I know, I know, it has been far too long since my last update... I am annoyed with myself for neglecting this blog. But here I am, so give me a chance.
What has been happening in my life recently? Well not an awful lot but life seems good at the moment and training is going really well. Actually too well and I keep thinking that I will wake up from this dream. Why so well, I hear you ask? Well, this year alone I have bagged three PRs in three different running races - 5 km, 10 miler and a half-marathon. I am over the moon about it but it did not just happen overnight. So, let's start from the beginning.....
Last year, racing and training wise was not a great year for me. It started off well with a half-ironman in May where I got a PR. Great start to the season I thought... Couple of weeks later and I ended up injured. I had a soft tissue injury in my foot that led to no running pretty much the whole summer. I ended up doing Ireland 70.3 in September because I was already signed up for it. Race didn't go great but I wasn't expecting much else either. Injury, coupled with a more-than-hectic work schedule, left me pretty much with no training or racing done last year. Work was crazy. Since June last year up until mid-January I worked on a deal that was all-consuming. If I left the office at 10 pm I was celebrating because that was an early night for me. By the time Christmas came around I was exhausted, physically and mentally. Naturally the training really suffered and I managed to do some workouts here and there but never really anything consistent. Around mid-December, I was just fed up with it all. I sat down and talked about it with Shaun. I felt that I was wasting my time and more importantly coach Jen's time. I did not want Jen to put in all the hard work to write a training plan for me, so that I would just end up doing one or two workouts of the week. I was seriously doubting whether I should have a coach and whether I am indeed coachable.
Shaun was very good about it all. He said that I should use next couple of months to see if things were going to improve. So I knew there and then that from January for at least couple of months I needed either to fully commit or to just walk away from trying to compete in this sport. I was hungry for work, I thought about it a lot, I wrote lists, plans goals..... I was ready to work hard...I was ready!!!
My first 'A' race is London marathon and naturally I have a more run-focused plan. I was really happy with that because I love running and it is with running that I ended up in this crazy sport of ours. I was determined to put the miles in, not skip workouts, do the hard work and prove to myself and Jen that I could do this. There were no more excuses. Last year so often I would go home from work and allow myself to think that I am too tired to train, that I had a crazy busy day at work and that I needed to rest- naturally with some cake in front of TV. This year as soon as I feel those thoughts creeping in, I dismiss them straight away. If I want to hit my target at London marathon I have to get out there, I have to train because noone else will do it for me. And yes, that cake won't help either. So, this year so far has been great. I have only missed two workouts because I was ill. The rest were done and they were done on time....no excuses. Every time I train I remind myself that I need to do it properly. As Jen put it in one of her emails, the workouts should not be done half-assed. And they are not. If I have a hard run on and some fast repeats, as soon as I find myself slacking, I remind myself that this should not be done half-assed. And it works.
And here I am with three races done and three PRs - over a minute in 5 km, 5 minutes in 10 miler and 4.5 minutes in half-marathon. I mean, these are not PRs of 5-10 seconds that I am used to, these are huge. The truth to be told I love this new way of training. I love seeing progress, I love getting quicker. It motivates me to go out there and do it day in and day out. There really are no limits for me any more and I finally allow myself to dare to dream big. I know that whatever I set for myself I can do it. I need to put the hard work in but I can do it. It really is like any other job in life - if I don't do something that I need to do at work today, noone is going to do it for me. There will be no results. What you put in, you WILL get out. Getting out there, doing the work and doing the work consistently is the key. Noone is going to do it for you. You either commit one hundred per cent or you don't commit at all.