yaninasmarathon

See it, aim for it and do it. Stretch yourself and grow!

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Big sigh….

ImageThis is how I feel when I have to go for my runs or do any other form of exercise these days…I just can’t seem to find the same enthusiasm I had when I was training for the Auckland Marathon. Perhaps the post marathon blues have only just hit me now, or maybe I really need a break from running….

In reality I don’t need to start training in earnest for the Colville Connection until mid December, so I could take a break. However, I also know I need to exercise everyday, otherwise I become ratty and fidgety. Then there is the issue of being mad at myself for being lazy, feeling bad because I have done nothing. And what happens to me then is I start to stuff my face!

And here’s the other thing… I know I should eat like this:

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And here’s how I want to eat:

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And over the last few weeks, I have succumbed to the temptation of too much in the biscuit, chocolate and muffin department so consequently this is happening:

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By the way, that is not mine, I just feel that if I don’t get a hold of myself now, I’ll end up like that!

So there’s the Catch 22. What to do? Take a break from exercising….rest, relax, get my eating back on track. On just suck it up, stop whingeing and get on with it!

Start the week on a healthy foot!

I have decided to get healthier with my eating habits. I know what I am supposed to do and find myself constantly not doing what I could to make my running and exercise feel easier. It is a known fact that the leaner you are the better it feels when you run. Things do not jiggle around as much, and any extra kilo will slow you down. So saying, it is also not good to be too skinny! One needs a bit of body fat to be healthy. So to find the happy medium….

I have given myself the aim to lose about 3kg by Xmas. It is a do-able goal, and it has a time frame which is important. Always set yourself a time frame, otherwise you put off the goal indefinitely, then it becomes a wish, not a goal. I have also made sure to write it down and I shall look at it and say it aloud every day. Studies have shown that by announcing your intention out loud, you are more likely to achieve what it is you set out to do. Included in this intention must be the reason why you want to do this in the first place….and for me it is to be a leaner running machine when I get to the other side of Xmas and am ramping up training for the Colville Connection.

Aside from the food stuff, the running is going well, and I ran for over an hour yesterday. This is the longest I have run since  the Auckland marathon. It felt so good that this morning I even had a look at other marathons for next year….oh dear! This one looks rather appealing: Wellington Marathon.

Just running for fun

There’s something to be said in recovery weeks. These past few weeks have been liberating in the sense that I am not actively training for my next challenge yet, and the real hard work won’t start until mid December. So each day I am slowly building my mileage back up again, this time running to time and not kilometres.

This morning I decided to run at the Waikareao Estuary which has a walkway around it, mostly off road consisting of gravel and boardwalk. It is about 9K in total, but each website you look at gives you a different figure. I always pick 8.5K as a good average. I was originally going to do an out and back run for about 40 minutes, but as I was going, the temperature was just right for running, and I was feeling good, so I decided to do the loop.

It is great to just play with my schedule at the moment, and this is slowly pushing me towards a more relaxed approach to running and exercise in general.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge of an event, and will definitely keep doing them. I just think that as I get (dare I say it) older, I need to play more

And so the next challenge begins……

It’s really interesting….I am over running on the road, through the streets. I have spent the last two weeks jogging on the grass and making the runs more interesting, zig zagging about. I don’t know whether this is because I have set my sights on my new challenge, the Colville Connection, or if I am genuinely bored with running on the road. Although….just having run in Auckland over the weekend made me think maybe I am just bored with the roads here in Tauranga. Whichever it is, the trails now appeal and that is where I am headed!

Today I am going to set out my training plan for the Colville Connection. I am still in recovery mode from the Auckland Marathon two weeks ago, a fact I discovered yesterday when running up some hills. They felt like Mount Everest, and although one of them looked like it as well, none of the others were particularly steep. So slowly does it for the following two weeks, building up the mileage again, but this time not using kilometers as a measure and rather time spent running. It will make it quite difficult to judge pace and distance run in shoes, so I shall have to use other ways to keep a check on things like that. So saying, It is quite liberating to just run on time and I am enjoying the experience.

Thoughts on a marathon journey

I think I have a slight cold…

This is not unusual following a race like a marathon. Apparently your immunity is lowered from excess physical exercise. While moderate exercise has been proven to help your immunity, more prolonged vigorous bouts actually lower it. This is because any exercise places your body under stress, and stress increases your levels of cortisol – not a good thing.

This last week has been interesting, I have felt quite tired and when I finally did go for a (very short) run, it felt like I was lugging around a sack of potatoes. Interestingly, over the weekend which we spent relaxing in Colville, I went for a short bike ride and that felt okay. My running muscles are obviously tired.

Anyway, I thought today I would make a list of the top 10 things that helped me on this marathon journey.

1)      Good support from family and friends – without this I would not have been able to complete the hours of training, and calmed my panicked mind, nor able to physically do the long runs.

2)      A well planned training schedule – I can’t stress the importance of getting those hours on your legs. Also you need a good running base before attempting such a long run. Your tendons and ligaments take about a year to become strong enough to handle the stresses of such a race. Sure, you can do the distance with less training, but your chances of getting injured are far greater. This becomes even more of an issue as you get older.

3)      Good nutrition and hydration throughout the whole process. During your training, during the race. Practice how you will do this during your training runs so on race day you have it all sorted.

4)      Get enough sleep.

5)      Self motivation and mind control. You need to be able to talk yourself through those last 10K of the race, and you need to be able to get yourself through your training runs. This means getting up early if needed, running in the rain and wind, even when you don’t feel like it.

6)      Good running shoes – a vitally important factor. Get your gait checked by a specialist running shop. And buy two pairs and rotate them.

7)      Get regular massages, they help to iron out any niggly bits before they grow into full blown problems. I also got regular chiropractic adjustments so do something like that as well.

8)      Don’t just run, especially if you are older. I do strength training as well to help with all the running muscles and build balance. Luckily for me, I am a personal trainer so I can set my own program, but I would highly recommend getting someone to draw up a proper program so you target the correct areas.

9)      Towards the end of your training journey, in the final four weeks, supplement your diet with anitoxidants like Vit C. I took 1000mg a day, and still got sick, but the severity was far less and I recovered a lot quicker. While I was ill, I took it three times a day!

10)   When race day comes, remember this is your race and enjoy it. Just do it the way you want, don’t get hung up on time if it is your first race. There are so many interesting things to see while running for such a long time, take time to look around and have fun. The spectators can really give you a boost along the way, and interacting with them helps to take your mind off the task at hand.

I have one final thing to add that I believe is very important. Have your post race plan in place a few weeks before, and plan your next challenge. It doesn’t have to be another marathon. So saying, I have mine and here it is:

http://www.colvilleconnection.co.nz/

And then it was all over….

A marathon is a long distance to run. Similarly writing about it takes a long time and this is why I have broken down the posts into more manageable bites. Here’s what happened after the race.

As I had mentioned, I got really sore feet at the 34K mark. In particular, my left foot was hurting the most. It was easy to ignore it while I was running as I had something I was aiming for….the finish line, but once I crossed that line I started limping. I really could not walk on it properly. After getting my medal , clearing the finish shute and meeting up with Kerry and Geoff, I hobbled off with them to find a much needed mocha  Geoff had parked the car way up the hill, and even though I had changed shoes, there was still no way I was going to make it, so he had to fetch it.

The advice is to do a short walk later in the day just to flush out lactic build up, but there was no way I would be doing that. Interestingly, I wanted to have a walk, whether that was because I couldn’t or because my body/mind wanted to, I don’t know. But there it was, I was feeling somewhat frustrated. Granted, I don’t do sick and injured very well.

That afternoon I experienced a roller coaster of soreness, tiredness, emotions, and hunger. One minute I was hungry, the next minute I wasn’t  One minute I wanted savoury food, the next minute protein, then carbs! One minute I was exhausted and had to lie down, perhaps sleep, next minute I was wide awake again and ready to go! One minute I was all sore, the next it was all better! One minute I felt like crying, and did, the next all happy again!

Every time I stood up it took me a few seconds to get my legs to work properly and to loosen up, and about half way into the afternoon, my knees started to ache a bit. There was nothing too serious though, apart from my sore foot which hurt less if I wore no shoes. It appeared to be strained. That night when I finally got to bed, I really didn’t sleep well as things were a bit achy, and I could not get comfortable.

On waking the next morning I was pleasantly surprised to find I could still walk and had no muscle stiffness. A few sore areas were confined to below knee height, and apart from my foot which was still quite sore, I was doing okay  The funniest thing was Geoff, who did not do the race, had sore knees, hamstrings and calves! How’s that for a support person!

So overall, my body did well, and I can only attribute that to following my training plan, getting in those miles and having a really solid base under it all. It honestly is so important to your overall physical, mental and emotional experience. I do believe that if you don’t prepare well, you will end up with problems during your race. Maybe I am still riding on the post race euphoria wave, but I had such a great day, and came away with a feeling I cannot describe in words. That feeling is still sitting there…accomplishment maybe, but more than that. It’s been 4 days now and it hasn’t gone away.

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