Tag Archives: training plan

Toronto Women’s Half-Marathon: Training Week 1

6 Feb

Monday

It’s a good thing each training week starts with a rest day, because there’s no way I would have been able to run today. I was struck down by a vicious stomach bug for all of yesterday and into today. The last time I felt this sick was when I had a listeria infection four years ago.

 

Tuesday

I was supposed to do a 5km tempo run today, but could not manage it. For a start, I still wasn’t really well enough, and secondly, there was a crisis in the office that had me working through lunch. By the time I left for the day, I felt like throwing up again. So much for starting my training program with a bang.

 

Wednesday

I took running clothes to work with me today, and went to the gym at lunchtime. I still wasn’t feeling all that well, but I had no choice. Anxiety has been eating me alive this week, so I had a choice between running it off or letting my head implode. So I hopped on the treadmill and did a tempo run at the target pace. It went really well – better than I had expected – but I couldn’t manage the full 5km. I flaked out after about 4km. Considering how sick I’ve been, I felt OK about that.

Thursday

The run I had planned for today evaporated with the phone call I received in the early hours of the morning, informing me that my beloved aunt in South Africa had very unexpectedly died. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I was like the walking dead. I ended up staying home, as did my older son who was sick.

Friday

Despite my body screaming at me in protest, I got up early this morning and went out for a 6km run. It was perfect. It felt so good to be out there, running on the open road. I may have been sick earlier this week, but you’d never have known it today. I think my two-week lead-up to my training made a real difference.

Saturday

I thought of doing my scheduled Saturday run today, but chose not to. I don’t want to miss out on tomorrow’s long run, and since I ran yesterday, I’m worried about overdoing it this early in my program. Besides, I had tons to do. I am flying out to South Africa on Tuesday, and there’s a lot that needs to be done before I leave.

Sunday

I came this close to bailing on my long run early this morning. I started telling myself that I didn’t have to get up early – I could just go running later on. But I squashed that talk, laced up my shoes and headed out the door. And I am so glad I did. I ran 12km and enjoyed every single one of them. I wasn’t exactly a speed demon, but on these long runs, I’m not supposed to be. This was as perfect as a 12km run can possibly be.

Conclusion

My first week of training did not exactly go as planned. I missed one run and both of my strength training days. But considering all that was going on this week, I feel good about what I did accomplish. Finishing off the week on a high training note was fantastic, and I deem this week to be a success.

The next two weeks will be challenging because of my upcoming trip to South Africa. My friend and coach Phaedra assures me that because it’s so early in the program, this disruption will be easy to work around.

Now, it’s time for me to finish my packing. I will be taking my running gear with me across the Atlantic.

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Treadmill Running: Better Than Nothing

14 Jul

Today, for the first time in many months, I came face to face with the treadmill at the gym.

Anyone who’s read my previous posts about treadmills will know exactly how I feel about them. For those who haven’t, I will merely say that I’m not a fan of the lab-rat machines, but regard them as a necessary evil. There are times when road running is just not possible, and running on the treadmill is better than not running at all.

Over the last few months, when I have had to run on the treadmill, I have used the one at home. It sat gathering dust for a few years after my younger son, then aged two,  put his hand onto the treadmill while it was moving, and took off the top few layers of skin. He is now old enough to respect the treadmill, and he knows to stay well away from it.

Treadmill running at home is marginally better than treadmill running at the gym. For a start, my home treadmill has a natural incline to it, so even on its “flat” setting I can simulate outdoor running reasonably well. And in addition, I can watch what I want on the TV without having to plug headphones into a weird little box that may or may not work. So the home treadmill has been a reasonable enough stand-in for “real” running on occasions when I’ve had no-one to watch the kids.

I was supposed to do a tempo run yesterday morning, which under normal circumstances wouldn’t have been a problem. The only thing is that when I do morning runs during the workweek, I have to get out early. I have to be awake by 5:00, outside waiting for my GPS watch to get a signal by 5:10, and running by 5:15. I have discovered that running on less than six hours of sleep makes me feel sick (unless I am racing: I can race on virtually no sleep at all, but racing has its own special set of rules), so I have to be asleep by 11:00 the night before an early morning run.

The night before last, we were having a whole lot of things happening at home. No hot water. Kids refusing to settle. A visit from my accountant. A dryer that wasn’t drying properly, resulting in me having to put each load through the cycle twice.

I did not get to bed until shortly after midnight, and by then my husband and I were so wound up that neither of us could sleep, so we talked until the wee hours of the morning. I did not get to sleep until well after 1:00 in the morning.

There was no way I could run when I woke up. I felt nauseous when my alarm clock went off, and that was before I’d gotten out of bed, never mind attempted to actually run anywhere.

But runners can be flexible, so I decided that it was no problem. I would just move yesterday’s run to this morning, and tomorrow’s run to Friday.

Last night – or should I say this morning – I got to sleep at about 2:30. Fannnnnnn-tastic.

When my alarm went off this morning, I got up, thinking that maybe I should just bite the bullet and run. But as I got up, I felt light-headed. I actually swooned, like they did in eighteenth century novels.

I was left with no choice. Either skip the run entirely (Scandal! How could I even think that!), or I could put in time on the treadmill at the gym at lunchtime. Like I said before, treadmill running is better than not running at all, so the gym it was. I stuck my headphones in my ears and turned on the music, set my training watch, and programmed the treadmill for a 45 minute hill workout.

It was good. I mean, as good as a treadmill run can be. My legs felt strong, my heart rate – inexplicably – stayed in the 150-155 range despite the fact that I was running quite intensely, and I actually kind of enjoyed it. I’m not suggesting that I am going to make treadmill running a regular part of my program, I’m just saying that it’s not always so bad.

So my scheduled run was finally done – albeit a day and a half late – and I have taken another baby step towards my goal of shattering last year’s time for the Autism Run.

And I feel a sense of accomplishment that has me grinning like a village idiot.

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mahidoodi/199747855/)