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

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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.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 16

After yesterday’s speedwork, it was time to take things a bit easy the next day. This also meant saving myself for the weekend as I have planned a long ride with friends on Sunday and a long run with my backpack for Saturday.

Rather than enjoying a crazy lazy day, I went to the gym to get some worth out of my membership (and thereby generated efforts). I rode the stationary bike for 7k and did some assisted pull-ups and some upper-body workout (of which I have no clue what the name is). I’m all set for the weekend long run!

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 17 (You can’t stop me)

Today’s plan was to get to the university’s track and to try out 10 times (400m ON followed by 200m OFF). This workout is inspired from the Runners World magazine’s June issue (AU edition). I also remember a similar workout in the book The art of running faster by Julian Goater.

I wasn’t too sure if I am good enough of a pacer to sustain 10 rounds. I am usually one of those types who end up going too fast too soon and to spoil the plans later (I am still talking about running). But this time, I insisted. I insisted on a slower pace during the 400m rounds. I was fine until six sets. I was recovering during the 200m jog after the sixth one when an official came and told me that I can do one more lap as it’s the time for the club to train. I felt anguish but smiled and said OK. With that given, I had no other choice but to run one more lap. I did. I pulled a faster 300m and walked the last 100m. With that unwanted abrupt stop, I pulled myself off the track and jogged back to my lab.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 18 (Chest number)

I’ll rather start with how beautiful morning/night it was. It’s not usually this clean but I went for a walk under this mind blowing universe.

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Today, I also got my chest number (and so did my cousin). I am not a expert (and also not a believer in numerology) so I avoided playing with numbers. But had that last digit being 1, it would be my birthday number 😀

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First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 19 (It’s raining outside, but..)

Tuesday brought along quite a few pack of showers but that was not supposed to hamper my training. Or was it? Of course no. When there is a will, then there is a gym 😉

Treadmill is just a lovely thing. It provided me with so much different kind of hill workouts. I tried three different 20 minutes courses which ranged from 2 to 10 degrees of incline. I loved them! My suburb doesn’t have a lot of hills nearby and that’s exactly why I needed this kind of workout.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 20 (Ass like that)

With the next week stepping in, my training has to gain momentum further. However in this state of building up, I don’t want to overdo things. It’s easy to rush through training and get injured. Last week, I had three sessions, two long distances and one minor speedwork. And I feel a bit sore in my glutes.

To make things better, I went to gym in the evening to do some glutes specific exercises. There’s plenty if you search on the internet but consistency is the key. It also reminded me to include “sitting cross-legged on the floor” as a daily routine. I don’t sit on chairs while I have my breakfast or dinner, rather I sit on the ground with my legs crossed. Not only that is physically beneficial, it’s spiritually wonderful as well. Living a healthy lifestyle probably isn’t about working out twice or thrice a week, but to include tiny little things in your every-moment life that creates big differences in the long term.

At the end of the day, I was feeling much better with my butts. But to keep things steady, I’ll make sure I am conscious about my ass more than usual and give it the continuous daily dose it needs to stay in shape.