Challenges · running

Marathon training back up and running!

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Training for a marathon is hard work. It takes a lot of hard work. Dedication. Commitment. Resilience. I have all of these, just not always and not all at the same time when I probably should have. Like now, when I’m in marathon training mode.  My lack of any decent running over the last few weeks is due to the pain in the butt that is moving house. And working full time.  Not having one iota of energy to even think about running.  This move took everything we had, yet even though I was not running I didn’t get that sludgy feeling I normally do. That feeling of losing fitness and becoming a slug. I have felt pretty good physically through all of that, so when I started again last week with a few treadmill runs I knew I would be alright.

As I have said before I have the Asics running plan to help me keep on track and so far it is doing its job. I tend to run a bit faster than it wants me to, despite feeling at those moments that I couldn’t go slower if I walked. I am doing alright.  I’m figuring the plan has been worked out on flat runs not hills, so on my hill climbs tell it I’m going slower.  I like hills, and I hate hills. Hills are good to help with strength and a different kind of endurance. They also kill my knees.

I wrote up my training plan on a big white board and its in the corner of our lounge/gym where it’s easy to read for everyone. Crossing off each day and updating both my running apps* gives me some satisfaction. It also makes it easy so if anyone wants to plan something they know what I should be doing and when.

*my phone had a bit of a hiccup so has been sent away. What I got as a replacement was a dinosaur so my runs have to be tracked by car for distance before I can run them. So it’s an update of apps and not a ‘stop tracking and save’ motion. This may mean my runs are slightly off for a week or two. I’m not worried, i am still doing it.

My eating plan has been ok, smaller serves and less giving in to temptations. Control is the key.  I’m not sure if my body has changed that much or it’s an illusion, but I do feel leaner. It’s a good feeling.

During the week my runs were pretty good, I was feeling it during and after, even though my mid length run was slower than I wanted. I was a bit worried during that run as it got dark a lot quicker than I was expecting so had to finish in the dark not being totally visible.  Next time, (so this week), it will be reflectors and head lamp. Hopefully with a little running beanie I’ve ordered.  I’ve found that while the head lamp is great (this morning’s run proved that) it doesn’t fit so well over my cap. So I wore my cap backwards so the lamp was in the right place. Felt a bit weird but you know what, I’d rather look silly and be visible than the alternative.

Why would I wear a cap when it’s dark? Well for many reasons. When I started running I found that I really disliked my hair bouncing around (yes, even with short hair) and if I wasn’t wearing my sunnies the glare would hurt my eyes. So a cap became a part of my outfit. Now, I don’t go anywhere without it, if it’s raining, it will also keep the rain at bay somewhat. That and clear glasses. Good for cold/wet/dark so I can still see (cold makes the eyes water like you wouldn’t believe).

While I’m on the subject, what else do I have in my outfit range… my pink light as a feather all purpose Asics jacket (in a fluro-ish pink, so my perfect colour and highly visible as well!). It keeps the cold at bay, the rain and the wind. And because it’s so light I don’t get hot while wearing it. It is incredible!

Then there’s the asics high vis vest I bought for the same reason. Night time visibility. Not only its it in that gorgeous green it has pockets galore for all the little things you need plus the back is a pocket to hold a camelbak. Ooops, I may have just picked one up yesterday to use for my longer runs… for anything over 20km my hydration belt just doesn’t cut it.

I tested it out this morning. Very comfortable to run with. Cold on my back a bit, though the weather wouldn’t have helped with that, it didn’t bounce around and was easy to use.
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Cold hands have been an issue, so with any length run if it’s cold enough, my Nike running gloves with padded fingers for smart phone easy access are the bomb. Comfortable as, and my hands didn’t get too hot like I thought they would. I run hot so each of these things could be an issue. With this cold weather I and finding that extra layer is awfully good.

Another lovely find is my asics long sleep top. Thumb holes so it covers the hands a bit, and a fluro high vis section across the upper back. Super comfy and again, not too hot.

Most of my running gear has been Kmart, Big W, Michelle Bridges, Target, you know, the cheaper items and not full on brand names. There are items though that I will spend on and ‘get what I pay for’. Quality and durability.  I do like Asics, big fan here.

Wow, that was a bit of a digression there. From training plans to my outfits. Ah well. Running is the most expensive free sport .

Back to the training. I am loving it, more so when summer kicks in and daylight savings is back.  Longer evenings after work, lighter earlier in the morning. There is that certain freedom in running, and even in training mode I am still enjoying it. Only way to go really. I have to work hard, I have to push through the ‘it’s going to be cold on the weekend’ comments that I hear everyday at work.

My mid week runs are short, 5 and 10k, with the long run on a Sunday. Perfect as Sunday’s were my usual long run day anyway. My long runs up to race week are 10 (handy as I’m doing a 10k fun run on this day, sub 60 is the plan), 21, 25, 30 then 14 the week before race day. My only issue is only getting to the 30k mark and not having tried the full kahuna before the actual day. For my half marathon I ran it at least twice that I can remember so I know that I could actually do it. I spose I should trust myself, my training and the race day high to get me through. I’ve heard it’s a flat course so hopefully will make it ‘easier’. Of course running 42.2 km isn’t easy by anyone’s measure, but hills certainly make it more challenging.

I will keep plugging along, doing the work, stretching and light weight workouts on my rest days. Having a plan has been good for me. I think I said it once before somewhere. Leaving the planning to someone else and doing what I’m told has been good. I’m not feeling guilty because I think I should be running, because I know I will get the run in when I am meant to. Before, I used to be push push push, run run run, all the time, with a ‘gotta go for a run or I’ll lose it all’ mentality. Oh how I’ve grown up, if just a little bit.

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