Monday, December 30, 2013

Year-end reflections, or just week-end ones

- I thought I'd better put up this post while it's still 2013.

- 42! It's the meaning of life. It's also the number of kilometres in a marathon (give or take a bit) and the number of kilometres I ran this week (give or take a bit). It's a good number.

- Christmas came and went. I worked on Saturday and will be working New Year's Day, but Christmas Eve was spent with family, Christmas Day with friends and family and board games and long run and pie. Quality time.

I ran 14++km with Rachel (+1 if you count sprinting to the MRT station and THROUGH the MRT interchange to get to Sengkang on time because I live on the other side of the island) and it turned into an impromptu road+trail run because part of the Punggol park connector is being resurfaced. Ridiculous. I loved it. At the end I got to see Pixie, Rachel's Pomeranian who is just a fluffy, flirty little ball of adorable.

path resurfacing - note sudden trail run segment!
you know you're a runner when yours are the muddiest shoes in the gym. oops.

- This year I ran a marathon in a time I didn't think I would ever see when I ran my first marathon four years ago. A time that starts with a 4. Rachel is training for the Tokyo Marathon and I told her what I think is the real secret (for a baby marathoner) to upping the mileage. Don't think, just run. Don't overthink it. Don't think, 'I'll be too tired for tomorrow morning's track workout or Thursday's tempo if I run tonight'. Don't think, just run easy (and the secret is to really run easy - something I'm working on myself).
For regular people with full-time jobs, this will hardly result in overtraining. Unless you're obsessive about it.

- On Sunday morning I started out running my usual canal route.

(Also for anyone who's counting: 2 grey herons, 4 striated herons, 4 little egrets, and 1 kingfisher. Yesterday was a good day for grey herons.)

 At the turn-off to Pandan Reservoir, I decided to go the other way instead on a whim, and found myself running to and through West Coast Park! I'm not really sure why it never occurred to me before. I run to West Coast Park. I run to the reservoir. For some reason I've never thought of connecting the two on foot. I am an idiot.

- On Sunday afternoon I was exactly five minutes late for a strength class at the gym (for very good reason: lunch and hanging out with a couple of friends) and, well, decided to do a short sharp run instead. (I'm allowing myself to do this because, remember, I have no training plan right now.) I found myself holding a pace, for a quick 5k, that five years ago I'd thought unimaginable but is now my happy tempo run pace. I've been running this for months now but the actual speed didn't occur to me until I saw the numbers on the treadmill.

Who is this person? I thought to myself. How did I get here? It was an important lesson that improvement takes time. I'm always impatient, always wanting to accomplish this or that, expecting to PR every goal race. It doesn't work that way.

- And what of this year's resolutions? The most important one, the one at the top of my list, the one about changing the ratio of positive thoughts to terrible slowpoke negative ones, that's doing fine. That's a work in progress.
The 5k PR didn't happen (not enough 5ks), nor did the 10k one or the half. Doesn't matter, they'll come. The tri and marathon PRs did; I spent a big chunk of the year focusing on City to Surf and I'm happy I did. Marathon training has completely broken my perspective on the definition of a short run and I'm quite glad for it. 


  1. You're advice on training for a marathon is spot on. Don't think - just run. I love it! Thinking (or overthinking) is when I get all screwed up and doubt myself. Happy 2014!!

    1. Happy 2014 to you, too! :) 'Don't think - just run' applies to track workouts too. I avoid thinking about the numbers until I'm done with the whole thing.

  2. You're awesome, and you ARE making progress! I'm not a hugely time-conscious person myself (although running a new best is VERY exciting), so I tend to get more excited by strength/mental gains. For me, the best thing about marathon training this past year was knowing that 7 miles was no longer a big deal, or that I could run many days in a row without being sore or particularly tired. Speed is partially a by-product of that, and I know it will come eventually!

    1. Totally! I love the Hansons training plan for that. I can happily run seven miles midweek; four miles is a 'short' run; and knowing that I can run easy almost every day without being sore or getting badly injured is quite a revelation. These days I practically *need* my morning runs to anchor me for the rest of the day.

  3. I like the resolution about changing the ratio of good to bad thoughts, myself. ;-)

    Alternatively, you could resolve to be on time for BodyPump. Although then you wouldn't get in your speedy 5K. Hmmm.... ;-)