Monday, May 31, 2010

The Dreadmill

The treadmill is not my friend
I feel that we have a hate hate relationship. I hate the dreadmill and it hates me right back . 

Today, after failing to get up at 6am and go out running (it was so dark! and raining! it was impossible.) I decided to hit up the gym after work and get my run in on the treadmill. I had 3.75 miles on the agenda. 

Mile 1 was pretty good, I had a decent pace and ran it in about 9mins30. I get so hot in the gym though, I get hot when I workout anyway and always enjoy a beetroot face for a while after working out. 

Mile 2 kicks in and I'm sweating, I'm thinking about how hot I am, thinking am I running too fast, thinking I'd like to just get this over with. Remembering why I hate the treadmill.

Then I got a stitch, I hate stitches!  I tried to run through it, doing the breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth thing which seems to just make me more out of breath, so I slowed down and walked to try and stretch it out. 

Then I got running again, and then ANOTHER stitch! This time on the other side, again I walk and stretch it out. I'm feeling really frustrated now and ridiculously hot. 

After getting running again I got yet another stitch, this time underneath my ribs, what is this! Then my arm starts aching, the dreadmill is out to get me, it's evil. This takes me up to around 3 miles, but the goal is to finish at 3.75miles. At this point I actually stopped the treadmill and was about to give up and go and shower. BUT (and this is a turning point for me I think!) I told myself NO, I have to finish this distance! 

So away I went again on, 0.75mile to go! Arghhh just let this be over, I walked some and then my Nike+ told me there was just 400 metres to go so I hit the speed button, and ran my little heart out. In my head chanting 'You are stronger than you know' Ahhh love the mantras. 

I did it, I'm pleased I did it, but anytime I think its a good idea to run on the treadmill I need to remember todays torture and re-read this. Regardless of the weather it is always better to run outside. 

Running lesson #17 learnt. The dreadmill is evil. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Go big or go home - Training has begun!

The time has come, in 21 weeks I will be in San Francisco (flight booked yesterday!) and will probably be feeling some excited and nervous butterflies about running my first marathon!

This will be me! 

I begun official marathon training this week, I'm trying to post my plan to my 'training' page but as yet am not clever enough to figure out how to do that! It will come ...

 This week I had a word with myself, I plan to be getting up around 6am before work to complete weekday training runs. I often tell myself 'I will TRY to get up and run tomorrow', by thinking about it this way I am giving myself a way out ... "I tried, but I couldn't wake up".
This kind of thinking does not run a marathon.
So now my thoughts go along the lines of "I WILL" - I am committed to this, committed to raising the money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma society and committed to succeeding in running a good race time! GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Based on this new train of thought, I got up at 6am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and ran 3 miles each morning. It felt good and get my day off to an awesome start and meant that by the time I got to work I was fully awake! I also appreciated the lie in till 7am on Friday morning!

Thursday was the kick off party for Team in Training who I will be training and running the marathon with! It was great to meet all the other people who had signed up for this challenge and hear about why they chose to support the charity. The excitement and motivation from TNT is going to be invaluable! It is so good to be around people who are as passionate about something as you are! I love talking about running (not sure I ever thought I would say that!)

Sunday is our first group training run and I can't wait to get stuck in....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BMO Vancouver half marathon recap

On Sunday 2nd May I completed my first half marathon, it was a great experience and I was really proud of what I achieved and what my body did for me. 

The day before the race I was at a wedding and was quite worried about not being able to eat properly, drink enough, get to bed early enough etc etc. On the contrary though I ended up chugging ton of water which I think really aided me during the race, fully hydrated it the way you want to be! I ended up going to bed at about midnight and had to wake up at 5.15am, I set my alarm to Ke$ha 'Tik Tok' and woke up feelin' like P-Diddy and raring to go!

After brushing my teeth with a bottle of Jack I pulled on my running gear (carefully laid out the day before) and had a bit of breakfast. I was planning on having the breakfast of champions, oatmeal, but I was feeling kind of nauseous and nervous and didn't think it would be the best idea! A piece of toast and banana worked out pretty well. 

I went and met my parents (my Dad ran the race too and my Mum was supporter extraordinaire) and headed to the start! Dad and me managed to get our way pretty close to the front of the start line so we could get over the line almost as soon as the gun went off and just as the gun went off the rain began, Dad sped off leaving me in his dust and away we went!

First thoughts going through my mind were, "Here we go, I hope this isn't too awful, my pants are falling down" Yes I made the rookie mistake of purchasing a new outfit (gotta look the part right!?) from lululemon but didn't test it out beforehand. The pants just kept falling down and I couldn't get them tight enough and it was extremely irritating. Eventually after fiddling around with them for a while I got them tight and could concentrate on running this race! 

First 3 or 4 miles felt hard, it was raining, progressively harder, but then I saw my mum in Gastown, waving and cheering me on and I had a big smile on my face, I felt proud as I ran past her! 

After this point I started to get into a nice groove, I was feeling good, had some energy gel and I was starting to think "I've got this" - the power of positive thinking seriously does wonders! I was shocked at how good I was feeling and how few times I had to walk. 

As we entered Stanley Park I knew there was a hill coming up to take us up to Prospect Point. My game plan was to walk up the hill (I had not done any hill training - something I definitely need to work on for a marathon in San Francisco!!) I got to the top of the hill in decent time (helped by the fact we had done a test run up the hill a couple of days before so we knew what we were in for) and then there was the fun bit of running down the hill! Wheeeeee! 

Once we were out of Stanley Park I knew we were on the home stretch and I was getting to the point where I was running further than I had ever run before. This is where it started to get difficult, out of the shelter of the park it was cold and the rain was really coming down. I turned my music up and dug my heels in, I knew soon enough I could be in a hot bath with a medal round my neck.

Finally the finish line came to me - my time was 2 hours 20 minutes. I grabbed my medal, high fived someone, got a plastic blanket and my photo taken! 

I hobbled home with my legs screaming at me and wondering why I put them through such a distance and jumped in a nice hot bath. It felt good, and what made it even better was munching on my favourite Marks and Spencer's crisps my mum had brought from home for me while in there. BLISS! :D 

My legs were achy for about 3 days and my knees were really sore right after the race. I could have stretched better to combat this, but I kind of felt like the achy legs were almost like a badge of honour, ever heard the phrase "Pain is weakness leaving the body" 

There are a few things I think worked for me for this 1/2 marathon:
  • Properly hydrating the day before the race
  • Being in a good mental place, positive thoughts really pushed me through
  • Taking on energy gels during the race. Risky move for me as I had not had energy gels before but they agreed with me and I felt like they gave me that extra push when I needed it
I felt really proud my myself and completely surprised myself in my ability, it gave me the confidence that with the right training a marathon is a fully achievable goal. 

When is the next race!? :D