Friday, June 28, 2013

New half marathon pb and plans for Moscow :-)

The Gary Bjorklund half marathon in Minnesota was a great experience. Duluth was a lovely little town and I enjoyed meeting some new and old running friends. I had been trying to get entered in to the USA half marathon champs which was on the same day and the same course just 20 minutes earlier however I could not as I am not a USA citizen. However I was able to enter as an elite in the general race. I was not sure if there would be any competition but Ian Babe and I decided that it was important for the build-up to the world championships to do a half and put in a really hard effort.

I enjoyed warming up and actually feeling a little cold. There was some light drizzle around for the start and very foggy but the temperature was perfect. Houston has been really hot and very humid lately which makes training harder. It was a nice break from these conditions. Just before the race started I asked around to find out if any one was wanting to run sub 1:11. I met one guy who was aiming for 1:12 and one guy who wanted to run around 1:10. I decided to go out with the man wanting to run 1:10 and see how I was feeling. For the first 4 miles I ran with him and was feeling good however I felt the pace was getting too much and then after this I ran by myself the whole way which always makes it harder to keep focused and hit the right splits. My goal was to run sub 1:11. I fell short of this by 07 seconds. I was a little disappointed when I crossed the finish not to go under 1:11 and regretted not sticking with the lead man for longer. I also felt I had not given everything I had when I finished and felt I lost a little focus in the middle of the race. However overall I was happy with the effort and excited to have a new half marathon personal best. I learnt a lot during the race and am excited to improve on what I was disappointed with during the marathon in Moscow!! The course was good. Rolling hills and flat. Just the finish was not great as there were a lot of sharp turns which really slowed me down when I wanted to be pushing hard. I was pleased when I crossed the finish line to hear that my time was faster than the women who won the USA half champs.

There are only 7 weeks left until World Champs and I am very excited. My tickets are booked which makes everything seem more real. I will go to Berlin first as the New Zealand team is having a training camp there. I leave Houston on the 28th of July (one day after Lucas 2nd birthday) and stay in Berlin until the 6th before heading to Moscow!!! After the marathon we are traveling in Moscow and St Petersburg for 2 weeks which will be great!!

The next 5 weeks I have to really push hard and be focused. Then I will start to taper. I have to keep paying attention to all of the details: Getting active release done, eating properly, stretching and strength exercises, and foam rolling. A key area during this build-up in the Houston summer is to keep well hydrated. I have been making an extra effort to drink more fluids and have started drinking more eload (a Canadian brand recovery drink) after long runs and workouts. Also I have had to switch my weekly tempos and a few 2 hour runs to the treadmill to give my body a break from the heat and allow me to go at a quicker pace. Not the most ideal situation but as long as I am doing most of my running on land Ian and I are confident it will work out well. At least by training in these extreme conditions my body will get used to the heat as the marathon in Moscow will start at 2pm and could potentially be quite warm.

I will keep you updated over the next few weeks as to how the last phase of training is going. The next blog will be about water running!! A part of my training that is key to keeping me healthy and to get in extra mileage without the pounding.

Excited to cross the finish line with a new personal best!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Walking a tight rope and Gary Bjorklund half marathon

After the Ottawa 10km I had some small problem with my hip. The tightness and little pain only stopped me from a few trainings but reminded me that preparing for the marathon is like being on a tight rope. Every week the body is getting pushed to its limit and each week the goal is to get a little quicker than the week before. Over the years I have learned to listen to my body and these warnings signs and take action immediately to get these small niggles taken care of before they turn in to an injury. The same day I felt the tightness I went to see Dr McClintock for active release. This helped but still I was having tightness and it was a little sore the next day while running. l talked with Ian Babe (coach) and we decided to skip the interval training on the track and do it in the pool water running instead. Although not as fun still a great workout and makes you mentally stronger. The hip is better now. Dr McClintock thinks it was my gluteus muscle that got really tight where it attaches on to the iliac crest. Hopefully no more niggles before world champs!!!!

Tomorrow I am running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (part of Grandmas marathon weekend) in Duluth, Minnesota. It will be my last race before the world champs marathon in August and I am very excited to race.  I have enjoyed a short taper and am ready to put my fitness to the test. It will be great to get out and push my body and see what I can do. I am not sure what the competiton will be like as most of the really fast ladies and men will be competing in the USA half champs which is on the same course as the Gary Bjorklund half just 40 minutes earlier. As I am not a US citizen I could not enter in to this race but was able to get a spot in the general race. The organizers have been so wonderful and I wanted to give special mention to Sarah Culver for all her extra work in getting me entered as an elite in the general race. The weather does not look the best for tomorrow. Possible rain and thunderstorms but I am just focuing on the race and my splits and will try not to let the weather affect this. Duluth is a lovely little town and I am staying in Fitgers Inn which is located right on Lake Superior. The inn first started as a brewery and the bulding was built in 1857. It is nice to stay in such a unique and historical place.

I will update you after the race and let you know how it went.
Happy running everyone!!!