Crank-e 5k: 16/9/18

What can I say?
This was one of my best runs.
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After Ross and being under prepared I got myself sorted and in two weeks turned it around.
While 5km is not long it is a fast run, and I wanted to feel confident on the flat loop and be able to push myself.
I have revamped my strength workouts and sorted my week into something that resembles organisation.
When I injured my ITB the physio gave me some exercises to help strengthen and repair. After doing these and a couple of extras I found my speed increased and it felt easier. While easier is not the best word, with my glutes being activated properly as well as the other things, I felt I could get more done with less work. Ok, that sounds odd to say it like that (as I talk it in my head while I type), though I think you may get the idea. The fitter you are, the better your body works, then you can do more without feeling like you are working as hard.
So I have started these workouts again, re-assessed my diet (and being stricter on it) and in a week I feel so much better all over.
I have set it up in 4 week lots after reading this:
It takes 4 weeks to notice your body changing,
8 weeks for your friends to notice,
12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.
Give it 12 weeks.
Don’t quit.

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I digress, this post is about today’s run.
There were loads of people, as usual, it’s a fast fun race that is supporting our main hospital.
Mr 14 came with me to do the 2.5km run while I did the 5.  The first lap was getting a rhythm and finding a place in the crowd. I had a shadow with me the whole way till the turn around point, cruising easily (well, it looked that way) where we went our separate ways – me pushing him through to the finish. I felt good, not too niggly or sore, although a mouthful of water would have been nice, even just a splash.
The second lap I concentrated  feeling good and not looking at my watch. I wanted to run comfortably – if a pb was to come then it would be – within reason. I thought that as I come up to the last 500m I would check and see how close I was.  I had passed the 27.30 pacer early on and wasn’t sure how close he was after that. I did think he was right on my tail though.

I didn’t want to jinx myself by checking my watch. I looked at the half way mark and was happy knowing I’d paced my son to a good time, then not again til after I had finished. I felt the buzz at 4k and said ‘do not look, do not look’.
As I came around the corner and headed down towards the final turn my ears pricked up at the announcer mentioning the 25 min pacer.. holy shit., really, I’m going that well. I made the turn and then grinning like a mad man (and hopefully not looking too crazy) pushed myself to the finish.  I glanced at the clock as I passed and fist pumped as I crossed the line knowing I’d done a major pb. Fingers crossed the picture looks alright.

Overall I was super happy with this one, well run, finishing strong and happy.
Train well,  train hard and run happy,  Jennifer

 

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Ross 10k – 2/9/18″

It’s been a week since and I’m only just getting around to posting this. I’d actually forgotten, being busy with work and trying to calm my quad.
I’d done the training but missed hills and strength. Ok, so all I’d done is some running. I arrived on the day half an hour early, perfect time really. Having been here before I knew where everything was and what to go was.

Grabbing my bib I head to the toilet – standard practice really. This year they had a 2km race for the kids so we registered Mr 14 and headed out to stretch and listen to the usual pre race talk.
As we set off I aim to go slow and cruise, knowing my leg would niggle pretty quickly before I settle into an easy pace.
The turn around is further along than I remember and I’m starting to hurt.
By the second kilometre I am feeling ok and start the turn for ‘the hill’. I get up it ok, walking just a super short bit before taking the down hill and grabbing a drink at the 3km mark.
I call out and wave to hubby and Mr 14 at the drinks station and continue on.
The roads are so long and flat that it feels like it takes forever but my watch buzzes 5km at 27 min, and I head out again for the second lap.

I’m cruising along, still feeling the pain in my leg and notice at around the 9k mark that my watch has died.*
I kind of pick up the pace as I head down main street, but that last corner and heading to the finishers chute is what does it for me.
They call out names where they can, and I hear mine. I’m smiling all the way and there is a good picture or two (yay!) of me finishing.

I glance at the clock and think that I’ve blown my time by 2+ minutes so don’t worry about it till the next day.
Imagine my surprise when I see I missed my PB by 90 secs. If my watch was still alive I would have definitely pushed to try for 3 pb’s in a row. Had my watch not die when it did, I would have been able to push myself just that little bit and get another pb. Aaah, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I would have yo say I am pretty happy with this result despite going in under prepared.

Mr 14 oh so closely missed his dream of 10 mins for 2k by 2 seconds. His goal for this weekend’s 2.5k race is to get it in 12 mins.

*my watch had been giving me grief all week. It wasn’t holding it’s charge and it felt like I was hooking it up every day. Finally realised that one of the charging pins was all out of whack, so straightened it up and bingo…watch is charging once again. Thank fook for that. Didn’t need the headache that could have caused.

Train hard, train regularly, don’t miss the important things, Jen x

Favourite run vs favourite medal

What makes a race your favourite?
The crowd support? Your perfect weather conditions? Having a good mindset the whole way through? Getting a PB?
Each race has its own story which almost makes them all memorable – for different reasons. Sometimes it can be hard to make a choice and if i tried to do this last year it would have been hard. Not so much this year.  There is a definite winner for each for this year.

Favourite race this 6 months: It has to be my last one. Launceston 10 – pb, great atmosphere, well organised, not too crowded at any point from start to finish, I ran it strong and comfortably, my mind was good to me (not crazy negative talk)

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Nearly there.

Does your favourite race come with your favourite medal?
Unfortunately mine doesn’t. I’m going to pick 2 medals – 1 virtual race and 1 actual race.
My virtual races are usually done over a week or more and are what I would consider a training run for any other purpose. Actual races, are…well, actual races with lots of people which changes everything when you normally run on your own.

Favourite medal this 6 months:
Virtual – Run like the Wind. My windmill for organ donors, turning obstacles into opportunities.  This medal has become the key feature for my next tattoo, I love the shape, and design. Simple but detailed. More on that another day.

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Actual – Cadbury. It’s my third medal of the  four Cadbury runs and while different from the last two years is just perfect – purple with a map of Tassie.

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Post run smiles with my bling and bag of chocolate

 

What is your favourite medal and race?
What is it that makes them a favourite?

Keep training, running and being active, Jennifer

 

 

What does a runner look like..?

Over the last 3 years I’ve discovered a lot about myself, what a runner looks like and what a runner actually is.
In a nut shell, a runner is someone who runs. Fast or slow, smooth, elegant or like a baby giraffe. Large or small, it doesn’t matter. So long as they are moving forward in a running type gait, then they are a runner. You are a runner whether you do 5k in 15 mins, 30 or over 60. If you do it regularly, then you are a runner.

This is prompted by a conversation I had a work last week. A lady came in who does a lot of sports and is pretty fit, she coaches a netball team, all her kids are into sports and every year she tackles the infamous Point to Pinnacle half marathon in November.
My friend and work colleague had thought she was a runner we often see up and down the street early in the morning and I scoffed and said ‘no way’. I was right but what she said to us when I asked ‘are you a runner?’ blew me away.
She says she can do 10k but is not a runner.
You say what..?
I insisted that if she could do that then is most definitely a runner.
Her explanation for why not was because she is too heavy in the midsection – hello me, and so many other women – and that she goes so slowly.
I replied that no matter what she is still moving forward so a runner she is.
Then came the cruncher. The part that really got up my goat.
The part that screams why so many young (and not so young) women don’t start up the sport for health or fitness, or from lack of self-esteem.
“my dad was a marathon runner and said if I ever wanted to run them then I had to lose like 20kgs..” 
I couldn’t believe my ears. This is a woman is tall but not by any stretch of the imagination to be over weight or unfit enough to run a marathon.  
This one sentence perpetuates the myth that a runner has to look a certain way and run at a certain speed.
She may as well have said “..
that to be a runner, is to perform at the elite level. Anything less and you’re not serious enough…”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
There is only a tiny percentage of people in the world who are at that level, and an equally tiny percentage (I do believe it’s the 1-percenters) that have run a marathon.
How do we get across to people – including the donkey who scoffed at my hope of getting under 5hrs for a marathon one day – that a runner comes in all shapes, sizes and speeds.
Given that most of the general public couldn’t run 2 kms let alone 5, the woman above is most definitely a runner. Big hips or not.
I have had customers ask ‘was it you I saw jogging last night?’ or similar, and while the term jogging irks me, at least they are complimentary on the fact I am out there being active. Especially as one person put it ‘…after you run around in here so busy all day and then go and do that..’ My after work running is just like their trip to the pub. A routine that makes us feel good. Others have said, ‘good work out there’ and ‘you do a lot of running, I see you every time I go out’.  It’s interesting how differently people see the act of running compared to a team sport. Team sports are fun. Running is boring.  I see it simply as everyone is out there running around (after balls, with sticks or bats) and having fun, keeping fit.
We need to teach our kids that running (and all other sports really) is good for the soul, and body. Talk to any group of women and they will tell you that running is their therapy, it clears their heads, helps them be better wives and parents. I know that no matter how achy I feel the next day, running makes my day job easier and my head is clearer.
The important thing here is that while size is not and should not be a deterrent to exercising, the less weight you carry around makes things a whole lot easier. I know I feel the difference between now and when I started 4 years ago, nearly 10k heavier. I have more control over my body and can manoeuvre it in ways I never used to be able to.
So, no matter your size or fitness, get out there and give it a go.
If you say you’ll get fit before you go to the gym or start running then you have missed the point. How do you think those fit people at the gym started??
Getting out there are starting is the hardest part but also the easiest. Keeping on going when you want to stop is what sets us apart from everyone else.
Be fit, be strong, be You.
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Launceston 10 – 3/6/18

There’s the point in each race, at the starting corrals where you think “what did I sign up for”
There’s the point in each race just after the gun goes off where you think “what am I doing”
There’s the point in each race near the half way mark where you think “I can do this”
There’s a point in each race near the end where you think “are we there yet?”
There’s the point in each race where you turn that last corner and think “I can see the finish, make it strong”
Then there’s the point in the race where you realise you’re not just going to get a PB, you’re going to smash the last one.

That’s the point when you realise that the hard work was worth it, the strength workouts, the consistency in your training. It’s all down to this last two hundred metres.
You smile and keep pushing along, not rushing, following your new ‘no-pressure’ plan. You cross the line with a grin a mile wide and fist pump yourself, knowing you did it. Knowing it was quick even though there were points where your legs felt like lead. Where you thought your lungs would pop.
When you pushed through the stitch from gulping too much water.
When you pushed up that last hill on tired legs, willing yourself to not stop and walk. Where you round that corner and saw the finish line ahead.
Kept the pace even and steady.
Smiled the whole way,  not having that ugly ‘I’m about to poop I’m working so hard’ look captured for eternity by the photographers.
Crossed the line and hugged your husband and kid, giddy with the knowledge of a fast run.  Medal around your neck you get the obligitory picture and head back to your hotel.
You then struggle out of sweaty clothes for a shower, snooze several times in the car on the way home, then get that need to #eatallthefood. All the sweet food.

I had such an amazing time on this run, there was a quiet confidence about my pace, and how I felt.  I was striding out well, I was running so comfortably and strong.  I didn’t feel too tired at any particular point. There are definite tired points in any race, but my training is working out the way I want – giving me more in the tank once I’m finished, and helping me feel stronger for the duration of the race.  The next 3 months are going to be full of hard work before my next race. I am hoping for good things. I want to get stronger and more consistent.
I have only ever bought the complete package of my race photos once, and that was for my only to date interstate run at GCAM. I’ve done it again though. All the pictures were so good. No ugly faces, a little bit of struggle picture, a wry smile as I head to the finish line, that big grin as I’ve crossed the line. I like them all.

Keep chasing that PB, it’s worth all the hard work.

 

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Rounding the last corner – the end is in sight!
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Nearly there.
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Yes!! OMG I did it. So glad to finish. Gun time on left, net time on right. Massive PB acheived.

 

 

 

Couples goals

Hmm, you say what..?

I keep seeing the hashtag attached to perky pictures of couple at races or the gym.
I hear within other conversations that said couple does everything together (or most things fitness orientated).
I roll my eyes at these things.
I have this weird feeling about the term #couplesgoals.
Look, I am not against couples going out and getting fit together, or enjoying a mutual activity.
It’s about the giving it a name. As though that makes it all the more exciting, or it’s something we all need to strive for.
Poo bah.
For me, and I say this regularly to my husband whenever it comes up – my only couples goal is that we are happy together.
We love being with each other, we love going out and doing things. It’s what couples do. Why should I give it a name.
He supports my running no end – gets up early, drives me to races, hangs around up to two hours longer than said race and drives me back home. All with a smile and no grumbles, loads of hugs and beautiful words.
Because that’s what couples do.
I get up at stupid o’clock and drive him to work when he has to work away (single car family) with no grumbles, and small smiles (due to said stupid o’clock). Because that’s what couple do.
If he wants to go out with the boys on the motorbikes, or with mates for whatever reason – I am booting him out the door.
Because that’s what couples do – they are independent people who love each other but can equally survive without needing to do all things together.

That’s my thoughts on this whole #couplesgoals thing.
What are your thoughts – Yes or No.

Do you walk when you run..?

A quick question. It is asked all the time for various validation purposes.
If you walk during a running race does the distance still count?
If you want to complete a certain distance then you have to run the whole thing?
I’m not doing a marathon until I can run the whole distance.

Yes, No and if that’s what rows your boat.

Does it really matter if you take a short walk break?
Does it make you any less of a runner?

NO and NO

I put these questions out there after a conversation I had the other day with some other runners and also reading about those who worry about whether they are real runners or not.
If you are out there running, slow or fast, then you are a runner.
If you want to take a short breather then go for it. It’s your body, you know how it feels and performs.

Kudos to you if you can run a distance without stopping – no matter how long or short it is. That’s called dedication and major stamina. I certainly don’t think any less of you of you walk sometimes, or can’t do a half or full marathon without the odd walk break.
Hell, my last flat half I walked each of the water stations and still got myself a decent pb. And don’t try telling me I am not a runner.

As for the comment about not wanting to do a marathon until you can run the whole distance – well, that’s entirely up to you. I find it’s putting too much of an expectation on yourself, and feeling the need to push too far. This is for the layman runner – the elites, well they run marathons in their sleep. I only mention about the expectations because you never know what can happen on race day. All your training might go super well and on the day it falls apart. You are then majorly disappointed in yourself instead of saying ‘I did it! I ran a marathon!’
I ran a marathon, even though the last 5kms were more of a walk-shuffle, I still did it. I never expected to run the whole way, I followed my body. I never once thought ‘I have to run the whole way’.

My thoughts on it. If you run then you are a runner.
Fast or slow, you are a runner.
5k or 100k, you are a runner.
Take walk beaks occasionally, you are a runner.

So, run or walk and have fun, as you are all lapping everyone on the couch.

Jennifer

City 2 Casino 11k (7k)

It was all going well until it wasn’t.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it all falls in a heap.
And sometimes it gets all muddled up.
Which is what happened for my last race.
I was all over the training, and then I was over the training.
Life and general busyness got in the way and my training fell somewhat by the wayside.
The plan was written up, the first two weeks went well and then I just got sick of it. I spose it got to feeling too much like hard work. My aim for any race these days is to have fun and finish the distance.
Now I know I can do a 10K distance, I’m not overly fussed about getting too much faster – because I am having fun at this speed – I want to just run.

I keep up with running several times a week and incorporating several stretch or gym sessions as well, and feel reasonably confident heading into Sunday’s run.
Then it happened.
Sunday morning started like any other race day, a few nerves, several trips to the loo and then settling in to the inevitable of what would happen.
We got to town and I randomly checked my phone only to have a message pop up from a friend.
Our race was cancelled.
A burst water main had exploded all over the highway where we were to be running.
……What was this… A bad dream, a sick joke…
I quickly got onto Facebook and… No, the same news was all over my feed.
11k cancelled and we are to do the 7k instead.
Holy Moses.
I wasn’t prepared for 7km.
Now you might think that being a shorter race meant it would be easier and all that. But I find it’s a whole ‘nother mind set. Seven is a squidge past 5 so I am more likely to run it faster. Ten is a long run and I work on the first 2-3k to get into a rhythm and settle into pace.  Now I had to push it quick and with an uphill start.
I told my friends – when questioned on my thoughts of time – I don’t really train this distance so I’d try around the 6min pace mark and go from there. Just play it by ear.

This was a tough one for me, I think I let the mental get a hold of my head and it put me off. Well, I put me off really.  I decided to ‘run to feel’ which worked for most of the way. I still pushed harder than I would on a ‘run to feel’ and I’m glad I did. I felt really good after finishing and was so proud of my consistent pace. I suppose it helps that I enjoy the 10k and it’s a comfortable distance. You need to train but not too much, and it’s over relatively quickly.

All in all it’s a good result and it now means I can wait another year or two before I do the 7 for real. While properly training for it.

Keep the training going, be strong.  Jen

2km to go. Getting tired.
Oh my, the last 50m is in sight, time to smile and actually look like I’m enjoying this.. I did, really.

Carbs are back

I’m not sure exactly what it was.
I’m not sure whether it’s all in my mind.
I’m not sure if I was just having a bad week or two.
What I am sure about though is that the small intake of carbs between Thursday and Sunday certainly contributed to my increased performance over the weekend.

My last post described how I was feeling all at a loss about whether the low carb was right or not, and my thoughts on adding in small amounts of carbohydrates.

For those that may not have seen my latest Instagram posts, on the weekend I smashed my runs, without even trying. Actually I was trying harder to not go all out.  Not be too fast. Even on the downhills which are my favourite.
After a horridly hard treadmill run on Friday night – a piddly 3.5kms – I whipped arse on 7.5km Saturday, and 12.2 on Sunday. What’s even better, I did the 12k in record time, fairly easily, with a few stops. I’m feeling it now for sure, but to me that’s the sign of an awesome run, ran hard.

My thoughts now.  Low carb to the point of Keto or similar is not for me.  I will be low car, not next-to-no carb as I was.

So my running mojo and action improved drastically. How about my other feelings?  They are on a high also. I’m feeling much more comfortable with my decision after seeing for myself how my body reacts.  I had gotten to the point where I wasn’t believing that I would finish my next race.

Keep you posted, train well, and be safe.

8 weeks – time to re-assess

Its been 8 weeks and I’ve discovered I need to change where I’m going with lchf. It might seem a bit ‘oh I love this, its fantastic’ one minute and the next ‘ugh, feel like shit, it’s not working’, I see that. I am in both of those camps right now. I figure eight weeks is enough time to settle into a new routine and suss out what and where it’s doing and how to change it, if needed.
I do feel fantastic. There are little things that are so good. There are also things that I feel I am doing wrong.
I do feel ugh. So very tired (and I’m not any more tired from work that I was when I began this).
My running was great initially. I felt light and fit. Now I feel like my legs are giving way, no matter how much I have stretched or relaxed they just don’t want to move – which then drags my body down. I know it is all mind over matter. The body will do what the mind tells it. But can the body tell the mind what to do?? I need to push through, to say, “it’s all good, I can do this, get moving”.  Sometimes though it’s just not that easy. You have to listen to your body.
By listening to what it says, it’s all about the fuel you put in to what you can get out of it.
I was so happy with this new way of eating that I went all in, I embraced the change, loved reading labels to say ‘no more of this, that and the other’.  I realised a couple of days ago, that part of my physical feelings is the lack of certain foods.
I don’t think I’m eating enough fats. I’m definitely not eating enough of the good veges, and I may have gone too low on the carbs for what my body requires. I know I haven’t been drinking enough water lately, which may be a contributing factor.
After a small crazy couple of days where I ended up with diarrhea due to some licorice, I was hesitant to eat some pasta and potatoes fearing the worst. When I did have small portions they tasted delicious, and thankfully, nothing happened.

My assessment this week is about making my own mash up of two eating lifestyles. I’m hesitant to use the word diet because of the connotations that come with it. Which is funny, because everyone has a diet, just some are better than others. I am changing my diet, I am not going on a diet.  I do want to lose a bit of weight. I do want to feel full and content with my food. I do want my running to feel pleasurable and constructive, not such hard work and awkward. I do want to feel better all over, inside and out.
My solution is going to be a mix of the goodness that is Weight Watchers and the current LCHF.
Weight watchers, because I know it works, just the last time I used it (a mere 6 months ago) I found it too restrictive with counting points.  LCHF, because it has been good for me to learn more about different types of food and carbohydrates – what is and isn’t acceptable for regular or binge eating.
Initially I will be strictish so I can get back into controlling myself again. The basis for my new regime will be more fruit and vegetables (which I all but got rid of unfortunately), have complex carbs (bread, rice, spuds, pasta) for one meal a day (will work on lunch time so I can ‘work it off’) and if I feel the need, then bread or a toastie for breakfast. I will still make my low carb cloud bread as it feels good like carbs without being too much.
There will still be lots of the high fat content, and eggs as I am doing now, because I really like the creamy coffee. Things like biscuits, cakes and lollies will be all but cut out. I have no real problem with doing this as I was never really a sweet tooth – give me a cheese platter any day. Even now, with working in a shop with lots of chocolate and licorice I can easily say no to them.
I will go back to doing my weekly menu plan and lunch prep – making my work day lunches heartier than just a salad, and making smaller portions at dinner time.

On another note with this new slash old diet, I did lose weight, and my shape changed.  There were not so many lumps and creases and looking back on pictures I took in September last I have definitely changed physically.  There was even a scales picture (I know we are more than just a number) and I liked that I was disciplined enough to get to that point.  There is a lot of work to do, but I  know that this time I will find it more approachable and easier to get into it.  I am not altogether unhappy with it, just my lack of energy is disappointing.
Where has my discipline gone. What have a lacked. Why am I so out of it.
The long hours and work load, or the diet. Or maybe both. Either way I know that this change-up will be a good thing.
I have just looked at all this and thought, why am I writing about diets, and body shapes, and the like. I wasn’t brought up like this, I prided myself on not giving  damn, so why now. Probably because with age comes a certain wisdom about ourselves and what we are and can be.  My goal now is going to be like my new goal for running. Show up, do the distance and finish. No pressure, no stress. If I get a pb then all good, if not then at least finish without an injury. For the food – the same theory applies. Eat healthy, enjoy all things in moderation (and some things very very rarely) and exercise regularly. Do it to prolong my life, to be young and fit and have energy. If I lose weight, even a modicum of it, then all is good.

Bring on the next stage, and the next race. In 2 weeks.
Keep healthy, and train strong,  Jennifer