First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 6, 5, 4 & 3 (Getting back up)

The marathon week is finally here! My thoughts?

  1. I am definitely under-trained.
  2. I am nowhere near my peak fitness.
  3. My maximum distance so far is just over 30k. I have a huge ground to cover before calling it a marathon.

At first, it might seem like a self-doubt, but I don’t take it that way. These are simply the facts which are true. Accepting them makes me feel better! I knew it was not gonna be easy and there are always some setbacks waiting for you but it’s you who have to decide whether it is comfortable in staying down with your back pinned against the ground or to get up and give it all that’s left.

Out of these four days, I tested my body twice. Tuesday, I went for a short 3.5k to check if my body was capable of holding well. It was definitely not. I ran slow. I had to push. Signs that recovery is still on the way.

Thursday, I checked myself again. This time 7k. Easy and hard combined. And felt good. Yes I am still under the influence of cold so I need to wipe my nose every now and then but that is definitely not a problem for running.

Friday, I am taking yet another day of rest. Saturday, I will go for a short run to do a final check.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 9, 8 & 7 (Not the best time to get sick)

There were plans for the Friday night (a really long run before the event) and the weekend (to get to Mount buller and have some fun in the snow) but things don’t always go as you plan. Thanks to the crappy Thursday, I had to settle on some humble plans.

My bag was packed Friday night in case I would feel better the next morning to go to Mt. buller but I didn’t. I was over 100 degrees in the morning and decided it would be wiser to just stay home. My daily step counter also suffered a huge blow and so did my marathon training. I definitely am going to be a little (may be more than a little) under-trained for this marathon.

It’s Sunday today and the meds seem to work. I am really hoping to get better by tomorrow so that I could give a final boost to this journey before entering the arena 😉

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 11 & 10 (Nothing much)

This would be the first time I would be combining any two days in one post but I have to. Individually there is nothing much to report except that Wednesday was a lazy day and Thursday was not, but as a result of which I am sick today (Friday night).

Thursday I rode the bike from home to the university only to carry the same bike to the badminton court in evening. But I didn’t know that the bike was the only thing I was supposed to carry, the rains was all over me on the way. I was drenched when I reached court and I had no extra clothes to change. I still played the games and went back home. The next day was not so pleasant. I am stuck in cold, my nose and throat seem to be packed. I need to have a check on my decision making process in this weather.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 12 (When everything else fail)

On particular days, you end up not feeling good for whatever reasons. Mine was lack of sleep. I could sleep around 2 AM the last night and got up at 8 during which I was sitting straight on the bed countless times. Still, I went to the university only to come back within a few hours. I had never done this before, I later realized.

Then I thought let’s sleep. I slept for probably two hours and I felt a bit better but not the best I can. And then this quote hit me:

When everything else seem to fail, start running.

I think this is from the book 26.2 stories of blisters and bliss by Dean Karnazes. And so I did.

I didn’t run for a very long time though. I completed around 7k, but at a mixture of tempo and threshold paces. I didn’t want to be comfortable anymore, I wanted to step out of that comfort bubble around me only to feel my heart beating and my breaths gasping. And it did feel better after the end of it.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 14 (First 50k ride)

This weekend was fantastic! I achieved the goal of running 30k towards the marathon training and the following day completed a 50k bike ride with friends. Not only that, I learned a few tips and tricks about riding a road-bike and realised how wrong I was all the way until now.

The plan was to get to the airport from our university. There is a well established trail running most of the way offering quite a scenic view as it sits alongside a creek. It’s called Moonee Ponds Creek Trail. I won’t be wrong if I say that we followed the trail for at least 15k.

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I wonder who sits there?

Once the trail was over, we followed standard roads to get to the airport to stop at the aircraft viewing area. It’s a pretty cool experience to just sit/stand in the middle of nowhere and see some planes taking off and landing.

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We ain’t alone!
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Ready for action!

Only when the winds started to freeze the bones within us, we decided to hit back the roads and make our way back. Surprisingly, the return trip was much faster than the way around. And not to forget, our bikes didn’t breakdown unlike the last time. I love these rides not only because we get a chance to explore the city, but also some part of the personality of the people you are riding with and for that matter, I am lucky to have such a great bunch of people to hang out with.

THIS RIDE ON STRAVA

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 15 (Weekend LSD + Parkrun)

This is the second last weekend before the marathon hits and I wanted to make the most out of it. My planned long run was divided in two parts. First, to get to the nearby park and do the parkrun and second, to continue further along a planned route to run either 30k or 3 hours, whichever first.

It started smoothly at 7.30 in the morning and I reached Karkarook park a minute or two before the parkrun starts. Of course the plan was not to go for a all-out 5k as I had to save myself for the rest of the run but races are thrilling, aren’t they? The splits for my 5k were somewhere around 5:26, 4:28, 4:19, 4:27 and 3:59. I remember taking off my winter head-cap during the last part as it was soaked in sweat already.

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People gathering towards the start of parkrun.

The next part was not-so-much-group-friendly. It was in fact solo. I had planned to run along a certain route ending near my home. The whole thing was 29.5k including the parkrun but you always end up a little more if you’re taking trails rather than the roads. I was, for most part, running along the ocean and the beautiful view it offered. Let me show you!

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Running along the bay trail
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All that you can ask for.

The run wasn’t easy. But it wasn’t very hard either. There were a couple of low-points along the road (not the road-road), and I attended to them and continued. Towards the end, it started drizzling for which I was unprepared. I wasn’t having either a raincoat or a windcheater. But there was no option, so I pulled on my hood and continued. The rain stopped after a while and not too long after, my watch notified me of the completion of the 30k mark and I stopped a minute after that.

I am not sure if I can, but I would like to do a similar distance (or a bit more) the next week. I want to make it at least 35. But that is for the upcoming time to decide.