Wednesday, October 28, 2009

6 Months!

Have you seen my ticker? I've got less than six months until the big day! When I won the prize I had just over 10 months, and that seemed such a long time ... suddenly it is six months and boy that is going to go fast. Our air tickets are all booked, my biggest worry now is that we've decided to move from London to Paris the day after the marathon - I just hope my legs are workable enough to walk around all the great museums and art galleries in Paris for those few days after the marathon.

Anyway - back to the running ...

I ran 8km this morning - well, 7.9km in 48:01 - I just can't quite get to that 6min/km, close, but not quite there. My legs are feeling the added pressure I'm putting on them so I'm thinking I just need to concentrate on the km's and let the speed catch up. Very frustrating. I have to remind myself how far I've come!

I ran 10km (going backwards now) on Saturday, it should have been 8, but I wanted to take part in the Nike World Race, ran it in 1:01:10 (still not quite that 6min/km!), then hopped on my bike and did 3hrs of delivering. Definitely too much to then run the 14km I ran on Sunday, I took the 14km pretty easy, i had to - the whole run my body was whinging and moaning that I'd pushed it too much! Part of me thinks, darn I shouldn't be pushing it so hard, the other part thinks, well come marathon training, I will be pushing it that hard so get used to it! LOL I survived, the time was 1:29, pretty much exactly what I ran 14km in when I ran it for my half marathon training - but probably with my body much more tired, so it was "okay".

I'll be back up my hill tomorrow, rest on Friday, SMALL run on Saturday (no 10km pushing it too much this weekend), then 16km on Sunday.

Weight wise, I was up last week, 400g - I'm really struggling to keep my eating on track - it's just so hard ... getting that balance between being hungry because of the exercise and keeping to the right amount of food to handle that AND lose weight. Very frustrating.

Onwards and upwards though!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gosh, where has time gone?

I've been a slack blogger!

I was extremely lucky after the half marathon in that I didn't seem to have any injuries or a lot of soreness at all, so I've pretty much got straight back into the running. I spent the first week taking it pretty easy, I didn't run Monday or Tuesday and then did a 5km run Wednesday. Then Thursday, still feeling good, I tackled the Maungatooks! Worked out that it is 2km from the golf course carpark along Valley Road (gentle rolling hills), then 2km up the Maungatooks, 2km down, and 2km back to the car, so a good 8km run. I didn't manage to run all the way up, but ran more of it than I thought I would manage. Coming DOWN was hard, my stomach hurt (I think the muscles were given a work out holding myself back), I got the stitch, and it was hard, harder than going up. Next day, once again I felt fine (I am counting my lucky stars here that my body seems to have taken to this whole running thing really well, besides my back that seems to be all better, I haven't had any injuries, or worrying niggles at all).

Saturday I ran 5km, and ran it as fast as I could - I think one of the reasons I'm not hurting is because I'm maybe not pushing myself enough, now, I'm not sure whether that is a good thing or not - probably a good debateable topic to be quite honest. But Saturday I tried hard, to get a grasp on where I am at with pace. I ran it in 28:30 (5:40/km), so faster than I have before, but not outstandingly fast ;). Next day I ran 10km, in 1:02:50 - not extremely fast, but a slightly quicker pace for a training run.

This week I've tried to push myself a bit each run - I'm aiming to try and run my 5-10km training runs at 6.0m/km ... and still take it easy on the longer ones. Tuesday I ran 8km in just over 48min, yesterday 10km in 1:01 ... so getting there. I can "feel" my legs, they know I'm working them harder, but hopefully in a good way. Today it is the Maungatooks again, I probably won't push it too hard for that run, I just need to concentrate on building endurance up the hill.

My weight is up again, the last two weigh ins I've lost 1.4kg, then 0.9kg ... good weeks! This week my routine totally changed, I filled in a PA position at work Mon-Wed so I was in the car for an hour commute there and back (sitting on my butt), then sitting in an office all day - SO not used to that, no time on bike, no walking to school and back, I don't think I realised how much "extra" exercise I fit in during the day! PLUS I couldn't resist the pull of the nice "by myself, no should be doing things" lunch break in a cafe reading my book. So the scales today show I've probably put on the 0.9 I lost last week, I have today to try and drag it back a bit before weigh in tomorrow - I should be able to stick to my points, plus a good run up hill, plus about 3hrs of delivering on my bike ... it shouldn't be too bad - but very frustrating when I'd decided to work hard and get rid of the last 5-6kg!!

I think that is all to report really ... busy, busy, busy as usual!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So, What's Next?

I'm a goal setting, mountain climbing Capricorn ... believe me, I had "What's Next" planned out a way before Sunday's Half Marathon!

This is a journey for me, each step is getting closer to that marathon goal - so, yes, I've got a few little goals along the way.

Next up though, I plan on more endurance training, which means hills! So next up in my training I'm going to start including running up the Maungatooks once a week, I tried to find a photo, but couldn't find one - I'll have to take one when I get to the top! It's a popular hill training place for runners and bikers here, I used to bike up there when I was training for the Taupo Bike Race a few years ago, it took a few goes to manage to bike up without stopping, I'm imagining that it will take a few goes before I can run all the way too. The golf course is down the road a bit, and according to a pre-mapped course on Mapmyrun, it is a 10k run from the golf course, up to the top, and then back to the golf course - so I'm going to make that my Thursday run each week.

As for races, next up is the Rimutaka Incline Run this is one of those runs/walks I've wanted to do for years (admittedly, I always imagined walking it if I ever got fit enough, never imagined running it!), it is 17km and runs through the old railway tracks and tunnels - it goes up an incline for 10km and then down for the last 7km. Definitely supposed to be a fun run, rather than anything serious - I'll be looking forward to it!

After that I'll be running another half marathon on 12th December, in Wanganui (about 2hrs from here), I need one more under my belt before I start the 18wk marathon training programme. Conveniently, 18 weeks before London is 21st December, which means I can run this last half marathon, have a week to take it really easy and then start the serious stuff.

As for short terms plans - I've rested yesterday and today (if you can count 3hrs on my bike yesterday as rest), tomorrow I plan to run 5kms, then tackle the Maungatooks for the first time on Thursday. I'm feeling good so it should all be a-okay.

Thanks for the good wishes :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Masterton Country Marathon - Half Marathon Report

Firstly - I did it! ... a year ago I hadn't even started running - I could walk 10k, and I could sit on my bike and do my delivering for a few hours, but I hadn't started running yet - amazing, 11mths after starting to run, I've run a half marathon ... and enjoyed it!

Official time: 2:12:38
Whole field: 112/133
Age Group: 16/23

(I did say little 'ole NZ has a lot less people in their races than the big ones I read about overseas!)

Nitty Gritty Details

As I'd said, the weather had been horrendous for about a week before the race, Masterton is known for being either really really hot, or really really cold. Saturday, it was freezing ... and here is what we woke up to on Sunday morning - look at the snow on the hills! We were sure that wasn't there when we went to sleep the night before.

But, Sunday was perfect. The sky cleared, it was still a bit cool, but not nearly as cold as it had been, the wind died down - perfect running weather - yay!

We got there about 45min before the start, after going on Saturday to collect our numbers and bag of goodies, Georgie was official key holder and bag/jacket put-awayer as her 10k started 30min after Julie and I started the half, it was nice not to have to worry about any of that.

We lined up at the start line, made sure we were towards the back (the walkers had started an hour before, yay, no trying to run around the walkers who always seem to start up front - one of my new pet hates in life) ... and off we went, at a nice steady pace. It was all pretty uneventful really - We got to the first 5km and I checked our time, 30:40, I was aiming for 32:00 - I said to Julie we're going too fast, I don't want to burn out! She assured me that if it felt good, don't worry about it just keep going where I felt comfortable ... okkkkayyyy, turns out she was right because we really did run that same pace the whole way. Between 10 and 15k it got rolling hill hilly, which I wasn't expecting at all - I thought it was all going to be flat, I train on the very flat, and the few 10k's I've done that have got even little hills usually really throw me, but even the hills yesterday weren't going to ruin it - just as we got to the top of them all, we hit the 15k drink station, just the right time to stop have a drink, a gel, and carry on. When we hit about 19k we both said, okay now it's getting tougher, but we dug in and kept it up right to the end - perfect, perfect run ... gosh if they could all go like that, life would be pretty darn good.

Interestingly, I said to Julie at the start, I'm going to stop and walk through all the drink stops (every 5km), take a gel at 10k and 15k. She said, that's okay I'll just run on the spot and wait - she is "old school", couldn't possibly stop running, no way she could start again. Afterwards, when she did stop through the drink stations she said she was amazed at how easy it was to go straight back into running the same pace and how it really didn't affect the running at all - nothing like teaching an "expert" something :)

Another highlight was that we were never passed by anyone, actually, we were by one lady quite early on, but we passed her towards the end. We passed probably about 10 runners along the way ... just sticking at our steady easy pace, it was a good feeling.

So all in all, a great race ... and nice to know that following a training programme really does work!

Here we are before the race, I'm the one looking goofy, Julie is in the glasses.

Oh, and today (Monday) the next day, I'm hardly sore at all! I'm a bit stiff, and one ankle feels a bit tender - but I walked the girls to school and definitely no limping, I'll be off on my bike soon which should be good to really loosen those muscles.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tomorrow is Half Marathon day!

Yippeee! I think. LOL No, actually I'm looking forward to getting this part of the journey done. Because it is all part of the journey, the journey to the LONDON marathon. Yep, I'm going to be hugely proud to have trained and run a half marathon (all going well), but in reality it is one of steps along the way to the huge goal.

I ran 12km on Thursday, I was unsure about doing such a longish run so close to it, but I took it easy, tried to pace it the same as I'll run tomorrow and it was a good run - no soreness, no stiffness, it all felt good, as a confidence booster it was just what I needed.

Today I ran 5km, and again kept it to the pace I want to run tomorrow, and once again it was a great confidence booster - I think I am FINALLY starting to "get" the whole pace thing - for ages everytime I ran I just ran as fast as I could, well not sprinted, hard out, but I had one pace, albeit a pretty slow pace, but one pace, whether it was a long run, a training run, a race, whatever ... one pace. Now, I'm finally getting my brain to feel what my body is doing and what it should be doing and I can run a slower pace when I should, and speed up a bit when I should. I think I'm finally becoming a runner ;)

In other news ... our flights were booked this week - OMG!!! It really is real, for a while I was expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and say "Just Kidding! ... boy we sucked you in" ... but having those flights written in black and white, and the too much money (to pay for David's - mine are paid for) come out of the bank account ... yep, Oh. my. gosh. it is really going to happen - very very scary. A big race here is like Wellington where I won the prize - which had about 5,000 people running ... there will be 35,000 in London, pretty uncomprehendable for a girl from little 'ole NZ.

So things to do before we set off - like getting card cut for 40 people for a demonstration I'm doing on Tuesday morning - eeek! I'll feel better if that is done before I leave and one big job is crossed off my list.

Oh - and goals ... I said a couple of months ago when I started training for this half marathon that I didn't care about the time, I just needed to know I could complete a half marathon, whether I ended up walking or whatever - I just needed to finish. Well, a funny thing happened over the training, suddenly I started to believe I could actually run this thing :) ... so time goals ... and copycatting the other running blogs I read - A, B and C.

A = less than 2.10, considering my usual 10km is about 1:03, this would be a bit of a miracle!
B = 2.10-2.15, if it all goes extremely well, I think I can do this - but everything has to go well, right until the very end, and I'm not sure what will happen the last 3-5km, because so far I've run one 18km and that's the longest I've run - so I'm realistic in knowing that it might not all be pretty smelly roses for the whole run ;)
C = 2.15-2.20, okay, biggest thing is I finish, but honestly, I'll be disappointed if I'm slower than 2.20.

So we'll see, I'll update you after its all over!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick Nike+ Question?

Hmmmm not not sure how you get a big picture! But you get the idea - this is my graph this morning, now see that big dip down? How does that happen, I know for sure I didn't run a 10min km there - I was running a good pace the whole run. Any idea why that happens? Just about every run I get a huge dip somewhere on the graph that doesn't make sense.

Oh BTW, I don't really run that fast - it was actually about 12.1km, I STILL haven't got around to calabrating it properly, I've got used to adding about 10sec to each per km total!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

4 Sleeps to Go!

Yep ... 4 sleeps to go until Half Marathon time - eeek! Remember a week ago I was obsessing/worrying about it being too hot? Well, now I'm obsessing that this stormy, freezing cold, wet weather isn't going to let up before the weekend - see you just can't win, I'm never going to be happy! LOL

Not sure if I've mentioned, but I'm incredibly lucky to have very supportive sisters (I have five sisters and two brothers), three of us are travelling over to Masterton Saturday afternoon and staying in a motel over there so that we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to make it to the race on time (Masterton is about 2hrs drive from here). Georgie is running the 10km (she ran her first half marathon at the same race I totally blew my 10km), Julie is going to run the half with me - we've followed the same training programme, she is about an hour away so we don't run together, but it is still nice to compare notes each week. Julie has been running for years and could run the half SO much faster than me but she has been amazing through this whole journey, has run a few 10km with me, including my first one, as support - she swears this is all about supporting me and she is quite happy to run at my pace - see how lucky I am?

It's school holidays here at the moment and it is so nice to sleep in a bit and go running a wee bit later in the morning, I feel like I've caught up on more sleep than I have for ages ... although I'll be in for a shock next week when it is back to waking up early and running around like a mad woman again!

My other worry before this big run is the fact that I've eaten really really well Weight Watchers wise this week, which is great for my weight (according to my scales its coming down), but I'm not so sure it was a good week to do it when I should probably be building up calories ready for a big run. Hopefully the fact I've kicked the the Diet Coke habit and drunk way more water will slightly make up for it!

So - training this week -

Sunday 3 October 2009 - 12km - 1:17:40

Sunday seems long ago, I can't remember how the run went! Oh, I remember, the WIND. I've heard/read runners talking about wind, I've run in wind, what are they going on about, its not so bad ... I run what is basically a 10km square block, when I run 7, or 8 I cut through streets that cut through the block to shorten the basic 10k block, when I run 12k I run a little block within that block that is 2km - to make it 12. Anyway - started off fine, felt great, turned the corner going West and whoaaaaa it was windy, really windy, as in probably the wind I've heard talked about! LOL ... it wasn't so bad, hard work and not pleasant at all but I knew when I turned again it would be better and at the last turn I'd be blown home ;)

I was telling my Dad about it and he said he remembers running the Wellington Marathon one year where it was practically hurricane conditions, as he finished up running head on into the wind and turned out of it two runners suddenly passed him and thanked him very much for blocking them while they were running in it! The cheek! (but maybe a good tip to remember LOL).

Tuesday 6 October 2009 - 8km - 49:53

Pretty standard run - that wind is still there (we've had a real cold "Spring" storm hit, 300 cars were stranded on one of our highways because of snow and people had to be rescued, the snow is down low on the ranges we can see from our place, which usually only happens mid winter), bit of rain but not much.

I did have a weird thing happen - I came home and my, I don't know, below my shoulders "sides" rathen than back, hurt. You know what I think it might be? Probably way TMI, but I did notice my bra felt loose yesterday, I checked the size as I put it on this morning and it is probably a good 1-2 sizes too big for me now, and I think the lack of support maybe made strange places hurt - do you think? Whatever, I'm going out to buy a couple of new ones today ... funny how those sorts of things creep up on you!

Wednesday 7 October 2009 - 8km - 50:27

Pretty much the same as yesterday, I'm trying to work at running about the same pace I will on Sunday, pretty slow and steady. Still windy, still a bit wet, still way too cold!

I've got to go battle that rain, wind and cold on my bike now - I did about 3.5hr delivering yesterday, and will probably only do a couple today. The girls have some dolls to make, I bought them ages ago and promised them that today I'd probably have some time to do them with them - they are soft, all sewn, should be fun, maybe ...

Oh, and how could I forget, I have a "follower"! Hi Jackie!!!! (very exciting LOL)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Quiet Weekend

Saturday 3 October 2009, 5km - 30:50

We don't get many quiet weekends, so I plan to enjoy it! All our kids play various sports, but at the moment it is school holidays and inbetween winter and summer sport, so we have a very rare weekend free of any sport (except my running of course!). David is working, I'm at home trying to tidy up our very neglected house somewhat.

Nothing to report on todays run really, I'm still a bit stiff from last week which is kinda, but not really, worrying me. The training programme I'm following doesn't really have a huge taper before next week's half marathon, I've got a 12k run tomorrow and then same as last week, 8km on Tues and Wed and 12k on Thursday - I'm very tempted to cut back a bit but I won't, I've followed it exactly and its worked so far ... but I think I do need to make sure I just run slowly.

Weight Watchers weigh in day yesterday (as it is every Friday), I'm going to try and keep that updated here too, its good to look back on. I gained "officially" 1.1kg this week, but last week I lost 800g which was really just water weight because I'd switched my runs around and ran on Friday morning before weigh in ... I think in reality I put on about 3-400g, darn holidaying! LOL

I've decided I need to commit myself to losing the last 8kg I need to lose, before I start marathon training (about 10 weeks away!) - I've been pretty slack with the eating part for the last month and haven't really lost anything, the month before that when I upped my running it came off really easily from the change in exercising - the honeymoon is over though and I need to start working at it properly! So today, I've started tracking properly ... so far so good - but I've only just had lunch ... still the afternoon and evening to go.

Right, off to finish off some vacuuming and I might even start to attack my craft table - then I might actually be able to sit and do something at it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another week!

I need to do better than updating once a week really, don't I?

Thursday 24/9/09 - Rest Day

Friday 25/9/09 - 10km - 1:03:50

Ahhhh back to my normal pace, it took a while to recover from running faster on the Sunday! It was raining on Friday, it NEVER rains when I run, David and I kid about it - it can be raining and it will virtually stop as I head out the door, but not Friday, Friday it rained, the way around and actually it wasn't so bad. The day before I had spent four hours on my bike delivering and it was wet, freezing cold and rained the whole time - nothing could have been worse than that!

Also went to the physio Friday morning (after my run), he did quite a few exercises with me to test my muscles, hips etc to see how strong/supple/stable they are and everything was really good! He also gave me a couple of other exercises to stretch some of the muscles that are a bit tight, especially the ones working to my back ... AND gave me the all clear - no need to see him again unless it all flares up again - yay!

Saturday 26/9/09 - 18km - 1:55:10

Yay! I did it - the big scary 18km. I'd worked hard the few days before to drink lots of water, made sure I ate pasta the night before and had a good breakfast before I set off, I really think those little things helped. It was a really really good run, I ran a 11km block, stopped at our letterbox and grabbed my gel and drink bottle and walked while I drank and had the gel and then set off and did a 7km block. Everything just seemed to be right, I never felt like stopping, it never felt like I couldn't do it - just a nice steady pace the whole way around, if the half marathon can be like that, well it would be perfect!

We then drove to New Plymouth, David left earlier with Cameron and a couple of his team mates (we were going up to watch Cameron's soccer rep tournament), I left a bit later with the two girls so I could make sure I had time to walk around a bit and get my muscles moving before I sat and drove for four hours - it all worked well, I was stiff Sunday evening and Monday, but not too bad at all - definitely not as sore as I was two weeks before that when I ran 16km.

Sunday/Monday - Rest Days

I did rest, but I also made sure we went for a couple of walks - also went swimming at the pools on the Tuesday - so I could keep my stiff body moving!

Tuesday - 8km - 50min

The nice thing about New Plymouth is they have an amazing waterfront walkway that covers 7km of beach front, all concreted and nice and wide - a proper walk/run/bike way, I was really looking forward to running along it and wasn't disappointed! I started from the main part which is sort of in the middle, ran to the end one direction which was 3km, back to the main part and 1km the other way and back to make my 8km - I did it on time, I know it takes about 50min for me to run 8km, plus my Nike+ is still not set up properly, because I just haven't got around to doing it! So I knew about 8.3km according to that is about 8km.

Oh, and it rained, and rained, and rained on Tuesday - but not while I was running, when I left our motel it was bucketing down, I sat in the car for a while until it stopped - ran, got back to the motel, by the time we went and watched Cam's soccer it was bucketing down again - we sat in the car and watched him, amongst the thunder and lightening!

Wednesday 30/9/09 - 8km - 50min

I did the same as Tuesday, except I actually parked the 1km up the other way so I ran in one direction and back again.

And the rain? except for about a 1min downpour that soaked one side of me because it was coming in sideways, and the huge wave that managed to crash into the rocks and give me a soaking, um, it didn't really rain while I was running, again! LOL IT certainly poured down all the drive home!

Totally off topic, on the way home we stopped to visit my niece who has just had a baby - she is so cute and little! 4 weeks early and only weighing 4.5lb - she is now about 5.5lb ... but soooo tiny :)

Thursday (today) - 12km - 1:16:15

My car was booked in to get wheel bearings (or something) fixed, and its school holidays, so instead of waking early (after working last night), I slept in a bit, had breakfast and dropped the car off and then ran from there. It was nice to run a somewhat different route and not to do a "block". But, being later, it was hot - it is probably good to do a few runs later and when its hotter I think, most races (including the half marathon!) start off a bit later and you just can't pick the weather!

It seemed hard this morning, whether it was because I had cereal for breakfast rather than my usual pre-run breakfast of toast, or because it was hot, or because I've eaten crap while we've been on holiday ... I don't know - it wasn't really bad, just seemed to be long and hard work!

Rest day tomorrow, then a little 5km on Saturday before another 12km on Sunday - all manageable :)