Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s not a marathon.

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Inspired by Phil’s last post, I have developed a race plan.

It is not a marathon.

It is 5x8km with 400m walk breaks in between and a magnificent sprint finish.

I can definitely run 8 km

My ITB is playing up a little. I had hoped to do 13 or so km today, but I had to pull the plug at 6.5. Back to the ol’ foam roller.

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Who is excited? MEEEEEEEE!

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Yes, me. Although that is obviously not me.

It is one month and one day till the London Marathon!

I went to the physio yesterday for a hurty massage. She told me yesterday that, when she first met me in Feb, she was very worried about how I would hold up to the training, given how sore and tight I was. Then she said how impressed she was about how fit I looked, and how much stronger I was. There were tight bits, but there were very well maintained bits.

It shows that even a self proclaimed ducky like me can do it.

I was chatting on an ahem dating site with a male runner. He was quite cute from his profile pic. I told him that I was doing a marathon.

The conversation went a bit like this

Me: I am doing a marathon

Him: What training are you doing, how many times per week

Me: Speed, long runs, hills/strength, medium long run, 5-6 hours per week.

Him: You won’t be able to do a marathon.

Me: well, Brian seems to think so. And I won’t worry about doing it fast, I just want to finish.

Him: I would want to do it properly rather than just finish

Me: What does “properly” mean?

Me: Have YOU done a marathon?

Him: Uhhhh….you know, fast. No – have done some halves, mainly run 400/800 metres.

Him: (posts link to womens marathon training, contains training plans of Paula Radcliffe et al)

Me: Gee, thanks. I see some similarities there with my training program, but they are elite, I am beginner. Plus I work/study etc.

Me: It is mostly about winning the battle between my ears, about telling that little voice in my head that tells me that I can’t do it to shut the hell up. That hits after running for 2and a half hours, anyone who has run longer than this knows.

Him: yeah….

Me: And is running a 5 hour marathon any less of an achievement than a 3 hour marathon?

Him: ok

We could go on but I think you get the point. Douchebag.

Those who are first to criticise are usually the ones who have not pulled their fingers out, who are too scared, and want you to be too. Fuck ’em.

Some speed training tonight, then a medium long run in the morning. I dunno – something like 15km? Hmmm. I have been told to try and get to 55-60km for the week.

 

Living Large.

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And, sorry, a bit busy to blog. I have had it at the back of my mind.

I have been running. Gaining strength, after that little ITB scare.

Last Sunday, I did a 25km long run – over 3 hours of fun and games. Slow as a bloody trickle. I wanted to go slow, as I wanted to protect the ITB.

I saw a lady that I often see running around prinny, but the opposite way. We high five each other. I asked her her name (Margarita). I saw another dude to high-five too. There were a few times when the ITB felt tight and I considered pulling the plug, but I stretched it and carried on. 

I knew what I was getting myself into this time – that I would feel quite happy till 20km, then the pain would start settling in – that burning pain in my buttocks (probably my pyriformis overworking). This puts all the other pains into perspective.

When the pain did come, it was not so bad. I had learned a phrase from a book “hello pain, come run with me”. When I stopped at 25km, then the pain washed down my legs, plus I felt really, really emotional. Probably because I was tired, hungry and in pain, but also because I had completed my longest ever run.

This past weekend was also a big weekend. I did a 10km run on Saturday, followed by a 20km run yesterday.

Yesterday’s run was awesome, I felt great, if not a little tight earlier on from the previous day’s training. At about the 8km mark, I felt a bit dizzy, and took a walk break. I got an endura rehydration sachet in me, and I felt better, so kept going out to 10km.

At the 10km mark, I decided I would try and negative-split it back. Most of my run was under the 7minute/km mark. I ended up negative-splitting it by about 3 minutes, and hammered home the last 1.5km. I felt so happy to be able to finish a 20km run strongly. After the run, I did the “chug, chow, chill”, sans chill. I slipped down a sustagen and had some barbecue flavoured chips (salty awesomeness). I continued to eat little things during the day. 

Running these distances, I get to think a lot. The thing I thought:

“Anything is possible; with hydration, carbs, appropriate footwear and attire, a high pain threshold and a measure of insanity”.  

Hell freakin’ yeah. I am feeling strong. Invincible almost.

Things have been coming together. Not only with my running, but also with my personal life, too.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have realised something. I have had quite a few dates, a few offers, but I have been a little skittish about going into a relationship. For many reasons, both internal and external to me. But the real breakthrough is this.

At the moment, I am quite happy being single.

I am quite comfortable spending a quiet one at home on a Saturday night. I don’t feel like a failure. I have enough to keep me busy.

Life, I feel, is a bit of an adventure at the moment. Not all of it “happy, happy, joy, joy” stuff; indeed, some of it has me wanting to faceplant on my bed, but overall, I am excited about my future, not dreading it. I suspect I have a lot more to learn about myself. Most of my needs are being met in a way which they have not before. I keep looking back at a letter sent to me by a dear friend, and it is all true – the loneliness and weirdness and emptiness is passing. Slowly but surely. I am still walloped occasionally, when I least expect it, but I can deal with it without an overwhelming urge to inhale a bottle of wine.

But back to the marathon….. I am at the pointy end of training now; this week is going to be a huge one, mileage wise.

Here is a little song that I listen to while running. The video clip is a bit lame but I love the sentiment.

KONY2012

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Joseph Kony is a bad, bad guy from Uganda who abducts children and forces them to kill others. He is the head of the Lord’s Republican Army.

You probably don’t know who he is.

Take the time to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpDGfjpOUe4

Look at the wikipedia Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kony
Then shout it out loud, go berserk on Twitter #arrestjosephkony #kony2012. Make it known.

 

Lessons

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  • Sometimes, in order to make an omlette, you have to break eggs
  • Whatever doesn’t kill you or give you a rash will only make you stronger
  • You are human, you can’t fool anybody of that fact (least of all yourself)
  • Keep the beast on a leash. There is a time and a place.
  • Cry when necessary
  • Nanna nap when necessary
  • If the urge to sit on the couch watching trashy TV or reading trashy novels is strong, it must be submitted to
  • You are responsible for your life, take the wheels
  • Fear is normal, it’s whether you let it stop you that counts
  • When in doubt, STFU. Silence is golden. (Duct tape is silver)
  • Sometimes the less said, the better
  • You are not a product of other peoples thoughts, wishes and dreams
  • You do not have control over other peoples thoughts, wishes and dreams
  • It really is their loss.
  • Buy the Moet. Drink the Moet.
  • Don’t be afraid of the dark, you will appreciate the sunlight more.
  • Leave some space
  • Things change quickly, ergo shitty periods pass. Ride it out.
  • Sexual tension can be delicious and does not always need to be resolved.
  • Don’t overshare. Keep some cheeky secrets to yourself. They will give you a twinkle in your eye.
  • Be kind. Hug often.
  • Sing loudly. Dance wildly.
  • Find your inner child and nurture it.
  • Always be ready to walk away.
  • Faith and trust must be earned; remember that before you put your faith and trust in anybody
  • You are blessed with intelligence and a good imagination, don’t let the latter override the former.
  • Ain’t broke, don’t fix
  • Procrastination is just perfectionism, get on with it
  • Believe in kissing
  • Beware those people over whom you cry.
  • Touch is an underrated sense
  • Attend to those gnawing feelings of unease, so they can be fixed
  • Smile
  • Patience, grasshopper.
  • Normal to have fat/bad hair/frumpy days. As long as there aren’t too many. And they must be managed with a fabulous outfit, heels and red lippy (red lippy making everything 10% better)
  • You have enough clothes and probably too many shoes
  • Be authentically, totally, gleefully and proudly yourself. You might not be to everybody’s taste. Who gives a fuck?

Teenage Mutant Injured Turtle

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Two of these words apply – which ones?

So, after my 15 km run, I had a tight, sore ITB.

ITB issues strike fear into the heart of runners. And coaches. So the head coach told me to take a week off. And cross train. Cross train….hmmm.

But it was my birthday last week! Flirty-free (33)! I had a party! A bottle of moet to drink.

A grant to write. Hence no cross training or any other active recovery/restorative.

So I headed out last Sunday for a 25km run. The ITB felt tight from the very beginning. I stopped and had a stretch at 2km. At 4.5km I saw Coach Richard, who is running 3000 km for charity, or something mad like that.

He said: “Go home, spend what time you were going to spend on running, on stretching and foam rolling. Get that foam roller, find the spot where you are tight and lean on it till you are crying. You’ll be alright, distance running is all about managing injuries”. And then he told me about how he ran the Everest Marathon after a month off with Injury.

I walked back to the car, cursing myself. A bit of panic set in. Then I calmed down. I went home and did what Richard said.

I have the bruises to show for it. But the ITB is feeling much better. So much so that I went to training, and had no gip from it!

So the plan is this, now:

-recover actively – pool, stretching

-eat well (I have not been, now I am)

-get iron levels checked (tick – love making to do lists and putting something I have already done on there so I can tick it off).

-stay calm.

Life is good. Know why?

I have made a conscious decision to stop longing for things. I have spent much of my life longing for something I cannot put my finger on. Instead, looking into what my needs are, and attending to them as best I can, without unduly relying on others. And, of course, acknowledging and being grateful for the things I have.

I saw a poem from the gorgeous Phil, I stumbled on it a few days ago, I remember reading it when it was posted in April 2011, but it rings especially true now

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand
and chaining a soul, 
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning 
and company doesn’t mean security, 
and you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, 
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, 
with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, 
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans 
and futures have a way of falling down mid-flight. 
 
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, 
so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, 
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. 
 
And you learn that you really can endure … that you really are strong, 
and you really do have worth, 
and you learn, you learn, with every goodbye.”
(poem written by Veronica Shoffstall)