Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tapering?

I've never really tapered before - well, I have for hammer throwing competitions, but not for running. And not while I've been injured and not been doing as much work as I would have liked.

As a junior hammer thrower, we would ease back on the weights in the gym and in the ring (while the standard weight of the hammer was 4kg, you would also train with heavier weights to develop strength, and lighter weights for speed), and the number of sessions I'd do per week. It was never anything drastic - I always think kids are more resilient and less prone to fatigue than adults - but it was still a taper of sorts.

With the half marathon in a few days, the only thing I've really done is ease back on the distance of my running. My last long run was Monday last week, and during the weekend I had two moderate distance runs at a moderate pace. I think this is the downside to running in groups - you can't always do the training you think you should be doing. But I also enjoy running in groups - I often run in places I wouldn't normally run in on my own (e.g. the Fred Hollows reserve in Randwick, which I feel is an isolated spot, and have never been in on my own).

Saturday was the last of the Bondi Run Club runs - I like the group, but I think I was one of the most regular Saturday runners. Last week it was me, two from The Athlete's Foot, and one from Vision Personal Training. We then found two more non-representatives after the run, who were late and didn't see the map showing where we ran to. This week it was the other two non-reps were on time, but chose to stick to laps of Centennial Park, as they were still building their capacity for running. So the run to Coogee and back consisted of me, one from Mizuno, one from The Athlete's Foot, and a friend of the Mizuno representative. As I said, I like the group, but I sometimes felt like it was just me and the reps, and that if I didn't turn up, then it wouldn't be much of a Run Club!



Summary (Saturday): 9.3km @ 6'23"/km

I'm looking forward to freeing up my Saturdays now - I haven't been to parkrun in ages, and there's a trail group I would love to run with. However, my time in Sydney might be limited - in which case I'd rather go on the trails and explore Sydney than test my speed at parkrun.

My time in Sydney is coming to a close as I finish my experimental work - I might end up staying until I finish my thesis, but the only thing that is really tying me to this city is the laboratory access I need to get data. It's a bit weird trying to keep on living in Sydney while being aware that I might wrap everything up and head back to Melbourne relatively soon. I had plans to go home for a brief visit after the experiments finished, but as they have gone on for far longer than I would have liked, I don't know if a visit is feasible. I might just go home permanently.

Until then, I suppose I will still be looking after the Inner West Jogger's Sunday Pre-Run - although this week's is being looked after by someone else as I will be doing the half marathon. I like how the Pre-Run has grown and now become more like The Run - the weekend just past was the second time there was no 8am run to follow the Pre-Run. I suppose the Pre-Run needs a more appropriate name now. We had a dog (Chilli) with us this week too - the last time I ran with a dog was before my knee injury, with my family's old dog (a blue heeler). It was quite fun, and while I think Chilli didn't like uphills so much, it did reaffirm that I would love to have my own dog to regularly run with. That can't happen right now as I'm not allowed pets in my apartment, and it would also be irresponsible until I settled down somewhere!

Sunday's run was the Anzac Bridge in reverse - it was quite foggy and I feel doing the loop in reverse (in the same orientation as Nike Broadway) us safer as you are facing the traffic when running between Blackwattle Bay and the Anzac Bridge. I was back in the Saucony runners for this run, and slipped my orthotics back in. Made a significant difference to how my lower legs felt - I think I've become more reliant on them due to not going to the gym. That's another thing that will happen once my experimental work wraps up - the gym. Chilli slowed down at the bridge, so the group split in two when we hit Pyrmont - so Jessica and I did a little loop so that we would bump into our tailenders.



At the moment I end up with sore hands from the lab work, and struggle to lift heavy things. While I could probably get away with using only pin-loaded equipment at the gym, I would hate to have to use my hands to lift something in an emergency and then struggle with my labwork again. I have overstrained tendons in my fingers, so even household tasks like ironing, cooking and cleaning are a hassle at times.

Summary (Sunday): 8.1km @ 6'20"/km
Mileage for the week: 43.1km

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