Monday, February 02, 2009

Day One of Marathon Training

One for Steve. A blister to celebrate day one of marathon training. Can you tell how excited I am? Like, embarking on a major voyage excited? It turns out the enforced rest was a good thing as it gave me a physical and psychological break between BAU training and the commencement of my new mission. My interest is peaked. The idea of running a marathon in three short months (threeeeeee mmoooooonnnttthhhhs) terrifies me just enough that it has me enthralled and once again obsessed. Bring it on. Bring it on.

So, Dave's programme had me down for an upper body weights session today and a 5km fast run. No problems. I had already done the upper body session before I got his email, and the 5km run wasn't a huge deviation from what I'd already planned. Left to my own devices I probably would have run for around forty minutes. I may have included a hill or two. 5km fast though? Crazy talk! It's been so long since I allowed the word 'speed' to enter my vocabulary in relation to running that I wasn't even quite sure that I still knew how to run fast. And run fast after nearly a week of rest with a still slightly dodgy sacroilleac and a mouth full of stitches? Excuse me? Still, a short 5km and then a bus trip home to another glass of that award winning Guthrey family riesling? Now that was appealing.

Even so I was second guessing myself all the way out of the door of the gym. My deal with myself was to warm up by running down to the Meridian building and then to just start running and see how I felt. Right - that old 'see how you feel' copout thing again. I must be going soft! Please don't tell me I'm turning soft! Ok, the softness might have something to do with cider and fish and chips and Whittakers Dark Ghana chocolate and, damn it, the chocolate mud cake our PA brought in for morning tea (and I allowed myself a whole piece too, then sat at my desk feeling sick). Physical softness, now there's an explanation for that, if not an excuse. Mental softness? Someone set the mad dog loose on that girl.

So what did I do? I got to the Meridian building, paused for a moment, and then ran. And what do you know? I ran fast. Just once, for a change, I ran so that my breath rasped from my lungs. My chest heaved. Pedestrians turned to see what was lurching up behind them in such a morbid state. I felt the burn. I wanted to stop. I didn't want to stop, damn it. I tried to slow, but each time I even entertained the idea the mad dog nipping at my heels forced me to speed up instead. I ran. I ran fast.

I had forgotten how wonderful the pain of a speed session can be. I had forgotten how the burn can make you want to vomit, and yet how exquisite that state of nausea can seem. I had gotten lazy with my runs, indulgent in my little aims of running forty minutes, an hour, up the odd hill when I felt like it. This was real training. This hurt. Training is supposed to hurt. This is not supposed to be easy.

Unfortunately I didn't have my Garmin with me. It was forgotten, left in my bedside drawer. I couldn't time myself and I had to estimate the 5km distance, based on what I knew of the Loaded Hog runs and the waterfront distance markers. All the same, I knew what my perceived rate of exertion translated to.

Kate, Sarah, you were right. I am totally capable of a sub-25 minute 5km.

When I got to the gym I was a sweaty, happy mess. I dripped sweat all over Dave as I thanked him for his programme. Then I headed to the stretching area. I was training. This was serious. Training includes preventative stretching. Training means doing what I need to do to not get injured. I stretched, extensively, and then I went home and drank riesling. And then I wrote this blog.

Readers, don't run, drink and blog. You may end up posting something as overly dramatic and emotional as this. Be warned, and be afraid!


Calyx Meredith said...

Egad! Warn a girl - I expect this kind of thing from Steve but was totally unprepared for it from you! :D Still - great job and yay you!!

Sass said...

Not meaning to say I told you so but, um, I TOLD YOU SO!! And geez girl, how did you manage a blister like that? What state are your running shoes in hm?

Steve Stenzel said...


LOVE the photo!!! And on day 1 none-the-less! There will be more to come!!

And aren't those speed sessions addictive?!? It's a great burn! Have fun out there!!

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