Journey of a first time marathon runner

Hello world, I’m back.

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, as my world was incredibly busy, stressful and relaxing. Strange combination, but that’s just how it worked out.

  • Holidays in Indonesia (in June, which now feels like forever ago) – relaxing
  • Training for my first olympic distance triathlon – busy
  • Work – VERY stressful

Thankfully I’ve managed to get a bit of support at work finally, which means my stress levels have reduced dramatically. I can come home at night and not just want to bury my head in Mario’s shoulder and cry. Instead, I bury my head in and get amazing cuddles (or cwuddles as we call them), relax and read a bit while he finishes up making dinner, I clean up, then bedtime. It’s so wonderful dating a man that cooks.

In the lead up to the triathlon my world was pretty busy. I was up at 5am every morning training, night time was just trying to get through the night without falling asleep. Rinse, repeat every day of the week. At least the training varied, in the sense that Monday was cycling, Wednesday was Swimming, Friday was Running, and the other days were strength conditioning or a rest day. Every weekend we were booked up with something, and it was so hard to find time for ourselves to just sit still.

Now all of that is over. The training isn’t necessary since I’ve done the triathlon, and our calendar has finally cleared. I know I say this every year, but next year I’m not going to be as busy as I have been this year. I’m trying to make my 52 in 52 reflect that too, less demanding on my time at least (here’s a view of this year’s list).

I still plan on publishing a post about completing my first olympic distance triathlon, which is by far my biggest and greatest achievement this year. I have wanted to do a full triathlon since I was 7 years old, standing at the internationally renowned Mooloolaba Triathlon, talking to the world champion at the time (Dad came looking for me and got all star struck). Finishing Noosa triathlon was one of the moments where going into the race I really did doubt myself, and instead I proved to myself I was much stronger than I ever could have imagined.

Then it was over, and I was left wondering, “What now?”

I felt empty, so I went on a rampage planning sporting events for next year. My plan to keep the calendar free went out the window. At the moment I am planning on:

  • March: Women’s International Day 5km Fun Run (raising money for Breast Cancer – sponsor me here)
  • March: The Mooloolaba Triathlon, but this time as a team with some friends (I’m doing my favourite leg, cycling and the best part is the track is along my usual ride so I know what to expect)
  • Date TBA – Pending my friend, I may be doing a smaller sprint Triathlon as support. My friend has always wanted to try a triathlon and my recent efforts have motivated her to give it a go
  • August: The Sydney City 2 Surf
  • November: Noosa Triathlon (again – now that I’ve done it once I have a benchmark to beat!)
  • Date TBA: A half marathon

Out of all of those, it’s the last one that scares me. A half marathon is pretty damn far. 21.1km. I’ve never run that far. The furtherest I’ve ever gone is 14km at a City 2 Surf event, and even then I think I walked about 100m? We finished it in 2hrs and 5mins, so now I want to beat that too next year!

I follow the blog www.runsforcookies.com, and she has spoken quite a bit about following the Hanson’s Marathon method for her training. I decided I would give that a go, and have bought the book for my kindle. After giving my body a couple more days of rest from the triathlon (it’s only been 5 days), I plan on getting started with the training. I also have to read the book first 🙂 I’m trying to balance that with finishing another amazing running book, Born to Run.

To keep myself on track, and in case anyone else is interested, I will start blogging about my runs.

In my triathlon, my running leg was by far my worst. I know it comes at the end of the race so your energy is already sapped, but I ended up running 10km in about 90mins (I had to walk a few kms at the end because of the sheer size of the blisters on my feet). I want to get that down to 60mins next – big ambition, but that means half an hour off my time and that would be incredible.

I will admit that soon training will be back to 6 days a week, and I’m nervous of overdoing it. But the City 2 Surf isn’t until August, and I don’t have to do any running in the Mooloolaba triathlon in March. I can already run 5km in 32mins, and 10km in 70mins (without swimming/cycling first). If we do the local half marathon, that’s not until the end of August so I have 9 months up my sleeve and can drop it down to 5 days training if I need to.

I’m excited to get a new challenge underway, and a new training goal. Wish me lots of strength and motivation (it’s certainly not going to take luck)! If anyone else wants to join me on the training path, by all means you’re welcome to!