Weather for the Thunder Run 24

We got here for the Thunder Run 24 at about 8pm tonight and are camping.

It was raining when we got here… But the good news is, the forecast looks ok.

The rain seems to have stopped and hopefully it’ll be s bit nicer.

I think I’m maybe running at:

1pm 6 miles
9pm 6 miles
4am 12 miles

Fingers crossed.

Here’s the proposed order:

Mike 12
Lorn 1
Billy 2
Eileen 3
Mark 4
Susan 5
Alison 6
Al 7

Mike 8
Lorn 9
Billy 10
Eileen 11
Susan 12
Alison 1
Al 2
Mike 3

Lorn 4
Billy 6
Eileen 7
Mark 8
Susan 9
Alison 10
End? Or Mike!

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One year on… making me think

I was looking back today, at my blog from the end of July last year, and into August last year.

And, ahead of this years Thunder Run (24 hour team relay event, starting at 12 on Saturday, in Birmingham), it made me think … (and it’s one of the reasons I write a blog).

Last year, in June, I had a great half marathon run, at the Skye Half marathon – where I surprised myself with a (12 second) pb. I was feeling good.

Then I trained for the Thunder Run 24, and did it. It was great fun, a great event, but it was hard. I maybe didn’t realise just how hard. The (lack of) sleep was the worst bit. I think I might have got 3-4 hours over the weekend. It was so good though, we’re all (mostly) back for this years event.

And I was tired for the week or so after it. I took a recovery week, but then got back into training. I didn’t feel quite right, a bit nauseous, maybe like I had a viral infection? Who knows.

Anyway, I had the first leg of the John Lucas Memorial Relay to run – 10 miles, in the middle of August. And I didn’t drink water during the run. I was really dehydrated, then after it, I started a cold and felt unwell. Booooo.

Then started around 5-6 months of me feeling not quite right. I felt sick quite a bit of the time. Blood tests = all were ok. (And no I wasn’t pregnant ;-) ).

Sorry for the horrible image….

In October I fainted when I got off a bike after a short intense workout. Big black eye for 2 weeks. Booooo. Then I had to drop out of the Southside six. Boooooo again.

It was all just a bit crappy really. Maybe I broke myself a bit?

I vowed to make my health and recovery more important this year.

It all made me realise maybe I’m not so Super after all… I can overtrain and become ill, so I need to train well, rest and recover well and take care of myself (sleep, rest, food, fun).

This year I’ve learned a bit, and I’ve been taking time out more and listening to my body when I’m tired.

I’ve packed on a few lbs since then (+8-10lbs approx), my blood pressure is ok, not too low, and my vo2 Max estimate peaked at 52 the other day.

This year, (during and) after the Thunder Run, I’m going to be really careful to take a bit more care.

– During the run, I’ll be more careful to keep my heart rate down, under 150 where I can (the first run was hot, avg hr was 165!) it might mean slower runs, but we (in the team) are all ok with that.

– After, take my health and recovery serious. (Eat, drink, sleep, run, fun, time out, strength, listen). Take a break!

– Listen to how I feel after the thunder run, and increase my rest / adjust my training (get more rest and recovery when I need it).

– Take the focus off running for a bit, back to strength (with 1 long run a week, marathon prep). Mix things up a bit.

I’ve arranged a late start on the Monday after the Thunder Run… as I think I might need it.

… and I’ve got no events in August, so my focus will be on recovery and building myself back up for the Loch Ness marathon at the end of September (whilst keeping an eye on all my vitals). :-)

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VO2 Max estimate 52

I’ve been doing more running recently and I’m feeling good when I’m running. My vo2 max estimate (as calculated by my Garmin 620) increased after today’s long run. :-) up to 52 today.

It’s tended to sit around 51 then when I run more it goes up, going to 53 in March when I was training for the Balloch Half marathon, and up to 55 in May last year when I was training for the Belfast Marathon.

On Saturday I noticed how much I was enjoying running and how easy steady runs were feeling.

Although if you look at the graph above, the big dip at the start of the graph down to 49 was after the Thunder Run 24 last year, so I’d better be careful and get done good recovery in this year.

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New Playlist for the Thunder Run

When I do my own events (that I’m not pacing others for) I like to run with one ear of music in. When I run on my own in training I also like to run with music to keep me going (both ears).

I thought now would be a good time to make a new playlist, the week before the Thunder Run.

So here goes, my playlist is over a day long, 470 songs, by artists / albums including:

Basement Jaxx
Crowded House
Daft Punk
David Guetta
The Script
Emile Sande
First State
Florence and the Machine
Foo Fighters
KT Tunstall
Massive Attack
The Prodigy
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Schnarff Schnarff
Teenage Fanclub
The Weekender

Should keep me going on my runs. :-)

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Bird table for the birdies

I bought this bird table the other morning (when I couldn’t sleep!). Eeeek but I had been looking for one for a while.

It came on Friday and I built it today.

It’s got a good compartment which keeps the bird food sheltered. And is quite a nice size. :-)

I’m keeping it in the back garden just now, until the front garden is done up.

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Wk28 into Wk29

After a 50 mile week last week, which followed a 43 mile week, the week before – by the time Monday of last week ca,e around I was pretty tired. (And I knew I would be). So I’d planned at least 2 days rest, and ended up taking 3 full days of rest.

On Monday I felt not so great, I was trying to focus on work, but was finding it hard, so ended up doing practical things like moving computers for some colleagues instead (useful, but not what I usually do). Tuesday I felt a bit better and by Wednesday I thought an extra day of rest would probably do me good.

This week I got the good news that I’ve got my guaranteed place for the London marathon in 2016. I got in due to my ‘good for age’ time I did in Belfast marathon in 2014. I’ve never really fancied London, the big crowds, big city, so far away from home. But I’m glad I got in.

I’m told by many that, it’s an amazing event, and my Dad (even though he was never really a runner) always said he wished he’d done it, once in his life, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be running it for my Dad I think. :-) (and maybe my speedy brother Neil will be doing it too, so perhaps we could make a weekend of it.)

It did make me think, with the Loch Ness marathon at the end of September, and London in April, I now have quite a bit of marathon and long run training ahead of me in the next year. And with my performance on Monday, a tired, quivering wreck, I’d better get my training (and recovery) right. :-)

I think a change, to do my long runs on Saturday and take Sundays as rest or walk days, will be a must. And maybe have Monday’s as rest days too. Whilst I know I’ll get used to marathon training again, I can’t afford to be a tired wreck at work every Monday! ;-)

Anyway, here’s what I did last week, I listened to my body, and rested the first 3 days of the week, and even kept my mileage pretty low the rest of the week:

Mon: Rest
Tue: Rest
Wed: Rest
Thu: 5.1M run, early wi FG
Fri: 7M easy run (coaching), +1 mile walk at lunchtime
Sat: 9M long run wi FG
Sun: Gym strength (easy weights)

Around 21 miles running, and around 70,000 steps, or 10,000 steps a day on average. Which is still pretty good. :-) Look at my steps for last week: (my garmin sets the daily steps goal based on my previous activity).

Then look at the steps from my 50 mile running week, an avg of nearly 19,000 a day (131,000 a week):

I’m also tracking my sleep – part of my goal to be ‘Happy, healthy and fit’ … sleep is a good one if I don’t get my sleep, everything else seems to fall apartment, so I’m aiming for more than 8 hours a night, and 9hrs+ where possible. This sometimes means early nights, but I’m ok with that. :-) need to make sure I don’t turn into a pumpkin!

Here’s my sleep for the last 4 weeks (all captured via my garmin vivoactive):

The more running I do, the more I tend to need sleep and that’s shown in the week beginning the 5th July. The end of June was a blip where I couldn’t sleep one night and ended up with only 4 hours sleep one night. Not good.

And the dip just under 8 hours in the last week was because we ran at 5am on Thursday (so Fit Girl could fit her run in before her work). Sleep is a priority for me, to keep me happy and healthy, and the charting of it allows me to keep on trying to improve it.

So, onto next week. On Friday night we’re travelling down to the Thunder Run Event and camping overnight for 2 nights. I think I’ll can the long runs and focus on lots of little runs, with rest days on Thursday and Friday ahead of the event. So here goes:

Mon: 4-5M run
Tue: 2-3 x 5M runs. (am, lunchtime, pm)
Wed: 1-2 x 6M runs. (am, pm)
Thu: Rest
Fri: Rest & travel
Sat: Thunder Run 24, 3-4 x 6M runs (HR running)
Sun: travel home & Recover!

I’m really enjoying running just now. Mainly taking it easy is probably making me enjoy it even more. It’s easy, and I think that’s the way it should be.

I was looking back and my three runs from the event last year, my heart rate and times, and I remember how I felt after it.

It was HARD: run 1, the heat, run 2, the darkness, run 3, the early morning and getting up to run at 4am. This year I think I’ll try to keep my HR lower, 160 max, so that I can keep my endurance up over the 3 or 4 runs I do.

After the event I’ll take some rest time, the focus on my marathon training, getting 1 strength day in a week, and making sure I get enough recovery from my running.

Today I’m away to have lunch with some good friends, and I’ll be keeping an eye on the Clyde Stride too, see how my friends Greg Beveridge and Cris Walsh get on. Have a good week everyone.

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It’s all in the plan…

Last week someone called me a ‘machine’.

It was after I ran 3 x 10ks in under 24 hours on Wednesday & Thursday: 1pm, 6pm and 7am.

I ran 50.5 miles last week, and let me tell you, I don’t feel like a machine. It felt good doing it all. But after it I was tired. Real tired. Fatigued even. But I knew it was coming and I was ok with it.

A while back I would have continued in my tired state. Blurry vision, tired body, tired mind. But not now. Now I know when to listen to, and take care of my body.

Two weeks ago, I ran about 43 miles, and I’ve been building my mileage up steadily over the last month or so.

But my 17 mile run on Sunday the 5th, reminded me of just how much running long takes it out of you.

So I remembered that this week, and I made sure that I rested after my long run on Sunday. Plenty to eat and drink, time out, plenty sleep.

Then on Monday (13th) I was in a bit of a funny mood. I knew I was tired and I knew why I was tired. And I knew I needed to rest. But I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered as much as usual. (And that’s fine!) I just kept my head down and got on with everything.

Today I smiled as I walked into work, because I knew I was doing the right thing, by taking rest. And I knew why I was in a funny mood on Monday. Endorphins all gone, tiredness left. ;-) get over it, take care and take the time out you need.

Once upon a time a very nice and wise last described me as a ‘train without a driver’, with all the running I was doing.

Not anymore. The driver is well and truly in his drivers seat. Two good rest days with plenty of sleep and socialising and I’m feeling a lot perkier today.

I know what my training plan for the rest of the week will be like.

So no running today or yesterday, and I’ll ease back into it tomorrow (Wednesday).

A nice and healthy way (hopefully) to train for my up coming events:

End July – Thunder Run 24
End September – Loch Ness Marathon 2015
Start November – Southside 6
End April – London Marathon 2016

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