"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: May 2013

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Scrapbook pages as promised!

I DID have a relaxing afternoon and managed top finish 2 of my scrapbook pages.  I still have one more race to do but that will have to wait until another day! 

Half Term and no time!

I am off work this week as it is the Half Term Holidays but I seriously don't know how I ever find the time to work, run and blog!

Yesterday's run according to the plan was supposed to be a 40 minutes easy pace run.  The forecast for the day wasn't good so I decided to go for my run as soon as I got up to try and avoid the heavy rain forecast for later in the morning. When I left home it was drizzling lightly which was OK to run in, by the time I got home it had got heavier but not torrential. I enjoyed the run on the whole except when I met a HGV driver on a country lane REVERSING!  I got as far in to the verge as I could but he just kept coming.  I was eyeballing him in his wing mirror not convinced he had seen me pinned up against the hedge as 5 huge wheels trundled past my toes - just missing!  I am assuming he was following a satnav and had got himself stuck down a lane but reversing a huge vehicle like that down a one track lane is rather stupid! When he eventually got passed he waved out the window at me - so he had seen me, he just wasn't giving me much space! The rest of the run was uneventful thankfully. I went over my goal time of 40 minutes and ran for 51 minutes and did 5.52 miles which can be seen here. 

Today's run was down as a 4 mile pace run @ a 9 minute mile pace. However, as I am unable to go to my usual Pilate's class tomorrow I wanted to go to a morning class today instead. To kill 2 birds with one stone I decided to walk to my class which is about 1.70 miles away, then do the 1 hour of Pilate's before running the long way home. I really enjoyed the Pilate's as it was the Foundation class opposed to the advanced one I usually go to. However it was nice to be reminded about technique and do some gentler exercises which didn't nearly kill me! 

After the Pilate's I felt quite energised and was enthusiastic about running home, especially as it hadn't started to rain although it did look a bit black! I decided that after the walk and Pilate's I didn't need to warm up so I went straight in and ran at a  9 minute mile pace.  I managed the 4 miles with splits of 9.01, 8.47, 8.51, 8.59 and then did a cool down mile in 9.35 minutes.  In total I ran 5.02 miles with an average pace of 8.59 so I am very chuffed with that!  You can view this run here.

I am going to relax now and try and catch up with some of my scrapbook pages.  I will post pictures once I get them finished!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Week 6 Marathon Training commences with a rest day!

Today is bank holiday Monday and a rest day according to the plan! I am quite grateful for this on two counts.  The first is I'm tired after yesterdays efforts at the Manchester 10K and the second is after 2 sunny days it has rained incessantly today! So I have done very little today except iron and suffer more football on the TV!

With all the excitement yesterday of running the Bupa 10K I forgot to do my weekly round up of my marathon training stats! So here goes - 

I have indeed survived week 5 of my marathon training and my stats for the week look like this:

Running: 19:94 Miles
Time on feet: 2:59:38


Cross Training-
Swimming: 1.68 Miles
Walking: 2.04 Miles

Total Weekly miles: 23.67 Miles

and my total training for the marathon to date since 22nd April 2013 is:

Running : 108.95 Miles
Time on feet: 16:57:11


Cross Training-
Pilates: 3 hour
Circuit Training: 3 hour
Swimming:  5.97  Miles
Walking: 31.93 Miles
Cycling: 5.90 Miles

Total Miles: 152.75

Bring on week 6 - I am ready for you!

Yesterday I did the Bupa Manchester 10K race on a gloriously sunny day! You can read about my experience here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

My last run before BUPA 10K

Tonight I did my last run before the Bupa Manchester 10K race on Sunday! I believe this is a fairly flat race so I have high hopes of getting a PB.  My current PB for a 10K race is 53:14 so anything faster than this and I will be delighted! I don't see why I shouldn't achieve this if it is flat as I did 53:14 at Langdale which is an extremely hilly race! The weather forecast looks good so my only concern is it may be too busy to maintain a steady pace ... watch this space!

My plan stated tonight's run was a 40 minutes easy run and that is what I did!  It has been a very cold day today with lots of intermittent rain showers.  Tonight, just as I got changed into my running gear the heavens opened for another heavy shower.  I put on my waterproof running jacket but waited until it had subsided slightly before heading out the door.  I was very lucky - just as I got to the bottom of the street the rain stopped completely and the sun came out!  I was actually too warm with my jacket on, then no sooner had I got home and we got another downpour - this time of hailstones! PHEW!  I'm normally the idiot running in these conditions, makes a change that I managed to avoid it! I ran 4.22 miles in 40 minutes 26 seconds, once again a fantastic estimate of time! I really don't know how I do it!  The run can be viewed here. 

My son came home from uni tonight - that is him finished for the Summer!  I cannot believe how early they finish! Perhaps I need a career change and become a University lecturer or even better a student! How are we going to survive until September - I might need to take out a second mortgage to feed him!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

My Second Runniversary!

Two years ago today I started running!

I plunged right in the deep end and booked a charity place for the Great North Run and I had 16 weeks to train and get run fit! 
I downloaded a beginners half marathon training plan and thought it would be all plain sailing after that! I was already fairly fit as I did various exercise classes and I walked a lot but once I started to run I realised how enormous the task was that I had taken on! 
I followed my training plan and attempted to keep up with the mileage but this wasn't always easy as in the Summer my daughter (who was 15 at the time) had to have major back surgery and needed alot of care and couldn't be left alone. 

However, despite all the obstacles that seemed to present themselves I continued on my journey and arrived very nervously on the start line at the GNR! I found this first race the hardest of any races I have done (but probably my proudest accomplishment!) and even though I proudly announced "Never Again!" at the finish line I was already hooked!
Two years down the line I am still running! 
Tonight I did the same 3 mile route I did the very first day I ran, exactly 2 years ago today, to see how I had improved. 
I am delighted to report that I have gone from a 11.14 min/mile pace in 2011 to 8.38 min/mile pace last year to 8.39 min/mile pace this year! Dead chuffed with that especially since I have maintained my pace even though I have been injured! 2012 run can be viewed here, and 2013 run can be viewed here. 

According to my marathon plan tonights run was a 3 mile tempo (run as fast as you can maintain) run and I managed splits of 8:29, 8:43, 8:54. 

Over the past 2 years, I have:
  • spent a small fortune on running gear, and become addicted to buying trainers! 
  • invested in a treadmill! 
  • improved my pace from 11.14 to 8.27 min/miles. 
  • logged 1275 RUNNING miles. 
  • run 6 half marathons. 
  • improved my half marathon time by 23 minutes 56 seconds! 
  • run 5 x 10K races. 
  • run 2 x 10 mile races. 
  • run a full marathon and have entered a second! 
  • participated in a triathlon! 
  • run/walked a 40 mile ultra! 
  • blogged about running - OFTEN and had 13,549 page views! 
  • made lots of new running friends! 
  • discovered the misery of being injured and being unable to run! 
  • become very determined to succeed and improve! 
  • discovered the joys of a sports massage! 
  • become addicted to running and entering races! 
and finally 
amazed myself and my family with what I have achieved ... so far!

My only regret is I didn't discover the joys of running when I was younger, maybe then I would have achieved the speed I hanker after now!

    Tuesday, 21 May 2013

    First time with the legs out!

    A near miracle has happened today!  The sun has shone for most of the day and I even got to take my cardigan off whilst on playground duty!  

    Then this evening for my one hour easy pace run I actually braved getting my Lily white legs out and wore shorts for the first time this year, along with a running vest and cap!  I really felt like summer had arrived! The downside of this is it was a very hot run, and I sneezed and sniffed most of the way round even though I had taken an antihistamine tablet earlier!  There is no pleasing some people! 

    Although I was hot and sneezy I still enjoyed my run and I saw a million and one other runners and cyclists out too!  I managed to run 6.37 miles in 1 hour and 5 seconds, hows that for getting close to my target 1 hour run! You can view this run here.

    Now to rest my legs for the tempo run tomorrow!

    Monday, 20 May 2013

    Week 5 Marathon Training begins with a swim!

    I couldn't believe it last night when I actually got through on the phone to the Tri Club to book a swimming training session for tonight - and got a place!  

    After weeks of trying and failing I am now on a roll with 2 weeks in a row!  It  took 42 redials to get through, but perseverance paid off in the end!!! 

    I enjoyed the session and feel like I am getting lots of useful advice to improve my technique - but so much to remember!

    I find the "drill" involving a hand float and just kicking the legs exceptionally hard - I feel like I am not moving!  A sure sign that my leg kick is all wrong!  At least I know what I need to work on!

    A run tomorrow night!

    Sunday, 19 May 2013

    Marathon Inspiration

    Today it wasn't raining!  Which is a miracle when you live in the Lake District!

    I went to watch and cheer on some friends taking part in the Brathay Windermere Marathon.  A very scenic route but incredibly hilly! 

    Due to road closures we couldn't drive directly to our viewing point and had to take a tour via some back roads! We parked the car a little distance away and then walked.

    Our first viewing place was at around 12 miles, and even at this point (less than half way) there was some very tired looking runners who looked like they needed all the cheering and clapping available to them. It's funny watching the different reactions of people - some totally ignore you, some shout back, some smile! I know as a runner I feel energised when I get cheered on so I was hoping to energise some fellow runners in their moment of need!

    It made me feel incredibly emotional seeing the dedication and determination on their faces and knowing the months of training that they have undergone to prepare themselves but I don't think anyone is ever quite prepared for Lake District hills! However, the weather was very kind to them, if not a little warm!  

    I saw some of the 10 in 10 runners go by and felt a huge amount of respect for anyone who can attempt 10 marathon in 10 days! I could see the physical pain and effort they were experiencing just to continue! After cheering and clapping the last runner as they went through this point we went on a 3 mile walk with the dog before returning to the car and hot footing it to mile 24 for more cheering! I managed to see some of my friends at both these points which was great!

    Once I got home feeling totally inspired (and before I sat down and opened the wine) I got changed into my running gear to do my training run.  The planned run was a 4 mile run @ a 9 min mile pace with a warm up and cool down added.  The sun was now shining and it was feeling warm but I was determined to incorporate some hills into my run to empathise with the marathon runners. 

    After a night out last night and then a 3 mile walk I found this run hard work, especially trying to keep to the 9 minute mile pace for the 4 miles.  I didn't pace myself well in the beginning but managed an overall average pace of 9.07 min miles made up of these splits:

    Warm up mile @ 10.23 min/mile (nice and slow as it was uphill!)
    Mile 1 @ 8.26 min/mile (went off too fast!)
    Mile 2 @ 8.55 min/mile (managing to maintain it!)
    Mile 3 @ 9.02 min/mile (just beginning to lose it!)
    Mile 4 @ 9.07 min/mile (not bad as this was up a hill!)
    Cool Down 0.71 mile @ 9.06 min/mile.

    You can view my run here.

    My goal for next week is definitely to try and maintain the 9 minute mile pace and be consistent!

    I have survived week 4 of my marathon training and my stats for the week look like this:

    Running: 24.46 Miles
    Time on feet: 3:51:23


    Cross Training-
    Swimming: 1.71 Miles
    Walking: 4.48 Miles
    Circuit Training: 1 Hour
    Pilates: 1 Hour

    Total Weekly miles: 30.65 Miles

    and my total training for the marathon to date since 22nd April 2013 is:

    Running : 89.00  Miles
    Time on feet: 13:57:33


    Cross Training-
    Pilates: 3 hour
    Circuit Training: 3 hour
    Swimming:  4.29  Miles
    Walking: 29.89 Miles
    Cycling: 5.90 Miles

    Total Miles: 129.08

    Bring on week 5 - I am ready for you!

    Saturday, 18 May 2013

    When I woke up this morning I groaned ... the weatherman was right!  He had said we would have heavy rain all day and heavy rain is what we had!

    My training plan today said a 1 hour 45 minute easy run so that was 1 hour 45 minutes of getting wet!  I did contemplate exchanging today's long run for tomorrow's short run but then decided not to be a wimp and just DO IT! After all it might be raining tomorrow too!

    If it is raining on Marathon Day I can't just opt out because I don't want to get wet so I have decided I will do my long runs on the prescribed days whatever the weather!

    After eating my body weight in crisps and Maltesars last night, washed down with copious amounts of wine followed by several Gin and Tonics my body was feeling ever so slightly sluggish this morning! 

    They do say "You are what you eat" and one day I will start being kinder to my body and eat like an athlete and maybe, just maybe I will become one!! 

    I am generally very good during the week and try to eat healthily but once the weekend comes and alcohol passes my lips all my good intentions go out the window!  Life is too short!

    I tried to counterbalance the rubbish I had put in to my body last night by having porridge and a banana for my breakfast and then I went for a run! 

    I donned my waterproof running jacket and baseball cap with the hope that the peak would keep the rain off my face and out my eyes.

    I hadn't planned a route in my head but just ran where my legs wanted to take me! (Sometimes this is disastrous!).  Initially I was running along the path along a busy main road but with all the splashes from the cars and lorries drenching me I took the first road off to run along some quiet country lanes.  Once away from the noisy traffic I started to actual enjoy my run.  

    It was still teaming it down but the rain had enhanced all the lovely fresh smells from the grass, leaves, flowers and trees and as I inhaled deeply I felt lucky to be out running despite the weather! Even the birds seemed happy and were chirping loudly to each other, along with the cows mooing and the sheep baaing (unless they were all complaining about the weather!). Everything just seemed more intense, maybe because there were no other noise as the drum of traffic was deadened by the rain and there was nobody else around.  I felt like I had the entire countryside to myself!  Fantastic.

    In several places I actually felt like I was river running as the roads were beginning to flood in places. At first I tried to tip toe through to try and limit the damage THEN the big kid in me took over and I actually enjoyed splashing through the puddles!  I was already wet, so a bit more water in my trainers wasn't going to make that much difference!

    At about the 8 mile mark I had no option but to rejoin the main road where once again I ended up getting soaked as a great wall of water was sent over me (on several occasions!) by the traffic ploughing through deep puddles at silly speeds!  I just kept on smiling, I was not going to be beaten!

    I followed the main road back into Kendal and realised I was going to be about 15 minutes short of my goal time.  By this time I was absolutely soaked and had come to realise my running jacket is no longer waterproof and I was beginning to feel cold.  However, I dug deep and kept on running ... right past the turn off that would take me home (truly insane!).  On a positive note my baseball cap did indeed kept the water off my face but I probably looked pretty daft running in it when there was no sign of any sun!

    Eventually I made it back absolutely soaked to the bone but feeling stimulated, energised and very proud of myself for getting out there and doing it - I felt like a proper runner even if I don't eat like one!

    Cartoon Sugar Cube

    Its a good job I'm not made of sugar though! 

    Once home I was greeted by my husband who said "OMG you smell like the dog when he's been out in the rain!" Charming, I'm sure I wasn't THAT bad!

    I peeled off my soaking wet clothes (with great difficulty) and jumped straight into a steaming hot shower! ARRRRR BLISS!

    I managed to run 10.80 miles in 1:45:10 (10 seconds over my goal - how's that for accuracy!) at an average pace of 9:41minute miles. You can view my run here.

    I really don't know where Garmin get the weather conditions from but today it is so wrong! The real weather I endured was: 

    This weekend's theme must be water as last night I went swimming! Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day but I decided I needed to do something to relax me for the weekend.  I discovered the other day that at 6pm on a Friday the local leisure centre has a one hour session where the entire pool is laned so I decided to go and give it a whirl.

    It was so much better than the normal sessions where there are only 2 over-crowded lanes and the rest of the pool is full of teenagers acting stupid!  There was 6 lanes and for some of the time I actually had an entire lane to myself!  At its busiest I only had to share my lane with 3 other people!  I think I might make this a regular swim session.

    I tried to remember all the tips I have been given recently and really focused on my technique rather than just swimming.  The problem is I don't seem able to do 2 things at once! If I am concentrating on breathing my arms go to pot,  if I am concentrating on legs my breathing goes to pot, if I am concentrating on my arms my legs go to pot! 


    I managed to swim 62 lengths or 1550 metres or 0.96 miles at an average pace of 3.23 minutes per 100 metres.

    I'm quite chuffed with that!  

    Here's hoping I get a swimming place on Monday with the Tri Club!

    Thursday, 16 May 2013

    Sore Core!

    A busy day at work preceded a busy evening of exercise. Tonight's run was a 40 minute easy run. I have been told to make sure I make the easy runs slow and tempo runs hard but as I am currently an one pace horse I am struggling to do this!

    It has been "showery" all day on and off.  When I got home from work the sun was trying to shine so I immediately got changed, fuelled up on a banana before heading out the door for my run.  

    Just as I got my trainers laced up the heavens opened once again for a torrential downpour.  I delayed setting off and even considered for a millisecond going on the treadmill instead of venturing out!  

    However, I donned my running waterproof jacket waited for the rain to subside slightly before setting off.  Luckily after about 10 minutes the rain stopped and it ended up being a very pleasant run. 

    As this was an easy run I didn't look at my garmin for my pace, I just ran as my body dictated! I really enjoyed it even though it ended up as a fairly hilly run!  I did a 9:50 minute mile average pace, You can view it here

    Once home I had a quick shower, sorted tea and then was back out to my usual Pilate's class.  I am not sure whether its an accumulation of the weeks exercise or going running immediately before the class but I found it exceptionally hard.  My whole body feels like it has been put through it's paces and I can certainly feel my abs and bum muscles! I have certainly pushed myself this week!

    Wednesday, 15 May 2013

    My First Tempo Run - EVER!

    Today was another very wet, cold and windy day, and a busy one at work with Day 2 (out of 4) of home visits completed for the new September intake at school!

    Yesterdays entry on the marathon plan stated a "3 mile Tempo Run" and explained this as "running as quick as you can but maintaining an equal pace as possible after the warm up!" 

    Last night I completed my first Tempo Run - EVER! 

    I have been trying to gain some of my previous fitness back by just logging in the miles and taking it slow. 

    This week, my marathon plan seems to be ramping things up a bit! 

    I know and understand that if I am to improve my pace, I need to run faster, instead of just plodding around at the same slow pace. All of last years marathon training runs were done at virtually one pace - whatever distance! However, I was just training to finish 26.2 miles then, this year I am taking it more seriously! 

    I really want to increase my general speed so was keen to get this work out "right" but how do you decide what pace you can maintain for 3 miles?!  I decided to do some research and according to Runnersworld to ensure you’re running at the right pace during a tempo run it is a good idea to use a heart rate monitor and run at 85 to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate. However, as this was my first attempt I thought I would try and maintain just a slighter faster pace than usual at around 8:40 minute miles.

    I selected a flat route (I need all the help I can get) and after my warm up I tried to force the pace. It was a lovely clear but cool evening and I enjoyed the challenge of not just "plodding".

    I managed to do:

    a 3 mile tempo @ 8:21, 8:36, 8:57 with a warm up and cool down on top! 

    My average overall pace was 8:42 including these. 

    Chuffed with that - I have been struggling recently to get an average pace below 9:00 minute miles! My Heart Rate monitor was showing I had run at an average 82% of my maximum Heart rate, not too far off the Runnersworld recommendation!

    I got a bit Garmin obsessive monitoring my pace during this run.  Perhaps I need to put my Garmin in my pocket and just run as hard as I can and see what happens! I was pleased to keep each split below a 9 min mile pace but slightly disappointed that I didn't manage to keep it as consistent as I had wanted!  Not bad for a first go though!

    I did have one slightly unnerving moment when I
    came to a Zebra crossing and the car on my side of the road stopped so I started to run over, only to be greeted by a car going in the opposite direction who didn't stop!  I had to suddenly stop in the middle of the Zebra or else I would have slammed into the side of the car!

    I was in fluorescent pink so there was no excuse for not seeing me!  He had the cheek to look at me as if I was in the wrong!

    Tonight the plan stated Circuit Training so that's what I did! I was grateful that it was an indoor session as the weather was awful! Arms, shoulders and stomach are slightly achy now but I enjoyed the session!

    Tomorrow is more home visits followed by an Easy Run!

    Bring it on!

    Here's hoping the rain goes by then! 

    Monday, 13 May 2013

    Marathon Training began !

    My plan stated it was a rest day, but I ended up doing "active rest" in the form of swimming! 

    I have tried for months to get a place on the local Triathlon Club swim training session but it is so popular I have never managed to secure a place! You have to ring at 8pm on a Sunday evening to book a place but the phone is constantly engaged and by 8.10pm the session is fully booked!  Very, very frustrating! 

    However, tonight was my night (they must have heard I'm a proper triathlete now!) and I got in through the back door on a cancellation.

    I was extremely nervous (as usual) before I went, with visions of super fast and efficient swimmers with me lagging behind desperately trying to keep up. 

    When I got there at around 7.30pm I was introduced to the coaches and we discussed my swimming ability and what I hoped to gain from the session.  I was put (thankfully) in the slow group which is primarily for stroke improvement. The swim session started at 8pm.

    We did 200 metres warm up whilst the coaches observed us, they then offered advice to improve and we went off again to attempt to put this into practise.  After doing another 100 metres we started doing "drills" using pull buoys and floats etc.  Some of these I found easy and some extremely difficult.  I suppose the ones I found difficult is because that part of my technique is wrong. Hopefully I will improve!

    I was in the slow group, but I wasn't the slowest!  I was quite chuffed with that! Now I have a couple of things to work on and improve namely my head position in the water and my leg position!

    Fingers crossed I get a place next week too!

    Sunday, 12 May 2013

    Now that the Garmin Connect site is finally working I can update my weekly stats!

    I have survived week 3 of my marathon training and my stats for the week look like this:

    Running :22.04 Miles
    Time on feet: 3:20:12

    Cross Training-
    Swimming:  0.87 Miles
    Walking: 15.70 Miles
    Cycling: 5.90 Miles

    Total Weekly miles: 44:51 Miles
    Rest days: One

    and my total training for the marathon to date since 22nd April 2013 is:

    Running : 64:54  Miles

    Time on feet: 10:06:10

    Cross Training-
    Pilates: 2 hour
    Circuit Training: 2 hour
    Swimming:  2.57  Miles
    Walking: 25.42 Miles
    Cycling: 5.90 Miles

    Total Miles: 98: 43

    Total Rest Days: 3

    Bring on week 4 - I am ready for you!