This weekend saw the annual Melbourne Marathon Festival on Sunday. I didn't enter the half marathon because I wasn't sure if I was going to be ready to run it. Last week, with the un-entered race coming up, I decided to do my own half marathon on the weekend, just because I could.
I knew that I wanted to push myself more than I have in my longer runs lately, which have been really just to get the kilometres under my belt. But I also know I'm not currently fit enough to blast it from the start, so my goal was just to do the run in 2 hours. Not fast, but hopefully steady.
I headed to the gym early on Saturday morning. Yes, I ran my half marathon on a treadmill. I have to admit that I much prefer treadmill running to running outside. I know most runners have a view on treadmill running, usually more of a hate relationship, than a love one. I like knowing that I can have regular drinks, I can watch tv, I can set the pace I want to run to hit the time I want, and it also helps that there is always a bathroom close by.
I did my run in the 2 hours - pretty much exactly. The first half I started slower, so I picked up the pace to hit my target of 10.6km in the first hour. Then I kept the second half steady. I've also learnt (the hard way) that it makes a huge difference if I can replace electrolytes during the run (I use a GU Brew tablet in my water), and also have a couple of GU gels to keep my energy levels consistent.
It wasn't easy, and my husband can attest to the fact that I hobbled around for a couple of days afterwards (although that may have been due to the leg focussed workout I did on Friday morning). I know that I have run faster in the past, but for where I am now, I'm proud of that run!
This morning, after just doing a light yoga recovery session yesterday, I did an 8km tempo run. I felt surprisingly good! My run went like this:
1 km - 10kph
2 km - 10.5kph
2 km - 11kph
3 km - 11.5kph
I was happy with how strong I felt holding the 11.5kph pace for 3kms. A few weeks ago, that would have been my fast interval pace for 400m sprints. It just goes to show that my faster legs are in there somewhere ...
To try to lose a few kilograms to find those fast legs, I've decided to do a 28 day challenge with a local personal training studio. It's the first time I've done anything like this! I'm usually more of a lone exerciser. Over the last couple of months I've been kind of hoping that 5kgs would melt off me without changing too much. Of course, that didn't work. So I'm going to see if this program can jump start my motivation and weight loss!
Wish me luck :)