It’s About Freaking Time! (aka What I’m Training For*)

*Please, someone, tell me how to rephrase this parenthetical into a short, snappy phrase that DOESN’T end in a preposition.  Please.

A pre-long run photo isn't exactly writing about it, is it?

A pre-long run photo isn’t exactly “speaking another word” about it, is it?

I made a secret promise to myself (and to you all) that I wouldn’t speak another word about my training until I shared what, exactly, I’m training for.  [There it is again.  Stupid preposition.  And in italics this time! GAH!]  In other words, why am I running 18 miles, and 18 miles on a treadmill, and 20 miles on vacation?  Well, besides the fact that I love running, there are some races in my future…some long races…









Hahaha.  You thought I was just going to TELL YOU, straight out, what the races are?!  HA.  You obviously haven’t been around here for very long.  There’s a story, obviously.  With me, there’s *always* a story (just ask KMN).

See, back in February or March, a relatively new running/blogging friend in Singapore (GCA) casually inquired about whether I might be interested in doing the Perth City to Surf Marathon.


The bait…

I’d spent the previous months rebuilding mileage after an IT band injury, acclimatizing to running in the tropics, and casually exploring some different races around Singapore (Green Corridor Run, Venus Run, Safari Zoo Run).  I told her I wasn’t really ready to train for a marathon.  I didn’t tell her I thought it was a little crazy for me to decide to travel to Australia to run a marathon with someone I’d just met online a month or two beforehand.

But. . .well. . . I was already scheming about what I wanted to do with the second half of 2013 and all of 2014, running-wise.  I knew a mileage increase was on the horizon.  I was easily holding ~25 miles per week, but really wanted to bump that number up over 40, which is a happy number for me.  For me, personally (not necessarily for you), this is when I know I have a sufficient base to train for…well, pretty much whatever I want.  I won’t go into details here, but I know that ~40-50 miles per week has been a pretty successful number for me in the past (albeit one I haven’t seen consistently for over a year).

And. . .well. . .GCA and I hit it off really well.  We went running a few times, and she didn’t seem like a dangerous sort.  In fact, she was smart, sarcastic, and funny, with a penchant for speaking directly.

And training for a marathon would encourage me to boost my mileage progressively and safely.

And five months was plenty of time to safely build from half to full-marathon distance.

And heck, when ELSE was I going to be living a five hour flight away from Perth??

But what really sealed the deal?  The average weather in Perth, in August, at 9 AM, is 55°F (13°C) and 75% humidity.  

Holy heck, can we talk about how fabulous it sounds to run at 55°F !?!?  All you Northern Hemisphere folks are in the throes of summer, so you understand.  And so, Perth Marathon entry: SOLD!

I wish there were more pretty pictures on the confirmation page, but alas...nope.

I wish there were more pretty pictures on the confirmation page, but alas…nope.

And so, six weeks from tomorrow, I’ll be toeing the line in Perth.  🙂

My goals for the race are (for me) modest – and remember that I’ve been working toward them since April, even though I didn’t register until June and didn’t share with you all until July:

1. Train safely and stay healthy:
I seem to have the heat thing under control, except for some chafing issues.  Hydration has been good for at least six weeks now, thanks to Nuun and salt tabs – no evening headaches in weeks.  No sign of March’s plantar fasciitis, and I’ve been careful to keep calves and feet stretched.  My hips and IT bands often demand the foam roller, but as long as I obey, they stay happy.

2. Build weekly mileage:
Working progressively (a few miles/week at a time), with periodic drop-back weeks, I’m up into the 35-40 mile per week range.  I’d like to be a smidge higher, but I’m feeling good, and that’s most important.  On the weeks of my really long runs, I’m on the higher side; lower mileage weekends are a tad lower.

3. Be my own guinea pig: Train in the heat, and race in the cool:
Lots of Singaporeans train in Singapore, but run marathons in cooler places – for obvious reasons.  The heat takes a toll on a runner’s pace – but just how much faster of a marathon can a person race, vs what they he/she trained for, when the aerobic pressure of high heat and humidity are lifted?  Lots of people talk about slowing down in the heat.  What about speeding up in the cool?  What can the muscular and skeletal systems handle for 26 miles?  A sample size of 1 is not very high, but I have to start somewhere.  More on this another time.

4. Run a smart, solid marathon:
This isn’t a BQ attempt.  Not even a covert one.  I’m not yet in shape to train for one of those at the moment.  One day, one day.  But for this round, I’ve chosen a goal time that will keep me moving, but won’t kill me.  Given my current training, it’s quite achievable, and will help me prepare for another race I’ll be running in October.  But more on that in another post.

For now – Perth City to Surf – I’m coming for you!  And I can’t stinkin’ wait. 🙂

Can anyone help me with those sentence-ending prepositions? Anyone???

Ever choose a race location for favorable weather?

Do I have any readers from Perth?  In Perth?  Near Perth?  Who’ve been to Perth?  
Speak up now, I need your expertise: Where to stay? Where to eat? What to do (besides run)? Talk to me!!!!

28 thoughts on “It’s About Freaking Time! (aka What I’m Training For*)

  1. Amy @ Writing While Running

    YAY! How many marathons have you done? I have absolutely chosen races based on weather, climate, and altitude. Fall marathon in Maine at sea level after training in CO in the summer was the best decision of the year 2010. Hands down.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Until this training cycle, I’ve trained for two other marathons – although I busted my ankle shortly before one, so I actually only *ran* one. And that one was with my husband (ie, we agreed to run TOGETHER), but were deferentially trained (I was more prepared than he was) – it was one of the more frustrating moments of our marriage. 🙂 In short, I’m overdue for a few marathons. 🙂

  2. Debbie @ DebRuns

    “The race for which I am training” doesn’t sound the least bit contrived or snooty! 🙂

    Based on what you say about the weather in Singapore, I think favorable weather is the best reason for you to choose a race location! Can’t wait to follow along your training!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Thought about that…quickly dismissed it to stick with the preposition-ending instead! 🙂

      I usually prefer racing closer to home, but living in Singapore…there’s a distinct advantage to finding a cooler place!

  3. Kim

    Preposition problems:
    Perhaps “This is it”? Or “Training time”? Yeah, I tried… Ending with prepositions is a Jersey thing. I do it A LOT.

    My students do a project with peer reviewed journal articles. One of my students has chosen PRP injections for treatment of PF. I’m excited to see what she comes up with. Anyway, glad it’s not bothering you!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      I’ll (jokingly) blame NJ for a few of my sometimes-less-desirable character traits, but I don’t think this one qualifies. It’s a habit English teachers everywhere are fighting, I think…

      Interesting choice for her. Is she a runner? 😉

  4. Meagan

    Finally you spill the beans!

    Re: ending in a preposition (hopefully I don’t offend you with this!). When I was a kid I had a bad habit of ending sentences or statements in “at”. My Dad use to always tell me “never end a sentence in a preposition” and to fix that he always told me to add the word “asshole” after “at”, haha. No worries… I was at least 10 before he started teaching me mild swear words. 😉

    1. Holly KN Post author

      I know, I know…

      Your Dad is hilarious. I got that idea from his comments on your blog (have I mentioned that I LOVE that he comments?), but this just seals the deal. And seriously, if you want to offend me…you’re going to have to try A LOT harder than that. 🙂

  5. misszippy1

    That’s so awesome! Very excited for you. I LOVE Australia–when I was there I did a 35k trail race and had a ball.

    You have a very smart approach to training and I’m quite sure that drop in temp/humidity is going to pay off in spades for you.

    I HATE ending sentences in a preposition…my daughter has recently picked up on the habit of saying “at” at the end of sentences and it is sending me through the roof!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      It’ll be my first trip to Australia – I’m pretty excited myself. Husband & I LOVED New Zealand, so looking forward to exploring its “neighbor”. Or at least, one tiny fraction of its neighbor. Australia is HUGE!!

      Sorry for the preposition ending, then. Just ignore that bit. [I never said I was an English major… ;-)]

  6. Jean

    “The race for which I’m training,” obviously! Which also sounds totally ridiculous. Or “Why I’ve been training.” “I’ve been training for this race I’m going to run. Let me tell you what it is.” Or, simply, “MY RACE.” Okay, I’m done. Clearly I should leave post-naming to the pros.

    As for the actual topic of your post, congratulations!! Might I ask WHY you didn’t want to tell us what you’re training for? Were you waiting for your training to progress, or to register for the race? Whatever the case, given the long runs you’ve already done, it sounds to me like you’ve got some solid training in the books! I’m so excited to hear how it all goes! And I’m especially excited because we only have to wait a few more weeks instead of an entire training cycle to hear about it. I guess that’s one benefit to keeping it a secret.

    Also, I started reading GCA-thanks for the introduction! Well-written blogs are my kryptonite.

    1. Grace

      Gotta agree with Jean here – ‘Why I’ve Been Training’. Or ‘My next race’? (It should go without question…considering all these 18 milers… that you ARE in fact training for a thing.)

      Also, EEEEEE!! Now it’s public. 🙂
      PS – Jean – welcome! 🙂

      1. Holly KN Post author

        Ha. It’s been public to YOU for awhile. 😉

        And Jean just trained, Hanson’s style, for a marathon. OK, granted, she obsessively followed the training plan, but still. Worked pretty well for her… *mini pep talk*

    2. Holly KN Post author

      Bingo. Next time, it’s MY RACE.

      Why didn’t I tell you? Good question. For awhile, because I wasn’t sure I was going to run. GCA started suggesting it back in March, so I sketched out a plan for myself. Then, I hemmed and hawed, tested out my PF and IT bands on some longer runs, and obsessed about traveling to race (which I don’t actually like to do). But I kept doing the runs, kept feeling good, and started worrying about how I was going to get around Perth and where I’d stay (note slight attitude shift…not “if” but “when”…). I still worried about getting too aggressive with my training (if you haven’t figured it out, I’m a pretty cautious runner/coach), then found a solution to that problem (another announcement).

      GCA was very patient for awhile, then finally said: “Holly, you know you’re talking like you’re running.” And I realized that if the race sold out, I’d be really bummed – so I guess I did kinda want to run. So on June 7, I finally registered. I still felt a little superstitious about sharing, but was also caught up writing other, more “timely” posts (training updates, etc.), then distracted by my US trip, blah, blah. Finally, I realized if I didn’t write the post soon, I’d practically be running the damn race before I posted about the fact that I WAS running it.

      Finally, although the marathon distance is a big deal, I’m keeping this pretty low-key for myself. It’s a small step in a larger training plan/goal, not a target/highlight/all-my-eggs-in-one-basket race – so keeping things mellow suits me better.

      If you like well-written blogs, then what the HECK are you doing over here? 😉

  7. Kristen L

    I’m excited for you!! I love Australia. I have never been to Perth, but stayed in Melbourne, Sydney, and on Tasmania for 6 weeks, two separate times. I think it will be good to do the marathon in cooler temperatures. I’m interested to see how the cooler temperatures affect your time.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Honestly, the experimentation with warm training/cooler racing is a primary motivation for this race. I’m experimenting with a few different ways to figure out a smart pace for myself on race day; I didn’t get into much detail here, but will talk more about this in another post. As often as people experience the opposite problem (racing in hotter-than-normal conditions), the reverse hardly gets discussed. Living out here is teaching me a lot about heat training. Nice complement to 6+ years in upstate NY!

  8. Jules

    Woo yes! That is so super cool! Sounds like you’ve got a good plan going. Unfortunately never been to Perth in all the times I’ve visited Aus so no suggestions.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Oooo…so close! Will just have to look elsewhere for Perth help. 🙂

      [But…a trip to London is also in the works, *fingers crossed*. Perhaps we can add another Blogger Meet-Up to our blogging resumes? 😉 ]

  9. Allee @ Griselda Mood

    So I bought a graduation card for my cousin yesterday and I think it can help you here…

    On the cover were two girls in their graduation gowns. One of them was saying, “Where is your graduation party at?” and the other one said, “Do not end your sentences with a preposition.”

    ::Open Card::

    Same picture of the girls with the one now saying, “Fine. ‘Where is your graduation party at, bitch?'”

    So there ya go!

    Also, happy you spilled beans. I’m excited to hear about you training now that it’s official!

  10. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    Yayyyyy!!!! So exciting!! That sounds like PERRFFEECTTT racing weather. So jealous. I think you left DC and forgot to pack your swampy hot weather. 95 degrees and 80% humidity today? Blech. I’ll take Perth, thank you very much!

    Can’t wait to hear more about your training!!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Hmmm….the last two days, at least, have been rainy and cool(ish). Maybe I *did* leave some for you. Sharing the love, sharing the love…

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