I was so excited to be doing the Relay for Life this year. Twelve months ago, I set myself the goal of running my two half hour legs of the relay. When I set the goal, I didn't really believe I could do it, but I decided to give it a go. I managed to run for 30 mins non-stop once late last year, but it wasn't until this year that I began to be able to do it consistently. As recently as six weeks ago, I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the first leg let alone run the second! In fact, looking back over my blog, I managed a half hour run for the first time this year in mid-February.
Last year I walked 15 laps altogether, and so I set myself a goal of 20 laps. I worked out that I'd have to be able to run at 8km/hr to achieve that. I wanted some wriggle room, so I tried to get used to running a little faster than that. I also tried to get used to running for more than 30 mins so that I could give myself a good stern talking to when I got to the "I can't go any further" stage.
Well, to my delight, I managed to run 11 laps in each leg. That's 4.4 km. I didn't manage to do it non-stop - I took a few one minute walking breaks - but I knew I was on track to make the 10 laps so I wasn't worried about walking. That's where I learned today's lesson though. I got to the AIS outdoor running track a little early, so I had a cup of coffee. I'm a dill! I managed to run 4 laps without stopping, but halfway through the 5th I realised that the sloshing in my stomach wasn't going to go away, so I dropped to a walk for a minute. That seemed to settle it enough to manage a little more running. I ended up taking the break on the 5th, 7th and 9th lap the first time, and on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th lap the second time. Interestingly, on the last lap I was able to manage to keep going. It's amazing how knowing you're going to stop soon gives you the strength to keep going.
At the end of my second leg, I decided to walk with the next relay person as a cool down. On the way around, I realised that if I walked 3 laps I'd have covered 10 km, so I did that. The event organisers had a stretch class happening shortly after I finished, so I did that. It was terrific. I couldn't manage all the stretches - I'm not flexible enough - but I certainly could feel the benefits.
After I got home, I headed straight for the gym to collect my 25 points. I had great plans of collecting 50 points by doing Body Pump as well, but on the walk from my place to the gym I realised that my knees were telling me that lunges and squats would be a bad idea if I thought I was going to be able to run tomorrow. As I really want to run the 5 km rather than walk it, I decided to listen to my knees.
I jumped on the bike because it's kind to knees, but I realised I wasn't enjoying it after 4 mins and switched to the treadmill. I walked for 40 mins at 6 km/hr and zero gradient. This means I covered 14 km for the day, not counting any extra walking I do, such as to the gym and back. My pedometer reading was past 22k at lunchtime! My legs are really feeling it now. I think I'll be having a power nap this afternoon.
One thing is for sure tomorrow - I won't be drinking any coffee in the half hour before the run.