Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hard work = results. Who knew?!

In my last post (the one about the horribly disappointing M7 Marathon) I mentioned that I had sent an email that would hopefully set me on the path to some achieving some good results. That was six weeks ago now and yes, I think it's safe to say things have been going well.

The email I referred to in that post was to Sean Williams, highly respected coach and owner of SWEAT .  I asked him if he'd help me prepare for Melbourne as best I could and, thankfully, he said yes. The next day my first program arrived and I committed myself to doing everything as well as I could - no quitting halfway through a session if I wasn't hitting certain times or paces, no missing a session because I was too busy.

The program, quite honestly, scared me. I saw speed work and paces that I didn't think I could ever achieve. So I simply didn't look too far ahead - I just started by looking at the sessions I had to do on any given day and I did them.

I've surprised myself at how well I've stuck to the programs. Even more surprising, is the sudden development of fast twitch muscles. After the first couple of weeks I was despairing of ever being able to run fast - I even told Sean he would have to readjust his paces for the upcoming sessions - then all of a sudden I could do it.

With Belinda Martin, winner of the NSW half champs. 
The work is already starting to pay off. I came second in the NSW Half Marathon Championships (Westies Joggers Hidden Half on 2 September) and ran a PB of 82:37. Given that this is a tough and hilly course I was really, really pleased. I felt strong and in control the whole time and looking back on it I should have trusted myself a bit more and pushed harder. A few days before the race Mizuno sent me some new racing flats - the Ronin - and after trying them out on a couple of runs and loving how fast they felt, I decided to see how they'd hold up over 21k. In short, they were brilliant. They felt magic. Part of me would like to test them over a marathon too, but I think I might need a bit more support for the full 42. 

Yesterday I ran a local 3k fun run (the Leonay Loop) and won it in 10:06. A milestone in my life - my first ever 3k race! Did a 33.6k run today and felt pretty good the whole way. I've been a little worried by the reappearance of some symptoms I had when I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever earlier in the year, so I'm going to the doc this week just to get things checked out.

Melbourne is getting closer and I am desperately hoping everything comes together for it. Having said that, if I go to Melbourne and I don't run a great time at least I will know that (for the first time) I have gone into a marathon totally prepared. I can't ask anything more of myself than that.

NSW Half Marathon Champs at Lake Gillawarna

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