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.
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City 2 Casino 2017

It’s race recap time again and while I didn’t pb as I had wanted to I had a great time. I joined hubby on this run – it was his idea after all, and am so very proud of him and how he went.

This is how it went down:
– the day was bright, sunny and warm.
– it was a fast field and I felt terribly slow.
– my knee played up and slowed me down more.
– my foot was so far asleep for half the race I’m surprised I was able to stay upright.
– hubby was right on my rail the whole way – unknown to me until the last second.
– we finished with on 21 seconds between us.
– I was happy and jumpy afterwards – hubby was sweaty, tired sore and I hope very proud of himself.
– post run coffee turned into a delightful egg and bacon brunch
– our race photos show us both looking strong and determined
– I love the bling and it looks great.
– hubby has said this hasn’t made him want to do it again

I will always treasure May 21st and what my husband achieved!

Keep training and do your best, Jennifer

And so the training begins

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and so much has happened. Let me tell you the short version …

My physio has been an enormous help with some very good exercises – changing things slightly so I am comfortable with the action and seeing the desired good form and result. My squats have improved out of sight with her new technique. I’ve just seen her our third visit and she is pretty happy with me. There are still things to work on,  and I have a new exercise to do which is fine. After all these years of bad habits, they aren’t going to fix themselves overnight.  I know I am seeing results and feeling the difference all over, not just in my knee, after only six weeks.  To be running again this close after seeing her I am incredibly happy, with no pain now outside of the usual running ache I get (a completely different pain to that of the ITB).

Hubby comes home one day and says ‘..I’m doing the city to casino..I have to get my fitness back up and this is a good way to start…and I can help you with marathon training…’ Woohoo! Love him to bits ❤️.  The (marathon) training plan is ready to go and we can follow it through to race day – which is a planned 10k run 🏃- with runs that will ease us both into the distance.   I know hubby will be able to do it, he’s pretty fit – he can put me to shame with his 5k pace and with a little practice he’ll whip my butt. We’ve agreed that on the day it will be a run at our own pace with the aim to finish. If he gets into the zone and wants to surge ahead then he can go, I don’t want to feel like I am holding him back, and vice versa, I would like to look at a PB. I am so happy that he wants to do this (for both of us) and no matter what I am incredibly proud of him getting out there.

Between the first two physio visits I took the two weeks off running completely.  Tried a small one two days post visit and it hurt like the bejeezers so took the rest of the time off. My second visit gave me new exercises and the permission to walk if I need to during a run.  In this last few weeks I’ve done several runs, two stair climbs and continued my strength and stretches. I feel good, albeit somewhat unfit. I will improve over the next few weeks. Speaking of improvement, my diet needs serious work.  I haven’t been as disciplined with this like I should be, between not running and eating larger portions (plus a bit too much chocolate) it’s not good for the waistline. I will work on it, I have to if I’m going to be in peak (ish, for me) condition and be able to improve on my current results. The books will come out and a healthier plan put into place that the whole family can eat also. There is no reason for hubby and I to eat too much differently to the kids. Breakfast is my main issue, I am up early and don’t like to eat too much at 6am, I then do a full-on 2+ hours of work and by the time I’m finished with that I am starving. Two small breakfasts would be ideal, I just have to find the right combination so I’m not eating too much.

As mentioned above, the marathon training plan is in place. It started on Tuesday with a 5k jog which was perfect for post physio. I have written it up onto the white board so everyone knows what’s happening. If hubby is on nights and there is a run he will be able to do his bit during the day (if he so wishes) while I’m at work.  My long Sunday runs will need to be changed around from the last plan as hubby’s roster is different. Some weeks will be morning runs, others will be afternoon ones. Be organised is the key for this one.

IMG_1970

My strength and stretching routine this fortnight has been a little hit and miss though one thing I’m really embracing (and it seems to be working) is my foam roller. Doing the sides and fronts of my legs hurts yet feels so good afterwards. I’m concentrating on form over repetitions for strength movements and this is working. My push-ups are also becoming easier. Real push ups people, not the knee version.

Til next time, train strong and stay safe, jennifer

 

 

Feeling stronger than yesterday

There’s a lot to be said about motivation and lack thereof.  Three days ago I was in a funk and really feeling the down. Today, I feel strong and invincible.  In those few days 1)hubby stated he was doing this years city to casino and 2) I went to the physio.

The city to casino will be good for both of us, myself for GCAM training and hubby to help his fitness goals. He used to run a lot when he worked away and I know he would be good at it if he really wanted to push that bit further.  Competition aside, a 10 (or 11k ) run is a good distance, not too long to get bored or need excessive amounts of training, and not so short at it’s over before you get into a rhythm. I have all faith he will do it, and help me along at the same time. It will be good to get in some distance again.

My visit to the physio went well. She wasn’t too fussed about the lack of workouts, the fact I concentrated on getting my form right when I did them was more important. I got a massage again, and she tweaked a few things, changing one or two exercises to better help my recovery.  I’m not sure what it was, but when I walked out, I felt strong and ready to conquer the world. To lose the phone and wallet and just run. My white board will be changed again to accommodate  the added exercise and my weekly strength workouts from my fitness magazines.  There are so many workouts and routines and I want to try them all, so I’ve decided, one way to keep the body thinking, burning calories and being in top shape, is to use one of these for a week before moving onto another one – most of them are a full body set up. This is my year of strength.

Looking forward to a run tomorrow and on the weekend. It’s time to bring it!

Run strong, be your best version, Jennifer

C2C – the one that started it all.

This is where it started 12 months ago. Twelve months ago when I was barely running and definitely not in any kind of competitive manner.  I saw the ads in the paper and said “next year I’m going to run that”.  If only I’d known then what I know now. That by the time I ran the City to Casino I would already have a half marathon, two 10km and the Mother’s Day Classic under my belt. And learnt a hell of a lot about myself over that time.  My strength with training and lasting the distances required. Sometimes with ease. Sometimes with aches and pains. And sometimes with disappointment.  Due of course to my own expectations.
My only goal at that time was getting the medal. Which meant finishing under the 2 hour mark. I figured I could that with some ease. What I didn’t realise was that I would be able to blitz even my best time to date in the process. And boy what a feeling it was.

The weeks leading up to race have been pretty wet and yucky. Especially on Sunday race days. Ah well. The craziest of the crazy still come out to run. Because it’s just water after all.  My training was constant and I made it work by doing lots of short but fairly intense treadmill runs
I was well organised as usual.  I’m that kind of person. I need to know I have everything ready. The location, parking, other transport if required, bag drops…everything.  I leave next to nothing to chance. And I’m always early. This does nothing for the nerves, but I deal with it. I get in a panic of I think I may be late.

So, at 7am I arrive at the finish line to park and wait for the bus.  Light stretches and taking the obligatory toilet stop I then wander around the empty car park before heading off to the buses. I chat with a lady doing the shorter run as we head off and wish each good luck at her stop.
Arriving at the start line there is another loo stop (I’ve found I’m not the only one who has to have 3 or 4 of these prior to a race) before running into a lady I met at the last two races I did.  Chatting with someone helps to ease the nerves, and ten minutes to start we are herded escorted by police across the highway through the road works to wait.
And then it starts to rain.  Big fat drops to start with. Ugh. It was cold and my toes were starting to go to sleep.
Nine am the gun goes off and by the time I crossed the start line it was full on raining and I was drenched. No point complaining, it was actually quite nice, with the temperature being low enough to make running comfortable.
I turned my phone right down so I could barely hear my running app, just enough to keep an ear on the time. By the time I reached the 3.5 km mark I felt good and had properly settled into a rhythm.  There were plenty of people always around and while I wasn’t listening to anything I wasn’t talking to anyone either.  I am a solo runner for the most part.
We had passed the two main inclines, one short and sharp the other longer and on both I ran a steady if slower pace and kept moving.  I have found that walking can make it harder to start again, so I make sure I keep moving and then it’s easier to pick up the pace on the flat or downhill.
My mistake I felt here, was doing what I do in my training runs and not push my downhills. That would have saved a good minute or two by going faster on the downhill.  Lesson learnt.
As we entered the short underpass to cross the highway the portable dj was there and it brought a big grin to my face. The instant pick me up was just what I needed. Then another sharp incline and back onto the highway.
It was as we ran past the waterfront with more spectators that I felt it. That feeling of insane joy, of accomplishment, of the thrill of running through the streets. Past people in cars, waving and smiling at the pedestrians.  It’s an odd feeling and I’m not sure I wrote exactly how it feels, but I want to do it again.  Being completely honest here it’s not about the looks, I’m an awkward and not the most elegant runner, I just love it all.  The atmosphere, the participation, the competition and the getting out there and doing.  There is something about running the streets, I simply love it.  Even if my photos don’t make it look so. That’s my competitive side coming out in me.

Then I am on the last stretch, the last 2-3 kilometres where we are running directly next to the cars.  I’m concentrating on getting past the walkers and avoiding the witches hats leaving me to completely miss the water station. Dammit, I was ready for another splash of water.  At the time I saw it, I was too close to the end and was certainly not going to turn round.  I pass a few more groups and hear mutters about how the runners have made rubbish and thrown their cups on the road.  I would have done the same 6 months ago. Not so any more.

About one kilometre out I chose to whip a little butt and move it up.   The last small incline was easy, then a light downhill and rounding the corner to the finish line. As I came round the corner the people fell away as I sprinted down the chute and across the finish line.  I caught a glimpse of the time and had that ‘Omg!’ moment. I had done it. Equalled my own 10k time for a full 11.4 km. Which meant I had done another sub 60 10K. I was so incredibly happy, tired, but happy.  And a week later, I still am. There’s something about getting a pb or finishing a race still strong that makes all the work worthwhile. Even the knowing I could have made it closer to the 60 mins doesn’t phase me*

Crossing the finish line was one thing, navigating the crowds to get my water and fruit was another.  Especially as the skies opened up at that moment and I drenched once again.

The grin on my lasted all afternoon and the energy I had was incredible. I was full of it. It was racing through me, giving me that runners high, only this time it lasted so long and I let it roll over me.
The race that started it all. The big one. That surreal feeling of having wanted something for so long and then finally having it in your hands.  Bring it on next year. You never know, I may blitz my time and get a sub 60 for the full 11km.

* One last 10k goal.  To get an official sub 60 min time.  Bring on ‘The Glenorchy Ten’ in July. A flat double loop course.

Finish line action shot

Happy running, Jennifer

May Races

May is turning into a busy running month.
– 1st – Harcourts Signature Round the River 10km
– 8th – Mother’s Day Classic 8km
– 15th – City to Casino 11km

The organisers of the first race have high expectations or are some serious runners. There are two categories. Race and Social. Now because I run a slower than (25 min 5km and) 55 min 10km I have to attend the social run.
That being said, which is totally fine, I would like to bust out a sub 60 min 10km. Just once, to know I can do it.

Now to find something for the last Sunday that month. Or maybe I just work on my long run. I would like to finally hit the 25km mark.
This gives me April and the next two weeks to be more organised and get back into the gym for more strength training. My nemesis. I love running, just not the other bits that actually help make me a better runner.

And to finish up a little collage I played around with. This will change as I do more races over the course of the year. I will keep this as it is to remind me of my event beginnings.

RTB 10k and Cadbury Half 2016
RTB 10k and Cadbury Half 2016