The Process – Week 2

The Process – Week 2

It’s week 2! I felt tired and lacking the motivation. I gave myself 2 days off on the weekend and I came back flying again on Monday morning feeling really fresh. Tuesday Morning I woke up tired again as I did not sleep well after having a late (3pm) hot chocolate but I got through those dreaded intervals. I have now all of you to keep me accountable as I write this blog. Massive thank you for reading. 

The downside to being self coached is that the motivation has to come from within. The upside is that I can run to feel, and I have a strong scaffold around me to keep me honest. The Process. This is why we pick an event, develop a program, follow a training program, even if it is organic, running to feel, I really am, just working within the timeframe I have between my PT/Run Coaching Clients and Family. I would race more often but at this stage of my life my kids are in club sport and often clash with racing events. At this stage of my program I am still feeling fresh and able to train hard.

18 months off racing has been a massive training break for me. So it is a real first to comeback and just see how well I go. Let’s see how much I can improve in 12 weeks. 

Most of my first’s first City2Surf, first 1/2 Marathon, 1st marathon, 1st 6 Foot Track, 1st Oxfam TW, 1st UTA100, 1st 100 Mile was completed because I knew I’d told way too many people about what I was doing that I could not stuff it up. I remember climbing up the Pluviometer at the 27km at 6 Foot Track and wanting to pull over to the side of the trail and lie down and die but the shame of telling everyone that I’d DNF’d was enough to keep me going. I’d told way too many people about my plan to finish the 6 Foot Track, I even talked my way into the elite wave of the most prestigious even in NSW at the time!!!! It was only my 2nd marathon!!! The balls I had back then, crazy!!! There was no way I could lie down on the side of the track. I had to keep going.I had to do well and I had to finish, I couldn’t stop, I talked my way into being amongst the best I had to prove myself. The RD gave me Bib 100, the lowest ranked person in the 1st wave. I proved that I should be there by placing 11th-13th out of 20 women. I can’t remember! It was 10 years ago but I beat the cut off for the wave by 10 minutes, 4:39. I did it I made my way into being amongst the best trail runners in Australia. The following year I did 4:32. Then the race clashed with Tarawera Ultra and my daughters birthday and found it hard to race it again. 

There is a danger in telling the world about what you are doing, the biggest one is telling the world that you are in the best form of your life and you are expecting to do well. For me that was way too much pressure and usually lead to a DNF when I started racing more often. Humility is found out there on the trails and it is the biggest leveller of ones ego. 

So here I am in week two of my training program and just seeing how I am going. I am not wearing a watch, I am just running to feel and asking those around me how fast they are going and gauging my speed off them. I’m a perfectionist and know I will put the most pressure on myself, I’m best not knowing, no pressure to hit a certain time per lap, just doing the training that needs to me done and pushing my own limits. It’s been a while since I felt dizzy or sick. I felt both on Tuesday. I know I am pushing hard enough without a watch. 

10 Kangaroo Cliff Stairs Done

This is my program for Week 2 

Saturday – Rest Day – Family Time – Painted the exterior of our house with my eldest daughter who is grounded for wagging school the day before! Yippee, manual labour for a term. 

Sunday – Rest Day – Family Time – Finished painting the outside of the house. Great quality time with my eldest daughter. Felt like we are getting to the bottom of a few things. Bringing up teenagers is always tricky and loving to have the chance to me an engaged parent. She has no chance getting around me because I’ve done it ALL before!

  • Monday – Morning – Warm Up Easy Jog 1 Hour
  • Monday Evening – Warm up – Running Drills Technique Focused Hills 30 sec 15% x10. with squat to over head shoulder press, sumo squats, kettle bell swings. 500 m easy jog Rowing RB band, Single Leg Squats, Lunge with a row. Stretch. 
  • Tuesday’s Morning – Warm up Running drills x4 600m intervals ( pushes hard ) 200m recovery. Single Leg Bridges x 3 With a client, she timed herself I just gauged my time from her.
    Turned up at Kangaroo Cliffs an hour before my coaching session….hmmm…
    warm up, 10 stairs, ( fast, felt sick and jelly legs) doubles up 1/2, doubles down all the way – tempo run 5 min – 10min cool down
    then train clients for 3 hours post…
  • Client 1 warm up
    10x hill “ sprints”( for me just working technique)
    core reverse crunches, windscreen wipers, plank stretch
    Client 2 Warm up running drills, 500m intervals x5 butt work 500 loops cool down stretch
    Client 3 8km Easy Run
  • Wednesday Morning – 1 Hour Hills 
  • Wednesday Lunch – 45 minutes hill/stair walking
  • Wednesday Night – Warm Up 10km Tempo – Cool Down
  • I’ve pulled up sore and started thinking about what I am missing in my diet. Adding in more amino acids, more leafy greens and vegetable and Hot baths. 
  • Thursday – Bike Ride Morning
  • Thursday Evening – easy jog 1 hour
  • Friday – Easy jog 1 hour Morning
  • Friday Mid morning – Bikram Yoga, felt great post yoga and it has to be a non-negotiable in my weekly routine.
Legs were sore on Thursday so I hopped on the bike

Saturday – First Long Run 30km Blackall 100 Course. 

Saturday I set out to see where I was at. Let’s just see what your body can do. No pressure, no timing just you and the trails. There was a particular training run that I thought was incredibly important to prepare for the Blackall 100 Course. It was the Gheerulla Falls Loop, Mapleton Day Use Area to CP3 return, 30km. The plan was for the day was to run to feel. I still am running without a watch but I decided to use the STRAVA app so you guys can follow me through this process. It was the first time I used the app. I turned on the app and that was the last time I checked the time for 30km. Time was not important today, running to feel and making sure my technique was perfect was the main goal. If I can hold prefect form and technique then the time will be good. I was allowed to puff on the 3 major climbs but feel no burn. 

I set off and realised when I got to the first junction I’d never run here by myself. I am use to running with others or having the course directions from B100 to show me where to go. I also hadn’t downloaded a map. I just expected to remember the course from racing the B100 through this section 2x and from 2 extra training runs. I ran off, checking the junctions and going from memory. It was great to be out on my own, stretching my legs and not worrying about running to fast down the hills. I usually have to stop and wait a fair bit when training in a group so it is nice to set my own pace and feel free. 

I got to the first descent, Big Hill #1 and was pleased with my technique. The goal was not to smash up my quads but to manage the impact through my body by lifting my knees, enjoying the flow, being as light on my feet as possible, running on air. I felt great, I hadn’t lost any of my agility. The hill reps at Tenerife Park and Brisbane Trail Ultra Course had kept my reflexes sharp. I made it to the bottom of the Big Hill #1 and was super happy to turn right and just run. I cruised up the hills that have hurt me in the past and thought that is was going to be a good day out in the office. I decided to try out a new nutrition plan. (Really, I was pretty disorganised on Friday afternoon, chasing up a pair of jeans that needed repair, these jeans actually fit my runners quads, calves and butt, Scotch N Soda , La Bohemian Mid Rise. I recommend them for runners bodies ;-D So comfortable!!!!! ) 

New Nutrition Plan That I whipped together with what was lying around the house. 

  • Red Bull Tropical 50% water 50%. I had 1 can (decanted in a water bottle), I initally had 2 cans ready to go but I opted for 
  • Red Bull Organics Ginger Ale 50% Water 50%, (decanted in a water bottle),
  • 2 ginger nut cookies by Leda, 
  • Spuds mashed with Flaxseed oil, 
  • Hammer Anti fatigue caps, 
  • Hammer Endurolytes
  • Random Amino Acids of my partners that I found in the cupboard. 
  • Long Run 30km Gheerulla Falls Loop from Mapleton Day Use Area. 

I sipped on the Red Bull Tropical every now and again and when I got to the bottom of the  Big Hill#1 I ate my 2 ginger nut cookies. I cruised along happy as thinking that the track had gotten faster as there is definitely more of a wear pattern on the path, the creek section seemed more ordered and easier to manoeuvre, not as rugged as I remember.  I just popped along, enjoying the time alone. I then came to an intersection and had to stop. This was when I really knew I had no idea of where I was. I pulled out my STRAVA app, and google maps and just guessed the correct way to go. I’m sure I’ll work it out after a few hindered meters. My guess was right. 

I cruised along thinking how stunning it all looked the forest looked like it had totally recovered from the fired they had 3 years ago, it looked like a perfect wildflower garden. The sky was clear, the creek was full and running, the recent rains had given everything a beautiful drink, I think it was the best condition I’d ever seen this part of the course and I was so happy to be back again. 

I got to where CP3 is meant to be and was surprised, as my bladder I was still full of water still and felt amazing even with the extra weight in my pack. I cruised up this hill like it was just one of my hill reps with my clients. I then got to the switch backs and stairs and just told myself it was Kangaroo Cliffs. It’s all about the technique. No pushing, just lifting and a high cadence. I loved this climb every switch back meant I was catching a glimpse of a spectacular view, I snuck in a quick photo of the Great Dividing Range out in the distance, and continued up it feeling great, and happy I was able to run this climb and not have to stop and walk it. I made it to the top and realised I’ve always followed people up here as I am usually in a group or behind a runner or catching the Blackall 50km Runners on this climb, I never experienced it on my own and then realised there were a few more turns than I remember once on the plateau at the top and I had to stop and check the map a few times. 

I ran through the single trails, through sections that in the past I really struggles through but felt great taking in the view and really loving my surroundings, I loved the rocky outcrops, the grass trees, the wild flowers. The bush looked happy , I was enjoying every minute of the landscape. I popped down into the rainforest, climbed up again, crossed the road, ran down the rugged single trail, then crossed the road again, descended back onto the original trail to finish the loop. I came to another intersection, Gheerulla Falls, I had to stop, pull out my map and check. No service on the Google map, I started to track read, looking for my Inov8 X-Talon foot print on the track, checking if I’d come down that way before, I could not see my foot prints. I pulled out STRAVA and I could see where I was on the STRAVA map and where I’d dropped into the track. I was only a few hundred meters from the intersection according to STRAVA. 

Loving the single trails on the Bluff, it was like a perfect wild flower garden

Cool, back on track and within 200m there was the Big Climb #1. I made my way up to the top of the climb, running the whole way, switch back after switch back, nice and chilled, within myself imagining I am following Ewan Horsbrough, Beth Cardelli and Brad Bartch, trying the match there insanely high cadence. I was puffing, yet no lactic burn. When I reached the gate at the top of the climb I gave myself 10 walking steps as recovery and before I knew it I’d recovered and just cruised it back to the car and finished my first solo long run in almost a year. I pulled out my phone and figured out how to stop the STRAVA app. I was ecstatic with the time 3 Hours 44 Minuted. Just under 30km and about 9300 vert, focussing on just technique. 

On the way back to family sport I gave my first Brisbane local training partner a call. “Brad, I just did the Gheerulla Falls Loop 3:44. Is that where I need to be?” I asked. 

“Yeah….that’s about where we use to do it. 3:30-4:00 so right in the middle”. He replied. Poor Brad is returning from surgery and I feel for him. Brad Bartch always paid more attention to times and pace than what I did, as he’d run many a sub 3 hour road marathon and has the discipline to stick t pace. This was the man who decided my splits for the B100 10:59:59 course record so I gave him a call. I’m not putting pressure on myself to beat any of my previous B100 times, it is just nice to know that I am back to where I need to be to have an enjoyable B100 and not to kill myself trying to make it to the finish line. My fitness is still there I just need to believe in my own process that has served me well over the past 12 years. 

Sunday – 1 Hour Cross Train on Bike and Rowing Machine – Hip flexors are sore, need to stretch them out.