Live to run or run to live?

A couple of weeks ago my running group were heading back to base after a hard 7 miler.  I got chatting to a guy that I had run some of the way back with who commented that he definitely went ‘Running to live, he did not live to run‘.


This comment really made me think…Do people do one or the other?  There are times that I very much run because I would like to eat cake…

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(Some of my favourite cake moments from the past few months…!)

And I dread heading out for that run, ending up looking like this…


This is at my PW half marathon – Silverstone 2012.  I came in at 2h 21m 10s.  I failed to adjust my pace to reflect the heatwave there was on the that day.  I faded very soon and even though the first 6 or so miles were at my intended 9mm pace I lost it after that and never got it back again.  The second half of this half marathon was very much a run to live (and save face!) experience!

But equally on other days I jump out of bed at 5am, head outside and tick off a 20 miler with a big smile on my face

…then return home and eat a beautiful salad and drink lots of water…

…purely because I know it’s good for me and my running.

I don’t think it’s healthy to be completely one way or the other.  If you are entirely of the run to live mentality you are not going to be enjoying the hours you pound the pavement, you are going to dread returning from work to put on those running shoes and you will rush to get every session over as quickly as possible.  There are plenty of activities out there for you to enjoy and plenty of foods you will love without every day being a ‘cake-treat’ day.  Life is too short to spend very much time doing things you don’t enjoy. But here is another question, if you happen to be a ‘candy girl’. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GO TO YOUR LOCAL CHATSWOOD DENTISTS? You should better figure it out before you face some serious oral health problems.  Weigh up the reasons why you are running and try to remember what first attracted you to running and regain some of that initial love for the sport.

Equally though, I don’t think it’s healthy to be entirely of the live to run mentality.  I am guilty at times of talking too much ‘running talk’, especially to my non-running friends but I do have other topics of conversation.  If my body says to me “No running today Mary!” I listen to it and adjust my eating/exercise plans accordingly.  If I want cake, I definitely eat it!  As above, life is too short – if you cut out your non-running friends, you end up injured and miserable and you never eat a meal which contains more than 400 calories can you honestly say that you are enjoying your time as a runner?  Or making too many compromises in your life?…

Are you a balanced runner?  Or do you sway one way or the other?…

Sticking to a plan

Day Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Exercise
Mon Grapefruit, yoghurt and cinnamon *Treats* (as Mike forgot them on Fri he is bringing them in on Mon instead) 2x tangerines Spaghetti bolognaise with peas 5k before school. 30 Day Shred Level 2 after school

Here is the plan that I laid out as part of my HealthysELF challenge at the weekend.

I didn’t entirely stick to it yesterday, but it was pretty close!

BREAKFAST: (Grapefruit and yoghurt – no cinnamon – I was too lazy to hunt further when I couldn’t find it!)


LUNCH: (Treats – one small ham roll, a mini pork pie, a handful of grapes, a small scotch egg and a bag of Sunbites crisps.  I’d not seen these crisps before and they were really nice.)

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TREATS: (After the massive amount I ate for treats at breaktime I didn’t really fancy my tangerines in the afternoon.  Someone kindlyleft some cut veg on the side in the staffroom though so I snacked on a couple of pieces of yellow pepper instead.)


DINNER: (Tea was a little beef in a spaghetti bolognaise with peas, and I ended up making a side of garlic bread for us (what was on this plate was split with Dan!) using some left over ciabatta and some garlic granules and butter.)

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EXERCISE: (I felt absolutely exhausted before school and couldn’t face heading out for a run.  Dan however, offered to run with me when we returned home from school and we ran a slow 2.75 miles in 29 minutes around town (I thought this was about a 5k, but clearly not!) This also then meant that I didn’t fit in Jillian last night, but my body was absolutely exhausted.  I actually went to bed at 8:30 and and fell into a really, really deep sleep until my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning.  Knackered is the word!)

And here is a picture of Bella who decided that sleeping on Dan’s laptop case infront of the fire last night was more cosy than sleeping on the actual sofa or our dressing gowns, which is her normal spot!


VLM ballot entry


I’ve made my entry into this year’s London ballot…have you?…  If not, head over there now as there are only limited places in the ballot, as well as being limited places in the actual race itself!


The Good For Age entries have changed this year as well.  For a Senior Female like me it used to be you had to have raced a marathon in Sub 3:50 to gain a GFA place.  This year it has changed to Sub 3:45.  Five minutes is a lot of difference.  The Sub 3:50 was my goal for one day (…well into the future!!!).  It still is and I know that I could do it one day with a lot of hard work and training and fully sticking to a plan.  I won’t be ‘racing’ as such at MK marathon next Monday as my Ultra is coming up not long after and I want to save myself a little for that.  I will however be racing the GNR in September and an Autumn marathon (tbc, possibly Mablethorpe) in October later this year with the aim of a Sub 4:30.  Training hard all winter should hopefully take me to Sub 4:15 in Spring 2014 and I shall see where I go from there…

Facebook reminded me this morning that today is exactly one year since I became a marathoner!  You can read all about my first marathon here

Yesterday afternoon I headed out for a 6.3 mile run round the lakes.  It was a little windier than when I went out on Friday night, but I took my iPod along and listened to Marathon Talk episode #2 and enjoyed this run just as much!  Mile splits: 10:43 (inc warmup), 10:20, 10:10, 9:46, 11:13 (four gates and a road crossing!), 10:17 and 9:55.  Overall quicker than Friday night without meaning to be and also after having run my 5k in the morning.  Still not 10k race pace (my 10k PB is 58m 35s but I’ve not raced a 10k since Oct 2011, about six months after I first started running).  I would like to bring my speed up over the Summer season of shorter races and get some shorter distance PBs before concentrating on training for the half and marathon in the Autumn.

Tea last night was a pizza.  Vegetarian.  It had pesto on it.  Therefore, it was the best pizza ever!  Dan wasn’t hungry (probably due to not getting up until midday) so I dined on my own last night.


Northamptonshire Athletics Network 5k – Corby

Another weekend, another 5k!  I’ve raced quite a few small races just lately!  Here’s my medal for today’s…IMG_7190bI don’t like that the medal is exactly the same for all three of the races in the NAN series.  I only ran two of the three races, but I already have one exactly the same as this from the Northampton race.  Boo!

Breakfast was a bagel with peanut butter.  I’ve used up the last of my peanut butter now.  I hope I remember to restock before the marathon next weekend!


I arrived to this race the same as the last NAN event – not sure where to find the start of the race.  There were no signs directing runners anywhere but at least this time there was a postcode to find the HQ.  I pulled up in a nearby carpark having seen a few runners jog past (albeit without numbers on!) and headed in the direction they had gone, hoping that they weren’t just out for a Sunday morning amble!  Luckily, they were racers and led me straight to the start line with 5 mins to spare!  I really need to start travelling to races with other people!  I chatted to a couple of other runners from our club before we were directed to the official start-line out on the road.

The horn blarred out not long after and I had managed to place myself quite well, with not too much weaving in and out to begin with.  I didn’t really go into this race with a game plan as such, not with the marathon a week away.  I intended on just running as I felt and seeing how I got on…great plan huh?!

The route was quite nice.  One large loop of 1.3 miles (ish) and then a smaller loop which was repeated so we ran it twice.  I did think it odd that we never actually ran around the boating lake but just around the road surrounding the car park though!  It was a relatively flat course, with just a little hill towards the end of each lap.  The first mile felt quite easy but afterwards I realised I had set out a little too fast as I wasn’t planning on a PB today.  My first mile ended up being at 8:50 pace after I tried to slow down towards the end of the mile.  I had a couple of rubbish middle miles, around the 9:30 pace, and then my last little nubbin (someone called it that the other day, I can’t remember who, but I love that!) or 0.1 mile I ran at a 6:29 pace!  I tend to be quite good at my sprint finishes.  If only I could run my whole 5k that fast!  Our top female finisher did!  Well, she came in at an average 6:34 pace!  I faded in the middle of the race and didn’t push myself as much as I would have done had I not got a marathon in just 8 days time now and had I not been planning a 6 mile run this afternoon.  It was still an OK time at 28:21.  I laughed about this on the phone to my Mum afterwards, as I would have been ecstatic with this time a year and a half ago, and now anything over 9mm average is just an OK time for Me!

IMAG0716 I returned home by about 11:30 to discover that Dan STILL hadn’t risen so I set about making myself a mega cheese sandwich for my lunch…


Cheese, grapes, green pepper and the last of my bread rolls.  Cheese rolls or milk really are the perfect recovery go-tos for me.  Protein and some carbs right here!  :)