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So the paranoia phase of the lead up to a significant race has set in. The last couple of days I rested instead of running because I was experiencing some lower leg pain that took me back to when I began running. Strange that overtraining injuries let you know how much you have been content to just coast with training.

Yesterday headed out for an easy 5K to test the legs, got 2K in and couldn’t get the knots in behind my shins to loosen. So I decided not to risk more serious injury and ended up walking another 2K home again to make a pretty crappy contribution to the training diary. Today I wanted to have another go and see how I would cope, but I realised I was just being stubborn.

I read this article recently that suggested one important thing to remember in a marathon taper is to be paranoid, in that case talking about keeping away from people who are ill. But I figure it is also true of training stuff. I think it is better for me to be paranoid about potential injuries then wind up hating myself on the day. Or more to the point, if I end up hating myself on the day it won’t be because of poor injury management.

So while my stubbornness was yelling “Wimp!! Get out there and run 11K you pansy” I decided to use the exercise bike as well, working on my fitness by doing a good hundred minutes on the bike at reasonable intensity and hopefully thinking that the change in leg movement might help loosen up some of the niggles. And I feel glad that I did, because the only thing that is sore now is my arse. Bring on that flipping train.


Nothing serious, but the body is complaining at the increase in consistency and distance thanks to the program at the moment. The real difference is that being on a program I can’t take a soft option. My records indicate that over time my monthly kms have hovered at about the same pathetic level for months and I haven’t been able to make any significant change in my max weekly kms. The biggest reason for this is that I just haven’t strung good weeks together. And too often, I have just ticked the box in going for a run and satisfied myself with an easy 4K jaunt rather than pushing myself a bit more.

The real challenge here is keeping on track now that I am back at work, with the demands which often result in me cutting out or cutting short runs. I was getting all hyped up about how to fit the Great Train Race into my program – that would result in me building intensity in the week before the race and the week after. Then I remembered that I am not actually training for any particular HM so next week I will keep to the lower edge of the distance range, cut out the intervals and drop the run scheduled for the day before GTR. Then the week after I will do whatever recovery I can manage, then pick up where I left off.

I do want to share a bit of a secret though. I am terrified about the Great Train Race. It is really going to hurt. A lot. And even though I am in very good form at the moment (for me) I wonder whether it is a bit too early to be attempting this. But I will go and if I have to walk bits then I will walk bits. I won’t be beating any trains and it probably won’t be pretty, but hopefully I will enjoy myself anyway.

UPDATE – the legs are still complaining a bit this afternoon so have decided to shelve the run I planned to do tonight – trying to be sensible during all of this increasing so as to avoid injury.

What a lovely day. Here’s what I got up to.

A leisurely lazy lie in including puppy cuddle time (if they see that we have woken up, they will jump up on the bed to demand that we rub their ears while their little butts waggle non-stop). Then up and off to the newsagents for the papers and any interesting magazines. Magazines and newspapers to a cafe where we order a lovely brunch. A bit of shopping including fresh fruit and veggies from the green grocers.

Then back home to wind down from all the frenetic activity with a bit of pottering around in the garden, a wander about checking the vegetable seedlings. Then decided I was all too tired out so time to retire back to bed with a good book for an hour or so followed by a quick nana nap.

Then farewelled the puppies and drove back home from the weekender, taking the opportunity to listen to my ausrun CDs in the car on the way back. Home at last and out for a 5K recovery run which felt ordinary in the extreme but sportstracks gave me a pleasant surprise about my pace, so very happy with that.

Then a nice light dinner on the couch while chatting to one of my dear friends who lives in Darwin, followed by collecting further messages from other nice people leaving me their best wishes.

Just about to pour myself a glass of chardy and toast another 365 days of the life of deege.

What a lovely day.

Starting the new program has been great for me. This is my biggest week so far, and this month (with one week to go) is already my biggest month so far. With the program I have I am on target to SMASH my progress.

Today on the program was 10-11km and I wanted to do the longer run so that I could get in a couple of longer runs before the great train race. I did it on a flat course though. It was tough (as I expected it to be) but not as tough as I expected. It was my longest run since the R4TK so was happy to turn in a respectable long run pace for me (the first respectable pace I have managed since the R4TK).

Like every good AFL player, I finished my run with a walk in the bay. It was absolutely gorgeous out there tonight – just after dusk, with the tiniest bit of light on the water, dead still and FRIGGIN FREEZING. I stayed in until my feet felt like they were going to fall off (which actually wasn’t that long). Then home and in trouble from Hub for not sufficiently informing him of where I was and when I was coming back (my bad). I feel like I am about a hundred.

My short term goal is to be able to do this sort of run without feeling like I need to spend a week in recovery. Might take a while. According to the running log this is my third longest run ever, so I suppose I should suck it up a bit.

So you wouldn’t have thought that two days into a new program and already I am postponing a run. I had a good excuse though – my bra was in the wash and not yet dry. But today was okay so went out for a scheduled 6K with 4 gentle pick ups. And took the opportunity to take my NEW SHOES for a spin.


Aren’t they pretty? They are the most expensive pair of shoes that I have EVER bought. Seriously. For my wedding my shoes cost $40 (who is ever going to wear cream shoes again?) but I can’t think when I have ever previously gotten close to spending over $200 on shoes. Expensive little hobby I have here. But what the hey, I said I would splurge on the kayanos this time. I actually wanted to find a non-asics shoe that suited me so that I can rotate them, but after trying on half a dozen pairs nothing else fit my munted feet.

So took the new shoes on the run tonight and they were about the only thing that was working well tonight. Nudge was out of control and had me alternating 2min kms with 9min kms (hopefully neither were accurate). Even after the extra unplanned rest day the body was still protesting about doing two longish (for me) runs in a row. And so I struggled through it. My feet felt the best they have for months though. Which is a little depressing, because it means that I probably have very little life left in the old shoes (something I already suspected) and need to find a new pair to rotate as soon as these ones are broken in.

New shoes are very bright. It was dark when I was finishing off the run tonight and I swear that the kayanos were lighting my path.

A couple of you asked what HM I am planning to do now that I have started my HM training program. In truth I am not planning on any particularly. The program I am doing has a longest run of about 15K, which I think won’t be adequate preparation for me to actually complete a half. I was tentatively planning to do the half at MM in October but it looks like I will be going to the US at that stage.

For this year my goal is to consolidate my training and get some more experience running distances in the 8K to 15K range, whether races or just in training. At present I have only run further than 10K a handful of times and I nearly died when I tried to run 15K. If I choose to do a half, then I will find myself another program which I think is better suited to help me do it well. But I am not going to push it and just see how I go.

For now I have enough on my plate trying to get my mix cd for the ausrun forum finished and mailed (true story – this is taking forever to nail down my song choices) while trying to deal with my new grueling program.

Okay, so I decided I really need to get with a training program that defines properly what I need to be doing on particular days. I got a bit lost in the run up to the R4TK, just doing whatever I could fit in while concentrating on increasing the long runs. I made good progress, but I am one of those anal people who work better with defined tasks. While I have been off work the last week or so it has been far too easy to just faff around and blow off a run. But NO MORE. Reasonable recovery time has passed, legs are back to good, time to get back on track.

My medium term aims are to continue to increase my distances while trying to push myself a bit harder speed/intensity wise. However, hard to find training programs that suit me. I don’t want to do too much intensive speed work, and don’t want to jump to more than about 3-4 runs per week (because that is often unrealistic for me workwise). Anyway I found this half marathon program which I am going to do. It is still a pretty decent increase in intensity for me, but in a good way. The minimum distance of an easy run is about 6K which I can do, but is longer than what my normal base runs are.

I think that this will be good for me, push me to increase things a little bit and see how much I can get out of myself. At the end of this program I should be up to about 50km per week with a long run of about 15K. That is pretty much where I have been wanting to get to for a while and I think it would bring some more good improvements. So here’s to the next couple of months.


This is the picture nudge drew of me looking for my keys doing hill intervals. Today was the first day of the new program, which is a novice half marathon program. It is fairly simple and basically just incorporates some strides and some “active intervals” which is pushing the pace a little bit but not sprinting. I am switching these to hill intervals at least for the lead up to the Great Train Race, and because I like ’em.

So today the assignment was 3k run, 5-7 1min intervals with jog recovery, 3k run. So I did the first 3k as an out and back on a gentle uphill (the start of my Coolangatta Gold course) and then down again. Then I found myself a nice bit of a hill that I could do in about a minute the first time. I did a walking recovery rather than a jog because I only had to the bottom of the hill to get my breath back. Then the plan was to do the same basic course for the 3k warm down to train the legs on running gentle uphills and downhills when tired.

So I did the 3K warm up and it was a bit hotter than I thought. So I ducked into the weekender for a drink and grabbed a bottle of water to stash in the mailbox for after the intervals. The plan said 5-7 intervals so I was determined to do at least 6. It was hard work, but the sixth actually felt a bit better than the fifth. I wasn’t tempted to go again though.

Jogged down to get a drink and then off for the warm down. Which was when I started to feel really crap. Just when I was all self-congratulatory in my head for my interval work, I suddenly couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, was feeling queasy and nothing was really working. Most of the warm down ended up as a run/walk and felt pretty darn ordinary when I finished.

However, I am happy with the effort – it’s the first time I have intentionally pushed the pace outside of races, and I have had a pretty slow couple of weeks. I think all the water I drank during the run was responsible for the nausea as much anything. Will post more about my thoughts on the program later.

So, being the patient, reasonable person that you all know I am, I obviously coped well when the first three or four times I went out for a run after R4TK, I couldn’t go for much longer than 500m without stopping. I felt like I was running through molasses. Not so much injured, but my heart rate was through the roof, and felt general fatigue and, well, grumpiness. Stupid body.

I was all pumped to start the new training program this week which called for a bunch of quality training. But that was not to be seeing as dragging myself across the doorstep to shuffle around slowly for 10 minutes before requiring a long rest did not fit the definition of quality sessions. So I decided to give myself another week before starting the training program which will still give me a good ten days of the new program while I am on holidays. Instead of running, I have been going on long walks with the monster dogs (and Hub). Which is frankly fantastic fun, but still grumpy that the running thing isn’t working.

And to be honest, part of it is a little bit of irrational panic. I suddenly can’t run anymore, which makes me wonder how long this will last. A corner of my mind assumes the worst – I am NEVER going to be able to run again. ALL of the gains I have made over the last year have GONE. It’s a slippery slope thing. Rational intelligent deege knows that this is completely bollocks, but rational intelligent deege is sometimes more of an invited guest in my head. She rarely holds the reins.

Anyway, tonight was the first run where I felt half normal, in that I could manage more than about half an hour at once. I did a nice 5.5K around the local area, giving me confidence that if things continue I can actually manage a long run later this week and get my kilometerage up this week to what it was before that nasty 15K race. And then I can start my new training plan and be a complete hero (at least in my head).

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