yaninasmarathon

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

Archive for the tag “building mileage”

No Matter How Slow…..

Oh my goodness! Why do all my short easy runs feel so hard? I have no problem doing the longer, or should I say mid distance runs, those 11 to 16km distances. But put me in front of an 8km or 6km and I falter. It’s really strange.

Today was an 8km easy day. It took me just over 50mins and felt like a bad day at the dentist.

I guess the upside of all of this is I have no niggles or sniffles, so all is well with my training. It must just be one of those mind things again….

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Poised At The Bottom Of The Hill

Today I got wet…well I should rather say soaked! I had about one hour left of my long run (today was 24km) and the rain came down. At one stage it was quite painful! Stoically I kept going, the result being I ran too fast once again, and I was dripping, sloshing and squishing by the time I finished and reached the shelter of my hubby’s car. I did think to myself that had I been doing next Sundays run of 35km, I may have given up…or would I?

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Today also marks four weeks to go until the Gold Coast Marathon. Finally I am feeling excited. Due to the weather (it has not stopped raining since 9am!) I have been preparing my taper and subsequent carb load by entering all the relevant information into my training sheet. It feels good to have it all down on paper so it’s out of my head, which leaves room for other thoughts. Like the fact that I am poised of the eve of my biggest training week ever! This week marks an 81km week culminating in the 35km long run on Sunday.

Now, if you have been following my blog since last year, you may remember that at this stage in the build up to the Auckland Marathon I became ill and had to miss out the 35km planned run, so I never did the big week and long run, and consequently I am feeling a little apprehensive about my body’s ability to cope with the (in my mind) massive mileage. No doubt I shall be fine, but I am nonetheless nervous about it. What helps me though, is the knowledge that after that the taper begins, and so the next big run is the race itself! All I have to do is get through this week and all will be fine. I feel like I am poised at the bottom of a steep hill, looking up to the top where Sundays run lurks, and then on to the other side where the taper is waiting until the final climb of the race and the ultimate relief of the recovery week.

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Winter Weather and Wild Wind!

The cold weather has arrived….

Last week I got wet during two runs, this week I froze! It has certainly been a quick smart kick into the winter weather.

On Thursday I ran a 16km loop with 11km at marathon pace. it was a bit drizzly at the start of the day, but when it came time for me to head out, it had cleared somewhat. The temperatures was a bit cold however so I donned my running vest to keep my core warm, and popped on my beanie….first time this year. It was a pretty grey day, but in the distance the sun was trying to come out. As I was running along it finally made an appearance, but it was not for long. A big, black cloud started to roll in and just when I was in the final 5km of my run, it just started pelting down and I arrived back at my start point totally soaked.

Sunday was my long run, 32km. Luckily the weather was fine, as rain had been predicted and so I didn’t get wet. I did however, have to employ all sorts of self motivational techniques to keep me going past the 2hr 30min mark. That seems to be my sticking point, and although I drink water and eat my gels, I still flag at that point. I was using my arms a lot, pumping them in time to my breathing and that seemed to keep me going. I know it’s all in my head, as when I know the end of the run is coming, I have energy enough to speed up and charge to the finish. The mind is an amazing thing! Actually I just read an article about exactly that which said that we can all actually run faster, harder, longer etc., it’s just that our brains tell our bodies we can’t do it. Kind of a self preservation thing. I guess it’s only bad when your brain works so well all you do is sit on the couch!

And so we come to this week…..and with it winter! Tuesday was my first run this week, and I set off after training my PT client in the park (freezing) for a 14km run. I had my running vest on again as it was about 7 deg C, but not too long into the run the sun came out and stayed out for a while until I was feeling rather hot. So off came the vest and on I trotted, until…..goodbye went the sun and hello to the freeze again! When I eventually finished all I wanted to do was have a hot shower and something warm to drink. I got both, eventually. This cold weather was here to stay, at least for the week. Predictions of strong winds and cold temperatures for the following day were not making my early morning run look like a good prospect. So I went to bed wondering about the morning. As predicted, the next morning was freezing (5 deg C) and the wind was howling. So I opted for the next best option…make pancakes for breakfast. That was way better! (I did get my run in later that day after spending the day at a first aid refresher course under the heater)

And so we come to today, still freezing, but no wind, so no excuses this time. I did my strength workout and headed out for an easy 6km trot. It was only 3 deg C when I left and it felt like my face was going to fall off, and I ran too fast because it was cold and I wanted to get back home quickly. But I did it and that’s all that matters as the GC Marathon is only 5 1/2 weeks away and that’s not really very long!

This is why we are so cold! Taken yesterday, the ski field about 4hrs drive from us.

This is why we are so cold! Taken yesterday, the ski fields are all happy with the dumping of snow!

What A “Beep” Run That Was

I am so tired today! Yesterday I ran 30km but it felt like 132km! What a run that was…..

I woke up feeling quite good, apart from the fact that it seemed as if I had some sort of mouth infection. I had breakfast as usual about an hour before I was due to head off and pottered around getting gels, water and myself ready. When it came time to leave I noticed there were some very black clouds in the sky but I figured I was eventually heading in a different direction, and they didn’t appear to be moving too fast towards our house.

Now, on my long run days my hubby always comes to meet me at the end point of my run. With him he brings chocolate milk and my bag (packed by me) with a change of clothes etc in it. Then after I have stretched and changed into dry clothes we go to a cafe, have a bite to eat and coffee – great way to end a long run. This aside is relevant as while heading up the road (just walking at this stage) I have this feeling I have forgotten something. I get halfway to the start point of my run and realise I have not packed dry underwear into my bag…..so back I went. This then made me start later than I had said, and as we always fix an approximate time to meet at the end, now put pressure on me to run quicker, as Mr was still snoring when I left. I don’t carry a phone with me when I run, and had not thought to leave a note as I just dashed in the laundry door, grabbed some things out of the basket, flung them into my bag and dashed back out and up the road.

Now the clouds looked closer….

And I was right…..

5 mins into my run it just bucketed down and I was drenched! My shoes were squishing and I was dripping! However, I was running 30km and there was no stopping me, so I forced myself to grin (lucky no-one was around) and carried on. The route I had picked was a bit hilly and I had said previously I was not doing any more hills. It is a bit hard to find a long route with no hills in Tauranga, unless you run down the main road and over to Mount Maunganui or Papamoa, but that can be boring, so I had planned a route with as few hills as possible to get the 30km done. For some reason these hills took me down yesterday (probably because I was pushing for time), and by the time I reached a flat section I was questioning my sanity to the extent I was thinking of stopping, grumbling to myself about the fact I had been running for 2 hours already and why was I doing this. Having conversations with myself about me being more suited to 21km and 10km distances, why am I training for another marathon, all this training is too much, etc, etc, etc. I think I psyched myself out so much that everything started to hurt and my legs felt heavier and heavier. I slogged on though, and finally with the end in sight, still managed to give it a surge at the end. I ended up exhausted for the rest of the day and managed to strain my foot as well.

I think this run highlighted some things to me about my running. I seriously do not think I am cut out to do marathons. I get bored with the time spent training, hours and hours of plodding (or at least that’s how I see it). I don’t run with anyone, and maybe in a group the tediousness of those long runs gets brushed aside in the chatting that must go on, but I don’t like running in a group, so it wouldn’t work for me. I enjoy the faster running, it’s over quicker, more exciting. I enjoy trail running, especially fast downhills, I prefer the training for shorter distances. So this marathon is definitely my last, and I have a way to make it seem easier. As my hubby and I were supposed to run the GC Half together and now he can’t, I am running the other half for him, and that will keep me going through the final 7 weeks of training.

This is where I end my runs

This is where I end most of my long runs

Still Breathing

I think I am getting the hang of this new breathing technique, although I still find myself reverting back to my old way when I totally zone out. Today I tried using the count of 10 and that seemed to work better. In for 1-2-3, out 4-5, in 6-7-8 and out 9-10. I am also finding I have started to run a bit faster, well quite a lot faster, and I am wondering if this has to do with this new way of breathing. Supposedly, it is supposed to have an impact on your speed.

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There is a little over 7 weeks to go until the GC Marathon now, and this coming Sunday I do the first of the 30km+ runs scheduled in my training programme. I am both excited and looking at it with some trepidation as this run will be done on my new shoes that have the 4mm heel-toe offset, a lot lower than what I ran my first marathon in. I am sure it will be okay, seeing as I have been slowly coming down from the traditional running shoe height. Next thing I need to do is buy a second pair as I am rotating with the old 8mm ones at present, not so good….

The other reason I am feeling a little trepidation for my long run on Sunday is that the weather forecast is for rain, and I am not such an “in the rain” runner. I like coolish, sunny weather for running, but then I guess that’s most of us runners!

 

Trying Not To Grump

It’s one of those autumn days when the weather changes about 52 times in an hour – sun, grey, rain, sun, grey, rain etc etc. I don’t do well with the grey bit, so the whole day I have been feeling happy, feeling grey, feeling happy, feeling grey, until I nearly drove myself silly! So I decided to do something positive, I cleared out my old financial/tax records prior to seven years ago. Doing this made me feel quite light, whether it was the activity of sorting through stuff and physically tearing papers to shreds, or just the fact that I was getting rid of things. Throwing out stuff always makes me feel lighter.

I did go for my training run this morning, 11km with 6km at marathon pace. The sun was out for most of my run and it made me feel energised, as doing some physical activity, especially in the sun, always does. But I find that for whatever reason, the feeling is not very long lived if the day is grey, and I soon find myself feeling grey and grumping about the place. Perhaps it’s because I am originally from Africa where it is warmer and sunnier for more of the year. I can remember having these feelings during winter over there, but that grey part of winter was never very long.

I guess in the cavemen times, people naturally slowed down and did less in the colder months, and these days we are expected to carry on regardless. Perhaps that’s why the medical world has coined all these new ailments, like SAD. Perhaps we are not SAD but just in tune with the seasons and having an inner conflict with what is expected of us in this modern world. It leaves me wondering if I should slow down in the colder seasons, rest more and let my body rejuvenate for the spring. But that would mean no long races during winter or spring as I wouldn’t be able to put in the training needed to accomplish those goals. This year I have committed to the GC Marathon in July, so I shall soldier on, but perhaps next year, just perhaps, I may schedule my running training a little differently.

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Never Play Catch-Up!

Today I learned a few things:

1) Listen to your gut

2) Stop when it hurts

3) Take some money with you when you go for an unsupported run

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It all began when I decided to play catch-up…..

If you have been following my blog, you will know that this past week has been a bit hectic. We had two graduation ceremonies to go to in two different towns, it rained a lot, and these things led to my running schedule being affected. So I decided to cram 4 days of running at the end of the week. Thursday I ran just over 10km, Friday I ran just over 10km, Saturday I ran 6km in my new shoes AND did a strength workout, and today I attempted to run 21km. I ran 19.6km in the end….

When I was making the decision to do this catch-up thing, I had a gut feeling this was not a good idea. I did not listen – mistake number one. Then today after running about 3km my shin started to hurt. I ignored it – mistake number two. I continued running only to have to cut my run short, while I stretched, walked, hobbled and jogged my way home. I had no money to catch a bus back – mistake number three.

All things considered the pain did start to ease after I walked for about 5 minutes, and I could jog home on my leg. It is also not too sore at the moment, after I rubbed some arnica cream into it, and did the ice thing. It is simply a strained muscle brought on by too many kilometres in too few days so tomorrow is a rest day, no running, no strength training, no anything! It will be hard to sit still, but it has to be done. Lessons learnt though……NEVER play catch-up!

Out With The Old

Yesterday I clocked 500km on my old shoes. I use a programme called logrun for tracking my training distance etc., and it came up in red on the log, bang on 500km. Fantastic timing as I had another pair on hold at the running store which I was collecting yesterday as well. I have bought a pair of Saucony Cortanas which have a 4mm drop, much like my trail shoes. They are so comfortable as they are much wider at the forefoot than the Hurricanes. And they are very bright, people shall see me coming.

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I had wanted to take them for their inaugural run today, but it is raining and I don’t like getting my new shoes wet and dirty. So I am wearing them around the house until it clears up enough to take them out.

It has been rather wet here this week. After months of nothing we are having a few downpours which the dairy farmers are loving. I, on the other hand, am not loving it, even though it is good for the garden and the land, it is playing havoc with my running schedule this week. My week has been a bit all over the place due to two graduations we have had to go to. One, my daughters, was on Wednesday in Auckland and the other, my step daughters, in Hamilton on Thursday. So two days of driving and much sitting. I had hoped to get a run in before we left, on the Tuesday, but it absolutely pelted down all day, and there was no way I was going out for a run. So later in the day I settled for a Tabata workout instead. At least I got some cardio that day!

Thursday morning I managed to get in my first run since Sunday and I am having to play catch-up to get my mileage in for this week. I am going to fall short though, not by much, but I always feel bad when I do. In the big scheme of things, it is all good. My training for the Gold Coast marathon is going well and I am enjoying the long Sunday runs.

It has stopped raining….perhaps I shall head out now….

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!

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

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