Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan & Weigh In: Half Marathon Edition

Last week after my fantastic week I was looking forward to my weigh in. I knew I had followed the plan, done plenty of exercise and I was feeling pretty lean. I lost 1lb which I am pretty happy with. I was away on Thursday overnight for work and so my food was all over the place for the day and I did not eat well and it spilled over a bit into the Friday. I decided instead of trying to track SmartPoints, since I had a lot of running to do over the weekend, tracking calories might be a little easier. I did start my carb load on Friday and decided that I needed to eat back most/all of my excercise calories in preparation for the race. I am not sure I am going to have as good a result on the scales this Thursday but to be honest I am not that bothered, I needed the food and wouldn't have changed anything about the weekend.

I was a bit nervous about things heading into the weekend. As I have blogged about a lot my training has been all over the place and my pace has been really slow for the past couple of months. I had  no idea how the weekend was going to go and I was prepared for a result close to the Clontarf half a couple of years ago (my slowest half by 15 minutes). I had been fairly optimistic when I signed up and went for the 5km on the Saturday and the half on the Sunday (all in pursuit of a third medal, totally worth it by the way).

The atmosphere at the 5km was great, and my little sister joined me for it. Since I was treating it as a warm up, I concentrated on the first half running with my sister and keeping the pace nice and steady. It is quite a hilly course, and I realised at the 3km point I may have been putting a little pressure on my sister to keep up with me so I decided to leave her behind to run the rest of it herself and powered through the last 2km a little faster than I had thought. I felt great after and ready to chill out and continue with the carb load for the rest of the day! 

Sunday was a little more serious and I was up at 5:30am in prep for it. I started with my usual prerace breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter & banana. I got myself to the start point with plenty of time to get myself sorted but not so much time I was hanging around for ages. The organisation of the Rock'n'Roll is fantastic and the race started almost exactly on time. I head out with what felt like a slow pace but before I knew it the km were flying past and I was hitting a faster pace than I had for a while. I knew I was going too fast but I decided to stick with it while I could and managed to keep it going to the halfway point. There I hit a bit of a wall and really struggled for the next while. I found myself alternating between walking and jogging a fair bit. Once we hit the phoenix park, I knew there would be a fair few hills to contend with and the struggle continued but somehow I was still making decent time. It felt hard but I have to say I was still enjoying it. At some point around the 17km mark, my legs started to feel like they were no longer connected but I powered on and somehow once I saw the 12 mile marker I knew I had something left and pushed on getting another surge of energy when I saw the 20km mark. I powered through the last km faster than I knew I could at that point. 

I knew when I saw the finish line that I hadn't got a PB, but I had managed my 2nd fastest time and I was so delighted with that I got a little emotional again crossing that line. It was such a fantastic day and I am already thinking about next year and how many half marathons I can get under my belt then! The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling out, eating & drinking all the calories I had just burned, but it was 100% worth it. Sure if you can't splurge after 21km of running when can you! 

I am going to be honest, I went a little mad on Monday with the snacking. I was off work and found myself in the kitchen a little more than I had planned, but I woke up this morning ready to get back on track and eating properly. I am taking a couple of days off running but will be back to my HIIT class in work tomorrow and keeping the step count up too so won't be completely inactive. I wanted an easy meal plan for the week so I consulted some of my old weight watcher magazines for a few new recipes to try and am looking forward to them already. Lots going on for me in the next few weeks but I am still motivated and determined to stick to the plan! 

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