Dopey training – week 12

Training ramped up a notch this week with the addition of 1 more session – a Saturday walk. Not too taxing but a reminder that it is getting serious. As it should – this week also flipped our countdown down to double digits until we take off. Definitely getting real.

My backdrop for a lovely run around the neighbourhood after work #running #runhappy

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Tuesday’s run was an easy lap of the neighbourhood block made even easier by the fact that it wasn’t freezing and was still light when I got home from work. Bonuses all round.

Thursday was hill day and I took my friend back up the Saddle. She did brilliantly and we were lots faster than last time. It was a stunning afternoon in the You Yangs – perfect Spring weather and exactly the run I needed at the end of the week.

Saturday was parkrun or, rather, parkwalk plus a bit extra to make up the required mileage. I really like that I can walk these although take them seriously and am still aiming to keep my pace ahead of the virtual balloon ladies. I managed that very successfully yesterday, as well as having a great chat with another running friend I don’t catch up with very often.

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Today was long run day and I have been looking forward to it all week. I got my stuff ready last night and was in bed by 7.30pm, just wanting the night to hurry up and be over so I could go. The forecast was great and I headed out to my favourite trail for a few hours of zen time – gravel and soft stuff underfoot, waves crashing just to the edge of my vision and surrounded by nature bursting with Spring-ness – idyllic. The hardest part was knowing it was a run of superlatives – my longest solo run, my longest training run, the furthest I’ve been in one hit on the Surf Coast trail, my biggest total kms for the week. I think all of that messed with my head a bit in the first kilometre and I found my breathing was hard, more because of rising panic than pushing it too hard. I reminded myself that kms on legs were all that mattered today and that I could walk it all if I wanted. And I took some time to enjoy the scenery and the weather, all of which brought tears to my eyes – there was absolutely nothing else I could imagine doing at that moment that would bring me as much happiness as this. So I just got on with it.

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It was a great run. I saw a few other people – enough to feel like I was safe but not enough to bother me. Ironbark basin is unfamiliar enough to keep me distracted as I wasn’t quite sure what I’d find around each corner. What I found was more and more beauty – I really am lucky to live where I do and have this in my backyard. None of it was that hard today – all body parts were playing nicely and nothing hurt. No (obvious) chafing (haven’t yet done the shower test!), my feet felt great and my left leg was not alerting me to any new or old niggles. The most annoying thing was that I got back to car having only done 20.6km so I had to do some little circuits to stretch it out to 21.1km. So proud of myself for getting it done. I celebrated with burgers with friends in town after their half marathon efforts at Cross Country Club.

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And there’s another week done. 38.6km this week, 6 hours worth of running. Wow.

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 5.6km (46:10)
Thursday – 5.3km (55:40)
Saturday – 6.5km (63:11)
Sunday – 21.1km (3:15:44)

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Dopey training – week 11

I’ll admit it – the rain did put me off my run on Tuesday. I’d already got wet and cold on my walk to the train station and couldn’t face having to get out of a wet set of clothes into a dry set….only to go out and get wet again. I’m sure I made up some other excuses but really, that was it. The rain.

On Wednesday, I had another excuse – I felt like I was coming down with a cold, having clearly come into close contact with some of my students’ germs however I was running out of days to defer it to so I went running anyway. It was a slow, snotty and definitely not pretty 5km but it was done.

Thursday was a whole other matter – it was an absolutely glorious run (thanks to my immune system which clearly had fought off the invasion). Running with a friend, playing mountain goat up on the hills of our gorgeous You Yangs and a window of perfect weather – what more could you ask for? We weren’t breaking any records but this one was measured well and truly in smiles and was exactly what I needed. Again, we had a close escape and watched the rain approach as we were heading for our cars at the end.

Saturday was a short ‘long run’ and was an opportunity to visit another parkrun, this time Newport Lakes. I loved the trail and enjoyed running somewhere new and different. Next week brings the first of the multiple run weekends – eeek!

Weekly summary:

Wed – 5km (45:24)

Thurs – 5km (49:44)

Sat – 5.2km (41:03)

Dopey training – week 10

I had hoped to join some friends for a run on Tuesday but didn’t quite get away from work in time so it was a lap of the neighbourhood for me instead. And it wasn’t pretty. I felt strong and happy but my calf and foot didn’t and gave me pain from the start. I’m sure the fact I then spent the remainder of the run worrying just added to any pain, real or imagined. I heard my physio’s voice in my head and gave it a rating of probably 2 out of 10 – not a high rating and he’d tell me to suck it up and run but I was just concerned that it was even there.

Thursday was designated as a hill day which was possibly not smart with a dodgy foot/calf but I figured it would sort out whether it really was something or whether it was my brain making it up. A friend from work had decided she wanted to join me, despite my warnings that I was running up the Saddle and it wasn’t really a hill for starting your running career on. The weather was absolutely blissful as we headed down the hill and along the Branding Yard trail, rock hopping as we went. And then we reached the bottom of the Saddle. To her credit, she made it up with far fewer stops than I had on my first time and she also did it without whingeing (which I’m absolutely positive I didn’t achieve). We had a well earned rest at the top and enjoyed the scenery then headed back down the other side. Even though it ended up being mostly a walk rather than a run, it was great. I love introducing someone else to the treasures of the You Yangs and, as luck would have it, she didn’t completely hate me at the end of it.

This weekend, I knew I had a long run looming. I was Run Director at parkrun this morning then, scared off a little by tomorrow’s weather forecast, I decided to get it over and done with today. So, after processing parkrun results, I headed off to Melbourne to ‘my’ loop. I like the diversity of scenery it offers, the perfect length it came to and the fact that, once I’m running it, I can’t escape and have to finish it. Not that there was any danger of not finishing today. The weather was a bit changeable in the first 2km but after that, I was warm enough that I didn’t care what the weather was doing. I was running my usual 2/1 intervals and all was going well up until about 10km when my feet started to hurt. Not the calf/achilles/heel pain, the ‘pounding the concrete’ pain on the soles of my feet. Realising I couldn’t really do much about it, I just tried to suck it up and carry on although every step was a serious ‘ouch’. In the last few kilometres, I powerwalked and was very pleased to be keeping my pace around 9.30min/km – ahead of the ‘virtual balloon ladies’ that reside in my head, preparing me for the minimum pace at the Disney events. I managed a few spurts of running and completed my 18km feeling not too bad. Sore feet aside, I still had energy and felt good. In hindsight, I think it was a sock issue – must get on and order some more pairs of my favourite running socks. I’ve only found one brand so far that don’t leave me with sore feet when the mileage starts to increase so I’m sticking with them.

And, just like that, another week of training is done. I’m really, really tired tonight and the thought of running a marathon the day after doing a similar distance to today does not fill me with happiness and enthusiasm. Time to trust the training and stop worrying – easier said than done 🙂

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 5.5km (46:15)

Thursday – 5km (56:06)

Saturday – 18km (2:38:09)

Dopey training – week 9

If there is a theme to this week’s training, it’s that Spring is definitely on its way.

On Tuesday, I was home at my normal time but, unusually, it was still light enough to ditch my head torch and head out. I love how the lighter nights kind of creep up and that is one thing about Spring that definitely makes me smile. It was also warmer than normal which is not something that makes me smile – can’t I just be picky and have light filled yet crisp evenings to run in?! I managed to stick to intervals and felt pretty good – the niggle in my calf is definitely improving although I was grateful it was a low mileage week.

I didn’t end up running Thursday and have no real excuse for that – I was home very early but wasn’t feeling it. This quite often happens when I know I don’t have that many kms to do – too easy to move it to another time. I ended up doing my second run on Saturday at our parkrun’s 5th birthday celebrations and had a brilliant run. It was one of those runs where it all comes together – running with a friend, running at a pace that was enough to push myself but not enough to hurt and just felt strong and happy throughout. Obviously the cake at the end definitely helped!

Today was ‘long run’ day……with a 6km run. It is one of the things I love most about the Galloway plan that you drop right back down every 2nd week and think it is this that will get me to the start line uninjured. However it feels weird and I probably have more trouble getting out for a short ‘long run’ than I do when it’s a mega one. Longer runs require forethought, planning and logistical considerations. 5km requires shoes, my watch and little else. Luckily my running timetable coincided perfectly with a friend’s today so we ran together along the river. It definitely felt harder than yesterday – maybe being later in the day or a bit more tired? We did manage to stick to all intervals, even though there were a few where we were desperately waiting for my watch to beep. I again felt so grateful to have a friend who I am so in sync with as sharing the run makes the time fly. I also really like the 2/1 intervals and have finished all my runs this week feeling strong.

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 5.6km (45:33)

Saturday – 5km (38:13)

Sunday – 6km (47:07)

Dopey training – week 8

Training started off a bit slowly this week – I decided to push Tuesday’s run to later in the week, partly due to work commitments and partly because my leg was still feeling a bit dodgy. So my first 45 minute run of the week ended up being on Thursday. It’s been pretty rainy and wintery all week so waiting for the perfect weather was definitely not an option – it was either run and take your chances or don’t run. I took my chances, managed to get away from work on time and headed for a park in town. I managed 2 laps before the rain started and I headed down to and along the beach to finish off my 45 minutes. As always, I grinned maniacally while the rain and wind battered me – there is something distinctly satisfying about fighting it out with the elements to get your run done. While I’m not a fan of heading out into the rain, I don’t really mind running once it starts. Although I did have some problems feeling my fingers, especially while trying to take this photo 🙂

Saturday was my second 45 minute run – this time at Brimbank parkrun launch. I had a great run – a beautiful trail and fabulous company, this one was definitely measured in smiles.

And then today I did my long run. There was definitely a time, not that long ago, when I didn’t like long runs at all. Nothing about them. I now feel I’ve moved on to a love/hate relationship with them. And I’m equally as passionate about both sides. All week, I’ve been excitedly looking forward to the weekend for the chance to do my long run. Each day, I’d deliberate about where to go, which route to take. Last night, I was looking at the clock from 7.30pm, wanting to go to bed so I could get up and get it done. The ‘hate’ kicked in this morning when it actually came to getting out of my warm pjs and into running gear but, once I was out there, I was in love again. I chose one of my favourite trails – the Surf Coast Trail from Jan Juc to Ironbark Basin – and soaked up the stunning sunshine that we’re lucky enough to have today. I took it easy today – it was about getting the kilometres done and enjoying some solitude, not cranking out PBs. I started with set run/walk intervals as per the plan but then decided to just go by feel instead. And I made sure I took some time to stop and smell the wattle. Spring is definitely on its way!

Weekly summary:

Thursday – 5.7km (47:03)

Saturday – 5.2km (43:11)

Sunday – 15km (2:18:50)

Dopey training – week 7

This week was one of late nights at school which made things a little challenging, added to which, I have some mystery pains in my calf. Although, knowing my history, they could actually be pains in my brain that I’m just feeling in my calf. It happens. To me, it seems to happen a lot.

Either way, the week didn’t quite go according to plan although I did know at the start that it was a low kilometre week which took the pressure off a lot and gave me a more relaxed attitude.

I had hoped to sneak Wednesday’s run in before sunset but didn’t quite manage it so it was a case of finding my head torch and getting out there. I had tried to get up in the morning but really aren’t very good at this so just have to put up with running at night. Luckily I like the quiet suburbanness of my neighbourhood. There’s really only one spot I need my headtorch – where I have to run on the road because they haven’t finished building the footpath yet. Other than that, I like the anonymity of running in the dark.

My calf didn’t hurt on the run but has been giving off odd pains since, for no particularly good reason. I turned up to Torquay parkrun on Saturday wondering whether I should run or walk it but it doesn’t actually hurt when I run which I find a bit odd – definitely not my normal pattern. Saturday’s run was great – not the 45 minutes of the plan but I’ll definitely call it a speed session 🙂

Today’s ‘long’ run was scheduled for 5km which is not really long at all. It was such a beautiful day, I headed down the river and had a glorious time. Winter is nearly done and I could sniff Spring today with wattle trees in bloom and green buds everywhere. Unexpectedly, it was also quite a bit warmer than I’m used to of late and that slowed me down a bit. Not looking forward to long runs as we roll into Summer 😦

Another week of marathon training done. Am determined to manage this calf pain carefully – goal #1 is making it to the start line uninjured as I’m no use at all without achieving that.

Weekly summary

Wednesday – 5.6km (45:21)
Saturday – 5km (36:48)
Sunday – 5.1km (42:52)

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Looooove this picture (thanks Geoff) – I’m usually very critical of my running form but think I’ve got it right here 🙂

Dopey training – week 6

Wow, week 6 already?! Seems to be going pretty quickly. Possibly too quickly actually – somewhat reassuring to think there are another 21 weeks of training to go.

This week was a bit odd when it came to training. I ran a half marathon last Sunday and normally after such an event, I would spend the week resting and giving my body a break from what I’d put it through. As testament to my training, I woke up on Monday perfectly fine and barely feeling like I’d run the day before, let alone such a long way. And so the training plan continued.

While I wasn’t at all sore, I was a little tired so I covered my required kilometres a little slower this week. I didn’t back off too much though and headed for the hills on Thursday – I’m sure that my work on the hills over the last few months is what has been getting me PBs and generally making me feel stronger so it’s no longer optional. Thursday had been a rainy, foggy and fairly miserable sort of day but I headed for my favourite spot anyway and found I had it pretty much to myself. The low cloud that hung around just added to the general creepiness which was not helped when I was scared by a goat and then a kangaroo coming out of the bush. But there is no denying the beauty of the landscape around the You Yangs and, as always, I felt so grateful to have it nearly on my doorstep.

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The long run for this weekend was supposed to be 11km but I split it over Friday and Saturday instead. I ran with a friend on Friday which was an easy shaking out of the legs after the hills of the day before then I travelled off to another parkrun on Saturday and smashed out a fairly fast 5km, reinforcing that the training is working and that 21km is no longer a run that writes me off for the next few weeks. All up since Sunday, I’ve managed 21.2km – I’m definitely happy with that.

Probably for the first time, I actually feel like I might be able to do this. That seems a bit silly to say as I’ve already booked my place and paid a fortune for airline tickets but there has always been a voice in the back of my head telling me ‘Oh, I’ll just run the first 3 and not bother with the marathon’ or ‘I’ll start but who knows if I’ll finish’. They weren’t voices I said out loud much but they were always there, particularly at the end of a 5km when I was puffing and panting. This week has shown that I might not be fast but I can run long and not suffer too many ill effects. Time to trust the training and just get on with the job of steadily building up my kilometres.

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 5.5km (46:20)
Thursday – 5km (46:41)
Friday – 5.4km (45:06)
Saturday – 5.1km (38:44)