Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A comparison

Before I do the Wellington Harbour Half Marathon report - how about a comparison :)

One year ago I'd been running for about six months, this race was my 3rd (I think) 10km, and my goal was to run it in under 1:05 (6:30/km). Little did I know how much this day was going to change my life.

(BTW - that is my sister running next to me, she WAS so supportive in my first few races, during that run we agreed that this year we'd run the half marathon together ... we ended up running our first half marathons together last October :) ... she is now injured and hasn't been running for a few months ... I miss her!)

Yes, I'd already taken the big step and made some changes, one year ago I'd lost 16kg (35lb) and trained myself to run 10km ... so big changes had been made.

BUT this was the day my number was drawn out of lots and lots of other numbers and won me a trip to run the London Marathon ... from this day I got serious about my running and losing more weight.

You can see from the photos how far I've come ... another 13kg lost (STILL haven't quite reached the magic 30kg!), and wow! I actually look like a runner!!

Time wise? 10km last year = 1:04:05, about 6:25/km. Half Marathon this year = 1:57:27 (5:34/km).

I didn't win a spot prize this year, and I still haven't run the London marathon ... but I have run a marathon, something I'd never even dreamt of doing (in fact, totally said NO I never would! LOL), I'm training for my second marathon and ultimately the 2011 London Marathon.

... and yes, I'm very proud of myself and my journey :)

I'll try and find time to write the race report tomorrow!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Long run yesterday ... in the rain

18km was on the plan yesterday. Saturday, total rest day, the weather was perfect for running ... as I walked back from the netball courts for about the third time I was muttering about how finally we had a great running day, but I knew I needed a rest day, plus of course, three trips to the netball courts, two drives up to Waikanae for soccer drop offs, a couple of drives down to the gym for gymnastic and cheerleading drop offs ... well, I'm not sure a run would have worked into my day at all anyway!

So yesterday, I wake up ... raining, again. I spent all of last winter running and it hardly ever rained when I ran ... the last month, all it seems to have done here is rain and rain. I got up, I had a card class to run over in Lower Hutt in the afternoon so there was no option of waiting for the rain to stop. 7.45am I got out of bed ... and the rest of the house was still asleep *sigh*. Had my breakfast, got myself organised and off I went. Muttering about how I really really need to get my act together and buy that good running jacket I keep promising myself! It rained steadily for about the first 7-8km, and wasn't so bad ... just very wet. About 10k it seemed to stop a bit and I was thinking, hey! this isn't so bad ... at about 12k the heavens laughed at me as they opened up and it bucketed down, bucketed down to that point where it was a mission to find places on the footpath where I could place my feet without them landing in a few inches of water.

I'd decided before I left that even though it was a long, slow run day ... that at about 13km I would up my pace to 5:30/km, with this infuriated sore leg, I have really slowed down - I was just starting to run my shorter runs comfortably at 5:30/km ... now they're more like 5:45ish, and I was hoping to run the Wellington Half next week at 5:30/km, not much hope of that now - but I did want to push myself to that pace when I was completely warmed up and should have tired legs, just to see how it felt. I managed a km like that, slowed down for the next km, and tried it again at 15km and just couldn't get myself to that pace. Not sure how much the sloshing shoes and drowned rat look would have helped/not helped. But I think I've got to face reality that there is no way I can run that speed for a whole half marathon.

So the injury? Was feeling pretty good, but the last week or so, it is definitely slowing me down and not getting any better. After the half on Sunday I am definitely going to take a week completely off running, maybe two to see if that fixes it. I'm supposed to start week 1 of 18 weeks of marathon training that first week, but I'm pretty sure even missing the first two weeks will be okay, I'm pretty sure I've got enough base fitness that will still be okay to start right into Week 3. Very frustrating though ... definitely not what I had planned, I'd hoped to train up to a great Half Marathon at Wellington and being more than ready to dive straight into some good, hard marathon training.

So, cross training today which = delivering on my bike ... and the sun is actually out, yay!

Oh ... and GO! the All Whites ... 1-1 against Italy ... Wooooohoooooooo!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Still running

Got to say, not a lot of excitement happening around here!

Training wise - all is going good - leg is still sorer than I'd like, I'm hoping it will hang in there until after the Wellington Half Marathon (two weeks away) and then I'll decide whether I should just give in and take a week or two completely off running. Straight after Wellington is supposed to be the 1st week of my 18 week training programme for the Auckland marathon, but I don't think a week or two off and starting on Week 3 would actually make too much difference, I'm running the k's and distance of those first few weeks now.

Anyway, latest runs?

Tuesday - 8.0km - early morning, slowish, done.
Wednesday - 6.5km - another early morning, another slowish, sluggish run.
Thursday - 10km Tempo - after breakfast and dropping the kids off, great run - love it when a run goes well :) Perfect tempo run, warm up, building up speed to middle k's then slowing down to warming down for last couple of k's.
Friday - 6.5km - early morning, sluggish and slow.
Saturday - rest day - way too early wake up call to get to Palmerston in time for 8.00am warm up for gym competition.
Sunday - 16km - nice long run, felt good, felt strong :)

and, here we are at today, Monday. No run today, but a good 2.5hrs on my bike delivering, so not a total slug. I was going to push myself to a spin class tonight, but my leg is a bit sore after yesterday so I'm not going to push it. I'll do the same tomorrow as I did last week - run and then spin class later on in the morning.

Nice to see some sunshine outside today - it feels like its been ages!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Christchurch Half Marathon

Here I am! I really need to be better at updating here ... but what can I say, running, 5 children (well, 4 at home anyway), two part-time jobs ... sometimes life just gets too busy!

So this past weekend, I had my responsibility, husband and child free weekend - it was bliss :) and when choosing where to stay I figured out the Christchurch Half Marathon was the same weekend, so it was off to Christchurch I went. When I booked, I forgot that it would be winter, and that Christchurch is darn cold in winter! The weather was awful the week before, but as the week went on it was looking more and more like they'd put on a good day for Sunday's marathon event.

Um, so going back a bit - I flew to Christchurch on Friday, got there early afternoon, booked into my hotel and then spent the afternoon wandering around getting my bearings and finding the craft shop to buy the embroidery cottons I needed (one of my other passions is embroidery, and a weekend away for me = time to sit and do it :)). Picked up my race pack and picked up some dinner and went back to my hotel room for a lovely evening of sitting in bed watching TV doing my cross stitch - yeah, I'm just the ultimate party girl! LOL

Saturday I slept in (bliss!), hit the shops, bought a few things ... looked at running jackets but just didn't have the money to spend quite that much and was still thinking it was going to be nice the next day. Got back to the hotel for another quite evening.

It was about Saturday afternoon I did the silliest thing ever before a race, I fiddled with my dead toenail (from Rotorua), it had come half off and I tried to help it, ended up clipping it the best I could and by Saturday night it started hurting ... eh oh.

Sunday morning I woke up to rain, oh yay. Also woke up to a really sore, obviously becoming infected toe. Darn. Oh well, just hoped like anything that once I started running I wouldn't feel it. At my toast with peanut butter and a banana, drank my sports drink and off to the start I went.

It was quite lonely on my own, I think all the races I've done I've had my sisters, or family, or other people I know around to chat to. I was all alone in Christchurch and it was quite strange! Once I'd lined up with the other 5000+ people I chatted to a couple of people near me :) I was VERY good and lined up at the 2:00 sign ... because that is what I expected to run it in. Finally, off we went! It took me just over 2 minutes to pass the start line ... and instant frustration ... why oh why do walkers insist on lining up in the wrong place? How many times and places were they told to place themselves towards the back? Ugh! Here is an absoute typical, what I felt like I was doing for a lot of the race -
I love that they got the squeezing through photo, and then the after photo! LOL The guy in blue doesn't look happy with me at all, but hey - line up right folks!!

The race itself went well - I never got the soreness in my Popliteus muscle (have I told you that that is where the physio has decided my injury is? Reading about it, I totally agree - good to know what we're working with!). I think there was no soreness because of the standing around, then walking a couple of minutes to the start, and a slow start ... I could probably learn something from that ;) and then, well I got into the groove - I've decided that I really get into my own head when I'm running, people ask me about the scenery or this and that and I never have a good answer, I must be pretty focussed on what I'm doing. Toe didn't hurt, yay. It was wet and cold, but I didn't really notice it while I was running, it was probably better than a stinking hot day.

I didn't really have any big goals for this race, I haven't trained that well while mucking around with an injury, my real aim was just to run the 21k as more of a training run before Wellington in a couple of weeks, Wellington is where I want to run a GOOD race. But competitive person that I am, once I started, I really did want to break that 2hrs, as you do ;) I just never quite caught up on the slow start though, I did inch closer and closer to the magic 5:42/km and at 17km ran a 5:30km, but couldn't sustain it much longer than a k and settled back to 5:40ish pace. Once I saw the finish line I realised that I was close and tried to finish off fast, but couldn't quite do it - I ended up with a 2:00:35 official time, I did finish with a 5:42 pace as well, but managed to run an extra .15km ... probably the weaving around people. I'm more than happy with the time, its exactly where I should have been with realistic expectations. And folks, I'd like to point out again, I lined up at 2:00, I ran it in 2:00 ... so why did I spend the whole race trying to get past masses of people running slower???

What I've learned? I need to run a few races before I hit London next year (yes, my entry has been sent and should have been received!) ... if I'm frustrated at a crowd of 5000 people, imagine how frustrating a crowd of 40,000 is going to be - I have to work on this more than anything! (have I mentioned I hate crowds at the best of times! LOL).

As for the injury - it felt great, I had a twinge at 7km, but it went away and felt good through the whole race. The toe was fine until I stopped and boy was it sore on Sunday night, not being able to sleep sore - finally Monday the infection obviously "came out" and I was able to clean it out (I won't go into that gorey description ;)).

My leg felt great on Monday, and Tuesday I was full of confidence until I started running! LOL It took a while for it to work properly, but once it did it was okay.

Went back to physio yesterday and he is amazed at how it has healed, it is definitely better than it was ... not what he expected at all. So I have some more strengthening exercises, instructions to ice after running and I'll see after Wellington, he is pretty confident it is healing and healing well and should come right and with the exercises should be able to keep it from recurring, yay :)

A few congratulations from Christchurch - Andrew ran an awesome marathon and PB'd by heaps!! - I admire his bravery, I need to get brave like that and have the courage to push myself just a bit more without worrying about how I'm going to feel at the end.

Bernie Portenski - wow! what a woman ... Bernie used to live here in Paraparaumu, she belonged to the same running club as my Dad and I remember at least one marathon where I biked along beside my father and he was running the same pace as her and another local runner ... she always had everyone laughing with her rather full personality :) She broke the world record 60-65 age group record for the half marathon.

Suzi Richards - she was 2nd woman in the marathon (2:56 - wow!) another local! I know Suzi from the local Sports Office when I was the Cricket Assn's secretary and I was in and out of there all the time - I'm not she'd know me, but she was always happy to smile at the kids and give them a drink or treat while I was busy using the copier :)

Its nice to go so far away from home and see local faces up on the stage receiving prizes :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's that time of year again!

After months of conditioning, months of training ... it all comes together - sounds like a marathon! Actually, this post has nothing to do with running ... it's time for gymnastic competition season, oh yay - I think ;)

Charlotte (8yo) is our little gymnast, Rhiannon (11yo) used to be - but once she got past about Level 3, you could tell she just didn't have the natural strength needed for the harder grades so she finished up. Charlotte has had that natural strength since started walking and following Rhiannon around the gym at about 9mths old, heck, I swear she was doing somersaults in the womb!!

She had a "rough" year last year, not rough really, but we said no to her current coach coaching her, we just thought it was too much for a 7yo, too serious, we weren't ready to take that step. Turns out we might have been wrong because she spent a year wasting time being kept to the "whole group" level, rather than being trained to her ability. This year Gill demanded we give Charlotte to her, so we gave in ... and she is doing great ;)

So, here you go, two videos - her floor routine (which was actually pretty rough) and her vault. She came 11th out of 23, so nothing earth shattering ... but better than last year when I watched her first competition and couldn't believe how bad she had got, and she came last!!

So the next couple of months we not only have to fit the netball and soccer and my running into the weekend, we have gym competitions to fit in as well!