Not quite a half marathon…


This weekend I was meant to be running my first ever half marathon. I started training for it back in October of last year, and have dedicated a large amount of my time this year to training and increasing my endurance.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

For a long time now I’ve been bouncing between sickness and injury (calf and achilles). I wrote about it in July, and in June…and even as far back as April. I’ve barely been able to run during that time. I fit in a couple of 5k sessions here and there, and did a walk/run one day of 17km to try and get some mileage down (when I was still convinced I could be healthy for the half). But that’s it. Nothing at all like what my training plan had been asking of me. [...]  read more

Half marathon training diary – 15 weeks to go (and the Quidditch Cup)

I’m overdue a training update, and we’re way over halfway since I started training! I can’t believe I started training in November, that it’s now April (just, almost May), and only 4 months until I hit the pavement and attempt to run 21.1km.

The last time I posted I was mid-March, and I had just managed to come down with my first few injuries:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Calf strain
  • Sore right knee (my bad one that I had a knee recon for)

I’m happy to say those injuries are now gone, and I’m back on track with training.

Let’s see how the last 4 weeks have gone.

Revised training plan

I had to take off a few weeks to let my body get better. I was walking a little bit, but there was zero running whatsoever. My physio had given me some strengthening and exercise stretches to do, and thankfully they have really helped. I’m still doing them before/after training sessions just to make sure I’m ready to go.

The problem was that because of the break my training plan had advanced beyond what I was comfortable with. I wasn’t ready to head off for a 10km+ run on the weekend; at that point I was worried about 5km again.

I cancelled my plan in the Nike+ training app and started again. I’m at the tail end of week 4, and last week I only ran twice but of that I did an 8.5km long run. This week I’ll have clocked up about 15 – 16km for the week; excluding all my walking workouts I’ve been doing (some tracked in Garmin, some tracked in other apps). My body is holding up great, which I’m super happy with. There was a little tightness last night after my run, but a few stretches and this morning there’s no niggles at all.

Visual progress

Here’s how the last two months have looked.

March


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April


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Upcoming plans

This month the goal is to just stick to my running plan as best as I can; do my workouts and don’t get injured.

There’s a huge complication though.

I’ve made the team for a competition with my running club, Potterhead Running Club. It is competitive. If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter movies, essentially I’ve just made the Quidditch team for Ravenclaw, and as I’ve come to learn, not everyone gets picked for the team so I’m pretty excited. I’m also extremely daunted.

The next Quidditch cup competition starts on the 1st of May and runs for 2 weeks straight. It’s intense. I didn’t realise the extent of what I was getting myself into when I signed up, and I’ve come to realise just how big an event this is for the club. There are teams of cheerleaders with a purpose of cheering and motivating those of us that made the team! There are substitutes, and reserve runners. There are people who have made public posts about how devastated they are to have missed out.

This thing is serious.

What is the Quidditch Cup?

Here’s what’s involved:

  • The competition runs for 2 weeks straight, no breaks
  • During those 2 weeks you need to get as much intentional mileage as you can each day, to a max of 15mi per day (approx 28km)
  • Intentional mileage means that you have gone for a walk or run intentionally. For example, getting miles from going to the shops or walking around the office doesn’t count. But if you walk around the shops just for the sake of walking, not shopping, that counts. If you go for a walk around the block before buying a coffee, that counts. If you park your car further away than usual so you have to walk further to get into the office, that counts. Get it?
  • There are ways of earning and losing points
  • Each “house” within the club has 3 teams that are competing against one of the other house teams, and then there are other teams who has a goal purely of getting more miles than others (not one specific team)
  • I’m on a team that is competing against one other specific team (they’re from the Slytherin house)
  •  [...]  read more

    Half marathon training diary – 27 weeks to go

    It’s been a while since my last running update, nearly 2 months in fact. There’s still 27 weeks to go until the half marathon, and things are progressing well, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Let’s check it out.

    Calendar recap

    The last time I wrote was back on the 2nd of December. Since then we’ve had Christmas and New Years, aka the silly season.

    As you can see the mileage is pretty low and I haven’t been sticking to my 3 – 4 runs a week goal. There’s a few reasons for that:

  • Life…seriously, it’s hard when you have a child, you get ~ 1.5hrs to yourself a day, and running takes up at least 50mins of that when you factor in a 30min run, showering and pre time. Life is the main reason my blog posts have been few and far between lately.
  • The lunch time heat – I’ve been trying to run at lunch times when I’m at work due to the aforementioned lack of time. In Australia the summer heat has been ridiculous this year. It’s often sweat-worthy temperatures by 7am. We don’t have a shower at work, so post run I sponge bath in the disabled bathroom (there’s no one that needs this room at work so it’s typically empty). I’m going to be taking in an attachment for the tap so that I can have a “shower” of sorts now. But even still it’s not enough to cool down quickly, so even after I shower and get back to work my face remains beet red for hours. I need to be prepared, having hydration drinks before and after the run. Sometimes I’m just not hydrated enough; in those cases I feel it’s best to postpone the run and do it at night on the treadmill.
  • The evening heat – sometimes at home it’s just as hot. I’ve been running on the treadmill with a cold rag on my neck, a fan blowing on me constantly and water on hand and I still struggle. One night I managed 3km and then had to call it off, I started to feel lightheaded.
  • Tight Achilles. I’ve been trying to do yoga to loosen it up, but there were a couple of days where I was afraid of potentially doing damage if I forced it. On those nights I focused on doing 30mins of yoga instead.
  •  [...]  read more

    Half marathon training diary – week 5 (35 weeks to go)

    Another 2 weeks down, and some more progress to report in! It’s been an interesting 2 weeks. I had a bit of a slump energy wise during week 4, but I have only missed one workout to so far (which was a cross training work out and not a run). Well, except for tonight, but there’s a reason for that. Kind of related, I also completed my second park run ever and shaved 6mins off my time – wahoo! On the equipment front I’m now parading around with some new shoes.

    Let’s take a look. [...]  read more

    Half marathon training diary – 37 weeks to go

    I’m 3 weeks into my training, 24 weeks left in my training plan and 37 weeks left until the half marathon. 

    The first few weeks have been good to give me a bit of an introduction of what’s to come. I’ve also been able to get an idea of what works and doesn’t work, equipment wise, and so there’s been a bit of chopping and changing with what I’m doing. 

    Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned so far.

    Nike Run Club review

    I used the Nike Run Club app to create my training plan, purely because it was an app that I knew that had them, and it integrated with my Apple watch. Simplicity is what won here. The fact that I could customise the plan based on timeframe was great. They also have some awesome looking “guided runs” that I wanted to try in the future (also available to start on the watch). [...]  read more