Decision making on the run!

If you’re a runner, at some point you would have made a big decision during a run, either in consultation with one or more of your running buddies, or when a solo run gives you that clarity you’ve been searching for!

I heard somewhere that if runners ruled the world, there would be no wars. Everything would be sorted out during a long run, or the post-run coffee (which, if you’re doing it properly, lasts longer than the run itself!)
Sometimes decisions are made, sometimes a decision you’ve already pretty much made is confirmed.

The best part of the run!

A little while back, I was pretty close to deciding to change from the 6 hour event to the 12 hour event, when I mentioned to Beck during one of our weekday runs that I was “having second thoughts” about the 6 hour. She, of course, knew that couldn’t mean I was thinking about pulling out, and that it must mean I was thinking of doing the 12 hour. By the end of that run, I had 100% decided that was exactly what I was going to do.

It was during another of these morning runs that we discussed my thoughts of not running the Yurrebilla 56km Ultramarathon, given my lack of trail running this year. Again, by the end of that run, I had decided that I was going to email the volunteer coordinator to get my name on the volunteer list. To stop me from changing my mind!

And just a few weeks ago it was during a Sunday run that (after the coach put the idea in my head) a full week’s break from running would be a really good idea.

That break ended on Tuesday with a reasonably comfortable and steady morning run. Thursday I decided to change it up a bit and make one of my bi-annual appearances at one of the Sema4 WRG runs. I ran 10km and the last 2km was nice and fast, thanks to Chantal, using her run as a speed session, who stayed just far enough ahead of me to make me think I could catch her. I managed to pull out a 4:45 last kilometre, which I haven’t done in who knows how long!

I also went back to speed training on Friday for the first time in 6-7 weeks. 8 x 400 was a bit of a shock to the system and it wasn’t until about the 6th rep that I got properly warmed up and started doing some reasonably fast laps! There were only 4 of us runners out there (the 5:30am start on a chilly winter’s morning really sorts out the fair weather runners!) – just 3 fast guys and me!

I didn’t really have a set distance I wanted to cover on Sunday – somewhere between 14km and 21.1km. 14km because that is the distance of my next event, the City2Surf in 2 weeks, and I hadn’t run that far since the 12 hour (now 3 weeks ago!) 21.1km because I’d signed up to be a pacer for the Adelaide half marathon in 3 weeks. Beck was planning to run around 18km as was Nat, so I thought that sounded like a reasonable plan!

At first the run felt really hard! I kept looking at my watch and couldn’t believe how little distance we’d covered – it felt like it had to be twice that! Not a good sign!

And then I started chatting to Beck about my upcoming runs.

City2Surf I would be running regardless. I’ve booked my flights, organised accommodation, booked annual leave, and I’m pretty sure City2Surf doesn’t do refunds. I can either run it ‘properly’ if I think I can scrape in under 70 minutes and thereby retain my coveted red bib, or if I don’t think that’s going to happen, I can dress up and just run it for fun, like so many people do! It doesn’t really matter about the red bib anyway, as I probably won’t run it again, and if I do, I’ll have other runs I can use as evidence to be able to obtain a red bib. If I decide to run it ‘just for fun’ I’ll start near the back of the red bibs, well behind the competitors, to avoid a repeat of 2 years ago when a particularly ‘enthusiastic’ runner knocked me over at the start line!

But on the plus side, I did get to meet Superman!

Adelaide half marathon I was signed up to be 2 hour pacer. I hadn’t run 21.1km since the 12 hour, and I wasn’t going to get another opportunity to do the distance before the event. Sunday’s run was a bit slow – we did pick up the pace a bit towards the end so we finished with a respectable 5:45 pace, but at the time we were discussing it we were sitting on 6 minutes per kilometre, and I knew I was going to need to pull out 5:35-5:38 to run under 2 hours. And 6 minutes didn’t exactly feel easy!

Good times early in the run!

So the decision was made to pull out of being the 2 hour pacer. I might do the 10km (just so I get to run on the Adelaide Oval) but would not expect any great things.

And I also all but decided not to run City-Bay this year. That’s not till late September, but I can’t see me getting back to close to PB form by then. And if I can’t run WELL under 60 minutes, I don’t want to do it at all!

This week’s Sunday run featured 2 post-run coffees. The first one was at the Lion, where I told everyone about my plan for the Adelaide Marathon Festival. I’d enter the 10k (I have a free entry anyway, so if I had to pull out at the last minute, it wouldn’t cost me anything) and just run it for fun. Sure, I’d try to go hard if I could, but if that didn’t work out I’d just enjoy it!

After most of the runners had left (including Beck and Nat) a few of us went across the road to Cibo where the rest of the runners were. I like the coffee better at the Lion, plus you get chocolates with your coffee there, which just so happen to be vegan!) I got to chatting with Voula about my plans, and got as far as getting coach Kent’s phone number so I could give him plenty of time to find another 2 hour pacer, when somehow the idea was put in my head that I could pace 2:15 instead. I did some quick calculations and that is about 6:24 minutes per kilometre. Yes – I could definitely do that!

So by the end of second coffee I’d texted Kent to tell him I’d be the 2:15 pacer if they didn’t already have one (Voula had already told me there wasn’t a 2:15 pacer) and so I was back running the 21.1km again!
Funny how these things happen! You make a pretty firm decision during a run and pretty much reverse it during coffee!

Anyway, it’s great to be back running again and I’m looking forward to pacing a whole different group of people at Adelaide!