Saturday, May 12, 2007

Over an hour...

I can tell that my training is going to get tunnel-visioned again from now until the half marathon at the end of June. Duck and Ingrid's new programme has us running up to six days a week, which doesn't leave a lot of time for cycling, swimming or RPM, especially not with three weights sessions to fit in and the aim of also fitting in up to three Body Balance classes.

I skipped lower body weights on Wednesday, wanting to have fresh legs that night. I was also conscious that Duck had promised a return to circuit training on Thursday morning, so I actually wanted to be able to walk!

The Squad ran a classic route on Wednesday night - up Taranaki Street, down Buckle, through the Mt Vic tunnel, past the Velodrome, up over into Newtown, back to the Basin, then up Ellis, along Austin and down Majoribanks to Courtney, followed by the sprint to home. I ran with the speedies until Mt Vic, but they pulled slightly away on me on the long slow grind through the tunnel itself. I caught them slightly on the run downhill once we left the tunnel, but they left me behind running up to Newtown. For some reason I could not keep up on the hills. I'm not entirely sure why, although I wonder whether it's got something to do with my sacroiliac still not being right.

All the same I was happy with my pace, and sped up considerably down Adelaide Rd. I could see the girls just ahead, and with a grim determination I managed to catch them at the Basin, only to lose them again up Ellis. I overtook a couple of new girls by absolutely flying down Majoribanks, something I haven't allowed myself to do since last year's knee problems. The knee held up, but an unforgiving light change meant I got left behind.

I feel that I haven't yet gained back the speed I had a couple of months ago before the injury resurfaced. I think a lot of it's mental, but I also seem to be getting tired more easily at the moment. Again, I'm not sure why, although obviously the last few months have been a bit stressful. However there's no way I can hope to keep up with Karen, who has hit her own golden spot in her training. The woman's legs are about twice the length of mine, and when she gets going there's just too much power there for me to have any chance! And if she's there then Sarah will do anything she can to keep up...

On Thursday Duck did indeed reintroduce the circuit training, although rather gently I thought. The fun bit was being able to demonstrate just how much strength I have through my core now.

At lunchtime I ran for 35 minutes at an easy pace. The Northerlies were near galeforce, so I stayed inland for most of the run - jogging gently up Bowen, then down Tinakori to Thorndon Quay, past the railway station, across to the waterfront for a short while, then back through town to the gym. I chose a route that would mean as much running and as little standing at traffic lights as possible. Running at lunchtime is a hassle, but it meant an early night at home, which was much appreciated.

Friday would have been an RPM day, but the day off on Tuesday meant I had a run to catch up with, so at 6.30 when I would normally have been jumping on a spin bike I was catching a bus to the gym to jump on a treadmill. I still find it difficult to face running outside at that time of the morning, especially in the winter. 30 minutes at an easy pace, and unfortunately Sam was on reception and in charge of the music videos. Thankfully it was only a short run!

I followed the run up with a Body Balance at lunch time. I really think my warrior poses have improved. There's certainly a lot more alignment in my body, and my hips sit much squarer than they did, my shoulders draw further back, my chest lifts around more easily. If only my triangle poses felt better...

Then it was 7.30 this morning, and I was getting out of bed to join the Squad for a 70 minute run. On the one hand my archilles has been aching on and off all week, and my right hamstring was a knot of muscle just above my knee. On the other I was eager to get into the 60< minute runs again. About time! The day was pretty much perfect - cool and not much more than the hint of a Southerly. We ran a straight 35 minutes out, 35 back around the Bays. The fountain was going in Oriental Bay, and there were several occasions I wished for a camera. We live in such a beautiful city, and once again I'm grateful to running for getting me out to enjoy it.

I kept up with Sarah and the new speedy for a while, but I had decided I wanted to run this one slowly, so I dropped back and eased into a gentle pace that I estimate would have been slightly under a 6.00minute pace. And there I sat, easily, for 70 minutes. I didn't let myself hurry, I didn't let myself think about how much further I had to go. Every time I started to feel pushed I just calmed down the mental noise and concentrated on one foot in front of the other. And again, the return trip was faster than the out. That will obviously have to be my tactic - ease into it then run for home on the way back. If you'd told me to keep going for an indefinite period I would have done. So why do I find this half marathon thing so hard? Oh, perhaps I don't.

Dare I hope for a little more speed next time? The problem's not mental so much as physical I think. So, up the pace a bit but adopt the same mental attitude I was able to nurture throughout today's run. I may have stumbled upon something!

Hamish and I treated ourselves to hour long massages today in town. Mine was bliss, although the tendons in my back are pinging like rubber bands that are about to snap and the massage therapist could be heard 'tsk tsking' on a regular basis. Yes, my muscles are tight. They're like that at the best of times, let alone when I'm training. I wonder sometimes, if Lance Armstrong produces less lactic acid then most people, perhaps I produce more. It would explain a few things. No one ever believes me when I say I stretch!

15 minutes of shake out running tomorrow, and I will try to make the 1.00 Body Balance, though another gorgeous day may see me spending the day in the Sanctuary instead.


Sass said...

Karen's waaaaaaaaaaay beyond me running with her now unless I have traffic lights to slow her down. The newer speedies are quite good for pushing me without getting dishearteningly far ahead though (maybe today was an exception though;p)

How on earth are you going to fit 3 weights sessions AND 3 balance classes in as well?? I'm totally struggling to even keep up a range of 3 balance/pump altogether at the moment!!

Pip said...

Well, three pre-work weights sessions, two lunch time Body Balance classes and one weekend Body Balance. Though today I have given up plans to either go to the Sanctuary or Balance in favour of sitting on the sofa blogging and drinking cider. Shameful!