Last Sunday I went out for a long run. The weather forecast was sunny, I had enough rest and prepared myself pretty well, as in: I stuffed myself with enough pancakes beforehand – yup, pancakes always do the trick for me. In short, the perfect circumstances for a long run! Moreover, I found a route on the Internet, that seemed to be a very nice loop (partly along the coast), so I wouldn’t have to run the same track twice. I knew that this loop would be about 15k, which also seemed a good training distance to me. Perfect! What I didn’t know, however, but certainly could have known when using my outstanding mathematical skills, was that the route would be more than 15k, since I started running from where I live and not the spot as designated on the map. Apparently, I wasn’t bothered too much. But what I really didn’t know before, was that my run would go so well, that I ran the longest distance ever without even blinking. And this on a random Sunday – ohh yeah, Annie is back on track! 😉
Finally getting stronger?
Seriously, what happened? 22k, just like that? With an average pace of 5:21 and quite some altimeters? Ok, to be totally honest, I stopped several times to take some pictures for you guys, but I think that didn’t actually work in my favour. Anyway, as you can imagine, my self-confidence was sky-high after this casual Sunday run. I didn’t even feel tired afterwards. A little bit thirsty maybe, that’s all. And no, this is not a common thing for me, certainly not. Oh man, I could tell you stories… Most of the time, when running a longer distance, after 15k my energy level is zero. Without any extra remedy then, I’m lost. Game over. So, what happened last Sunday? Maybe it was the perfect combination of taking rest and doing different kinds of exercises, I don’t know. Anyhow, it was such a great feeling to experience what my body is capable of. And what a difference when compared to the last half marathon I ran back in April, remember?
It probably also tells me, that my training is definitely paying off, and I should go on with it. I know, there’re enough times that I’d rather stay in my comfy bed than clocking k’s again, but I know it’s totally worth it in the end. I always feel so much more energised after my runs and I just love being outdoors. Besides, I think that running the hills of Auckland definitely made me stronger. So, my tip for you would be going out of your comfort zone and try to incorporate some steep sections here and there into your training. To my fellow Dutchies; I know this is can be hard. I mean, where to find hills in Holland in the first place? But try to be creative, and maybe go for a run in the dunes more often or do some trail running. Challenge your body and don’t fall into the same routine every time. And most of all, don’t give up! You will probably not have a success story every time you go out for a run. Just keep the trust into your own body and enjoy the moments when you DO experience your best run ever.
New Goal: North Shore Half Marathon
Yesterday, I went out for a 10k run. This time, though, it didn’t go that well. Surprise, surprise. However, I still had my accomplishment of last Sunday on my mind. This positive vibe might have given me the last push to finally subscribe to another race. I know, it’s still far away, but on Sunday 11th of September, I’ll be running the North Shore Half Marathon. You might think: why on earth another half marathon, you just ran one last Sunday. That’s true indeed. But trust me, a race is always different from a training run and I guess I’m not ready to double the distance yet. Even thinking of running 42,195k really scares the hell out of me! Besides, this next half marathon will be my first race without my best support team ever, which feels somehow weird. I’m always very excited before a race, so who will calm me down this time? Who will cheer me up along the course? This time, I have to do it on my own, yet another new experience. But I’m really looking forward to it. It always has been my dream to participate in a race here in New Zealand. And who knows, what else has yet to come. A new goal by the end of October, for example? Stay tuned!
What about your next goal? Have you defined one yet?