Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Marathon preparation - 30KM recap

I don't pretend to be a good runner. I am really just an average runner. I am not fast. I am an average jo pace. I like to sit around 6min/km and take it easy. That is why I am good at distance running. I always have been. Some people are built for distance. Some people are built for speed. Speed and I don't go together. If I have to sprint somewhere, I feel as if I am standing still. I just can't go fast enough even if I give my 100%.

Back in school days I was always last in the 100m events at the annual athletics carnival, but put me in an 800m or a cross country race and I would excel. Thats because I can pace myself and build up for a long period because my body works aerobically well, not anaerobically like a sprinter.

About three years ago I got back into running where I left off years ago and I enjoyed it. I competed in my first half marathon last year and I made my goal of finishing under 2 hours. My time was 1.57 and I think that was great. I was even out injured the whole 3 weeks before the race and didn't even know if I would even make it the distance but with hubby by my side we did and I was stoked.

This year  I made it my goal to run a marathon. I don't know why I had this crazy thought, but I have always wanted to do one and I thought well, I will just put in the training and see if I can.

I said to my running buddy that if I can reach 30km in training I will register. Last weekend I reached that 30K mark and so that night without any doubts I registered for the Blackmores Sydney marathon on the 22nd September. About two minutes after I pressed "pay" on the credit card I felt ill and was doubting that I can do this.

For the last day I have been stretching and wincing and rubbing deep heat on my thighs through the pain of running 30km and what that does to your body. Today I had to get back into training yet again and do a round of sprints on those tired old legs.


I show myself every single time that I can do it, even when my mind says that I can't.

I know that this is going to be one of the hardest things I will ever do. It requires ALOT of stamina and training, something I am quickly after about ten weeks becoming bored of, but it also requires alot of mental toughness.

I know that the last ten kilometres of this race is going to try to break my spirit. It is going to hurt like I have never hurt before. I am going to have to dig deep and find strength from the deepest places in me. I will be thinking of my family, my children and the best that I can do for them is to give everything a go and show them that any dream is possible.

So, sunday was like any other day except that I was up for my 30km training run. We are 7 weeks out from race day and Sunday was the 'long run day'. I hadn't run past 15.4km for the past two weeks as a long run as I had had my surgery, so it was a big jump from that to 30km after a few weeks out. My long run before the 15.4km was 24km so I knew what I was in for.

I bought a running belt the day before and I filled those three water bottles with gatorade and my pouch with jellybeans. I also took a GU in lemon/lime flavour to try at about the 20k mark and ate my banana sambo about an hour before and off I went.

I planned an in and out route for this run as I didn't want to be close to home and want to give up. The route was perfect. Just the amount of hills and flats that I needed.

I felt really really good for most of the run and stuck around the 6:20 pace for the first half and then down to about 6:10 for the second half. By about 27k I was tiring but I was good physically and my feet felt great. My legs were beginning to get sore around my quads, but nowhere else. Mentally I was ready to stop though but I pushed through for the next 3k's.

The feeling when I had done it was amazing. I was so proud of myself. I did it and all by myself. Normally I run my long runs with my friend but she is out due to injury so this run and the rest of my training will be all by myself. Its harder by yourself to keep going.

I spent the run praying for people and my family, listening to my favourite tunes on my iphone and looking around me taking everything in. I passed four people I knew in the hours I was out there and each one made me want to keep going.

The run took me 3 hrs and 7 minutes and I am happy I made it back in one piece. I filled my water bottles once again and I ate a jellybean each km and half the GU at 20k.

This weekend I am due to run 30 again. This week I hope to experiment a bit more with the GU and my pacing.

Each day that gets closer to race day makes my heart skip a beat out of nerves and excitement.

Can I really do this? We will just see........

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