Friday, 15 July 2011

A wee break

It hasn't been a great week. Since we got back from Mum and Dad's on Monday night, I've been feeling under the weather. I think it's mostly tiredness - I probably should have had a few more early nights when I was there instead of staying up reading every night and having long chats with my family etc. No, actually I think it was worth it!

Anyway, I managed a run on Tuesday morning, as well as a tough Pilates class on Monday evening, and then one session from 30-day shred. The combination of the last two left me aching all over and struggling to get out of bed on Thursday. Since then I've had headaches, a fever, and not been able to sleep much.

This weekend we are driving down to the other end of the UK where Pete will be working while I look at potential places to live. So I'm going to sign off for a week. I've packed my running things and Garmin (of course), so I haven't given up all hope, but I'm going to struggle to fit any running in. It's ok though, I'm telling myself that we're in the middle of a big life change, and if I'm ever going to have to take an enforced break from running, it might as well be while I don't feel a hundred percent, and while I'm trying to do a little job like organise the future of our family...

I'll try to keep up with everyone else's blogs as best I can, but don't expect to hear from me for a few days!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A week away

We are back in Scotland after a great week visiting my parents in England. As far as I can tell, I managed not to put on a load of weight, despite treats and puddings such as chocolate fudge cake, strawberry flan and cream, caramel shortbread, apple crumble mmm....drool...

I went for 4 runs, but only ran a total distance of 12.1 miles. They were all short; a fast, flat 5K on Tuesday, 2.5 miles which included my fastest ever mile (see previous post) on Thursday, 3 tired slow miles on Friday, and my 'long run' of 3.5 miles on Sunday. Although they were all short runs, I felt that they were really good quality, and I ran fast and strong, (apart from Friday when I just felt completely knackered). I had a few late nights, as I kept staying up chatting, watching tv or reading. That was really nice.

Away from running, the kids spent a lot of time at the local play park;

did some cushion sewing in a craft event at the toy shop;

spent time with their baby cousin;

and met some famous characters at a summer fair.

Most of all though, they loved playing with Granny and Grandad, especially in the garden in sunny weather.

Life is very busy at the moment, so I'm not sure how much running I'll be fitting in this week - I think it's time to get back with old friend/foe Jillian and her DVD.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Quickie

I'm away from home this week, staying at Mum and Dad's in England. I flew down with the kids on Tuesday, leaving Pete the small tasks of going to work and selling our house, and we're staying until next Monday. The kids have been having a great time being spoiled by Granny and Grandad, and I've been taking the opportunity to read and relax a bit more than I do when I'm looking after them by myself.

Running round here is great - it's so flat! Well, in comparison to home anyway. On Tuesday evening I tried a relaxed, steady pace run, and found myself speeding along without really working hard. Then this morning, I decided to do another 1 mile time trial (see my Magic Mile post). I had found that in the local park, by the kids' play area, there is a concrete path which is marked at 100m(etres not miles), and 400m, and it is just a bit longer than a standard running track.

This morning we had a good laugh as Dad took the kids to play on the swings, and I jogged around them for about 1 mile, then ran a mile as fast as I could round the path. I passed them 3 times, and each time they started shouting 'Come on Mum! Come on Runner Mum!' and other encouragements. They clapped and whooped, and high-fived me as I passed. There were a few pedestrians who looked surprised and amused - they must have been expecting Paula Radcliffe to come whizzing past them, but it was only red-faced, panting me.

Anyway, what a difference a flat surface makes. 10 days ago my fastest mile was 7m49s on a hilly road. I had hoped to be able to run 7m30s ish with a bit of training and on a flatter route. But this morning, I did it in 7m26s! A whole 23 seconds faster! In a way I wish I lived in a less hilly town, although I suppose it's good training.

So what should my new target be? I'll need to find a flat route in Scotland if I'm going to match or beat this morning's time. Maybe I could aim for 7m20s - I didn't feel that I was as tired at the end as I was on the last one.

Meanwhile I'm eating a lot of big meals and puddings here, so I need to keep fitting runs in to make sure I don't go back up to Scotland half a stone heavier.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

June stats

Looking back at the information my dear old Garmin has been collecting this month, I see that I have been doing a lot more running recently. June was comprised of 4 weeks in which there were no school or playgroup holidays, and that's the most important factor in how much I get to do. So it's been a good month - especially for running. Statistically speaking:

13 runs = 49.6 miles
6 bike rides = 50.7 miles
4 Pilates Classes
2 Gym visits

This is 11 miles more running than I managed in May, and I've been increasing running mileage each month (not too difficult as January and February both totalled 0 miles). Obviously as I have been running more, I've had less time to go to the gym or go out on my bike, and sadly, the theft of my bike has meant no cycling at all for the time being. Bastards.

Anyhoo, I'm pleased with the running! I really think I am back to the same fitness I had last August before the Plantar Fasciitis came along and spoilt it all. I'm taking it easy though, and there have been twinges of familiar and unwelcome heel pain over the last week or so, so I'm keeping the runs short. Quality over quantity is my training theme for now.

This week has also been rather good. Sans bike, and with no time to go to the gym, I've run 4 times, doing quite varied sessions - my 1-mile test, a couple of 'tempo runs' (not really sure what they are, but I think I did them), and a hill run today. That's equalled 16.6 miles this week - a clear record for 2011.

This morning's run was awesome. It's been a beautiful sunny day, and I ran into the nearby country estate at about 8.45am. The sound of sheep and the smell of their poo were constant reminders I was in the countryside, and the views were also lovely. The first mile was up and down, the next 2 miles were mostly downhill, and the next 2 were uphill. I did 5 miles in 45 mins, which was great considering how horrible that uphill is. I really enjoyed making the most of the beautiful environment around me as I know we'll be moving soon. The weather was a bit of a boon too, if not wholly typical for Scotland.

Hot & sweaty in a good way

After I'd showered (they insisted), we all went out for French toast, bacon and maple syrup, followed by a walk on the beach as the kids collected shells and pebbles. What a fabulous day!