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Archive for the category “Colville Connection 2013”

Learning To Breathe

It has been an eventful week, both running and just as a family. Not in a negative way though. My youngest daughter has been home from Uni for two weeks (we dropped her off back in Auckland yesterday) and my husband had a further check up with his specialist about his hip. It was great having my daughter home, and her cat was extremely happy as the two cats we have don’t really get on, so when she’s not here the other one mopes a bit. My husband is happy too, as he is now able to drive again, which makes me happy as I don’t have to a) take him everywhere and b) have him going on about my driving…..

In amongst all of this going on, I have been learning a new breathing technique which I read about in a recent issue of Runner’s World magazine. Basically it meant that I had to unlearn my previous breathing pattern of inhale for 2, out for three, 2:2 as I got faster, and 3:3 for easy runs, and start breathing in for 3 and out for 2, or 2:1, or the hardest (and I still can’t get this) 2:1:1:1. Anyway, this is too complicated to explain it all so you can read about it here. Needless to say, I have definitely noticed a difference, although it is very east to fall into my old pattern as I get tired. Which I certainly did yesterday.

My training for the GC Marathon has been going well to a point. I say this because I realised last week that I have been running really slowly. So I ramped it up on my 11km midweek run last week and it felt really good. Then I looked at my training schedule and realised slow was what I was supposed to have been doing, up until this week, as I was working on strength and not speed until now. Speed starts tomorrow! I find it quite amazing that I subconsciously felt it was time to go faster, even if I preempted it by a week. Maybe there’s something to be said in waiting a little longer, and I can be impatient, but then listening to your body is something I have been going on about for a while. And this leads me back to getting tired yesterday.

My long run was for 26km and seeing as we were away I decided to run from Colville to Cor0mandel.

colville

That’s a picture of the cafe and general store. The cafe is fantastic, called The Green Snapper, and if you’re ever up there you must pop in. We went up to the bach for the weekend on the way to take my daughter back to Auckland. I logged my run on MapMyRun and you can see it here. It takes in three enormous hills that climb forever (well it felt like it to me!) and so I listened to my energy levels and walked when I needed to. It rained a bit on the way, nothing too bad, which was lucky as the prediction was for wild weather! I have decided that it is my last hilly long run now, as the strength phase of my training is done, and now I am going more for endurance and speed. The GC is a flat race and there’s nothing like the principle of specificity. Train flat for a flat race, and I plan to get in under 4:30 this time! Anyway, to get back to the breathing….I have found that done properly, this new technique has definitely helped me to feel more comfortable and dare I say it….faster. Watch this space!

Time To Slim Down

It’s been a week since the Colville Connection, and I have had this last week “off”. I put this in inverted commas because I haven’t done nothing exercise wise, just had a cruisier week with lots of walking, a few jogs and some strength training. I have found it quite enjoyable actually, and I think it is really important to have a week like this after an event, just to recharge the batteries, take off some of the physical and mental stress of training for an event.

My next event is the Gold Coast Half Marathon at the beginning of July. We have booked our accommodation already and online entries open on Monday. Then we need to book flights, so keeping an eye out for specials all the time. But before all of this is a month of trimming down.

Ever since the final lead up to the Auckland Marathon I have been a little heavier than I thought I ought to be for a runner. Finally in the March issue of Runner’s World magazine this thought was justified when I saw the article about your perfect running weight. According to this article I could be lighter, so Monday I start with their recommended training programme to shed those few kilos I need to make me faster and feel fitter. Combined with a healthy eating plan, I should drop about 500g a week so it will take me about 6 weeks to get to where I need to be. The training programme runs for a month and I plan to slot into the half training schedule after that to prepare for the Gold Coast.

I don’t think this will be easy as I have been quite free with my food choices and portion sizes. I feel there shall be some hungry moments in the days to come, hopefully not long lasting!

Wish me luck!

And Then It Was All Over

So the Colville Connection is done and dusted! What a race that was! I can highly recommend it to everyone as a great day out with fantastic views…even if I didn’t stop long enough to take them in. I really enjoyed the race though, some bits more than others. I discovered I love running the fast downhill single track bits, such an amazing feeling flying down the mountain like that.

The day began quite slowly as my race only started at 9.15am. I am used to earlier races so my timing was a bit out with feeding myself prior to the start. Of course there was also the factor of my hubby and his broken pelvis and hip that had been occupying my mind for 10 days as well…..So he needed a bit of looking after as well.

All in all I think I did really well. I had been aiming for 2:30 and came in at 2:16:51. Not bad for a race run on lack of sleep, bad nutrition and stress I reckon. This race had many steep uphills that went on forever, and they are the bits I find the most tiring. I know this is the area I need to work on for future races, and I guess in retrospect I did not follow my own advice of specificity – hill training for hilly runs. I just didn’t have the energy.

The Colville Connection is a very different event as there are many races you can choose from. Have a look at their website to get an idea. I am definitely doing it next year, and hubby and I will do it together, well at least he’ll do the 72km MTB and I’ll do the 21km run again.

However, that is a long time away, so the next challenge is the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July. Flat, fast and I plan to try to break the 2 hour barrier. I got close last year in Hamilton, 47 seconds over 2 hours, so I know I can do it. And after that, well……Auckland Marathon here we come again!

Ready, Set….

I know my race is soon, or should I say my body knows it. Or perhaps my mind is the one with the knowledge and my body is displaying the classic “there is a race this weekend” symptoms. I am sure those of you who are runners out there may at one time or another experienced these symptoms….things start hurting for no reason.

You are happily in your taper week and up until this week, things have been pretty okay. No injuries, fitness levels are good, you’re feeling ready. And then suddenly race week comes around and little niggles appear. Today it was my left knee and right ankle, yesterday my right shin. Added to this I am having the usual “I am not ready, I haven’t trained enough!” running through my head. Absolute nonsense, as I am ready and definitely have trained enough, but there it is, running around, driving me silly.

This race will be what it is, somewhat different on a few counts. My hubby is coming along, crutches in hand, to cheer me on from the comfort of the deck at the family bach. I will wave to him twice, when we pass right at the beginning, and again at the end of the race. This is my first trail/off road race, half marathon distance and so I have no idea of expected finish times. I know it will take me longer than a road race, and that’s all I know. Guess I will find out on the day. Finally, it starts quite late…9.15am…which for a hot summer day is going to make for a hot run. I am used to running and racing earlier.

So there it is….race in 3 days time, and I am as ready as I am going to be for it.

Little By Little

The Colville Connection is looming….Saturday is race day. My hubby came home on Saturday from hospital….I have had very little sleep since then…….

I am worried I will be a wreck come Saturday, I don’t even have energy at this stage to write down my thoughts. This morning I threw all my toys out of my cot and then promptly had a melt down….sleep deprivation. I still have this week of tapering to do, and I am thinking perhaps I shall just take it really easy on myself.

Tonight I shall sleep in the spare room, perhaps tomorrow I will be more awake and energetic

An Untimely Spanner

I have been ramping up my training, all has been going well, until yesterday that is. I get a phone call from my husband that could possibly change everything at the last minute.

While I have been training for the 21km run in the Colville Connection, he has been training for the 72km mountain bike event, until yesterday…..yesterday evening he fell off his bike during a training ride and ended up in hospital. He has a fractured hip socket and is facing an operation and months of rehab. Needless to say he will not be biking the 72km this year…..and I am not sure whether I will be able to do my race as a consequence.

I would like to speak to whichever higher power threw that spanner!

Where’s My Mojo?

Well, I have had a really busy 10 days or so. We have got to the stage in our lives when the little birds are flying the nest and the last one left on Saturday. Consequently, life in our neck of the woods has been very hectic.

I have been managing on a less energetic basis to complete most of my planned runs, and important thing as the Colville Connection is but a few weeks away. We spent a few days up there earlier on this month and I managed to run a trail that went over a hill and back. This was not the actual race route, but it certainly gave my legs a good go! On my way back up the hill (which became to feel like a mountain) I really struggled and had to walk at a few places. It made me aware that my training has not been as focussed for this race, something I have been struggling with ever since the Auckland Marathon last year.

Yesterday I did my longest run since training for the marathon. It was 2hr 15min and I went quite a hilly way. I have yet to work out how far I ran as this training schedule runs on time and not distance, and I think this may be why I am not training as hard.

During the run my knees were hurting and then I realised that i have not been doing my strength training as regularly. In fact the last time I did any was 10 days ago! So today I knuckled down and made myself do 3 strength circuits (I will probably be sore tomorrow).

We have also been away quite a lot, moving kids, having short breaks, and working around the house getting it ready to sell. All these activities are not conducive to a smooth training schedule, so hopefully next week I can get back on track. I will be home alone, no one else here, and I should be able to focus on my training properly.

Let’s see what happens…..

Injured!

Today I set out for a short run before doing some strength training. I was wearing a pair of Nike Frees. I have run in these before, just not recently, rather wearing them for gym workouts and when training my clients. Half way into my run my shin started to hurt! Needless to say I could not run any further and started walking, which also hurt! So I removed my shoes and proceeded to walk/jog home bare foot…which didn’t hurt as much.

When I got home I threw the Nikes into the discard box. I shall not be wearing them again. Since I returned home I have iced my shin twice and rubbed various potions into it. It still hurts. I am not impressed…..tomorrow we go to Colville for 4 days and it is a chance to try some of the dirt roads I will be running as well as try my new shoes on those roads. I can only hope the damage to my poor shin is not bad and that by tomorrow or Thursday it will be feeling okay again.

Accolades For My New Trail Shoes

Mount Maunganui. Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Mount Maunganui. Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I did one of my off road runs that always leaves me somewhat breathless. It is on Mount Maunganui and is a steep climb followed by a sharp descent and then an undulating lap back to the stretching post! 60% of the trek up is stairs, and I have shorter legs so always watch my hubby start to disappear into the heights above while I puff along behind. It feels like a step class conducted at 500RPM! Anyway, today I made it up in 15:44, not too bad an effort.

I was wearing my new trail shoes, the Saucony Xodus GTX 3.0 and I came away extremely impressed with them. My previous trail shoes always left something to be desired. I used to have to watch the speed of my descent as they had the tendency to slip and I seemed to get sore knees from constantly braking on the way down. Well my new shoes performed like a dream! It is as if they have their own ABS brakes. I could run fast and they gripped the ground, I did not slip once. The best part was that I had absolutely no knee niggles during the run. I am stoked!

As an afterthought though, these are definitely trail shoes and are not comfortable on the road at all, too knobbly! Not that I have done any road running on them, just walking in them back to the car was enough to make me realise that if I were running on a course that had any tarred roads, it may be a little rough for a bit, and I certainly wouldn’t want to do it for long.

As The Weather Heats Up…..

I have to share my Face Book status with you. It is actually quite amusing when you step back from being the main person in this story. However I think many people can relate to this one:

“So I get into my car and because it’s a stinking hot day it is like a pizza oven in there. I drive a manual so I put the car into reverse and off I go…gotta get some air flow into my little car. As I put my foot on the clutch pedal again I realise my shoe is sticking to the pedal! Immediately I think “it has melted!” But NOOOO! I have stood in someones spat out chewing gum! WTF is wrong with people??????”

I am sharing this because luckily I have never had this happen while I am running, but I can only imagine how annoying it would be to have strands of someones partially digested chewings flying about, latching themselves to various parts of your lower legs, not to mention the feeling of being adhered to the pavement with each alternate footfall. And then the inevitable grass and stones and goodness knows what else becoming attached to the underside of your running shoe and filling in all the little grooves that most running shoes have! Ah, the joys of city runs….

I have not been doing many of these, trying lately to stay off road as much as possible. I am lucky to live in a town that has easy access to a few trail type runs within close distance of home and work, so it makes it easier to get out into nature. Which in turn is good as the Colville Connection is looming ever nearer and that is an off road event.

Finally, I have managed to get my head into the right space to start my long runs again, but these need to be in the early morning as it has been so hot here lately, with very little relief. I see people going for runs during lunchtime and later on in the day and think to myself that they must be very brave or have something wrong with their internal heat regulator! Whew!

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