Getting there with recovery

This week hasn’t been the most fun week I’ve ever had … and yes, I know it’s self inflicted, but I’ve been sore and in anti inflammatories all week.

It seems the marathon on Sunday really took it out of me. So much so I think I feel a bit of a cold starting. Boooo.:-/

I had a three day week at work, and it was only by Thursday I felt I could handle going down the stairs instead of taking the lift. It was odd waiting for and using the loft every day, not something I’d usually choose to do.

In the main part my arches on my feet are sore, and my right calf and my left quad … and everything else including being tired and hungry. And all in all just a bit emotional too, but trying not to let it get through.

On Monday I still felt high, but on Tuesday and Wednesday I just felt swollen and in pain really – a bit like I’d been in a car accident. (Touch wood). And now my throat / back of my nose is agitated / sore, which probably means a cold is on its way.

I’ve taken some time out though, and I’ve got long sleeps in – they should help my recovery. And eating plenty. I plan to take around 2 weeks off training, maybe even longer if I still feel like this.

I’ve been doing a few short walks, but all in all I’ve been rather kind to myself.

One thing I’ve noticed is my weight, or more specifically my water weight / body composition I think. After the marathon it shot up to the heaviest I’ve been years, I’d been around 133lbs for a while, and it went up to 139lbs.

But weight isn’t everything, and it’s when you look at the body fat % / other % it gets interesting.

Where body fat % is body fat, and lbm is all other body weight including bone, muscle, water.

Mon 22 Aug: 132.1lbs / 13.6% body fat
17.8lbs fat / 114.9lbs lbm

Mon 25 Sep: 136.7lbs / 11.1% body fat
15.2lbs fat / 121.5lbs lbm

Thu 29 Sep: 139.1lbs / 13.6% body fat
18.9lbs fat / 120.2lbs lbm

It seems to me that my body is holding water to help me recover from the battering I gave it on Sunday, and that’s where the extra weight has come from. Clever body.

I’ve decided to buy the Withings Cardio scales, so if anyone wants to buy a set of used Withings wifi Body fat scales (that give you graphs like below) let me know lornπŸ™‚

I’m away up to spend some time with family this weekend, a long weekend off work. Then I’ll be in Edinburgh with work on Tuesday.

I have some health and fitness plans for when I’m back on my feet, but just now I’m just going to do my best to recover.

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Ouch – day 2 DOMS

Ouch – I’m sore. 2 days after the marathon and just about everything from my ribs down hurts. If this isn’t a reminder to take a break from running marathons, I don’t know what is. (I’ve already said I’m taking at least 2017 off marathons).

Today I have very sore arches, ankles, calves, shins, quads, adductors, abductors, lower back, sides, shoulders. So much so it makes it hard to steady myself when I get up (and walk) lol – I feel like I’m 95, using my arms to help me up and down lol. I’m not sure the ibuprofen is working, but it must be.

Someone asked me the other day how many marathons I’d done, and I’d kind of lost count – so here they are above, all 10 of them, in date order. 5 events, 5 runs. (Plus 4 runs longer than a marathon – ultra distance).

I’ll do some analysis of them later, but despite today’s DOMS, this last one, the Loch Ness Marathon with spectacular rainbows, max Garmin Training Effect (effort), amazing scenery, cramp, friends and emotions, ranks very highly in terms of enjoyment. Maybe 2nd or 3rd.

Today I had my most recent challenge – getting up out of bed – these stairs in my house.

When turning over in bed was a challenge, these 12 steps in my house became my Everest. (I’m not embarrassed to say I ended up sitting on my bum and pulling myself down them, and I’m not going back up there until tonight. Lol).

If you see me in work today you have permission to laugh at me, as long as you ask to look at and oooo and ahhh at my medal. Hopefully the walk to work will do me good.

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Loch Ness Marathon done! πŸŒˆ

Well, that was amazing! Loch Ness Marathon done today, with a great big massive rainbow at the start for 10 minutes – which got me going good. Down hill for the first 10 miles ish too, first mile was around 6:44 min mile lol. Maybe a wee bitty too fast. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Garmin stats here:

Lovely run, and there was a big rainbow at the start for 10 minutes, and another at 8, 10 and at the end. Rain plus sun in September = rainbows πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒˆ

I did the first 10 in about 1:18, first half in around 1:45, then took it steady to about 18, up the hill at Dores and from around 20 miles in I got cramp in my calves, moving up to my quads.

Powered through though, and crossed the line in around 3:43 – avg heart rate 162 / 88% max 177 / 95%. Garmin training effect 5.0 – so maxed out.

Fit Girl did hers in 3:58 – brilliant effort. I’m very proud of her. (Thanks Julie for the pic above).

Was very emotional at the end. I met Jen and I was so pleased to see her – I got a great big hug and crumpled into a crying mess. But it was mainly because I’d kept the tears in on the run. Rainbows were amazing, and really kept me going. 🌈

I feel a bit broken now, so going to have a bath, another stretch and a wee lie down and out for dinner later.

I feel a real sense of achievement, and now I’m going to take some time out to recover. Might wrote a longer post once I’ve had some sleep / recovery / ice cream. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Thanks for all the messages of encouragement, and pictures of me along the way. (The above pic was taken by Lesley at around 25 miles and I was sore).

Granny must have been with me all the way. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒˆ

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1st day Apple Watch activity stats

Well that was a pretty active first full day using my new Apple Watch… I’m liking it.

The Apple Watch and activity tracker tracks around five measures and takes in a activities from Garmin Connect too (through the Health App on the iPhone I think). The Apple Watch tracks:

– Movement (calories)
– Exercise (minutes)
– Stand (hours)
– Steps
– Distance

I’m used to using steps to track my activity and the Apple Watch does do this (and steps are easy to access), but it doesn’t seem to be a main measure.

Anyway, here’s more about it:

When you set up your watch you get to chose your movement / calorie goal based on your level of activity – I chose ‘highly active’ and have a goal of 760 calories a day to burn. (I’m not sure how to change the goal now though).

With my 8 mile run this morning and walk to work, I got my goal by lunchtime.πŸ™‚

Then there’s exercise – running, walking etc…
– 71 minutes running plus
– around 24 minutes waking to and from work
– leaves 15 minutes walking around work (and home).
My run synced automatically to the Watch which is good.

Then there’s stand time, you’re meant to stand once an hour every hour, for 12 hours with this goal setting. And I managed it, without changing what I usually do. I stood for some time, for 12 hours. 😬

I do have a desk job, but I routinely take breaks away from my desk to go and see people, take breaks when I can, and use the stairs rather than the lift mostly.

As well as the move, exercise and stand measures, it pulls your Garmin activities in (see my 8 mile run from today), and adds it to your other exercise to get a total distance and steps for the day.

I achieved my first ‘achievement’ too – for meeting my first daily goal.

The last thing you can do with the activity app on the iPhone is share you data with other Apple Watch owners, to see how you compare. There’s a news feed on Garmin connect which is similar.

Oh and I did some ‘Breathe’ sessions today – a bit like meditation. I usually do it for 5 minutes first in the morning – not meditation, but just taking time out focusing on my breathing, waking up nicely. A few reminders from my Watch, usually after I ate, and I did it 3 x 5 mins = 15 mins time out – easy!

All in all, a good and active day for me! I’m sure not all of them will be as active.

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Loch Ness Marathon elevation & more

Today I did my last run before the Loch Ness Marathon – a nice wee 8 miles in the Southside, over to Pollok Park and into Maxwell Park and home. I was running on my own, up early, running as the sun came up.

(The run included a 3 minute stop – where I forgot to stop my watch – in Pollok park dropping an elephant for my Granny’s 101st birthday).

The Loch Ness marathon is on Sunday, so 3 sleeps to go. On my run today, I had my music on – (first time going from my new Apple Watch to my Bluetooth treks titanium headphones) – but I was thinking about Sunday and how it’ll go.

Most of the run I was comparing it to how I’ll be feeling on Sunday, and how I felt last year. I ran the marathon with Fit Girl last year, her first marathon … and she did great.

I was and am very proud of her for her determination and drove to finish it and do so well with a 3:57 finish time (even with knee pain). Here’s the route and all the stats from last year:

This year, I feel like my training hasn’t been as consistent, with life or work taking over in some way. I’ve taken a week and a long run off here, and my heart has maybe not really been in it as much as it has been before. I’m not sure why, but I’m feeling up for the marathon now that I am where I am.

My VO2 Max estimate shows as 51 (an estimate of how my body uses oxygen), and it’s been higher than that, but it’s all good. I know I’ll still be able to do it.

I ran 8 miles today and I just need to run just over 3 times that distance on Sunday. 26.2 miles.

Earlier in the week I re read this post I wrote (below) around 3 years ago when I ran my marathon pb – 26.2 miles around Glasgow, on my own, absolutely flying. I know what I can do and I know what I want to do.

A nice reminder for me, of how it feels to run a good marathon: if you’re running, remember your cape and tie it in tight.

The whole event was well organised and it was nice to run in familiar inverness, along a very pretty stretch of road along the south side of Loch Ness. The early start and the bus journey, and waiting in the cold for the start just built up the start and the good run even more.

Then from the start we were nicely treated to what felt like 10 miles of downhill… (it maybe wasn’t ALL down hill, but I remember it that way).

After we finished, I vowed to run the marathon on my own. And this year I plan to run to my heart rate as usual. I’ll be all kitted up with my water pack, and my caffeine gels – and all my gadgets, headphones, Apple Watch for music, Garmin, hrm. I’ll pack on Friday night, and we’ll travel up on Saturday, back Monday.

The weather looks ok on Sunday, after a rather rainy Saturday, the wind might even be behind us all the way?? Which would be good!

On the run I’ll let go and try to keep my HR between 150-160 for the first half, then up to 160-165 up to mile 20 (remembering the two big up hills in the 18-22 mile region) then see what I have left for the last 10k. I honestly have no idea what my time will be, but hopefully the wind, the route and my cape will keep me on track. Getting excited now.πŸ™‚

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So, who is running at Loch Ness?

A few months ago we realised that one my family is running the 10k at Loch Ness, and this week I found out a few more people I know are running at it.

It got me thinking – I wonder who else I know who is running at Loch Ness? (Maybe I’ll see you there? – say hello if you see us there).

(I must mention Jen and Glynis who I met at the marathon last year, who are doing the 10k, then are planning on doing Amsterdam later in the month).

My number this year for the Loch Ness marathon is 1629, and I’ve signed up for updates to be posted to my personal Facebook page, along the run.

My plan for the marathon is to run with my heart rate at around 150-160 for maybe 16-18 miles, then let it increase 18-20, then see what I have left for the last 10k. Who knows what the outcome will be.

We’re going to inverness on the Saturday, and picking up our race packs. Then running on Sunday, dinner with the family hopefully, then back home on Monday.

This year our hotel is really close to the start / finish so that should be good for the legs. 😜

Let me know if you’re running at Loch Ness this weekend, by commenting below or on my Facebook page. It’d be great to hear from you.

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1 week to go to LNM

Last week was full of rest and recovery, work and 4 runs. 34.5 miles, a bit more than the week before, but taper long run 13.1 miles the weekend before Loch Ness Marathon. The week before it was 31 miles at the end of the week.

My 13 miler on Saturday was quite an easy one, coaching and I wasn’t really paying attention to me. I was pretty tired after it, but probably just need to be eating more this week to help prevent tiredness or lack of energy after my long runs. Yum.

Ice cream probably isn’t the best fuel, so I’ll be eating to fuel this week coming. I’ve had my last coffee for a week, caffeine fast so that when I take on caffeine pre and during my run it hopefully helps me.

Sunday was a very lazy day, we went out for a bit, then spent the rest of the day watching telly. And I took care of my feet – hard skin softened / removed.

I’m ready for the marathon, and looking forward to it, as is Fit Girl.

This week, I’ve already started with an early morning 8k up to Maxwell Park and back, under the moon, then under the sunrise as it came up. Very pretty. I ran on my own, at around 620am, and kept my HR steady for the first half, then opened up a bit and let it go to around 165 towards the end. I felt nice and strong, I just need to do that over 5 times the distance on Sunday!

This week, here’s my plan:

Mon: 5.1M (+ walk)
Tue: Rest (walk / Edinburgh)
Wed: 8M wi FG
Thu: 6.2M
Fri: Rest
Sat: Travel to inverness
Sun: 26.2M Loch Ness Marathon

I have the following Monday off work, which I’m sure I’ll need. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do on Sunday. Fingers crossed it’ll be as good as last year. I’ll add my number and the link you can track me on soon.

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