Runner problems & gratitude

I had a monster “must do or they’ll be taller than me” weeding session to do today. The whole time I was bent down ripping & pulling at these beasts I was worried about tiring my back and I COULDN’T have a tired back for my next run!!!

It occurred to me then, that if THAT is my biggest worry at the moment then I should be pretty thankful for how good life is… Seriously!

I love running and sometimes I can get a bit precious with my body but at least I can laugh at my own silliness!

Run, shower, fuel and then wrap me up in cotton wool till the next one I say!

DOMS

Its time for a training week fortnight wrap.

Since the last training update I have managed to get some longer runs under my belt and I am starting to feel ready for this half marathon!

Thanks to the September Miles Madness I have been motivated to tack a few extra Ks on all my sessions and not just my long runs and this has seen me achieve my highest mileage week EVER!

With the exception of some specific ‘post baby’ soreness (apparently all the kegels in the world don’t strengthen you for DISTANCE running) my body has adapted well to the higher mileage.

The Hill sessions on the other hand completely shocked my body and left my hamstrings screaming. I chose very gentle hills, did extra long warm ups and kept the reps low. Even though I felt like I didn’t push very hard IN my hill sessions my legs talked about divorcing me for days after. Given how much of a shock the hills have been I am only going to squeeze two more hill workouts in between now and the race. I certainly don’t want sore tired legs like that close to the race. Its been a long time since I have experienced DOMS and in some sick and twisted way it sure felt good to know that I pushed my legs in running.

When Sunday rolled around I was planning on heading out for 90 minutes on my own while Big A took care of Little A. But cuddling up with Little A on the bed (in the morning when he is just ALL smiles) was just too much fun… how could I leave this little guy behind???? So I suggested to Big A that I take the stroller and he come along on his bike. We decided to run/ride in to the City and have breakie along the River Torrens and run/ride home. Running home on a “big breakkie” and a belly full of coffee was a bit rough but it certainly was a nice way to mix my running up and squeeze some more time in with my two favourite people!

Tempo and Intervals are going well. I had a great Interval session last week in which I attempted 3 minute 30 second Ks. I failed. My fastest was 3 minutes 35 seconds. How amazing are these Olympic female athletes… they run 42.2km at a pace that I can’t even maintain for 1km!!!

This morning my Tempo Run included 30 minutes at 15kmp/h which is another personal best for me… Suddenly a sub 20 minute 5km seems possible and dare I dream of a 40 minute 10km!?!?!

All in all I am mentally and physically in a great place for this half marathon. Now the only problem is making sure I am geographically in the right place for this half marathon… an unexpected trip away might mean I wont be able to race the McLaren Vale Half. Fingers crossed though! Anyone know of any Virtual Half Marathons on the weekend of October 14th? I need a back up plan!

The ultimate runners network

On my post pregnancy to do list was a trip to my podiatrist to get re-assessed. After having my hips and core plied apart I figured “structurally” I wouldn’t be the same. Turns out I was right! The extra weight I carried, the physical changes that happened and all that relaxin that pumped through my body have a bit to answer for. All in all I was happy to discover that all my core work has paid off but I still have some work to do. Let me say though, there is nothing like a knowledgable health professional to help you establish what needs to be stretched, tightened or adjusted. I left my appointment feeling confident that I can get back on top of these few niggles that I have acquired post baby that I just haven’t been able to shake.

Today reminded of a post by pavement runner about surrounding yourself with greatness (see here). Its amazing how much we as humans can feed off and be inspired by others. I mean who isn’t sitting on their couch at the moment feeling uber-inspired watching our olympians!?!?

At the moment I am training on my own. I am not part of a runners club and I am only doing the odd race here and there. So I am not getting to socialise in person with many other runners much. But I AM SURROUNDED BY GREATNESS and do have an amazing network of people who inspire, motivate and assist me.

Firstly there is the amazing online community of bloggers and tweeters. I love sharing in other peoples journeys and I love being inspired by them. On the occassion when I just lack that motivation there will always be another runner who tweets or blogs something that I swear was written just for me. It doesn’t matter if our mileage, goals or paces are different I can always rely on these people to give me a kick in the bum when I need it.

Then there are those allied health professionals who keep us on our feet. Now I have met a few in my times as a PT but there is nothing like working with a fellow runner who “gets it”. Yes runners can be “slightly obsessive” by nature and not the most reasonable people to deal with when we are injured. Sometimes rest is the only answer but a fellow runner sure understands how much you just want to get back to running!

Finally there are my amazing supportive friends and family. They are magnificent and are always there to encourage me. This in itself inspires greatness in me. I want to strive to be the best I can just for them!

No, I am not aiming for the Olympics or any elite level for that matter. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still benefit from being surrounded by amazing people (athletes or not!). I might be the one to go out there and do the Ks BUT I only got out there because my husband understands and supports me, because I read that inspiring tweet that motivated me, because my podiatrist removed my corns and I am pain-free again!

Re – jigging

I have re-jigged my training program . . . AGAIN!

My goals are still the same (see here), I’m not injured and I am getting amazing gains. Why change?

I am a big believer that how many “hard” sessions you can manage in your training is very individual. Age, injuries and fitness level etc all play a role. Since Little A arrived I have focused on the speed work to try and regain my fitness quickly. This has meant that I have had 4 hard sessions each week and 1 easy session with 2 rest days. For a “seasoned athlete” I’m sure this would be a breeze but I definitely don’t fit in to that category. But even as a recreational runner I am very pleased with how my body has handled the higher intensity training load. All the speed work has seen me not only achieve pre-baby paces but far exceed them. But now I feel its time to back it off a smidge and for this reason I have decided to trade one of my “hard” sessions for an Easy Run.

How did I know it was time to back it off:

– Niggles are brewing. They are not injuries (yet) and they can easily be managed with stretching and foam rolling but I don’t have copious amounts of time to spend on my recovery so I need to keep niggles at bay in the first instance.

– I was struggling to space an easy session or rest day before each “hard” session. There are so many other factors that dictate which run I can get in on which day and changing the ratio of hard and easy sessions will help me to go into my hard sessions adequately rested.

So what does an “average” week of training look like now:

Easy Run
Tempo Run
REST
Long Run
REST
Easy Run
Intervals

Of cousre I may have to change the order of these sessions around each week as need be to fit them in around the mummy and wife duties but I am just happy these days to complete my planned sessions (read all about that here).

So that said its time for a tempo run. . . here goes!