Sunday, April 24, 2011

Journey to the Half Marathon

I think this is what Round 1, 2011 has become for me... it's no longer about losing the kilos and sticking religiously to the nutrition plan. That may be unfortunate seeing as I have paid $200 to do this round, but sticking to my 1/2 mara plan has become more important. And that's OK.
I have managed to lose another 3 kilos since December and I know that my body shape has changed even more - that shows that I can do this now. I use Twitter more than the actual 12wbt website for support and really only log on to update my stats and to print off all the plans, for which I am grateful. I have printed off all the Lean and Strong plans so that I can use them when I am ready.

Happy Easter by the way! Bunny has survived so far, but my egg didn't last the day. I didn't feel too bad about that because I ran 15ks this morning (1,500 calories)

There are 10 weeks to the GC 1/2 mara and my training has been going well. The only 'injury' I've had so far is a blister to the arch of my foot from my new shoes (had the middle laces too tight) all resolved now with some great blister bandaid thingies. I am so pleased that I really do feel like a runner now and my legs feel strong. I can push on and my thighs/femurs don't feel like they are going to burst through my hips! I'm sure I'm not a pretty runner and my form is probably odd looking, but it's working for me. There are a few of us on Twitter who are at similar stages in our running and it's so great to spur each other on from different states.

Twitter has brought me some great support from REAL runners who are more than happy to pass on their knowledge and experience. Thank you Bry, Kirsty, Keren and Cathy :). I am happy to say that I no longer get that awful panicky feeling in my throat when I am tiring. I can just ease back a bit and steady myself and push on. I have enjoyed reading Paula Radcliffe's new book 'How to Run'

and she says that it's better to concentrate on good form when you are struggling, rather than trying to distract yourself which is what I used to do (look at the trees etc.) I tried that today and it did seem to help. Then I have those great moments of realisation that I have got to the next road without even realising it (like when you are driving and think 'how did I get here?'). Is that what they call the zone? Maybe I am reaching that in my own little way... Running certainly isn't a natural thing for me yet - I still wake up early and nervous, like I used to when I first started playing golf actually?. Once I'm out the door I'm fine though and soon know whether it's going to be a good run or not. I find the interval runs the hardest by far! But I get it now - I understand that the hard runs have to be done to be able to perform well in the longer runs. It's working!!
With all my friends before the 10k Twilight Run, in the official singlet

I have now done 2 x 10k fun runs and the last one in March was no fun at all. Other than doing it alone again, it was in the afternoon on a very humid day by the river and I struggled the whole way through. Dumb. I should have blasted through it but there were some hilly bits that just knocked me flat. Finished in 62 minutes. I did get my very first medal though! (everyone wins a prize). That evening I was struck down with REALLY bad tummy cramps and visited the loo many times thinking I had gastro. The cramps are JUST like gastro pains. But it settled down overnight. Last night I read in Paula's book that runners lose a lot of blood (and iron) in their gut due to it being a high impact sport. Eek - a tearing action maybe?
Hot, sweaty and 'radiant' after the run - with my medal and fruit? (I couldn't eat it anyway)

I've discovered now that the cramps happen when I really push myself like that, or after runs longer than 10 ks. The first time I ran 13 ks was an absolute disaster - I completely didn't think about taking water and I got totally dehydrated and crampy. (I've since bought a running belt). Today I ran 15 ks and tried to drink Powerade throughout but it still happened - I was OK until I ate my light breaky and then had to race to the loo! The cramps settled down after a couple of hours this time so maybe it will gradually improve - I just hope there's a loo nearby after the 1/2 mara!! Personally I think it is something to do with fluid shift in the gut when I sweat a lot (I literally drip sweat and my clothes and visor/hat are saturated - I constantly mop away with a sweat band!).

Each night I check my running plan and get my Runkeeper app organised ready to press go. I love having this goal and I'm sure it's what keeps me going. I will have to set a new goal after the 1/2 so that I have something next to work towards. There are some great plans in Paula's book such as training for a faster 1/2 or faster 10k. I am at risk right now of neglecting my other exercise needs such as strength work so I'll have to pull my finger out there. I didn't even get the last fitness test done, slacko. Unfortunately my golf is on hold until after July....

Today during my run I remembered that it's only a couple of weeks until I meet my Twitter buddies in Melbourne - I got all goose bumpy!

My girls Chloe and Georgie at the top of Mt. Ngungun a few weeks ago


  1. Love it! Thanks for the mention xx The weights thing is perfectly normal, first thing to struggle with when kms increase. Try for at least once a week, 2 preferably. Don't forget to soak the aching legs in electric soda or Epsom salts bath!

  2. Now you have me looking forward to getting back to the plan post injury!
    I'm so behind and struggling and only done ONE long run so far .. So I'm terribly behind. Stupid back. But I start back tomorrow with a bike ride and the hill work :) thanks

  3. Great blog Jules, I wish i could hurry up and get pregnant so that I can hurry up and train for a half!

    We've got a couple of girls in here tonight who were running in Wild Endurance 100km event. Got to 70k before they had to pull out from dehydration. I really want to do another big endurance event again, fingers crossed for next year.

    Sounds like your training is going really well. I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey! x