Christmas

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First of all Happy Christmas! Hope you all got everything you wished for.

Ours was a lovely day; my parents came over and for once I felt very in control of all the food preparation and was able to really relax and enjoy the day. I did feel full after lunch but not ridiculously so and haven’t eaten any chocolate at all. We had the fabulous Heston’s hidden orange pudding (which I’m pretty sure doesn’t count towards my five a day, but oh well). The kids were all thrilled with their pressies and are all looking good in their new clothes today.

I read a blog post by the guy whose training plan I am following which basically says all is not lost on the eating front if you overdid it yesterday, today is another day. He advised us to lay off the starchy carbs which I think is sound advice.

I got a lovely new running top which I’m looking forward to trying out and am very much looking forward to running tomorrow as I really feel I need it. I should have gone today but am really enjoying a cosy day at home with the kids looking at all our lovely presents while the husband is out playing golf (in the rain).

Trying something new

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Hill Training

Now there are two words that are going to fill me with dread over the coming weeks.  The evil guy who devised my training programme incorporates a lot of this into the schedule.  Kenyan Hills he calls them.

I thought I’d give them a go as Week 1 officially starts a week on Sunday and I like to know what I’m supposed to be doing….  Firstly I had to find a hill of 6-8% gradient – I have no idea how to measure this and as I live in an extremely hilly area, I just picked one of the less mean hills I run.

Then I had to spend 8 minutes running up and down said hill and around 80% effort (threshold pace).  Then rest for a bit.  Then do it all again. TWICE.

You may think that running down hill is easy.  It can be and I normally take it quite steady.  But this time I had to run at the same effort as running up the hill which ended up being quite fast.  It was exceptionally hard and I had to give up adapt the schedule half way through the last 8 minutes (which meant I decided to start running home which meant running up a series of hills so was in fact harder!!).

But I really enjoyed the feeling of doing something a bit different and I do like having a prescribed programme to follow so I think I’m going to enjoy doing this programme.

 

 

 

Getting ready for Christmas (and a spring marathon)

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So my marathon training has officially started.  I had 1 December in my head as my start date which would give me nearly 5 months to get myself ready for London.  And this month I’ve been training, but without following a particular plan and gradually building my mileage up in the long runs. I’m up to around 10 miles now. 

But I’ve now found the plan I want to follow.  A 16 week training plan based on three runs a week – a lot less than most plans out there, but one that’s certainly realistic for me as fitting in more than three is always hard.  There’s another day of strength training but that’s cool because I can do that early in the morning inside in the warm and I know what a difference that will make.   I’ve joined the training group and there is a Facebook group for questions and support which is great.

For me, the more places where I’m ‘accountable’ the better.  If I say on here I’m going to run three times a week then I will do my best to do that because I’ve said I would.  And of course, when I see people one of the first things they ask is how my marathon training is going so I really should be doing something so I have an answer to that question.

So far, I’m really enjoying it.  I am enjoying the feeling of pushing myself.  And with this programme I feel I understand a lot more about what I am trying to achieve – or trying to avoid.  Junk miles is a concept I was aware of but now having read all about this programme, I realise I have been very guilty of running many junk miles.  There’s nothing wrong with going for a run just because you want to, with no particular goal in mind, but when you’re training for something like a marathon it’s important to make every mile count.  Each of the three runs in my week have a specific purpose and I like that. I like that it makes me realise how important each run is in its different way and it keeps things varied.

The eating side hasn’t been too bad lately either.  We went out for the first Christmas meal last week – a girls night out to Jamie’s Italian which was great fun and nice to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen for a while.  

The good thing about this economic downturn is that it has meant there haven’t been nearly so many parties – bad for the social life, but great for the waistline and the alcohol unit count in the run up to Christmas!  I’m determined not to overeat over the holiday period and am definitely going to use the extra time to get some more runs in (there, I’ve said it – I’ve got to do it now).

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The house is all decorated and the kids are so excited.

Now I’ve just go to finish my Christmas shopping….