This morning I ran the second of the Spring into Shape series of 8 km runs. I had a fantastic time today. The weather was great, I briefly met some of my fellow bloggers, and I really enjoyed my run. My Dad came with me to "hold my bag". This is the third run he's come along to, so I'm starting to believe him when he says he enjoys being there.
There was a much bigger crowd this time. I guess that the improved weather has more people out and about. Many of the people there were carrying their blue bag and were wearing their green t-shirt from the first race. It never even occurred to me to bring them down from Canberra. I can see that I'll have to learn this "runner's cred" thing. Or not, of course. As for me, I was stylishly dressed in my skins, running skirt and new pink Nike t-shirt. My Style Consultant would have been proud of me!
I have two pairs of running shoes, so of course I forgot my favourite pair. The other pair is fine, but I managed to get a blister today because they have a smidgeon of arch support. I haven't had a blister since I first wore them on a 10 km run. Mind you, I don't actually need the arch support, so it's not surprising that it causes me trouble after I've been running for 5 kms. I remember being dubious about the advantage of the arch support in a pair of neutral running shoes, but I was in a "let's give it a go and see" mood when I bought them. At least now I know.
(Probably too much information for the guys warning.)
Speaking of chafing, I took some advice Celeste gave Kathryn regarding wearing her skins commando under her running skirt. Now that I'm in the position of having eagle-eyed hindsight, I should have tested this beforehand. Yes, I have some tender spots at the moment. Mind you, I like the effect of the skirt over the skins, so I will have to come up with a way to solve this problem.
(Safe to proceed now guys.)
We arrived a little earlier at the venue this time, so I was looking forward to seeing people finish the 4 km. I didn't manage it though, because of the long line of people waiting to go to the loo. I headed off to the nearby public toilets instead of joining the queue. When I got back I couldn't find Dad to give him my stuff. He'd gone off for a short walk. We found each other after the aerobics. He headed off for another walk, and I ambled over to the start. As I'm not at all fast I am quite happy to start near the back. I knew to stay on the path instead of over to the side this time. While I was waiting I spotted Andrew, so I dashed over to say hello to him. Lee was also there. It was lovely to see them both. Lee was running the 8 km too. She wasn't that far ahead of me in the crowd, but I never saw her again during the run. I looked out for her a few times but she must have gotten well away from me early on in the piece.
I headed back into the crowd and waited for the start. I was kicking myself because I hadn't taken the opportunity to congratulate Andrew in person on successfully completing his first marathon. It was lovely to hear Andrew yell out an encouraging "Go Kathy" as I headed across the line.
The start went quite well. I'd managed to get myself behind quite a few walkers, but it was pretty easy to navigate my way past them. I thought the witches hats on the low bollards before we crossed over to the river path were a good idea. I still wince when I think of the poor girl Sara told us about in her Run to the G race report.
I was trying hard to run a bit slower for the 1st km than I did last time, but I didn't manage it. I'll have the actual times when I upload the data from my Garmin, but I think I was about 10 seconds faster than last time. I didn't feel that I was running fast though. As we got closer to the bridge I realised that it was feeling easier than last time. All that pool running must be paying off. I managed to reach the 2 km mark in almost exactly the same time as last time which was great, especially as I didn't feel the need to immediately start run/walking when I got there. In fact, apart from walking through the water stations I ran the whole way! I'm so pleased about that.
I remember really struggling during the 3rd km last time. In fact, I wasn't enjoying myself at all. This time it was a different story. I'm so glad I booked in to do the whole series as it's giving me a fun way to see how I'm progressing.
I didn't really have a specific goal for the run. I was hoping to get around in 56 mins but I wasn't putting any pressure on myself to attain that time. My last few runs have been slower than this, so I told Dad I thought I'd be back in an hour.
On the way around I thought about how Krissi wanted me to try not to walk, so I decided to see how far I could get before I succumbed to my usual running pattern. I was using the "see if you can get this far" self-talk approach, which seemed to be working. I aimed to get to the bridge, then across it and down the other side, then to the 2 km mark, then to the first drink station, then to the 3 km mark, then to Flinders Street, then to the next drink station. I told myself 4 km would be enough, then that 5 km would be great, then that 6 km would do. After the 6 km mark I felt I was so close to the end that I didn't feel any urge to stop again.
I walked the water stations because I haven't really mastered the art of not spilling the water if I try to drink and run. Also, I know I'd run past the bins before I finished having my tiny sips of water and I want to be socially responsible and avoid tossing my cup on the ground. I may not have had a proper goal for the run, but I worked out a plan for the water stations. I ran to the far end of the table to pick up my water and then walked to the furthest bin before running again. I could see what Krissi meant about how hard it was for people to start running again after stopping, as I kept seeing people ahead of me who took a while to get going after they stopped for a drink.
As I was running I was thinking about the difference between me running my "long" runs and Andrew doing his first marathon. When I run 8 or 10 km, even though it's as far as I run, I know that I can do it, even if I have to walk part of the way. I realised that Andrew didn't actually know that until he did it the other day. I'd already been impressed by his efforts and the efforts of the other runners whose marathon reports I've been reading. It certainly gave me a new perspective on the size of the achievement.
Other interesting things that happened during the run included seeing Andrew again at the half way point and, just as I was going past the cones leading to the finish line, being passed by the winner of the 8 km event. He made it around in 27:42. It took me 55:36, which is a little over twice as long, but it was a little over a minute faster than last time too, which is great. I'll be interested to see if I can improve some more before the final Spring into Shape event in November.
This afternoon I went and bought myself some cycling gear, two tops and another pair of cycling shorts. I went for a fluoro yellow top and a red one. I had been going to buy two yellow ones, but the sleeves on the long sleeved one were way too long for me and red is my favourite colour.
By the way, I'd written a long blog about Friday's Personal Training session on Saturday morning and lost the lot when I went to save it. Of course it was interesting and insightful but I haven't had the time or inclination to rewrite it. In summary, I really enjoyed it (as ever), made some progress (love doing that) and will be back for more next week.