Monday, 25 August 2014

Don't smack me

I didn't swim today. Before you start pulling your hand back to give me a good ol' slap I deliberately didn't go swimming. For two reasons: 1. I had another dental appointment at lunch time so it didn't suit but mostly 2. I'm sore and tired. Instead of wearing myself out more I swapped out swimming for a good yoga session as my cross-training.

Instead of my usual Friday class I went to a basic yoga class. This was awesome. Since the class is designed for beginners you get to hold the poses for a lot longer, which equals a really good stretch. Even better, like my first ever yoga instructor, the instructor went around and helped adjust people into the correct position if they were off. These little tweaks really helped, sometimes only words are not enough.

At the beginning the instructor asked if anyone had any requests. Normally I find that this can often be a rhetorical question. Not so today, I requested hips and boy did I get hip openers. It was the best class I've been to in a long while. I could tell straight away as a lot of the soreness I'd been feeling disappeared after the class.

I've been training almost non-stop for 9 months and now I'm ramping it up for a marathon. I guess my whole point is with this type of distance training you have to listen to your body. Normally I wouldn't consider yoga cross-training but it is. I sweated and trembled with the effort of the poses at the time. SO it might be enjoyable but it certainly isn't a cop out.


Most of all its what my body needed the most today.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Marathon Training Week Two


My birthday week, older, lighter and healthier than I've ever been and hopefully wiser too. This next year or two of my life is sure to bring some interesting changes and I can't wait.

Week Two of Marathon Training

Monday- 45 minutes swimming--lunchtime
I've been wearing my contacts while swimming. Does anyone else do this or am I crazy? To protect my eyes I jammed my googles on so tight that I bruised my nose a little. How silly!! In good news my swim hat (which no one seems to wear here) keeps 95% of my hair dry, so no need to wash it if I swim at lunch time. I may look out of place but it saves time. I found myself looking at underwater music players this week, DCRainmakers reviews specifically. I cannot buy anymore gadgets...I don't need it and can't afford it...suck it up and just swim Kathy!! Even swimming outdoors for two weeks has added impressively to the collection of tan lines on my back. If I ever need to wear a proper dress I'll need a very delicate paint job of some sort to even things out he, he. I think my breathing technique is improving I'm not choking and spluttering everytime I breathe on the left.

Evening---Strength training routine...focusing on hip mobility and strength.

Tuesday 
Plan 3 easy miles
Actual 3 miles at  10.23 min/mile.This is turning into my weekly running date with Boomer.
After falling, running lots last weekend and yes I'll admit it, slacking on my stretching my hips were tight. I was worried about my IT band flaring up so I switched back to my PureConnects (which gave me an icky blister, so I had been giving them a break for a while) and took the little man in my life out for a run.
We took it easy and did an out and back from home. Since 3 miles is about as far as I'll take Boomer until it cools down a lot more, Tuesdays are our day. Its nice leaving him tired out in the morning knowing he'll happily snore away until we come back to him at lunch time. Lots of stretching afterwards and some foam rolling that night.

Wednesday
Plan 5 miles 9.45 min/mile
Actual 5 miles at 9.25 min/mile. I got some birthday miles in before work. The easy run followed by stretching on Tuesday seemed to work really well and everything felt looser. It didn't seem so hard to hold pace.
For the rest of the day I ate all of the food. A mimosa at lunch, at my favourite restaurant, as well as cake. Headaches and tummy aches followed but it was totally worth it. 

That evening right after work I had my favourite NY style pizza at Nikki's Pizza here in Columbia, along with $5 pitchers of beer. Our DD then took us to a local brewery (River Rat) where I got a flight of their beers.

I was a bit disappointed. The brewery itself was great, it had a nice set up and even an outdoor area that we would be allowed to take the dog. I was really excited ...having visions of walking there from my house with Boomer and having a mid-walk beer....maybe every day ;) but then the beer wasn't to my taste. I could drink most of them but I don't think I found one that I'd like on a regular basis, I'm not saying they were awful beers I'm just a Corona girl and haven't graduated to grown up non-lager type beers, like IPAs or stouts. I actually ended up drinking very little (the pitchers were shared) but after stuffing myself with food I was super sleepy and since it was a school night everyone was heading home pretty early. I went home and got straight into bed by 9pm....talk about living it up!!
Thursday
Plan 3 miles---survive
Actual 3 miles 9.39 min/mile
So after being out the evening before I was tired...even with being in bed by 9pm, but before I even went to bed I'd decided not to run on Thursday morning, so I didn't totally flake out on the morning run. One thing I didn't take into account was the fact that it was 100+ degrees outside with high humidity, there was actually a heat alert out. Keeping this in mind I waited until after dark to run. I came up to the university and ran a double loop of 1.5 miles long. What I didn't know is that there have been a few armed assaults/muggings around there lately at night. I think it was early enough that it was ok but I don't think I'll be running after dark around there again. I was slower than the speed work I probably would have done if I'd gotten up early (my training plan doesn't actually involve any speed work but I throw it in anyhow) but I got the miles done and survived.
Got my haircut and went a bit wild and asked my fab hairdresser to shave out a portion of my hair over my ear....you can kind of see it in the first picture. A bit more boyish styling today to show it off! I might be a bit braver next time and get more of it shaved.

Friday
Plan Rest
Actual Kind off. I did no running but lost out on a bit of sleep. We got free tickets to a play called The Black Man Complex, basically it was about a mans journey to find his identity as a gay black man. It was definitely thought provoking.
 It was very interesting from a foreigners perspective. As conservative as Ireland is, homosexually is a not an issue for most people, of my generation or younger, especially in cities, and the very intense black-white race issues don't really exist because there isn't a large black population in Ireland and most are recent immigrants. A lot of the racism is against immigrants in general rather than any one race......hypocritical to the extreme considering the number of Irish immigrants welcomed elsewhere in the last few hundred years, but there is no reasoning with some people. Neither situations are perfect by any means but not often openly hostile. Don't quote me on any of this as it's just my experience growing up in Ireland it may be very different from someone else's perspective. I guess a lot of the points raised by the play I just won't fully get ever since I didn't grow up here nor am I black.

I stayed around for the discussion after and ended up getting home after 12am.

Saturday
Final follow up on my eyes, got my pupil dilated so I had freaky eyes for hours after.
Plan 5 miles 9.45
Actual 5 miles around 9.12 min/mile
Given that my appointment was in the morning and I couldn't open my eyes outdoors without flinching for most of the day I went to the gym. I hate treadmill running but luckily my gym has a short indoor track. How short you ask, 1/7th of a mile. Around 38 laps later (I ran a few extra to be sure) I was glad to be finished. It was weird to run on carpet with AC. It was still pretty humid but not a patch on the super heat outside today. 
It was a good opportunity to test my watch(Garmin 220) indoors though. It clocked each lap at around a 1/10th of a mile, so it was a little off but it was still nice to have some idea of my pace as I ran. Who knows maybe the watch was right depending on how I ran the track!!
Post run snack...addicted to these yogurts....

Sunday
Plan 10 miles 9.45 min/mile
Actual 10 miles 10.15 min/mile
I ended up running late in the evening as I caught up on some sleep this morning...and the temperatures between morning and evening didn't look too different. I started out feeling pretty rotten, my legs were feeling like lead. I stuck to the riverfront this evening as there was another alert about an armed man hanging around USC last night. No idea why the city is so crazy right now!
 I did an out and back of the full trail which got me to 7 miles. I took a short break and refilled my water bottles at the car before heading back to finish up. I went  with what felt like an easy pace. I felt tired and things hurt as the run progressed but this was the usual you're nearing the end of your long run tired. All in all, besides that I actually felt better as the run progressed and ran slow but definite negative splits. Maybe the cooling temperature made it easier as it was fully dark by the time I was finished. I did the last mile on the sidewalk of a nearby road as it was better lit and safer.

I don't know what was up with me today, maybe adding in the extra day of training for a second week (the cross training) has left me a bit pooped, who knows. I'm on the couch now, not long out of the shower, and somehow I don't think it'll be too long until I'm asleep but nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing I finished out week two and completed all the training despite lots of life distractions this week.

I hope you've all had a great weekend!
River at night