yaninasmarathon

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

Archive for the tag “training”

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?

running-in-the-rain

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.

Health_BeachLegs_Sum12

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!

Share Nicely Please

Today I went for my final hill run in this training schedule. From next week I will be doing hill repeats and ten km repeats as well as some Yasso 800s. I am looking forward to not doing the long hill runs…..they tire me out. I got back today, ate something and gradually felt sleepier and sleepier as the day went on. I did push it a bit though, as last week I seemed to have run really slowly, and I need to up the ante for the race. Anyway, I digress….

While I was out for my run I came across a woman walking her dogs. Now I have to give you some background to my reaction so you can understand where I am coming from and why. Across the road from us lives a family who owns two schnauzer dogs. They look like this:

Schnauzer

 

Our neighbours ones are very badly behaved, they howl, bark, chase you in the street, wander around and crap everywhere, chase my cats on our property,they are generally a nuisance. We have repeatedly rung the council to complain about them, letters have been sent, warnings issued, owners physically spoken to…..none of which has worked very well. We have given up and I have vowed to drop kick either of them if they come near me or my cats again. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually like dogs, but these dogs are different.

While out running I have often come across people walking these schnauzer dogs. I have noticed three things about them. Firstly  they always seem to come in pairs. Secondly, one of them always seem to make a rush at you. Thirdly, the owners often seem to like walking them without a lead. And so we get to today….the lady in question had two schnauzers off leads, one of which made a dash at me while I was running past. I passed her twice, so it happened twice. I did not hear her call to her dogs, I did not hear her apologise for their behaviour, I did not see any leads. I have a real problem with all of this.

I am on a public walking path, council bylaws say a dog should be under control in public. This is not under control. When a dog rushes at you, you have no idea if it is about to take a chunk out of your ankle or if it is merely being nosy. The owner may know, but you do not. What on earth goes through their brains to not even call their dog to heel when their are other people about. Or put it on a lead if it has self control issues? I did not get bitten thank goodness, but I did nearly trip over the dog twice, and shouted some choice expletives over my shoulder at the owner, which felt quite good.

I really think dog owners should think a little about sharing of the pathways….we do not want your dog rushing up to us, we do not want to be tripping over a lead 5 kilometers long. Keep your dog under control please…oh! And yes! Pick up after it!

Pat on the Back

Last week I clocked 47kms. I have a programme I am following for The Gold Coast Marathon so I did the mileage I was supposed to do. By the time I reached Sunday after having my mid week grump session, I was in a better frame of mind which made the second half of the week feel much easier. I set off for my long run on Sunday morning feeling quite alive and ready to tackle some hills. I had chosen a route that is hilly (some quite steep) for the first bit and then a flat return journey. All in all the 16km took me 1:45 and felt like a bad session at the dentist by the time I was nearing home!

runner

As I finished I started to think of reasons why I would be feeling like this. Too little sleep…not that. Didn’t eat well the day before…..wasn’t that either. Bad mood….no, that had all cleared up. I have no idea why I flagged so badly towards the end, and there you have it! Sometimes these things happen.

It got me thinking that the point is not to let it get you down. Some days you will feel strong all the way through and have left over energy at the end of your run. Some days you will start like I did, and finish up feeling like you went 10 rounds in the boxing ring. And some days you won’t feel like doing it at all and the whole run feels like hell, but you do it anyway because you know at the end you can pat yourself on the back for getting out there and sticking to your plan.

muscles

I have done just that….patted myself on the back!

Grumpy Slug!

This week has been a busy running week. I am fully into my marathon training schedule now physically, but my motivation on some days is lagging. I guess some weeks are like this….

Last Sunday we went out of daylight saving, and I find that when that happens, while I welcome the lighter mornings (as this is when I do most of my runs) the longer darker evenings make me feel “bearish” and that hibernation mode starts to kick in. Coupled with the cooler weather it now definitely feels like Autumn, and that means Winter is on the way, bringing with it colder temperatures, rain and frosty mornings. So I am feeling sluggish.

The best thing for me is to get out there and do some exercise, I need to keep active. If I don’t keep going, I get grumpy and very unpleasant to be around. I don’t even like myself if I miss a workout. So I have to motivate myself to get moving. The best thing for me is to get my training done at the beginning of the day, something I can’t always do given the nature of my job, and I then find it a chore to get out later and do that exercise. But I force myself, grumbling about it at the time.

The great thing about it is though, that I know I will feel good afterward and that keeps me going. Once I start moving and have warmed up, those feel good hormones kick in and I’m away! And then for the rest of the day I can have that sense of accomplishment of a job done and stave of the grumpiness.

So if like me you suffer from change of season scratchiness, just get out there and do it! You’re sure to feel better….

A Snapshot Of My Current Journey

I am just a little over half way through my first week of my weight loss month and so far the workouts have been fun. To let you in on a snapshot of my month, each week looks like this:

Day 1: EPOC run

Day 2: Strength workout

Day 3: Relaxed time trial

Day 4: Fat-burning run

Day 5: Strength workout

Day 6: Fasting run

Day 7: Rest

My day one falls on a Tuesday, so my rest day is a Monday. I like to have Monday off and just do some stretching exercises and maybe a walk if I get a bit fidgety.

Each week gets a little harder, and follows the FITT principle to some degree (the frequency does not change in the 4 weeks). If you would like a description of the workouts I can send them to you.

I am enjoying the new training programme and am also enjoying addressing my nutrition. I have found that planning what meals I am going to eat a week in advance, has kept me on track and I am starting to feel the results. There are many resources out there with regard to eating and it really is a matter of seeing what will work for you. I have been wheat free for a few months now, which in all reality has made me choose gluten free options. In addition I am experimenting with different options for the grain based meals. For instance tonight I am making a bolognaise mince, but will be putting it onto a kumara and cauliflower mash (now I’m hungry!)

Another thing I started 8 days ago is a 21 day meditation journey. I am finding this a great help with becoming aware of bad habits. I started this mainly because I do not sleep very well, and put this down to being too hyped up and worried about stuff. Seems like I can switch it all off when I run though…..now I have to learn to switch it off at night!

So there is a lot going on this month for me, but so far I am enjoying it and looking forward to popping out the other end and looking back on my achievement and then what will I do? Celebrate!

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!

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

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