Marathon training: week 9 Long run

Today it is NINE weeks, one day until Milton Keynes marathon and THIRTEEN weeks until Shires & Spires 35.  Getting close!

Breakfast was a toasted bagel with almond butter.  I had this about 2 hours before setting out in the end though.  I’m loosely following the Runners World Sub 4h30m plan, although without intentions of finishing sub 4:30.  Today I was down to run 8miles at 11mm pace, followed by 7miles at 10mm pace.

I knew I would struggle to keep as slow as 11mm to begin with.  I have found pacing with my watch really tough.  As my last few runs I have focused on not looking at my watch whilst running, but instead running by feel, I decided I would do the same today and see how I got on.  8 slow miles, followed by 7 at a slightly quicker pace.
I didn’t get on too badly!…
Mile 1: 11:17 (included warm up)
Mile 2: 10:51
Mile 3: 10:54
Mile 4: 10:55
Mile 5: 11:05
Mile 6: 11:10
Mile 7: 10:56
Mile 8: 10:58
Pretty much spot on for 11 minute miles!  I was desperate for the toilet at about mile 5, so turned back on my route to jump into the local visitor centre toilets at my sixth mile.  I couldn’t go before I started my run so planned a run with a loo stop as knew I would need it before the end of the run!
From mile 8 I began munching on a few Lucozade jelly beans each mile.  They are very sugary sweet and I can never finish a packet on a run.  I accidentally swallowed two whole today whilst running as well!
My run started to go downhill from here.  I had told myself that as long as the second half of my run was faster paced I would be happy, but I possibly tried to pick up a little too much speed, and was constantly checking myself back.  It didn’t help that most of the second half of my run contained hills either!  The rest of the miles are as follows…
Mile 9: 10:23
Mile 10: 10:12
Mile 11: 10:04
Mile 12: 11:59 (I had a stitch this mile, possibly from too much water?  It was quite hot out and I was drinking a lot so walked 0.4 mile to get rid of it.)
Mile 13: 10:15
Mile 14: 10:39
Mile 15: 11:06
1927 calories burnt and just short of 15 miles with most of it run so I treated myself to a glass of cold milk in the back garden with Bella, where I played ‘throw-the-leaf-into-the-wind-and-catch-it-in-a-leap-with-your-paws’.  Bella’s favourite game!

Going on the last few weeks of training I think my targets for MK second time round are BRONZE: Sub 5h SILVER: Sub 4:50 GOLD: Sub 4:45.  I am definitely capable of all three of those targets and do not want to set myself too strict a target that ends up with me panicking and pressurising myself on race day.  I have to remember I want to run the ultra just four weeks after and running the marathon last year drained me for weeks.

 After a quick stretch and a shower, I came downstairs to see Bella getting some quality time in with Dan in front of the footy before I put together lunch.  I had been looking forward to this lunch all morning as I picked up lots of nice ingredients whilst food shopping yesterday.
I had some wholemeal pitta breads, and filled Dan’s with tuna and cheese, sneaking a piece of cheese for myself before filling my pitta with mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and goats cheese.  Yum!

Maria pointed out on my post where I compared out and backs and circular routes that the worst runs are definitely runs with repeating loops!  I have to agree…My run from last Sunday was good, but I did wimp out at mile 13 instead of following through to 15 miles partly because I couldn’t face adding the two mile loop onto the end and running it again!  There’s a lady at my running club who has a park near to her house that is a mile all the way around.  When she’s building up her distance for marathon training she runs round and round this park to make up her mileage.  So a few weeks before the marathon she’s running around this park 22 times non-stop!  I would be extremely bored and definitely duck out of runs if that was how I had to train!  I love that I can go and explore new places and see things.

Onto Saturday…!

 I had the longest lay-in, and my body clearly needed it after the hectic week at work!  I got up at 6:15, but went back to bed at 8, and although we both woke up at 10:30, we didn’t get up till gone midday.  It was nice to actually have time to have a conversation with Dan again!!!
Breakfast was what is becomming my standard bagel with Philadelphia and two ham slices.  I’m almost out though.  Might get on the cereal next week!

Because we didn’t have breakfast till really late I wasn’t really hungry at lunchtime.  Dan wanted something really filling as we were going out to a party tonight where there would be vegetarians and it was a bring-your-own-dish party so he worried about not having anything he would like (the only vegetables he likes being carrots and peas!)  Therefore he felt it vital to get a meal at KFC for lunch whilst we were out birthday present and food shopping!  I have never liked fast food places but did in the end get a Krush’em milkshake thing.  Shouldn’t have bothered.  I hate bits in icecream (like Ben & Jerry’s) and Krush’ems have lots of little bits of chocolate inside.  Didn’t really enjoy it.
Bella spent the entire day laying on Dan’s suit on the bed.

 Because I still had to put together a salad and finish off my cake balls I ended up without time to run which was really frustrating, but I didn’t want to rush and stress myself out.  Instead, I put together this beautiful salad, and finished off the cake balls before showering.  The salad is mixed leaves, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes and goats cheese.  I’ve also bought some cranberries to add to my salads in the week as I have lots of lettuce left over.  Yum!  :)  I love, love, love salads.  They are my absolute favourite meal to have in the Summer, but Dan doesn’t like any of it so I don’t get to have it very often.  :(

I drove, so that I could not drink, and just had one small homemade pina colada on arrival which I followed with lots of glasses of water throughout the night.  I had said to myself before going I would only eat homemade food at the party and only items I really fancied.  I was very proud of myself and didn’t go back for seconds.  None of the food was very healthy apart from mine so I took a big scoop of salad, one small slice of toad in the hole and then three mini pastry rolls – one with goats cheese and rocket, one with feta and spinach and one with sausage and cheddar.

The cake Claire made was amazing!  I did also have a slice of this later on and Vicki packed me a slice to take home which I demolished in the car on the way back!  Really tired towards the end of the evening and knowing I had to get up to run 15 miles in the morning on very little sleep!  Good night though!

Quick Friday catchup!

I’ve just had breakfast and now waiting for it to settle before heading out for a run.  I have been working on the blog this weekend, not abandoning it, but by installing WordPress on my domain and getting it looking gooood!  So just quickly catching up with Friday and Saturday eats.  Will post properly later after my run.

Friday breakfast was my becoming regular bagel topped with Philadelphia and two ham slices.  This is a little more crisp than I tend to like normally.  I like them really lightly done!

 For treats at breaktime at school I had a hunk of crusty loaf dipped in red pepper houmous, two cheese straws, a glass of orange juice, a mini chocolate roll and a small shortbread biscuit.  There wasn’t anything healthy to choose from!  It’s my turn for treats next week so I’ve already started thinking about what healthy items I could take with me…

 I went for my run as soon as I got back from work.  Dan had gone out for dinner with work so I would be eating on my own and when I quickly nipped to Co-op to buy some eggs before tea, this WeightWatchers roasted vegetable arrabiata was in the reduced bin for 60p so I picked it up.  I never buy frozen ready meals but I was looking forward to eating this with my bread roll to mop up the tomato sauce.  Unfortunately it was actually really disappointing and didn’t have a whole lot of flavour to it.  :(

I needed the eggs to make these beauties…some cake balls ready for my friend Vick’s birthday party on the Saturday.  Each guest was supposed to take a dish and Dan decided he wanted me to make these as his dish!