Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Year Ago ...

I started running! Wow ... what a difference a year makes, here I am at Boxing Day last year - believe it or not I was feeling good because I'd lost a few kg's -

I haven't got a recent photo of me anywhere handy, but believe me I look different now!

Anyway - one year ago I started the C25K programme, best thing I ever did! My then nearly 13yo came with me, with a stop watch and he did the timing - and oh my gosh, that one minute running was HARD, I felt like I was going to die! But I started, and finished, the programme and the rest is history :)

So, since last year -

  • I've lost 25kg
  • I've run five 10km races (and improved from 1:12 to 59:40)
  • I've run one half marathon
  • I've done things I only ever dreamed about (Duathalon, 10k, Incline run).
  • and the biggest thing, I'm training for the London Marathon!
I wouldn't have believed any of it if anyone had told me that I'd be sitting here a year later, such a new and improved me!

Okay, I found two photos from Saturday's race, but really they're not that good - I need to pose for the camera! LOL

Here I am trying to avoid getting my feet wet -

and at the end!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rimutaka Incline (aka Last Tick on my "Dream List")

Firstly ... look at my weight ticker! I reached the 60's *happy happy happy dance*, okay, it is a bit of a cheat, I don't normally run on a Friday which is weigh-in day, and when I do run I know I drop about 500g from water lost ... so yesterday I was a day ahead of myself because my long run was today (Saturday) rather than Sunday, so I had my rest day on Thursday and ran 5km yesterday - but I'm taking it, even if it means I probably won't change much this week (in fact will have to be very careful not to go up!).

The last tick on my "Dream List"

When I was overweight for years, I always had vague thoughts in the back of my mind of what I'd like to do if I ever lost weight and got a fitter. They were the Kapiti Womens Duathalon - I did that in February, the 10km run Around the Vines - did that in March and the last one was to WALK the Rimutaka Incline, I never thought I'd run it - but I did, today :)

Such a neat race, as far as organisation goes, you don't get a lot for you buck - no free fruit at the end, nothing in the goodie bag except your number (in fact no goodie bag, just your number), water only at the drink stops. But the actual race, and course - amazing!

It is run off-road through what was the old railroad route (the actual tracks have long gone - not sure how many years ago, but they have a huge tunnel that goes through the hill now), 10km up hill, then 7km down (they lied, it was 11km up and 7km down). It is a gentle incline upwards, you don't really notice it until the last 2-3km, they were hard. There is just one small railway tunnel on the way up, and three longer ones on the way down - so, so, so cool running through railway tunnels, except of course for the fact that it is dark (they put lights up via generators but it is still dark), and worrying about tripping!

Okay, the running part of the race - about 400 people were entered, not a huge number. My sister Julie was doing it to, her husband kindly dropped us off at the start and was there at the end to drive us home (you end up on the other side of the Rimutakas, a big windy hill road). She decided that I was grown up enough to run on my own this time, so she took off at the start, and of course I didn't see her again until the finish. I started, going at my new 5:50 pace which seems to be the new "comfortable" for me - kept that 5:50-6:00 pace pretty much until the last couple of kms of the 11km hill. The hill work I've been doing really paid off, there were a lot of people walking those last couple of km, but even though it was hard, I never felt like I couldn't keep running ... although, a woman in front of me turned around and asked me if I needed an inhaler! Sheesh, no wonder i have music so I can't hear my breathing, it must be bad! LOL ... I assured her I was fine, just working hard :)

Reached the summit (*phew*), had a drink and gel and then started running down, bit stony, slippery at first, and the longest tunnel, then a really steep gully down and then up - impossible to walk up, more like a stony mountain goat kind of up! But once we got down and then up that gully it really was downhill, in the middle of nowhere, just the track and amazing NZ bush surrounding us - it felt really good, going gently downhill and being in the middle of nature :) Some of the way down was a bit worrying as it was pretty stony, rocky, but mostly I felt great that second half. The finish seemed to be miles away once I had about 1km to go - but I got there!

According to my ipod - it was 18.2km (rather than 17km as advertised, at the 10km mark I checked and my ipod said 9.9km, so I think it was pretty accurate) and I ran it in 1:48:30 - woohoooo! Although (and don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with my time for what is quite a hard run), to put things in perspective, Julie ran it in 1:35 and two mothers from school ran it in 1:22 and 1:23 (sheesh they are fast!).

(I didn't take the photos - I found them on the web and copied them onto here - thank you whoever you are, great photos!).

I have a huge blister on the inside (arch) of my foot - I could feel it the whole way, not sure if my sock had a wrinkle, or what quite happened - I was relieved when I took my shoe and sock off and it was still whole and not a bloody mess though, because it was feeling like that by the end.

So ... now, roll on four weeks of half marathon training, I'm starting to look forward to my next half marathon in four weeks - I'm feeling stronger and stronger all the time :)

Now I'm off to our school's annual community fireworks display - for Guy Fawkes that was over a week ago ... in all honesty I'd rather be watching the all important All Whites (NZ Soccer Team) game, they are playing in the Wellington stadium, a sold out crowd of 35,000 - if they win (against Burain (Sp!)) they will be in the World Cup next year, for the first time since 1982 ... so DH and two boys have gone into watch that - I get to take the girls to the fireworks, fireworks don't do it for me at the best of times, when they're on just as the soccer game is on TV, they're really not doing it for me ... but Miss Charlotte (8yo in a few days) is very excited about the fair they have on before hand and the fireworks, so I have to put on my happy Mother face and make it fun for her! Miss Rhiannon (nearly 11yo) is already down there hanging out with her friends ... wonder when she suddenly grew up?

Good luck for everyone else running this weekend - enjoy yourselves!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The magic number 6

Lately the number 6 has been on my mind. 6 minute kms is what I want to achieve (maybe less than 6) for most of my runs, not my long runs so much, I know they need to be slower, but for my short-medium runs. Number 6 is what I want the first number on the scale to be, and its getting closer!

The first one, the one where I run about 6min kms is happening! 8km on Saturday, 47:11 - 11km yesterday, 1:05:30 ... and both runs I wasn't pushing it hard to make that pace, it was just happening, yay me! Both runs have been hard, definitely a bit of a push, but definitely not the feeling like I'm pushing myself more than I should be ... I definitely couldn't keep up that pace for a half marathon, yet ... but I'm confident that eventually I will be able to, maybe not by December, maybe not before the marathon, but definitely in the future :)

... and the scales? I'm probably still a kg off hitting the 60's, but oh so close, if I can just keep myself on track for the rest of the week, I might not make it this week - but should in the next couple of weeks ... it has been at least 15years since I weighed in the 60's :)

So what have I run this week?

Wednesday 4/11 - 9.5km - 56:28

When I run my 10km block, I start down a different road than normal, of course I forgot to turn that way, so ended up only running 9.5km, I was really annoyed because I'm pretty sure I would have broken that 60min. Not that it matters that much, it was a good run :)

Thursday 5/11 - 8.5km - 56:36

Maungatooks day! I made it running all the way to the top again ... hard work, but it has definitely been worth it, I'm sure this is helping my speed on the flat and my endurance ... and its a darn good work out! Interestingly, and quite buzzy, I'm running up the hill at about a 7min pace, when I finished the C25K programme and was running 5km, my pace for quite a while was 7:20min/km ... I'm running up a steep hill faster than that now! I've come a long way!

Friday 6/11 - Rest and Weigh In Day

No weigh in as I worked during the day so missed my WW meeting, according to my scales I was probably down about 800gm and below where I was when I put some on a couple of weeks ago, hopefully I can keep that up this week!

Saturday 7/11 - 8km - 47:11

According to Map my Run - 7.9km, according to my Nike+ 7.98km. Whatever, this is the fastest I've run this block and I wasn't trying too hard!

Sunday 8/11 - 11km - 1:05:30

Same as the Saturday, according to Map my Run 11.3km, according to Nike+ 11.00 km (although I run this backwards from what I originally mapped it, and I tried mapping it the right way a while ago and got 11km but didn't want to change it on Map my Run, so the 11km is probably pretty accurate, more accurate too when looking at my time.

I've broken that 6min/km for my last three runs!!!

Monday today, rest day, and I'm off to work for the day again. My trying to eat well for the week will be tested as there is a big morning tea this morning because we won the best legal firm in the "Large Legal Firm" category last week ... I could do without fattening, tempting morning teas!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm not very good at updates, am I?

... and this might have to be short and sweet highlights, I need to put my bike in the car and go delivering!

Thursday - Maungatooks (8.5km) - 57:06

Ohhhh boy, it was windy, and cold ... and as I left the car park full force into the wind I seriously contemplated turning around, but I managed to convince myself that it was only 2km to the bottom of the hill and I'd turn left into a different direction, and it would be downhill and then I'd be blown home! I was running at about 7:00/km ... my legs were still telling me they were tired and overworked and the wind was a killer - BUT I got to the bottom of the hill, and it wasn't so bad as I went up ... and up I went, and up ... and ran all the way to the top, yay me!! I was right, going down wasn't so bad, and the 2 and a bit k back to the car was much easier with the wind behind me ... I was still slower than the week before, even though I'd ran all the way up - but so happy that I did it :)

Friday - rest day, thank goodness

... and weigh-in day, of which I stayed exactly the same - totally deserved, I had bought my lunch a few days and whilst I chose reasonably, you just can't count points that way - this week my goal has been to make lunch at home, I have no excuses for not doing it, except one of my bad eating habits is good bakery comfort food, on my own (lunch time my house is nice and empty and quiet), with a good book! Time to revisit that habit and kick it out.

Saturday - 5km - approx 30:30

Saturday I decided I would actually (finally after about 2 months!) calibrate my nike+ ipod, so I set it at 1.0km and ran to where I knew my 1.0km mark was, hit the set button and then reset it and carried on for the other 4.06km. It seemed to work, it came out at 4.09km - close enough. I finally felt good, my legs felt recovered - yay!

Sunday - 16.3km - 1:41:10

I was being picked up at 8.30am to travel to my Stampin' Up Team Meeting (of which I am "team leader", so had to be organised to set a good example! LOL) - I managed to cut card and pack my bag, make muffins for lunch, and have everything ready the night before. Got up at 6.00am, aiming to leave at 6.15am (I left at 6.16am - yay me). I was a wee bit worried because I usually get up and eat a couple of pieces of toast before I do a long run, but I didn't have time for that. I drank some Powerade, took my water bottle and a gel and hoped that would do it.

I'm starting to really enjoy the long runs, there is something about the head space you get into, and the nice pace you keep that is hard to explain, but nutso maybe I am, but I enjoy a long run. It went well, body felt good, stopped at about 8km to have a drink and gel, carried on after that, managed to sip water every now and again while still moving all the way home - with just enough time to stretch, shower, change - grab a banana and cereal bar for breakfast, just in time to be picked up - it all worked well.

Monday - Rest Day

No deliveries today, so I had a "real" rest day - of which I spent cleaning my much needed dirty windows!

Tuesday (today) - 5.02km - 28:50

Yep, I pushed it today, testing my speed again! I was pleased the Nike+ clocked it as 5.02km which is slightly less than the 5.06 Map my Run has it - kind of balances with where its been at the last couple of runs, so I think it is pretty accurate. I also done a spin class this morning - I feel so much stronger at those as well now. Now I'm off to do some delivering ... this is the sort of day I have trouble balancing how much to each with how much I've exercised - a quick (for me) 5km run, an hours spin class, a couple of hours on my bike ... that must be burning a few calories, but eat too many and the weight doesn't move, it is a really hard equation to work out.

Righty, my highlights went on a bit long and I have to get moving to make it back before school finishes!