yaninasmarathon

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Archive for the tag “post race”

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….

runner

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 🙂

 

Done And Dusted!

I sit here this morning with a few sore muscles contemplating my achievement yesterday, and on the whole I think I did okay. Sure I am disappointed that I didn’t better my time seeing as the course is flat, unlike Auckland, but with all that happened in the week prior to the race, I am just glad I ran it!

I was doing really well until the 32km mark and this photo was taken about 2km before that by my ever supportive husband who crutched his way from our resort to the start area, a distance of about 2km – a marathon for him! He even managed to recruit a temporary fan club who happened to come from Cape Town (where I grew up)!

Happy runner

 

At 32km the wheels fell off….I was overcome by a wave of nausea and had to start walking. My friend (who is also a Homeopath) had warned me the antibiotics may make me feel sick and I might want to throw up half way through the race…at least I didn’t do that! The next 6km were spent having conversations with myself about reasons I should not pull out of the race, until I realised I had 4km to go and I had better suck it up and just finish.

Once I got to the 40km mark I had pretty much got the nausea in check and chugged along until I heard a spectator yell out “Only 700m left”. On went the power, I still had gas in my tank (amazingly!) and I powered down the finish shute to finish in (by my watch) 4:38:24 (according to my watch I also ran 42.47km! What’s with that!). Unfortunately I did not have the energy to smile for the cameras, that was in the too hard basket at that stage.

After the race, my hubby and I strolled/crutched over the road to the shopping centre to ease out my legs and have a bite to eat…..I think the smile says it all….

Finisher

 

While we were sitting in the cafe we agreed that if I ever say I am going to do another marathon, my husband has permission to shoot me. This time I mean it, I am not doing that distance again, but will stick to the 21km and 10km distances. I love running, just not that long!

And now for a nice relaxing holiday on the Gold Coast 🙂

Celebrate!

Today I did my longest run since the Colville Connection. I ran around the Mount base track and back to the start and as I set out I was feeling good. Halfway through the first lap I got quite tired and once again it was the hills that did it. I am really not very hill fit…..well I think that I’m not but maybe in comparison to other people I may be.

I was thinking about comparisons while I was running. Even though I felt tired, I reminded myself that 4 years ago I was overweight and unfit, and was not able to make one lap around the Mount without taking many walk breaks. It made me think that there is always improvement to be made, and also that to get fit and healthy is a journey, and you need to go back and revisit the past sometimes to see how far you have come, and the most important thing is that you need to celebrate that achievement.

My husband and I were having a discussion in the car on the way home from my run. It was on a totally unrelated topic, but it has meaning here. We were talking about how many young people these days either get killed or badly injured in car crashes, and what causes this. We were discussing the absence of calculated risk taking in today’s society, how children may not climb trees and jump off high things, how many children spend their days glued to the X-box in a world of unreality. We discussed how society has become too PC, and coupled with this is a “tall poppy” syndrome, where to celebrate any success is seen as something to be avoided, lest we offend someone who hasn’t done the same. Let’s all just participate.

But that is not what life is about, mere participation. Life is to be celebrated and achievements we make throughout that life, however small they may be, are worth celebrating. Don’t rely on other people to congratulate you, congratulate yourself, celebrate! So I congratulate myself for the achievement of becoming fitter over the last 4 years, and the fact that today felt a little hard….well really that is a fantastic thing!

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!

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

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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