Well I hope you didn’t wake up with a headache and are looking for motivation to get you out the door for the first run of the year? If that is the case, get out now and come back later, only you can motivate yourself!
I for one was eager to head out. I didn’t go for a run in over two or was it three days? … and had generally taken it a bit easier over the holidays, but let’s start in the beginning or better last year:
As announced in my pre-holiday post, I wanted to take a break from posting and generally everything I usually do. To break up the habits for a bit and just have fun. I only ran when I wanted to and I caught some wonderful moments. I enjoyed waking up and running through dawn, with my headlamp as my best running buddy.
I ran circles around my favorite rugby fields while watching the sun come up. Loads of circles.
… and I caught the most wonderful sunrise:
Other than having fun, before the year ended, the only thing I had planned, was to run the distance of a half marathon.
Which I did. It surprised me on many levels. I wanted to run along the coast again, but decided against it and went to my local park instead. This had the benefit of several coffee shops on the way, as well as grass surface to run on if my feet wanted a change. It turned out this was a great decision. The coffee stops (which I never used) motivated me to do another round. I was telling myself, that I could get an espresso when I run along next time … or the next time. I also switched between park roads and grass fields. I think all in all I probably walked 4-5 times, to take a sip of my drink mix (just water and a bit of juice), as well as eat a date and nuts. I’m really fond of the dried fruits/nuts combo and it feels like it gives me just the amount of energy I need. Love the dates especially, maybe it’s the kind of sugar that’s in them?
What I was surprised about is that I kept it steady and easy, my average heart rate turned out to be 139 over the whole run. Fortunately it took me under 3 hours. I never felt any pain or loss of motivation. In the last half hour, I noticed my muscles getting a bit tired. I suppose it is because I usually only run up to 2.5 hours. When I came home I refueled with the best hummus I have ever eaten! I love how food tastes after a longer run. I spent the next 2 days waiting for the DOMs of hell … they didn’t arrive. Which is another fact I was surprised about. All in all I am quite pleased. Slowly but steadily I am improving and getting stronger.
Which brings me to this year. I started it off with an easy 40 minutes run along my beach. You can see Bray waking up in the distance and Sugarloaf (the mountain on the right).
For this year I have one main goal: Stay healthy and injury free.
I like to keep up the consistency of last year, as well as recover if my body or head needs to. This worked well last year. I would love to be able to capture more sunrises than last year. In summer I went out way too late to catch them, now I am running longer it should be easier?! I found the running plan/structure I have been using works extremely well and so I will stick with it. After having re-read some of Lydiard’s books as well as a new one on the topic (more in maybe another post), I realized it is quite similar and so I should be on a good road! What he describes as base phase also includes some faster running than I am currently doing, so it will be interesting to include more fartleks – I shall call them slowleks.
Now thanks for reading this whole thing or at least scrolling down this far. I wanted to thank you for reading my ramblings over the past year. I love our family of running bloggers and all the support!
I wish you a very happy and healthy 2017! May all your crazy dreams and goals come true (unless they lead to injury, which you shall know better!) I know some of you have extremely amazing goals set for this year. I look forward following your brave journey.