18km practice run for St Clair & a shiny new watch!

Due to a couple of extra events Liam has on this weekend we did our long run on Friday morning (Public Holiday here in NZ due to ANZAC Day). This run was our longest training run before the half in two weeks, as well as being the longest either of us has ever done in one go. The majority of our runs so far have been at Hagley Park in the city, which is mainly concrete paths and flat. I knew St Clair was a bit more off road than I’m used to so I suggested we try a run through Bottle Lake Forest. The running track is a little over 9km so it worked perfectly with our scheduled 18km run. Little did I know it was a little more undulating than I expected… The elevation was only 0-30m but the little hills were short and sharp – which made it a slight challenge for someone who has only done running on the flat – luckily I like challenges!!

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Because it loops at the entrance into the forest we picked a side to start on. I didn’t realise that there was some undulating spots with quite dry sand – this made for an interesting start and I felt a little more tired than I should have been 2km into the run… We got into the forest and the terrain became more like what I had expected. 45mins in and I was starting to worry that I would really struggle with a second lap, I even said to Liam that if I was feeling worse closer to the end of this lap maybe we should run on the road for the second 9km. Meanwhile it came time to experiment with GU. The last couple of weeks running fuel hadn’t worked well at all for me so I had fingers crossed that GU would work for me. Instead of having a whole packet every 45mins we decided to share one every 20-30mins (which also meant we each got to try 4 different flavours). I find my stomach can very temperamental on a run so I didn’t want to overload it in one go with too much. I can’t believe how much it helped me, I was struggling in those first 3-4km but by the time the first lot of GU kicked in I knew I had it I me to do another lap of the track, in fact the second lap was slightly faster!

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Because we didn’t stop during the run I only got one picture at the end – it doesn’t do some of the track justice!

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I was also surprised at how I went for the rest of the day. Lately I’ve been shattered after spending a decent amount of time exercising, enough to need a nap afterwards. This time around I still felt a little tired but not nearly as bad. I tried out my new compression socks during the afternoon which I think helped as well because I wasn’t sore when I woke up the next morning SCORE!

 

I spent a bit of time Saturday getting a few things ready for diving into the 20 Week Challenge on Monday. Because we’d had a temporarily flat mate staying (he moved out two weeks ago) the gym room was cluttered with lots of things that normally belong elsewhere in the house. I need this space clear again as one of my goals is to complete a total of 1500 reps every week (250 of each)
Burpees
Press ups
Dips
Squat jumps
Lunges
ABS

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As I mentioned in my last post my reward for completing my 5 weeks goals is a GPS watch. I went shopping this weekend 🙂 Now I’m excited but sad I won’t get to use it just yet. However it gives me the motivation I need to achieve my goals because if I don’t achieve them Kate gets to keep it :/ Yes I know that might sound crazy (and maybe I was crazy to agree with the idea) but scary consequences work well for my motivation as I found out last year during the challenge.

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All of the Pumped AWESOME people entered into the 20 Week Challenge are meeting a bit later this afternoon – I’m really excited because this was such amazing moment last year. Being new to Pumped last year I didn’t know many people at all, it was really inspiring to meet some of the entrants and hear about what they are striving to achieve. We also got our contracts, a cool diary, a calendar and some other bits and heard about some successes from the previous year.

BRING ON THE 20 WEEK CHALLENGE!!!

 

How do you reward yourself for achieving big goals?

Do you tend to run the same route or do you like to find new places?

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16 Days to go until St Clair! Plus… What on earth have I got myself into?!?!

The long weekend was a mixture of some very nice relaxing days and some not so relaxing days…

Sunday I had my long run, I ended up cutting it short at 14km because I wasn’t feeling too flash and ended up slightly hyperventilating. I didn’t do very well with the choice of fuel I used. I found some Horley’s Replace gels I must have bought last year before I had to pull out of my first planned half marathon but unfortunately I really didn’t enjoy the flavour of them on top of my body not being very use to fuelling yet. A few ladies I know have been raving about some of the GU flavours so I ordered a few online to try this weekend, I’m hoping if I like the flavour it might be a bit easier to work on getting this fuelling business sorted…

They turned up last night!

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My android running app also stuffed up again which annoyed me, up until two weeks ago it’s been really accurate – I’m wondering if the last update might have screwed with the GPS or something. Luckily I’ve been lapping Hagley Park lately so I know what distance I’m doing (But it puts my year’s km total out which also annoys me…). I’m hoping it will get sorted soon but I’m going to purchase a running watch but as part of my 20 Week Challenge this year (which I will talk about more later in the week) my reward for meeting my 5 Week Goals will be the running watch which means I have 5 and a bit weeks to wait ARGH!!!

The good part? I’ve definitely noticed that my mind games have changed with running. I struggle the most in the first 3-4km now but once I get through that the head space is a lot more positive which I think I prefer over struggling with my head space later in on a run. Another purchase that turned up yesterday is a pair of recovery compression socks, I usually feel my calves after a long run so I wanted to see if they would make any difference to my recovery – a little excited to test them this weekend!

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Monday I went along to a stairs session Emily had organised at St Martins Stairs. I find it funny how every time I get there I seem to forget how steep it was the last time I went… There is a little bit of a walk until you reach the beginning of the stairs and look up you’re already puffing HAHA. Enough complaining!

For a warm up we walked up to the top and left our jackets/water bottles etc. on some rocks. Our session usually consists of around 5 laps of the stairs with some reps in between each one. We had 5 exercises to do in between each lot of stairs: first round 25 of each, second 20… right down to 5. Then each time we did the stairs we went up a slightly different way:
1 # walk (warm up)
2 # single leg jumps (I was shocking at these so I ended up doing 2 feet jumps and still almost falling on my face on every second step)
3 # sprint 30 steps, walk 30
4 # 2 feet jumps (for me this one turned into sprint 30, walk 30 as the balance was still in the dangerous level)
5 # we had to go ALL the way down to the very bottom, do 100 walking lunges back up then run up the stairs.

Finish it all off with a casual run back down the road and a nice iced drink to cool down.

 

Tuesday I got up in a grouchy mood. I was sore, tired and I think I slept funny on my neck. Instead of bailing on PT with Kate I still turned up. I honestly wasn’t in a very good frame of mind for PT and I felt ‘weak’ which I was trying not to think about because sometimes that is enough to make you believe you are weak…. I ‘swore’ 3 times which I’m normally really good at avoiding so I had a 30 press up punishment reward. I left feeling glad I turned up; even though Kate knew I was grouchy and less motivated than normal.

I was in a much better mood the rest of the day for it so thank you Kate! In fact maybe I was in too much of a good mood…  I MAY have done something a tad insane later in the day. Emily has been giving me some ‘healthy’ peer pressure since Mt Cook to enter a trail run through part of Queen Charlotte Sound. I got a wee reminder from her…

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She shared that, tagged me and said you know you want to… I really did want too….

I wanted to tramp Queen Charlotte Sound this year so maybe this is a good taster of how beautiful it will be. So I’ve signed myself up for a 26km trail run in July (12 weeks away). AM I CRAZY?!

Website for anyone curious!

I may have just jumped into the deep end… I’ve had a look at last year’s results and a few people were out there for around 5 hours – I figure I can beat that… don’t want to be the last person crossing the finish line :/

I’m a little excited now though; I’m going to have to get kitted out soon so I can train carrying the gear I need. You know what that means? SHOPPING!

 

How do you get yourself motivated to exercise when you really don’t feel like it?

Have you ever entered a crazy sounding trail run?