Dopey training – week 14

After last week’s non-training, I was well rested but a bit nervous going into this week however was also keen to get back into it. So much so, that I headed out for my first run on Monday, making the most of school holidays and the good bout of weather. I ran along the waterfront and, even though it was a bit hard, it was an enjoyable run and I was really pleased to be back on track.

Having already run, I didn’t need to do a Tuesday run but headed to the first night of ‘Run Club’ instead which was actually more enjoyable than I thought, particularly because my friends were there. I’ve been thinking I should do some strength work for a while so this was a chance to try that out. I feel like the soreness I had over the next few days was a sign that those were muscles I clearly needed to work on!

Thursday’s run was with a friend out at the You Yangs – another gorgeous day and a perfect run, not measured in speed but in smiles. We did our favourite 5km circuit up the Saddleback and even managed to spot some goats up on the hills. Perfect.

Saturday was parkrun plus and hubby and I travelled to visit family in Bendigo, playing parkrun tourists at the same time. I took it easy but still managed to beat my previous time on the course by a couple of minutes. Bendigo parkrun is a pretty 2 lap-ish course around Kennington Reservoir with a couple of unexpected inclines to keep it interesting. We then set off for another 4km walk around the neighbourhood to make up the distance.

Today’s long run had been playing on my mind all week – my longest run to date at 24km. I was happy to not be doing it around home as I needed somewhere unfamiliar so I’d found a rail trail starting in Bendigo. Flat, appropriately long and completely unknown territory for me. Husband dropped me off at Lake Weeroona this morning and it was time to begin.

The O’Keefe rail trail runs from Bendigo to Heathcote however I would be running as far as Axedale today. Once I’d left Lake Weeroona and headed north, it was very easy to find the turn off and the signage after that was perfect – no chance of getting lost. The entry to the trail is quite quirky – you run under the brick railway bridge before emerging onto the trail which is bordered by industrial parts of town. Before long, you’re heading out into farmland and then on to a nature reserve. The trail was gravel so nice and soft on the soles of my feet. I had expected to see quite a few people out enjoying the trail as it was a gorgeous day but there were only a few cyclists and walkers.

As usual, it was a constant mental struggle on this one. It’s very hard to distract yourself early on from the length of time you’ll be out there and, as much as I tried, the total distance kept haunting me. In fact, my mind gave in to tiredness long before my body did and I walked a fair bit from 15km, albeit a very fast walk. ‘As long as I keep ahead of the balloon ladies’ was my mantra and I certainly did that. I had no bodily aches and pains and my nutrition and hydration were spot on. My only real problem today was a blister under one of my toes which started for no apparent reason at about halfway.

Another week done and I’m really pleased to have this long run behind me – it certainly loomed as an obstacle to get over. The next long run will be mostly covered by Melbourne half marathon in 2 weeks time so isn’t as daunting, despite requiring 27km. And, while the thought of running a marathon still feels impossible at the moment, I’m pleased to note that I’ve covered 2 of the event distances this weekend, back to back so at least the early part of the challenge is looking doable. Shall just have to trust the training will get me through the rest of it.

Weekly summary

Monday: 5.3km (45:40)

Tuesday: 30 minute run club

Thursday: 5km (52:37)

Saturday: 9.3km (1:22:17)

Sunday: 24.1km (3:42:28)

Bendigo parkrun launch

I really am working hard at my goal of being a parkrun tourist as often as possible with further proof this weekend. Two fabulous running friends from my local parkrun sprung out of bed at ridiculous o’clock (it had a 4 at the start and an ‘am’ at the end!) and picked me up for our roadtrip to Bendigo.

Our drive took about 2.5 hours although we had a stop, leg stretch and coffee break on the way. We’d allowed extra time due to the supposed rubbish weather that was supposed to be hitting (the so called ‘Antarctic vortex’ that the media are going on about) but it was a relatively balmy 8 degrees so nothing to be upset about.

The Bendigo parkrun course loops around Kennington reservoir and is very picturesque. You get a great mix of pretty regional suburbia around the edges and feeling like you’re in the wilderness as you’re running through the middle. It starts with one shortened loop then the second lap is a full one – the course is very easy to follow with marshals at all appropriate points. It does have some ‘undulations’ which don’t seem that big until you’re running them, particularly on the second lap. Somewhere around the 4km mark, things start feeling a bit hard but the finish line is in sight which gets you through.

While I was unfortunately lapped by a few of the front runners at the end of my first lap, the atmosphere was lovely – the front running female tapped me on the shoulder and gave me words of encouragement as she passed. You have to love the camaraderie of the running community.

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Clearly I’m a happy person when I run 🙂

Despite the weather doomsayers, we had only had a few spots of rain and a good crowd turned out to kick off this event. It has such a good community feel and I’m sure it will be very popular with both locals and tourists. And it’s certainly a course I’d be happy to do again. Although possibly not if I have to get up quite so early 😉