Now, am off to shower and seek out a mammoth breakfast. Enjoy your Saturday people!
Call the police, I just killed my run! Haha, yes, I know you're not laughing at my excellent joke. Oh well... Just got back from my long run of the week, which I think was about 25km (again, not very good at charging the Garmin it seems), and took in two different mountainous park areas with hundreds of steps. One of these is the BIG one at the end of town where I did lots of training for the Great Wall race, as I reckoned that some of the steep steps would be a good practice run for the Great Wall (oh how wrong I was haha), and Garmin (which was working at that point) reckoned it is about 400m up to the top. (I think there are about 660 ish steps? I'll count next time...) Anyway, I hadn't been here in quite a while, but it seemed a lot easier than the last time. Or maybe it is because I had already run for 10kms and ran some steps and hills so was more warmed up than usual? Whatever it was, it saw me being able to run further up the steps than ever before and then keep on hiking up the last extremely steep section without stopping for a break (last year I needed a couple of short breaks). So, yay for that.
Now, am off to shower and seek out a mammoth breakfast. Enjoy your Saturday people!
It is the May Day holiday here in China, which means it's a holiday today, tomorrow, AND Saturday (which is usually a 'holiday' for us anyway). So, in true Chinese fashion, we're working the Sunday to compensate for having a holiday fall on a weekday. Hmm, I think someone in charge must have got confused re: what constitutes a holiday! Hey-ho... I kicked mine off with a speed session at the lovely track this morning which saw me doing the following: 1.6km warm-up, 5x 1.6km at VO2max pace (around 3.55 for me) with 3 minute rests in between each 1.6, then 4.8km easy pace run/cool down/recover. My calves were still a little tight but overall it was a good session. Then Husband and I went on a cycle/explore around town, drank some coffee, and we will soon be drinking beer and meeting our friends to go shopping. BUT, it's a beautiful, sunny, HOT day today, so maybe too nice to spend indoors doing our least favourite activity of shopping? Hmm, needs to be done though (Husband needs new clothes).
As for the rest of our holiday? Not sure. I have a long run scheduled for Saturday morning: I'm aiming to do around 25kms and include LOTS of steps and mountain trails. I paid the entry fee for the 50km race this morning, so this trail race business just got real.
Think we'll also be doing lots of planning of our itinerary for our upcoming amazing caravan adventure, and I'd love to do some writing and general chilling and resting. Hopefully this beautiful weather lasts all three days of it!
Last year today, I was HERE undertaking this extremely difficult, crazy adventure 'running' race on the beautiful Great Wall of China:
All the best to those runners who have gone back for a second year running - you guys are amazing! Once was enough for me, haha.
So, no blog yesterday as there was no running to remind me to blog, haha. Oops. Did 50 minutes of strength training instead, as the training plan says you can sometimes swap one of the easy runs for some strength or weights, so having run for the last 3 days straight (I usually alternate days), I chose the strength option instead. Felt good, felt strong, so that’s a plus yes?
This morning was supposed to be a 12.8km run, but our beautiful but CRAZY puppy did an excellent job of shrieking/barking/going off her head at about 3 in the morning, just two hours before I was aiming to get up and get ready (read = drink coffee) for the run. Husband says she was just protecting us (there was a noise from downstairs), which is very sweet and adorable and lovely, but VERY loud and far too early! So, I then chose to stay in bed a whole while longer this morning. Result = my run has been pushed back to about 3pm instead, where the traffic and the pollution will be heaps worse, but hey-ho, what can you do? I’m pretty sure this is what she resembled this morning:
On a completely different note (i.e. NOT running, puppies, or anything to do with China), when a friend keeps telling you little white lies (which you know are lies) should you call them out on it? Or just accept their version? If they lie about such little things, then surely they will lie about bigger, important things? Maybe I should just let it go, as it’s their prerogative to lie I guess? Hmmm, just a little frustrating…. Ok, random rant is over, now back to running stuff:
I read an article this morning about a man in England who ran SEVEN sub 3:25 marathons in SEVEN days. As part of an event called ‘Weak at the Knees’. WOW! I can’t even imagine getting ONE sub 3:25 marathon, and I’m not sure I ever will now, as I’ve vaguely sworn off marathons and longer distances in favour of those much more fun, wonderful half marathons, but SEVEN in ONE WEEK??? Amazing. Or crazy. Not sure which, probably amazing more than anything. I guess it goes to show just how incredible and strong our bodies really are, and that we can usually do much more than we think we can. I know this was true of my half marathon raced on the Great Wall of China last May. At the starting line, looking at what we had to ‘run’ up (extremely daunting and extremely steep towers of stairs and crumbling ledges and broken walls, stretching for as far as you could see in the distance) I was thinking, ‘no way I’ll be able to do this’, but then you start, you continue, you sweat and ache, you feel amazing for keeping going, you finish and discover you were the first female to do so, you feel AMAZING and elated. So, before you know it: the impossible is done, and is not impossible after all; nothing is.
What is something you have done that you once wouldn’t have thought possible and that you amazed and surprised yourself with? Or something you are completely proud and excited about having done?
Good morning all! (Or afternoon for some). I trust everyone will have a fabulous Tuesday.
Today's scheduled run was a quick 5km run. This took me about 20 minutes, and when I got back I felt distinctly unsatisfied, and kind of like I've just warmed up and was now ready for action. Now, don't get me wrong, the quickie has its time and place (nowt wrong with the occasional quickie), its just that this morning it left me wanting more...
So, I did a 30 minutes kick-boxing workout when I got back. No extra running = training schedule still on track = feeling awesome = only 1 more training run til the race!
I was worried last night that I may have made a silly mistake and agreed that it's an awesome idea to go and climb a mountain at the edge of our city on a Monday late arvo after work when it's only 6 days away from an event that I've been preparing for diligently for months, as after said mountain climb (hundreds of steps steep enough and precarious enough to rival that of the Great Wall - hence we have nicknamed it the Great Wall of Yiwu, our city) I had that shaky/wobbly leg thing
going on. But it seems that a self-administered calf massage followed by a HUGE plate of vegetable dumplings, a cucumber and rice noodle salad, coconut juice, and, later on, dark chocolate, has fixed any would-be achiness or injury. Turns out it was an awesome idea (thanks Husband!), and it provided us with an amazing view of the city and the mountains surrounding it on what was a clear, crisp evening.
Have a tops Tuesday now won't you.
This morning's run was an 8km endurance pace run, that took about 35-36 minutes. So, all this training to get a faster result at the race on 1st December, and it seems I am not getting faster, or not by much anyhow. This was about 4.5km/min pace, so that means if I run at this pace for the whole race it will take me about 1 hour 34 minutes. Ok, ok, that IS still about 10 minutes faster than my previous (and best) time from last year, so actually I would be very happy with this result. BUT, what if I could go even faster? And get closer to 1:30, or dare I even put it out there, 1:25?? Stoked would be an understatement. So, I am thinking about running the first 11 ish kilometres at this morning's pace, and then stepping it up to about 4km/min for the remaining ten kms. Really hope I can do this on the day!
Maybe I should just forget about the timing aspect of it altogether and just focus on the fun and amazing atmosphere of the race through the streets of Shanghai. After all, I am doing it for my love of running (ok yes, AND for the medal, certificate and race t-shirt). So, it shouldn't matter what my time is (although a voice in my head says it does!).
I will try not to think about my expectations on the day. That way if I smash them, I will be THRILLED, and if I don't, then I will still be happy. As my excellent coach/husband reminded me yesterday: I didn't ever expect to win the Great Wall half marathon, I only wanted to finish the course within the time limit, but then an amazing thing happened and I somehow did (still don't know how). So, I will see what happens on the day, and leave it up to the running gods (or training gods?) to decide.
(Disclaimer: these are more than likely NOT running/training gods, and are used here for imaginative purposes only:)
(These were taken at a nearby temple just at the edge of our city, at the foot of some mountains.)
Never again, was one of the phrases I was heard to utter after finishing the Great Wall of China half marathon in May this year. Along with, oh my god that was so unbelievably hard, f&*k me that was insanely hard, wow we did it, that was amazing, etc etc. Don't get me wrong, it was the most amazing experience - running/crawling/climbing/hiking/edging along sheer and skinny crumbly worn away paths up and down the beautiful and majestic section of the Great Wall at Jinshanling (about 2.5 hours drive from Beijing). BUT, I remember feeling SO amazed, coupled with satisfied when it was over, and was so glad that I would never have to go through that again. (Plus, was PSYCHED to have won first place woman too, guess this added to the amazed feeling). The general consensus was that they should really change the title of the race, and instead of calling it a marathon/half marathon/10 km etc running race, they should label as an endurance/ultra hiking/climbing event, as the WHOLE thing is on the steps (and in some cases what's left of them) on the Great Wall. In the sun. On a public holiday (i.e. crowds of Chinese tourists and hawkers offering t-shirts, beer and chocolate when you're just struggling to breathe). Had I known this previously, I maybe would have reconsidered and would have entered the other race that is also run on the Great Wall, but organised by the Danish (I think! Don't quote me on this...) instead of the Chinese, as this one apparently has just 5km on the beautiful wall and the rest through winding countryside roads: ahh picturesque and not crazy-hard. But now that it's been and gone, am super glad for the one that I did of course.
Here are a couple of tamer shots (i.e. those taken by my excellent coach/Husband who diligently played cameraman for almost 5 hours while he waited) from the 'kinder' parts of the course:
So, to sum up = amazing and beautiful surroundings + insanely hard = a once in a lifetime, very glad it is over, experience, right? So, why oh why am giving serious thought to re-entering this race next year?! A friend (who has entered near year's race) asked me if I was going to do it again, to which I thought my response would surely be 'no never! But you have fun now...', BUT, it triggered a longing in me to actually want to go back and do it all over again! Crazy. Oh memory is a funny thing hey. Maybe enough time has passed so that now it just seems wholly nostalgic and a GREAT experience and all the ridiculously hard, painful, dehydrated and delirious memories have faded/been eradicated. So, watch this space. (However, more than likely time/money/life will prevent me from going up again next year to Beijing at that time of year, so may have to resign myself to running the race vicariously through my friend.)
Wow, can't really believe how fast that working week went (again) - got my longer run scheduled for tomorrow (18km endurance plus 4km recovery pace), and got my skittles all ready to go. Today was strength training - I did 10 minutes of legs, 10 minutes of back and biceps, and 10 minutes of chest and triceps (using Hasfit.com - a great website with heaps of different workouts that are all FREE, and you can mix and match depending on what you're after - added bonus is that Coach Kozak shouts encouraging things at you like 'there's no reason to stop'/''Keep going'/'I see you! Why are you slowing down?!'). Then I did 30 minutes of my own strength shizzle (lunges, squats, deadlifts, push-ups, dips) while I did a bit of 'lesson planning' for next week (i.e. rewatching that old classic The Lion King, before I use a clip in my lessons).
Yesterday I did my 12km endurance run in the morning, as planned. It was going great until about 9 or 10 kilometres in, when for some reason, legs felt heavy and things just slowed down altogether. Weird. Not like I'm not getting enough pre-running fuel (copious porridge and toast the night before hey, oh and yes, copious dark chocolate too), so maybe I'm just tired. Oh, and this had to have coincided with the only time a creepy stalker on a motorbike decided to pace me and stare (bore his eyes, very awkwardly) at me simultaneously and repeat (definitely an anomaly here in China, as it is the safest country I've been to/lived in!) - bit of a worry: would I have been able to sprint off if needed to?! Surely, yes? Survival would have to be a plus of marathon training? Anyway, all good. I mumbled a hurried expletive in his general direction and pretended I was going down a street that I wasn't. Win.
Off to eat tasty treats now. Zajian!