Training for an endurance event is never easy unless you’re a freak like Gwen Jorgensen #GOALS. But training for an endurance running event while also training for and playing another really demanding sport (hockey), trying to keep up with winter triathlon training, working full time and keeping up the little social life you have left — can make it a little bit tougher! But, in saying that, I actually enjoyed every long run I did in training in the lead up to Run Melbourne Half Marathon — even with the hills, wind, rain, hail, asthma and chafing.
I guess, when you sign up to do these things you have a reason why, whether it be to get a new PB, tick it off your bucket list or something more sentimental like charity. My reason for signing up to the Run Melbourne Half Marathon was because my next big personal goal was to do the Ironman Geelong 70.3 (#AMICRAZY!?) and I needed to know that I could mentally run 21.1 Km.
You see, I know and my coaches know that I’m a good runner on paper (not in a cocky way) but, even when you might be good at something it does not always mean you like it. So here is a little secret about me… I used to HATE running training. I would complain about it all day or night before it happened. Whether it was conditioning running for hockey during my pre-season, a beep test, intervals with TriChicks or just the run off the bike (ROB). I would sometimes work myself up so much before these sessions that it would bring on my asthma. I would still do all the training and wouldn’t stop or quit but, mentally, I was not there.
One of my personal goals for the 2017/18 season was to go to every interval session with a more positive mindset. I was extremely focused and determined to do my best that I might have given off an intimidating vibe but really, I was working so hard internally to change my mental outlook to be more positive. Slowly, I started to look forward to Tuesday night track sessions and Thursday morning bricks, and even my ROB on the weekend. After having some ROB’s in my tri’s I decided it was time to give a half marathon a crack!
As I mentioned, the training wasn’t actually that bad. I trained in some great conditions and some absolutely shit sessions. I listened to so many episodes of my favourite podcast The Teachers Pet that I thought I could solve the case despite not even being alive when it happened or knowing anyone related to the case. And, I probably listened to Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ album 10 x over in preparation for her October concert (which I cannot) wait for.
All of my long runs were on a Sunday, like most of the other TriChicks girls, but I also had all of my hockey games on Saturday afternoon before, so I never once felt fresh or light on my feet. I usually had banged up knees, some sort of muscle tightness and a minor foot issue, but I knew that the half was going to be on a Sunday too so I had to get used to never feeling good on a Sunday.
Leading up to the event, maybe my second last long run, I experienced rain, hail, wind and minimal shine. I also experienced chafing for the first time in my life and f**k I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I made a mental note to NOT wear those Nike shorts EVER AGAIN if I knew the weather was going to be wet during the race. That chafe was not pretty, it hurt and could not be dealt with for those 17.2 Km’s that day (or race day as I found out later).
Then came pre-race evening. I only had 14 hours between finishing my hockey game to being at the start line so I did everything I could in that time to recover well enough to feel semi-alright. I did a lot of stretching in my cool down from the game, I had an ice bath, I had a nice warm bath, I foam rolled the shizen out of my limbs and drank SO much water. I knew the next day wasn’t going to be pretty or fast, but I would give it a red hot crack knowing I had done the work.
The weather forecast looked grim but I had trained in similar conditions so I wasn’t too fazed. I met up with two of my teammates from my hockey club, didn’t really do any type of warm-up and then Zone B was called up and we were off! Despite the fact I went to the toilet maybe 5-6 times before the run, about 4 Km in I had that dull ache feeling down in my bladder and knew that a bathroom break would have to happen now. Luckily, the girls I was running with were also about to pee their pants so we made a very quick detour. I mean would you rather take a 1 min detour or get a UTI — you tell me.
Everything was going pretty well until about the 10 Km mark when it started to absolutely bucket down with rain. Now, you would think after my chafe experience from a few weeks before I would remember that little mental note I made about NOT wearing those Nike shorts but… I didn’t. So I ran from 10 Km to 21.1 Km with chafe slowly developing. I’m sure people were thinking “Maybe she shat herself” or “Maybe she has hip issues and runs weirdly”, no, I am just a complete moron who had really unpleasant chafe going on with my inner thighs. I’ll tell you what, that finish line could not come quick enough.
Despite the chafe, I was really enjoying the entire course; we had run through the Docklands and Southbank, around The Tan, along the river and into Yarra Park. My past mental demons were nowhere in sight as the last few Km’s were ticked off. Running into Birrarung Marr I felt f***ing good and I was SO happy to have mentally gotten it done. I literally grabbed my medal and ran straight into the medical tent so they could deal with my chafe that was now bleeding and making its way down to my goddamn kneecaps — I will never wear those shorts again.
So yeah, after finishing the half marathon I officially signed up to do the Ironman Geelong 70.3 (2019) race because, after ticking that run off I reckon I can do anything that I set my mind to.
Sick of training alone and looking for a fun, friendly and like minded group of women to smash your goals with? We have two options available for you. Join our Melbourne squad to attend our weekly sessions that suit all abilities at fitness levels. If you live interstate, join the TriChicks Hub to gain access to all our training programs and training resources, and become a part of our online TriChicks Community! Click here for more info on our Melbourne Squad or here for all the details on the Hub