Over the past two weeks I have noticed ‘the plan’ as it were coming together and have had success on my long runs. For me success is no injuries, being able to maintain a good rhythm during my long runs, positive self talk when running and the fact that I can still walk the next day.
I was lucky enough to be at Lake Alexandrina for Labour weekend so got the opportunity to explore this beautiful part of the country while out for my 30km trot. I initially ran part way round the lake but after 5km had to turn back as there was a rather curious and large bull that was intent on following me. I couldn’t back myself to outrun it, so I headed back the way I came (rather quickly!) The rest of the run was done on the roads around Lake McGregor and out towards Glenmore Station. Very serene and stunning countryside – exploring and soaking up our amazing scenery is one of the best bits about long runs. I had decided from the outset that I wasn’t going to focus on my time, but rather focus on my form and being present in the moment as I find the more I stress about my time, the less enjoyable the run. By the end of 30km I was soooo pleased to see the hut we were staying in as I was starting to feel like a little old lady as I hobbled/ran up the last hill. My time was still quite slow but I enjoyed the run and I had a more even pace and rhythm compared to my previous 30km run. A quick submerge in the lake soon sorted out my legs and after some much needed lunch we were off for a walk over the hills. Amazing what your body can adjust to.
Last Saturday I completed the Mission Mt Somers run which is an off road run with quite a technical downhill aspect. This was probably one of the most challenging runs I have ever done and even though I was just over my projected time, I was elated to finish the run happy and in once piece. It was a great run to work through pre-race nerves, practice my nutrition as well as being quite a hard work out!
As I have discovered through trial and a lot of error, nutrition plays a huge part in training and recovery. This past month I have changed my breakfast plan slightly to include chia seed pudding (I know – pudding for breakfast! How good is that!) as well as my usual peanut butter and toast. I have also started fuelling for long runs 3 hours before which means I get up at 6am to eat – much to the astonishment of my family. I have found that eating at this time sets me up well for my run. I am still experimenting with how many carbs I need to consume on my long runs and I find that this varies with each run.
Queenstown marathon is less than three weeks away and before I know it I will be on that start line with thousands of others ready to tackle my BHAG. I am starting to feel prepared mentally as well as physically – after all running long distances is really just an argument between your body and your mind.