I've been taking it really easy and chilled since Thursday, and apart from one day's initial stiffness, my legs feel fine now and totally back to normal. So, how long are you supposed to leave it between a long distance run or race and your return to running? If I leave it too long, maybe I'll never start again? The habit will be gone? After half marathons, I usually leave a few days, but maybe this full marathon malarkey requires a bit longer?
My legs are a lot less achey and stiff today, so I think I'm well on the mend. Have been taking full advantage of these post-race resting days and have been nice and lazy since Sunday (with the exception of our mandatory stair climbing of course - we live in the 5th floor of an elevator-less apartment building).
My recovery tactic seems to have focused mainly on eating (refuelling, right?), and my new obsession (see you later porridge!) is the awesomeness of PEANUT BUTTER. Yum. Peanut butter on bread; on toast; with jam; with honey, or even just plain old PB on a spoon. I didn't even try peanut butter until I was an adult, as the smell used to put me off and I couldn't see the point. But oh my, peanut butter and honey on toast, is one of life's ultimate pleasures and I'm so glad to have found it (have to heartily thank Husband and coach for introducing me to this particular combination!).
Other awesomeness post-race has been getting this lovely big bouquet of flowers from the school, giving our apartment that beautiful, fresh floral scent:
Yup, THIRTEEN days til the race! Feels pretty close / exciting / scary now. :) Can't wait for 1st December!
Another very cold, early morning training session today. The moon was still very much out, and so half of my run was lit by the powerful, magical bright yellow shine of the (full) moon. Was a bit mesmerising and distracting though as I kept staring at the moon as I completed my loops on the track, and had to remind myself to look where I was running (i.e. not trip and fall in the dark).
Today's training was as follows: 2km warm up, 1600m tempo (half marathon race pace), 400m jog in between, 1600m tempo again, then 2km cool down. Followed by: getting under every blanket/doona/duvet that we own in an attempt to warm back up, breakfast, shower, and a back-into-bed-power-nap. Monday mornings are GREAT, don't you think? :)
Yesterday was, you guessed it, my REST day, and it was great. Although, turned out to be an actively resting day where we cycled around to do some errands (and drink coffee) for a lot of it, plus the usual dog walking and house work. But no running anyhow.
Did spend a lot of time researching jobs and places we'd like to live in next year - going to be such a hard decision: so many amazing and beautiful places we could go to! Got to choose between: beaches and the coast (really miss the ocean and fresh air), mountains and amazing scenery, and beautiful vast grasslands and completely new cultures. Ahh, decisions decisions, at least we've got a full 7 months or so to make our minds up!
In other exciting news: my mother is coming all the way to China (from UK) for a visit! She's going to be here for Christmas and New Year's - we're very excited! We have to work on Christmas day as it's not a holiday here, but that's ok.
Ok, better go and get ready for teaching and another beautiful day in China. Have a great Monday everyone!
Yes, I was a pussy and did NOT go for my belated run yesterday evening. I really really tried though! I had my coffee, had left three ish hours from my last meal, was half-dressed and almost ready to go, when Husband mentioned dinner and what we were going to do for it, and I realised that yes, it was still pissing down rain, was dark and cold, we still had a lot of moving of furniture to do (we changed the apartment around - they say a change is as good as a holiday yes?) and I was hungry (at the mere mention of food). So, excuses excuses I know. Oh well. Made up for it this morning and did the run from yesterday plus the one I had scheduled for today (an easy recovery pace jog, so made for a good longer cool down).
It was still raining this morning, but not as hard (more of a constant drizzle). I have recently discovered the saving grace of putting OIL on my ponytail before heading out for a run in the rain/drizzle. Why did I not know this years ago?? My hair (being a bit bleached/highlighted/messed with) tends to form one giant dreadlock / rat's tail / ball-of-doom if I run in the rain, however I've found putting oil (just olive oil straight from the kitchen) on it, saves the day. Can't believe its taken me this long to find this out.
Maybe it was a good thing I didn't go yesterday? Maybe I would have tripped in the dark and wet and twisted something? Maybe that's why I wasn't meant to go, and instead was meant to lift heavy furniture instead (hey, weight training / cross training right?) and then make us a beautiful healthy dinner, finished off with the ubiquitous porridge dessert/extra meal before bed of course. Whatever the reason, my legs felt GREAT on this morning's run so maybe the impromptu rest day was secretly needed. What didn't feel so great however, and apologies if this is tmi, were my boobs hey. They seem to be double their usual small size (and for those of you who know me in person, you will know this is still not at all huge), felt something like this:
and even wearing two sports bras didn't help - felt uncomfortable and heavy the whole run. (I salute you larger-boobed ladies - it must be a lot harder to run with boobs!) Hmmm, so maybe my perma-wish of having bigger breasts is out the window now, and actually, I would take running over wanting larger breasts any day.
This striking realisation brought back a memory of a similar train of thought. A very wise, very beautiful woman once asked me the following very hard question, so, to brighten up an otherwise dull and dreary Wednesday, answer me this:
If you had to pick either running or sex for a whole year (i.e. you get to choose one at the expense of the other, but can't have both!) what would you choose??
Hmmm, quite the conundrum isn't it?! C'mon - I'' tell you mine if you tell me yours! (Once I make my mind up that is...). Answers on a postcard please (Ok, or just below...) :)
...and today was that day: have progressed from shorts and a singlet (feels like this was only last week) to long leggings, one long sleeved shirt, one big baggy t-shirt, and now: GLOVES. Yes, it was cold this morning. Oh how I miss barefoot running on this beach in Bali (daily or every other daily run was usually Echo Beach - Seminyak/Legian/Double 66 - Echo Beach):
Today was an easy 8km recovery pace run, which was great. Felt very fresh and glad of my rest day yesterday. So, came home and smashed out some strength training too. Great start to our day of researching accommodation for upcoming holidays and looking into our next teaching job after our contract here is up in June (unless we somewhere manage to stay another year, could be very easy to do, it is so relaxed and cruisey here).
Off in search of FOOD now. Love this gig. :) xx
ps - Saw this on another running blog today, and thought it was an excellent idea - imagine the motivation someone would gain from their own, personalised bracelet, complete with the words 'just fucken do it!' inscribed in the metal?! HINT HINT Santa! xxx http://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/105708855/marathon-or-running-inspirational?ref=shop_home_active
Today is my proper rest day - no running and nothing too strenuous. The most I have done physically today has been gentle cycling to the post office and back, and walking to and from my one lesson of the day. It's been a pretty relaxed and happy Monday so far. Have been playing my students songs about not worrying and being happy, i.e. those by Bob Marley and Bobby McFerrin, so hopefully they too have been able to have a relaxed start to their generally full-on week of school.
Off to the night market this evening as we didn't manage it yesterday due to being crazy tired. There is everything and anything for sale, along with many stalls of tasty treats, yum:
NOW I have finished my training for the week. Oops, was a little over zealous and premature with my excitement at ticking off everything on my program for the week in yesterday's post. Had completely forgotten about today's run, seeing as I had a 'rest' day scheduled for yesterday, so Sunday just seemed so far away apparently.
This morning I had a 10km tune up race (to be run as if it were a formal race) on the schedule, along with a 2km warm-up (including 6x 100m strides) and a 2km cool down. The 10km took me 39 minutes. Yay! One whole minute faster than the tune up 10km about 4 weeks ago. So, pumped about that. But not sure what effect this will have on the day, or how to reasonably use this as a guide or prediction of my race day time. Anyway, it's all just for fun, not like I am a professional or anywhere near that - just my own personal goals and desires to beat my previous time and place. (Last year, I came in at 42nd place - so, 42nd out of thousands of other women, which I was pretty happy with, and got a prize of Nike shorts and dry-fit t-shirt for my efforts - if you were in the top 100 you got a prize - so would love to be higher up the ranking list and for a faster time overall, faster than 1:44.)
As I was cooling down for the 2km on the track this morning, and doing the sums and working out how to replicate this tune-up race as part of the half marathon race, I was thinking of all the things that would help improve my time versus those things that will slow me down on race day.
Things that will improve my time:
- Having trained hard following a training plan (complete with rest days) designed to make me a little bit faster.
- COFFEE on race day morning, and lots of it.
- The crowds and atmosphere as I run through groovy Shanghai.
- Speed (haha, just kidding - am 'mature' and healthy these days, and this is China remember).
- Knowing my beautiful husband (and coach) is waiting for me near the finish line to get a she's-going-so-quickly-the-photo-is-blurry photo.
- The thought that possibly he's even managed to source a beautiful bottle of bubbly just like last year's post-race greeting (hint hint Husband if you read this, haha...)
Things that will slow me down:
- Bottle neck/ 'traffic jams' of other runners in the first couple of kms.
- Bad weather. (Hoping for no rain this time, slipper pavements and dangerous route etc.)
- Trying not to choke on the water and sports drinks at drink stations.
- Nerves and self-doubt compared to all the 'proper' runners there.
So, as you can see, there are more things in the positive column than in the slow-down column, thus I WILL improve my time and get a better placing, yes?
And now, my FULL week of training is done and dusted and it's time to start another beautiful Sunday. Thought I would be a bit achey today after my 'rest' day yesterday turned into a very active (unexpected) day with some friends of ours. They had invited us to go and play badminton and Ping-Pong and then get some lunch.
Expectation of how our Saturday would go down: Meet up with our friends, play a very casual relaxed half an hour to an hour or so of badminton and Ping-Pong, eat a big lunch, chat for a while, say goodbye.
How things actually happened: Meet up with our friends, play an hour of Ping-Pong, play an hour of badminton, realise our arms are achey and we're all a bit tired and hungry, eat a big lunch, drive to the countryside (our friend's village where he grew up, only about 30 minutes from our city), 'climb a mountain' for a few hours, be driven home with various foodie gifts from his parents such as boiled purple sweet potatoes and copious sticks of sugar cane to gnaw on.
Such a fun and active day, and although it definitely screwed my planned 'rest day', was well worth it. Felt like we were definitely off the beaten track too and was so good to be back to nature, in the beautiful, peaceful surrounds and up a mountain again.
Ok, that's quite enough of my rambling for today. Time to get back up and go in search of some Sunday morning tasty treats. Zaijian!