Le Tour de Gym

It’s a struggle to pull yourself out of a down in the dumps slump when you get a set back that requires slow and steady recovery. Recovery time is balls. I just want to run a goddamn half marathon in 3 weeks ffs. Pffffffffft. Gotta boost the core work. I managed to get to the gym twice this week to take on my new physio program. Actually it’s just my old one with added stuff like 2 minute planks and spin bike intervals. Tuesday I went for the first time in nearly 3 weeks.  Fuck spin bikes are hard when you boost them to the highest setting. Actually, I couldn’t ride at the highest setting because even with all my weight on one pedal (up off the seat) my 47kg self couldn’t get the fucking pedal to budge. Imagine seeing that at the gym. There you are concentrating on not falling off your elliptical that is furiously pumping your arms and legs back and forth against your will as you hold on for dear life and you look up and see teeny tiny Didi jumping up and down on one leg trying to get a fucking spin bike pedal to move… hilarious. I believe I am the light comic relief for numerous gym goers. I knocked the resistance down a bit and managed to get the wheel to spin. A top start to interval spin biking I’d say.

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Left: Tuesday Right: Friday

It’s a 3 minute warm up, 30 second hard slog, 30 second free spin – rinse and repeat 10 times, 3 minute cool down. Tuesday I managed a total of 5km in the 16 minutes. Having had my life taken over temporarily by Le Tour de France at the moment, it was not hard to tune into my own personal radio station inside my head and have Phil and Paul take me up and down my little stationary mountains. Ha! It was also not hard to conclude about 8 minutes into my ride that I would never, ever be a stage victor in the Tour. Like ever.

Anyway, I hauled arse back to the gym tonight and did the same spin bike interval session. This time I managed to ride a whole kilometre further in the same time! Yes! Also deadlifted 60kg 3 times for a PB. It was a struggle to get motivated to go to the gym alone. It’s easy to just drive past it and head home for a beer. I was battling with myself over what I wanted to do and I just thought oh fuck it I’ll just go and start dead lifting while I decide if I want to go or not. Dana  gave me some new protein bars to try so I wolfed one of those down afterwards – yummo! Thanks Dana!

My knee is not going to ever recover with rest. My core strength remains the issue, and always will. So, no point whining about it. If I want to run, I have to get strong. But it’s harrrrrrrrd. And it’s also early days and I just want to be strong now, not in like 3 months fucking time. Grrrrrrr….

Heading out to parkrun tomorrow where a whole bunch of Rogue Runners are going to get together which is totes exciting! Rogue domination!

I wish I could swim without getting wet

Swim buddy Michelle

Swim buddy Michelle

Monday night I agreed to go swimming with my friend Michelle. Remember her? The super fit, “I can run a sub 4hr marathon” Michelle. Jeeeeeeesus whyyyyy did I commit to that? Well, I did because I need some help hauling my arse off the couch and back into my recovery program which involves a small amount of running and a fuckload of core work. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate getting wet. I just don’t like it. But, I know that swimming is excellent for my knee’s recovery, plus I had a volunteer swim buddy so why the fuck not? The evening proceeded in a number of stages.
Stage 1: Swimming attire
I was going deep water running. What does one require for deep water running. I had bathers and goggles so far. Then what? Do I need to wear shorts? I obviously don’t need my runners, or my garmin… sooo…. oh, a towel, yes yes yes a towel… wait, do I even need goggles if my head’s not going under the water? Ok.. bathers, goggles (just in case), towel (def need that)… what about cute “over the bathers” outfit? It had to be something that I could put on afterwards without too much hassle because I just wanted to get back in the car afterwards. Trackies? Nah, too wet… shorts? I dunno… Ok fuck… I opted for 3/4 tights… and thongs… and a huge jacket because it was cold outside.

Stage 2: Arrival
Appropriately clad with suitable outfit I attended the front desk of the leisureplex and announced I would like to enter. It never ceases to amaze me that receptionists (whose job it is is to assist you entering) act surprised that you’re in front of them and what was that? You want to go in where? The pool fuckhead. The pool. Clearly by my large jacket, umbrella and thongs you can see I require entry to the swimming hole behind you. I grumbled about the $6.20 entry fee. For fuck sake that was a lot! Oh and $1 to hire a noodle. Yay.

Stage 3: Commence swimming
I located Michelle and dumped my stuff down. It was time to shed my large jacket and get into the damn pool. Fuck you Michelle for making me do this. Right. I stripped off and presented myself to the edge of the pool where Michelle had already done a few laps. Normally my entrance into water of this magnitude involves me getting yanked in by the wrists by my husband amid loud squeals interspersed with marital threats. With nobody to offer such encouragement today, I had to plunge in alone. Ok I was not alone, there were a heap of school kids swimming laps looking at me funny because I was just staring at the water instead of swimming in the water. Finally I did it.. blergghhhhhhh it was cold and wet. Damn water, it always is. Once in I felt ok, sporty even. I donned my goggles (hastily snatched from my 11 year old son) and took off for my first lap. The goggles are mirror goggles, yanno, like the ones Olympic swimmers wear? I definitely looked the part. I realised with dismay that Michelle had fins on. Oh. Goddammit. I missed the memo about being allowed to wear swimming aids. Of course! It’s not the fucking Olympics Didi, it’s just a few laps – fins are allowed. FML. Ima get me some.

First lap (up and back) I did ok. I’m not a strong swimmer. I did freestyle up and breaststroke (aka I am too fucked to swim freestyle) back. Phew! I made it! As I looked down the lane I realised I had no fucking idea how long the pool was. Was it 25m? or 50m? It looked long, it felt long, but fuck me, it could have been 25m for all I could tell. I felt like a fuckhead. Had I really just struggled to swim 2 x 25m? Ohhh mannn…. I had to ask Michelle. She laughed at me but confirmed that it was indeed a 50m pool. Hooray my swim distance (and feelings of self importance) had just doubled. I managed 2 more laps – for a total of 300m. At one end of the pool were a group of Masters swimmers. Hooray for me. I had an audience from 25m watching to see if I was going to make it. Watching my form loll all over the place. Watching me delicately inhale a mouthful of water because I was concentrating too much on stroke technique instead of the essential breathing technique. Dammit…

Then we did some deep water running. It’s hard with a noodle because apart from looking like a small, energetic child bobbing up and down, the noodle actually chafed a bit after a while, but I did feel like I was having a workout. If I ever do this again I’d like to wear a trendy belt like Michelle has. It’s hard swimming without contact lenses. My vision is something like this:

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Following the “running” we walked in the kiddy pool for a while. That was fun. Actually, the walking was not fun, hanging out with Michelle was fun. That’s the best thing about exercising with someone, it’s the hell excuse for a gasbag. I was sporting some serious pruney fingers by the time we called it quits. And I felt pretty good.

As we said seeya later I offered Michelle my umbrella to get to the car. She noted that it probably didn’t matter considering we were both considerably drenched already. Oh. Yeah.

Doing a white ninja from the pity party for one

Following my horrendous knee injuring run on Sunday my mental demise was akin to a small child curling up into the foetal position. I was beyond bummed out. This happened:

Pity party for one: sugar & tour de france

Pity party for one: sugar & tour de france

However, today is Wednesday. Today was the day I got in to see physio Andrew at the Body Genius Institute. Today is a damn good day. Andrew poked and bent my knee around and is satisfied that the problem continues to be a fatigue issue, not an awful “pulled the tendon off the bone” kind of issue. The range of movement through my ITB and hammies is really good, quads are a bit tight, and over all it’s ALL ABOUT THE CORE WORK. That part at least was predictable. So, the training program continues in earnest (pending any major flare ups with my knee) …. except for the long runs and ultimately the half marathon in August. The fatigue sets in about the 10km mark so until I can get my core strength up over the next few months, long distances over 10km are out. I can still do spew worthy intervals. I can still do 25 minute 5kms…  I am on a training schedule over the next 4 weeks that will help me build up my core muscles before I can slowly venture out for some longer distances again. I’m ok with that. I don’t really have a choice. It’s do this, or don’t run a marathon one day….

Helpfully physio Andrew also told me that I haven’t injured myself from over use on a foam roller – I asked him this because I rolled myself stupid on Monday night and can still feel it today fml! My muscles are sore because they’ve never been foam rolled before. He also showed me how to work a tennis ball into my glute muscles. I think this one may raise my husband’s eyebrows…

Also I asked him about the whole standing work desk idea which seems to have gained some airplay online recently and it’s a “thing” … you can lose your fitness by sitting on your arse all day behind a desk. Who knew! Physio Andrew liked the idea of a standing work desk, but in moderation – he liked the idea of these:

varidesk

so you can stand and sit at various intervals during the day. The thingy goes up and down whenever you want it to. It even comes with a computer program that tells you you’ve been sitting too long and to get up off your bum and move around. I wonder if my boss would spring for one of these in the interest of good employee health and fitness?

Endless frustration with patella tendono-fuck-opathy

Well if you thought my fucky fuck Mcfuck fuck post was entertaining, this one should be amazing.

My left knee is fucking shitballs. It is in serious denial about the rest of the body becoming a marathon runner. It will not co-operate. My left knee is a fucking jerk. Patella tendonopathy. Basically, my kneecap does not track properly so the tendon gets inflamed if pushed too hard or if fatigued. As in, whenever I want to run more than 5km. Fuck. This. Before today’s long run I actually gave my  knee 2.5km to warm up. I ran 2.5km before meeting up with Renee. I just wanted to SEE if it would sieze up like it did on Thursday night. Seemed ok. Seemed like the warmer I got the better it felt. Certainly no horrendous pain. I did feel a bit nervous though and thought perhaps there was a 50% chance I’d not make the full 14km. But I really wanted to run. I can see physio Andrew’s face now when I whine that at him “But I reaaaaaaly wanted to run”…. pfffft….

wpid-20140713_190955.jpgThe problem with running the bridges is that it’s a loop. So you can’t really bail after the halfway point. You gotta get home somehow. Although my knee felt a little shaky, I made 6km and felt good – 6:15 pace. A bit stiff maybe, but nothing to really write home about. The clinch came when we stopped at Barrack St for a drink from the fountain. I stopped. I had a drink. I took one step and WHAM my knee had had enough. It just locked up and hurt like a mother fucker. The issue is the knee bending. Straight leg is ok. Completely bent knee is ok. It’s the movement between the two that makes  a woman like me (who’s done childbirth drug free) have a mini pain panic and internal meltdown. I thought maybe if I could just get it moving again it would ease up. Nope. My knee was done. So there’s Renee and I in a situation where only Renee had her phone and we had no money. We tried my husband but he was not picking up. I was 5km from home. Fuck. Finally we decided that I’d catch the ferry across the river back to the car and Renee would keep running around the river and meet me on the other side. Problem was, I had no money. So it was time to figure out if I’d get Captain “I don’t give a fuck about your injury” or Captain “Here, take a seat love”. Happy to report not all Transperth captains are pricks – I got Captain “Here take a seat love”. Phew!

I limped off the ferry and Renee was with me within about 10 minutes. I’m yet to ask her what her splits over that 4km were! She got there pretty quick! I was mad at myself. I was mad that I’d ruined Renee’s long run. Sorry Renee. Nobody’s going to ever want to run with me ever again at this rate. First I bailed on Sam, now Renee. Fuck me just leave me behind.

Feeling pretty sorry for myself. I know it’s a fatigue issue. It’s an overuse issue. It’s ALWAYS a fucking core issue. And I also know that this kind of injury only makes me a better runner. Whether I like it or not, I am forced to listen to my body. I am forced to do more strength work, keep a focus on my flexibility and respect my body a bit more. I want to be a running machine. Mentally it’s all there right now, just my body can’t keep up. In my head it’s been over 9 months since I did this to my knee. I feel like it’s about fucking time it got back on track – literally. But in reality I’ve done maybe 2 months of solid work at the gym while at the same time increasing speed and distance rapidly. Too much, fucktard. Hindsight is amazing. Physio Andrew did encourage me to get out there today to see how it would go. Well. That’s that then physio Andrew isn’t it mate? Now we know where we’re at. Plus I have a nice ITB issue to add to the mix just to keep things interesting.

Must regroup. Getting a foam roller is a priority tomorrow.

Sitting down at dinner I almost cried into my plate I felt so bummed out. My husband is supportive, but he did tell me to get a grip. It’s going to be ok. *Sigh* I know it’s going to be ok. I know what I need to do. I hate waiting. It’s so fucking frustrating!!!! Balls and fuck.

Not on the canvas yet…

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Seriously, it’s one step forward two steps back at the moment! Coming off the back of a great interval session on Tuesday Sam and I headed out for a lazy 10km last night. 1 slow kilometre in and my knee said “no fucking way”. What a jerk. I couldn’t believe it. I kept going, a slow pace, but then my shins started to hurt and I felt like my legs were made of lead. It was like the time I gave up caffeine for 24 hours and I could barely move my body haha. I was also wearing my new shoes. In the past week I think I psyched myself up so much about having new amazing runners that I honestly expected them to rocket me to 5min kms and a 10km PB. What a dumb! The new shoes were a great fit, and comfy, but Didi, mate, they don’t have super powers. Dammit. I was so hippo slow and heavy that I was actually clipping my toes on the pavement with each step forward. Fuck me. We stopped. We stretched. We continued. I had to call it quits after 5.6km and I was super mad. I’d bought victory choc milk and everything.

Sam as usual was upbeat, she’s been here before. We talked about having a break from running for a few days, and reassessing goals. Maybe a half at August 10 is too early for me. For my knee? My husband had said the same thing the night before. Not to be a douche, but to encourage me to set realistic goals.

I know also that the 1am finish the night before probably contributed to the trainwreck state my body was in. Stupid Tour de France ruining lives…. it’s addictive… somehow it makes its way onto my tv and I am mesmerised by all those fit cyclists. Less mesmerised by the constant close ups of sweaty men in tight lycra with their junk wobbling all over the place but still….  It’s an incredible race and I love the commentary and the scenery.

Today I snagged an appointment with a physio (not physio Steve, but his colleague who Sam raves about). Let’s call him physio Andrew. Physio Andrew was really great. He laughed at my jokes for a start. I basically wanted to touch base with a professional to see where my body is at and whether or not the knee pain is bad and what should I exactly do from here. Short story, physio Andrew dry needled my left thigh and calf – yeowch! But so very, very good. He laughed when I demanded he do it. It was painful, and good. We had a chat about the upcoming half in August and I whined about “race pace” (thanks Pete) and where the fuck I was going to fit it in etc. He asked me a very important question nobody has asked before:

“Does 5:40 have to be your race pace?”

I paused for a moment. I felt like I was making a breakthrough in some kind of therapy session.

No.

5:40 does not have to be my race pace.

And just like that something clicked inside my head: I am aiming for a goal that at this point in my recovery may not be achievable. That at this point in my recovery is actually perhaps a bit foolish to attempt. In my head I’ve been pumped to smash that 2 hour target. I have my pacers all lined up ready to take me there. My head is ready. My heart is ready. But my body is not ready. I’ve been struggling to try and fit in “race pace” training runs (which Pete btw physio Andrew agreed were a good idea) and as a result I’ve felt like I’m failing, or not achieving what I should be. My knee fatigues at about the 10km mark. Physio Andrew said that’s ok, running a bit further is not hurting my knee or setting back my recovery per se. It’s all about core strength. It’s always about fucking core strength.

So, I’ve been told it’s ok to run 14km this Sunday. Slowly. 6:15-6:30 pace. Physio Andrew said I don’t necessarily need to take a break right now, and to see how my knee feels after 14km and then we’ll reassess. As Rogue Pete told me today “You’re not on the canvas yet” :)

Last year I completed the Freo Half in 2:13. Would I be ok completing the Perth Half in that time? Mentally I want to beat that time because last year I hardly trained to get that time. To get 2:10 I’m looking at a 6:10 pace. Perhaps that’s doable. I’d still beat my time from last year (which I ran before I injured my knee btw).

The biggest thing for me at the moment is to get my arse across the finish line to the start line.

 

4 weeks out and we’re on target to smash it

EEEEEP! We have 32 days to get our arses into top condition to run a sub 2hour half marathon on 10 August. I. Am. Excited.

To put things into perspective, my first (and only) half time was 2:11. And that was completed with bare minimum training that consisted of a few laps around the block (5km) and a long run each week. Nothing really meaningful, no gym work, no speed work. Just some 5km runs once or twice a week. So, while I’m nervous about the sub 2 hour time, I’ll be honest and say I’ll be pretty pissed if I can’t do it considering how much training I’ve done this time around. I mean, I will have worked hard for 9 whole weeks! C’mon! I’m clocking PBs left right and centre. Surely I can do this. Plus, in case the Rogue Runners who have agreed to pace me are unaware, I’m slightly terrified I won’t be able to keep up ok… I am going to need a lot of help, there may be tears/tantrums on the way, and please please please don’t leave me behind. That is all.

Last night was 1km sprint interval  night. We seemed to have rustled up a nice little posse of people who enjoy trying to hurt themselves sprinting 1km. It was me, Sam, Renee, Natalie, Simon (yes he actually made it) and Speedy I-look-great-with-a-beard Tate.

Taking a break... "I don't need a full 5 minutes" that is a lie

Taking a break… “I don’t need a full 5 minutes” that is a lie

Stylin'

Stylin’

Doing intervals in a group is really motivating. Also slightly terrifying for pedestrians as 6 runners in a row come at them at full speed! At one point Renee was behind me and I she said “Don’t let me catch you!” when I was slowing around the 700m mark… I dug a little bit deeper and made it to the end without slowing down. I’m not going to lie. I fucking hate sprinting 1000m. It is balls. I applauded myself for clocking up a 1km PB at 4:28 but then at the end of the night I realised my average for the 5 intervals was 4:40 – 3 seconds slower on average than last week. Not sure how I feel about it. I’ll take the PB I guess. Also, I loved having so many people there, and I’d thought maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t be the slowest runner for once. I am always the slowest runner in a group. I thought maybe I would be quicker than someone. Alas, it was not to be. Didi is still that friend you take out with you because she makes you feel better about yourself as a runner. FML. I’ll get there one day. Maybe one day I’ll be a better runner than someone. Does it matter? All those memes on the internet go on about only competing with yourself yada yada but for fuck sake could I just be faster than one person I run with? Please?

Anyway, at least I could say I was rocking some nice new gear last night. I’d snagged some gorgeous running tops on sale from Jaggad. They are super comfy and I look profesh now.

Alsooooooo, super exciting news, THESE FINALLY ARRIVED!!!!!

Mizuno Paradox

Mizuno Paradox

Errrmagherrrrrd I squealed like a girl opening the box at work. Seriously. I didn’t know a pair of runners could have that effect on a person!

This week is “take a break from the gym” week. And one week out of the next 4 will be “take a break from running” week. Might do that the week after I manage an 18km long run. Will have to talk to physio Steve about correct timing. I know taking a break is necessary, but I dunno how it fits in when I only have 4 weeks of training left. Are you meant to taper before a half marathon? I know you do this before a full marathon…. must investigate. Must also investigate fuel while running. I wonder what I should take and when?

Coming up this week:

Thursday night: 5min pace 5km. Last week we managed 4km. Can we get a 25min 5km PB? Who knows. I just hope that I can run at least 4km, I hate to think my training isn’t moving me forward. Seriously, I try so hard. I run intervals so hard that I actually start to whimper at about 800m…. I’m so hardcore my body doesn’t know wtf is happening and it wants to cry. So come on mother fucker… gimme that PB.

Sunday morning: We need a 16km long run. There’s the 14km Swan River Run on in the morning so we are gatecrashing the course for free. I don’t even feel bad considering the entry fee was $50! Fucking hell! So there’ll be a nice course set up for us, roads closed and everything. Sweet.

 

Pleasant parkrun & 14km long run

Fran and Josh made it down to parkrun this week which was cool. I lucked out and ran with Fran who was in the mood for a chat (not a PB) but Sammy snagged a run with Josh aka that guy that never trains but runs a sub 25 5km. Ha! So Fran and I got to catch up while Sam was pushed to a PB time by Josh lol. After last week’s hilarious parkrun pics at least this week’s were better:

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I managed a comfy 28:30 time and it felt good. Not that long ago I would have had to turn myself inside out to get that time. It’s pretty awesome to see what proper training can achieve! 

This morning I was up early for a long run with Sammy and Renee. 14km to knock off before being to get the twins to footy. I always struggle judging if I’ll need a long sleeved top or not because I get so hot but the weather is cold right now. I jumped out of the car and even though it was dark and stormy it wasn’t really cold so I opted for just my new Rogue singlet. It’s a bit big so it flaps around my sides in the windy conditions. I must take it in. Literally 1.5km into the run and the heavens opened. We turned towards the city to see a huge front rolling in. Black clouds ready to spew their guts all over the city… and us goddammit! It didn’t last too long thankfully but Sam made sure I got properly drenched when she splashed through a massive fucking puddle and got me hell good! Fucking jerk!

As we cruised past Burswood and the WA Marathon Club we remembered the Women’s Classic Half Marathon was on that morning. In fact, some people who were setting up to spectate thought we were the first runners coming through!  Ha!!! Race leaders coming through bitches!! Not even…

We managed to hold a pretty steady 6 minute pace, knocked off 10km in just over 60 minutes and then I started to hurt. My knee complained. My brain went into overdrive with the doubt and the “what are you thinking? You can’t run a half marathon!” bullshit. I was mad. And I felt a bit defeated. That’s why I run with other people, because they just keep plugging away so you just keep going. Sam was hurting too. That girl is fucking fit but hasn’t done longer than 8km for quite a while. Garmin ticked over: 11km….12km….13km….aaaaand finallyyyyy. … 14km…. I was fucked. My knee was fucked. Renee (wearing her marathon finisher’s shirt I might add) pushed hard at the end and sped off! She had heaps left in the tank!  I guess that’s what happens after you’ve trained for a marathon….14km is nothing! I have huge respect for that woman! 

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So, 14km done. Next week 16km then 18km eek! Hope the knee holds. Got new shoes arriving next week whoooop!! Mizuno Paradox awesomeness will be happening. I’ve needed new shoes for a while (I missed the memo about needed new shoes every 800km or so, I’ve had the kayanos for over 18 months!). I’ve def noticed the speed work is what’s making a huge difference to my running. I hate it and I love the shit out of it. While running today I had serious doubts that I could run fast enough to break 2hrs for the half. I need a 5:30 pace and the 6 min pace today was a struggle. But I know I have weeks of training left yet and race day is always exciting and motivating. Plus, I’ll have my Rogues with me pacing me… can’t let them down. They’re all over in Queensland at the moment having just finished the Gold Coast Airport Marathon- incredible. I wonder if any of them are budding writers who might like to do a guest blog for me?

Making excellent happen

wpid-img_20140703_200244.jpgMy excellent blog title tonight comes courtesy of New Balance. I snagged some new NB running shorts on sale for $10 a few weeks ago and the tag said “Let’s Make Excellent Happen”… totes… that’s what happened tonight. Excellent.

Sam and I tore up the bridges. Remember Fucky Fuck McFuck Fuck night last week? Same run tonight – completely different outcome. Chasing 5 minute pace as long as we could and then finish the 5km. I started at 1.1km, then managed 1.5km the next week and well, died in the arse last week but tonight – punched out a solid 4km!!! FTW!!!! My legs felt fantastic, breathing felt good and it was nice and cool. There were a couple of dark spots around the circuit so it got a bit tricky at times. I’m not sure which genius thought it was a good idea to make bike lights flash because for an oncoming runner it’s like running full tilt into a strobe light… Jeeeeesus… Sure the rider can see us, but we can’t see fuck all but spots for a good few metres!

Me heaving after that 4km effort...

Nice photo Sam…. 

Finished the 5km in 26 minutes. Joy. Just joy. Total run: 6km. We are on track for a sub 25 minute 5km shortly. I’ll have to rustle up my pacer bunny at parkrun maybe next week. This week I’m dragging my sister along for the parkrun ride. Against her will of course, but a 5km jog will be good for her, she just doesn’t know it yet!

Gym report for the week:

  • Managed 45 push ups in 3 minutes
  • Dead lifted 57.5kg 4 sets of 4 reps

Stoked with my progress so far, and with the 10 August coming up quickly I hope I can grab a sub 2 hour time. As long as it’s under last year’s time of 2:11 I’ll be happy.wpid-20140703_183155.jpg

Arse kick by physio Steve = amazeballs intervals

Last week I whined to Steve that his 1km intervals in the program was too long a distance and could I please shorten it. Basically the email I got back was to suck it up, do the damn distance as hard as I can and stop complaining. Ouch! I felt a bit miffed actually. I felt like I’d been chastised like a small, whiny kid. Sorry Steve, I’ll try harder #hardarse

So today was interval day. 5 x 1km sprints with a 5 minute break in between each one. So far when I’ve tried these I’ve managed 4 sprints, and sometimes shorter than 1km. They’re harrrrrrrrrrrrd. Sam suggested we try taking the run on a straight stretch of footpath instead of around a 330m oval. No cones to navigate around, plenty more light and a different scene. We opted for the South Perth foreshore. I love running here.

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First up, I had a clothing issue to deal with. I was wearing a TRC t-shirt. Now, I had a pretty good idea that the shirt belonged to Sam. My sister gave it to me ages ago, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t belong to her. For the whole time I’ve had it, I’ve made sure I have never worn it when I see Sam, in case she recognised it, in case she called me an arsehole for keeping her shirt. But this morning I couldn’t find another shirt – I had to bite the bullet and wear the fucking shirt. I thought maybe enough time has passed, maybe Sam would think I’d gotten the shirt somewhere else, maybe even I could say my sister gave it to me (which she actually did) … The second I stepped out of the changeroom Sam saw the shirt and said “Hey, that’s my shirt”… mother fucker! Totally busted! I’m not even sorry, I love the shirt.

The first 1km sprint was painful. And excellent. And painful. I set a 1km PB of 4:31. Not. Even. Mad! I pulled up at exactly 1km behind Sam who clocked a speedy 4:23 and was heaving, hunched over on the grass. Blerghhhhhh ouchhhhh!! I was right behind her – sucking in air as hard as I could, lungs burning. Awesome.

1 down!

1 down!

Goddamit the 5 minute break was up in like… 5 minutes. Time for another. Fuuuuuuuuck…. I was chasing Sam as hard as I could. I swear she got a head start! And so we went. Five times in total. Each interval at about 300m in I decided I wanted to quit, that it was too fucking hard, my body hurt too much, my legs were like jelly, I just needed to slow down a little bit. But Sam was still running. She was still ahead of me. I wouldn’t stop until she stopped. Goddammit. I wouldn’t quit. At the end of each sprint Sam was like “oh fuck man, I wanted to quit at like 500m” haha… Sam runs away from me, and I run to catch her. It works well for both of us mentally. I don’t think she’ll ever let me run faster than her!

Seriously, after the 4th interval I was ready to call it quits. But we didn’t. We pushed on to the final 1km sprint. What a fucker. It was harrrrrrrrrrd.

Sam’s times looked like this:

  • Interval 1 – 4:23
  • Interval 2 – 4:26
  • Interval 3 – 4:30
  • Interval 4 – 4:33
  • Interval 5 – 4:30

My times looked like this:

  • Interval 1 – 4:31
  • Interval 2 – 4:34
  • Interval 3 – 4:37
  • Interval 4 – 4:49
  • Interval 5 – 4:38

Booyeah Steve! Take that! Totally smashed it! Half marathon training is on track.

Totes lookin' fit here

Totes lookin’ fit here

 

Parkrunning my heart out…

Coming off the back of my horrendous run on Thursday, I wanted to make today count.

I wanted to pace with Michelle as long as I could at the 5 minute pace. I was expecting to die in the arse about 2km in and then complete the 5km in about 29 minutes. That would have been ok with me. Then I could wipe Thursday’s slate clean. I arrived at parkrun this morning excited to see FOUR pacer bunnies laced up ready to go. They actually wear bunny ears so you can identify them and chase them down, I’m not even kidding.

My favourite pacer bunny

My favourite pacer bunny

Sam and Jane came down for the first time today! Happy to share the parkrun love! Last minute I decided to opt for a sub 26 minute time instead of pacing with Michelle. That meant Scott was my bunny. Woo! Sam planned to stick with us too – Jane, well, she said she’d see us at the end :)

I love running with a pacer. It’s excellent. All I have to do is follow that red t-shirt. My legs just need to keep moving. Scott (who runs like he’s out for his daily stroll in the park) is full of encouragement and tips. After the 1km mark there was no more chit chat, it was head down, bum up and concentrating on that red t-shirt. At the 3km mark Scott said “Now this is where people tend to blow out and slow down”… great… no pressure… My legs felt good, my lungs felt good and most importantly my head felt good. We whipped past rubbish bin corner (only 1.5km to go weeeeeeeee!) and from the final 1km mark it’s time to push and really go for it. When you know you’re counting down 800m, 600m, 500m it’s all mental from there… The course has a damn hill right near the end. I did what Scott told me to do and shortened my stride, increased my cadence and POW! I was up that hill. Round the corner and I started to flag. Fuck. I’d given it a lot up that hill. Scott decided fartleks were the answer. He encouraged me to keep running until we got to the next tree, then slow for a few paces, then keep running until that bush, then slow for a few paces. He asked me, “what’s next, where to next Didi?” I didn’t fucking know, I could barely see straight… I think my response was something along the lines of “unghhhhhhhh….. tree”… haha…

Round the final corner – flying up over the bridge. Man why can’t the finish line be at the end of the bridge? Why does it have to be a few more metres dammit! I knew Ash was taking photos at the end. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. Dear God I don’t have a pretty race face. Here is me dying slightly, pushing to the end. No smiles, just hard fucking work:

Dyyyying...

Dyyyying…haha

So close to 25 min goal

So close to 25 min goal

Sam came in a little bit behind me to finish up her first parkrun ever. Awesome! In fact it was so awesome she wants to come every Saturday! Yesssssss! I love parkrun.

While it certainly was not very pretty, I was so thrilled to knock 45 seconds off my previous PB! How incredible is that. And you know what? Today felt the same as getting my sub 27 PB. It hurt the same, maybe even a little bit less. I am getting faster. I am getting stronger. Oh fuck yeah! Sub 25 minute time I’m coming for you! My son still beat the pants off me with a lazy 24:04 time today. Next week he’ll have his own sub 23 minute pacer – he’s so excited for that. I can’t wait to see him break the 23 minute mark!

I can’t believe how much I have been embraced by my local running community. I was really nervous about going to parkrun because I didn’t know anyone. But Nat introduced me to some really great people and each week I get to know more and more people and they are all so friendly and encouraging and just. so. great. Parkrun is more than just a timed run. It’s a community initiative to get people moving, and meeting, and talking and feeling like they belong to something bigger than themselves. It’s amazing and I love it. Even volunteering is awesome. Just awesome.