Melbourne Marathon, it’s not far away! Monday marked the first day of official training. With two half marathons and an 18km run done just prior to the start of the plan, we are what Pauly calls half-marathon fit, now to build up to Marathon Fit!
Last Friday was a lovely 15km run with Louise and Pauly in and around Deloraine. It was a happy chatty run. We all enjoyed it and were feeling positive about the imminent start of the plan.
Then it was Saturday’s run with the Launceston Running Club; it was the Bishopsbourne 15km handicapped race. To my surprise (there was a smaller field) I came in 17th instead of further at the back. It was a lovely run in and around Bishopsbourne and Bracknell in the cool, country air. It wasn’t as cold as it’s been but it was pretty freezing. At 5:42 minutes per km I was a bit slower than last year, but last year I wasn’t doing the distances that I am at the moment so in all, I was pleased. And I loved the run. It was fun. I was happy all the way. The rain held off until just at the end where there were a few spits. What’s not to be happy about?
Sunday was not quite 13km with The Running Group out and about in Launceston’s southern suburbs. Oh my goodness. Coach says Hills are your friends. And he gave us an up close and personal opportunity to make or break that friendship. I won’t forget Janette’s groan as we managed to get up the first hill before switch-backing into the second mega incline (on the graph below it looks like one continuous up, rather than two hills). She verbalised what we were all thinking but didn’t have the energy to utter.
While it was a Group run, after getting up those first two inclines the group slowly started to turn into an ant line of runners, one in front of the other, the gaps becoming greater and greater. I ran the rest of the way on my own. We were all in the zone going our own pace. Coach was driving around and slowly collected a few people who didn’t want to do the full distance. At the 8km spot as I plastered on my smile and thanked Coach and runners for all the cheering (I was pooped), I thought to myself: I could stop now, I’ve done two 15km runs in the last two days, I could stop and do a shorter run. NO! I said to myself. I kept going and chipping away at those hills. I did walk on two occasions. Just a few steps to get myself back into sync. I had nothing left at the end, I was spent. And did it help my friendship with hills? It certainly did. Hills make me a stronger runner. One foot in front of the other, they give me the best opportunity to become fit and strong both mentally and physically. I would say that my love affair with hills is alive and well.
It was a big weekend of running. It was one of those weekends where I was encouraged. Not all runs end up being happy and encouraging that is for sure. A recent Friday run for Louise, Pauly and I was so hard. All of us weren’t in it. I chose the route for this one, an out and back, I didn’t trust any of us not to call it short – and this was a 12km run, much less than what we’ve been doing. None of us enjoyed it, it was all slog.
Now that the plan has started we will take the good runs and the bad runs. Each run is a run in our marathon run bank. With each run we will be one run stronger. And to encourage ourselves we’ll be ticking off each day as we go. What has it been today? Rest day! An important part of the plan and loving it.
Happy running 🙂
PS tomorrow is 18km! And it’s going to be freezing and possibly raining!