Diacore 10k Training Recap: Week 6

How did we get to Week 6 of my 8-week Diacore Training Cycle? I have been so lucky to work with Coach Nicola from Running Happy who has put together a great training plan that makes my job a whole lot easier. My main task has just been to get up and make sure I get those runs in!

Monday: I enjoyed a really nice Easter Hike up Kgale Hill with Polelo. We set off at 06:30 and took our time, doing it in 1:44 hours, 260 m ascent, 3.91 km. It was a lovely cool morning and there were many hikers on the trail. Afterwards, I did 20 minutes of yoga.

Tuesday: Today I had a Steady Run scheduled but… I rebelled… and if that was not bad enough… I stole four (yes four!) marshmallow eggs from my kids’ stash… Shameless!

Wednesday: After my illegal day off and and Easter egg feast, I hit the road with Tapiwa for a 26 min, Steady Run. Tapiwa was on fire today and started us out at a very fast pace. We tried a new route and it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t stop my watch and only realised when I was driving back from our post-run pilates session. I was so disappointed… some run for fun, others run for health, I run for the STATS! Without that, what’s the point of the run?! LOL! After my disappointment had worn off, I was very happy with our solid run and estimated it must have been approx. 3.5 km.

Thursday: I did 20 min, Easy Run, 2.71 km, 7:22 min/km. This was followed by some conditioning exercises (clams, squats, lunges, lateral band walks). I was so pleased to notice that my clams were a lot wider than before! My 3 year old find squats hilarious and calls them “The Toilet”. 🙂

Friday: Rest Day 🙂

Saturday: Today’s Long Run was 6 km – so shorter than last week’s 8 km which made it easier to get out of bed! I was very pleased with my time, 44:46 min, 7:26 min/km. The last 6 km distance I did was on the 4th Feb and I did it in 53:53 min so this is a huge improvement in just 2.5 months! That made me really smile!

Sunday: So I was supposed to go up Kgale Hill this morning but I ended up at Mosha Beauty Spa for a facial and FULL body massage… Mosha Beauty Spa is very close to Kgale, so does that make it count as a workout? It does, right? 🙂

Goal for my Next Race (Palapye 10k)

Next Sunday I am doing my fifth race of the #17in2017 challenge and for some reason I am particularly excited about this one!

I have some tentative goals:

  1. Goal A: To shave 2 minutes off my current PB which would mean finishing in 1:13:11 – a 07:19 min/km pace. Looking at the last few runs I have had, I don’t feel I am that far off from achieving this. I’m quite optimistic. I am also pulling out my “Ditiro Card” to help me. (Ditiro has promised to run 4 of the 17 runs WITH me this year and sacrifice his usual lightning speed races!  I feel like his presence will give me the extra push I need at this point in my journey). My main worry is Palapye is a lot hillier than Gaborone is…
  2. Goal B: To PB – anything better than 1:15:11. 
  3. Goal C: To finish the race with a huge smile. To tick Number 5 off the “17 in 2017” Challenge. To remain positive for Diacore the following week!

(I am linking up with the lovely Courtney at Eat Pray Run. I am also linking up with Tricia and Holly for their inspirational Weekly Wrap. Be sure to read these blogs and link up if you can! It’s such a great way to stay accountable).

Diacore 10k Training Recap: Week 3

What a disaster – in summary, “cough, cough, splutter, splutter, sneeze, sneeze” – REPEAT! 😦 Boy, oh boy! Confession time: when my kids and husband were sick, I didn’t really take them seriously. I may even have muttered the term “man-flu” in the direction of my husband a couple of times. But this week was definitely:

The Gaborone Runner 0 – 1 The Common Cold

Monday: I was still in denial and put on a brave face for most of the day. I had a parent-teacher consultation at my daughter’s school in the afternoon, and once I was done, I grabbed a cappuccino, and headed for my 1-hour pilates class as planned. Now, let me be very honest… I am not the most elegant person on the pilates mat on a good day… but one thing my instructor knows is that I always give it my best shot. 🙂 But on this day, I felt exhausted, my legs were shaking, my breathing was chaotic; when we did the plank my nose was dripping onto my pink mat; I was just one big mess! But when I tucked my kids into bed that night, I still had some hope that I could fight this bug off.

Tuesday: This is the day when anger crept in… anger that I was sick. Anger that I couldn’t prepare for my next race on the 9th April. Anger at this whole “17 in 2017 Goal”. Anger at my very happy (and loud) kids for bringing this bug into the house in the first place. Anger at my fully recovered husband who excitedly shared his running and cycling stats with his mates on Strava. Anger at the whole medical fraternity who do not seem to have figured out the common cold. Anger at my mum who had to go out of town for work. Anger. Anger. Anger at the whole world.

Wednesday – Saturday: I must admit I did some bargaining, “Please let me not be sick now. I can be sick on the 10th April when my race is done and that will still give me enough time to train for Diacore”. Later I was just plain down and finally I reached acceptance. Acceptance that my goal here is to get fit – this is a long term LIFE goal, and sickness will happen, life will happen, and that is just that. But you get up again, and you keep pushing. Once I got to this point, things felt a lot easier…

Sunday: I woke up to find Ditiro all dressed up and ready for his early morning hike up Kgale Hill. He then asked, “Do you think you will manage to join me?” I actually felt good. Really good. I would love to be a hero and tell you that I jumped out of bed with excitement. But in reality there was that little pause and then that voice – “Noooo… you are still sick. Say no!!” However, I did muster a “Yeah, sure” with a slightly strained smile. But… I am so glad I did it (1:20 hrs, 3.94 km, 256 m ascent). I am back in the game people, back in the game!! 🙂

(I am linking up with the lovely Courtney at Eat Pray Run. I am also linking up with Tricia and Holly for their inspirational Weekly Wrap as well as the two Jess’s (Jess Runs Atlanta and Jess @ The Right Fits) for their Week in Review. Be sure to read what they and other bloggers have been up to this week!).

Diacore 10k Training Recap: Weeks 1 – 2

I somehow made it through three races this year with no clear “plan” other than to walk/run at least three times a week and to give it my very all on race day. However, I no longer want to simply focus on doing “17 races in 2017“. I want to become a better runner and to work towards my equally important goal of completing a 10 km race in an hour. So, I am now going to be a bit more focused and have special goal races where I hope to PB and then use other races as training runs. On that note, I am very pleased to officially launch my 8-week Diacore 10k Training Cycle. The Diacore Gaborone Marathon (10k) is scheduled for the 7th May 2017 and is the biggest race on Botswana’s race calendar – a quote from their website states, “As an AIMS and IAAF certified event the Diacore Gaborone Marathon is a qualifier for Two Oceans, Comrades, Commonwealth and Olympic games. It is also widely renowned as one of the flattest and fastest routes in the region.” 

I last did the Diacore 10k race in 2015 when I was working my way back to basic fitness after the birth of my second child. With no training, the plan was to take it easy and walk/jog with my dad who was 70 at the time. However, as it turned out my dad obviously had other plans and I ended up playing “catch up” for most of the race! In the end, we finished within a minute of each other and he proudly told people “My daughter is half my age but we finished together!”  He is running it again this year and let’s just say… it is payback time! 🙂

As part of the training for the Diacore and to keep tallying up the 17 races, I have scheduled two races before the Diacore: the Lady K 10k Trail Run on the 9th April and the Palapye 10k on the 30th April. So this is definitely going to be an exciting few weeks of training, racing and blogging! 🙂

Week 1

“Dear Husband, I regret to inform you that your coaching services will no longer be required. However, I will still expect you to run as fast as you can so you can return to the track and take photos of me as I cross the finish line! Kind regards, The Gaborone Runner.”

And that is how Week 1 started! I fired the husband, and got a new coach – the lovely Nicola, from Running Happy. I had not even considered online coaching before, but after my new PB, I explored it as an avenue to improve my running. I contacted Nicola who did a very thorough assessment of me and by the end of the week I had a tailored plan in place. So although I didn’t log any km this week, I found a Coach and some direction!

Week 2

Monday: Having taken the whole week off, I was eager to get back into things. I was a little bit tired from work, but managed an Easy Run, 2.73 km, 7:58/km pace. This was followed by quite an intense pilates session where we did a number of new moves. It was so intense that by Wednesday I still felt some soreness in my abs and leg muscles.

Tuesday: Another exhausting day at work but there is something about having a coach and a plan… not as easy to skip a workout! 🙂 So I begrudgingly put on my shoes and off I went! Look, even my dog seems surprised! 🙂

I did a 25-minute Easy Run, 3.11 km, 8:03/km pace. I struggled a bit as my legs felt super heavy but the feeling of completing those 25 minutes was amazing. When I got back, my kids were very happy to do some stretches with me!

Wednesday: I did a Steady Run with my cousin Tapiwa (5 min Easy, [1 min Steady; 2 min Easy] x 3, 6 min Easy). We managed 2.91 km, 7:47/km pace. I felt really good and we chatted the whole way. This was followed by my one-hour pilates class which I always love doing after a run.

Thursday: I wrote in my post-workout notes to Coach Nicola that had it not been for her, I would have happily taken the day off. But I knew I had to do my Conditioning Exercises (squats, clams, lateral band walks, lunges) to strengthen my glutes and hips and after my little session I felt so good!

Friday: 

Saturday: I started my Long Run in the late afternoon after a busy day with the family so it got dark very quickly and I had stupidly worn black clothes! So I spent half the time straining to see my watch and dodging cars, and the other half getting startled by the barking of dogs that I could not even see. But I managed my 5.05 km, albeit slower than normal, 41.34 min, 8:12/km. I was ecstatic that I had actually gone for my run so I did not appreciate my watch reminding me that:

Sunday: I ended the week by going for my hike up Kgale Hill, 3.94 km, 1:16 hrs, 256 m ascent. It felt so good to touch that pole at the top.

It was a great end to a successful week of workouts. But now the cold that my husband and kids have had on/off for the last couple of weeks has finally hit me. I thought I had escaped and I am praying that it doesn’t disrupt the next couple of training weeks too much. Hope you all have a phenomenal week of training! 🙂

(I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run where you will find links to others blogs sharing their training plans this week. I am also linking up with Tricia and Holly for their inspirational Weekly Wrap. And for the first time I am linking up with the Jess’s (Jess Runs Atlanta and Jess @ The Right Fits) for their Week in Review. Reading the blogs on the link-ups gives me so much motivation, so please check them out too!).

Medihelp 10k Training Recap: Weeks 1 – 3

Three weeks have flown by since I last wrote. My initial aim was to post weekly updates leading to my next race on the 4th March, but these weeks were plagued with immense self-doubt, a whopping migraine and a tummy bug!

Week 1

Sunday: Immediately after the Jack’s Gym 5k Trail Run, I felt energised, excited and truly inspired to keep running. Yes… I acknowledge it was a dismal performance but it was a start. The very next day I went up Kgale Hill. This is the highest peak in Gaborone and is very popular for both beginner and advanced hikers. I did a distance of 4.97 km, 1:34 hrs, with a 296 m ascent. So far, so good…

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Thursday: I did a treadmill walk/run. It was quite intense for me, 4.62 km, 39.02 min, at an average pace of 8:27 min/km. However, it was a late run (around 20:30) and by the time I finished I was completely exhausted and didn’t drink enough. So around 03:00 I woke up with an awful migraine that lasted for two days. Headaches are not new to me but I suspect this one was caused by the fact that I didn’t hydrate enough before going to bed. An extremely painful lesson to learn…

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Sadly, it was all downhill from there. Self-doubt crept in and completely ruined the next couple of weeks for me. I felt silly for even thinking I could do 17 races this year, let alone do a 10 km race in an hour. I thought, “Why did I even start this blog!?” I felt helpless. The last time I really felt this way was when I was trying to get my Driver’s License. When I turned 18, I got a learner’s license but I ended up getting my license when I was 30. I simply told myself that some people are meant to drive and others are not. Twelve years later, something clicked. I started lessons and passed my driver’s test on the first go. In Week 1 of training, that same feeling of helplessness returned and I convinced myself that although I may like the idea of running, it may just not be for me.

Week 2

This feeling continued right into Week 2 and after being hit by a tummy bug and continued headaches, I was just not in the game. Aside from a pilates lesson on Wednesday, I did nothing. In fact, by the end of Week 2, I told myself that I was not going to run in Pretoria and that I was basically going to throw in the towel…

Week 3

Tuesday: I started the week feeling a lot more determined. I was a little bit tired from work, but still managed a good walk/run outdoors. I did 2.21 km in 19:03 mins, pace 8:38 min/km. Much slower than my last run, but I felt happy that I had put on those shoes and gone for a run.

Wednesday: I decided to go for a run before my pilates class started. I ran (no walking!) with my cousin which was really fun. We found a nice pace (average: 7:47 min/ km) and chatted the whole way (2.77 km in 21:33 min).

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Saturday: Taking advantage of the beautiful cloudy weather, I went for a run around the neighbourhood. What a great run and a personal record! I managed 4.03 km in 30:57 min, my longest distance and time without walking! I kept a close eye on my watch and as soon as I approached a pace of 08:00 min/ km, I stepped it up a gear.  My average pace in the end was 7:40 min/ km. I was very pleased.

20170225_210509.pngSunday: I was supposed to go up Kgale but decided to have a lie-in and go for a late morning run with Ditiro. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to run 5 km without stopping but I didn’t think I would manage. But I did!! Oh my word!

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I was so excited. It was a tough run but having Ditiro there really helped. We also included an uphill section which I managed to do without slowing down to a walk. You should have seen my excitement when my watch finally said 5.00 km, 38:04 mins with a pace of 07:36 min/km!! The word “happiness” doesn’t quite do my feeling justice!

Can you remember the feeling you had the first time you RAN 5 km?

Upcoming Races

I have got the Medihelp Mini-Monster 10k race this Saturday and then the Bots Half Marathon (10k) race the very next week. Am I ready?!? Not at all! But I am going for it… Pretoria (South Africa) is a lot hillier than Gaborone. So if I can finish in 1: 25 hrs I will be quite pleased with myself. It will be a nice training run for the next one in Gaborone where I may even be able to PB!

(For the first time I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run where you will find links to others blogs sharing their training plans this week. Eat Pray Run is my “go to blog” when I am looking for some inspiration!).