Counting down. We're in the real business end of training for the SMH half-marathon. It's exactly one month tomorrow! Today we did 18km. Let me make that, 18 HARD km! We ran along a gorgeous track through the Lane Cove National Park. Stunning scenery, lovely and cool to be out of the sun (which was quite hot today when there was no breeze) holy cow, it was intense. There were some horrendous up-hill sections which involved stairs. Not your nice concrete stairs, but bush-stairs - rocks, wooden steps twice or three times as wide as other your standard step. TWO sets! Yeowch. Finally, at the 9km turn-around there was a seriously bad-ass hill. Practically vertical. Argh! My coach even said to me that it was the hardest course he'd ever run!
This comes after some big training weeks on the track. Last week was 8x400m, this week was 12 laps of "straights and curves" - 100m hard, 100m easy, 100m hard and 100m easy then a lap recovery. All up, it was 24 laps, plus four for warm-up. I was sooo tired afterwards I could barely speak. Oh, plus we had fifteen seconds recovery in between sets and were running them in under 5.20min.
Right now, I'm struggling a bit because work has been very very busy and I'm finding myself snacking on things I really shouldn't be. However, I am refusing to panic. Still four weeks to the race and I'm confident I can drop a good 3kg. I just need to stop the bad snacking as everything else is pretty good. Plus, the team have gone "dry" for the last month of training. Not that we drink a LOT, but just to give ourselves a bit of a booze break, save some calories AND some cashola! I am looking forward to the challenge, although I have given myself a pass for a night or two.
I should add that last weekend, after a 16km training run, a friend and I went on a 25km overnight hike. More stunning countryside, but it was a notoriously hard track with lots of big climbs up mountain-sides and down steep cliffs and the like. By Sunday evening, I had easily done 42km if you include walking to and from train stations and the like. Which, I will admit, was not the best way of preparing for the big training sessions this week.
So, no more hikes until AFTER the race. Swim tomorrow morning to attempt to loosen up what feels like atrophied legs, Mondays are a 7km tempo run, Tuesday morning is Pump, Wednesday is track work, Thursdays Pump and Friday is a DAY OFF, then Saturday is the training run. Next week is 18km next week and then the following two we start a taper with two weeks of 11km.
I am hoping that making a big diet change in terms of snacks and really making sure my lunches and dinners are spot on (breakfast is sorted - I usually just have porridge made with water and skim milk).
Fingers crossed I can slim things down a bit as after two recent hikes, I've really learnt to appreciate the difference a few kilos makes to carry around.