Sunday, July 31, 2011

August Challenge

I don't usually set myself challenges each month, or if I did they were very wishy-washy ones, like, 'run more' or 'run faster' or 'eat less'. Meh.
But this month I hit on the bright idea of setting myself a daily goal for the entire month, and it's a goodie!
Sooo, I'm going to burn 500 calories through exercise a day, every day, for the month of August. 500 calories works out to about eight kilometres on my feet.
To make it workable, I need to burn the bulk of those calories during my morning workout, then maybe an extra kilometre before work, and a brisk walk at lunchtime. If I have not walked far enough by the time I arrive home from work, I'll try to make up the balance on the exercise bike, or carry the unburnt over to the next day.

Unburnt calories can only be carried over one day, ie, if on Tuesday I only burnt 400 cals, I can burn 600 on Wednesday, but cannot make up for them on Thursday. This is to stop me getting confused about totals for the day, or cheating too much.
Walks/runs and calories are to be measured with my runmeter GPS, I know it's not totally accurate, but I also know that 500 calories is more than it normally tells me I've burnt, so it's a start!
The exception to the rule-the days before/after long run days. I tend to burn stupid amounts of calories on a long run, so will instead try to burn 250 calories on those days. I only go on long runs every two to three weeks, so I'm hoping that this won't make a big difference.

Day 1-8.93ks burning 518 cals.
Day 2-8.42ks burning 621 cals.
Day 3-8.76ks burning 550 cals.
Day 4-7.92ks burning 532 cals.
Day 5-7.38ks burning 509 cals.
Day 6-4.84ks burning 278 cals.
Day 7-Day off...unwell :(
Day 8-8.86ks burning 554 cals.
Day 9-7.08ks burning 507 cals.
Day 10-0 cals..sick again! :(
Day 11-9.81ks burning 681 cals...but I am doubting the GPS on this one.
Day 12-5.56ks burning 357 cals.
Day 13-Nada.
Day 14-10.10ks burning 755 cals.
Day 15-9.01ks burning 520 cals.
Day 16-Nada again.
Day 17-7.08ks burning 479 cals.
Day 18-9.86ks burning 556 cals.
Day 19-2.43ks burning 150 cals.
Day 20-3.27ks burning 180 cals.
Day 21-Nada.
Day 22-7.27ks burning 449 cals. So close!
Day 23-7.60ks burning 528 cals.
Day 24-8.37ks burning 484 cals.
Day 25-7.38ks burning 517 cals.
Day 26-5.83ks burning 426 cals.
Day 27-2.40ks burning 126 cals.
Day 28-12.29ks burning 850 cals.
Day 29-6.21ks burning 336 cals.
Day 30-8.32ks burning 617 cals.
Day 31-Nada.

Sri Chinmoy 10k

On Sunday morning I was up bright and early for an event that was organised through work- a nice Sunday race organised through the rather cool Sri Chinmoy Marathon team.
I'd been thinking about attending one of their events for awhile, as they cost far less than big races, are renowned for the friendly atmosphere, not to mention the famous post-race pancake breakfast!
It was a bright, cold morning, and I arrived early feeling pleased to be out and running on such a pretty day. I met up with some pals from work, dropped my bag off, re-pinned my number three times until it was straight enough (this was the first race I've attended where the timing chip was on the bib instead of the shoe) before hopping into the world's longest port-a-potty line.
This was my longest run since the HM, and I had still been easing back into my training. While I certainly raced this run, I didn't race hard. I felt sluggish and slow, and I want to get back to training so I didn't want to be sore. The course was a five k loop completed twice and had some challenging hilly sections.
I came in at 1:14:34, which is a nice time over that distance for me.
Sadly when thinking about pancakes, which rank among my top ten favourite things in the universe, I had forgotten that I don't really feel like eating after a run. I still had one though!
Overall it was a nice lead in to some more serious miles, and it broke the ice towards long runs post-HM. Very pleased :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vale, Kayanos :(

So there's good news and bad news.
The good news, is that I headed out this morning and ran four k's pain free, which makes me feel pretty damn amazing.

The bad news is that my beloved Kayanos have, at six months and five hundred kilometres, given up the ghost. While I don't believe they caused my calf problem, I think that their worn outedness may have contributed. I knew they were on their last legs, which is why I bought two new pairs of shoes, but I can't help feeling a little sad that they've become worn out.

I guess the other good news is that now I get to devote myself to road testing two new pairs of shoes! I have a pair of Saucony Hurricane 12's that I've now run in twice for a total of about eight k's, and a pair of Saucony ProGrid Guide 4's, as yet unused. Having two pairs of shoes is very luxurious for me, and I'm really hoping the Sauconys work out because I can have two pairs for less than the price of one pair of Asics, and I can't really afford $250+ every six months.

I'll likely run through a lot of pairs of shoes as I run down the road of life. Here's to the new!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I finally went out to test drive those legs....and they're not great :/
I headed out this morning, tirrredddd...but determined to put in a few kilometres just to see how it would go. I knew I had a few sore areas but to be honest I expected it to all be okay, but it wasn't.
My right calf/ankle started to feel sore after a few hundred metres, and while I was able to continue for about three k's, it became progressively more sore. That was this morning, and it has continued to be sore, to the point of being very uncomfortable, all day.
I think I have strained the muscles around my achilles and in the back of my calf. Descending stairs, rotating on the right foot, and moving my foot from side to side are unpleasant :(
Soooo, more walkies for me. And some anti-inflammatories to minimise the damage I did this morning, maybe some compression socks too. I did some reading and 7-10 days is about the timeline for healing a mild claf strain, so I'll just have to wait and see. Am sort of kicking myself for going running this morning, instead of heading out on Sunday. Maybe it would have been better.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So I've taken almost this whole week off from running, as I recover from my half.
The soreness was worst on Monday and Tuesday, and is gradually getting better each day, with only the odd tweaky weird pain.
There were a lot of things I could have done immediately following the race to ease discomfort, but didn't. I could have stretched more, taken an ice bath, had a massage, etc etc. But I'd just had a triumphant experience, and I really, really hate ice baths! Plus I knew I'd be taking a few days or most of the week off, so I figured I'd worry about that later!
It's Thursday now, and the last of the pain is almost gone. My hips or knees occasionally feel clunky, but overall muscle soreness has gone, so tomorrow I am going out for a very short, gentle run to test drive my legs.
I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Run Melbourne Half Marathon race report

I don't quite know where to start in talking about this race. It was, quite simply, perfect. Perfect conditions. Perfect people. Perfect result.

I felt relaxed beforehand, which was odd as I am usually a bundle of nerves, but a good thing nonetheless! I spent the day before drinking plenty of water, mixed with Endura rehydrate to give plenty of magnesium and other goodies to my muscles. I ate my carbs, and my favourite pre race meal (pizzzzzzza, mmmm). I went to bed early, and I slept well. My sleep was full of dreams but even my dreams felt good, positive.
I woke up a little before my alarm went off, which is just as well, as I had managed to set the alarm for PM, not AM. What a nightmare that could have been if I were a heavier sleeper!
I showered, nommed some toast, and dressed in my default running outfit of black tech capris (I've worn those so much I have a tan line where they end)and my oversized MDC '10 tech shirt (which makes me feel a bit skinnier, but in reality probably makes me look fat), Thorlo fatties, and my Kayanos, so basically the outfit I'd done almost all of my long runs in, and I knew it would stand up to the test.
My Oscardog cracked it because he wanted to go running, and I wished I could take him with me, sometimes he is sooo much easier to deal with when he has a few k's in his legs.
I packed up my gear, and my super support team (aka devoted fiance) drove me into town for the 7am start. We parked the car, I used the loo at his work (much nicer than port-a-potties) and then walked down to the start.
I felt excited as soon as I started to see other runners. It was a feeling like fear, but not fear, so it must have been excitement.
As usual the wait in the corrals was interminable, but then it all started to happen, and we were off.
I'd put my phone on airplane mode, which I thought would just stop calls/messages etc coming in, but it also prevented my GPS from working, so I didn't have the usual announcement popping up each kilometre to tell me how I was going. I quickly decided that that was a good thing, and to just 'fly blind' and give it everything I had. Likewise, I ignored and eventually turned off my walk/run interval timer.
I ran more of this race than I have of any race. I took about a third or less of the walk breaks I normally would, and just gunned it as much as I was able.
The first five k's were, as always, poo. When you have to run 20+ k's, the first five are just blerggggghhh.
I was thirsty. I drank at every single water station, slurping down water and air alternately. I nommed my gels at pretty good intervals. And I ran.
People passed me, and I passed people. Sometimes I felt strong, other times I felt like I would be running forever and felt pretty sorry for myself. I ran up a hill growling like an animal. 'Eye of the tiger' came on and I said a swear before sprinting for a full half a k. I admired the elites as they streaked past, their beautiful gazelle like strides, but felt no envy. I was running my race, and they just weren't in it. Through it all I plodded on. I remember trotting down a hill and thinking to myself, 'Heyyy, you're going DOWNHILL. This is where you gain those minutes, this is where you make some ground. Let the hill do it for you, idjit!'
But then I knew that it wasn't much further. Five k's more, four more.....then pelting down a slope towards the finish. A photographer took my picture and I felt my smile growing bigger and bigger, an insane clown smile, to the point that the photographer looked around his camera at me and smiled too.
A hundred metres from the finish there were people everywhere, shouting and excited. I must have been tired because I thought I knew them, I thought they were my friends and that they were shouting "Go Jo! Go Jo!" Of course they were just shouting "GO GO GO", lols. I was searching everywhere for my fiance, and then I spotted him smiling at me, looking proud as he snapped a picture.
My eyes were on the clock as I bolted for the finish, realising I'd finished just on 2:45, and that that time was from the gun, not from my actual start!
So far my recovery is proving slow and challenging, with lots of walking and stretching. It's funny, you run all that way, then take a week off to rest, and all I can think about is running.

The part I can't quite wrap my head around yet is that it all went so, so well. I had a dream. I worked for it. I trained myself like an athlete, and I became one. I set goals, and I surpassed them.

Official time-02:40:00

5km-00:38:59 10km-01:16:40 Half Way-01:20:18 15km-01:54:15 20km-02:32:22

Pace- 7.58min/km

I am so, so pleased with my results. Watch this space, I'm only just getting started.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Half Marathon training by numbers

6 months.
504 Kilometres, taking 73 hours 15 minutes and 51 seconds.
147,589 kilojoules burnt.
1 pair of Asics Kayanos run into oblivion.
300gs of Endura Rehydrate.
12 GU's.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome to Taper Town...

..population, me.
I actually had a pretty easy taper. On Sunday I put in just under 8ks, comfortable and relaxed.
On Tuesday I went out to do 5 or so, and it was the most fun I'd had for awhile. I was 4 ks in and pumping along happily when I became aware of a tweaky pingy owwwwwww in my right hip. I walked the last kilometre home, trying to stay relaxed and just not freak out totally. It's taper pain, it's phantom pain, I will rest it and it will go away.
So I rested it until this morning, walking and stretching but nothing else, then went out for a very short run this morning (just over 3ks) just to see how it felt, and to test out my new shooooesss, but that's another story.
I knew it was there, sure, but it was fine. Not even really painful, just a 'feeling' of something there.
All up, I'm feeling great. I've lost a couple of kilograms during the last few weeks, and feel lighter and faster. I am consumed with knowing I can do this, and it's such a good feeling. I've never had this kind of faith in my own abilities before. My feelings go further than simple "I know I can do this" towards "I want to kill this. I want to leave everything I have out there. I want to go the hardest I have ever gone". It's hard to believe that after six months of work, the whole thing will be over by 10:30 Sunday morning.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So close I can smell it....or is that my socks?

Out at 4:30 this morning for 4.5 k's of 'speedwork', even though my version of speedwork translates to about an 8 minute kilometre, lols.
It's now just over a week until the HM, and I'm not really nervous...I'm in a good place, my mind is full of 'I can, I will, I know' kind of thoughts. Sometimes when I'm running I wish I could upload to blogger straight from my brain, sizzle out those crazy, exciting, uplifting thoughts to use later, although really I can look over them anytime I like just by going for another run.
I'm planning to back today's run up with another easy 4 k run tomorrow, and then a nice long walk on Saturday before putting in about 8 or so on Sunday. Next week I'll be tapering, and to stop myself going mental I'm going to head out on Mon-Wed-Fri for easy, 3-4 k runs.
I'm so pleased that the last two weeks of training have come together so well, it's really boosting my confidence. I've been strangely certain of my ability all through my training but I really feel that I can acheive my goals in this race.
I can't hardly wait :D

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The last long run

Yesterday I did my last long run before the Half Marathon in two weeks time. 22 kilometres, which took three hours, nine minutes, and sixteen seconds. Not bad.
I wouldn't say I was excited for this's pretty hard to feel positive about the physical and mental slog associated with that kind of effort. More than anything I felt relieved to know that this was the last time that I'd 'have' to cover this distance for a long time.
Yet somehow I'm convinced that I'll do this again. Even as I was out there, tired, uncomfortable and consumed with thoughts of bacon, I knew I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I was running along, both loving and hating it, and planning where I'd go after the HM to run for fun.
My cousin Aimee, with whom I seem to have many parallels (even though I have not seen her in years and years) ran her first half yesterday. It was the Gold Coast half marathon, which is quite a serious event. It has a three hour cutoff.
She didn't make it. She finished allright, but she finished outside the three hour limit, outside her time goal, and the rules of that race are such that she was disqualified and does not record an official time.
I was gutted for her. Self centred creature that I am, I immediately started googling cutoff times for my own race. I don't think there are any, my race starts at 7am and the latest race (the 5k) starts at 10:30. I think a lot of the time cutoffs are more about being able to keep roads closed than anything else.
I don't think I can run the distance much faster than I have in training, and so my goals are simple. I want to finish in under three hours, and I want a negative split, both of which I've been able to do in training.
Variables are - the course is different terrain to what I've covered, so I may lose some time, but also the course does not have red lights, and my training ground does.
I'm starting in the 3rd wave, and hope to be well back to let all the speedies go. I don't want to add too many unnecessary miles swerving around others.
I want to drink plenty of water, stick with the gels that I know work for me, and mostly just...relax, enjoy it, see it as an experience.