Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Long run reflections

Week 3 of Edinburgh marathon training and longest run so far yesterday – still only 11 miles, but that’s the furthest I’ve run since, well, the last marathon (Loch Ness in October). It turned out I picked the right day for it, since on Monday it was snowing and today, while not too bad, it’s pretty damp and drizzly. Yesterday was cold and dry and not too windy, pavements OK apart from a couple of minor icy patches, good running weather for me and I really enjoyed the run. News Quiz followed by Marathon Talk on the MP3 player for entertainment purposes, and I was pleased to manage the distance without stopping (apart from at traffic lights a couple of times) or really being tempted to do so.

Points from today’s run:

- I have still not got to grips with the concept of a long SLOW run, as despite consciously trying to run more slowly I actually seem to be running faster (average pace of 9:44 today when the schedule says 10:40-11:20). I know I’ll almost certainly have to run more slowly when the miles start increasing to HM distance and beyond, though. Does it matter if I'm running "too fast" at the moment, if I feel comfortable at that pace?
- I need to get decent gloves! Since accidentally leaving my old gloves at the side of the road a few weeks back, I’ve been wearing some grey woolly ones and spent the entire run taking them off because my hands were too hot and putting them on again five minutes later because my hands were too cold.
- New batteries probably needed for HRM since it was all over the place again, up to 200 (?!) at one point and down to below 100 for no apparent reason. I really don't believe my heart rate is fluctuating that much when my pace was relatively consistent. Or if it is, there must be something wrong with me.

I was having a think while I was out about reasons for running (listening to a bit about "motivation" on Marathon Talk). There are lots of reasons why I’ve taken to running in a big way since first starting in 2009, enjoyment being the main one, but one I’ve never really put into words before is something to do with being an "older" mother. I’m not *that* ancient – 43 with a 4-year-old daughter, as well as a 19-year-old son – but equally nobody would refer to me as a young mum any more. I want to stay fit and healthy, and as young as possible for as long as possible, for my children/future grandchildren (!) and also hopefully provide a positive role model in some way, especially for my daughter. If I can give her the message, as she gets older, that sport and exercise can be enjoyable and positive pursuits for women and girls (even if you’re not particularly good at them, like me), that you can achieve something satisfying and worthwhile through persistence and hard work, and that there is far more to life than shopping, television and what you look like (because I’ve seen girls even at primary school for whom these are their major preoccupations), then I will be a happy mummy.

Distance: 11.01 miles
Time: 1:47:13
Average pace: 9:44



Thursday, 3 February 2011

Back on the track

My second ever interval session on the ASV track today, and my first one on my own... I was literally on my own, as except for a couple of magpies and the odd seagull, the place was deserted! Marathon training schedule today dictated 8 x 400m intervals in 2 mins each with 2 mins recovery. After a mile's warm up, I did the 8 laps slightly quicker than the schedule said, though slightly slower than last week:

* 1:55
* 1:51
* 1:52
* 1:50
* 1:53
* 1:52
* 1:49
* 1:47

I was just aiming for under 2 minutes per lap so that was fine.

It was cold and very wild and windy especially on the "home" straight where I was running directly into a very strong wind! I have to say running laps of a track is not the most exciting activity. I had to distract myself by pretending I was a top affleet secretly training for a major event. Maybe next time I'll take my MP3 player for more realistic distraction. How does anyone manage to run a marathon on the track?! I worked out that on a 400m track it would be 105 laps... I did 16 in total today.

Then I did a timed mile just to see how fast I could manage it, I'm not letting on how fast that was though :P