Tuesday - 10km Easy

Today's run started well––my heart rate was in zone 2, and my pace around 5:20/km, with effort being 3/10.

I kept this going for the first 3km until I was almost knee-deep in water.

Despite today's heat, the trail I usually run along had been flooded from yesterday's downpour. I expected to ecnounter some puddles today but I did not expect to spend almost a whole kilometre running in water that appeared to keep getting deeper as I ran further.

By the time I realised how deep the water was, it was too far for me to turn back so I had to keep running. My initial concern was that my shoes would get dirty. Well, that definitely was not a concern once I had reached the end of the flooded path and realised how heavy my shoes were from being soaked in water.

I always try not to let obstacles like this get to me while I'm running, because at the end of the day, I'm not hurt and I can still run. This was different though. I became furstrated that I'd have to spend the rest of my 'easy' run (another ~7km) with what felt like 5kg ankle weights––not exactly the type of easy run I wanted.

Eventually I realised running with soaked shoes isn't the worst thing that could happen to me, and I was reminded of the wise words from a wise man: "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome."

Bear Grylls's 'Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.'

I finally started running more comfortably.

Either that or my shoes dried up a bit and became a little lighter. I'll stick with the Bear Grylls mantra though.

To add to my frustration (and necessitate more improvisation), my usual running routes were also flooded, forcing me to think on the spot and plan a route that would total 10km (tragic, I know). Thankfully I did not make the same mistake of running through water again.

For what was meant to be an easy run, today's 10k had its own challenges––heat, humidity, and water.

Yes I might sound dramatic going on about running with wet shoes, but these relatively small obstacles can easily snowball during a run. From forgetting your hat, to wearing the wrong socks or undies, or training too hard at the gym the previous day, imperfection is inevitable. What's more important than the challenges themselves is how we react to them.

Better to fail now and learn.

Thursday - 10km Tempo

1km warm up, 8km tempo (4:20/km or faster), 1km cool down.

If I ever learn to hate Thursdays, it'll be because of tempo runs like today.

Once again, I don't know if it was the heat, or maybe I'm training too hard in my other runs. Or maybe I've just lost a lot more fitness than I realised.

Probably all three. But today's run killed me a little bit.

As with last week's tempo run, I started out quite comfortable. I hit 4:08 for the first kilometre, which was good. But maybe a little too fast again.

Then the heat got to me and I quickly started feeling tired. Halfway through my tempo segment I had to slow down for a few hundred meters to catch my breath and recover my heart rate.

I try to keep my HR between 170-180 for tempo runs. I saw 185 before slowing down.

I slowed down, caught my breath, and then continued with my tempo segment.

My HR was starting to rise again but I did not want to slow down. My effort might have still been in the range for a tempo run, but the heat (~28ºC) was forcing my heart rate much higher. So I decided to keep running with the same effort.

I reached the end of the tempo segment with my heart rate at 188. Probably too high, but that's okay.

Despite the tough workout, I hit 5/8 of my splits. Even my cooldown as challenging.

Friday - 10km Easy Rest Day

Today was meant to be an easy run day.

This week I've been feeling a slight pain in my lower left leg which initially did not seem to be a conern. It felt more like some tenderness in my calf than anything else. After yesterday's run though, it started to feel like something more. I believe the pain is coming from somewhere on or near my tibia and felt worse when I put weight on it.

I immediately thought the worst. Maybe a stress fracture? Foam rolling hurts and the area is tender to touch. Not the best thing to happen only 2 weeks into a training plan.

Thankfully, I don't think it's anything serious anymore.

The hard thing about training for something like a marathon is that it's important to listen to your body and prioritise recovery. You can't just go all out on every run and expect to be fine for the next. For every run, you need to be considering at least your next few runs. Am I pushing too hard to compromise my long run? Should I be running this easy run a bit slower?

Every tiny bit of pain needs some attention, during runs and when you're not running. You need to decide if the pain in your right hamstring is something you can run through without risking further damage, or if it will only heal with rest.

Taking a rest or modifying the next run is most often the safest option, but also sometimes the hardest to make.

This was the case for me. I didn't want to miss a run this early in my training. I already feel behind on where I want to be, and now I have to skip a scheduled run?

The last thing any runner would want is an injury that takes out a few weeks of their training, especially when that injury could have easily been prevented with rest.

Rest up, we'll get 'em next time.

Sunday - 16km Long 6km Recovery

I thought by today I'd at least be able to do 16km I had scheduled for today but just without the faster sections. My leg was still not 100%, so I changed my target to 10-12km at an easy pace.

Even that was too much. I am definitely being extra cautious because I'm early enough in my training where I can afford to rest without losing too much fitness. Regardless, this week was still discouraging.

I don't like to view days or weeks of training as failures. Just because I did not meet my targets for this week does not make it a bad week or a failure. Regardless of meeting my targets, I am a better runner now at the end of the week than I was at the start, even if only by a tiny margin.

I'll be back better next week.

My concern for next week now is that if I stick to the runs I had scheduled, I'd run 50km next week. This usually wouldn't be a concern but considering I've only done 26km this week, I'll be paying very careful attention to how I'm feeling and modifying runs if I need to.

Weekly Summary:

Total Distance - Scheduled: 46km

Total Distance - Actual: 26km

Still got time. 25 Weeks Out.