Friday, 28 September 2012

The History of Hurty Knee (and 4 weeks to go)

Marathon race day looms (4 weeks!), and sadly so does the realisation that I have more than just "hurty knee".

The History of Hurty Knee is quite dull really. It started in early September during one Sunday long run, I was supposed to run 18 miles but cut short at 13 when my knee became painful. That was the sensible option.

Icing and rest that week saw me feeling better, so I attempted my first 20 mile run, which I had decided was to be 3x 10Ks and then "a bit", to make it easier to persuade friends to join me. That was all going well until 10 miles in, when I decided I needed a walk because of my sore knee again. I only managed another 4 miles running before calling it a day and walking the last 6 miles. But, I had covered 20, so psychologically I was happy.

Lots of ice and rest for about 10 days (OK, not strict rest, just no midweek running or circuit classes), including a sports leg massage, then I headed back to run club for some short runs, before another 18 mile attempt last Sunday. Again, 10 miles in, I get knee pain. I stretch my IT band, calves, and hamstring. I run again. I walk a bit, I stretch more. I get quite cross and decide I'm never going to finish the marathon. But, I manage to cover 18 miles.

So this week, I decided to properly enforce my rest. NO running AT ALL, no classes, nothing. Until last night (Thursday), when I walked up to run club to collect my new club top and ended up being asked so nicely if I could take the intermediate group on a 5 mile run. Since I was "feeling OK actually" I agreed!

This morning I had no pain, but my leg was clicking! Weird. During the morning my ankle and hip started to ache, not acute pain, just feeling weak. So I decided, that's it. I need to see a physio.

Thanks to my friend Becca I've got an appointment next Wednesday. And some reassurance that I might be OK in a few weeks.

Just need to get past Standalone 10K next Sunday and then I can rest properly. Until marathon day anyway!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Meal-planning Monday: 24/9/12

No weight loss last week, but I'm still happy with that. Although, I've eaten a lot of food this weekend because the in-laws were visiting (they make me GORGE), so I'm expecting to have put a few lb on this week. That's not reflected in my meal plan. It's currently raining so I'm thinking about hearty stews, mash, and the like.

Sausage, egg, and beans

Chicken and bacon casserole with rice

Scampi, chips, and salad

Lamb kebabs with pittas and salad

Pork steaks, mash, and veg

Eating out/roast dinner

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for other plans, and Twitter too.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A whispered conversation

My husband likes to whisper words to my daughter, who then passes on the words to me. Bit like Chinese whispers except she usually translates correctly. Teaches her some terrible phrases but anyway, he's just a BAD MAN :-)

4yo: Would it kill you to put some coffee on?

Me: *laughing* I'll do it in a minute, I'm just cooking dinner.


Me: OK!!

4yo: I'm not getting any younger over here.

Me: I can see that.

After about 5 minutes

4yo: Have you gone to Brazil for the beans yourself?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Preston Guild Marathon: 6 weeks to go

I changed my training plan 3 times last week! Ended up doing an interval session on Thursday evening at running club, 6x 400 m at 5K pace. I managed them fine and was very pleased with the results. Add to that a 10K on Sunday with some friends and now I am raring to go with some speedwork again. How did that happen?!

This week I can't do my long run on Sunday because we have guests all weekend and my daughter has a party to go to on Sunday, so Friday morning it is. I'm also doing an "hour of planks" challenge this week that Pete Luxford has set via Facebook. So I shall have abs of steel by Saturday!

Circuits AM
5K at pace



2 miles with beginners group
4-6 miles with intermediates

16 miles


4 or 5 miles

Now is the time to start nagging you all to sponsor me too. I'm raising funds for St Mary's Academy in Stotfold. There is no online sponsor page so I'll be running after you all with a sponsor form and pen. I hope you can run faster than me if you don't want to sponsor me...

Also, I'll be running a Marathon Sweepstake, if you can guess my race time you will win a prize, either a bottle of something nice or a box of something sweet, depending on age and preference. If you want to take part I'll be at St Mary's Academy Autumn Fayre on Saturday October 6th from 2 pm. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Meal-planning Monday:17/9/12

Happy Monday! I woke up before my alarm today, I'm feeling remarkably chirpy. It won't last.

Last week I lost another 4lb, I've managed to get back running, 20 miles on Sunday followed by a few sessions in the week, so of course I'm losing weight again. Need to find a balance, it's so tricky.

This week we have evening commitments and weekend visitors, all good fun.

Grilled gammon steaks, potato wedges, and salad

As with last week, bake the wedges in the oven and the fat content is reduced from chips.

Cheese toasties for the kids, something for me and hubs...

Today is after-school hectic madness. As long as my children get fed I don't mind what we eat!

Spaghetti bolognaise

Eat less pasta to reduce calorie intake, I weigh the pasta before I cook it so I know I've not cooked an excessive amount.

Scampi/fish fingers and chips, with salad/baked beans

Cottage pie

My husband eats this with white bread. He makes cottage pie sandwiches. (I wouldn't recommend this as a weight loss idea. Just saying!)

Eating out

Roast beef

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for other plans, and Twitter too.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Meal-planning Monday: 10/9/12

Back on the diet and back losing weight, just what I wanted to see! 3 lb lost last week. I was a bit unhappy that I couldn't run or exercise during the week because of a knee injury, so I was determined to make sure I didn't snack too much.

I kept reminding myself of a phrase I saw earlier in the week on Twitter: "Why Am I Eating This?". I think it's a good phrase to keep in your head because it makes you think about what the food is you're eating and the reasons you need it. So if you have your head in the fridge and are contemplating a piece of cheese think about why you need the food, and remember cheese contains fat! Cheese also contains protein so if you've been running it's probably OK to have a small piece! (A glass of milk would be better though.) That phrase stopped me eating crisps and chocolate last week, and from drinking wine. At least midweek anyway!

Now to the meal plan, with a few calorie-cutting tips thrown in.

Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with new potatoes and veg

We should've had this on Sunday but went to an impromptu BBQ instead! A lovely Monday dinner though :)

Egg, chips, and beans

Nice simple tea because we have evening commitments and need to be fed and out. To cut fat I poach the eggs.


White fish with a pea risotto

I've put white fish because it depends what the shop has. I've been buying River Cobbler a lot recently because it's a really meaty white fish and very cheap. It does need flavour adding, a lime and chilli dressing would go nicely with the risotto.

Spaghetti bolognaise

I've made this with lean steak mince and lots of hidden vegetables so my children are getting their 5-a-day! To cut calories further, turkey mince is a good substitute, but make sure you season well because it can be bland otherwise.

Honey pork chipolatas and spicy potato wedges

Potato wedges are easy to make yourself and are healthier than chips. Use a spray oil to reduce fat and bake in the oven.

Saturday and Sunday meals are always decided on the day. Gives scope for takeaway (or a meal in a restaurant, I can dream!).

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for other plans, and Twitter too.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Preston Guild Marathon: 7 weeks to go

Last week's plan didn't go well! After writing it I changed the tempo run to Monday to accomodate a Tuesday evening night out for my husband (which he didn't go to, grrr), so I subsequently aggravated my sore knee from Sunday and had to spend the rest of the week on the sofa. NOT HAPPY.

Anyway, the Sunday 20-miler is STILL ON, so that's good news. If all else goes to plan, the rest of the week should look like this.

Monday: A massive rest (including a sports leg massage!)
Tuesday: 2-3 mile walk then a core workout at home
Wednesday: Circuits (yes I will take it easy)
Thursday: Club night (tentative!), 2 miles then 4 miles (slowly, hopefully)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: More rest
Sunday: Standalone 10K route, at my planned race pace.

EDIT: I've revised this plan since I wrote it on Saturday. I didn't realise how sore my legs would feel after the 20 miles (ran 14, walked 6). Intervals doesn't seem necessary at the moment, I might do them next week in preparation for Standalone 10K and since I won't have done a long run on Sunday.

As you can see, plans can be changed! Don't be ruled by the plan!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Meal Planning Monday: 3/9/12

I've not written a meal plan for months, but I need to get back on them because I've gained a lot of weight in the past 2 months. I'm under the false impression that I can eat what I like because I'm running so much at the moment. That's not true, I can't eat my bodyweight in pizza (I have tried). So, I need to plan healthy, family-friendly, suitable-for-marathon-training meals.

Baked potatoes (tuna, cheese, beans, etc)


Prawn or chicken salad with new potatoes



Scampi, chips, and salad


Beef casserole


Chicken in black bean sauce and rice


Roast dinner

Please check out the other meal plans over on Mrs M's blog, and on Twitter.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Preston Guild Marathon: problems and solutions (week 12)

In 8 weeks time, I should hopefully be sitting in in a warm pub eating my bodyweight in steak (or if I'm unlucky, in a cold bath). Yes, race day approacheth.

I've come a long way from those early long runs when I was struggling at 14 miles with glut pain and odd cravings :) Despite the obvious fatigue and soreness, I've found the 16-18 mile runs fairly manageable. I've made sure I've been well hydrated and carried food with me (or taken money), so I've not had energy issues. And the leg pain seems to have abated.

Today saw my first setback, so to speak, when my planned 18 mile run ended in knee pain at 13 miles. I was disappointed, but on reflection I can take positives.

  • 13 miles is better than nothing at all. 
  • I recognised I was in pain and stopped before it got serious. 
  • I ran the Standalone 10K route twice, so I'm very familiar with the hills and flat sections now ready for that race on October 7th.
  • I had time to think about future long runs, plans for routes, and how to tempt people to join me!

When I've had company on my runs in the past, I've enjoyed them more and run slightly faster than I would on my own, so I'd prefer to do this more often if I can. Also, splitting long runs into several shorter loops means that I can meet people at different points (at an acceptable time for a Sunday morning!), and I can refill my water bottle and pick up food.

Something I still need to work on is my speed work. I'm acutely aware that I have a 10K race coming up, and I would really like to finish it in about 47 minutes (7:30 min/mile pace). To do this I need to work on getting faster but, at the moment, I'm struggling to maintain a fast pace during a tempo run, I'm just unable to push myself on my own. The fastest I've achieved over a mile since June is 7:46 and that was really hard. I've not had much motivation to run during the school holidays. With very little time to work during the day, my evenings (when I would usually run) have been taken up working. I've also gained near on 10 lb since July, which will definitely not have helped. I'm going to have to get to grips with eating and drinking properly and planning speed sessions to do on my own.

Anyway, back to marathon training. (My aim with that is to finish, and hopefully within 4.5 hours.)

Week 12 (Sept 3-9)
Monday: X-training (circuits)
Tuesday: 1.5 mile warm up, 4 alternating 9:30/7:30 pace, 1.5 cool down
Wednesday: X-training (circuits) followed by 3 miles easy
Thursday: 2 miles run-walk followed by 4-6 miles of some description
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 miles easy
Sunday: 20 miles: 3x Standalone route (about 6.5 miles each loop), plus a bit :)

I'm hoping to tempt a few intermediate Stotfold Runners to join me on the 10K runs, they need to learn the route anyway ;-)
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