Feeling strong and an uncomfortable watch

The weather this weekend! It gives me good vibes 🙂 OK it was still a bit nippy, and very windy on Saturday but the dark days are behind us!

Friday morning I had one of those gym seshes that just felt AWESOME. I got in some plié squats, box jumps and scorpions amongst other things. If you’ve never done scorpions they are killers THIS link is from Runners World and it gives a good demo and also a good list of strength moves.

HH kit ankle weights Rocking the Helly Hansen leggings with my ankle weights – hot stuff 😉

I’m still enjoying the gym and maybe it’s all in my head but I do feel stronger in my running and in general. I’ll need to think carefully about how much gym I do when I get into higher marathon mileage though. But that’s ages away!

Waking up on Saturday morning and looking out the window to decide what to wear for parkrun made me smile. No jacket required! Long-sleeve top yes, but no double layers. Woohoo! Though I was wrapped up fairly warm for helping the guys set up the course.

Netley Abbey parkrun volunteer

Let’s not get too optimistic yet. And we’re still on the winter course until the cricket pitch gets drier *sighs*.

Netley Abbey parkrun March (1) 8am and the sun is peeping through

My parkrun went well. I put in a good amount of effort but the wind made this feel so much tougher. We run alongside the waterfront for a bit and the wind was just awful. But I felt strong and though I wasn’t that much faster than two weeks ago (my last parkrun effort) I’m starting to feel more confident that I’m going in the right direction. I got 21:57 and first lady (but a many of the speedy girls weren’t there to be fair).

Netley Abbey parkrun March Mentally I feel really good about running at the moment. I’m loving it! Though, as ever, I do feel there is the Sword of Damocles hanging above my head for my next injury but so far I’ve not experience any niggles or issues during or after, bar the usual and normal aches of running. I think I just need to continue thinking positive and keep being sensible.

The rest of Saturday involved looking after (or at least, leaving be) my very hung-over husband who had gone out the night before with work. It was mildly amusing but I did feel bad for him. He remained on the sofa the majority of the day.

For lunch I whipped myself up a stir-fry style meal.

Stir-fry fish with cream cheese

Basically it’s a load of veggies (kale being a big contender here) stir-fried in coconut oil with fish from a frozen fish pie mix (random but gives a nice selection of different fish and something I always have in the freezer). I then added a dollop of cream cheese to give it a delicious creamy sauce. All on a bed of courgette noodles (or at least what I can attempt with a vegetable peeler…). I don’t think the picture does it justice to how huge this portion was! Got my 5 a day in one meal 😉

That evening we watched Nightcrawler which was a really uncomfortable watch.

image Source

It was really good, don’t get me wrong. Just very intense and I spent most of the movie cringing and shouting at the telly. I do recommend though. Jack Gyllenhall…I see you very differently now!

Sunday I got up feeing refreshed and ready to hit the road for a nine mile run. I decided to just run whatever the hell pace I wanted (within reason as I did need to finish the run in one peace and not destroyed). More like, I just wanted to run at a pace that felt comfortable and not pushing.


I didn’t feel totalled at the end of the run which was nice, but I was so thirsty. Quite funny considering my post about hydration last week! I think it’s going to be a lot sooner that I’ll need to take water with me. On my last mile I was just visualising a cold glass of water. When I got home I quickly downed about 500ml. It wasn’t a pleasant experience as it hit my stomach quite badly and I felt quite sick (that sloshy full sicky feeling). Too much water too quickly – lesson learnt!

On the subject of long runs, one of my running club friends, Michelle, pointed me to an article (HERE from the Guardian) regarding long run paces when training for a marathon which I found highly interesting. It made me wonder how much I’ll slow down for my longer runs. I will slow down, but not dramatically for the 10-15 mile runs as I know I’m confident in those distances. It’ll be the 16+ runs where I take it nice and gradual…but then I’m hoping by the time I get there I’ll be naturally faster anyway? Well, it’s all a guessing game for me and whether I even do an 18 mile run is a bit of a question mark anyway!

The rest of the day involved the usual: lots of walks with Alfie, housework, seeing my mum and just general chilling! Lovely 🙂

How was your weekend?

What pace do you run for your long runs relative to your shorter runs?

What movies have you seen lately?

16 Replies to “Feeling strong and an uncomfortable watch”

  1. Woo for first lady, well done Anna!! I’m so happy to see a little sunshine too, it changes everything 🙂
    Your lunch looks delicious! I hadn’t thought of using fish pie mix in a stir fry before but will give it a try.
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…Eats and FeatsMy Profile

  2. Whoop whoop for First Lady! It doesn’t matter who was there. A first is a first in my book. Well done. 🙂
    My weekend was busy and involved a fun hen do I helped plan. Hopefully I should get some time back now I’m no longer planning for the weekend amongst other things and will be able to catch up on some blogs. I’ve rather neglected my own just lately. 🙁
    I’ve really struggled to work out my target pace for MK marathon this time round. I know I’m running really strongly at the moment but am so aware that my target pace on the day needs to be spot on so that I don’t either a) burn out or b) underachieve. At the moment I’m trying to run to heart rate so my long runs are in the region of 1-2mins slower per mile than I would normally intend on racing the marathon at but when it comes to race day I’ve been advised to run to pace rather than HR as, due to the pressures of race day HR data may not be as accurate to work from. I am struggling with knowing what’s best this time round and crossing my fingers that I’ve gotten it right!
    Mary recently posted…The true cost of runningMy Profile

    1. I saw your photos on Facebook hehe! Looked like a lot of fun. Sometimes you need a break!
      It’s tough I guess as you are steadily improving. It’s always a guessing game – which is why I’m so unsure about long run speeds. If you’re spending so much time out there on a long run you want it to be good training, but also not risk any injuries or peak too soon.
      On the subject of HR monitoring, Ben said his was so erratic at the start that he was almost concerned. It’s just a really delicate measure I guess affected by so many things. But I am intrigued by your HR training!

      1. I hope to get a post up about HR training again soon because I think it has helped me loads. Especially with the confidence to continue at pace during a run and not panic and allow myself to die out. I do find that the first mile or so can be a little erratic but once I get into a rhythm, my HR tends to steady up and even out again.
        Mary recently posted…The true cost of runningMy Profile

        1. I’d be very interested to read that post!
          I wish I could wear my HR monitor more but it just rubs so much. I’ve seen online though that you can put a plaster on the HR thingie and it helps so maybe I’ll try it.

  3. Well done on first lady! I was 3rd lady at parkrun on Saturday, I was chuffed to bits with that as I would never get that at my home parkrun as there are so many speedsters there but I was trying a relatively new one which is more beginner friendly.

    I read that guardian article with interest – I haven’t been able to do any of my long runs at marathon pace+1 minute. I’ve been doing them at mp+20-30 seconds. When I did my first marathon training, I did my marathon at exactly the same pace as my 20 mile training run.
    Helen recently posted…Marathon training – week 12My Profile

    1. Nice work! Podium finish 🙂
      That’s good to know about your long run paces. I would find running a minute or a minute and a half slower than MP quite tricky and unnatural. I know it’s time on your feet but there’ also an element of transferring the training to reality as well you know?

  4. First lady- awesome stuff! I am hoping one day to be first in my age category- the closest I have been is second but I do rely on faster people staying at home haha!
    We watched Nightcrawler- I agree very creepy but gripping. The Imitation Game was great, as was Theory of Everything. Not sure what else I have seen recently.
    My long runs are massively unstructured- I did think I should aim for 11-11.30 min miles, but to be honest that was plucked out of the air a bit- I know that for a 5k I can begin with an 8 (just), and for a 10k I can do low 9 min miles, and for a half high 9 min miles, but I can’t sustain that for much longer so I knew I needed to slow. Plus on training runs I would not reach those speeds only races anyway. I was finding the middle/ long runs tough (14/ 15 milers) and looking at my stats after I was starting off fast and then really slowing, so for the last few I have tried to start slow and run on feel, not look at my watch, and at least I have completed them. I suppose if I had a faster time goal in mind I might find out a more specific pace, but I really just want to beat my last time, and hopefully nip in under 5 hours, so I don’t need to go really fast for that.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…20 long milesMy Profile

    1. Well I definitely rely on people staying at home! Hehe.
      Both Theory of Everything and the Imitation Game are films I’m desperate to see.
      I think it is really hard to structure a proper long run. I could set myself paces (exactly like I do for the marathon) and stick to them, but I qute like the freedom of just enjoying the run rather than being so overly disciplined. This week I’m going to aim to start slower and finish faster (not massively faster, just a negative split) so I’ll see what that’s like! But who knows, I might just forget and enjoy it.
      I’m sure you will beat your time as you’ve been consistently beating your times for your other races and your training has been solid. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you, but you don’t need luck as you’ve got this covered 😀

  5. I’ve always run longer runs at slower than marathon pace, and I’ve never really felt like I’ve had the legs in later miles to sustain the pace in races, probably due to not actually being able to train enough, alas! This time I have been running longer runs on feel which has unintentionally been at marathon pace, so will see on Saturday if that has worked out for the best or not.
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Favourite Reads of the weekMy Profile

    1. My fingers are crossed for you!
      I just find long runs very confusing. I guess it’s just my total inexperience as let’s be honest, I’ve never trained properly for a marathon!

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