There are times when you just want to give up, you feel empty, desperate because the balance in your life was broken, you are scared. You start running scared – you run and you run and you fall, cut your knee have no idea how you fell but still get up and keep running, blood streaming down your leg. With your lungs and legs burning everything fades to insignificance and your fears, insecurities become obsolete and you feel stronger. (Preferably try without the falling, cutting your knee and blood streaming bit).
Sometimes you run just for the heck of it to see how far you can go. Explore places you’ve never been to before but follow familiar trails to get there with mates who have been there before you. You share stories of struggles and achievements you curse as you push yourself up endless hills just to get to the top and then to come down again. You see herds of cattle along these trails and wonder if they will move out of the way, then you realise you are wearing a red t-shirt and a red cap you think of Spanish bull fighters and the running of the bulls where people are getting gorged by Bulls. Oh Geez what were you thinking wearing red? better run around these buggers you say and jump into a stream and cross away from the trail and go around the cattle who doesn’t really give a toss (or so it seems), but you are running scared.
Who let these Cattle out on the trails!
You lose sight of your mates around a corner of the trail and over a hill and stare into the fog that’s around you, it’s cold you can’t see the trail.. or was there really a trail you wonder? You scream out only to hear nothing, you start running scared then you see them just ahead up on the hill you run faster to catch up and your lungs and legs are screaming, yet you run. Then you get to the top, the fog lifts, sun streams through and hits your face, it’s all worthwhile, you look around and see the views. You’ve overcome your fears by running scared.
Everything is OK! We made it to the top. Now we have to go down again.
Some say that immediately after you finish your first Marathon that it’s normal to say “Never doing this again!!” as you slowly crawl out of bed the next day and try to get some movement out of your legs. It hurts there is no denying that, in my case my legs hurt for a couple of days immediately afterwards but this gradually subsided as days went by. I took a full 8 days off running and pretty much gave my body a good well earned rest. Now having slowly started easing into some gradual runs I am looking at what I had initially planned for rest of the year.
I already have an event planned for September (Abel Tasman) which is almost Marathon distance at 40km but unlike a road race is entirely on trails. Long term my goal is to target another Marathon in 2014, this time however with a time goal. (most likely Rotorua Marathon in may 2014). With these goals in mind I have looked at my past training plan (based on a 16 week cycle) and is now essentially putting together a plan (28 weeks from 1 July to 28 December 2013) that will carry me through to end of this year. The last two weeks has been build up weeks with a steady build up in base mileage (building up to about 100k -120k per week) which will continue for 4-6 weeks more. During this period I have potentially two Half Marathons that I can use to tune my race pace. The first is coming up in three weeks in Taupo (4th August) and I’ll pretty much train through it without a taper. Second half marathon that I might consider doing is in September, however it’s one week before the Abel Tasman Trail Run. Based on how I am feeling I might end up skipping that and conserve my energy for Abel Tasman.
Key is to continue building up mileage through winter and then start speed work in Spring to be able to target a couple of races over summer and better my half marathon times. Would be interesting to know how others plan their yearly plans.