Marathon Training Is Go! 18 Weeks Until NYC

Guys, I haven’t posted in a while.  I’m sorry!  I’m switching jobs in work and have been working pretty long hours, so everything has taken a back seat for a while.

However, that’s all about to change – MARATHON TRAINING HAS OFFICIALLY STARTED!   My First Marathon Ever is in 18 weeks, how scary is that?!?

There will be another post later this week to outline my training plan, nutrition plan and target goals for the marathon, but for now I wanted to check in and catch up on what on earth I’ve been doing with myself for the past few (several) weeks.  I’ve not been blogging, but I’ve certainly still been working out.  Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening since I last blogged (in May.  Shame!)

 

George Washington Bridge 10k – June 5th

Pre-race selfie. This is the only face I know how to make...
Pre-race selfie. This is the only face I know how to make…

The American Cancer Society George Washington Bridge 10k is one of my favorite races in the calendar.  This is the 3rd year I’ve run it, I opted for the 10k this year but took it very easy as I was still struggling with my neverending stream of leg based woes.  I really enjoyed this race, it starts with the crowd rushing down onto the lower level of the George Washington Bridge (which is obviously closed to traffic!), then you loop back and forth twice before making a wonderful downhill sprint to finish in Palisades Park.   It’s such a fun, fast race.  That downhill section… if only all races had one like it!

GW Bridge 10k
Heading down onto the lower level of the GW bridge.
George Washington Bridge
Running across the bridge… such a cool experience!

Finishing time: 1:09:01, pace 11:06min/mi

The only down side to this race is that the bridge really messes up your GPS.  My watch thought I’d run 4.5 miles when I’d finished the 10k!  Then, when I uploaded the data to Strava, their algorithm thought I’d run 6.6 miles.  So on the plus side, all my Strava PBs were hit at this race (10k, 5k, 1 mile, 1k etc).  However, it’s annoying because all those PBs aren’t real.  They’re based on inaccurate data!

GWB 10k
I just ran across that bridge, now I’m totally running under it
GWB Race
Obligatory “I just finished a race, look how happy I am” selfie

 

NYRR Queens 10k – June 18th

Oh dear.   How do I describe the ordeal that was the NYRR Queens 10k?  Let’s start by saying it was the slowest 10k I’ve ever run, it was incredibly hot and humid and entirely in the blazing sun, and every single step was an absolute struggle.

‘Running’ probably isn’t the right word for it, it was more like a slow shuffle for 100 yards, stop, walk, drink, cry, faint.  Resume shuffle. Lather, rinse repeat.  Cross the finish line like a boss, 12 minutes slower than your 10k PB.

I won’t describe this race in too many words, because I took this photo after 3 miles and it tells you all you need to know about this race:

Queens 10k
This is not the face of a happy runner

I really, really had to work for this one.  After every 100 meters I wanted to stop and walk, and I had to push myself to keep going.  I stopped at every water station.  I had TWO energy gels (for a 10k, I know!).  My heart rate reached 190 which is higher than is theoretically possible for someone my age.  Wow, worst race ever, huh?!?

Do you know what though?  It was worth it!  I was proud of myself for finishing this one because it was the first race where I genuinely didn’t think I’d make it across.  I even got a shiny medal too!

Finishing time: 1:17:17 (seriously, it was that bad), pace 12:27min/mi

Queens 10k NYRR
Check that out for a medal! And check out the solid block of red heart rate zone – I told you it was a struggle!
Queens 10k NYC
Posing post-race, of course!

 

A weekend of races!  NYRR Pride Run 5M and Achilles Hope & Possibility 4M, June 25th-26th 

June saw the first time that I ran two races on consecutive days – I’ve run training runs back to back, of course, but not actual races.  Now, I haven’t pushed for time since March so it was the same as doing a training run – but it’s definitely much more fun when you run in Central Park with several thousand other people!

LGBT Pride Run
Identical pre-race selfie number 235930432

Both days were hot and sunny, but not quite the blazing humid inferno of the previous week’s Queens 10k.  Needless to say, these two were much more pleasant!  Saturday’s race was the LGBT Pride Run 5M in Central Park, a fast 5 mile loop around the park starting on the east side, heading up over Harlem hill and then back down the west side.  The race was so fun, the atmosphere was great – and any race which gives out rainbow ice lollies at the finish line is a winner in my book!

 

Finishing time: 0:58:44 , pace 11:45min/mi

The following day saw the Achilles Hope and Possibility 4M, again in Central park – although this time there was no Harlem Hill to contend with as the route cut through before we reached the top of the park.  Bonus!!

This race was a little easier and I pushed a little harder than the previous day, but still didn’t give it my all – I am really concerned that I’ll injure myself again before the marathon, so my days of trying to hit PRs are over for the time being…

Post race fun (and some harsh truths)
Post race fun (and some harsh truths)

After the race, there were some fun activities including a photobooth where you created your own captions.  You can see that I decided to stick to home truths – when you’ve got nobody to run with, don’t be sad about it, just own it instead!

Finishing time: 0:46:01 , pace 11:31min/mi

I didn't take a lot of photos this weekend unfortunately.  Have a photo of me on the Iron Throne instead
I didn’t take a lot of photos this weekend unfortunately. Have a photo of me on the Iron Throne instead

 

My legs still hate me

Yes, they definitely do.  I’m still struggling with twinges and pains when I run – sometimes it’s my calves, sometimes my hips, IT band, hamstring, you name it.  I’ve started going regularly to a PT who is helping me work through it, but it’s a slow process.  I have lots of new exercises though that I’m doing daily to try and prevent any future injuries – hip strengthening, glute strengthening, stretches, and FOAM ROLL, FOAM ROLL, FOAM ROLL.   Oh, and I almost forget – OH DEAR GOD THE FOAM ROLLING.  It’s a big part of my life now.

I have a new dynamic warm up routine to complete before every run too, I’ll save that for a future post as I’d like to discuss it in more detail once I’ve tried it out for a few weeks.  So watch this space!

Jon’s doing C25K! 

I’ve saved the best for last – after a year of relentless nagging on my part, JON HAS GIVEN IN TO THE PEER PRESSURE.  He’s started Couch to 5k!   Jon has been my biggest supporter throughout this journey, but has been very resistant to the idea of running.  Until now!

Pre-race - Jon doesn't know what he's letting himself in for yet!
Pre-race – Jon doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for yet!
Mid run - clearly he's loving it
Mid run – he’s obviously loving it
Just finished running... clearly Jon has a new found passion in life
Just finished running… clearly Jon has a new found passion in life

Jon finished Week 1 Day 1 and did a great job!  He’s yet to start Week 1 Day 2, but we are also in the middle of a crazy humidity heat wave so I’ll forgive him for that.  Next week though, I wont!  We’re looking for a 5k to complete in a few months time so he’ll have a goal to work towards too.

I think I’m more excited about this than he is!

He survived the first day!  Here's to the next 23 runs!
He survived the first day! Here’s to the next 23 runs of C25k!

So that’s a quick recap on what’s been keeping me busy for the start of the summer.  This weekend I’m traveling to upstate NY for the Boilermaker 15k race, and I am SUPER excited about it as it’s one of my top 12 races for 2016.  However, I’ve heard it’s a tough course – and it’s looking like it’ll be a hot one this weekend.  I’ll definitely earn my post race beers at this one!

Now that marathon training is officially underway, I’m definitely focusing on my eating, my workouts and my recovery!  It’s time to get even more acquainted with the old foam roller, I’ll be seeing a lot of it in the next 18 weeks.

I’m going to be putting more time into the blog too, I started this blog not just as a running journal, but also as a place to objectively review all the bad diet advice you see online.  I wanted to show that losing weight is basic science – calories in, calories out, nothing more (hence the name Lose It For Science!).  I’ll definitely be putting more effort in over the next few months to add more articles and interesting stuff to go along with the running.   Funnily enough, the blog gets more hits on my one non-running article (The Myth Of The Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone) than on any of the running stuff!  Who would have guessed?

Guys, it’s nearly here, 18 weeks till D-Day.  What am I letting myself in for?

Until next time guys!

Pam x

Don’t miss out!  Check out the fun on Instagram, Strava and Twitter 

 

Rock’n’Roll Nashville 5k – Race Report

It’s now several weeks since the Rock’n’Roll Nashville 5k, so forgive me for being very delayed in writing my race report!  I’ve had a crazy few weeks with lots of work and travel so blogging has unfortunately taken a hit.  Hopefully things will start to calm down a little now and I can get caught up!

The Rock’n’Roll Nashville 5k took place on a very, very, VERY rainy Saturday morning on 30th April 2016, with 5k, half marathon and marathon distances to choose from.  I was on a road trip with occasional guest blogger Sarah, and this was her First Ever 5k, so we were super excited for it!   Sarah included a brief summary of this race in her last guest post, so I’ll be keeping this one short and simply covering the race in a little more depth.

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More Shape Women’s Half Marathon – Race Report

more-shape-race-report-lose-it-for-science

This weekend saw the 13th annual More Shape Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park, and my first half marathon of 4 planned in 2016 as part of my NYC Marathon training.  I was so excited to run this race, I’ve only completed one half marathon in the past and I walked over a third of it – so really, this was my first real attempt at a half marathon.

Photo from NYRR.org

Beautiful skies and injured legs

The race took place entirely in Central Park, with 7000 women completing just over two loops of beautiful Central Park.  It was a gorgeous day for running, too – not a cloud in the sky and high 40F / 10C temperatures.  Perfect!

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Scotland Run 10k NYC – Race Report

Lose It For Science Scotland Run

Guys, it’s the Scotland run,  my favourite!

This weekend brought my favourite 10k of the race calendar.  The Scotland Run 10k takes place each spring in Central Park, and brings in huge crowds and a great atmosphere – and a great theme!  I’ll take any excuse to celebrate my home country of Scotland, especially since I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like.  I was wearing every piece of Scotland themed clothing I owned, and was really excited for this race.

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Running in Central Park – Spring Classic 10k Report

Lose It For Science

This weekend saw the NYRR Spring Classic 10k in Central Park, bringing the first race of spring and my first 10k of the year.  There really is something magic about running in Central Park, especially when the weather is fresh, the sky is blue and the energy among the runners is high.  This run was extra special too, because my dad was visiting from Scotland for the weekend and he ran the race too!

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Half marathon training update – the cold, the marathon and my shiny new GPS watch

It’s half marathon training update time!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing the weekly weight loss progress anymore, and that’s because I think a monthly update is a better frequency – it gives me more time to blog about other things that are a little bit more interesting!  That being said, I’ve had a busy month so we’re overdue a progress check.   Since I returned from vacation, I have been working on my half marathon training plan and trying to get up to speed for my epic year of racing (and my first marathon!)

A BIG marathon based update

So I talk a lot about running the NYC marathon.  I’ve relentlessly plugged my marathon plans on the blog, I’ve bored my friends to death with my marathon ambitions, and I completed my 9+1 NYRR races last year to get guaranteed entry.

However, this month I’ve taken it one step further and claimed my place!  My pocket is lighter to the tune of $220, and I have 9 months to train for what will be the biggest achievement to date in my running adventures.

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A year of running in New York, and some other places too

2015 running new york

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I did a LOT of running in New York this year.  I’ve completed my NYRR 9+1 race/volunteer requirements this year, which means I’ve got guaranteed entry into the 2016 marathon.  

Seriously.  I’M RUNNING THE FREAKING NYC MARATHON NEXT YEAR

I’m already excited.  I’ve never run a marathon before, but I’ve been running short distances for over a year now so I’m ready.  It’s time for the next big challenge.

It seems like a good time to do an end-of-year review of my races (only a month late!). Between my running in New York and also in surrounding areas, I’ve completed 19 races in total – nearly 2 a month!  It’s been a good year, and going into 2016 I have built a good base to build on with even more challenging goals.  With that, let’s recap on my busy running year!

RUNNING IN NEW YORK (AND THE REST): 2015 IN RACES: 

Race 1: Scotland Run 10k

4th April 2015: Finishing time 1:16:18, average pace 12:17min/mi

Running in New York City
Posing with the Edgewater Running Divas (and honorary diva) before the race

This is my favourite NYRR race in the entire race calendar – although I think I’m the only actual Scottish person to run in it!  The Scotland Run is usually my first 10k of the year, spring is in the air and the icy chill of the winter months is starting to subside.  Weather is perfect for running at this time and everyone is in great spirits.

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Diet forgotten, match abandoned. 2016 is go!

Happy new year everyone!

I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks, for a couple of reasons.  I’ve been really busy with work, I’ve done some travelling and had a business trip to France which was much more stressful than I expected, and had some personal issues too. All in all, December was a split month for me, in some ways it was not the best month for me, but in other ways it was awesome. However, I did have some successes with running, so all was not lost!  I completed two more races since my last post, bringing my 2015 total to 19.

Ted Corbitt 15k, 9th December

It had arrived, the big race. My longest distance of 2015. The race that marked the final cell of my excel-spreadsheet-training-plan. It was an unseasonably warm December morning, which meant a last minute change to my running clothes. Running in one short sleeve tee was a nice novelty for mid-December!

 

Ready at the starting line with a running friend
Ready at the starting line with a running friend

 

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Weight Loss Progress: Week 5

I won’t lie, I’ve not had a great week this week.  I’ve tracked all my calories but managed to squeeze in a McDonalds, some pizza and a night out with too many beers.  I also attended a Diwali lunch that I really should have said no to because I had no way to track the calories, which goes completely against my plan with this blog.  However, the call for Indian food was too strong so I’m afraid I did cheat this week!  I tried to track as best as I could but I’m not convinced that I was accurate for that meal.

Let’s just jump straight to the figures…

First things first: The numbers

  • TDEE = 14896 calories/week (see how I calculated this here)
  • Deficit needed to lose 1lb/week = 3500
  • Total weekly calories consumed = 13052
  • Total weekly calorie deficit = 1844

This is 53% of the calorie deficit I need to lose 1lb, so science says I’ll lose 0.53lbs this week.

What did I actually lose?

Nothing, nada, niente.  1lb back on again.  

I'm now quite far behind plan.  Not happy!
I’m now quite far behind plan. Not happy!

Weight loss total = 2.7lbs

This is incredibly demotivating.  If I’d scrapped this whole initiative and just joined Weight Watchers, I’d have made significantly more weight loss progress by now.  I really am trying hard, and the weight doesn’t seem to be coming off.  2.7lbs in 5 weeks is embarrassing.

Is the science wrong?  Is the whole calories in < calories out thing too simplistic?

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Dash to the Finish Line 5k

It’s NYC Marathon weekend!   For those of us not quite ready to run a marathon (yet!), this Saturday 31st October was the NYRR Dash To The Finish Line 5k, running through the streets of NYC and finishing in Central Park at the actual finish line of the marathon.  It’s a way to get involved in the marathon and get a feel for how amazing it must be to cross that finish line for real!

I ALMOST missed this race.  I’d planned on picking up my bib on race day as it had been so easy to do so during last week’s Poland Spring 5M.  By sheer chance, I was checking the NYRR website on Friday evening for the start time, and noticed that there was no race-day pick up for this race.  I had to pick up at the NYC Marathon Expo, and had till 7pm before registration closed.

It was 6:30pm.  I was at home.  In New Jersey.

Daaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmiiitttttttttt!!!

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