Time flies when you are having fun.
It also flies when you are a father trying to juggle the thousand balls of parenthood.
The City2Surf seemed like it was so far away, but now here I am, one week away from the day. I’d be lying if I said I felt totally prepared, but I think I’ve done enough to give it a red-hot go! I have managed to run over ten kilometres for the first time in my life, which in its self is a huge achievement! Hopefully the excitement of the day will help me reach that magic 14 km mark.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. I have struggled with viruses that never seem to quit, and cold winter’s morning aren’t exactly the best motivators. But I have kept at it and I truly feel that the effort has been worthwhile.
The Final Practice
Yesterday morning I went for my final long run before next Sunday’s City2Surf race. I was aiming for another ten kilometre run, but it didn’t all go according to plan.
I was on the track extra early, because we had a packed schedule for the rest of the day. My alarm went off at 4.30 am and I was in Cronulla by 5. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the brilliant sky! There wasn’t yet a hint of the sun on the horizon, and the pitch-black sky was punctuated by millions of stars. I was tempted to sit on the beach and stare at the sky, but I had work to do.
The run started really well. I found a steady pace, thanks to the Amazfit Stratos (more on that below) and had my faithful Spotify playlist motivating me through the excellent Beoplay E8s. I can’t stress enough how brilliant this setup is, and how little comforts like this make long runs so much more enjoyable.
After four kilometres I stopped for a drink. There is a fountain handily located at the exact point that I turn around. It is in a particularly dark part of the run, and as I gulped down the refreshing water, I took a moment to appreciate my surroundings. The sky was still incredible – a brilliant reminder of my own insignificance in the grand scheme of things. Some people find that thought heavy and troubling, but for me it is the best way to relieve any kinds of stress that I am feeling. It is wonderfully grounding and a great way to regain perspective.
I turned and headed for home. I felt great, like I could run for hours!
Around the 7 kilometre mark, things started to go pear-shaped. My right knee suddenly began to feel weak. After about 100 more metres, it was obvious that continuing the run was a bad idea. The pain was building and it was not good. I stopped and tried to stretch it out, but as soon as I began to run again, the pain returned. I was done.
The car was about a kilometre away, so slowly I hobbled my way back. I had planned to run ten kilometres, but, thanks to a rare moment of forethought, I had planned the run in such a way that it could be cut short if needed.
What About the City2Surf?
Fortunately, I think I stopped before I did any major damage. Today my knee feels much better and there is no swelling. There is still a dull pain, but nothing too concerning.
I have done a little reading and it seems that the pain is most likely cause d by my running style. Specifically, I take too large a step. Over my next couple of small runs I plan to shorten my stride and see how it feels. Again, the Amazfit Stratos can help me here. It records statistics about cadence and stride length, so I should be able to get a feel for the changes I make.
I’m still confident that I can run the entire fourteen kilometres. My practice over the past few months has me feeling pretty good about my overall fitness and where I am at. I will just have to be mindful of my knee and make sure that I am protecting it throughout this week and during the run.
A Little Help…
There weren’t many people around Cronulla at 5am. If you have read my earlier posts on running, you will know that I have found that I tend to push harder when other people are about. When I’m by myself, I settle for slow and steady. Thankfully, my new fitness watch, the Amazfit Stratos, has a trick or two up its sleeve. The Stratos uses a range of sensors to monitor my run, and if it thinks I’m slacking off it flashes a message telling me to push harder. Brilliant!
The Stratos can also sense when I’m beginning to fatigue and it tells me to pull back a bit if it thinks I’m pushing too hard. I find this feature extremely useful. It should be particularly useful next week in helping me to manage my run when surrounded by 80,000 other enthusiastic runners. I plan to tune everyone else out and focus on finding my comfortable pace and rhythm. The reminders on my wrist will surely help.
The Week Before the Race
I’m no expert, so please don’t see this as advice in any way. I truly have no idea of the best way to prepare for a race and I’ve been too busy to do much research into it. My plan is to run my usual five kilometres on Monday (tomorrow), then three on Thursday and perhaps another three on Saturday. I really don’t know if that is a good plan, but at least it is a plan!
Ready or not… I’m running the City2Surf next Sunday.
A Little Help From My Mates (Product Disclosure)
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 headphones were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge, to use during training for the City2Ssurf. If I’m going to train for one of the best running races on Earth, I may as well use the best equipment!
Spotify has provided Blog of Dad with a Premium Spotify subscription to help motivate me. Nothing gets you moving better than a kick-arse soundtrack! Spotify Premium is the perfect partner to the Beoplay E8 earbuds.
The Amazfit Stratos is my new running watch of choice. It’s detailed data and onboard GPS & music make it a brilliant choice for casual and serious runners alike. Best of all, it looks great! The Stratos was provided to Blog of Dad, free of charge.
I use Tanita’s brilliant RD-953 Body Composition Monitor to monitor my inner fitness. It tells me all I want to know about the parts I can’t see. Tanita Provided Blog of Dad with the RD-953 Body Composition Monitor for the Mother’s Day Gift Guide.
I have been given complimentary entry into the 2018 City2Surf, to help inspire me on my fitness journey.
To find out more, read my disclosure statement.