Why a Half Marathon? To see if I could? This is a good enough reason as any for me. As you have possibly picked up by now I am quite easily convinced to try something different although I didn’t think that the words ‘I am training for a half marathon’ would ever come from my mouth. Apparently if you add wine and the right kind of crazy people these words flow quite easily…who knew? For me the main challenge in running 21.1km would be to get there injury free. At the time of committing to this goal I was probably sitting at my heaviest weight in 5 years which is not great given the repetitive impact of running. My plan of attack was to be patient, build up gradually, and use cycling as another way to build endurance without overdoing the running. I used the Couch to 10km app on my phone as my starting point, as I love the convenience of knowing exactly what to do and when.
When we were deciding which half marathon to commit to, it involved looking at those events that we would want to travel to, that gave us enough time to train, and was scheduled sometime this year. We were also conscious that in the Pilbara we needed to train over the winter months otherwise it becomes too hot and the flies are a huge problem. In the end, it came down to choosing between a half marathon in Fremantle or a half marathon trail run in Margaret River. While Fremantle was tempting, the pictures of the course in Margaret River was too beautiful to turn down. The fact that this region is know for its spectacular wineries had no impact on the final decision OK!!
From today, there is officially only 8 weeks to go until the Margaret River Half Marathon Trail Run and I haven’t even introduced my training partner Renee. Renee is cute, tiny and has a wicked sense of humour. She loves a good laugh and has many hidden talents…..just ask her about ‘the caterpillar’. I don’t have any really embarrassing photos of her so this one taken after our 12km City to Surf run will have to do! I’m sure she’ll love it. And yes we were at Kmart, and yes we were testing the merchandise which by the way was surprisingly really comfortable. Seriously go grab one, a bargain at $79. (You’re welcome Kmart)
I asked Renee if she would like to document her journey from sometimes runner to half marathon alongside mine just to give you another perspective, a reminder that no two journeys are ever the same and just get it done any which way you can. Lucky for us, Renee was on board for this and I’ll let her have the page now to say hello and start telling you about her journey to half marathon.
Hi all. My name is Renee and I am the lucky person that Bethany has chosen to train with for the upcoming ½ Marathon Trail run in Margaret River. Devil’s Lair Fifth Leg Trail Run to be exact. A quiet glass of wine with a good friend can lead to trouble. And I am not talking about a Katy Perry staying out all night, maxing out credit cards trouble. WORSE! I am talking about discussing (and on the spot registering) for my first ever ½ marathon trail run….did I mention first EVER!! I truly did not know just what I was signing up for.
But that moment is history and the hard core training regime has begun. I guess I can understand her choosing me. Am I an experienced trail runner?…ahhh no. Am I an experienced long distance runner?…ahhh no. I was ripe for the picking. Only way was up for me. Yeah I had done a couple of 5km runs before, thrown in a rare 10km, but that was pretty much my experience in long distance running. I am a hockey player through and through. Hockey was my life for 30+ years (not giving away my age at all here!) So short, fast spurts of running was my thing. None of this long distance, endurance business, breathing techniques, icing and rolling out fatigued muscles blah blah blah.
Well I learnt very quickly when my first run ended in a torn calf muscle. WHAT!!! I woke up at the crack of dawn to commence training on my mid-life crisis……I mean new found goal. Half way through my easy stride….BAM….felt like I was slapped in the back of my leg. Slight hiccup considering I had exactly 21 weeks to train for my first 21km. This was not going to beat me. I had committed myself to this run, and would not let a wee tear in a major muscle rain on my parade.
RICE was my best friend and my new hang out joint was to be the local gym to do bike work. Hahaha…me??? I had never ridden a bike beyond the local deli for hot chips or the school to drop the kids off. And now Beth has me climbing mountains and doing sprints after a “light” warm up. (Note: I was ready to vomit after the warm up!!) However, I had the vision of Ryan Gosling waiting at the finish line with a glass of wine and a puppy, (my fav motivational meme!) so kept upright and moving.
Second ‘first run’ report…….. LOVED IT!!!! I was nervously excited to go for my first, slow and steady run since injury. I certainly didn’t break any speed records but I managed it without incident. Happy to report, I haven’t looked back. With the support (and often BIG push) from my ever enthusiastic training partner, I have managed to keep the runs up and we are heading in the right direction….towards Margaret River!!!!
So shaking up the run routes in a town that has a population of approximately 800 people and is 3km around the WHOLE town was always going to prove interesting. But we left the ‘city limits’ to find some great off-road tracks and trails. The surrounding landscape that many people just wouldn’t get to see (or be bothered seeing) is just breathtaking at times. We live in such a beautiful part of the world that I am sure many take for granted. Who would’ve ever thought our little piece of ‘Pannadise’ held such hidden gems.
So training was progressing well and we were about to come face to face with our next hurdle (for lack of a better word). We had been planning to complete a three and a half week camping trek with the families across the iconic Gibb River Road for some time and trying to keep training, while on holiday, while in the remote Kimberley’s region, would be quite the challenge.
To be continued…….