Thursday, 31 March 2016

Progress report, March

Recapping goals for March:

1) Tick off every training run in my plan (3 runs per week) 
2) Continue with strength training twice a week
3) Hit 100km for the month
4) Do another 5km 'proper' time trial

1) 100%! Very pleased about this. 
2) mostly, because we ran a few trails and hills, I skipped a couple of sessions because I figured my legs/glutes didn't need more overloading! 
3) achieved: 113km this month. Biggest monthly total since July 2015. 
4) I didn't do this one. Towards the end of the month I knew my body was getting tired, and I didn't want to overload it with any unnecessary stress before the half marathon. I'll get one in by the end of April. 

Other highlights:

- The Gorge run with Sonia. Loved it. It was by far the hardest run I've ever done, but the most rewarding. 

- completing the most daunting of the interval sessions: 5x 5 min threshold with 1 min recovery. I ran these hard, and walked in between. It was tough, but a good exercise in mental strength. 

- my fastest 20km ever - 1:58:03 (5:54min/km pace). This was the best training run, we headed out with no expectations but to just run for 2 hours and see how far we got. We blitzed it! I'm hoping for some of these vibes for 'race day' 😉

- A unplanned tempo run (I was feeling great so revised the goal for the session), where I ran 8km at an average of 5:32. I've never run this mid distance this fast before!! 

- slogging through our 2 hour very hilly trail run, despite feeling heavy and tired that day. 

I did have a couple of less than amazing runs, but we are going to chalk them up to experience and focus on the good ones instead 👍🏻

Wow! It's been a busy month, looking back! 

Next up, April's goals. 

1) Complete my second half marathon on 9 April. It will also be my first off-road half marathon. I have decided to take the pressure off myself and instead of setting a time goal (I've no idea how much slower I will be anyway) - my goal will be to run happy and strong; do my best, and get to the end feeling like I've given it my all. 

I really like this pic, and the quote; "run with your heart, not your legs". When my legs get tired on race day, I'll think of this image and remember how much I love to run!  

2) Take at least one full week off after the half, to give my body a break. Maybe even two weeks. 

3) Run a 5km time trial by the end of the month. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

It's taper time!

Hooray! I've made it through the peak of the training and now it's time to taper before the race, three weeks away. 

Everything's gone pretty well really. The first few weeks of the 12 week plan were a bit hit and miss due to illness, but I've managed to hit pretty much every training run and goals since.  I've surprised myself with speed I haven't seen before, especially over slightly longer distances.  I've done more hills and trail work than I've ever done, and I'm sure that it has benefited me strength wise.

Up this week: 40 min steady run, 45 min interval session (with 15 min tempo), 15km long run with Sonia (in which we'll run the last 5km at 'race pace').

The following week: 40 min steady, 30 min steady, 10km easy.

Then it's race week, with just a couple of 30 min easy runs and the race on the Saturday morning.

Bring it on!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Birthday Challenge

Last year I celebrated my birthday with a running 'first' - first time running the river track from end to end.  I thought I'd continue the tradition this year, with another challenge. This time: The Manawatu Gorge. 

I knew Sonia was keen to do it too; and our birthdays are a month apart, so what better way than to celebrate together!

We set off at 1.45 on a Saturday afternoon (tough time to run, most of my runs are evenings and some mornings, never straight after lunch!

All set to go!

It was a really tough first third. Straight up hill. You can see from the profile!  We ran when we had the energy, and walked when we didn't. Everything in my legs was burning at this stage!
The elevation profile as taken from Runtastic (with a suspected GPS drop out near the end)

If you smile, you can't feel the pain..

Near the top it was much more enjoyable, a bit more level with only slight up and downhills. We both felt like we were flying after enduring the slow uphills!

An obligatory selfie near the top

A welcome break for a photo! 

Heading back down to the road was challenging too, in a different way. Trying to relax and go with the legs, without feeling like I was going to take off or slip over!  I experienced some strange pains in my torso (front and back) that disappeared once we stopped with the worst of the downhill.  Not sure what it was; perhaps it was my downhill posture? Or the jarring effect? Or a combination of both?

Then all of a sudden we were done! Back to the car and off to the cafe to enjoy a coffee.