Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Race recap- Mother's Day Classic

I was up early on Mother's Day and I wasn't making mum breakfast in bed!

 My mum lives in Wagga, and spends mother's day in Sydney with her mum. The last 2 years I have stayed in Canberra and now have my own tradition of running the Mother's Day Classic. Two laps of Lake Burley Griffin's central basin, bounded by Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges. The course takes participants past some of Canberra's iconic buildings: the NGA, Portrait Gallery, Questacon and the NLA. I have a soft spot for the Mother's Day Classic; I ran a PB last year despite the freezing blustery weather. This year, I had planned to run it for fun, having entered the SMH half marathon the following Sunday. My trainer doesn't believe me; he thinks I'll romp home to a PB.

The day before the race I slept in; it was my first Saturday without a long run in a few months and it felt glorious. I pottered around the house, for once not spending a Saturday physically and mentally tired. I hadn't per-registered, my other half Dan and I were going to run together, but he had been troubled by a bad back all week and wasn't sure if he was up to running 10k. So I left him snuggled up in bed and headed off early down to Lake Burley Griffin. Secretly, I don't mind arriving early for this run, there is never enough parking at the lake and at least I don't have to risk a parking ticket!

I park nice and close, gather all of my bits and pieces and head off to register.  Via the bathroom. The fog is so thick I can barely find the registration tent. I fill out my form, which is soggy from the fog, and line up to pay. Except I haven't brought enough money! I forgot that I have to pay separately for my timing chip so I head back to the car for more change.

Nice day for a run!
Back to the car, back to the bathroom, and back to finalise my registration. I have about half an hour to kill and browse the sponsor stalls. I reluctantly check my jumper in the baggage area and get ready to join the cheesy warm-up. The warm up is Les Mills style aerobics which I find way too complicated; if I only move my legs that's enough to get the blood flowing, right? Mum texts me and wishes me good luck and we text back and forth a bit.

We head on down to the start line and I'm feeling good, and decide to aim for about 55 minutes. It's hard to know where to place myself in the throng, it's a pretty big field and a fairly casual atmosphere. Even though one lane of Kings Avenue has been closed to traffic, the run director wants us to stay off the road for our own safety. Blergh, the footpath along there is so narrow I am already imagining the bottleneck it will be on the first lap.

We take off and I am immediately masses of runners swarm past me while I keep to my target 5.30 pace. I hit the first km at exactly 5.30 and head up onto Kings Ave. And almost come to a stop. Well, not really but I glance down at my watch to see my instantaneous pace is 6.30. I'm boxed in and can not pass anyone. Off the bridge and the congestion is not much better, I'm running pretty much shoulder to shoulder and trying to squeeze between runners all along the forecourt, the field doesn't really spread out until we are off Commonwealth Ave. Now though we are stuck dodging people arriving to run or walk the 5k.

I pass the halfway mark in 27.18 and head off for the second lap. Kings Ave is much less congested this lap but it's still too narrow to pass people. One of my knees starts to hurt and I start to worry about a first dns. I put my head down and try to distract myself by picking off runners ahead of me. Once I hit the 8k marker I open it up a bit and begin to pass more and more runners. At 9k I push a bit harder and bring it home strongly, stopping my watch at exactly 54.02 and phone at 54.15.

I know I have PB'd and done it easily, but I hadn't paid for the results sms.  I'd lost about 30 seconds on the bridges when I couldn't get around slower runners. I hadn't flagged at all. The pace felt comfortable and once I begin to surge I held 5.00 pace for the final k. My official time is 54.00 which is a 25 second PB and a 63 second negative split. BUT I am so cranky with myself! A PB in 53.xx sounds much faster than 54.00, I wish I had started to surge a little earlier or run a little faster or done anything to have come in 1 second faster!

Once I get home I jump in the shower, set up my banana chair on the back deck and doze in the sun! What a great way to spend a late Sunday morning. 

I don't mind racing the 10k distance, it takes me a little while to warm up, but this year I am focusing on the HM distance and trying to bring down my PB so I am not sure when I will race another without a HM shortly before or after. But I'm hungry, I think I have a 52.xx in me this year and I want to see if I right!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Race recap- Australian Running Festival half marathon

You know when you your goal and you are really sad?

I was expecting to be so disappointed with myself after finishing the Australian Running Festival half marathon 75 seconds outside my goal time of 2 hours.

Does this look like a sad face?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Summer 2013

As much as I love it, running is not my whole life. Sometimes running has to take a backseat when the other parts of life need attention- even if it is just a holiday!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Catching up

It's been a while between posts! Between running, injuries and completing my postgrad degree it's been a busy few months. I've been pretty consistent with my running and have banked a few PBs along the way. A quick summary of my races and life over the last few months.

Friday, 10 August 2012

It was the night before city to surf...

It's actually 2 nights before my first ever City 2 Surf, and I am feeling very nervous. One of my work friends is also racing, and we have been exchanging terrified looks all week! We did use carbo loading as an excuse to each corn chips at a birthday afternoon tea on Wednesday though so not all bad :)

The forecast for Sunday is daunting too; cold, very windy and possibly raining. I think I will be running Heartbreak Hill straight into a headwind. I stopped off on my way home to pick up a cheap jumper to wear to the start; I wonder how much of the race I will wear it for?

I'll be meeting my running group at lunch time tomorrow to drive to Sydney together. Before then I have to get my gear together, update my running playlist and finish a uni assignment! Argh.

I'm going into the race much more poorly prepared than I anticipated I'd be when I signed up. Problems with my pesky right calf, a sprained ankle and then four weeks off with a torn oblique means the furthest I have run in about 2 months is around 8km. I have maintained some level of fitness; I have improved my 5km time by about 45 seconds since June, but I have no idea how I am going to go over 14km.

I am trying to remind myself that I have been injured; to have fun and enjoy it, but my self talk is not helping the nerves!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Sweating my thorns off (in winter)

I have had my eye on the Boring Runner's 3rd Annual Sweat Your Thorns Off virtual race for a while now, but I didn't know if I'd even be capable of running this weekend.

This was my second ever virtual race-  I think they are a brilliant way of building a community of runners and supporting other runners to achieve their best. So thanks Adam for arranging this one. I was lacking motivation for yesterday's run, and it was only remembering that I had entered the SYTO race that got me out of bed!

I combined my run with this week's Gindy parkrun. Free, timed and 5km, exactly what I needed for Sweating my Thorns Off. Of course, it is winter here in Canberra, and the previous week's parkrun had been run in sub-zero temperatures, but I always sweat, and knew I would have no problems sweating my thorns off. Imagine my surprise to wake to a sunny and balmy 5 degrees! I was actually a bit worried about layering my compression socks and long tights together. Sweating would not be a problem at all!

There was a good turnout, almost 60 runners this week. With my series of injuries this would only be my second run on this course, and the last time I had run it, I was nearly delirious from the cold. Prior to my oblique tear I had been running really strongly. Speed training was paying off; my pace was improving without feeling like I was working harder. I really wanted to run faster than my previous parkrun time (27.10) but I didn't know if it was a realistic goal or just a pipe dream.

Whenever I run I like to get off to a slow start and finish strong, but I really wanted to beat a girl running in denim overalls! I took off faster than I wanted but just had to get past her! It felt uncomfortable, I was certainly working hard, and I walked between two light posts at the top of a hill, but I finished in 26.25! So a 45 second parkrun PB for me (and after 4 weeks off running with an injury!) and only 30 seconds from my 5km PB. Getting under 25 minutes is my 5km goal for the year, so here's hoping!

girl running in overalls

dan and me; crossing the finish line

I'm back baby!

Long time no post!

I tore an oblique muscle 5 July that kept me from running (and most exercising) for almost 4 weeks. I was pretty low- the frustration and depression from another injury during the training cycle was pretty hard to bear.

I was really challenging myself; I was getting up early to fit in a morning workout alongside my regular lunchtime and after work sessions. I can't even remember the specific exercise that did me in; it was some sort of bridge, I think. What I initially thought was an annoying cramp just would not go away. I was struggling to complete the exercises in class and even walking back to work was uncomfortable. Sitting at my computer I was getting sorer and sorer; dull aches just sitting, and sharp, stabbing pain when I moved (or coughed, laughed, sneezed).

I put off running hill intervals that afternoon, and rested (like really rested- I barely got out of bed) over the weekend. I got through a speed session with my running group (likening the pain to being stabbed in the ribs with a screwdriver) but I pulled up so sore I knew I couldn't ignore it.

Diagnosis: torn oblique- 3-4 weeks of rehab. Only permissible exercises- stationary bike, light stretching and bridges on my knees. Should be OK to run City 2 Surf. Argh!

Well I was good, and followed doctor's orders. I had my first run last Saturday. 4.5km around the streets near my parents. I accidentally turned it into a tempo run, with 2 faster kilometres (about 4.45 pace) in the middle. It was uncomfortable rather than painful, and I had almost no pain afterward!

So I will still be running the City 2 Surf next weekend, but I will have to revise down my time goal. I am quite disappointed, despite a series of smaller injuries my training was coming along so well. The speed work was really paying off; training runs I was completing in 5.45 pace a few months ago I was doing at 5.25 pace without an increase in perceived effort. I haven't run further than 8 km in about 8 weeks, and my total running volume is much less than I where I would want to be, but I will finish the race and be happy with that (I hope)!