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Week 4 of training [27th April-3rd May]

 I completed 4 runs, 3 yoga classes and a 14km coastal walk.

 My runs:

 X2 short runs: 5km & 8.5km

 X1 medium run: 10km

 X1 long run : 18km

 Total: 41.5 km [target 38-40]

This week has had ups and downs. I started the week really well with one of my best runs- a 10km loop around my local parks. It was one of those runs where you are not thinking about how much further you have got to go or constantly repeating the mantra “justkeeprunning”. I was running happy! It was my fastest 10km run to date. One thing I find frustrating is having to stop start while running eg crossing a road, waiting for traffic lights, getting lost [frequent occurrence with me!]. For me, it takes a few km to get into my stride, for my legs to soften up and my joints to not feel stiff. It’s almost like I hit the runner’s wall quite early on. Stop/starting I can feel the lactic acid building up, especially in my calves,  and I find it harder to keep running. This run was around 2 parks, so I could just keep running and it was fairly flat so I didn’t  tire as much!

My 2 short runs this week I really didn’t get into. I think the weather being pretty crap (rain rain glorious rain) hasn’t helped and put a downer on my runs. One of them I got completely drenched. It was drizzling when I started the run and then just got heavier and heavier. My end point was my yoga studio and I arrived looking like I just finished a class of hot yoga! The receptionist got very confused!

My long run this week was a similar route to the week before, but I extended it along the waterfront. I started by running from Surry Hills to Elizabeth bay, around the waterfront to the Royal Botanical Gardens, past the Sydney Opera House, along the harbour, under the Harbour Bridge and then I followed the bays all the way to Rozelle. I really like the route as it is weaving along the waterfront and you get to run past some amazing pent ! Also, obviously, my end point had to be a brunch place. I found a great little cafe Revolver, again one that is on my bucket list!

Panorama from edge of Royal Botanical Garden

Running under the Harbour bridge

  Towards Anzac bridge:

View from end of Rozelle Bay:  

   My poor legs!

  The run was totally worth it. . . 

This week was meant to be the peak of my running. I am now planning on tapering off as only have 2 weeks to go until my race so the count down begins! Resting my legs is important as this week especially I could feel my legs getting rather achey and stiff. I feel confident now that I will be able to run the half marathon. The distance 21km at first did make me nervous but with my training, over the past month, my fitness and perseverance for longer distances has markedly improved. I plan to do a further 5 short/medium runs before my race day on the 17th May. I think I have done enough long runs and clocked up the km, so want to ease off slowly this week. They say you should never run the distance of your race until race day.

Yoga wise: I am loving HOM yoga so signed up to one months membership. I like how there is a complete range of abilities in the classes, from super advanced yogis to complete beginners. Also, it is the one time I can completely free my mind and just have some space. Even when I am running, my mind is still quite hectic and I don’t really zone out. Yoga is like being dropped on a little deserted island with absolutely no distractions! Also my yoga strength is improving, very slowly though.  I can nearly do a crow! [for those who don’t know what a crow is, it is a type of arm balance- http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/crane-pose/%5D

On the yoga theme– I signed up to the Mindful in May challenge. It is an international meditation event run by Dr Elise Bialylew, who is trying to encourage daily mediation practice for the whole month of May while raising funds for ‘Charity Water’ [a not for profit organisation that builds wells around the world]. It has been extremely popular in the past years, raising over $300,000.  Its ambition is to teach participants the importance of calmness and creating the habit of mindfulness- for just 10 minutes a day, for 31 days. You get a daily email which gives you access to an online program, through audio guided meditation, video interviews with experts and coaching/mentoring advice. I have been enjoying the challenge, so far I have kept up and each day I have assigned 10 minutes aside. I really look forward to the daily email which encourages and motivates you to find that tranquility. For just 10 minutes, it is like you jump off your fast paced life’s treadmill and take a pause.

Anyone who is interested, you can still sign up here [they have extended registration until 10th May].  Dont worry about missing the first few days, you can still get online access from day 1. Go on, give it a go! 

[Also this is an interesting read about how giving can make you happier]

Happy Running! Happy Yoga! Happy Mindfulness!