Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 17 – 18

After running 17 races last year as a complete beginner, I am now training for my first Half Marathon on the 13th May 2018.

Fellow runners, loyal readers, friends and family, here we are – after 18 weeks of training, there is just one more week left until I stand at that Start Line of my FIRST Half Marathon. When I last touched base with you, I had just done a 19 km run and was over the moon! Unfortunately, the two weeks following that were anything but smooth-sailing. I managed most of my runs, just in quite a haphazard manner. Let me explain…

Week 17:

Monday – Saturday, 23rd – 28th April: Unplanned Rest Days. This was an extremely difficult week dominated by very sad news in the family and bad news on the work front. Running would most likely have helped to get me through the week but it was the last thing on my mind. There were just more important places I needed to be. And that’s okay. In the past, I used to set unrealistic workout schedules and then when I stumbled, I would tuck my tail between my legs and wait for another year to roll by. Since I started running last year, things have been different. I still stumble and fall but I get up quicker, dust myself off and continue where I left off which is exactly what I did on Sunday.

Sunday, 29th April: Easy Run, 50:41 min, 6.32 km. It felt good to be back. My husband and I took the kids to the agricultural college grounds which has become our favourite place to exercise as a family. Although it was quite a slow run, my legs felt quite strong.

It was dark by the time we finished, but it was well worth being out there when the sun was setting! Can I just say I am so proud of my kids. My boy Thiwa is not even four yet but he rides like an absolute champion with no training wheels, bravely following his sister as she tears around the oftentimes bumpy paths!

Week 18:

Monday, 30th AprilTreadmill, Tempo Run 35:02 min, 5.02 km. I enjoyed this workout. I did debate though whether it was wise to do it before my Long Run the following day!

Tuesday, 1st MayLong Run, 2:05:52, 16 km. As it was a public holiday, my friends and I decided to do our Long Run together. We were quite a team – ten of us in total, some familiar faces and some new recruits! We met at 05:45 am and warmed up together before setting off at different paces.

So… the good news is I was 10 min faster than my last 16 km run about a month ago. But the bad news is that I struggled a bit. My 19 km the previous week was a whole lot easier. Today, when I finished the run, I just thought – “About time!” Perhaps my legs were a bit tired as this was my third day running in a row? But every km counts, good or bad, so I was still smiling like a Cheshire cat at the end of it!

Wednesday, 2nd MayRest Day

Thursday, 3rd May: Rest Day

Friday, 4th May: Tempo Run, 35:04 min, 4.48 km. Gosh. That first km was painfully tough. I did indulge in a cappuccino about an hour before this run so that may have been a contributing factor. It took me a while to get into gear and I struggled through the tempo intervals. So much so that I was actually quite impressed when I loaded my stats later to find that my pace wasn’t too bad in those tempo intervals. I really felt like I was just plodding along but I was moving faster than it felt (min/km: 07:14/ 07:24/ 07:28).

Saturday, 5th May: Easy Run, 42:37 min, 5.19 km. I did this run while my daughter Kaia was having her tennis lesson. What a disaster – I usually sit and watch Kaia during the lesson so I didn’t realise how unfriendly the surrounding neighbourhood is for runners. No proper sidewalks and very narrow roads with fast cars – so I spent most of the time off the road on dusty and rocky paths. It ended up being quite an uncomfortable run because of that and my left ankle took a bit of a hit. Kaia was also slightly upset that I hadn’t watched her play today so running mummies don’t always win!

This “rocky” run was immediately followed by a 1-hour Pilates Class. I’m glad. We did lots and lots of leg work using gliders. This was my first time using gliders for pilates and I was very impressed by what a good workout we got from them. I was very happy that we focused a lot on legs as I felt they needed some good stretching.

Sunday, 6th MayWalk, 41:54 min, 3.5 km. I had a 10 km Long Run scheduled for Sunday but when I woke up I felt my ankle was in no shape to go out. So I made the decision to rest it. In the evening, we took the kids out with all four dogs and had a 40 min walk. I had forgotten how much I loved walking prior to becoming a runner! My ankle feels okay-ish and I am glad I took the break. I will take Monday off too and complete my last two runs on Tuesday and Thursday with more pilates thrown in the mix.

Everyone is asking how I feel with a week to go… Admittedly, I think some “maranoia” is setting in – I panic every time I cough, my knee strap feels loose and I am worried about running without one on the big day and now I am also stressing about what outfit to wear. With winter just around the corner, temperatures have dropped drastically. I have done all my runs with lovely tank tops and my outfit for race day was going to be the same. But it looks like I may have to start off with a jacket and toss it along the way. It heats up very fast even on cold winter days so I just need something to help for the first few km.

Mileage last 2 weeks: 40.51 km

Mileage this training cycle: 289.48 km

Gym Classes last 2 weeks: 1

Grade: B- (On a positive note, I managed most of my runs; but I didn’t do them as scheduled and I missed my last long run. Also, I only managed one gym workout in two weeks)

To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the lovely Courtney from Eat Pray Run and as usual the inspirational Holly from HoHo Runs and fabulous Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home

25 thoughts on “Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 17 – 18

  1. Sorry to hear about your sad family news. I hope the work situation has worked itself out by now. I think you did great this week. You are smart to give your ankle extra rest. Really, at this point more runs aren’t going to make much of a difference. I am most comfortable during a race if I am freezing before it starts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry about the sad news–I do find that running helps me through tough times, altho I always say that you can’t cry and run at the same time!! Glad to see you back at it and like Coco said, the cold weather is my jam for running too! Looking forward to hearing all about it. Remember, finishing is winning. Don’t focus on time at all. Just keep moving forward!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Wendy x
      Thank you for your advise, encouragement and wisdom on this journey of mine. I won’t focus on time and when times get tough I will remember “finishing is winning” and “keep moving forward”. I am nervous but I feel ready. Bring it!


  3. I can’t believe it’s just one more week to go! I am SO excited for you to toe the line at your first half marathon. You have been in so much hard work over these past few weeks and I have no doubt that you’ll do well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear about that rough week you had there 😦 But it sounds like you took the time you needed and then got right back on the wagon! Great job not letting it derail you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Woot woot!!!! The big day is almost here! So sorry you had some sad news to deal with, I hope things are better. As for missing a run here or there… ALL of the training you’ve done will carry you just fine to that finish line. Best of luck!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so excited that your half marathon is almost here, it will be an incredible experience! I’m sorry you had some rough days…we’ve all been there. Sometimes running needs to go on the back-burner for a bit, I’m sure it didn’t hurt your training at all!

    I love how active your family is – your kids are adorable! I hope you go into the race proud – can’t wait to hear how it goes! Oh – and you could probably use an old jacket/sweatshirt that you can toss after the first few miles once you warm up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I managed to make up the runs – I think one thing I regret over the last month is not getting enough gym time. But overall, I am pleased with what I have done. I wasn’t very active growing up so I think that’s what motivates me to get the kids fit and active now! Thanks for the jacket tip! That’s what I am leaning towards now!


  7. I think it’s fantastic you ran your 16k 10 minutes faster! That’s huge progress, my friend. My trick for cold race starts is to take an old long sleeve race shirt (or any T shirt) and cut it up the middle using scissors. It’s easy to remove once you’ve warmed up a few miles into the race. I can’t wait to hear about your first half marathon! Thanks for linking!


  8. I’m so excited for you and your first race! You’ve done so much hard work that I can’t wait to see how it all goes on race day. Don’t worry at all about those unexpected rest days. Sounds like you had a lot going on, but you rallied well and killed the following week of training. I love those runs that feel so hard and slow but turn out to be speedier than usual. You got this!!


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