In October last year, I made myself a promise that Johnson Crane would be my first half marathon of 2013. I started training in November and kept to a disciplined routine of weekly running, even managing to sneak in a 16km LSD. But it came as a surprise to me when I ran Johnson Crane this past weekend that I struggled so much. Even though the route is quite flat and fast-paced, I did not manage to make 3 hours (story of my life!).
Wait a minute. Why am I so critical of myself. When I sat down and thought about it, I realised that this race is my first 21.1km race since Two Oceans in 2011. That’s almost 2 years since I’ve run that kind of distance. I’ve run a couple of 10km races here and there, but the training and dedication for half marathons was put on hold last year as I rested a foot injury (and a mental block).
It was good to experience a half marathon again: The familiarity of the nerves at the starting line, the crowds, the vibe, the discussions I have in my head as I negotiate each and every one of those 3 hours and the absolute joy of crossing the finish line.
However, it did get me thinking and when I do any running analysis, I like to consult my “Lore of Running”
bible handbook. This is what I found: there are 15 training laws listed. The very first law says this:
Law 1: Train Frequently, All Year-Round. If you want to be a good athlete, you must train all the year round, no matter what. What is really required is a little exercise constantly; this will benefit you permanently to a far greater degree than single heavy doses at long intervals.
I needed the break. But running does not come naturally to me and while a 10km race is easy, the 21km races requires me to dig a whole lot deeper, both physically and mentally.
The lesson in it for me is that to be good at something takes practice. Constant practice. Not only with running, but other areas of my life too. I can’t neglect certain aspects of my life and come back expecting everything to be the same as it always was. It’s about frequency, all the time.
For now though, it feels great to once again be able to say the words I ran 21.1kms. I’m proud of myself.
High 5 on the Johnson Crane, the thought of doing my first half gets me all nervous lol. Well, it’s a half marathon, 21.1, last time I checked it wasn’t supposed to be easy peazy otherwise everyone would’ve done it by now he he he 😉 Respect !
She’s baaaaaack! Well done. They have orthotic-type wedges for mental blocks but they’re painful. I would take one run a week and just for a few lamp posts during the run alternate some faster running with your normal pace between posts. A little fartlek must do some good. And forget the carbs. No wait, eat carbs. No wait, I’m not sure about the carbs.
Eish! That whole carb debate us a whole blog post on its own! Thx for the advice. Yeah, speed work top priority now!
I am no runner – I don’t enjoy it, my knees don’t like it and my heat intolerance issue really is not keen ! BUT I have always been a keen swimmer, which works for that heat issue. So, coz of this I will make an effort to do a few laps again tomorrow. To keep fit and tone up, I have been slack, with sad excuses. So thanks for the motivation.
Guess what? I can’t swim!! I can’t even open my eyes in the shower! Thx for reading my blog and making me chuckle!