Saturday, March 31, 2012

Run for the Kids

Hooray! Run for the Kids is done.

I was very happy with my time - 1:43:xx which means I was sub 7:15 minute/km average pace. Unfortunately, my legs are feeling every one of those 14.38km!

The run felt so much better than last time. I felt good the whole way through, with the exception of coming out of the tunnel (so hot!) but once I'd managed to cool myself down (relative to the about to pass out feeling post-tunnel) I was back on track. The Bolte Bridge include and Collins Street were no tougher than I expected and I kept going the whole way. Again, this is a significant improvement on 2010.

I was left questioning whether I would want to do the run again, a couple of kilometres short of the finish, and then about 200m from the finish a saw a woman just in front of me, carrying a photo of a sick little one in the hospital. I nearly started crying at this point! And decided I would definitely be back next year because not only do I get to do the run but money goes to Royal Children's Hospital, and that's worth it.

Now, don't ask me how I'm going to manage 21.1km at the Gold Coast in 13 weeks. The prospect of another 7km is making my legs even more tired that they currently are!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Feeling the running love

Only three more days until Run for the Kids.

This run is now "just another training run" as I have decided to the Gold Coast Half Marathon in 13 weeks. Which is not to say I won't give Run for the Kids a bit of a racing effort but I'm not going to thrash myself doing it.

I'm feeling pretty good at the moment. My shin splits are troubling me a bit but I can manage that if I keep the stretching and foam rolling up.

I was feeling the running love before run group tonight (last one until Run Melbourne training starts - I think I'll do that one and add a couple of Monday nights to make up for the weeks I won't do because Gold Coast is two weeks earlier) but new it was for real after I downloaded my Garmin stats.

So, you have to use your imagination a little bit, but that totally looks like a heart - right? I love running and running loves me!

Even more exciting is the Citylink sitting under the heart there - that's the Domain tunnel that I will be running through on Sunday!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smashed it!

I had an awesome time trial tonight!

I took two and a half minutes off my last time. I knew I was going "fast" and that freaked me out about half way through, so I walked for a bit and then got back into it.

Nothing else to add - I'm so stoked at the improvement and hope that I translate that into massive improvements for Run for the Kids.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What I learned today

Tonight I ran in the Victoria University River Run.

Here's a bridge I ran over.
I love the Maribyrnong River. It's very pretty.

I did this run last year. Last year the course was 8km and I was massively unfit and under-trained. This year the course was 10km and I am feeling much fitter and much more confident in my training. Having said that, I struggled. Here's what I learned from the experience:

I do not like running in the afternoon/evening/night. My tummy doesn't like running. It gets angry when I put things in it (such as water) and then run. Unfortunately, common sense says water is important when running in the heat. Plus, I am a morning person, which means a 5.50pm start for a run is at least 12 hours too late.

I do not like running up hills. This was not really a new discovery for me. The stupid and ridiculous hill in the second kilometer was a surprise, however. I know I have some ridiculous hills ahead of me in Run for the Kids, so I used this as training for that. But running up hills that I didn't know were coming make me mad.

I ran way too fast in the first kilometer. This was one I wasn't expecting. I was 30 seconds faster than I would have planned (had I really planned this race) for that kilometer. Maybe that was good given I virtually started going backwards by kilometer number two but is not ideal in the scheme of finishing faster than you start.

I pay too much attention to what's going on in my head. I spent 90% of this run with negative thoughts in my head. "My stomach is unsettled." "My legs are tired." "It's too hot." "I can't run up this hill." "My knee hurts." "Blah, blah, blah, blah."

Is it any wonder that I struggled?

My running training is paying off. I got to the last 100m of the race (give or take) and my pace really picked up. I got the the last 50m and I sprinted to the finish line. A real sprint (I'm pretty sure the Australian Olympic selection panel currently trying to find out who I am). I could never have run like that before I started with my running group. Unfortunately, that sprint also tells me that I could have pushed myself sooooo much more for the rest of the race.

I'm not all that good at using races as training runs. I had planned on running this as part of my 13km training run. I didn't run the remaining 3kms I needed to make the 13. I didn't run the race like a training run. I am thinking of heading out tomorrow morning for about 4 to 5kms to make up for it but will see how I feel in the morning.

I desperately need to stretch, roll and strengthen. My legs are rapidly getting worse. I need to make the time to do my exercises and get my stretches in.

And there you go. Lots of learnings from tonight. I'd like to have learnt my time but, unfortunately, I neglected to stop my watch at the finish line. Results are out tomorrow so we'll see how I went then.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why routine is good

Monday's running experiment was a fail. The track was pretty in places but far too hilly (including a section of stairs) and too many cyclists coming around blind corners very fast. I didn't enjoy myself and spent most of the time fearing for my safety.

Run group Wednesday night was good - we did lactate stackers and I felt really good about my form in the high intensity sections. My legs felt the running though, likely because I've been terrible with keeping up my foam rolling. I am much happier having two pairs of shoes in rotation though. I don't have any scientific data to back it up but it makes the running so much better.

Hello my pretties!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And exhale...

OK, so it's been forever since I checked in. This is predominantly because of a reoccurring theme in my life at the moment, where I never stop working. Hooray for the Labour Day holiday today!!! It's given me a chance to catch my breath.

Things got pretty bad a couple of weeks ago, to the point where I was physically ill from the stress of it all plus had an anxiety attack in the middle of run group. Turns out when you add adrenaline to your system by "sprinting" (relative term), on top of the adrenaline you've already got running around in your system from stress, it gets a bit too much. It really took me by surprise and is not an experience I'd like have again.

But that's the past and I'm not going to dwell.

The running is going great. I haven't done as much as I would like but I'm getting my long runs in and maintaining a reasonable pace. I ran into a friend (we were headed opposite directions) during my long run yesterday - it took both of us a couple of strides to click that we knew each other. He turned around and ran three kms with me until I had to turn around and head back. I'd forgotten how great it is to run with someone - those kms together were the easiest of my 11km total. Thankfully though, my pace didn't change after we went our separate ways.

Next weekend I've got the River Run which I plan to use as my long run. I'm doing the 10km and then I'll add two or three on top of that. I did this run last year, although it was only 8km then. It's not my favourite time, with a 5:50pm start but I need to challenge myself to run outside my comfort zone.

To celebrate today's holiday, I'm thinking of trying a new route for this afternoon's run and heading north/north-west on the Capital City Trail. Fingers crossed I don't get lost!!