So I’ve had a bit of a slump… 2 whole days off- now that I write it down it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but I’ve pretty much been fretting over it the whole 2 days- partially me just feeling a bit burnt out and partially life not allowing me any time to run. Last week was spot on perfect- I did everything on the schedule including a very exhilarating bike ride with the ol’ man (I haven’t been on a bike since the ’80’s!) We just rode around the cemetery for 30 minutes but it was so much fun!
Today I did 30 minutes on the treadmill but I am amazed at how much faster I can run- that’s something I never expected as I’m not too concerned with speed- but it’s very cool to be able to keep pushing that speed button higher and higher!
Tomorrow is Friday, time for… you guessed it, The Long Run. It’s my last week with 4 miles as “the long run” so I’ll try to appreciate how “easy” it should be!
I’ve posted the Hal Higdon (www.halhigdon.com) Programme I’m using on my “programme” page. Really this is my first “official” week of training as I am using a 12 week Half marathon programme and this week makes it 12 weeks until the Half. I will then switch over to his Novice Full marathon programme. This just seemed like a good idea for me. It just seems so much more managable to break it down into 2 sections. I view the last 3 weeks since I decided to run the marathon and really the 2 months before that as working on a base- so I am not coming from doing absolutely no structured exercise to having a bit of a fitness base.
So alas, my longest run to date is still only 4 miles. I actually cheated last week and did 2- 4 mile runs and somehow, on the second run I shaved nearly 4 minutes off my time!!!! I have to say I am very tempted to just inch up there a go for a 5-miler but I am trying not to push it so I will stick with the programme, so to speak. Every single book I have read (or am reading… and I think the count is up to 5!) say that the number 1 reason why people cannot continue to train for a marathon is going out too hard too soon.
I am trying to be patient!
Here’s a little hint to all those women out there who have given birth…
Do NOT have a cup of tea immediately before heading out on a run…
OK I couldn’t resist… because I am very excited to have found Gmaps Pedometer http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ I think it’s one of those basic secrets of running geeks (the lady at The Running Room http://www.runningroom.com/ told me about it) and now that I know about it my runs will never be the same! Basically you go on it- type in an address, press start recording and then double click along a route you would like to run and VOILA! it tells you how far the route is. Mt friend had told me that Google has a similar type of thing but I couldn’t figure it out- this is super duper easy. Not knowing exactly how far I was running was always a bit frustrating as I would just go on time and approximate my distance. Now I know and I am hoping it will help with my focus. Today for example I mapped a 4 mile out and back route starting from my house- I know I have to get to Oak Street and that is where I turn around.
Yesterday I actually spent some time mapping out some fantasy routes, marvelling at the distances… hours of entertainment I tell ya!
Because with every step of every run I have to talk myself out of quitting. I have to set these itty bitty little goals just to stop myself from throwing in the towel… every run. Like, “I’ll just keep running for 10 more minutes and then see if I want to keep going” or “I’ll make it up this hill to that tree and then decide if I should continue” and 9.5 times out of 10 I keep going, I don’t give up, I finish my 40 minutes on the treadmill, or the 4 mile loop around my neighbourhood and it always feels so great to have met my teeny tiny goal.
I ran. I negotiated with myself. I conquered.
Sunday I decide I need to get another outside run in as Mondays-Thursdays are almost impossible to do anything except run on the treadmill, as I have childcare issues. Fresh off my “hey that was easier than I thought” Friday run I decide to run a similar course but for 3 miles only, so as not to over-do it. The first mile stunk, as did the second and the 3rd didn’t get any easier. I wasn’t sore or having cardiovascular trouble- I just couldn’t find my rhythm- My legs felt like lead- I was not having fun. I had borrowed son #2’s ipod- thinking that it might be fun to run with music, and maybe that is what threw me off because (and maybe it’s because I’m not used to his ipod or his music) it just proved to be a big distraction.
I truly didn’t expect every run to be a glorious,inspirational, life changing event I just didn’t think the rotten run would rear it’s ugly head so early in my training. Oh boy, and I know there are more to come.
I was tempted to make this a “rest” day but made it to the gym in time to get the little ones in childcare and do 20 mins “fartlek” training (fartlek=speed training, even though my “speed” can hardly be called “speedy”) on the treadmill, some weights and I forced myself to do at least twice as much stretching than the 30 seconds I usually do, as I can only wonder if my lack of dedication in the stretching department contributed to my legs feeling like they were made of lead.
Tomorrow I am off to buy a much needed pair of running shoes- I’m sure that will add a bit of spice to training! Who can resist a run in new shoes?!
Really, I think the hardest part of this training is going to be carving out the time to get the runs in. It is very complicated having to organize 7 other people (yes, I am including the other adult in the household as he needs much organizing!) Yesterday went something like this…
I was so worried about blowing my day with daycare that I had tried to plan and re-plan the day over and over- but as all Mothers know a plan is good but flexibility is even better when you are dealing with children and trying to get them out the door.
Woke up 5:15- after another crappy night with the baby (he wakes at least 4-5 times every night) had a coffee- and then start pancakes for the gang. It was a good day as I only had to make 3 lunches- as middle 2 are getting hot lunch every other Friday and I decide to give oldest 2 $5 each to buy lunch (as a treat… to myself)
My goal is to be leaving the house by 8- and I’m pretty much there despite having to fish baby out of the toilet (he’s obsessed with spashing aroung in the toilet, and who left the bathroom door open anyway!?) and packing everything that everone will need for the day including my running gear as I am to attend Mass at 9 am because the grade 5’s are in charge of it so I should be in attendance. Everything is running smoothly (ish) until it’s show time… I’m free- my plan was to change in the van and head out from where I’m parked near the kid’s school… but wait, I gotta pee… hmmmm… no problem- I’ll drive to the nearby community centre pee and change there, so away I go- I pull into the parking lot jump out of the van, grab my bag just to discover, I only have 1 shoe with me… AARRGGHH! Back into the van I go, drive home and I’m FINALLY running by 10:15.
The 4 miles, by the way were pretty uneventful. I had had hopes of running down to the beach from the kids school but as it turns out my run through my neighborhood and then up and around Queen Elizabeth Park was quite lovely thank you, and not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. There were a few teeny tiny walls hit where, if I were feeling particularly pathetic I might have said “Aw, screw it” but all in all it felt great and I even had a bit of a sprint in the final 2 minutes (well at least it felt like I was sprinting!) And heck, so much planning and organizing went into getting out there that I truly would have been pathetic had I given up!
Today was rest day but the plan is to get another outdoor run in tomorrow as I have a small window of opportunity in the afternoon after hockey, church, and my parents coming for dinner, where there is someone home to watch the kids while I get out for a run.