More recovery

Yay I got out for a run today! All day at work I was looking forward to it. When I woke up this morning my legs were still a teeny bit stiff, but not sore, so I knew I would be ok and a run would help. After work I had a yummy Trek peanut bar, and then headed home to change. I could not decide how far to go so thought I would see how my legs felt. My mind was wandering and then I realised I had already run past the furthest point on my shortest run. So I carried on down to the lake. Even though the sun was shining there was quite a strong breeze so I stayed quite cool (or I didn’t overheat!). Going around the lake was lovely, although I didn’t see much wildlife and got a rather sarcastic-sounding whistle from a bunch of guys packing up their fishing stuff. I like to ignore it and then think of replies in my head (my choice today was “I bet you couldn’t run a half marathon”- topical!). Once home I did quite a few stretches outside, then came in and had an apple sprinkled with cinnamon. Super tasty! More stretches before and after the shower just to be on the safe side!

There was almost a disaster then because half way through dinner the oven stopped working. Somehow it had tripped the fuse, so luckily dinner was saved! It was my rainbow dinner too- not sure how many veggies were in it- spinach, courgette, red onion, red pepper, tomato, basil, lentils, quinoa, served with green beans, butternut squash and beetroot! Woah!

I also had a peanut butter blondie (the ones made with apple sauce and agave) to top up my reserves!

I had a look at the photos today from the half marathon. It’s the first time I have seen any- other races have never photographed me before (or it never shows up in the searches) but this time there were loads of me- all in the last 5 minutes so I was looking rather pained in some. I was pleased though as there are a couple of action shots (yes I am actually running) plus my face is nowhere near as red as I thought it looks after a run- super impressive as these pics were taken after over 2 hours of running!

Recovering after the race

Right. Yesterday I was so very stiff and so very sore. Even putting my socks on hurt (well the standing on one leg bit did). It was lovely at work because all the children brought in their medals to show, and they were so proud of themselves.

After work I had a nice walk (well, a hobble) and did begin to feel a little better. I was ok if I kept moving but if I sat still for a while and then moved I was so sore!

Anyway today I normally have aerobics, but after the last half marathon I went along to aerobics and was in agony, and then I took ages to recover. Even the weekend after I tried a 9 mile run and I was totally exhausted. So I decided to have another walk instead, do some stretches, and I will have a run tomorrow. I feel I am missing the runners’ high as well- the excitement and adrenaline from the race has definitely worn off and now life is back to normal so I think a run tomorrow will sort me out.

On to other things; I tried a new sandwich filling (well it went in a little wholemeal English muffin)- basil tofu. I have never much liked tofu before, I think mainly because it tends to be more oriental flavours which I am not keen on. I saw this in Waitrose the other week and have been looking forward to trying it. I had it with cherry tomatoes and some basil (yay the home-grown stuff that I have finally eaten!) and it is so delicious. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Half Marathon Report

So today was the St Albans Half Marathon. It was only my second half marathon, my previous one (Berkhamstead which has evil hills!) I did in 2.32. So I was hoping for 2.30 to beat my time. I got there about half an hour before, and went to the schools’ bit to see all the children getting ready for their fun run. Then off to left luggage before going to the start line. No time for a toilet trip as the queue was massive and by that point I had ten minutes left. The line of people at the start was so long, I think the limit was 3000 people and they had no on the day entries so I am guessing they sold out. I know people who signed up on Monday and got numbers in the 2500’s. Anyway I set off and was keeping a pretty good pace- I reached the first mile marker in just under ten minutes (which is fast for me) so I was not sure I would be able to keep it up. There was a very steep hill after mile 3 (not as bad as Berkhamstead though) and a few other shorter steep hills. The 6 mile mark passed at 61 minutes so again I was a little fast for my final estimate. The day was overcast, it even spat with rain when we were parking the car, and there was a bit of a breeze so that definitely helped. I was doing ok; each time there was a hill I did some good old fashioned positive thinking (yes you will get out of breath but you will get it back on the flat). I had my cherry raisins (thanks Nak’d) after mile 8, as I was beginning to struggle a little. By mile 10 I was feeling tired and getting a bit stiff. My water in my bottle had basically run out (save a dribble which I kept for emergencies!) so I had to stop at the remaining few water stations. I really find it hard to drink from a cup, so I had to slow down and walk at the last 3 stops to get some drink. That is when it got really hard- I almost get a head-rush to my legs once I start running again- I much prefer to keep on going. But anyway the last mile was thankfully downhill, then the last little bit was along the flat. I crossed the finish line and my chip time is 2.19.17- so I beat my time by 13 minutes! One minute per mile quicker! So I am super pleased! I walked around for a bit before giving my chip back, getting an ice lolly (I do like a banana but it was quite warm so the lolly was nice), some lucozade light- summer berries stuff (which was weird and odd tasting), a t-shirt and the all important medal! The race was really good- it has been going for 29 years now so they learn from the past. There were so many marshals all around the course, they were cheering everyone on, there were water points every 1.5 miles for the start, then more than every mile by the end. The left luggage was good too (I have only ever seen unattended ones before)- you got a tag with your race number on and left your bag, then when you collected it someone matched up your race number to your tag and went to get it.

I have not done much for the rest of the day! By the time I finished I was covered in salt, so I made sure I drank all the lucozade to help re-hydrate me. Once home (and after a shower) I had some Vita Coco coconut water (do you know apparently this can be used in emergency blood transfusions as it is so similar in makeup to human blood?), as well as a quesadilla which I made with 2 mini wholemeal wraps, red pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Plus a nectarine and some yoghurt. Boy I was hungry!

Later on we visited some family and I am now planning on having a bath this evening in the hope of stopping me being quite so stiff!

It is weird now though as I have no more races that I am signed up to. There are a few 10k’s in the autumn which I have my eye on, but for the moment I am looking forward to running the distance that I fancy, instead of knowing that I have to run, say, 11 miles at the weekend as it is in my training plan. I have enjoyed it but sometimes I have felt under pressure to do a certain distance. I have really enjoyed 8/9 mile runs, so I think when I have the time I will aim for them, and then other times a 5/6 mile run after breakfast is perfect because I still have loads of energy left for the rest of the day. But for now I am having a few days off!

Eat a rainbow!

Ok so today I will do a longer post- I have been a bit brief lately! At work today we were handing out all the race numbers to the children. On Sunday’s half marathon there is also a 5k and a children’s race (1.5 miles I think) so loads have signed up. They are so excited about it, which is good, although I also found out that we are having pictures taken, luckily before my run and not after as I would look a right state!

I had an apple and a cocoa orange Nak’d bar (these are sooooo good, seriously, much more moist than the bars with oats, almost gooey with a brownie-like texture. Mmm. ) and then headed home for a run before the rain. Massive black clouds were blowing across the sky when I got home but I decided to chance it and headed out. I think it will be my last run before Sunday; I have body pump tomorrow and I think I will do lots of walking on Friday and Saturday. I couldn’t decide how far to go, but I was feeling good so I went a little further than planned, around one of the lakes (saw loads of baby rabbits eeee!) and back again. By then the sun had come out and it was boiling! I hadn’t taken any water with me so I was so hot and thirsty when I got home. In the end I went about 4.5 miles in 47 minutes so not a bad pace either. It tipped it down about ten minutes after I got home so I timed it pretty well!

After a shower I had a massive colourful dinner (I really should have taken a photo but don’t normally photo my meals as it takes me ages to get around to putting the photos on the website). Anyway it was the quinoa and lentil bake I made a few weeks ago (red onions, peppers, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, lentils, quinoa, basil…), along with green beans, butternut squash and baby beetroot! I think I had every possible colour somewhere on that plate! So tasty and filling, just what I fancied after my run.

I think later I am going to have some alpro with some bear granola- such a tasty snack.

Race for Life report

Well today was the day of my Race for Life. Yesterday I had a walk up to the shops in the afternoon, but mostly pottered around, made some caramel shortcake (for someone who sponsored me) and also fudge.

I didn’t sleep that well (I never do before a race, always worry about missing the start or forgetting something) but I was glad to see the weather when I got up; overcast, cool but not raining (thunderstorms had been predicted). I had put my water bottle in the fridge overnight, and this morning I added some ice cubes. I got together my kit (mp3 player, Nike+ band, water bottle, number and safety pins, tissue) and after my cornflakes headed out.

I met my friend there (we did it together last year too) and we did the warm up. I ended up leaving my water with my boyfriend so I didn’t have to carry it around. Normally on training runs I would only take water if my run was over 45 mins, or if it was super hot outside. Then I joined the runners section! So exciting! Normally I join the joggers bit, but I wanted to get round in 30 minutes (previous times are 34 mins for 5K) and seeing as this year I have already done a half marathon and a 10K race I figure I am a serious enough runner to go in that section. My friend hadn’t done much training this year (she has just bought a house so her time has been taken up by that) so I left her at the joggers. Normally it’s me who gets left in the slower race pens and my boyfriend heading up to the front! How novel!

It still surprised me that within 50 yards of the start line people were already stopping and walking- I know it’s all for charity but can’t they go in the joggers section?

Anyway, I didn’t see the 1 or 2km markers; it was so busy and congested at the start as it is quite narrow in places. I was overtaking people a few at a time, but also got stuck in a few places behind people holding hands and so on. At one point by one of the lakes I was worried about being knocked in as I was overtaking people on the lake side and a lot of people seem to veer from one side to the other without warning. Thankfully I stayed dry!

I got to the 3km mark in just over 17 minutes, so I was pleased to know that being stuck at the start hadn’t got me off track at all. There was a steep uphill bit, and I made sure I concentrated on breathing (last year I had a bit of trouble at that point- I can start almost hyperventilating and my chest/ throat gets all tight) and managed a good steady speed. After that it was generally flat so I started to push a bit harder (got a stitch then but I kept telling myself “only a mile to go, not far). When I could see the finish line I was so amazed- I started proper sprinting only for 3 kids to run out in front of me (from one side of spectators to the other)- one girl saw me and dogged out the way but I was so close to taking the other two out! Honestly what were they thinking??

Anyway I crossed the line- my time was 28.10 which I am super pleased with! That is way faster than any of my previous times! Yay!

My friend managed it in 33 minutes which was amazing as she was aiming for 45 minutes! I got to see her run over the finish line and cheered her in!

I do love these races; seeing everyone dressed up and the range of ages is amazing and inspiring. There were 2 girls running along handcuffed together (fluffy pink ones of course), so many people with fluffy bunny ears, fairy wings and tutus (kind of like a massive active hen do). I even had a pink top (normally I run in black tops but recently treated myself to a couple of brightly coloured vest tops) so I didn’t feel left out!

I have my medal now, and have had a lovely lunch  (wholemeal toast + almond butter + cherry spread, apple, cherries and also more banana “ice cream”- this time (served 2) chopped 1 frozen banana, about 150g low fat custard, 1tsp peanut butter and 1tsp agave nectar= mmmmm so creamy).

Now we are off for dinner at my boyfriends parents, so a lovely relaxing evening ahead is planned (plus the finale of 24).