I’m currently training for the Gabs 1/2 Marathon on the 10th March 2019. This will be my third Half but the first of the five Half Marathons I have planned this year. I have done this event twice before, in 2017 and in 2018, but both times I did 10 km.
Week 1: Getting Back in the Game
Monday, 31st December: Easy Run, 6.41 km, 49:56. This was a painfully slow run with an average pace of 07:48 min/km. I also used some new shoes which gave me a blister around the 3 km point and I struggled with my new Garmin Forerunner 35 having just transitioned from the Tom Tom sports watch. Having said that though, it felt great to be back running and even better was knowing I could enjoy some indulgent New Year’s Eve celebrations with some degree of smugness for having run a 6 km, whatever the pace!
Tuesday, 1st January: Rest Day. Happy New Year 🙂
Wednesday, 2nd January: Grid Class, 1 hr. Every time I restart a gym class, I am reminded of how much fitter I need to get! There were a lot of lunges, burpees and squats, as well as a number of arm exercises using free weights and barbells. It was tough and I barely survived the class. I had to simplify many of the exercises just to get through them.
Thursday, 3rd January: Easy Run, 6.01 km, 48:08. I woke up extremely sore from Grid Class with some slight strain on my left shoulder. My scheduled run ended up being even slower than Monday’s run as my body felt really heavy. It really helped that I was in the lovely company of my cousin Tapiwa and we had a very enjoyable and chatty run.
Friday, 4th January: Rest Day.
Saturday, 5th January: Long Run, 10.02 km, 1:14:09. With two uncomfortable runs under my belt, I was not looking forward to the first Long Run of the cycle. But I was in for a surprise – I did a very fast 6 km with my pace ranging from 07:07 to 07:16 min/km. I had a great music playlist and my husband ran with me and kept me quite focused. Usually, he goes with my pace but this time he kept pushing me as I slowed down, asking whether or not I wanted “a sweaty selfie” at the end. The last 4 km wasn’t as fast but my pace averaged 07:24 min/km giving me my fastest 10 km in probably 20 months.
Sunday, 6th January: Easy Run, 6.41 km, 52:23, Elev. Gain: 58.5 m | Squats and Abs Challenge. We set off on a week’s family holiday to Clarens in the Free State Province of South Africa. As we were travelling with kids, we decided to split the 7 hour journey and spent the night in Vanderbijlpark which is an industrial town on the outskirts of Gauteng Province. We arrived to a big thunderstorm but as soon as it died down, we went for a run around the neighbourhood. It was really fun to explore the place while running but the hilly terrain took some getting used to. I also started Day 1 of a 30 Day Squats and Abs Challenge which consists of squats, sit-ups, flutter kicks and planks.
Week 2: Running in a Stunning Location
Monday, 7th January: Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 2). We travelled to Clarens and I was very happy to just relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Tuesday, 8th January: Hiking, 2.2 km, 1 hr. Elev. Gain: 138.8 m | Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 3). We had a lovely day exploring Clarens and when it started raining again we ducked into Clementine’s Restaurant for a very hearty lunch.
With very full stomachs, I insisted on doing a hour’s hike on the lodge’s premises with my husband and sister. What started off as a simple hike quickly grew quite difficult as we had to navigate some very steep and slippery bits. The sheer drop as we traversed the hill was terrifying and on our descent we were forced to use our hands, feet and bottoms to work our way down. My poor sister is terrified of heights and at many points I just thought “What have we done?!”
We later realised we could have taken a much easier path and when we got back we were disappointed that we had only covered 2 km after all that effort! But with an elevation gain of 138 m I shouldn’t be too disappointed!
Wednesday, 9th January: Interval Training, 7 km, 56:03, Elev. Gain: 124.3 m | Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 4). This was supposed to be threshold interval training but it didn’t really work out as every time I had to increase my speed I was faced with a huge hill to get over! LOL. But this was probably one of the most beautiful runs I have ever done – yes, it was tough, but running in the midst of those gorgeous Maluti Mountains was amazing. Coming from a very flat city, I couldn’t get enough of how beautifully mountainous it all was.
Thursday, 10th January: Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 5)
Friday, 11th January: Easy Run, 6.41 km, 52:23, Elev. Gain: 110.7 m | Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 6). We were supposed to check out of the lodge at 9 am and I had planned to run once we had arrived in Rustenburg which was our stopover town on the way back to Gaborone. But I just had to get another run done in Clarens. So at 6 am we went for our run and this time we ran into the Golden Gates Highlands National Park and again I felt so honoured to be running in such beauty. It was the perfect end to our holiday.
Saturday, 12th January: Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 7).
Sunday, 13th January: Squats and Abs Challenge (Day 8). I was supposed to do a 12 km Long Run but after travelling all of Saturday both my husband and I decided to ignore the alarm clock at 5 am. When we finally got up at 8 we didn’t feel any guilt for having missed our run. I did manage my squats and abs challenge so I am quite pleased with that. I am now up to 51 squats and a 35 second plank.
Summary: After a 3-week hiatus from running and a good dose of festive indulgence, it was tough to get back into things. The relentless heat wave and unusually high humidity levels has certainly not made things any easier but it felt good to put on my running shoes again. The first couple of runs were slow but I also clocked my fastest 10 km run in months. In the second week, I managed a few runs while on holiday in Clarens and coming from very flat Gaborone, I enjoyed challenging my body to some very hilly terrain.
[Gabs 1/2 Training Cycle: 44.46 km | 2019 Mileage: 44.46 km | Gym Classes: 1]
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