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Week 32 - 5 weeks to go
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:39

Monday October 3rd - A public holiday, home on my own.  You'd think I'd sleep in, what with the start of daylight saving and the loss of an hours sleep and a big run yesterday.  Nope.  Decided to hike Mt Lofty for the first time in ages and ages.  I was there by 7.20, the carpark full already (sunrise less than an hour earlier, so much of the gully was still in very heavy shade), but I did get one of the few parks on the road nearby.  Off I set, using the timer on MapMyRun as I didn't bother taking the HR watch.  I walked only, as I ran yesterday and got up in 39 minutes - a PB!!  Legs a little tired on the walk downhill again.

Weights in the afternoon, followed by a visit from my bro - good to see him :)

Tuesday - Tempo run rather than sprints today, given how heavy the legs were after the last long run.  I was tired, and I didn't quite do the distance programmed (8km vs 10 km).

Wednesday - massage and then weights.  Not ideal, but I didn't want to do weights at 5.30 am which was the only way to do it before the massage.  Hartmutt was very mean to my hip muscles, especially around my greater trochanter.  I needed all of my relaxing skills!

Thursday - 10 x 400m sprints.  Not a fun session, but there was better recovery this time - 400m off.  Makes for a long session, though.  I then ended the day with a good stretch out on the ball with my preggie girls class.

Friday - early weights session.  Some foam roller work.  Then work, then dinner for 7 kids and 3 adults :)

Saturday - an afternoon wandering around the zoo, 6 kids sleeping at my house tonight (with Charlie's help), and an evening run for 16km at "planned marathon pace" of 5.10 per km.  

Sunday - I made it to yoga!!  First time in 4 weeks, I think - shame on me.  Very tight and sore compared to normal, and had to stop during one exercise (like this one but with both legs out wide) because I was just crunching my back because my hips were so tight (follow?).   And when I had to sit and wrap my hands around myself while twisting (I'll find a pic), I couldn't hold my hands - I can always hold my hands.  Must get back in the swing of that...

Tax stuff done, then weights in the late afternoon.  Unfortunately, this week I have had my accomodation cancelled in NY, so  I am madly trying to find another apartment without breaking the bank.  Very frustrating, nd has resulted in a few midnight trips to the computer to see if any good news has come in.  So many of the apartments to let are marked as available, but then they contact you and say they aren't available but we do have this nice 5th floor walk up with a double bed.....  Sheesh.


Week 31 - 6 weeks to go
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 22:21

Monday 26th September - ha, I thought I was tired yesterday.  I did my sprint session at lunchtime today, a 25 or so degree day, so beautiful and warm (not acclimatised to warm yet). 3 x 1600m pieces.  I did them at Kensington Gardens, around the big park there.  Turns out, it is 1600m around.  But 2 sides are uphill and 2 sides are downhill.  My first sprint I was heading uphill for the first 800m, but when I got to the top and was ready to run down, my legs were sooo heavy from the weights (I didn't even look at my pace, it was so slow) and then from running uphill that I couldn't even move them fast enough on the downhill to keep my HR up properly (well, I did, but it was very hard work).  I plannned  the next two pieces so I started downhill, which meant I had a little downhill at the end of each piece, but my HR was well established high by then, so it didn't matter.  And my legs were less tight.  Still heavy and slow, but less tight.

Tuesday - Weights session, plus foam roller.  In bed by 8 pm

Wednesday - found a post to give me hope.  

I was meant to do my run at lunchtime today, but I was too, too tired.  I am in bed at 8pm most nights and am sleeping really well, but I am very tired.  I had a nap instead.  And then went to bed at 9pm!!

Thursday - up early (5.30) for my run - 10km with 6.4 km at 10km race pace.  Given the 'slow heavy legs uphill and the slow heavy legs trying to move faster downhill' situation, I figured 10km race pace meant a HR over 160 bpm.  So that's what I did.  I was rained on a little - cold, wet, squally weather this week - but I got it done.

Weights again this evening, not so sore afterwards as earlier in the week.

Friday - “A marathon is called a marathon for a reason. This is a long, steady race. Make sure to try and keep your highs and lows in check, don't go out too fast, try to keep it slow and steady. When the hard parts come, and they will, make sure to tell yourself to gently push onwards, the next mile will be better. This race is as much about your head as your body, so just keep it moving!” – Dr. Jordan Metzl, Sports Medicine Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery

A stretching session

Saturday - Weights session.  Still very tired.

Sunday - The big run.  35 km from home to the beach and back along the linear path.  The long serssion is meant to give me a chance to check on my pre race preparation, check on my race day management from before, during and after, as well as just to get the miles in the legs and the brain used to the idea of just keeping on going.  Thank goodness for entertaining podcasts!!

But my preparation for this one was far from ideal.  We'll start with my diet.  Been pretty good on the whole, until this weekend.  Indian takeout on friday night.  Yummy, but heavy, salty, oily.  We went to the markets yesterday morning and I bought lots of great looking veggies and seeds to try some sprouting.   I was bewitched however, by the cake shop, and we had cake for breakfast (I did have strawberries first, but they kinda pale in comparison.  Maybe I had cake for an early morning tea?)  We also bought some fantastic looking cheese that we decided to share with Vern whilst watching the footy grand final - our token part of a footy match for the year.    So after the market, we watched the end of True Blood, then I had a short snooze, then I went and did my weights session, coming home to a lunch of cheese, pate and a little salt and pepper squid with champagne.   Championship prep, this.

We then had the most awful dinner ever at a chinese restaurant at Hahndorf.  One of those voucher deals.  Awful, glutinous sauce poured over fatty fatty bits.  Foul.  We left after the first couple of courses as we couldn't face the rest of it.  I felt very ill, and as dayloght saving started last night, it was bed time at 11pm before I knew it.  Charlie has flown to Alice Springs this morning for a friends funeral tomorrow, so we had a bit of an alarm error (at 4am) as well as the real alarm at 5 am, closely followed by the snooze at 5.10 am.  I drove him to the airport (business class form here for him, lucky guy!), then drank some water and headed off.  No breakfast, no good nights sleep, no fancy protein shake.  I did take a packet of Clif's shot blocks with me, and at 25 - 27 km I had 3 of those.  They were good, they gave me something to look forward to, and between them and the 4 water stops, I made it home. Tired, but not having struggled with the session at any point, although the pace was slightly slower than target (target was 5.30, I did 5.40).  Then somehow, my Garmin has done something funny and won't show me what I did.  So no link, and no other details on splits, HR etc.  Grr.

None of my runs are going to be so big from here - all under 2 hours, so I will be trying to do them a bit faster - at 5.00 - 5.10 pace or so which is meant to be my target marathon pace.

But, I am feeling really good and ready.  I did the session today with far less suffering than I anticipated.  The Slate Culture Gabfest worked wonders for 2 hours, then a bit of 'History of the World in 100 objects' (now in the mid 60's for that) and a bit of running music at the end with Beastie Boys to finish.  Worked a treat!

Week 30 - 7 weeks to go
Monday, 19 September 2011 11:04

Monday 19th September 2011 - I woke up feeling tired but fine - the legs are feeling good, but my middle back is feeling quite stiff.  Gym session this afternoon - put almost all the weights up a bit.

Tuesday - I was feeling good at work, but once I went for my run this afternoon, I felt tired.  Heavy, slow legs.  I wondered where the tyre was that I was obviously dragging behind me - so, so tired and heavy.  The program said 14.5 km at 10km pace plus 40 secs = 5.10 pace.  I headed out to do that, but by half way, with abdominal cramping (and thanks to Kym for being home for a rescue toilet stop!!), and a nasty blister on the arch of my left foot - I have no idea what I was doing differently to be getting a blister in shoes that are around 6 weeks old - with a funny gait then developing as I tried to wriggle off the hot spot ... I called it and finished at 11 km.  

I then had the Enjo fundraiser in the evening - 12 people came along to hear Sonya talk about the products, answer questions and these folks combined with the half dozen orders I had collected and the half dozen Sonya had collected resulted in $300 cash and $500 in free product for me to sell over the next few weeks (fabulous bamboo tea towels will be available in a couple of weeks!) all going to the Jodi Lee Foundation.  A busy day.

Wednesday - gym session, very early.  All the weights up again.  

And another findraiser tonight - a Scouts session at Team Trampoline, once again expertly run by Brian.  He does such a fantastic job, and this group of 11 and 12 year olds had a great time with some circus skills and trampolining.  I made some honey crackles and chocolate crackles which were well received, and another $260 was raised for bowel cancer awareness!

Thursday  - Another run - this time the 'sprint' session of 1km, 2km, 1km, 1km with 400m in between each one.  I spent about 10 minutes programming the workout into my fancy watch, but once I was ready to start (and at the river, off th emain roads and the need to watch for traffic), for some reason, the watch went completely on the fritz.  It kept telling me I was running too fast (2.38 split!!), and then when the first km was done and I had rounded a bend so was going the other way, it had me running at 12 minute pace.  Thank goodness for my built in redundancy and having MapMyRun also going at the same time.  I was able to complete the session using that, and once I reset my watch, it seeme dto work fine, but I couldn't be bothered stopping and trying to work out how to reprogramme the session for just the remaining 2x 1km I had left.  So, I have not some much fancy data, but I did the session.  No speed records were set, but it was a good solid HR session, which is what really counts.

Friday - I have woken with the most horrific rotated rib up the top of the left side, that has steadily worsened throughout the day.  A stretch out on a ball wasn't really helping, but some treatment did help and lots of ice.

Saturday - 21 km run.  A bit wierd up on the pioneer women's trail with a guy that kept appearing ahead of me on the switching back path - he was obviously going straight up where I was going on the trail, but by the third time he was stethching and cooling down in front of me, I decided it was best to get off the hill and back where other people were around, so my plan for the run didn't happen.  Fortunately, I am not going to run out of roads in a hurry, so I was able to still work out my distance.  Much uphill to start with, on the trail, and now a really red blister in the arch of my left foot to show for it.

Sunday - weights session.  I was pretty sore afterwards - quads, calves, and was lying on the couch in the evening wondering why I was so tired,  Then I remembered - 75 km running in a week, 2 fundraisers, cooking and preparation for the fundraisers plus work plus family time.  I'm tired.  Starting to look forward to that taper in a month or so :)


Week 29 - 8 weeks to go
Monday, 12 September 2011 07:35

Monday September 12th - another week of juggling the training sessions.  The City- Bay run is this weekend - 13 km that I will run as a competition (because that is how I roll Wink).  

But my program says I should do 26 km, so I'll have to run home again as well.  But the program says that should be all at slower than marathon pace, and that Thursdays session should have 5 km of 10km race pace work.  And that my sprint session should be 1 mile, then 2 miles, then 2x 800 at some sort of sprint pace (I think I'll be lucky if I can do any of that faster than 10k pace).  4 miles = 6.4 km.  So, sunday morning will have all my work load in it.  Plus my distance, all rolled into one.  Hmmm.

I'm still coughing and have a bit of a head cold as well, so I whilst I was going to run today, I will leave it until tomorrow, and plan to just jog.  On Thursday, I will do a sprint session, but I haven't yet decided exactly what to do - if I do the programmed workload, I will be doing too much for the week, which will not be good overall.  I don't think that more is better at this point, especially when I am not 100 % well again.  After this weekend, no more competitions or events, so I will just follow the program.

Tuesday - I did my 11 km jog in the dark with an enormous moon setting in the west - beautiful looking over the racecourse towards the city and the moon.  Light and easy.

Gym session in the afternoon - managing that well, despite it being very different to any other program I have done (ultimately, it is easier, and waaaay quicker - just 1 set of 10 reps of each of 10 exercises.  The reps are super slow, however.)

I hit the wall in the evening, though, and had to beg off my staff meeting - I was tucked up in bed at 7.30 and asleep before 8 - goodness, every night I am in bed by 8.30 anyway!!

Wednesday - no actual training today - just some more lunge / butt work for those pesky little external roators that want to let my knee roll in.

We also had a get together at a local pub to met some of the other runners and collect our Jodi Lee FOundation shirts ready for sunday.  It was good to catch up, and further discussions have me strongly doubting the wisdom of doing my biggest run of 32 km only 3 weeks before the marathon.  So, this weekend I will do a little more than the 26, I think.  And my 29 will be bigger, and my 32 will likely not be any bigger than 21 (that seems to be the prevailing advice - no more than 21 km at a timein the last 4 weeks).  I will definitely get 2 more big long runs in (now 7 weeks to go), but I may not get 3 in.  I should have looked at this closer, sooner, but there you have it.  At least I have done all the training til now, and will still do plenty more.  A posto n the NYC Marathon website in the last few weeks said if you do 80% of your plan, you are doing very very well.  

Thursday - Gym session again - 6th one already.  A little disconcerting to be told by a friend that I had 'bulked up'!!  I didn't think it was possible in 5 training sessions, even though I know I do muscle pretty easily, and have always maintained that I could get back to my maximal rowing strength within 3 months of weight training - I just haven't lost any muscle despite my efforts.  Perhaps my top was just not very flattering?

Friday - another early start to get my run in.  After much consideration, I decided on the same sprint session as is programmed in marathon week - 6 x 400m with 90 seconds recovery.  Some speed, some lactate, but not too much.  Sunday is forecast to be very warm (28 degrees, for the first time this season), so it will be a challenge doing a quick run down there, then  the long slow run home again for my longest ever run to date.  I promise I'll drink plenty.  

Saturday - a rest day.  I was going to go to yoga, but spent more time with Charlie instead - this next week looks like we'll hardly see each other!  I did work for 5 hours, and did the Strong Core class, so I still did get some stretching in.

Sunday - up bright and early on an absolutely gorgeous Adelaide spring day - forecast top oof 26 degrees, but crisp in the early morning.  I jogged into town for the start of the 12 km City - Bay Fun Run, and managed to talk my way into the pink bib section for sub 60 minute runners - only if you had run sub 60 last year could you get one, but I have never done the event before.  It meant that I was able to cross the start line only about a miinute after the first people did, which had me in about the right place for a good run without too much weaving around slower people.

I had set a goal of trying to run 4.30 per km all the way, which would see me run 54-55 minutes, with a view to a long run home to simulate the second half of the marathon when tired and hot.  The run itself went pretty well - I ran past a couple of black skirts of fellow JLF runners, and spent the entire second half about 20 metres behid another one - I never could quite catch up.  I had a slow patch again with 4 km or so to go, and told myself off - it is so much just in my head - I was able to run faster at the same point in the half marathon a couple of weeks ago, but again i was able to pick it up in the last km or so to finish strongly.  I kept trying to find someone just to run with, but eventually the right song came up on the ipod and I was able to snap myself out of it.

I finished in 54.26, according to my watch (official results pending), so wass very pleased, and the exact distance meant that my average pace was indeed 4.30 - a big pat on the back for a job well done, I thought.  An apple, lots of water and a gatorade, a quick chat to Charlie (who rode down), Beck (who ran well) and some others in the JLF tent and it was time to hit the pavement again, running against the stream of people back to the city and home.  It was amazing to see sooooo many people running and walking and pushing wheelchairs or prams, holding children's hands, dressed in team t shirts supporting so many different charities.  A record number of entries this year of 34 700 or so, of which 19 996 (!) were women.  It was a big run, with only 1 water stop along the way, as I rapidly reached the end of the sea of people to find the police motorbikes and pack up trucks  and clean up crews - they also did an amazing job.  The street had been littered with plastic cups, but by 11 oclock the entire highway would have been restored to normal.   Very impressive.  

I set myself the goal of running 30 km today, rather than the 26 km programmed.  There were a few reasons, mostly detailed in wednesday's entry, but I also thought it would be pretty good psychologically - if I don't do 3 big runs, at least the 2 I do will be proper big and well completed, so I won't be underdone.  I have written before how important I think it will  be for me to make sure I do all the training to keep telling myslef I have prepared properly when it hurts in the last 10 km or so of the marathon.

So I did.  I ran all the way back along Anzac Highway, along Greenhill Rd and through the parklands back to my side of town, running until I reached 14km on the home trip.  My total for the day was a little over 31km all up - 4.5 or so into town, standing around for 20 mins or so before the start, 12 and a little bit to the Bay, more standing around and drinking and then the 14 home.  I walked the remaining 700m or so home, showered, dressed for a lunch date, enjoyed that very much, then had a quiet afternoon at home.

I am feeling really good about the journey so far.  Setting goals in terms of weight loss, speed targets, distance targets and making them achieveable, and actually achieving them.  Whilst it is easy to say that I was really fit in the past, so it is easy for me now, I really didn't do as well as I am now mentally back then.  I am much stronger, much more determined and taking complete responsibility for my successes or failures.  In contrast to when I was young.  And then, for the last 15 years since I stopped rowing, I was a long way from fit for most of it.   So today, and especially during the run home, was a period of reflection for me and a bit a quiet back patting.  You've done good so far, enjoy these last 7 weeks.

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Health News

This weeks links

The Cancer Council came out this week and announced that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and that alcohol should be considered to be as carcinogenic as smoking and asbestos are.  As well as being highly associated with throat and mouth cancers, it is now found to correlate highly with breast and bowel cancers.  Perhaps it should not be so surprising that a substance that can so alter mood and ability, even at very mild levels should turn out to be in fact, not good for us.

This story, an editorial from the British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year has some amazing targets - it ties in with our look at sitting and health, and is about developing healthcare systems that support exercise - recognise it as being as vital a measure of our health as is blood sugar levels or blood pressure.  It recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults as a minimum.  30 mins on 5 days.  For children, it is 420 mins / week - 60 minutes every day.  How close are you?

This is another article on inactivity / obesity and health from Sports Medicine Australia, highlighting the link between an inactive childhood and a lifetime of battling depression.  It is food for thought (!) these days where there seems to be much paranoia about safety of children away from their parents watchful eyes, and therefore a tendency to want to keep them closely under watch instead of encouraging more activity and indeed risk taking behaviours.  The ability to judge situations for risk and to be able to take appropriate risks builds self esteem and resilience.  Not much to do with bowel cancer awareness, but close to my heart as well.

Another article on sitting

This one is in really simple terms - if you walk 30 mins (as recommended) and sleep 8 hours, most of us still have 15.5 hours per day not moving.  You cannot sit all day behind a screen, then drive your car and sit and watch tv with out it being bad for you.  A good read.