10 Weeks to Half Marathon
My goal is to run the Valley Harvest Half Marathon, on Sunday, October 11th, 2020 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. 21.1km.
Holding at 10km
Total Kilometers: 140.35km
- Week 25: 50.11km
- Week 26: 40.10km
- Week 27: 50.15km
My very first pair of running sneakers, purchased this past February, were getting a little long in the tooth! It was time for a new pair!
Personal Best – Fastest Run Yet – 10km at 6’31”
My fastest run yet happened during my brand new sneaker’s first time hitting the trail! I was totally shocked at my results! My Fitbit stopped syncing to GPS – therefore not properly tracking the kilometers along my route, the entire route itself and elevation gain. Oh well, ’tis life with a Fitbit!
Anywho, when my Fitbit doesn’t sync with GPS – I can’t monitor pace and distance at the same time – I have to adjust my display to show distance only so I know where to turn around and run back to make 10km. I wasn’t watching my pace this run. I didn’t feel particularly strong or fast, that was why I was shocked! Maybe this was another Fitbit screwup, as I’ve had Fitbit incorrectly calculate pace before – one time only – during my longest run yet at 18km!
Fitbit miscalculation or not – the proof will be in my longterm ability to hold a run under 7 minutes a kilometer! Good news is two runs after this one was under 7 minutes a kilometer, so my personal best may be relatively accurate!
Running in the Heat
Living in the Middle East for 4 years adapted me to life in extreme hot and humid temperatures. I exercised indoors on an elliptical. Outdoor exercising was typically swimming at the pool on our compound or at one of Qatar’s many coastline beaches. During the months of August and September, temperatures could be unbearable, and the coastal waters of the Persian Gulf not refreshing, feeling more like a potato swimming in a boiling stew!
The weather here in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island has been surprisingly refreshing. Summer temperatures started late into July. These summer days have been long, sunny and hot – but not humid, with a refreshing breeze a usual constant.
I am a morning runner. I run after my morning coffee, enjoying the world as it wakes up. Typically, I’m back mid-morning, when it is not too hot. As well, I’m a trail runner, shaded by the ginormous trees of coastal British Columbia.
Sometimes, when I have a later start to my run, in the mid-morning sun, the heat is very noticeable. I don’t mind it, as I enjoy pushing through the heat. However, it is not humid here and most of my running locations are sheltered by trees.
I wear a water belt while running. It has two bottles holding 18oz of water in total. I save the water until after my run, to drink during my “Warrior Walk”, as I call it, along my planned 16 minute cool-down walk back home.
My Warrior Walk
My “Warrior Walk” is a funny little routine I have. It evolved from wearing the water belt, and feeling like I have a gun holster on my hips! My adrenaline is always pumped after my run, because I’m usually pushing myself to run the last kilometer as fast as I can. Fast as I can, can also mean forcing myself to finish my goal of 10km.
When I hit 10.02km, I stop. I catch my breath. I start to walk – with a bit of a swagger because my body is tired out while listening to my upbeat running music, and then I drink my water! I feel like a female Han Solo, with water bottles in my holster!!
This muscle helps the pelvis balance while on one foot. Running is transferring from one foot to the other. This particular muscle is very active during running, busy keeping my pelvis balanced as I pound from one foot to the other. My massage therapist specializes in sport massage. He typically dives into massaging this muscle, as it is deserving of some care!
He gave me an exercise to strengthen this muscle. I lay on my side, and lift the upper leg – and trace the alphabet with my foot. This is a vague description of this, as the mechanics of how my body is, is very specific. I have to have my hips stacked on top of each other, core engaged, bottom leg back a bit. I stop when the upper leg tires from the exercise, so not to form bad habits. My goal is to get through the alphabet.
I’m still at the warm up phase – at holding my leg up for 10 seconds. I can only do this twice on each leg. The goal is 3 repeats. Once this is successful, I transition to the alphabet.
I’m noticing my hips more and more after a run. I stretch after every run, mostly. I focus on stretching my hips, lower back, hamstrings, calves and feet. I’ve incorporated the above mentioned stretches – sometimes – into my stretching routine. I don’t really like it. But, I don’t like stretching either. However, I’m getting a little more used to stretching, and getting better at it. So, I imagine the same will evolve with these additional exercises.
Well, that is it for now! I’m enjoying the noticing of my body adjusting to running 10km, and my fitness level increasing. Some runs feel heavy and sluggish, others I feel light and fast.
Stronger with every step!