yaninasmarathon

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

Archive for the tag “mind”

Back from the ……

No I have not disappeared or expired but have rather been suffering from a severe case of the can’t-be-arsed bug. I just realised the last time I sat down to write anything about running was on the 6 November! That was eons ago! Apologies to everyone, or the few that do follow my ramblings, and I guess sometimes this happens. So onward and upward!

It has been an interesting time during my silence and many things have happened along the way. There is too much to put down all in one go, so I am going to do it in installments. I think it will be easier this way otherwise the story will get too convoluted and confused and muddled…..

When last I left off I had just finished the Auckland Half marathon and was wallowing in the self-pity of a race not so well run. I blamed my head at the time, but after some reflection and once I had gotten over the blues, I realised it was actually bad race fuelling that did it. I had woken up at some ridiculous hour in order to catch the ferry, so breakfast was consumed at about 4.30am. Then I didn’t eat again….WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!! In all the years I have been running in events I have made sure that I fuelled properly both before and during the race. This time I did neither, where was my brain at? So really it was my head that did me in, just not the way I thought.

It has taught me a lesson though, don’t try and be smart when it comes to race day. Always follow what works, the race day is not the time to try ANYTHING new! Including the way you run…..but that is another story……

Dissections Of A Race (not so well) Run

Sunday saw me up at 4.30am in time to stuff some porridge into my mouth and get ready to catch the ferry over to Devonport where my race was starting from. I was feeling okay, with a surprising lack of nerves, which was interesting for me. I don’t know if it’s because I am still tired from all the different stressors over the past few months or if my mojo has somewhat dwindled for races. I must admit to being a bit niggly in my head about the pulled hamstring and whether it would hold up.

I didn’t really have time to warm up. It was a coolish morning so me and a friend (who had come up to Auckland to run the same race) sat in the ferry terminal for a while so we wouldn’t get too cold while waiting for our start time. When we finally made our way to the start area we had about half an hour to go which I figured was plenty time to go to the loo and leave my gear bag at the bag drop. How wrong I was! Whether it was because there were not enough port-a-loos or whether it was because everyone was taking longer than usual, it took 20 mins for me to even reach the front of the queue! So what transpired was a rushed me trying to get to the start line. Perhaps the fact that I only made it to the sign that said “HELP” should have been a warning.

The horn went off and we didn’t move, and when we finally did we shuffled along to the start line. I then spent the first 8kms trying to get into a rhythm. This is what happens when you start at the back of a 7000 strong field! On top of that, things started hurting, first the back of my knee, then my shin, then my glute, then my shin…..

I forced myself to enjoy the view when we reached the top of the harbour bridge, but it was bittersweet. I was not enjoying myself….

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The last 3kms felt like a bad session at the dentist. In my mind I may as well have been running the marathon. I had no energy left, I felt like walking, I couldn’t even summon up my classic sprint (for me) finish. When the official photos came out today, you can see my miserable face loud and clear. I have no idea why it went like this, something needs fixing and that something is my head.

However there were some positives…I ran the half in 2:02:55 which I thought was quite good considering the pulled hamstring a short while back. And it made me realise that I was not enjoying the races as much as just running which led me to the decision that next long race I do here in NZ, I will do for a worthy cause or charity. Now to decide what, who or which ūüôā

 

Updates On A Grumpy Hamstring

On Thursday last week I had physio and acupuncture on my leg. I left the clinic all strapped up and ready to rest. “No running until I see you again on Tuesday” said the physio….It’s Tuesday…..I have been for two runs!

Now those runners out there, this is typical isn’t it? We just can’t sit still. With the Auckland Half marathon looming on Sunday, I had to prove I would be okay to run. maybe I would forget how to in a week, maybe my legs would stop working? Why do we do this? What craziness drives us? Granted I did take it very easy, and walked/jogged the first run, then a slow jog with lots of stretching for the second one. I then spent Labour Weekend helping to move 2403 cobbles stones in and out of a trailer. Now my other leg is grumpy because my glute is grumpy.

Today when I go for my follow up treatment, am I going to fess up as to what I have been up to? Or am I going to keep my mouth shut and pretend that I was very well behaved?

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Moving, Moved….Back On Track

Why does moving cause such an upheaval in ones daily habits? Finally I get fingers to keyboard to get my thoughts and adventures recorded once more. It’s not that I haven’t thought of things to blog about, or not had the intention to do it, it just hasn’t been happening. I guess there’s a few reasons for this:

  • We moved cities
  • I got a dreadful job (I am no longer there)
  • I got out of the habit while unpacking and trying to make everything fit into our new home (I still haven’t finished)
  • All these things made me really tired, well actually exhausted!

They say that moving is one of the biggest stressors, and I have moved quite a lot. Each time I tell myself it will be okay and each time I end up getting exhausted. Lessons learnt.

Today I shall be short and sweet with where I am with my running at this stage:

  • I managed to get an Auckland Half Marathon entry off Trade Me. It is perfect as it has the right size T-shirt and a ferry ticket included. All for a great price.
  • Training has been going well, until yesterday….I pulled my hamstring doing hill repeats! Today I go to the physio, let’s see what they say. I did the RICE protocol yesterday and it feels a lot better today. I can’t see any bruising and there’s no sharp pain so fingers crossed!

I guess that’s it for now. I am back on the blogging horse ūüôā

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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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Head Games

Yesterday was the second planned 32km run in my training program in the lead up to the GC Marathon. After the previous week I was mildly dreading it (if you can mildly dread something).  I got out of bed to have my breakfast and was not in the mood at all to run. It is not something that happens to me often, so I am thinking I really do not enjoy the long training hours you have to put in to run a marathon. Needless to say, I am committed, so I will see this through.

The temperatures have dropped considerably, and they are not consistent. It is difficult to gauge whether ¬†the sun will come out/stay out or if the wind will pick up. This makes it difficult to decide what running gear to wear. Yesterday looked as if it was going to be sunny, but the temperature reading for outside was only 7 deg C, so I put on a long sleeved running top. I am very glad I did that, for as the morning progressed, the sun disappeared and it got colder. At least it didn’t rain….

The first part of my run went really well. I was feeling fresh and strong and enjoying the view as I had taken a different route to avoid a race being held at my normal finishing spot. Unfortunately my foot started troubling me again, and I am now wondering if it is my shoes, as it only seems to happen in that one pair when I reach about 45mins into my run. It is something I will have to figure out this weekend when I use the other pair for my long run. Even though it was hurting I was still feeling upbeat until I reached that magic time mark (just past 2hrs 30min) where I started to get slower and slower and question my sanity. Whether it was a factor of my sore foot, or just that “I am over this” attitude, or a combination of the two, there it was, looming over me like a little black cloud as I ran down the road. And once again I had to talk to myself quite sternly to get myself going again.

As I neared the end of the run, it felt like I had not run the distance I needed (it turned out when checking MapMyRun I had messed up somehow and added about 1.5km in a backwards and forwards move on one street when I plotted my route the day before) but by then my shin had started to hurt quite a bit (no doubt as a result of my foot being sore) and I decided to call it quits and walk the rest of the way home. In the end I ran 30.5km and I am quite happy with that.

I still have one more very long run to do before I taper down to race weekend. I am going to have to employ all sorts of positive mind games on myself before I tackle it. The frame of mind I am in right now is not the best for self motivation. I keep telling myself this time, 5 weeks from now, I will be basking in the self-appointed glory of finishing my second (and last!) road marathon.

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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

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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Listen to your Body

Sometimes your running is not about running at all, sometimes it is a reflection of what is going on in your life.

I have just had a chat with a friend who has helped me clear up something that has been weighing me down. You see, today while I went for my run I felt heavy. I felt like I plodded, lifting my legs was hard, I felt about 10 kilos heavier than normal. It was supposed to be a short 6km easy run and when I looked at my time I was not the slowest I have been, but it felt really slow. In a nutshell, it felt laborious.

In our discussion it became clear to me that I am far too rooted in my space to allow myself to move on, and this is what I need to be doing. The interesting thing is that this rootedness stems from feeling extremely unsettled having had no clear direction for a very long time. The reasons for this are not important, what is important is that sometimes a run can reflect what is going on for you at the time, and I have been feeling heavy for quite a while, I just haven’t been listening.

So the message here is listen to your body, it is far more intuitive than you may think, and often the things you are feeling are not physical, but mental and emotional.

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