Sunday, April 18, 2010


Well here I am post Greenbelt Half Marathon tired, sore but very very happy. Happy that I had the guts to give it a go. Happy that I achieved my goal of running without any walk breaks and very happy that I bettered coach's time goal of 2:30 - 2:40. I crossed the finish line in 2:28.

I promised to blog the good, the bad and the ugly so here it all is for anybody who may be interested.

Two days before the race I was feeling the worst I've felt for a long time. I was in a bad place emotionally. I was run off my feet, feeling overwhelmed, tired and cranky. It was my son's birthday and we had a family dinner to celebrate. I felt so crappy that I stayed in my trackie pants and T-shirt without bothering to dress up (I would normally NEVER do this). What a piss poor effort, Magda.

Saturday was better as I knew I had to pull myself out of my hole and I managed this ok. My emotional state improved and I was more aware of my food and trying to keep some balance. We had another birthday party and fortunately our guests didnt stay late so I could get a good night's rest. I slept pretty well :-) and woke up feeling quite good.

The weather was glorious. I couldnt have asked for better as it was mild with only a light wind. I felt rested and quietly confident. Peter drove me to the start and I was shocked at how many people were there. I was told between 700-800 - ah the world is full of more lunatics who think that running 21.1 kms on a Sunday morning might be a good idea LOL.

Miss R from work was at the start to give me some moral support. It was a lovely surprise to see her there and again as I battled out the hilly stretches that formed the first 5 or so kms. I took it easy in the start as I knew the hills would be hard. I was near the start line when the gun fired and for the first 5 or 10 minutes I just watched 600 people overtake me. I didnt care. This was about me doing my best and not comparing myself with anybody else. I just ran. And I ran each and every hill, albeit very slowly up some of them but my goal was to NOT walk (except at the drink stations while I had a drink).

As expected the first 5kms were very undualting but this time I was mentally prepared. I thanked God that I had attempted the Good Friday Bun Run even though it was an awful and disastrous run, it had prepared me for today. The bad was behind me and todays was going to be good.

At 11kms to go and having just had a drink I hit my "zone". The endorphins started coursing through my body, a great song came on my iPod (sorry cant find/remember its name) and I comfortably upped my pace and started to overtake other runners. "I am a distance runner" I told myself and I was on fire!! However after a few kms I knew that I needed to be a bit more conservative if I was gonna make the 21.1kms and slowed back down to a nice jog.

As coach had predicted the last 6kms were pretty hard and the last 3 felt like they were 10kms long. The countdown markers seemed to take forever to appear. At the 5kms mark I'd had a bit of Gatorade which I'm not used to and it gave me a stitch. I was running in pain. My right ankle was also getting really sore from the slope of the pathway and I tried to run on as flat a surface as possible. But the bottom line was that I ran a few kms near the end in total pain, yet determined to push on and not let such a short distance beat me.

Finally the finish line appeared and my family were lined up on the final stretch with cameras ready. My son waved a big happy "Mummy!" and my mother-in-law and Peter were smiling for me and taking pics as well. I crossed and only then did I look at my time - 2:28. OMG I had beaten coach's goal or prediction that I would take 2:30 -2:40. I WAS OVER THE MOON. I had always secretly hoped that I'd do it in less than 2:30 but had after the Bun Run I had no confidence at all of achieving that.

My post race reward was a breakfast of pancakes with berries and ice cream. I inhaled it but I did enjoy every mouthful. After all, my glycogen stores needed replenishing LOL.

So here I am having completed a half marathon. If you'd have told me 12 months ago that I'd do this I would have told you that you're insane. Isnt life a funny thing and yet again I say "never say never". Thank you to some special people who helped me to get where I am: Pat Carroll was a fantastic coach. We never spoke in person but he sent words of wisdom and encouragement at just the right times and I knew I was in great hands. If you're considering running a race or just wanting to improve your running, Pat's your man. My wonderful husband Peter for rearranging his schedule to allow me to do all my long training runs on a Sunday morning and putting up with my moods swinging from total elation to total lack of self confidence. To Hilde from Get Active on Line who encouraged me back into running near the middle of last year. Then when I moved house and I wasnt set up for weight training she just gently encourage me "keep up your running".  Well I'm so happy that I did.

Thanks to all for your words of support and encouragement. They always mean a lot to me and helped me get over that finish line today.

I'll be off line for a while now. We are moving house this week and then I want to take some time to work through some personal stuff that has gone off the rails for me lately. I need to do this privately and at my own pace, in my own way. I may share down the track but not just yet.

:-) Magda

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This will be my last post pre race. My mother-in-law arrives tomorrow, my son has a his 8th birthday on Friday (Happy Birthday sweetie!!), we have a couple of parties planned and it'll all be go, go, go for the next few days. The race is on Sunday and I promise to blog the good, the bad and the ugly.

So I wanted to make my final pre-race post about motivation and inspiration and why I'm choosing to run 21.1kms on a Sunday morning (following my son's birthday party the night before) instead of snuggling in under my doona to avoid the cold, the pain and the challenge.

As my blog header states, I've been many things during the course of my life including a "sometimes runner". Every now and then I know instinctively that its time to follow a dream and make it happen. I cant rest until I've done it. It feels like unfinished business in my life. That time came with taking my running to the next level so I stuck my neck out and took on the challenge to run a half marathon.

And for me it will be a challenge. Running that half marathon will be the new athletic Magda who has trained hard for the event and knows deep down that she can do it. But I'll be accompanied by my Inner Fat Girl who'll look around to check if I'm the fattest contender so she can chide me if I'm the slowest runner. I'll also be accompanied by my Doubting Doris who still makes me wonder if I can make it on the day and I'm sure there will be a good dose of nerves to unsettle me as well.

I had a crap run on Sunday and I'm glad thats out of the way. I felt good doing my last sprint session this morning. Tomorrow is a rest day and I have a 50 min run on Thursday to be done at an easy pace before 2 full days rest. I'm devoting time and thought to my mental prep now as physically there is not much more that can improve my performance. I do have aches and pains but nothing that I cant manage and work around - on the assumption that nothing worsens.

I have revised my goal from "I want to do this really well" to "I just want to run it and finish". I'm now aware that the first 5-6 kms (at least) will be hilly and I'm not underestimating how hard this will be for me. I can only give it my best shot and be smart about how hard I push through the hilly bits. Slow and steady wins the race.

Finally I'm running this race to prove to myself that I can. To prove that I can leave behind the Inner Fat Girl and the Doubting Doris, giving them the finger and declaring "F*CK YOU! I'M A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER".

Wish me well and think of me on Sunday morning as I start at 8am with a goal of running it in 2 hours 30 - 2 hours 40.

:-) Magda

Saturday, April 10, 2010


This last week has been TOUGH on a number of fronts.

WORK ...

....has been really busy with one of my staff members away this month, our Director away this month, the results of the SA election being decided and some events bordering on natural disasters hitting our sites. Days have disappeared in what feels like minutes and I've taken work home to try to keep on top of things. I expect this to be situation normal in April and I'll also be having a little time off just to make it even more crazy busy when I am at work. AAAAARGH!!


...... I had to ease back this last week. The hilly run (Bun Run) on Good Friday left me with sore calves and took a bit out of me. Then my "race pace" 10km run on Sunday took even more out of me. I had 2 rest days (one scheduled, one due to torrential rain) but was still not recovered on Wednesday. I managed 5 out of 15 hill sprints and then just did a 20 minute jog shuffling along at my woeful "Cliff Young" pace. I had 2 more rest days as my body was telling me I needed them and then did 50 minutes today and am due to do 1 hour 20 minutes tomorrow. I think I'll be ok for the race as next week is not a heavy training week.

Coach has sent me an excellent email on how to prepare in the last 2 weeks including the mental prep and I'm devouring that repeatedly so that it sinks in. Its all about the mental attitude now and if thats right then everything will be good on race day. I say "good" and not "easy" as we all know that running 21.1kms for the first time is not an easy exercise but hey I love a challenge LOL!!


...... well this deserves a chapter all to itself. Like some other bloggers I am struggling with my diet/weight at the moment. I've had some ups and downs and lately the downs have dominated. There are a myriad of reasons but put simply I've become a bit complacent and have 1: overindulged in treat foods and 2: let that f*cken old Binge Monster back into my life.

I've been looking within to find my balance again and its there .... just. But I know that over the coming weeks I need to reassess what I'm doing, what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling and what it is I want. Its not necessarily going back to the drawing board but more a case of tweeking  and fine tuning to get things working right again.  I've considered getting help with this but I'd be happier knowing that I worked things out by myself for myself. After all, nobody knows me like I do and I CAN work this out and get it right.

7 sleeps til race day and so much to do in the meantime. gotta love afull and busy life!!

Cheers all


Friday, April 09, 2010


Hi all,

things have been quiet on the blogging front for me despite having a bit that I'd like to write about. Now is just not a good time to be banging away on the keyboard. Maybe the weekend will provide some better opportunities????

I've been really busy with work to the point where I've been doing an hour or two at home in the evenings. I've eased back a bit on my training to combat some major aches and fatigue and coach has given me some excellent advice on my mental preparation. Not long to go now!!

In the least there are 2 posts that I really want to write before race day. I'll plan them for this weekend and then again I'll be absent while I prepare for my son's birthday and moving house. I do promise to blog about my half marathon no matter how hard it is to find the time. That news must be shared.

Cheers all and keep hanging in there!!


Sunday, April 04, 2010


Friday's disastrous attempt at a 10km time trial had me spitting the dummy in fits of "woe is me, I'm a crap runner". It was a bad day. However once I pulled myself together I was determined to prove to myself that I had it in me to make the 10kms in coach's  time goal of sub 65. I had the 10km route measured out around my local streets and was going to use today's training session to see how I went.

I began the run falling quite easily and comfortably into my "run pace". This is faster than my jog but still not a fast pace by any stretch of a runner's imagination. Its a pace I like as it is a little challenging but I can maintain it for a reasonable distance. Fairly soon into my run I hit a long slightly uphill stretch but this didnt tax me as its still relatively flat (by Friday's standards). I felt good and was happy with my pace.

At the 5km mark I checked my time at 33:45. Hmmm not bad and I knew the sub 65 was highly possible. I pressed on knowing that at about 6 or 6.5kms I'd hit C Road and it would be downhill for a decent stretch (in fact almost all the way home). As I hit C Road I picked up my pace a little and started to feel REALLY GOOD. The endorphins kicked in and I could feel tears of joy wanting to form in my eyes. "This is what I love about running" I thought to myself. My stars and planets had aligned.

I maintained a strong pace the rest of the way. Coming close to home I hit a stretch of cafes and people meandering along. I ducked onto the road so as not to be slowed down. A considerate couple quickly got out of my way. They must have seen that I was serious about my pace and I wouldnt appreciate dancing around idlers on the footpath LOL.

At the 10km mark (close to home but not quite that far) I checked my time at 64:32. I had done it. I had run the 10kms in under 65 as my coach had wanted. I am not a crap runner. I walked home with a smile from ear to ear and gushed my result to Peter like a kid having scored the best ever Christmas present.

I'm not sure what the Greenbelt Half will bring. It may be undulating. It may well be a lot tougher than today's run. But I now know that I have a decent pace within me and if I find it on the day then I'll be ok. I have my confidence and positive attitude back and thats really the most important thing.

:-) Magda

Friday, April 02, 2010


If you've caught up with my FB status you'll know that my Bun Run was a disaster on a number of fronts.

Firstly today was only my 2nd race ... ever. I nearly pulled the pin thinking I might just runs 10kms where I normally train and time it as the run wasnt a timed one anyway. Then I decided that I probably needed "race experience" so hauled my arse out for the 8am start in a suburb well away from where I live. This was after a bad night's sleep of waiting for morning to come.

I should have expected that running so close to the foothills was going to be hilly. The blurb and info on the run described the track as "undulating". I disagree. "Hilly" was a more accurate description. Not good for a girl who lives on the plains and trains on the plains as there is NO other option at 5am. In a word.... the hills killed me.

As we set off in a large group I quickly realised that I'd be in trouble. My pulse rate shot up fast and high (partly through nerves) and my breathing became quite heavy within a few minutes. Little things niggled at me and I longed to be more comfortable so I could just concentrate on setting and maintaining a good pace. In a few spots I overtook people but this was short lived and it wasnt long before I was being overtaken by more and more runners. It was demoralising.

The hills were wicked, as was the wind. Not long but steep enough that on about the third one I walked up along with a few other people who obviously werent 100% committed to running it all. After that I walked some more hills as by then I felt defeated. Amazingly I have trained for about 10 weeks and I have never walked in my training (unless specified in my program). So here I was in a race setting and walking. This is not how I had pictured the event to be.

At one stage after beinhg overtaken by several people I looked behind and saw nobody. That was my lowest point (until a little later) and I thought to myself "Well done Magda. You are officailly the worst runner here." Then a group came around a bend in the track and I felt some small relief.

Near the end it was absolutely sinking in as to how badly I had run. I didnt know how long I had been running but judging my our location I knew we were approaching the end. Then I started to get really upset and I could feel the tears coming. As I choked up I found it harder to breathe and got scared when I couldnt get any air in for a few breaths. I needed to pull myslef together damn quick before I keeled over on that pavement and I just managed this somehow.

I finished the run and checked my time which was well under my goal of sub 65. Something wasnt right and this was confirmed by another runner, gadgeted up to the max, who informed me that her iPhone had recorded the distance as 7.86kms. So we had been shortchanged on distance and my time  trial was invaild.

So here I am with 10+ weeks of training under my belt and today I ran like a novice that had never trained before. There was nothing I could pull out of my bag of tricks to save my performance today. It was woeful. I didnt hang around for the buns or the raffle or anything. I didnt feel like I belonged there.

The Greenbelt Half Marathon is in 2 weeks time. It starts from the same place as today's run but heads in the opposite direction. I havent checked the track but there's a bloody good chance it'll be much like today's, at least in the beginning for ???? long. Now I dont feel prepared or ready and am not sure what to do so as not to embarass myself on the day.


Thursday, April 01, 2010


Yesterday's 3km time trial was 18:20 because my legs were so friggin tired and my energy levels were LOW. So much for sub 18 which I'm sure I would have managed with fresh legs and some decent rest under my belt.

Tomorrow: 10km "Bun Run" with a goal of sub 65. Its a total fun run and not timed so I'll have my phone with the stop watch function to measure my time. Geez I'd love to report back to coach that I made this goal. Maybe the thought of tucking into the hot x buns at the end will enable me to run faster LOL.

Wish me well folks and watch this space for my "Bun Run Report".

Cheers and enjoy Easter.