Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm still here ...

Hi there all. Sorry for disappearing! I'm mid-way through my peak week of marathon training and it's fair to say it's been consuming a fair amount of my mental energy as well as physical. It's all going well though, I just wish I'd realised when I started this just how intense Dave's programme was going to be. There aren't any nice, easy recovery runs and I only get one day a week off. Saturday is a two to three hour ride with a run off the bike, Sunday is a long run, Monday is a fast run (after the long run - yeah right), Tuesday is intervals, Wednesday is a hill run and Thursday is a longish tempo run. Add in some swimming, weights and Balance and my schedule starts looking rather full. It's fair to say that stuff has dropped off the schedule. There hasn't been a lot of Balance, I've had to ration the upper body work because of my dodgy neck, and my legs have had enough to cope with without adding leg press, squats and lunges to the mix. However fear of not being able to swim 2km has at least kept me in the pool twice a week.

After riding 76km on Saturday (with, for once, no run off the bike) I ran 30km on Sunday. My long runs have strangely enough been getting faster, which I'm sure is not supposed to be happening! It was a challenging run though, on my own, in a cold gale Southerly with threatening rain. Thankfully I discovered gels with caffeine added. Sometimes being sensitive to caffeine is a good thing, because they were pure rocket fuel.

I was then supposed to run 12km on the Monday - fast. Unfortunately there was that awful wind again. I almost made my target pace at times during the first six kilometres, managed to climb up the only hill fairly easily, and was able to pick it up a little bit after that. However the wheels fell off on the last few kilometers and I staggered back to the gym with a very disappointing average pace. My legs just can't cope with fast the day after a long run, not when that long run is still building up in distance anyway. I don't think that's too unreasonable of them.

How was it then that I managed to put in a rather convincing intervals session last night? A ten minute warm up, followed by 5 x 4 minute intervals with three minutes of easy recovery jog inbetween and a ten minute cool down. I wasn't completely fresh by any means, but I was able to put in the effort.

I'm going to be chasing a workmate around the Tinakori Hills again tonight. Last week we managed 70 minutes, of which more than half was almost continual climbing. We had so much fun and I managed not to fall over or do anything stupid along the way. Tonight we're aiming for 80 minutes, including the Ridgeline track, so there will be lots more uphill!

So here I am in my peak week, a slightly niggly hip but otherwise fairly intact. It would be nice if I could have had an 'easy' day every now and then, but on the other hand it's also been very rewarding to see myself continually improving and coping with more than I'd ever thought I could. Next week at least sees me drop back the mileage for a few 'easy' days. Who ever thought a 23km long run would seem short?

I think if I ever do another marathon I'll look at FIRST training because I still think my body prefers the crosstraining and I miss RPM and more time on my bike. However I'm not going to complain too much. I chose this and I have kept choosing this. I've missed a grand total of two runs - one tempo run when I wrenched my neck, and last week's interval session when my body just said an emphatic 'no'!

I don't know how I'll feel when this is all over, but at least I'll have yet another salient reminder of how I'm always capable of much more than I think I am.


Kate said...

That is an absolutely insane training schedule. Absolutely mental. No further comment.

Dusty said...

Wow! Your coach is a SLAVE DRIVER! Holy cow. I like being my own coach cause I'm not so demanding. You're going to kick butt in this marathon. Way to train!

Pip said...

Ok, so I'm right in thinking this is a crazy schedule, right? Phew! There have been a few moments over the last few weeks of feeling like I'd rather curl up in a corner and cry rather than run again. Unbelievably, I just kept on running and somehow managed to find something positive in nearly every outing.

I may however have to have a few stern words with Dave post-marathon and before we put my next few months' schedule together!

Kate said...

Warning: Frank Comment Coming...

I think, given what I've learnt about you from the past few years is that you need someone who will train you smarter, not harder. You're determined and incredibly strong, and you can handle extremely high workloads very well, BUT I don't think you're anywhere near racing at your capacity, and part of that is because you ARE training at your capacity all the time.

I'm not a coach, but when my friend used Dave, he totally wore her out and she was a mess by the time she got to the marathon.

Calyx Meredith said...

That workload seems insane to me but the fact that you are doing it and finding something positive about it each time is telling, I think. Good luck finishing out your peak week and savor the "easy" runs next week!

Pip said...

Hi all.
Thanks Kate, in particular, for your comment. I'm going to talk to a few people I know who've used this coach before and see what they say. One girl I spoke to last night, who is also a personal trainer, told me to ignore the bit about Monday being fast. If anything though, talking to her made me feel a little like I wasn't doing enough, as her long runs are longer than mine. Sigh!

I'm also feeling conflicted because my old personal trainer is coming back in November and I know she'll expect me to go back to her. I really enjoyed training with her and she understands me really well, but she doesn't have the Ironman experience.

Anyway, today's my rest day (with a slightly achy foot, I think from insane amounts of insanely steep uphill on Wednesday), and we'll see how I get on this weekend.

Bruce said...

Looks like a hectic schedule alright. I'm sure you'll figure it out. Good luck with the rest of the program.

Sonya said...

Hey Pip

I've sent you a PM through the team estrogen site but not sure if your checking them. Could you send me some of the details for next weekend. Cheers
P.S. that running schedule sounds really tough