My goal for this week is to be feeling close to 100% by Sunday, when I am running in a 14.4km fundraiser called Run for the Kids. I know it's only a short run, but these are perfect opportunities to gain race-day experience and see how I'm tracking for my marathon prep.

Tuesday - 12km Easy

Another social run today with no specific goals in mind. Just trying to keep the effort relatively low, especially considering I've noticed some soreness again in my shins.

Finished the 12km with an average pace of 5:24/km.

Thursday - 14km Easy (with uphill strides)

Today's run was scheduled to be like my usual tempo run structure, which would have been 3km warmup and cooldown, and 8km of LT pace.

When I got out there today, I figured I'm probably better off trying to structure this run to replicate the run on Sunday, which has a few hills.

I chose a route that had some hills so I could practice running at pace on an incline. It might be a bit late to add in this kind of training now, but I guess it's better late than never.

I had figured doing my usual style of tempo run would take too much out of me and make my recovery slightly too long. Within this run I did 4 hill strides, each about 30-50 seconds of running. I also added one final sprint for the last kilometre. I find it so satisfying to do a complete send at the end of my runs, and I have noticed some improvement in my ability to keep a faster pace for longer.

Until recently, the concept of adjusting my schedule based on how I'm feeling did not have a proper name. Then I stumbled upon a podcast by Nick Bare, where he called this process, "Autoregulation". And it's essentially what I've been doing with my training plan, where it serves only as a guide. If I'm feeling sore or some other uncontrollable obstacle gets in my way, I adjust my plan as necessary.

For me this is important because it means my life isn't governed by a running plan I made months ago, when I had no way to predict how I'd be feeling right now. This little bit of freedom makes my plan much easier to stick to, without sacrificing too much of my normal life for running. I'm reminded of another phrase I discovered through Nick, and that is: "Be all in, not all consumed."

Friday - 12km Easy

Another easy run today just to get some more time on my feet without using up too much energy or extending my recovery time.

I trained legs at the gym yesterday, trying to keep the session light to minimise soreness, but it seems I still trained too hard because my quads are feeling very tender. Oops. Surprisingly, they're feeling much worse after my run.

Hopefully they're better tomorrow.

Saturday - 5km Shakeout

Loosening up the legs for tomorrow. These past few days they've been sore from the gym, which I guess is a good kind of soreness to have. Thankfully my shins haven't been feeling too bad this week.

Just getting the blood flowing today and visualising the run for tomorrow.

I'm definitely not 100% fit but I think by tomorrow I'll be running at about 80% fitness (assuming my quads have recovered). I'm not expecting a PR tomorrow, although I will still be taking it seriously because it's a perfect opportunity to test my fitness without causing too much strain and needing a long recovery period.

Sunday - 14.4km Race Day (Run for the Kids)

Plan for this run:
5:00am: Maurten Drink Mix 160 + Sodii Electrolytes (in 500ml water) + Maurten Solid C
5:40am: Coffee.
8:00am: Started running.
6.5km: Maurten Gel 100.

Another race day to clock on some extra experience.

This morning I woke up feeling maybe 80% fit. Better than I expected.

This past week I had been eyeing a 4:15-4:20 average pace for today because I was trying to be realistic and accommodate for my inconsistent training from injuries. I was feeling good from the moment the race started, so I updated my goal to be 4:10 at the upper end, and aiming for sub-60 minutes.

The first 5 kilometres I comfortably completed in just over 20 minutes, then the race-day adrenaline wore off and I had regrets updating my goal at the start line. We move on.

I started to struggle around the 8th and 9th kilometres, running uphill and in a tunnel. With only 5 kilometres to go I couldn't let myself slow down.

My 10km split was at 41:07––a slightly slower pace than the first 5km. By this point my heart rate had climbed quite high and was hovering around 188BPM.

The last 4km were a real challenge for me. I had done well to keep a 4:05 average pace until this point so I didn't want to let that slip away from me.

I've never vomited from running before in my life. I thought today was going to be the day that finally happens. 400m from the finish line was a 200 meter long incline of about 12 meters. This might not sound like much, but trying to run up a hill like that on tired legs when you thought you were done with hills for the day is a huge buzzkill. Nearing the top of this hill, I felt like my effort had reached its max, and if I tried to push any harder I would've had to pull over to throw up. My heart rate at this point reached 194. Luckily I was close to the top and quickly recovered on the downhill stretch to the finish line.

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 58:11, and an average pace of 4:00/km. Here are my splits for the run:

Splits from Run for the Kids.

Although this was a short race compared to a half or full marathon, this was a very challenging run. More so than I expetected. I entered my pain cave in the last few kilometres and I remember trying to suppress the thoughts that were telling me to slow down or that I was already at my maximum effort.

But I didn't listen to them.

As with most of my more intense running efforts, today serves as both a reminder of how much further I need to improve, but also how far I've come in my running journey.

Weekly Summary:

Total Distance: 57.4km

16 Weeks Out.