If you missed last Friday’s ‘What to do if you see a scary beast‘ post then read it now! Because at the weekend, when hiking, the Husband and the Dude were hurtling down a trail and they nearly ran straight into this guy.
He was big, he was equipped with a rattle at the end of his tail. Freeze, listen, retreat! We froze. We listened…no rattling. I remembered something I learned working on that post…that snakes ‘feel’ your presence by vibrations in the earth so we all stomped as hard as we could and slowly, slowly, he slithered away!
For a running blog, I feel like I haven’t talked very much about running lately! I definitely haven’t talked about training for a LONG time, so it’s nice to write a little update today.
June was definitely NOT a training month. I only ran 52 miles (I usually average 100). They were leisurely, happy miles and I spent most of my time eating, drinking and hanging out with family. Awesomeness! But since I got back, I’ve started training again and it feels really good. Let me fill you in.
I’ve actually got some races in the diary to look forward to.
Wild West Relay, Colorado, August 2nd – 3rd
The day after we get back from Ironman Canada, I fly out to Colorado for my first relay. (Let’s take a moment to get excited about me going away BY MYSELF! No boys!!) I’m doing it with the wonderful Bean and Stacy and a bunch of total strangers. We’re running 200 miles between Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs. I have three legs of 7 miles, 7 miles and 4 miles which sounds straight-forward enough but the altitude is high. Along with the altitude, I’m nervous about bear and elk and running through the Rockies alone at night – I shall be head-to-toe decked out in bear bells, carrying my spray, lit up like a Christmas tree and making a lot of noise. It’s an adventure and I’m excited about it, and a little apprehensive too.
Ragnar Napa Valley, Sept 19th – 20th
If you read a lot of Bay Area running blogs, you’ll probably get sick of this race but both the Husband and I are running it along with a whole bunch of amazing runners. I am VERY excited about this! We haven’t sorted out who’s running which leg yet but it should be awesome. If anyone fancies babysitting the Dude, let me know!! 🙂
Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon, Oct 5th
I got a free entry to this race via the friend of a friend and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not a big fan of Rock n Roll races but the chance to experience one of their races for free is too good to pass up. I’m not planning to RACE this but rather to use it as a final tune up for…
Healdsburg Half Marathon, Oct 12th
My goal race of the Autumn. I hold this course very dear to my heart as it’s where I first went under two hours. I loved the course, its rolling undulations suited me down to the ground! I am hoping to PR. My current PR is 1.52 (with at least a minute to help an injured runner) and so I’m aiming for 1.50. And I’d be lying if I said 1.49 wasn’t something I’m dreaming of although if I’m honest, I think it’s beyond me.
I’d love to fit some trail half-marathons or long runs in between the races just for fun and exploring…I’m spending a little time on race registration sites to see what I fancy!!
So I’m training again and it feels AWESOME!! My training plan is slightly different from my usual.
- Doubles….this is my third week of including one day of doubles. I’ve been careful to increase distance slowly and to plod along comfortably on both runs, not pushing the pace. I’ve actually really enjoyed them so far and my legs, whilst a little fatigued, aren’t too shot for the second run. The next morning though, they are sore!!
- Longer long runs. I was moaning to Jen recently about how 12 milers never seemed to gets easier and she told me they’d feel easier if I was running longer distances. Logical. So I’ll be doing 14 milers for a few weeks before Healdsburg so that psychologically a half marathon feels easier on the day!
- Alternating slower/faster miles on long runs. I think this really works for me.
- Longer Tempo runs. My tempo runs have never got beyond 6 miles but they’ll increase to 9 miles nearer race day. I won’t be tempo-ing the whole distance (I’ll have slower miles in the middle) but I think this will help.
All this is obviously dependent on not getting injured and my heart being cool.
I’ve been procrastinating about buying a Garmin for about two years now and a few weeks ago, I finally caved in. I had some money saved up, I’d done some research and I was pretty confident the 220 was what I wanted. Ten minutes with the sales girl and I was sold…and it was sold too.
I will review it properly in a few weeks but, 3 weeks in, I FLIPPING LOVE IT!!! Apart from the first run, I have managed to avoid constantly glancing at my watch to see my pace and checking out the data when I get back is just too brilliant for words.
I have started listening to audio-books on my runs, inspired by Jen (as ever). It’s been revolutionary. My first book has been ‘A life without limits’ by Chrissy Wellington, the (British) Ironman World Champion which is clearly apt for this month. I am LOVING the whole audio-book thing but I’m a little surprised at the price of Audible books…anyone got any handy hints on how to get super-cheap audio-books?
I have an online subscription to the newly relaunched UK Trail Running magazine. Ages ago, they tweeted, asking for photos of readers’ weekend trail runs and it just happened to be the day after our awesome run on San Bruno Mountain so I sent a photo. There was a bit of back and forth with them on email and then I kind of forgot about it. The August edition came out last week and BOOM, there I am in it! Whilst I feel like a bit of a fraud as I am still very much a novice trail runner, I am still ridiculously chuffed to be in it. My parents and family are currently buying up every copy in the UK.
If you send me a copy, I’ll happily sign it for you 🙂
This week is one of the busiest weeks of my year – it’s Vacation Bible Camp at church which I volunteer at. It’s awesome and exhausting at the same time. In addition, I’m dog-walking for a friend and we’re getting ready to go to Canada on Sunday! But my training will continue…the fire is back in my belly!!