Monday, February 28, 2011

Count Down to Cathay Pacific

Well folks, another event done and dusted. I had a good run with Barry but as per usual I died with just 2kms to go and lost time but hey ho, not too bad. I missed out on beating my brother's time by 1 minute and matched my best time for a half marathon with 1hr 54 mins. I'm happy with that, not ecstatic but happy.

I went for a short training run on Tuesday and did the Pipe Line and did some stair climbs with Barry at Crum Park on Thursday. That was all I felt I needed to do so close to event day.

I started a little nervous but, for a nice change, I had company with Barry and that helped to keep me relaxed. We ran the first km in 5mins and so started a little faster than I expected but the pace was set and we had to try and keep it going. The hills in the middle gave me a bit of grief but manageable until the last hill which was at about 16kms. I was sure it was the last hill and so I dug deep and took off. I managed to keep a relatively good pace until the 19km mark and slowed right down. It was hard to keep it up and when a young speedy lass passed me at a faster pace than me I tried to keep up with her for as long as I could.

But the BEST bit of the whole run was that my friends and family were there at the end to see me cross the line. Mum, Dad, Shayne, Karen, Michelle, Sharon and Philomen and just over the way was Barry's family to see him cross the line. AWESOME! What a difference it makes when there are people there to support you.

And so, even though I didn't beat Steven's time, I'm OK and feel good about the run. The training paid off and ow I just have to keep going for the next one. I'm going to take a small break while my folks are here with me although I will keep up with the mountain climbs with my buddies and do the odd run and then back in to it there after.

Thanks for your support, especially to Barry for his time and help with my training. It was invaluable.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Week To Go

That's right, one more week to go until event day - WOOHOO! I'm feeling confident and ready to go. This week has been busy but I managed to do all but one of my runs. I don't think I needed it though as today's run was great. More about that later but for now, here's how the week went:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - I ran the Pipe Line on my own in the heat of the day after work. (6kms in 37 mins).
Wednesday - Golf Rd (6kms in 35 mins).
Thursday -  Stair climbs at Crum Park with Barry.
Friday - No run
Saturday - No run
Sunday - 17.5kms with Barry. We ran the Carter Rd route and stopped at Crum Park to throw in 6 stair climbs. Just as we were about to part company and head home I met Denise and Sheryl out for a Sunday walk and so I joined them and we walked to Green Bay and back.

I believe that I am on track and looking ahead to next week I can't help but feel confident. 2 more 6k training runs to go and that's it. This time next week I hope to update my blog with my results and, all going according to plan, I will have beaten my brothers time. HERE'S HOPING! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

At Last - Fitness is Kicking In

This week marked a turning point in my training and as a result I am feeling on top of the world!

I know that Monday is my rest day but Barry felt he needed to do a good fast run to try and sweat the cold out of him and so we were joined by my son, Josh, on a 6 k run of the Pipe Line. I enjoyed the run because it was spontaneous and fast. Josh set a good pace and Barry was close on his tail which meant I had to try and keep up. These are the runs that I enjoy most of all, challenging yet rewarding and I feel brilliant once they are done. Although the time set us on track for a 2hr 6min half marathon, our run up was much slower than the run back and so I think we are still on track for a great time.

On Tuesday I rested and enjoyed the company of my parents who have arrived from the UK. We went out for dinner with the whole family and Sue, Stu and their cherubs.

On Wednesday I walked the mountains with Philomen and Sharon and complained that I have done all this training yet I still can't run up all the mountains. I was to make a determined effort on Saturday...
The good news is that we continue to get faster and faster and so things are going well for the ladies and the mountains.

Thursday was a tough days training! Out with Barry, we went to Crum Park. "Give me a number." he said, about how many times I thought we could run up the stairs. I knew it had to be done but didn't want it to be too hard. (Lazy Mand). We had done 20 previously and I was amazed that I could do that many!
"25?" was my well thought out, weak estimate, although Barry had mentioned 30 previously. It goes to show, with a bit of support and encouragement it is possible to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. We did 30! My legs were like tonne weights but I was energised and couldn't wait to get home and share the news with Shayne and the boys.

I took a day off on Friday but was up early on Saturday for the mountain climb with Philomen and Sharon. I complained again that, by now, I should be able to run up the hills. Well, I started off well and managed to run up and down Mt Smart. Next was Mt Hobson and up and down I ran. Feeling good about the way I had done so far I gave it a good go up Mt Eden and although I struggled I managed most of it. At last! The fitness is kicking in.

I have been running regularly since December and only now do I notice a difference. I HAVE to hold on to it now and keep my fitness up.

In preparation for Sunday's long run I cut my night out on Saturday short and restricted my alcohol intake. I have come this far and didn't want to blow it for the sake of a crazy night out. I had to do 19kms and for ease I thought I'd run up to the pipe line, add and bit and then run home. I had to run on my own but felt ready for it. I left at 4:00pm and the heat of the day beat down on me. I knew that I would have hydration problems but thought the tap at the pipe line would be enough. It wasn't but I carried on.

It was a hot day and plenty of bikers, runners, walkers, families and others along the way to keep me company. It is a beautiful spot to take the family for a stroll or ride the bikes. Some children fell off their bikes and one had a cut and so, just in case, take some plasters!

I felt quite slow but when I got home I was happy with my time 1hr 50mins. I was shattered! I remain quietly confident about event day and don't doubt the distance, it is the time that concerns me. Time will tell...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Training on Track

My training is on track and going OK. 2 weeks to go until the event and I'm hoping that I have done enough to get the time I want and beat my brother's time.

Monday was my rest day and I needed it! Just a tad tired after Sunday's 16k run.

Tuesday, I did 6kms of Golf Rd by myself as both my boys were off doing their own thing. It was a good run although was a reminder of how much I dislike running on my own.

On Wednesday, my boys and I went to Crum Park to do some stair climbs. This was the day that my friend arrived from the UK with her hubby and children and so I wanted the exercise to be done as quickly as possible. Josh managed 4 stair climbs and laps of the field, I managed 10 stair climbs and Luke did 11 stair climbs.

By Thursday my training was supposed to be a 5km run and with Barry but we changed the plan to add a bit of mileage. We ran around the block and cut short Godley Rd to turn down Taupo, which is a tad hilly! Onwards and upwards we continued and headed in the direction of Crum park where we went our separate ways. Barry went on to do some stair climbs at Crum Park while I headed home, feeling too tired to tackle the hills. Plus, I didn't want to over do my training at this stage. I have remained injury free and hope to stay that way. I ran home and mapped the run. We covered at least 8kms.

On Friday I took a day off and on Saturday, Philomen, Sharon and I started off from Mt Eden Village to do our usual mountains, Mt Smart, Mt Hobson and Mt Eden and I tried to run up the hills. I did OK until the last one at Mt Eden and so I feel there is a slight improvement. Patience is a virtue! Another good catch up with the ladies and we cut our time down to 1hr 5mins. We were happy with that.

Sunday, I met Barry for the long run. It is so hard to pick yourself up for those long runs but it has to be done. Barry planned the route and I was running blind with no idea which direction he would lead me on. Thankfully, we stuck to familiar territory and ran around Titirangi, Green Bay and New Lynn. We were going well although VERY thirsty but we carried on until we found a tap to drink from at New Lynn. The run was cut short at 13kms but then I had to run home and so we covered just under 15kms all up, assuming I measured it correctly.

I don't know what to expect for this half marathon. I have stuck to the program as much as possible and added exercise rather than missed any but I'm not feeling any fitter. I have lost weight and toned up a bit, I guess.

According to the regular speed that I am running so far, it looks as though I will not get the time I'm hoping for but then there is still 2 weeks to go. I have to stay positive and keep chipping away at the program...