yaninasmarathon

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

Archive for the tag “Trail running”

A Run In The Park

Today I headed off for a run in the park. Once again I was going to try and find the bridge that my husband fell off, so I ran up to Totara Park. That is one mean constant uphill from where we are staying…..

I actually had a pretty good run, except for one little part….

For those who don’t know, Totara Park is a working farm. It links up with the Auckland Botanical Gardens. It has a Bridle Path for walking, running and horse riding and it has mountain bike trails ranging in difficulty, which you can also run on as long as you give way to the mountain bikers. These mountain bike tracks run through the paddocks which house the cows. I am not sure if they’re cows or steers, but the other day when I tried to find the dangerous bridge, I saw one that looked quite bullish and that ended my search. I am a bit of a chicken.

So with trepidation today and also a lack of desire to run back up a steep hill, I set off on one of the mountain bike trails to get back to the start of the park. Paddock number one all good, some cows/steers, they were not bothered with my presence (I was barreling downhill at the time). Crossed over to paddock number two, no cattle in site, just a man walking his two dogs, must be all okay then, good mornings exchanged, round the corner and there they were. A small herd of bigger cattle, quite close to the path.

Keep going, my head said, stay calm it’s okay, it said. Until one of them saw me and started snorting and prancing and running with me, and then at me with snot flying out of it’s nostrils! Now I am sure it would have amounted to nothing and I am sure it wasn’t a bull, as this would have been very irresponsible of the farmer, but this is what I saw in my mind:

Image

So I just about pooped myself! And slowed to a brisk walk while talking to the cow/steer/whatever and telling it to stay like a dog. It did stop but continued to look at me with an evil eye, so I hurried (walking) through the rest of the paddock, assuring all the other cattle I was perfectly nice and so were they (as they had now all decided I was quite interesting really). Needless to say, I was quite relieved when I exited the bike trail and once again found myself on the Bridle Path and safety.

I still haven’t found that bridge, and now I am not sure if I want to try.

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My Adventure With Yasso 800’s

I don’t normally post two days in a row but today’s experience warranted a write up!

Today’s training session called for 14km with 4 x Yasso 800’s. The training plan I am following came out of the Runner’s World magazine, and has instructions for each type of run. I have never done Yasso 800’s before, or any kind of Yasso anything, so this was all new to me. I realised I would have to go to a track, luckily we have a very nice one, thank you, here in Tauranga.

tauranga track

 

I realised as well that doing 4 of these Yasso 800’s meant I had to run 4.8km around and around the track. Given my boredom scale of repetitive running, I was a bit worried. The second thing that worried me was that I had to complete 2 loops of said track in 4.30 mins, as I had to run at my marathon time (I am planning a 4 1/2 hr marathon). Regardless, I am the sort of person who will complete a training programme almost to the letter, and it is only severe illness or perhaps loss of a limb that would stop me from doing what I have to. So I set out to do the biggest part of the run around the Waikareao Estuary (you can see the water in the photo of the track). As I trotted around I continued to feel a bit worried about my ability to complete these Yasso 800’s after running for about 8km first…at least my foot was feeling okay.

And so I reached the track. I stopped my watch and stopped running and had a look at the task ahead of me. Okay, no point wasting time, get on a marker and go, get running. And so I set off a t a colossal pace and was winded by 300m. I looked at my watch and realised I was  going way too fast and had to try for the rest of the 500m to get into a rhythm that would be sustainable and on time target. What came to my rescue was the new breathing technique, and I found that by doing the 2 in and one out breath sequence on the 800m faster loops and the 3 in and 2 out on the 400m recovery, I pretty much nailed it. I was running a little fast, but hey, I might run the marathon a bit faster that 4hr30min too! My foot did start hurting on the second 800, but after getting worse to the point I thought I would have to stop, the pain abated quite a bit and I was able to carry on. (Like I said, it would probably have to fall off!)

The best part about today’s training session was that I really enjoyed running around the track, it was something different. As I jogged back to my car I felt happy and satisfied with a job well done. The cherry on top was bumping into my hubby and going to the cafe for a coffee and a bite to eat. So even though today was one of those grey, cold days, I didn’t even notice! How fantastic is that!

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!

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.

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