There is nothing like a long weekend to really kick start out back into life. Though I know not everyone got to enjoy a day off yesterday!
It was a fairly quiet weekend I must say – but sometimes you just need a bit of ‘downtime’ to try and recharge your batteries and, in my case, get into gear with sorting and organising the house. I still don’t have a date for when I’m moving, which is annoying. Especially because it’s already September now and my weekends coming up are getting booked up with seeing university friends, races and a holiday at the end of September. Whoops.
Anyway, rolling back to Saturday I went to parkrun as normal. Because I spectacularly positive splitted last week I wanted to have a strong negative split this time. I find it really hard in a 5k to pace myself. It’s funny because in a marathon I’ve found I can stick to my set paces almost perfectly and have a really controlled race, but when it comes to any shorter races it all goes to pot.
It was quite a chilly start to the day as we set up all the flags for the course, but at 8.30am the sun came out and it suddenly heated up. I wore my new skort (only £12 from Forever 21 – and very comfy and flattering, it has proper shorts underneath as well) and my Paris marathon T-shirt but by the time we got ready to start I decided to forgo the top and just run in my sports bra (I noticed a few others had done the same so I didn’t feel quite so naked). This was perfect.
I started the first lap slightly more conservatively than I would usually but still found it tough going. I managed to hang on to one of the guys from the running club, Berni, who does a lot of our coaching and leading runs. He was great as his pace was so consistent and we chatted a bit which kept my mind off the effort. On the final lap he told me to push on and I suddenly felt I had more energy knowing I only had one more lap to go.
Check those splits out! A nice negative royal flush. OK only three miles worth but I’ll take it! I came second female with 21:14. Happy days.
I also tried my very first blondie afterwards which honestly rocked my world. I think I’ve never gone for them as they’re white chocolate and I’m not a huge white chocolate fan but when a small child offers you a blondie, you take the blondie. And I’m so glad I did!
Later on I needed to pop to the shops quickly to top up on apples and came back with…well, more than apples.
I spotted some tasty looking pork belly and lamb koftas which I just couldn’t say no to, and then spotted the Ben and Jerry’s BLONDIE brownie core. And some frozen berries which I always love having with Greek yogurt at work.
That evening I was round my parent’s house for dinner with family friends. We had smoked salmon to start and steak Diane and roasted sweet potato wedges for main. If you’ve never had steak Diane it is AMAZING. My dad doesn’t even follow a recipe anymore he’s made it so often. The sauce is a cream based sauce with brandy, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce with fried onions and mushrooms. It was delicious.
For pudding there was a choice of Carte D’or ice cream or my Ben and Jerry’s. I went for the B&Js and it was just as good as it sounded.
The next morning was my long run and I was meeting running club guys to join them on a 10 miler. I ran to the meeting point and back to make it up to 14 miles. I’m still trying to be gradual in my build-up for Bournemouth as I’ve only just run Cheddar Gorge. Next week I’m hoping to run 16-17 miles and then 18 the week after and then taper.
It was really humid and from the start I found the run quite draining. I don’t know if it was the heavy meal the night before, tired legs in general or the humidity but it just felt tough. It was nice running with the others though as chatting to them took my mind of my fatigue. I need to be careful to not overdo things as I know recently I’ve done so much. After Bournemouth (providing I get there – I never take these things as a given!!) I’m planning on taking a break from the longer distances. In fact I might take a couple of weeks entirely off of running to just chill and then focus on some 10 milers and a half marathon race instead.
The route we took was fairly undulating as well in the middle section so this was tough going. Thankfully I’d taken water with me as it was really warm!
For the rest of the day I felt drained and tired. I’d made sure to have something before I went running (which I never normally do) to help keep my nutrition topped up for the day as I struggle with long run days to refuel. It was one of those Chia Pods which had an ‘interesting’ texture but tasted nice.
I ate lots through the day and think I refuelled like a pro. For dinner I had the pork belly and roasted sweet potato and it was delicious.
High in calories, fat and protein it went down nicely! I know there’s some dispute about animal protein and fat being the best thing for you, but it definitely filled a hole and left me satisfied. I’ve been tracking my calories and macros using MyFitnessPal to keep me on track of my goal which has been really helpful. I won’t use it forever or get too fixated on it but I need something to give me an idea of what I’m eating as I don’t track calories or macros normally. It also links to my Garmin account so gives me a good idea of how much food I need to refuel after a run. I’ll do a post about it later on what I’ve been eating and how I’ve been tracking things if people are interested!
As I had Monday off (as it was a Bank holiday in the UK, apart from Scotland) I had a luxurious lie-in (I woke up at 7.30am naturally and lazed about until just before 8am, how indulgent) and then headed to the gym at the far more reasonable time of 9am (not my usual 5.30am!).
I’m still following the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I’ve probably got about two-three weeks left (I tend to do three sessions, sometimes two a week) of Stage 1. I’m so pleased with the progress I’ve made. My deadlift and squat weight has gone up significantly and I feel really strong. I still supplement the listed workouts though with my own stuff though as I want to cover running-specific strength training as well (click the link for a great list of moves).
Then the rest of the day was spent doing the fairly depressing task of sorting through some stuff in the loft and house bits and pieces. Nothing like sifting through wedding cards and old photos to really end your long weekend on a high!
How was your weekend? Did you have the Monday off?
What do you eat before a long run or workout?
Do you track calories and/or macros?