Dopey training – week 5

What a week! It was, officially, a tapering week before my half so I went into it knowing I didn't want to do too much. Just enough to follow the plan.

My Tuesday run moved to Wednesday as I had to swap my late night at work. For some reason, I was feeling full of beans and set out feeling like running….so I ran. And didn't stop. No intervals, no walk breaks, just running, which is something I almost never do. Before I knew it, I'd run the block and finished just over 5 km without feeling the need for a walk break. I'm still committed to the whole Galloway thing but it's nice to know that it's through choice, not because I have to. I think that was exactly what my running self esteem needed.

The second 45 minute run for the week was on Saturday…and was actually a walk. I was back at my home parkrun after ages away so I walked it with a friend, knowing I had the half marathon the next day. It was actually really good – a perfect Winter's morning, great company and no stress. Just what I needed.

And then the half marathon. A lot longer run than I needed to do but so much fun, especially with the added bonus of a bunch of PBs. Check out my blog post for more details of this one.

Weekly summary
Wednesday – 5.7km (45:11)
Saturday – 5km (53:17)
Sunday – 21.1km (2:49:46)

Dopey training – week 4

I thought that training might be a challenge this week as it's the first week of Term 3 and returning to school always seems to knock me around in unexpected ways. As it turned out, training was a challenge this week but for an entirely different reason – I didn't want to.

'Not wanting to' is a tough one to overcome. I allowed myself to give into it on Tuesday and not run, giving myself all sorts of justifications to make myself feel better. When I finally just came clean and was honest, it really was just that I didn't want to. Wednesday didn't see me in any better mood but I had a much needed and harsh word with myself – it's fine to not want to every now and then but if you don't want to do this day after day, why are you? No one's making you and you're actually paying for the privilege. Is this even something you want? The answer to that is a resounding yes so all other arguments went out the window, I put my gear on, shut the hell up and headed out the door. And, as usual, it was pretty good once I was out there. I quite like running at night – I like the way darkness envelopes you and makes it just about the run. The world seems different at night – a little bit magical and mysterious.

Friday's run was much easier to talk myself into – I'd taken my stuff to work and decided to head up to the You Yangs when I finished. I also had spent the day mentally giving myself permission to walk as much as I wanted to. The whole thing if I felt like it. What always happens when I do that is that I walk for a tiny bit then get caught up in it all and run. And that's what happened on Friday. It was a beautiful run – a stunning, crisp, blue sky evening with the trail feeling like cotton wool under my feet. Even the arduous climb up the Saddle wasn't so bad and, down the other side, I let my legs go and loved the exhilaration of it. I was also accompanied in the last little bit by a couple of large kangaroos – doesn't matter how long I live in this country, I still get a buzz out of that. And, to finish my run, I had an official finish line. Truly. The Trailplus event was setting up at the You Yangs for the weekend and they were just putting the finish line up when I arrived so I helped them out by testing that it met requirements.

Today's run. Well, I got it done. I had gone out to buy new shoes (which I'm sure will be the topic of a whole other post), forgotten my rain jacket and returned home feeling out of sorts. Remembering the talk I had with myself the other day, I put my new shoes on, found my rain jacket and put it on then headed out into an almost instant and heavy downpour. Within about 500 metres I was thinking of turning around to the warmth of my living room however I then actually started to enjoy it and figured I was wet now – I may as well stay that way and get this run done. 7.5km running around the streets of my town is actually pretty good for me so I've ended the week feeling good.

Let the tapering for Run Melbourne half marathon next weekend begin!

Weekly summary:
Wednesday – 5.5km (46:09)
Friday – 5km (45:52)
Sunday – 7.5km (1:00:19)

Dopey training – week 3

Training this week has again been pretty easy with school holidays providing ample time to get my kilometres done. And, with more time and less stress, I’ve slotted in a few different places for runs which always help keep it interesting.

I started with a short run around the Geelong waterfront which felt a bit slow but, according to Strava, was about right. I had managed to time it perfectly so I was treated to a beautiful sunset which made it all a lot better.

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As I had time on my hands, I decided to switch my long run around and do it on Thursday instead of the weekend. I opted for one of my favourite long run routes – a 17km loop around Melbourne. I’ve done the route a couple of times before but it was a little bit strange running during a weekday with suited people going about their daily chores while I got hot and sweaty out on the street. It was a pretty good run and I managed to keep to my 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals up until about 13km when my feet were starting to get sore so I switched to run when I felt like it, walk when I didn’t. By 15km, I pretty much was walking – anything to get it finished, despite my now ridiculously achy feet. I made it back to the car having completed 17.7km – my longest long run on my own so I was proud of that. And my overall pace was exactly the same as my long run before Melbourne half marathon last year so that’s pretty good too.

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For my final short run for the week, I headed to my favourite surf coast trail today so soak up the views and pretend it’s not the last day of holidays. The next 2 weeks are quieter as I’m tapering for the Run Melbourne half – probably a good thing as Term 3 will no doubt hit like a freight train!

Weekly summary:

Tuesday: 5.5km (45 minutes)
Thursday: 17.7km (2 hours 36 minutes)
Sunday: 5.5km (45 minutes)

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Dopey training – week 2

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that week 2 of training has also involved a ‘modified’ plan. My 2 x 45 minute runs weren’t 45 minutes (one longer and one shorter) and my long run was longer than I needed. And I had a hike thrown in there for good measure. All of this is partly thanks to the flexibility of school holidays – I know it will get a lot harder to get the kilometres in once Term 3 hits. More than any other statistic, I’m proud to have managed 1035m of elevation this week…and my calves are feeling every metre of it.

Tuesday started with exploring a new running route close to home – there is only so many times I can run around my block without lapsing into a boredom coma. My new route is quite scenic and reminded me how lucky I am to live where I do – there really is more variety than I give it credit for and no reason to get bored.

We then headed away for a few days camping in the stunning Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) and enjoyed an amazing hike from Halls Gap to the Pinnacle. It’s not an easy hike at all but I was really pleased to find that it was nowhere near as strenuous as I remembered. I last did the whole thing as an unfit 14 year old and I think it had haunted me ever since. I couldn’t stop grinning as we powered up the hills, steps and rocks to reach the top. Coming down was more of a challenge with some horrid metal steps to navigate but I felt very grateful for the opportunity to be out in such a beautiful landscape.

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These steps were not fun, especially in trail shoes which kept getting caught in them.

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We made it to the Pinnacle!

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Silent Street – one of my favourite places in the Grampians

Parkrun on Saturday saw us adventure to Frog Hollow – a slow one as my calves were definitely still angry with me about the hike.

And, to end the week, I joined the Surf Coast Trail Runners on their introduction to the You Yangs. A bit funny really as it’s just up the road from me and is the home of the parkrun I am a Run Director at but it was a wonderful chance to find some new trails that I hadn’t explored before. I had been rather nervous in joining this run – scared of holding everyone up and I was very glad that I had 2 great running friends join me which helped make it a positive experience.

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Photo courtesy of Matt @ SCTR

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 7.3km (59:58)
Wednesday – 10.5km (4:49:04) – hiking
Saturday – 5.0km (39:10)
Sunday – 11.6 (1:56:18)

Dopey training – week 1

I blogged earlier this week that marathon training had started and I’ve decided to post updates of each week’s training. Mostly, I blog for me – a record of this incredible journey that I get to have and to remind me where I’ve been. However if others get something out of it, all the better.

I’m following Jeff Galloway’s training plan which has 2 weekday runs most week (Tues and Thurs) lasting 45 minutes plus varying length long runs on the weekends. As it’s week 1, the long run isn’t very long at all – 5km.

Even though it’s the first week, I’ve already had to vary the plan but I figure that any plan that can’t be varied isn’t the right plan for me and my life. I ran on Wednesday rather than Tuesday (as it fit in better with the chaos that is the last week of school term) then pushed Thursday’s run to Saturday morning (and cut it a little short). And my long run was much longer than Jeff intended – I ended up with 11km. This is mostly because I have Run Melbourne half marathon coming up in a few weeks and need to keep up the long runs to ensure I get the best out of myself for that event – it’s my last chance to get a better qualifying time for Dopey and I’ll be pushing it as it is.

So here’s the weekly statistics…

Wednesday – 5.5km (45 mins)
Saturday – 5.0km (36 mins)
Sunday – 11.2km (1hr 42 mins)

My long run should actually have been longer – I was aiming for 15km but my stomach still wasn’t happy today so I didn’t want to push too hard. I kept the pace very gentle – I’m learning to ensure my long runs are slower and finish with me feeling strong rather than ‘done’. I ran again on my favourite trail – even when I’m feeling less than average, the scenery is guaranteed to make me smile.

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Let the marathon training begin (gulp)…

This morning’s run was monumental for more than just the fact that it occurred on a weekday morning (quite unusual) – it was, officially, run #1 of training for the Dopey challenge. I say ‘officially’ as I haven’t really stopped training since, well…who knows when. I’m always training for something. But the Jeff Galloway plan starts this week so it’s now officially official.

I can tell you I’m exceptionally nervous and still very much doubt my ability to finish this thing but I’m trying to push those thoughts away and get on with it. Time to trust the plan. It definitely helps to have friends along for the ride although I need to be careful not to be sucked in to anyone else’s pace. My goal of completing this event is well and truly big enough – there will be no time goals to chase for, other than staying ahead of the balloon ladies.

This morning also marked another mini-milestone – I ran my 500th kilometre for the year. I obviously have run this far before however reaching this milestone in the final week of June puts me completely on track to complete my huge, dreaming, aim high goal of running 1000km for the year. Happy times 🙂

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Sometimes runs are amazing. Sometimes you’re just grateful that they’re over.

Today, my training plan told me it was time for my last long run before the Great Ocean Road half marathon in 2 weeks time. ‘Last’ implies I’ve done at least one other but I didn’t end up doing last weekend’s other longest run because I had a cold and didn’t feel like putting my body through it. My previous longest run was Run for the kids and that was a while ago. So it was definitely not optional today.

I got up relatively early, packed my stuff with a smile and headed to Melbourne. I’d mapped out a course and knew what needed to be done. I could feel the ‘but I’d really rather not do this’ feelings coming on as I approached my car park but just ignored them, got my stuff and headed out.

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The first kilometre sucked. I felt like I had never actually done this before and didn’t know how to run. I couldn’t get the strap right on my hydration pack. My shoes felt weird. I’d forgotten my sunglasses and was squinting constantly. I know, none of those are huge but they just added to the feeling of not wanting to be there.

Luckily for me, I know myself quite well. When I planned this route, it was with full knowledge of my moods and tendency to want to give up when things get hard. There was no backup plan. I’d taken a myki card with me…..but there really wasn’t any convenient public transport anywhere near me, at least until I hit about the 15th kilometre, by which time it would be too late. ‘Suck it up princess and just run’ was my mantra for quite a lot of the run.

I’m pleased to say it wasn’t all as dispiriting as it sounds. The weather was absolutely perfect – crisp and with a hint of rain on the wind, that perfect Autumn weather that Melbourne does so well. Most of the scenery was interesting and diverting enough to help me forget the fact I was running a long way. And I’d set intervals on my watch so only had to think about the next 3 minutes, not even looking at how far I’d run or how long it was taking.

 

Probably the worst bit of the course was through the industrial guts of Port Melbourne – kind of ruggedly interesting in its own way but not exactly picturesque. Pounding the concrete was beginning to hurt my feet and I was longing for my beloved trails. There were people around which helped including a couple of speed walking men and a guy practising his skiing technique so it wasn’t all dull. I even got a ‘great job – keep going’ from a couple out for a stroll.

The last few kilometres were a lot more walk than run, partly because of Sunday market crowds along Southbank and St Kilda Road and partly because I was tired and over it. Whatever. I’m well past beating myself up over my times and I knew today was about completing the distance and time on legs. My legs were not particularly happy about that and would have appreciated far less time but they’ll get over it.

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With a smile on my face and various aches and pains making their presence known, I swung back into Albert Park with 17km done – my furthest ever long run completed by myself. Despite not particularly enjoying it, I’m proud of that. I know I can complete further distances with cheering crowds, the promise of bling at the end and the incentive of finishing before they deflate the arch but it’s a whole different proposition to go out and run that far on your own, just because some computer generated training plan tells you you should.

20170507_115342I’m celebrating with an afternoon of sitting smugly on the couch. Bring on the taper!