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The 100km ‘killer week’ starts this morning

With a 3km run, just as well because I’ve got a hangover. Peninsula Marathon is tomorrow and then I run every day, two of those days twice. I’ve never run doubles and I’m going to need balls of steel to make it out alive.

I tore a page out of Runner’s World a couple of months ago and its been hanging around my flat for a while. The article suggests that ‘short bouts of ramped-up volume and intensity, or ‘killer weeks’, push your body into a state of functional overreaching that stimulates big jumps in fitness’. That looked enticing then, not so sure now. A 100km week at my level is tricky as I need to make sure I don’t injure myself. It also says to include it 16 weeks out from race day which allows enough time to recover from the madness (or ‘functional overreaching’). The article helpfully included a plan of pain which I slightly amended to include the marathon tomorrow. If I don’t have the strength or brain power to type by the end of the week, you’ll know why. 3km done / 97km to go.

Running Notes:
Gym treadmill
Distance: 3km

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Only 4 hill repeats!

Was lovely doing so few, and I saw a little black and white kitteh who let me stroke him. Sweet! Obviously I then had a panic attack that I’d run him over as I pulled away from the curb, but he’d already disappeared somewhere else once I’d stopped and checked under the car (hopefully not around the tyre and into the wheel arch).

Running notes:
Route: Bottom of Bellevue Street – 4 x 600m hill repeats 
Distance: 5km

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Time Trial No.3: Another improvement

23:23. About as fast as I did the second 5km split on Saturday. I have no idea why it takes me so long to warm up, I generally only start feeling comfortable at 15km which is entirely useless at a 5km time trial.

Running notes:
Route: Wakame – turn around point – Wakame
Distance: 5km plus a 1km warm up

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PT Session No.8: Oooh dance quads dance!

So I’m looking down and my legs are wobbling, wobble, wobble, jiggy, jiggy, jig all by themselves. Not a pretty sight. My back is squished into a gym ball which is at waist height on the wall, knees bent at right angles, 12kg kettle bell in each hand, sweat dripping into my eyes. Justin: ‘Hold it there, 45 seconds, three sets’, Me: (the sound of my breath through clenched teeth) ‘grshush, arghshush, ergshush’ oh how it burns. Justin: ‘Deeper’, I drop a fraction of a millimetre, Justin: ‘Here hold this’, he says as he balances a broomstick horizontally across my lap, ‘don’t drop it’. Me (in my head): Oh you *%@#!*. No sign of the 8kg kettle bells today. Just a solid hour of lifting more than a third of my body weight. Barely had the strength to dress myself afterwards.

Notes:
360 Training

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A short run on a Sunday!

Only needed to do 15km this morning, felt like I was back home before I’d even started. And the best thing? I’m not running or exercising at all tomorrow. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Running Notes:
Route: My house – Kloof Nek – Signal Hill – Kloof Nek – My house
Distance: 15km

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Favourites, Races

Race No. 2: Top Form (10km) OMFG I just smashed my personal best this morning

I’m still in a state of shock.

I crossed the finish line and my first though was ‘WTF just happened?’. If you read yesterday’s post you’ll see that I ran 83km in training this week and I was hoping (but doubted I would) slip in under 50 minutes which I knew was a big ask on tired legs.

So I usually know when I’m going for something big because I can feel if I’m ready, I check my previous times so I know exactly what pace to set, I tell friends what I’m going for (because that helps to push me because I don’t want to tell them I missed the objective by 2 seconds), I think about the course, I visualise the finish line, I think about the time I’m going to see on the clock when I pass it and I push myself to the point of tears to get it. NONE OF THAT HAPPENED THIS MORNING.

So there I am last night with no food in the house. Hmm, I think, better eat some carbs (I’m avoiding this and sugar at the moment) so I’ve got some energy for the race. I jump in the car, stop at Texies on the Grand Parade and go and buy myself fish and chips (god I love fish and chips, but I never let myself eat it). Doesn’t matter, I think, its just a training race, it’s on 10km and you’ll be lucky to break 50 mins so have a treat. WHO KNEW FISH AND CHIPS IS THE FUEL OF CHAMPIONS? I munch along to the Sochi Winter Olympic opening ceremony and go to bed.

Get up at 4:45am, bimble around for an hour (as is usual with me), get in the car and show up 30 minutes before the race starts. I bimble around some more looking for anyone I know, bump into Janet and Rob Lanning who are quite frankly an inspiration (race every weekend and are in their 70s), have a joke about the Comrades Marathon which always goes something like this: Running Friend: ‘What race are you going for this year?’. Me: ‘Comrades’. Running Friend: ‘Ooooo, ha ha ha’. Me: ‘Yes, ha ha ha ha ha’. Why is it that things that aren’t appropriate laughing material are actually hilarious? ‘Ha ha ha ha, yes, I’m doing the Comrades Marathon this year! 89km, ha ha ha ha ha!’.

Gun fires, we’re off, it’s misty, cool with a light breeze, the absolute perfect running temperature. I clock 5 minutes exactly on the first km which is good to see that my pacing is spot on despite dodging the walkers (or should I say the ‘Walking Dead’ complete with the throaty rasping noises, god they are annoying, but at least they are getting out there). The next 4km go well and I’m taking off 10-15 seconds a km, go through 5km at 23:42 which is awesome as I’ve struggled to get under 24 on my time trials and I know I’m on for a sub 50 minute even if I f*** up the last couple of kms.

6, 7 and 8km  go past and I’m feeling okay, managing the pace, breathing is regular, posture is good, picking up the speed a little and I start to think that maybe I can do a little better than 49:59. 9km and I’m breathing harder, hanging on but I’m not dying. Now even with 500m to go I’m still not seeing a PB because I’m not feeling like I’m running with the horrendous effort necessary to get one. I see the sports field, I see the blimp looming out of the mist and I check my watch. OMFG, I round the corner and cross the line at 46:43.

Yes, 46:43.

How the hell did I do that and I didn’t even try that hard? I ATE FISH AND CHIPS FOR DINNER for god’s sake. I even forgot the Gu that was in my pocket. WTF? I’ll put this into perspective, my previous best was 48:50 last year on a flat course which I thought was pretty good. I crossed the line this morning and didn’t know how well I’d done because I hadn’t checked last night, I hadn’t done my homework. I knew I’d never been under 47 minutes, but I’d never been under 48 either.

As with most miracles, after 5 minutes has passed, you are never quite sure that they actually happened. I seriously hope the time on the clock wasn’t a trick of the light because I’m beginning to doubt myself.

> Have a look at my other PBs

Running Notes:
Route: Turfhall Sports Centre – out around the houses – Lansdowne – Athlone – Turfhall Sports Centre
Distance: 10km
Time: 46:43

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Week 5: 83km

Finished the week with a gentle 8km run from my house to the reservoir. I’m racing 10km tomorrow in Athlone so I avoided the hills, as I’d like to go under 50 mins. Its going to be interesting to see if I can do it after the mileage this week. Dropping the distance to 40km in total next week (before the Peninsula Marathon), can’t wait, it’s going to feel like a holiday. I’ll need it for week 7 – watch this space…

Running notes:
Route: My house – De Waal Reservoir – 5 laps – My house
Distance: 8km

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7 x hill repeats

The most interesting thing that happened to me this morning was a bit of road rage (me in the middle of the road in a rage) yelling at the man in a white bakkie (why is it always men in white cars?) who tried to run me over. It was dark and I didn’t look properly so was probably partially my fault. Good reminder to be awake before getting the kit on.

Running notes:
Route: Bottom of Bellevue Street – 7 x 600m hill repeats 
Distance: 8km

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No time trial, went to the gym

You always see something weird in the gym on a weekday morning (and I’m not talking about that this time). So today, I notice a woman get the lift up to the gym reception from the parking lot, I mean who does that when you are paying to exercise? And then I see that she has her gym kit in one of those wheely trolley thingys. Yes, she has a bag that you don’t actually have to carry. WTF? Seriously? This woman is not here to break a sweat. I suspect that bag contained all her make up.

Running notes:
Speedwork in the gym: 10mins at 11, 1 min at 15 followed by 1 min at 10, repeat for 10 mins, last repeat at 16. Then made up the last km at 11.
Distance: 5km

 

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PT Session No.7: Those kettle bells look a lot bigger than they did last week

Me: ‘Er, how heavy are they?’. Justin: ’12kg’, insert dramatic pause, ‘each’. Me: ‘Er, right’. Justin: ’14 squat lifts, 14 back lunge presses and 20 second lunge holds, each leg’. Me: silence. Justin: looks at me like he’s expecting me to crack on. Justin: ‘Three sets please’. Me: silence and now in my head ‘JFC, who lifts 24kg above their head not once but many, many times???’. Much later on in the session, Justin: ‘Are you feeling okay?’.

Notes:
360 Training

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62km in 3 days might be a bit much

Added 12km to my weekend distance tonight on the mountain. Legs wanted to run, top half wanted to be on the couch. Last night’s gym session was a complete write-off as I could only manage to do the sets that involved me lying down on my back. #sobloodytired.

Running Notes:
Route: Kloof Nek – Cable station – End of Tafelberg Road – Cable Station – Kloof Nek
Distance: 12km

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Fancy a 30km run on top of the 20km you did yesterday?

No? I didn’t fancy it either and the 3 hours and 59 minutes it took me to do it was evident I felt like shite. Bumped into a couple of running friends en route which turned into a bitch fest of how tired and bored of running we all are. Adri is doing a full ironman so has a reason to moan about her training. Need to feel better about this soon or its another 4 months of dragging my sorry arse around Cape Town with a face like a wet weekend.

Running notes:
Route: My house – Kloof Nek – Camps Bay drive – Twelve Apostles Hotel – Camps Bay – Kloof Road –Kloof Nek – Signal Hill – My house
Distance: 30km
Time: 3:59

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Saturday morning run

After 77km two weeks ago, I dropped the mileage down to 63km and now I want to nail 80km this week. It is going to be tough based on how tired I feel, and I’ll need to do a big weekend if I want to get close to it. Today I set off for a 20km club run from Camps Bay. Thought I’d just shuffle up to Suikerbossie and back down, take it easy. Sadly the only other person that wanted to do 20km was Shen who is one of our fastest male half marathoners and he’d already done 12km before he showed up at the Vida meeting point. OMFG. Oh yes and I had a hangover, and it was so humid I sweated out 6 beers and every other drop of moisture in my body.

Running Notes:
Route: Camps Bay – Twelve Apostles Hotel – Suikerbossie – 1km down the other side – Suikerbossie – Twelve Apostles Hotel – Camps Bay 
Distance: 20km

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