Monday, November 15, 2010

You would think that you haven't heard from me because I haven't been running, but quite the opposite. Last week, I ran SIX times, almost a new record for me! The total in distance wasn't huge, but the effort was, so that's why I was too exhausted to write about it. So I managed 3 times this past week and now have to brag a little.

In trying a new approach to training, I thought I would attempt my plan of running 10km's under an hour. I only really decided at the race, while standing chatting to my friends, so it caught some of them off guard, and hubby looked shocked as I hadn't told him my plan either. The decision wasn't a definite one though, as I knew the area pretty well, and the start is on top of the ridge. 'Ridge' means slopes and hills, and the 'hills are not my friends' - yet! So the words of my goal sort of fell out of my mouth in a half hearted way. I had to provide myself with an excuse, because all our other 10km runs this past while have all been around 1h17. In fact the last three runs my watch was stopped on 1h17 exactly- spooky!

While we were mingling and waiting for the 7am start, we saw many people we know from other running clubs and it was nice catching up with old friends. The funniest thing happened to me when I saw an older chap rush towards me with a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye " Congratulations on your Comrades- hey" He grinned. I then started grinning as his face fell when I replied ' Thanks, but I bailed'. He looked very confused, then sad, but I tried to comfort him, by saying that I am okay about it all. Really, okay! I tried to convince him.

I have to explain to non running friends here. There are some people (possibly freaks of nature!) who just don't know how to bail, they don't know how to spell the word, nor do they have any understanding of the concept. I understand this but don't always agree with the concept, especially not the 89km's of Comrades. These running machines walk amongst you (mind you, they are not sure how to 'walk' either), and that is okay, so explaining the concept of bailing Comrades to this man, meant that I consoled him by telling him about my successful 80km run in September. I swear I almost saw him breathe a sigh of relief, for my part, and we continued our chat about his latest passion, canoeing (or is it paddling?)

The race gun went off, and we weaved our way out into the streets. I was very surprised at about 2 km's in, when I realised there was flat in the area, when we ran along the ridge! This gave me a bit of courage and made the possibility of a faster time open up. Hubby had decided he would hang back with my friend who was running on 'half marathon old' legs, as she had ventured to the north to run 21km's the day before. So Anita and I trundled on. I must say it wasn't the most comfortable of runs, as I had cramp in my side which I rarely get, so made mental notes of things I need to do to change this.

The race was very well organised, and it was great seeing all the familiar faces of the marshalls cheering us on. I missed the 6km marker board, so when 7km popped into my vision I was very surprised, and pleased and somehow moved faster. Experienced Anita pointed this out, and told me to slow down, 3 km can still be far! I am glad I listened to her because I still had some vooma left over so the last km we sped up somewhat. Hubby had passed us by at around 5km, and I hadn't seen him ahead, so I knew he had broken the 60 minute goal, as we were very close to the time. With a final dash we managed to cross the line in a very respectable 61 minutes, puffing and panting, but pleased as punch! My half marathon friend came in only 3 minutes behind us, so I am so proud of her!

So it's back to the drawing board with some new goals, and some fun races ahead, however I will not be doing any camping or off road running this coming weekend Anita, no matter how much you beg me!!

55 minutes here we come???

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I have surprised myself this past while and ran more than I expected to. 

That could be the end of this week's story, but I like to waffle, as you may have noticed. So here I go.

Sunday morning I had planned to go to the club to run another 10km's, but when my alarm went off at 5am, there was simply no desire to move. Well my thumb moved enough to send a message to my friends warning them not to expect me. I then turned over and carried on sleeping. I did certainly enjoy it!

Monday morning comes along and I set my alarm again. I had wakened up before the alarm and I felt quite ready to go out. Hubby on the other hand, wasn't for budging. So I set off on my own. I decided to dodge the early morning traffic by going a different route and thought that I would try run for an hour. There was a lovely cool breeze helping me along, and it was interesting watching everyone in their cars. Still asleep kids had to be cajoled into the seats, and stressed out mothers impatiently growled at them in their driveways. Sleepy dogs ignored me as I went quietly by. I am pleased to say that I was a lot quieter than I have been, as the heaving and puffing seemed to have settled again, and I am managing to last a little longer on the plod!

At the top of a high point in the suburb I glanced at my watch and was surprised to see that I had been running for 30 minutes already. I was pleased, because that meant my one hour target was achievable. Some streets looked like they had lilac carpets over them as the Jacaranda trees are shedding their colour. The smells of different perfumes reminded me of early morning walks to school many many moons ago, and I smiled to myself. 

My thoughts shifted again to our dear running friend who has been with us in spirit for two years now, and smiled wider when I realised he would be raising a 'Black Label' to me out on the road on my own. I swear I heard his voice, saying 'cheers' and this helped me shine from the inside. The early morning glow may have jolted some of the dogs awake, because some of them barked curiously temporarily breaking my concentration. I sighed, thanked Joe for his energy and carried on. I got back to my house feeling rather good, and energised. This time of the morning in summer is so nice to run in, it's just such a pity we have to get up so early for it!