Last week’s blog post included the phrase: “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” Which makes life sound so black and white. Ergo does preparation equal success? Of course not. Success is a multi-faceted thing. As a friend and I chatted about this morning – we are all individual, and what one person deems a success, might mean something completely different to another. Being active teaches us this point time and again!
The phrase was looping through my mind during the Triple Trek on Saturday morning, when I decided to ‘only’ do two loops (20 miles) of the HURT race – rather than complete and finish the race, by running three loops (30 miles). Ultimately, how to finish both the Peacock 50k in October, and then the Honolulu Marathon in December is on my mind. The Triple Trek was part of the process, of preparing and testing the mind & body for the longer distances, and I learnt a few things in the process:
1. Running in the dark, with a head lamp – is great fun! Voices are amplified and concentration needs to be focused purely on the spot of light in front of you – intense.
2. Setting off at what you think is a moderate pace on a long run, is still too fast! Go slow-er needs to be the new motto.
3. Being able to run downhill ‘freely’ is where it’s at! There is an infamous section of trail named the ‘Hog’s Back’ – but with tired legs you start to think of new names…
Pre-dawn with head-lamps aglow, runners set off up the trail
The key to number 3 – running downhill freely, lays in the strength of all the stabilising muscles: the hamstrings, the quads, the core and the glutes. In the yoga tool kit there are many poses help to build leg strength, and core strength. But, I have weak glutes and have come to the conclusion that to be more stable, and more able to run downhill some additional training is required, such a single-leg squats (with or without weights). (Check out a great article about downhill running HERE on the Running Planet website if you’d like extra advice).
It does seem like there is so much to think about sometimes… core stability, legs & feet, mind & body, and wait, did I mention breathing? But yet, even in the middle of all the details and all the miles, there are moments that make you stop, and realise you do all this ‘activity’ for a reason. And when those moments occur, you realise, sometimes success is irrelevant.
Sunrise over the Ko’olau Mountains, Oahu, Hawai’i
This weekend there are Windward Half Marathon & 5km, in Kailua on Oahu. Which way will the wind be blowing is the big question? Will it be with the runners, or against over the final few miles? If I finish this race, I’ll be happy to let you know!
ps. Yoga for Runners will resume next week in Moiliili, after this week’s break for Labor Day.