandeous. It was the stormiest I’ve seen it but I would’ve liked to run in it anyway. Because of my knee I couldn’t and I really didn’t want to walk to the gym to get wet ot blown away on the way so I was lazy all day. In the evening I felt a bit too lazy and since the wind had calmed down I went for an hour walk. Even on that walk I could feel my knee not feeling alright. Came home and stretched for a while and that was that week.

stretching

I could sort of live with the knee pain for a bit if I was still able to walk, bike, and cross train without pain but at the moment even walking and cycling hurts a bit so that’s really getting to me as it’s limiting my options.. But let’s stay positive 🙂

Two photos from Bath Christmas Markets as well. We went there with Maddie yesterday and the only exercise that day involved was lifting the mulled wine cups.. 😉

bath2bath1

xx

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?