“Start where you are” and Half Marathon training!

Hi! Been a while! I went home up North last week and a good friend said, “it’s like you moved to Mars! How is it??” ahahahaha (Love you, Shelby!)

She was describing it like that in a good way, and I totally agreed with her. I moved to another planet to put my head down and work hard to get myself a new career! It’s been very busy, but not too busy to forget about my number one passion, which you all know is running. That being said, after that DNF at the Okanagan Marathon and finally addressing my IT band syndrome, I definitely haven’t been running as much as usual. AND THAT’S OKAY! I can see that now. Lol. #olderandwiser

I used to have this serious fear of losing any of the fitness I worked so hard to accumulate over the two years I worked with Lifelong Endurance. Due to student life, I don’t have a coach right now, but turns out that’s totally fine during this piece of life. As runners, we gain more and more knowledge about the sport and training as we move along, gathering experience through training cycles, races, rest periods and injury, etc. That’s really cool, but I find it equally as interesting when I think about all that I DIDN’T know in the past, and how much I still have to learn. This rest period has given me the chance to really think about this.

One thing I thought I understood (but totally didn’t) and believed I was respecting (but wasn’t at all) is the need for adequate recovery. I’ve brought this up before and here we are again. I’m talking about both recovery within a training cycle, as well as recovery between cycles. That little set-back after the Ok Marathon was something I really needed. Thanks, Universe! It’s also given me time to think about how fatigued I felt pretty much all the time when I was running six or seven days a week and how it really compromised the quality of my runs.

My fear of losing fitness left the building a while ago. Now that I’ve rehabbed my ITBS, taken it easy more than I have in years and done some planning with respect to my new life schedule, it’s go time. The concept of Start Where You Are is exciting, because I don’t really know.

After hearing my friend rave about the FIRST Run Less, Run Faster book and training program, I’ve decided to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar, this is a program based on three key workouts per week – a track workout, a tempo run and a faster-than-usual (for me) long run, and no other running. At least two cross-training sessions fill in the holes where easy running would usually be, and for me, it will be swimming and pool running. I think this will work perfectly with my schedule, and also being not-so-good at recovery runs. The three runs are pace-specific, based on one’s current fitness level. Which takes me back to the cliché quote “START WHERE YOU ARE.

What is my current fitness level? I actually don’t know! The first thing that happened when I needed a “recent” 5k or 10k time to select target paces for the half marathon training plan was… my ego chirped in and started making suggestions as to avoid running a fitness test.

“that 10k PR was only eight weeks ago…bump it down a bit”

“You can definitely run faster than that 5k PR during that long run fast finish last year”

“use that 10k time from six weeks back, it wasn’t the best race so it’s not overly optimistic”

“just guess, your goals are based on much more than current fitness”

No, no, NO! I’ve raced one 5k in my life, and I haven’t raced whatsoever since Thanksgiving, which was long distance. I don’t have any idea of what a 5k race effort would be today and I haven’t done any fast running since September. I took a few weeks off completely for injury and since have been running two to three times per week (usually very slowly), eating shitty, and I’ve only done a couple of vertical training sessions with P.A.C.E. when it comes to workouts. Because I don’t want to set myself up for frustration, disappointment or emotional abuse from the inner critic (that dick), I am going to do this honestly.

There is a really good chapter in the book called Realistic Goals. It is fantastic. Some of the things touched on are why/how exactly we establish the unrealistic goals we often do, how to set a realistic goal based on current fitness, how we often undermine our results (even when they’re impressive) and why selecting arbitrary, round-number finish time goals can easily fuck us over. So good!

So, my first track workout tomorrow for Week 1 will actually be the suggested 3 x 1600 (plus rests, plus math formula) to get an estimate of a 5k race pace. I might surprise myself, or I could be like, oh fuck…way too many Halloween chocolate bars. Who knows. But I want to follow the training program properly, and there’s always the option to reassess along the way!

I’m stoked to hit the track tomorrow, find out where exactly I’m at, and start from there. Yahoo! Who’s planning for 2019? I plan to run First Half in Vancouver on February 10th, which is 13 weeks away, and the 10k at the Tenacious Ten in April in Seattle. That’s it for now! Hope you’re having an awesome Fall!

Jamie xo

 

 

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PUMP up the JAMmie! – Week 11/16

Holy crap I was so sick all week. After the long run two Sundays ago, I thought I must be on the way back to normal since it went well, but I was wrong. Anyways, week 11 went alright and ended well! Five weeks out from Jack & Jill! Lifelong Endurance had me rest as needed, which is amazing.

Monday, June 18theasy day

6k easy run + strides in the heat 🔥

I figured since it was gonna be hot for Scotia it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do some running in the heat of the afternoon. I was so congested and feverish but managed and I thought the profuse sweating would help me detox whatever virus I had.

In the late afternoon Erin, Rheannon and I headed to Taylor lake for some more swim practice in open water. Solid swim.

Tuesday, June 19threst day

Sick day. Over night I got so much sicker! So annoying! I also had a VERY stressful day, which I will tell you about in another post. Just to get you curious, I am now going to a completely different massage therapy institute for school

Wednesday, June 20thhard day

Track attempt omg. The workout wasn’t huge, it was a race-week workout of:

  • 3k warm-up
  • 3 x [1600m @ 4:21/km, 3:00 rest]
  • 3k cool-down

Well that didn’t happen. The warm-up was fine, the first interval was a struggle and a tad slower than prescribed, and from there on I just did my best. My whole self was so lethargic and clammy. I’m glad I got out and tried though!

An afternoon lying low and I felt good enough to go to Butze for a very easy trail run for Global Sports Bra Squad Day! The real day is Sunday, but our official Prince Rupert meet-up was today! So awesome.

Thursday, June 21strest day

Road trip! We hit the road for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k. No scheduled run today! Relaxing with Jess for eight hours on the road, healthy snacks, a few little naps and then a decent sleep in Prince George. I needed that down day.

Friday, June 22ndhard day

We made it to Vancouver 😀

5k relaxed, 5k around half marathon pace was on schedule. I ran with my friends Karmen and Adam for the first half, then picked it up on the back half. Felt amazing and finally un-sick aside from a lot of snot.

Saturday, June 23rdeasy day

6.5k relaxed, and today relaxed was quicker than usual. Yessssss.

We spent the day walking around way too much (such a rookie move…oops) but napped before dinner and got to bed early!

Didn’t end up rocking the new Tracksmith crop that Karmen picked up for me in Boston, I am an over-heater and the thought of two layers and an extra inch of fabric was too scary 😂😂

Sunday, June 24thrace day!

I will recap this on it’s own! But in short, it was a great day!! Too warm for my liking but that’s the reality of a late Spring race! I missed my goal by 32 seconds which is highly frustrating, but I still ran a personal best in the half marathon distance!

After crossing the finish line, Adam was so kind to bring me my 5k bib so I could continue to the next starting line for my cool-down. LOL. I wanted another medal and some extra kilometers because…marathon training!

Jess did so well and placed in the top 10 in her age group for the 5k! Steph friggin won the race (not surprised)!

Back to training. I have work to do. Talk to ya soon with that race recap 😉

 

SUMMARY

WEEKLY MILEAGE: 66km

INJURIES/PRE-HAB? nothing to report

SLEEP? medium

NUTRITION BRAGS? first road trip where I ate healthy snacks and not all crap!

CURRENTLY READING: nothing right now, I’m in Vancouver!

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER(S): a half PR on a hot day, and feeling almost back to 100% health

NEXT RACE: Tyhee Lake Triathlon! July 8th!

2018 BMO Vancouver 1/2 Marathon!

Wooooo!! What a sweet weekend!

First of all, no travel delays! Yay for spring! I got to Vancouver on Friday around five and after some catching up with my BFF, we went for ritualistic Thai food with Becca and Tanner. And laughed our balls off.

On Saturday I got out for my pre-race run, which I love! Lifelong Endurance always schedules 20:00 of easy running followed by strides (I did four). This always leaves me feeling fresh and ready to run at pace.

Later that day I went to the expo at the Convention Centre and it was BUSY. I was surprised I had to wait in line just to get into the exhibitor area. If you get to Vancouver before Saturday, go to the expo earlier! I believe it was open since Thursday. It took about twenty minutes in the line, and once inside I was efficient and grabbed my bib/packet, went through the chip checker and then straight to the race shirts. The shirts have a sweet course map on the back! Too bad the little volunteer accidentally gave me a men’s, but I will chop it into something I like. I went to the RUNVAN booth because they inboxed me on Instagram that they had a surprise for me! A $50 gift card to Mahoney’s!!!! So grateful! This expo is sweet! If I had been in the mood for shopping around and expo’ing hard, this would have been a really good expo to do so! Before I left I grabbed a free transit pass (best thing ever for race morning) and the famous blue BMO gloves!

At 3pm myself, Jess (@forminfocus) and Rita (@chopsticksdiary) were hosting the WeRunSocial meetup just outside the Convention Centre at the Olympic Cauldron. We were there for about forty-five minutes and got to chat with a dozen or so people about what they were racing the next day and how stoked everyone was. I wish we took our photo before some of the others had to go!

the R balloon blew away before I even got there!

Next, back to home base (Sarah’s) for hard chill time. Got my kit ready for the next day, ate way too much food (dumb) and went to bed early. Look at my number! Anyone who knows about yoga will love it! The weather was supposed to be warm (so for me, hot) so Volee crop seemed appropriate.

I got up on race morning at 4:15, ate my quick oats, drank some Nuun and got dressed. I skipped coffee this time to see how that would go. Around 5:30 I headed out on foot with my gear bag and transit pass and jogged to the Round House Skytrain station from Sarah’s in the West End. I packed a long sleeve, hoodie, toque (just in case) and protein bar. Half marathoners are instructed to get off the train at King Ed station and then volunteers tell everyone where to go. I joined the sea of people walking towards the start in Queen Elizabeth Park and stayed relaxed along the 10-ish minute walk.

Once at the start, I checked my bag right away at the UPS truck that corresponded to my corral colour (indicated on the bib), hit the porto-potties and got to my warm-up. I did ten minutes of easy jogging around the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium, then drills and strides, and lastly some light stretching and leg swings. Then it was time to go to the corrals!! I was a bit thirsty and forgot my Nuun bottle at Sarah’s when I left, so that had me a little irritated but I promised to take fluids at every single aid station and moved on with my life. Lol.

While walking to get into the corrals I look over and I’m basically walking with my friend Mary. She was like, “hey” as if we’d been together the whole time ahahah! We had a hug and a good luck, and parted ways. I found out later that Mary killed her first half marathon!!!

In the corral I felt nervous. I saw Steph (@anygivenrunday, who’s fast as lightning) and immediately thought, oh my God why am I in the yellow corral? But then I thought, shut the f*ck up, brain. I’m in this corral because it corresponds to my estimated finish time, and I am ready to run faster than that! (Registration was months ago, I wasn’t sand-bagging, my fitness is just better than it was when I signed up!)

Ditched the throw away shirt and it was go time. The first 3k of this race is a huge downhill. Everyone seems to run fast. My race plan corresponded to an A goal of 1:44:xx and a B goal of 1:45:xx (plus other subsequent goals), and the 1:45 AND 1:50 pace bunnies were running way faster than me and I could see them up ahead. I told myself to not get sucked in anymore than I probably already was and run my own race.

Once crossing the Cambie Street Bridge into downtown, I could have done a better job of dialing it back. I still stayed present and aware of my body, breathing and heart rate, but I should have slowed down a tad. After the section by Science World and the little out-and-back was done on Quebec Street, it was time to make the left turn onto Pender through China Town. I was reminded that even though that hill isn’t massive or anything, it’s still significant. I slowed down and tried to keep things under control, then once the hill came to an end I picked it up a bit. It was already getting challenging to keep pace and I was only around 8k.

I took my first gel and registered that what I considered “section one” was done. Right on. At the 10k mat it was starting to feel harder than it should, and my legs just did not want to run faster than 5:05-5:10/km so I did a little surge to jog their memory and it seemed to help. Once we got into Stanley Park the shade was great but I was once again reminded that running at effort on those hills is very challenging. The last time I ran this was back when I didn’t have much experience and I definitely didn’t have an eye on pace!

Anyways, I definitely felt my lack of sleep (I don’t think I slept well for at least a week before this) and this is where I really had to start negotiating with my mind. Keep pushing!! Fight for what you want! Around here is where I planned to take a second gel – the caffeinated one. I literally forgot! I didn’t even remember this until like an hour after the race!!! Such an unfortunate mistake, it likely would have helped SO much!! No wonder I was fading.

When we got out of Stanley park back onto the Seawall and into the sun, there were 5k to go. I commanded my body to just get uncomfortable and find a rhythm. It kinda worked, with some ups and downs, but I was running out of energy. Missing my gel probably had SO MUCH to do with it! Argh! Live and learn.

The transition from the Seawall back to pavement is on a path, and I vividly remember running this part of the race in 2014, where I got a huge energy boost. I dug as deep as I could, and it really helped to see my Volee teammate Annie and the East Van Run Crew at the 20km marker!!! I forced myself up Denman and around the left turn onto West Georgia. I am almost done!!!!! Slight left on to Pender…and then…I saw on my watch 1:43:xx…OMG! Go, go, go!!!!! I FORGOT THE FINISH STRETCH OF THIS COURSE IS SO. FUCKING. LONG!!!!! First I thought, get there for 1:44!!! But then I realized how far I still was from the finish arch and it wasn’t possible, so I said GET THE 1:45!!! This was the first race I can remember where I had nothing left for kicking it to the finish. I could NOT run faster. But I made it!!!! 1:45:49!!!! OVERJOYED! Someone had SCREAMED my name as I was coming down the fan zone and I later found out it was my old buddy Joe! Spectators are unbelievably motivating!!!

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I saw Steph almost immediately after getting my medal (and then again after getting my gear bag). She nailed her race! The medals are awesome and have the same course map on them as the event t-shirts. Love! I got a juice box, water and a banana and doddled my way out of the finisher’s area to the half marathon gear pick-up. I was tired, but felt fantastic! Should have grabbed a bag of chips, too.

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Eventually, Sarah and I found one another and had the best slow-walk back to her place in the sun, planning our brunch and beach day with my cousin-in-law Hannah.

The rest of the day was spent eating, lounging and then meeting up with my old boss, the legend Serge, for dinner on the Mahoney’s patio! Sarah and I took the Aqua Bus back home across False Creek and that was pretty much the perfect day.

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I wish I had made it back to the finishing area to cheer in the full marathoners but my legs and problem ankle were not willing. Congratulations to everyone who ran the 8k, half marathon and full marathon!!!!

Here’s how I made out:

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BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend is the shit! Vancouver is spectacular as it is, and the courses for each distance offered are beautiful, scenic routes. The expo is big and exciting, the swag is great and the entire event is extremely organized. It’s easy to get to the starting line via the Canada Line, which is key. There are more than enough aid stations, great crowd support and an exciting finish line and street festival! The medals are always cool, too! I haven’t run the 8k before, but both the half and full marathon courses are great; some challenging hills but majority flat or rolling.

I had a great day this Sunday, and an awesome overall weekend. The plan is to be back again next year to run one of the races, depending on what’s happening in my running and school life at that time!

What does this mean for Operation: PUMP up the JAMmie? It means I’m on track! Coach Andrew says we’re right where we should be at this point. Now for twelve weeks of very hard work! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance! Next check-in race: the Skeena River Relay on June 2nd with my team, the Gooeyducks! Talk soon.

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PUMP up the JAMmie! – Week 4/16

Yahoo another race weekend! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance and Kristen, I’m ready!! Heading out to Vancouver today so I’ll let you know how the went next week!

Monday, April 30theasy day..

First a swim, then a Butze loop with my friend Pippa, and later, a session with Kristen! She kicked my ass as usual. I love how well she understands my running goals and how she supports them with the training she puts me through.

 

Tuesday, May 1sthard day

Tempo run! I (thought I) felt fine from the hard workout with Kristen and was pumped for this run!

  • 3k easy
  • 4k @ 4:58 – 4:46/km
  • 3k easy

It was going AMAZINGLY until I hit that fourth tempo kilometer and suddenly my whole body remembered the workout and I freaked out and stopped! Gah! So annoyed! Then I finished it off, but I supposed I’ve learned my lesson now – no hard gym sessions before hard run day…even if it’s just a little tempo run. My friend Bailey’s tattoo says “Knowledge is just a rumour until it lives in the muscle” ..it’s no longer just a rumour that I shouldn’t do a hard gym sesh the day before a harder run. LOL.

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Later, I went to Learn to Run to shake out my body and get in some extra (social) mileage. Ended up with ten more easy Ks for a 20 kilometer day!

Wednesday, May 2ndrecovery day

Felt sore and tired from Monday and yesterday so I started the day with 20:00 of yoga to get going.

After work, 45:00 swim.

This day was stressful for non-training reasons and I was so over it so that was it.

Thursday, May 3rdeasy day

7k aerobic in the evening, since I slept in AGAIN. Sleep has been shit all week!

Friday, May 4theasy day

6.5k aerobic

I headed out for this right after a nap and felt really sluggish. Kept my watch covered so I’d run by feel only, and ended up with a progression run that felt great once I was warmed up!

Heading to Vancouver now! Tomorrow is the usual pre-race run from Lifelong Endurance: 20:00 easy + strides. Might hit up the Friendship Run at the Running Room on Denman and get my run in there, and hopefully meet John Stanton! The WRS meetup is tomorrow too, and then race day on Sunday! Byeeee!

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PUMP up the JAMmie Day 25: BMO Half Marathon Plans!

I am stoked for this weekend! As I’ve mentioned in the past, I LOVE BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend and Lifelong Endurance and Kristen have me feeling prepared! No sugary snacks pre-race this time! This morning I was digging around on MarathonFoto for old race pics for comparison’s sake and found these gems

This was 2014 – my second ever half marathon, well before Lifelong Endurance was in the picture. The photo on the left is a bit misleading, as I actually had a great day. I improved by twenty-two minutes compared to the first half that I ran in San Francisco six months earlier with Team in Training!

These photos aren’t of the greatest quality, but I can tell that my face is puffy, I have big bags under my eyes and my body looks very different from today (and I’m not talking about running form). I was still boozing regularly at this time in life. The big improvements that tend to come at the beginning of a running journey, party animal or not, didn’t last long. I didn’t run a new personal best in the haf marathon distance for two and a half years after this. Not by coincidence, the new PR finally happened just about a year into sobriety. Obviously quitting drinking alone didn’t transform me into a better runner, but it has definitely been a game changer, along with a new level of commitment, experience and a fantastic coach!

I can’t wait to run this Sunday as the new and improved me! Jamie Komadina! That’s Wesselmania up there in the pics LOL.

Here’s the course we are lookin at, thanks to Strava:

I want to approach this race the same way as The Tenacious Ten; gradual progression, but plan for a more aggressive finish if things are going well. I felt like I had more in me in Seattle and I believe I can hold pace for five more kilometers. On Sunday, I plan to treat the first 3k as a warm-up and run by feel, not conservatively but keeping a close eye on my heart rate. Then, once across the Cambie Bridge and it flattens out, dial back a bit and “start” the plan, which is at this point:

  • Kms 4-10: smooth & controlled
  • Kms 11-16: applying some pressure but still controlled
  • Kms 17-21.1: progress to slay-mode

The weather is looking fine, body feels good and I can’t wait to see my friends in Vancouver, plus everyone who shows up for the #WeRunSocial meetup!

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Tomorrow the Week 4/16 recap will go up early, and then I’ll talk to you next week! If you aren’t running, think about it for next year. Here’s a little preview!

 

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Upcoming events & GOALS!

Yahoo! Can’t believe it’s already halfway through February! Life goes by fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with Winter…but it’s not my favourite season and I’m sure many runners would agree. I love cold weather running, but snow, ice and darkness can be very inconvenient!

I’m starting the Spring transition early this year. First, heading down south to Arizona to run my seventh full marathon. Then, March (which I consider Spring) has presented the opportunity for a local 5k! We say local here when it’s within say, a four hour drive, LOL. In April I have two races lined up, both which I have run before and love, so that’s exciting and fun for goal setting!

Here’s what I wanna aim for at this point in time, always keeping in mind that Coach might have other plans that come into play closer to the dates 🙂 Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for the readiness I’m feeling this early in the year!

Saturday, February 24th – The Sprouts Mesa-PHX Marathon!

I’ve mentioned it a lot in training recaps, I don’t have a specific goal for this race. My goal marathon is in July, so I really like the way this has me feeling relaxed about Phoenix.

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The course is fast, but from the dozens of reviews I’ve read, it’s (obviously) not just a nice jaunt down a mountain! For one, 42.2k is 42.2k! Apparently, the profile can be quite deceiving too, since the majority of the elevation drop is in the first half and then the second half of the race basically flattens out. There’s also the temptation to fly out of the gate on that initial downhill and be left with regrets later, so it will be a test of patience! The temperature could be a factor later in the race as well, especially for this Canadian. We’ll see what happens!

I’ve thought about covering my watch, but I doubt that will happen. The goal is to run happy, and push it in the second half if things are feeling good. Other goals are to stay relaxed, have fun and enjoy the cacti! IF the stars seem to be perfectly alignging, I will shoot for a 5:20/km overall pace. No matter what happens it’s going to be awesome to check out a new marathon event, and meet up with the PRO Compression crew!

Saturday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day 5k!

This run is in Terrace and hosted by the recently resurrected Skeena Valley Runners! OMG. The 5k. Also known as, in my brain at least, the scariest race distance. Pain train.

I’ve never raced a 5k! There was the Disneyworld 5k in 2017, but that wasn’t even timed. I just cruised along, saving myself for the rest of the Dopey Challenge. Last May I ran the 5k in the local race that I co-direct, but I don’t count that.

For this St. Patty’s race I’d like to run an overall pace under 4:40/km. Back in October I ran a twenty minute fit-test for Coach Andrew (in the dark, on the boring-ass track) – 20 minutes, 4.28 km, 4:40/km. This seems like a fair goal to aim for for the 5km.

Sunday, April 8th – The Rupert Half + 8k Road Race

Woohoo, favourite home race! Last year I had a great day, running my current half marathon personal best, and finishing third overall female. Yeah, it’s a small race, but I am very proud of that day. It’s an interesting course, and on a section of road that us locals run almost every single weekend, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it!

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The goal for this year is to improve my time on this half course, which would also lead to a new half PR! Currently sitting at 01:50:48. On the hunt for a sub-1:50! I’d like to be in the top 3 again, too!

*if you live around here and haven’t run in this event before, check out THIS post**

Saturday, April 21st – The Tenacious Ten in Seattle, presented by Oiselle

I. Love. Seattle! And this race! And we are going down with a #badassladygang of five of us! The race goes around Lake Union and the start/finish is in Gasworks park! AND it’s hosted by Oiselle! Last year I had a great day running the 10 mile distance, but I went out too fast and it haunted me a little in the last 5k. I’d say it was overall a pretty solid run, BUT, I know I can do better this year!

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Tenacious Ten 2017! Whitney & Justin are both running again this year!

The goal as of right now: 1:18:xx. Last year my “official” time was 1:21:36, but that was faster than what my Garmin said…and everyone else said their chip times were fast, too. My watch actually read 1:22:40. Regardless, I think with a more conservative start and the fitness I’ve gained over the last year, sub 1:20 will be mine, but I want to push for an average pace in the low 4:5x/km.

Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.

So, that’s what’s coming up in the next eight-ish weeks! Are you planning to run in any of these events? If so, let me know!

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