Taking a break

I had to made a tough decision on the weekend, one of the toughest I’ve had to in my training so far. And that was the decision to skip my long run over the weekend.

All week I planned, prepped, ate well, hydrated and slept well. Yet nothing could prevent the me from getting the dreaded cold & flu illness that’s going around… and believe me, I’ve tried to prevent it.

I had a sniffly nose at the tail end of last week and had hoped it would pass, but unfortunately I woke up on Saturday morning feeling the worst I had all week. At the time I said to myself, “maybe you’ll feel better tomorrow” but looking outside the window on Sunday morning and seeing the torrential downpour I decided it was not worth the risk of getting more ill by running in the rain with a cold.

Some would say it was a smart decision because everyone needs a rest at some point, especially given the circumstances, but then why do I feel so bad about skipping the run?

I don’t know the answer to that, and I’m told that you shouldn’t try to make up the km’s you have missed so am deciding to wipe it from the memory. Move on and stay strong.

Here’s an article that you might find interesting: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/should-you-run-when-youre-sick?page=single

Running scared

Folks there is less than 40 days till my first ever marathon and i’m starting to get very nervous!

On my training plan, every 4th weekend my long run is reduced to allow my body to recover from the long runs that I had done in the previous 3 weeks. So last Sunday I ran 20km as it was a step back week for me. Can you believe I am saying that? That 20km is a step back run….. who would have thought!

As I set out for the 20km run I felt really good and my pace was a little quicker than normal. So I really had to slow myself down and not get too carried away or I might not make it back. I got into a comfortable pace and the weather was beautiful, perfect temperature for running and I was headed for Cronulla Beach (that’s my turn around or halfway point, roughly).

It was a very enjoyable run. I ran past many people out running, riding and walking who all said ‘Good Morning’ and had happy smiling faces. I did not have any issues with pain or tight muscles. I just took in everything around me and only stopped to take a few photos when I got to the beach as it was such a gorgeous day (see photo below).

As I turned up the Kingsway and headed back towards home I spent some time reflecting on my running over the past few months. I’m really happy with the progress I have been making and I am starting to feel more comfortable about the enormous feat that lies ahead of me. I’m still pretty scared, but knowing I’ve done a few long runs and that I have a few more before the marathon is getting me more comfortable with 42km…. gee that’s a long way.

Then again maybe i’m not. Can you ever really properly prepare for something this big when it’s your first time? I mean, it’s the longest run I have ever done, and probably will ever do. I guess I just need to trust that my body can handle it and listen to all the guidance and advice I’ve read and received from everyone since I started on this journey. If I play it smart I should be right, so i’ll stick to my gut instincts as they’ve never let me down in the past.

This weekend I have another 30km run, so i’m getting the liquids into me and planning a good diet with high carbs in the lead up. I’m also going to use another gel this weekend as I used them the past couple of runs. Not sure if I’ve mentioned them before but I’ve been using a brand that my friend Todd gave me called Isotonic. I just need to find out where he gets them as they’re great. You don’t have to have any water with them as they are watered down and they’re not heavy in your stomach like some of them can be. I highly recommend them.

So wish me luck for this weekend and please feel free to ask any questions and share any comments on my posts as I love to get feedback.

Happy running!

Friday Frenzy Update

It’s friday night and I’m very sorry it’s taken me so longtime write. I have been slack with my posts over the past week (and a bit) and it’s not because I haven’t been running, it’s because I haven’t had time. Work and life has been crazy, but I’m back and I have lots to share.
10 days ago I had a running technique group session with Victoria Mitchell from DC Run and it was awesome (for those of you who don’t know who Victoria is then please google her, she’s an inspiration!) She taught us a proper warm up and the basic principles of correct running technique for better efficiency and I must say that I felt so light on my feet. We did some run-throughs and she showed us some technique drills to practise and we all left feeling very enthused.
We had our second session with Vic this past Wednesday and we went over a lot of information from the week before, but we also did a 2km time trial and I really surprised myself with a time of 8:47. That’s so much quicker than my long runs, but you can’t really compare them. I have never done short races so I’ve never pushed myself like I did in that run and it’s got me thinking…..
We have another 6 training sessions with Vic and I know in going to learn so much from her! (Plus she’s a really nice person!)
I’d like to point out that I won’t be changing my technique before the marathon, but my plan beyond includes fixing my technique and doing some short distance races to increase my speed (with the new technique). And then after that I will increase the kms again so I’m running more efficiently for longer periods.
And…….. last Saturday I conquered 30.9kms!!!!! (I had to add the .9, you understand). I ran from my house to Cronulla beach, down around to Bass & Flinders, through Miranda and then headed home. It wasn’t easy, but it was much easier than the 2 previous long weekend runs that I’ve written about in earlier posts. This run I felt like my legs were a machine, just churning over doing what they had to do and the only thing that was holding me back was my mind. It kept telling me to stop, to walk for a bit, but I kept ignoring it. I kept running, and I kept telling myself that it would be over quicker if I just kept running.
It took me 3:25 but I made it, and when I got to about 20m from my front gate a neighbour walking her dog pointed out that she’d seen me running through Miranda and asked how far i had run? She was blown away by my response and the look on her face was priceless, it made me feel very proud.
So this weekend is a step back week as I only have to run 20km (how weird does that sound?! Only 20kms, ha ha). And I’m going to treat myself to a remedial massage next week before I have to conquer 30km again next week.
I feel like I’ve really pushed myself and I’m training hard. And the long run last week has given me the confidence to back myself more and to believe in myself.
I love running! 🙂

My longest run yet

I started writing this on sunday last week so I apologise for the delay in posting this blog, better late than never I say.

Every weekend since the half marathon I am training at distances that are entirely new to me. My 24 km a couple of weeks ago was VERY tough (see earlier post) & last weekend I ran 26.5 km which is the furthest run that I have ever done in my life. Thankfully it was much easier on my body (& mind) than the previous week, so I am starting to feel more confident about the marathon which is only 52 days away!!

So last weekend I thought I would change it up a little and instead of running a huge lap around my local area at home, I decided to run 4 laps of the Lilyfield Bay Run (Sydney). A few friends of mine from run club have done this in their training and I thought it would be good to change the scenery and try a much flatter course than I am used to.

If I said it was easy I would be lying. The course is quite flat which is a very nice change to the hilly area back near home. Maybe this also contributed to it being a more enjoyable run, but there was a lot to keep my mind occupied and I even made friends with some people running laps in the opposite direction who were clearly as insane as me. Although I noticed a couple of them dropped off when I got to laps 3 and again on lap 4.

The weather was great, cloudy and cool so it wasn’t too crowded. On lap 4 the clouds started to look hairy and I hoped that the rain would hold off until i finished (but I had packed my light weight run jacket into my pack, just in case). Have I mentioned my Nathan hydration backpack before? Maybe not, but I definitely should because it’s great! It’s a female specific back pack and the strap on the front is adjustable which means no straps rubbing in unwanted places. It hold 2.0 litres and it’s very light weight, hardly feels like i’m wearing it and i think it makes me conscious to keep better posture and stand up tall. Win win!

For the last lap I decided to run it in reverse, that way I would change the view around me and it gave me something to look forward to while running lap 3. So on the last I ran past landmarks and said to myself “I won’t be seeing you again today”. Yes the voice in my head needed something, anything to think about that last lap as I was getting bored. It seemed to keep my mind busy, but I did stop to walk at one point (which i was angry at myself about) only it felt worse to walk so I started running again straight away.

When I rounded the last bend it was such a relief to have made it. Another new distance conquered. What an achievement!!

I found a comfy spot under a tree and laid down with my feet in the air resting up against the tree, my physio told me this helps you recover quicker and it felt great to not have any weight on my feet. I stayed in this position for about 15 minutes, and even got question by a 4 year old called Kimberly as to what I was doing. She was very cute and very surprised at my answer when she asked how far I had run today. I felt proud and happy, and…… exhausted.

Eventually I sat up and stretched my whole body from head to toe. I was a little worried about how I was going to drive home in my manual car but although I was stiff it was not too much of a problem. And I had timed it very well because no more than 5 minutes after I got back in the car it started raining.

Luck was on my side.