Monday, March 15, 2010

Final Thoughts

Tonight was the last run before the Half Marathon on Thursday - and it wasn't such a great run. I switched my running time from the early am, to an evening run so that I could run with a friend. However, I'm really not an evening runner, and to top it off, my running partner tonight was a bit of a drag, and pretty much complained the entire time about how she really hates running... Needless to say, she's not very motivating, and I felt really bothered by her attitude. Not a very good mindset for her going into the HM. Oh well.

Sooo... that's it until Thursday. While I need to take these next two days to rest for the big race, to rest my body for the grueling 21.1 km hilly course, there will be no rest for my over active imagination as I plot and plan and worry about the race. I'm sure it's going to be fine - and that I'll finish well and with a good time - but I keep going over and over it in my head. Is this normal?

I'm sure it is.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Running with Hubby

Hubby is learning to run - and pretty much fighting and hating it the whole way. Tonight I did 6.5 km on my own and then joined up with him to do another 4.5 km. Not fun. I mean it, not fun.

I think I want him to be a runner more than he wants to be a runner - and that's a big problem for both of us. He really needs to run for his health. You know, extra pounds, cholesterol too high, all that kind of middle age stuff... Problem is he wants it to be simple. He does not like hard work at all. For me - I want him to like it - but why should anyone like running when they are over weight and struggling to catch their breath every 20 paces... I guess it's not fun.

Okay so I need to be more patient. And I guess yelling at him all the way up the hill is NOT a good thing to do. But I don't want him to be a loser and he was threatening to quit... No quitters allowed in this family. Nothing worth doing ever comes easy - and we both need time to see that.

So I don't think I'm going to run with hubby for a while - and maybe I need to let him come to the decision on whether or not he will be a runner, on his own as well. You can't make someone love, or even like running for that matter. But it would be nice....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hold Your Horses

Today was the final 'long' run before the HM next week - and wouldn't you know it I was totally revved and ready to go, and yet had to hold back... Wouldn't you know it - one of my best running days and I had to hold back, hold my horses as they say...

Maybe I felt so good because it was only 16 km this week - or maybe it was the fact that I snacked on some raisins 12 km into the run. Duh! The past couple of longish runs have had me wiped out and I just now figured out it was because I wasn't fueling up mid way through the run. I also never used to eat before running, just a half cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Lately, I've been adding a half a banana with 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter spread on it. This seems to be just enough that I don't have that sloshing around feeling in my stomach when I go out, and I don't seem to get cramps or anything. (Since I get up to run at 5:15 am - I can't eat an hour before going out, etc.) Now, adding the handful of raisins is really giving me that boost of energy when I need it most. (I tried those gel thingys, but raisins taste better and are couple bucks cheaper per serving!)

Anyway, I was revved and ready to go and actually had a very good run. I did some hill work and tried to keep myself to a good pace so I didn't burn out too soon. Today's run is the reason that I started to run... I felt accomplished and proud of myself - yeah, go team!

Two more smaller runs and then Thursday is the big day... I don't have butterflies in my stomach, but a herd of wild horses!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hill Repeats, repeats, repeats

Today's training run was 4 x 1000 metre hill repeats. I think I hate hills, no strike that, I know I hate hills - and I live in Ramat Bet Shemesh - home of the hill. There pretty much is no flat stretch here, just sloping declines, followed by the inevitable incline - and many, rolling hills, and that's just the sidewalks! Seriously, we pretty much do hill work all the time, but today I did the 1,000 metre repeats on a pretty steady climb and while I initially went out too fast - I steadied the pace and worked it out.

I was happy to see that according to my trusty Garmin, (which I absolutely love!), my times on the hill repeats have improved substantially over the past 3 weeks. Where as my first set of repeats, 3 weeks ago I had an average time of 7:06, today I did 6:40. Improvement, yeah! It's hard to see your improvement on a daily, or weekly basis, but this showed me that all the hard work is paying off.

There are but 3 runs left until the HM next week - and it's time to taper off. Maybe a mid-long on friday and two shorter runs following that. It's hard to believe that all this intense training is going to come to an end - and I wonder how that will feel. Running for fun... remember that?

Monday, March 8, 2010


I headed out this morning at 5:45 am for my 16 km med-long run. We've suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a sharav (heatwave) with temp's expected today of 30c. While Israel is generally quite hot, and we do adjust to the average temp's of 29 - 35c that we see much of the year, the first few hot days always come at a bit of a 'surprise' and we need to adjust for them. You must dress appropriately and drink, drink, drink a ton of water. Moreover, a sharav is often times accompanied by strong desert winds that work extra hard to blow into every nook and cranny so that there is no refuge from the heat.

So while my run started out with a gradual decline in elevation with a nice bit of tailwind nipping me from behind - what goes around certainly comes around, and on the return loop, I was faced with a steady climb and headwinds!!

Talk about frustrated! Those darn headwinds were a challenge, and the more I struggled and wrestled with them - the worse it seemed to get. How can I beat these winds? - I certainly couldn't seem to outrun them (and I tried), and no matter how much I screamed to the heavens, they just didn't abate.

It wasn't until I put my head down slightly and ran into the winds that I was finally able to conquer them. Because I was running on the side of the highway, it was important to lift my head every dozen or so steps (lest I become road splatter!) - but then I would lower it again, and work my run. After several kilometers, the winds abated, and my course took a slight turn, so that the winds were no longer fighting me and my forward momentum. Relief...

So I thought about it, that headwind, and how could I apply it to the rest of my life... I think that when we are faced with a monumental problem, and we react to it by running around it, struggling physically with it, and even screaming and blaming everyone else for it, those steps just aren't going to solve it. In order to resolve it - we must deal with it head on. And then, take a break now and again by lifting your sights and getting your bearings... and perservere until the problem will fizzle out on its own, or your life's course changes a degree or two, and that problem won't seem so monumental.

The run was harder than usual because of the winds, but I made it - and the struggle now seems so small in my minds eye.

Only 4 more runs until the Jerusalem HM.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Opening Musings

While I'm not exactly new to running - blogging, well that's a horse of a different colour... I'd like this blog to be a place where the odd ramblings in my head find new life instead of simply bouncing around and around until they wear themselves out...

I've only just gone back to running this past six months after having an eight year break!! I've traded in the treadmill for the great outdoors, and am training for my first HM on March 18th.

It's amazing how 'once a runner, always a runner' worked for me. After such a long break, you would have thought that it would take a long time to get back up to speed. But here I am, finished 7 of 9 weeks of training before the half - and I'm ready. Friday's run was 22 km and I recovered well enough to run 11.25 km recovery Saturday night. Today I feel great.

Only 5 training runs before the big event - and I'll admit to being scared! Yikes!

I keep scanning all the blogs and websites for tips and personal stories of HM runs... I'm the kind of person that likes to know what's coming up - no suprises for me, please! So - I'll keep surfing the web and training and see how it goes...