London marathon

I was really, really, REALLY looking forward to watching the London marathon coverage on the TV pretty much all day today.  Last year I ran 6 miles early on and then slobbed on the couch all day glued to the TV.  Same plan for today but instead of 6 easy miles, Maria had invited me to run 15 very HILLY miles with her this morning.  7.5 miles out and then back into town again.  The hills are dubbed ‘The Three Sisters’ and look like this…

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I grabbed a bagel with peanut butter on before leaving and topped up a water bottle with water.

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Maria has race times that are a little slower than me and was possibly too optimistic in the pace at the beginning, as we set out at a 10mm pace for the hills.  I was planning on 10:30-11mm and knew I would burn out as the course progressed and struggle to maintain the pace especially after completing the hills!  With a few walking breaks mainly prompted by Maria we still held about an 11mm pace throughout and the weather was lovely to run in.  Nice and warm with a cool breeze.  We set out at 6:30am and barely saw any traffic but there were several hot air balloons out in the sky on our way.  I got through a full bottle of water by the end of the 15 miles and could really have done with a gel or a little food or something towards the end of today’s session.  Those hills were tough and made me very greatful of the fact that Milton Keynes is incredibly flat!

Here’s us at the finish!

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It was lovely having someone to run with this morning.  I’ve completed all of my long runs for marathon training on my own up until this point and it is so much nicer having someone to natter away to and distract you from the pain in your legs or head arguing with you to stop!

When I returned I grabbed a glass of ice cold semi-skimmed milk and a second (mini) breakfast which looks discusting but tasted lovely!  I had half of the remaining pineapple juice from my fruit tin I ate over breakfasts this week along with half of the remaining rasberry juice (this is why it turned that deep purple colour for the picture!) and several spoonfuls of low-fat yoghurt.  Trust me when I say it tasted nice, because I realise that it doesn’t at all in that photo!

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I am now sat watching the TV in the lounge with my feet up after a quick stretch from my own session.  I am tracking 20 members of my club and friends on the online Virgin London marathon tracker.  It’s gotten really interactive this year.  Each of the people you are tracking appears as a mini runner and you can see where they all are on the course!  Love it!

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Off to continue watching the coverage…

All I needed was a bike ride…

…and I would have done all three elements of a tri today!

After Parkrun yesterday morning we headed home to grab some lunch and for me to catch up with my Women’s Running mag.

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Lunch was a pepper, lettuce, tomato and cheese sandwich and it was nice and crunchy and fresh.  Just what I was craving after the morning run!

Dan had nipped down the road into town to grab some sandwich fillings for his sandwich and spotted our local sweet shop offering free sample size pots of Slushies.  We galloped back down into town and picked up a mini raspberry sample to enjoy in the sun.

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Even though it was a small sample, it did do this…!

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And then we headed to the pool.  We spent two hours in the pool and I got incredibly wrinkly!  I thought it was hilarious that in the pool there were signs for ‘No petting’ and big signs up about no puking or pooping in the pool as well!  Never seen a No Petting sign and laughed so much!

We did quite a bit of swimming to begin with but as the pool got busier it was difficult to swim properly so spent some time messing around.  Dan also helped me to improve my arm action when I swim.  I can swim long distances but I am an incredibly weak swimmer.  I tend to swim front crawl and have a massive right arm movement and then my left arm barely makes it out of the water…my little feeble arm!  And then I shake my legs backwards and forwards intermittently when I remember to!  The aim for yesterday was to improve my left arm movements and not worry too much about my legs.  With Dan’s coaching I felt much stronger by the end of the session.  We’ve both said that we really enjoyed it and need to head back again soon so hopefully I can practice some more and work on improving my leg action as my legs should be the strongest part of me!

 

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Next on the list for our eventful, busy day was to the cinema to see The Croods.  This obviously came with a trip to the Ben & Jerry’s counter where I tried out the new Peanut Butter pieces flavour with my regular Chocolate Brownie FroYo.  I wasn’t a massive fan to be honest.  It had chocolate chunks in it and I hate chocolate chunks in icecream.  I like my chocolate to melt in my mouth!

I loved The Croods.  It was a great kids film and had some really funny bits in where the whole audience laughed out loud.

Afterwards we headed to Frankies for dinner.  Third meal out this week!  We never do this!  Honest!

I chose the prawn cocktail starter to come out as a main and had it with a side of herb potatoes.  (These came to the table a little late and I forgot to photograph them.)  I used to love these when I worked at Frankies and would have them as a side several times a week but the appeal really has faded since starting to eat a little healthier and I did not finish my bowl – leaving about half in the dish.  I forgot to mention, but I also failed to finish my sweet potato fries at the meal out on Friday night.  Dan reminded me of my Friday Focus and I stopped before the end of the dish.  This would have been a massive mind struggle for me last year.  I was always brought up to finish everything put in front of me no matter how full I was – and have been sick many a time because I have not listened to my body when it was screaming at me to stop.  I’m very proud that in three meals out this week I didn’t finish a single meal because I listened to my body and heard it telling me when it was full.

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Dan has gotten a little addicted to garlic bread just lately so I also stole a couple of slices.  Frankies has the best garlic bread…some soft and doughy with a thin base.  Yum!

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In the evening Dan settled down to watch Match of the Day and I headed upstairs to make up a new workout routine for my Healthy sELF challenge of the day: Try a New Workout.

I completed the following…

* 1 min jumping jacks
* 1 min crunches
* 1 min jump rope
* 1 min arms high up with weights and gradually lowered to either side of body (don’t know what these are called!)
* 1 min high knees
* 2x 30 secs plank
* 1 min heel flicks
* 1 min bicycle crunches

…and repeated this twice.  There was lots of banging going through my floor at about 10:30 at night.  I don’t think my neighbour was in (she works nights) but hope she is still happy to be my neighbour after my noisy efforts!