First ultra distance training run!

OK, so in the end we took a wrong turn, so it wasn’t the planned 28 miles, but it still tipped over the marathon distance into 26.51 miles, which I am totally taking.

I awoke on Saturday morning (some would argue, however, that the time I was stirring could still be classified as Friday night), and got my things together for the day’s long run – my third and final run with the Stonehaven running club’s Saturday long run crew, before attempting to run my first ultra, in just under three weeks time.  Annoyingly, the cold that had been bugging me for the past two weeks hadn’t quite gone away, and the familiar stuffy nose, sore throat, and achey body kept me company during my breakfast.  I questioned whether or not it was wise to attempt such a long run, but figured if it all went wrong, the run would be on roads, and I could hitch a lift back to anywhere that had a train station or bus stop.

And so, at 6:45, I was picked up by Dave, who thankfully did not turn out to be an axe-murderer, but a pleasant Irishman, with Mike (though casually dropping in his name here, I had also never met him in person until this point) in the passenger seat, and we set off on our merry way to Stonehaven, where we met up with the locals at a gas station at 7:20.

Once (nearly) everyone had made it to the start location, we set off through Dunnottar woods, and then onto quiet, undulating back roads.  The skies were blue!  The sun was out!  The temperature was ‘mild’ (for February in Scotland)!  The only gripe I had about the weather was the headwind, which, as we were doing an A to B run, would blast into our faces for, oooooooh, the entire day.  So that was nice.

22.2 long run elevationThe first 5 or 6 miles felt horrendous.  We were slogging uphill, there was wind in my face, there was snot blocking my airways, and I longed for the cosiness of my bed.  But after about an hour I started to feel….. almost good.  After about 11 miles, we waited for everyone to catch up before taking a group shot.  By this point, I felt practically normal (and especially smug for coming along).  Look at the blue sky!

Photo: V Shanks

Photo: V Shanks (as are the rest!)

After the group shot, it was less than two miles (downhill) into Inverbervie, where a number of us made use of the public toilets, before the ascent out of the town.

Approaching Inverbervie

Approaching Inverbervie

Leaving the coast involved a bit of powerwalking uphill, and running the flats and downhill sections, which became more frequent as we approached our finishing point, the Balmakewan cafe.  Some of the guys had gone on ahead, and those of us in the middle section took a different route on the final descent, which caused a bit of confusion when we reached the cafe first.

I had a hot stone massage booked for 15:30, and we made it to the cafe just after 13:00.  Ronnie had kindly agreed to pick me up at the end and drive me back so that I would make my appointment, but it would have also been nice to stay for lunch; it was pretty hard watching juicy, delicious burgers arrive at the table for others knowing I’d have to wait another few hours for a hot meal.  On the plus side, I felt great!  I guess running for 5 hours cures the common cold.

When Ronnie did arrive, he took me, Dave, and Mike back to Dave’s car in Stonehaven to pick up our warm clothes, then Ronnie drove me home using the ‘scenic route’ (translation: he took a few wrong turns), and Dave drove Mike home.

I made it home with enough time to throw myself into the shower, put on clean clothes, and scrape my hair back, before semi-jogging to my massage with 4 minutes to spare (not great fun).

The massage was delightful, but I was horrified to discover, when I got home, that my big toenail on my right foot was missing (it had taken a battering during the Texas marathon, and I honestly thought I’d lose it a lot sooner).  It must have come off during the foot scrub, which means the poor girl pampering me would have had to clean an entire toenail out of the foot-spa-bowl-thing she was using.

You guys knew this was coming.

You guys knew this was coming.

I phoned Ian on the way home and croaked something about, “Oven on…. Food in… On way,” and was delighted to have cajun chicken and rice in front of me half an hour later.  And that’s when the day’s exertion caught up with me, and my symptoms developed into the plague.

I was in bed and sleeping by 20:30.

The route

The route

3 days and counting.

Paranoia about the marathon (Will I finish?  Will I get an embarrassingly bad time?  Will I shit myself, or fart really audibly in front of a group sans music?  Will I end up in the hospital instead of the pub?) has well and truly set in now.  I can’t remember a Thursday (at least in the last few years) when I have wished to have Monday back so badly.  I feel unprepared.  I feel fat (thanks a bunch, tapering).  I feel terrified.

It is not normal for me to exercise so little during a week.  I have only done a couple of weights classes, one (ONLY ONE) spin class and a yoga-esque class.  And now I’m done until the big day.  Where did my week go?!
At least I have made things slightly easier on myself.  Followers of my posts may remember that I was planning on going to a wedding in Edinburgh on Saturday, ending up in Inverness around midnight, and waking up at about 5am on Sunday to get registered.  Well, that’s off.  There were too many things that could have gone wrong (not least having me wearing heels and enjoying an adult beverage), that I have decided not to attend the wedding.

I’m not a complete bitch, as this is the couple’s second wedding.  Their first (and legally binding) ceremony was last October in Edinburgh, and was attended by about 10 of us in total.  The ceremony was at the registry office, and we all went for a meal and drinks afterwards.  As proof that I don’t just skip people’s weddings on a whim, here is photographic evidence of me (the mature one giving bunny ears) with the bride and groom on their big day!

I’m available to ruin any photos: weddings, anniversaries, christenings…

Even though I now have a bit more time to get organized (and continue to freak out), there doesn’t feel like enough time in between my impending shower (give or take 15 minutes in the future) and the impending marathon (less than 72 hours away – it’s not cool I can count down in hours instead of months).

Trying not to dwell on the fact that I’m running a marathon in nine days. Did I mention I’m running a marathon?

There are 9 days until my first marathon and I am calmly freaking out.  This basically equates to looking 100% laid back, but inside my brain my thoughts are basically an endless stream of what-the-fuck’s.  I know my physio said to avoid running (and any impact activities) until the big day after the Crathes half, but I am a grown ass woman, and I can make adult decisions on my own, thank you very much!
Translation: Last night I went for an 8.5 mile run in the rain on the trails at Hazelhead Park.

The colder weather is coming in, the sun was out (when I started), and I guess I needed to know that I could still run a decent distance without collapsing in a heap of pain.  Plus, I figured if I was going to create more pain, it would be better to test things this week rather than merely days before the marathon.  It turns out my calf/shin is still sore, but it has majorly improved since last week (and the 2, 3, maybe 4 weeks – how long did I ignore this – before).  So I might have to have another test run (like 6-7 miles) this weekend, and then maybe a short run next week.  You know, just to be sure, or something.

Anyway, in less boring injury related news, I am celebrating my Friday off (I get Monday off too, thank you September long weekend!) in style!  I went to an abs class this morning and then did Body Pump.  After that I met Ian for lunch (a curry and beer – still in my gym kit, nothing but class), and I’m feeling suitably merry as I type!  I also picked up some essentials for next weekend (and have one or two things I’m going back into town for later).  These include:

  • high 5 gels, even though they have Cliff Shots along the course – I am not used to them.
  • Smuckers peanut butter and jelly (strawberry) from a shop that sells unhealthy American food for about 10 times the retail price.  This is my ultimate pre-race meal, with bread, obviously.
  • a cheap ipod shuffle, for ONLY running tunes, and so that I don’t risk destroying my fancy (and not cheap) Sony mp3 player
  • New running tights (because why not?)
  • Beer (for my fridge, to greet me upon arrival back home)

Anyway, the beer I consumed with lunch is telling me I need a siesta before I head back out, so I think I’ll get on that, STAT!

A History of Panic

The last week has been really tough.  I’m back at work after 7 weeks off for the summer holidays.  My brain has gone from being ‘stretched’ to calculating my finishing time during long runs (and calculating how many scoops of ice-cream I can afford with the change jingling from between my two sports bras), to having to teach teenagers and try to stay on top of witty comebacks to smart asses.  Last Friday I felt like I had been hit by a bag of bricks.  I guess running a 17.5 mile race on the Saturday, and then helping my friend Grant move into his new (bangin’) apartment didn’t really provide me with a restful weekend, either.  This is probably why I have not run as much as I should have since school started back.  This is also why I collapsed into a heap on my sofa yesterday after work and pretty much dozed on and off until this morning, waking only to microwave a baked potato and load it with cheese.  I was wiped out!

Today was just a kick in the balls, though.  I got home, changed for spin, and actually walked the mile and a half to the gym.  I felt dizzy and whacked out, and by the time I got there I was mildly freaked out by my state, and decided to call it a day.  I cancelled my space, bought some new sheets at the superstore next door (comfort shopping bargain bin bedding is comforting sometimes), and headed home, getting progressively more annoyed with my recent lack of discipline, but also mildly concerned that it felt like I was on a ship navigating rough seas.

As soon as I got home I started getting the warning signs of a panic attack.  Wide pupils (I check religiously, and even check reactions to varying levels of light), dizziness, metallic taste in my mouth, numbness and tingling all over, rapid heart beat.  Essentially, a great big ball of ‘fuck you, Rachel!’  On the verge of a complete freak out (envision pacing the flat like a maniac and having emergency services on speed dial – yes, it gets  that bad), I found myself lacing my running shoes, grabbing my music, and power walking down the stairs.

I listened to nothing but Lana Del Ray, who somehow lulled me into a sense of calm (her music makes me think dying would be kind of alright.  Not ideal running music, but it had a decent effect tonight). I ignored my heart rate and pace.  I wore my ‘Running Sucks’ t-shirt, and chugged uphill past a dude wearing a ‘Keep Running’ t-shirt who had given up (ha!). I ran into a friend and her new boyfriend and stopped for a quick hello.  I pushed 8 miles out of legs I thought would scream for mercy before I started (I guess this is what ‘rest’ days are good for!).

But the best bit?  I managed to prevent a panic attack from kicking in, big style.  I haven’t managed to do that very often.  You can stop reading here (probably wise), or you can continue and read my about how panic attacks briefly (if you count nearly a year as ‘brief’) took over my life.

***

I had my first panic attack on New Year’s Eve, 2010.  I was in Houston visiting family, and we had all gone to the gym for a bit of a workout.  I had already been for a run around Rice University a couple of times in the morning, so I kept it light and did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, and some weights with my mom.  I wasn’t pushing the boat out by any means, I was just putting in a token effort so that Body Pump would hurt slightly less when I flew home.

After I had finished, I read a couple of magazines while the rest of the family got in a bit more.  I remember feeling a bit funny – kind of dizzy and nauseous – but put it down to jet lag and had some water.  By the time we left, I still felt funny, and there was a dull ache in my arms and my fingertips were tingling.

I should take a moment to fill you in on my overactive imagination.  I am a full-blown hypochondriac.  I am totally aware of that.  But when I work myself into a state of panic, rational thought loses the battle for space in my mind.  If there’s a strange outbreak of some fatal disease within flying distance (i.e. Earth), then I start experiencing the symptoms as soon as they’re listed.  And although I convince myself I have somehow found myself as a host for the latest strain of the Black Death, after about 10 minutes I have managed to slap some sense into myself.

New Year’s Eve, 2010 was different.  It was the first time I had physical symptoms at the same time as my mental freak-out. The dizziness, dull ache, and tingling fingers I have already mentioned.  In the car, on the way home, I started getting palpitations, sweating, and my vision blurred.  I had pretty much convinced myself I was having a heart attack, and I started losing my marbles, big style, in the car.  I was

hyperventilating and demanding to be taken to the hospital.  My parents seemed pretty unfazed, which made it worse, and my brother was in hysterics.  The fact that I was too scared to punch him was testament to my fear.

I am ashamed now, but at the time we passed a traffic accident with an ambulance at the scene, and I screamed to, “Stop the f**king car!  That crash looks bad, there’s maybe nothing the ambulance can do! I need help more!”  I was so convinced I was dying that my basic instinct to survive quashed any sympathy for the people in the car accident.  My parents pulled into a parking lot and let me sit outside on the ground, telling me I was having a panic attack and to calm down.   After a few minutes, and not clutching my chest during painful final gasps for air, the rational part of my brain had come back into the office, and I had calmed down a bit.

That night, my parents were going to a party held by an old family friend, but my brother didn’t want to go.  I really didn’t want to risk public humiliation by having another meltdown in front of people I see rarely, but I also definitely did not want to be left alone, so I was glad that my brother was not feeling the party spirit.

We ended up staying at home.  I made pumpkin and cinnamon pancakes and we washed them down with root beer.  We watched back-to-back episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras, but when the 30-minute Brazilian Butt-Lift infomercial came on, it got a bit weird.  Essentially, we were pretty rock and roll that night, and, more importantly, I did not die.  My parents got back some time after one, and then we all went to bed.

When I flew home a few days later, I had put the panic attack to the back of my mind, and kind of assumed it was just a weird, isolated incident brought on by jet-lag/exhaustion.  I really, really wish that had been the case.

Pretty much the next year of my life was wrecked by constant fear.  I felt dizzy all the time – whenever I walked anywhere, it felt like the ground was shifting permanently.  Or like I was on a boat.  It got to the point where I avoided nights out, and often the gym, because when you’re on a stationary spin bike that feels more like a jet ski, things are bad.  I harassed my GP surgery, begging to be checked over several times, by several doctors because I was still convinced something was very wrong.  I had blood tests, urine tests, an ECG, motor skills tests…  They all came to the conclusion that I was suffering from anxiety, and the culprit was stress.  Fabulous.

The only flaw in my ability to accept that as an answer was the fact that I didn’t feel stressed.  I felt fine (all things considered), and didn’t really feel like there was any pressure on me to do anything.  I’m pretty laid back about deadlines and stuff – always have been – so I told myself there was no way I could be stressed.

But then, there had been a lot happening with my family, including my grandmother passing away.  I had struggled to claw my way into a job that was by no means secure.  I had moved into my first apartment.  I was also going to be having an operation.  It seems that even if you don’t I feel stressed out, stress finds a way of infecting your life sometimes.

It has been nearly 2 years since my first panic attack, and I have had ups and downs.  While I am no longer afraid to be left alone for more than a few minutes (especially at night), I still get dizzy and taste a weird metallic taste sometimes.  I try to think more positively when I start to get worked into a panic, and I have only had one rocking-on-my-floor-in-tears panic attack this year that has nearly made me phone home for reassurance.  Hopefully this is just a really crappy phase in my life that is coming to an end.  If not, well, I always tell myself, “It didn’t kill me last time,” and feel marginally more optimistic.

I used to think people who said they suffered from panic attacks were just big sissies, but I can tell you it is no small thing.  I still sometimes fret before a race that I’m not fit enough to compete, especially after reading about seemingly healthy people getting into trouble before the finish line.  But what all of this has taught me is that if something bad is going to happen, it’s going to happen.  Wasting time worrying that something might happen is throwing away chunks of your life that could be spent enjoying it.

And yes, I’m totally aware I sound preachy and possibly under the influence of some hippy spell with that closing statement, but I guess we’ll both just have to live with that.

40 mile weekend

So it looks like I’m in that painful part of marathon training, guys.  I’m also going back to work tomorrow after 7 (beautiful) weeks of summer holidays, so my mind and body are crushed.

Saturday started off bright and early (for a Saturday) and I left my apartment at about 8 to get some miles in on the (boring) railway line.  At 8:35, I turned back, and continued past my place towards the beach, where I just managed to arrive at parkrun on time!  3.1 miles later (at a faster speed than I’d have liked, but still way slow compared to just a 5k), Ronnie and I set off for some laps of the beach.  We had originally intended to do one massive loop starting with parkrun, but as I’d started early, we settled for the beach, agreeing to hit the gym’s cafe afterwards for some freshly squeezed orange juice.  As the miles ticked by, I was aware that I felt a lot better than I did during the 18 miler a fortnight ago.  My muscles felt as though they could go on and on.  Unfortunately, the chaffing in unmentionable places did a pretty good job making me want to stop.  However, having company with me for that last 9 miles was amazing and really helped me through.  It wasn’t fast, but I ran my first 20 mile training run, and I didn’t collapse.  Result!

At 19.92 miles, ‘Chariots of Fire’ starting playing in my head. No joke.

The freshly squeezed orange juice was amazing.  The shower when I got home was less pleasant (I imagine) than using a dildo made of sandpaper and glued on pieces of broken glass.

Chaffed delicates + hot water and soap = tears and swearing.

Anyway, that night, Ian, myself, Liell and Grant all indulged in a curry.  And beer.  I pretty much inhaled everything that was placed in front of me, and even shared a desert with Liell, using a cocktail umbrella as a utensil (times were desperate).

While I was out running on Saturday, Ian was finishing up my bike, which he has been working on for the last few weeks whenever the weather is nice enough to work outside after he finished work at his day job.  I tell him ALL THE TIME that he needs to wear sun block when there is actual sunshine, but he just says he’s ‘building up a natural immunity to burning’.  Well, it seems to be working really well….

Bad sunburn

Despite his terrible sun care, he’s pretty good at cleaning and fixing up bikes, and because the weather was gorgeous today (the best day of 2012 by miles), we decided to give my bike a test ride.

We chose the railway line because it’s pretty flat (and my legs would shout out a ‘heeeeeeeeell no!’ if hills had been suggested).  We cycled about 10 miles out, and it was amazing how many other cyclists were out today – they were obviously all in the summer spirit today!  We soon realized, however, that life would have been a whole lot easier if we had a bell (like everyone else) to warn people when we wanted to overtake.  Luckily, my front brake squealed when I stopped abruptly, so it became our impromptu bell for the day.

I’ve posted photos of the railway line before from some of my runs along it, but today we went a little farther.  Some of the sections are like country roads, some are like trails, some are totally overgrown and bursting with stinging nettles.  We also passed loads of different animals; horses, sheep, cows, bunnies.  And my insect kill count for today must be through the roof (I’m sorry bumblebee!).

At the point where we turned back, I took a few photos, and stopped to take a few more along the way home:

My fixed up bike! Her name is Juliet.

Ian working on his guns. And sensibly covering up.

Cows. Ian didn’t want to pose with them because he felt guilty that we’d both be eating them later…

This bridge actually shook when cars went over it…

 

So, things I learned this weekend:

  • 20 miles is a long way.
  • Cycling 20 miles is easier than running 20 miles, though chaffing and a saddle do not mix as well as I’d have liked.
  • Wearing heels after a 20 mile run is ill-advised.
  • I am glad that swimming comes first in a half ironman, because holy shit, it would sting after cycling over 50 miles and running a half marathon.

Back to work in T-minus 10 hours.  I am already in a grump!

18 miles!

Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

So I’m sitting on my sofa, totally naked apart from my socks and sports bra (but sitting on my somewhat sweaty shirt, for everyone that visits me and sits on my sofa), and I am exhausted. I am exhausted, not … Continue reading

Marathon Training Starts Monday

Monday, June 18th, 2012, will mark the official beginning of my marathon training.  I’m using Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan, meshed with my own routine at the gym (I refuse flat out to give up my spin and weights sessions), peppered with races throughout (medals and motivation).

After my longest ever training run last Sunday (14 miles!), the reality of what I have signed up for began to sink in.  I was ready for a siesta on the sofa and a meaty pizza after that long run, so the thought of having to do it again – twice – is a crushing blow to my personal view that I am, in fact, badass on a Chuck Norris scale.

With two half marathons under my belt this year (so far), and 3 training runs of the same distance, I can consistently crack out sub 2 hour halfs, which is good to know.  My main concern, however, is being able to keep up with this pace for double the distance.  I understand that to get an idea of your full marathon time, you should double your half time, and then add 30 minutes.

1:53 + 1:53 + :30 = predicted marathon time

This would have me gasping for beer over the finish line at a respectable 4:14:00.  I am not aiming for a Boston Qualifier like Amy, and I am certainly not deluded enough to think I could crack out a sub 4 hour marathon on my first attempt without dedication that is, in all honesty, beyond me at the moment.  I just want to finish the whole ordeal injury-free, and suffer through the Monday at work without too much pain.

Thankfully, a few of you fellow bloggers (I actually hate the word ‘blog’ and all of its bastard children) are starting marathon training now as well, so it’s nice that I’ll have people in a similar situation to follow, especially those with a bit more experience!  A friend from the gym, Ronnie/Connie (depending on his mood), has recently signed up for the Loch Ness Marathon as well, so I wont be so alone!

Now for the crappy bit.  The night before my marathon debut, I will be in Edinburgh at a friend’s wedding.  I will be watching all of these people I know drinking champagne and cold beer, and I will be guzzling Powerade.  They will be sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal, and I will be cramming pasta into my mouth as I say my goodbyes and get on the last train to Inverness.  My boyfriend will be staying in Edinburgh to drink, eat, dance and celebrate with friends, and I will spend the entire train journey panicking about injury, proper fuelling, pacing, and suppressing thought of collapsing at mile 25, alone.

C’est la vie.

There are, however, more pressing matters.  This Sunday is the Ythan Challenge, which I signed up for in an attempt to prepare myself for Tough Mudder, which is only 4 weeks away!  This Sunday will be another of our team’s training sessions, and hopefully I won’t be the main attraction for the midges.  These little suckers are the UK equivalent of mosquitoes, except they’re tiny: we’re talking large grain of salt size.  And yet, the havoc these pests can wreak, especially on an unseasoned victim, is ridiculous.  I am covered in bites, and cannot stop itching my arms, legs, chest, and –worst of all – my neck!  At least I got mild revenge by inhaling about a thousand of them during my run…

Bitten

They even got the tiny space between the bottom of my tights and my socks!

 

Anyway, for all you non-UK readers, here’s a photo taken by a friend from the gym (my phone’s battery had given up, so I asked her to step up), of the Olympic Torch coming down Union Street in Aberdeen.  I can’t say it was a particularly momentous event (at least for me), but at least I can say ‘I was there!’ to people.

Flame!

 

[PS I apologize for the frequency of gross body part photos.]

Tough Mudder training: Part 2

Apologies in advance, this post will, I fear, lack any comedic value as I am too tired to think of anything clever, although I was ON FIRE earlier during a cheeky gossip session with a friend.

Today was my longest ever training run: 14 miles.  I had originally set out aiming for about 10, because I was feeling a bit tired, but within the first half mile of my run a guy swept past me which triggered an irrational competitive rage within me, and so it was decided: I would follow this man as far as he traveled, and then I would return home.  Unfortunately, I did not bet on this guy running nearly 7 miles further before turning around.  What an asshole (not really).

I kept up with him until just after 10 miles, but by then, after only a banana for breakfast and starting to flag, I decided to stop for a stretch, a banana blast High 5 energy gel, and a rummage through my new 3 litre Camelback (on it’s running debut) for my mp3 player to provide some motivation for the home stretch.

10 miles in, requiring more than a breakfast banana for fuel…

After hitting the milestone 14 mile mark, I hobbled to my flat, stretched, demolished a glass of chocolate milk (my new drink of the moment), and sat with my legs up against a wall for a bit, all to the amusement of my (hungover) friend Grant, who had used my sofa as a bed last night.  A quick shower later, we headed out for some comfort food, before heading back to the flat to watch some terrible old films on TV.  Both of us felt sluggish (for different reasons) and both of us were dreading our planned activity in the evening: Tough Mudder training with the rest of our (available) team members.  It was around this point in the day that I asked myself: Why did you have to run as far as that dude today, you total idiot!?!  I took advantage of the remaining time, but was all too aware of the clock ticking towards 5pm.

I would have been 100% happy with staying exactly like this for the rest of the day.

The time came to head off, and after downing an electrolyte drink, head off we did.  There were 5 of us in total, and I had planned a (horrendous) workout for us all.  We found a good sized field in Hazelhead Park and set to it. I had planned to do laps of running followed by intense circuit-style exercises.  2 laps of the field was about .4 miles, which seemed plenty to me, especially today!  Our workout was as follows:

2 x laps running

  • 20 burpees
  • 15 squats
  • 15 push ups
  • 15 sit ups
  • 20 burpees
  • 12 squats
  • 12 push ups
  • 12 sit ups
  • 20 burpees
  • 9 squats
  • 9 push ups
  • 9 sit ups
  • 20 burpees (these ones sucked hard)

.5 x lap running

  • 25 back extensions
  • 25 sit ups

.5 lap running

  • 25 leg raises
  • 25 sit ups

1x lap

  • 20 x Right leg lunges/20 x Left leg lunges
  • 10 push ups
  • 30 second plank
  • Repeat x 3

1 x lap

  • Abs (including crunches, bicycle crunches, russian twists and the cherry on top? A 4 minute plank)

1 x lap

After this, Ian took over and we did some interesting (and possibly dangerous) team building, including carrying each other across a field and hanging from monkey bars. Overall, we were working out for about 90 minutes, and by the end, we were all pretty ready for it to end.  We have decided to up the intensity in the coming weeks during bi-weekly sessions.  Delightful.

Anyway, after today, I felt I fully deserved to put my feet up and enjoy this:

Demolished in roughly 7 minutes.

No wonder my feet look like this:

*** DON’T SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE AN EXTREMELY GROSS FOOT! ***

My left foot. Before the 14 mile run today.

I look like ass when I run

I came across some photos of the 10 miler on Sunday, and managed to find a couple featuring my sweaty, washed out face.  OF COURSE the photos of me had to be taken after mile 9.  Every other time I saw a camera along the way, I smiled for the photos (of which I am certain 98% portray me as at least slightly demented), but after the 9 mile marker I was oblivious to anything except my desire for it all to end.  Hence, no smile, even though I am looking DIRECTLY at the camera.  I can almost hear myself thinking ‘I don’t even care if a trail of drool is cascading down my face, take your damn photo’.  I’m number 321.  Enjoy:

Photo courtesy of roadrunpics.com - Thanks!

Anyway, in preparation for the abuse I’ll be giving my body this weekend, I am taking Saturday as a rest day.  Those who know me will understand how much of a sacrifice this is, as Saturday is awesome for both parkrun and gym classes, but I have worked out non-stop since last Thursday, so screw it.  I’m going to clean my flat, which would, at this point, make bachelor pads look pristine.  I’m actually ashamed of the state of it.  I am also going to pamper myself.  Brows are being tinted so my face has a slight chance of looking decent in any photos on Sunday, and I’m getting a ‘Rescue Pedicure’, which my poor feet are looking forward to.  Judge for yourself, but I would say they have only become more gross-looking since the last foot-fetishist-boner-killer photo I posted:

I'm sorry for posting this*

Anyway – managed an easy 5 mile run this evening, mainly because it was mild and sunny when I finished work, but also because I had planned on trying out my first ‘carb loading’ session tonight.  I’ve never bothered before, but since it’s a half marathon, might as well fuel up, right?  So what wholesome food choices do I make?

  • KFC boneless chicken 3 piece meal (with chips)
  • pan au chocolat
  • approx half a large loaf of bread with nutella
  • an entire pack of MAOAM sweets

I’m sure that is EXACTLY what I should be filling my body with for Sunday’s race.  At least I managed to resist beer…

*I’m lying.

 

Getting excited!

After a performance I’m pretty proud of on Sunday at the Arbroath 10 miler, I’m feeling a lot more confident about my first half marathon this Sunday.  Realistically, I’ll be happy to finish under 2:30:00, but if I can smash 2 hours I will be happier than a fly on shit.  Reasons I know I’m getting excited about something:

  • I paint my nails black (badly. If there was a high school class called ‘How to be a successful girl’ I’d have failed it – hard)
  • I plan a meal out (signs point to curry once we get back to Aberdeen)
  • I get my brows dyed (having wispy blonde hair means I can get away with not shaving my legs for weeks, but it also means my natural eyebrows are invisible, and this annoys me)
  • I book a random beauty appointment (pedicure, perhaps foolishly the day before my half, but my poor feet deserve some love.  I also know that the beautician has seen my feet before and it is unlikely she’ll recoil in horror)
  • I crave ice cold beer and slutty dancing (unfortunately not going to happen for a few weeks, but there’s a gym night out on the cards)

I also start planning my outfit.  Now, my running gear isn’t particularly fancy (in fact, it’s pretty much just gym kit), so I’m currently gunning for some wicked war paint on my face.  Because, you know, I’m going to ‘defeat the race’.  Totally lame, I know, but backed by my bitchin’ tunes, I’ll feel like a warrior.

Does anyone else have running plans for the weekend?