I got the runs: Week 1 – 12-18 January 2015

From my usual running spot, the Durban beachfront, to a trail along the Umgeni River, to a treadmill and to a bowling green turned touch rugby field, it was a good week’s running. I covered 36.4km in six days, which was pretty decent indeed. It was also a week when I covered my first ever sustained hills (generally I run a flat route) — and got my ass completely kicked by them.

My runs from 12 - 18 January 2015.
My runs from 12 – 18 January 2015.

The week started with a 3.5km treadmill run, done in just under 23mins. It was steady and a nice way to get into the week. The mistake, however, was doing such a long run ahead of leg day — and to make matters worse, Monday was also my first day back at touch rugby with the Morningside Maulers (yes, that’s the name of the club. It’s awesome). The end result? My legs hurt like hell! And that set me up for a pretty difficult next few days.

The lesson: don’t sync leg day with touch rugby day.

Tuesday was the hill run. It wasn’t fun at all. I went with a mate Terry, who is my next door neighbour and was one of my groomsmen, and he basically carried me a lot of the way. Legs were burning from the day before and I had to stop and walk about half way through. Not my finest moment, but at least I have been introduced to hills.

One of the toughest runs ever. Introduced to hills for the first time. Lots of room for improvement.
One of the toughest runs ever. Introduced to hills for the first time. Lots of room for improvement.

Wednesday it was back to the Maulers, which went surprisingly well, before to short, slow treadmill run on Thursday to loosen the legs for my first ever trail run. The Thule Twilight Run Series is a series of runs (as the name suggests) that starts at the Kingfisher Canoe Club on the Umgeni River and goes for about 6km along different routes each time. It’s partially trail, partially pavement. It was an interesting experience, but one that I’ll definitely do again (next week, in fact). I need to learn some of the trail etiquette — like when to overtake, when to be overtaken, and how to deal with a single track — and I’m sure I’ll get a better time. I did 46mins, slower than the 45mins I was aiming for. But it was, nonetheless, good sweaty fun.

Friday was a 6km treadmill run, with my legs feeling surprisingly good. But it was this run that, I think, led to me having a very painful North Beach Parkrun on Saturday. I got a 29:42, but was hoping to beat last week’s 29:05.

So what did I learn?

Touch rugby and leg day don’t mix — Split the two up, if you want to survive the next few days. If not, it’ll really ruin the week’s run.

smart man

Hills are your friends — Not at first they’re not, but over time they will be. It hurts, it burns and it isn’t fun. But it’s worth it.

Nipple chafe is real — And it hurts. It really hurts. Especially when you spray Peaceful Sleep on them to keep the mosquitoes away. And especially when you run after getting nipple chafe. And especially when your work shirt rubs against them. In fact, nipple chafe is just really uncool. If you’re overweight, like I am, plasters are going to save you life, or your nipples’ lives anyway. That and Vaseline. Trust me on this one. Here are some tips from Runner’s World on how to prevent nipple chafe.

Nipple chafe. It's real -- and it hurts.
Nipple chafe. It’s real — and it hurts.

And that’s that for this week. Happy running.

This is the first of a weekly series of posts where I post about the runs I did in the week. The posts will go up every Sunday — not like you really cared or anything. All my runs are tracked on Nike+, find me there — username: matthewsavides.

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