Ross 2017 – 21.1km

After a rocky training schedule I started race day with one thing in mind. Finish the race.

During my interrupted training I knew I was good for the distance so decided to continue as I could with whatever strength and stretching routines I could muster up.

On the day I drove to Ross with a friend and we arrived early enough to pic up bibs, take a walk, stretch and make the copious toilet stops before the start. I was feeling good and had made the last minute decision to run naked – no hydration. The weather was looking ok, not much sun, dark clouds promising rain and the usual Ross wind.

As we started off I made sure to keep my pace slow, purposely bringing it back down. One of my many running faults is to start out too quick and then die in the back half. I didn’t want that to happen this time.
The first drink station is around the 4-5km mark and by then I was ready for some fluids. And a lolly or two. Imagine my horror when I see no lolly bowls at the ready. Nothing, nada, zip. Oh well, they might be at the next one. Nope, no such luck.

Walking through with my drink I sipped a bit then continued on. The infamous Ross headwind started just past the tree lined part on a long 3km section of open road and that set the mood for the rest of the run. Tough.
Ironically, it was this section of the road on the way out I started my music with the first song being ‘Road to Nowhere’ from the Talking Heads.

I pushed along the long and lonely road, by this time I was pretty well on my own. A few half and full marathon runners passed me. As I got closer to the turn for That Hill there was a little congestion but nothing too bad. Eyeing off the hill for the first time in 12 months was weird. Knowing I only needed to do it twice gave me comfort, as did the size of it, I had remembered it as something that resembled Everest (or for Tasmanians, Mount Wellington). I powered up it and got close to half way before the steep kicked in and I shuffle/walked the rest. Near the top I picked up the pace and continued on down the other side.

The rest of the run went smoothly, walked through the drink stations, sipping then emptying the rest over my head, and moving along, doing an occasional walk as I felt it.

At 17kms I was feeling good, running alongside another RMA and checking my watch saw that if I kept the current pace I could get a pb. Woohoo! I was still aiming to finish so just kept moving. A  friend was approaching on her second lap and I ran in front of her attempting a couple of jumps. We high fived and continued on. Boy, that wore me out, I shouldn’t do that again mid-race. Walked most of the hill and kept on moving.

The last turn was in sight and my watch said I was going to get a good time. Pushing on, looking at the mantra on my shoes – Finish Strong – and ploughed down Main Street. A surprise, and awesome support, came from car on the side  door opens and a voice calls out “Go Jennifer!!” I look around, wave and grin like a Cheshire, then pushed on harder. The little things, running side by side not talking, a shout out from a car, high fiving friends, saying ‘good luck’ ‘well done’ ‘keep it up’ are all welcome as it gives a boost we may not realise we need.

I approach the last corner and check my watch – omg! – vere to the right as I hit the finishing chute, grabbing the pb bell and giving it a good ring.

This race was one of my best. For numerous reasons. I wanted to finish, I wasn’t fully worried about a pb (always good, but now, not essential) and feeling stronger due to my regular strength workouts.

Beating even my wildest dreams for this (or any) race and gaining two personal bests over two consecutive years at the same Race location. First my marathon, now the half – wonder if I could make it a trifecta when I return to do the ten k next year?

A huge smile and absolute relief. Finished 21.1km in 2.16.58.
IMG_2779
We started the half as the clocked ticked over 1.30 from the full marathon start.

Train well, train with fun and keep working on being the best version of you, Jennifer

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GCAM 17, part 3, post race 🏁

Crossing the finish line was the greatest moment of my day. I was exhausted but happy, I had finished a tough race, and in what I thought was a good time. Walking through the finish area I was unsure what to do for a brief moment, but following the other runners I saw the signs for t-shirts and medal collection. Ah, the moment I have been waiting for. Bling! One reason we love to do races. Thanking the girl I walked into the tent and collected my shirt, oh my it’s beautiful. I had seen others wearing their and they looked fantastic.
I took off my pack and lay on the grass for a few minutes, soaking in the sun, and having more drinks. After 5 minutes I wandered off outside the main area to do some stretches in the peace and quiet. And then it hit me. I got up and almost immediately sat on the ground, head between my legs, then I had to lay down, head spinning, my gut churning. Wait a few minutes and try another stretch. Message my husband. Walk a few metres and have to sit down again. Oh shit, I need the toilet, where is it, oh no, head is spinning…Somehow I found my way back to the baggage tent where, with head spinning and body all hot and cold, I collapsed on the ground and curled up in the foetal position. I could feel that fainting feeling, my head was about to blow off, my body couldn’t decide if it was hot or cold, and my gut wanted to burst out of my bladder (the problem I thought lay in not going to the toilet before the start of the race).
A few minutes went past and the ladies inside the tent came over and asked if I needed help. I think I nodded and mumbled a yes I did want help. The next half hour or so went in a blur, of jackets lain over me, tin foil wrap, the medic taking my blood pressure and sugar levels, sipping water, shivering like no tomorrow despite blankets,and my head not knowing if it was spinning or not.
The decision was made to get me into a wheel chair and head over to the main medical tent. We went via the porta loo where I managed to do nothing at all bar a small wee. Disappointed to the max. And my gut still hurt. The ‘best’ part of the trip was having to cross the highway – marathon runners and cheering crowds to boot – in a wheelchair wrapped in tin foil, skin white a ghost. That could have been embarrassing but you know what, I was feeling like shit and with that many people it was bound to happen to some. I very elegantly (not) laid on a stretcher and was surrounded by eager medics.
In the eigtheen months I have been running the only time I have come close to feeling like this, is after my very first half marathon where I knew nothing of recovery, race hydration and the like. Boy have I learnt a lot since then. It makes all the difference to your performance for the whole day.
I’m starting to feel better after two bananas and a bottle of water. I call my husband and have a chat then ask I feel I can head off. I’ve walked around, my head is not spinning any more and I’m not running hot and cold. Given I was there on my own I was advised to take it slowly so I didn’t keel over while driving.
My husband and I had agreed that I had major anxiety over the being late issue and after letting me run the race my body had gone into shock once I’d finished. It did take the fun out the afternoon for me, but I was happy that I had survived and done this amazing thing.
I wandered slowly back along to cross the road, and finally being able to use the loo was interrupted by the phone ringing. Not now, really…. the lady in the stall next door chuckles and has to listen to my phone til gives up. Talk about bad timing. I have a quick chat to my eldest son and message the other one as I cross the road back again and go looking for the car.
This is where things went bad again.
Away from the waterfront the heat was stifling, it was just past 12 and there was no breeze. I’m wandering along the street looking for the car and cannot see it anywhere. Now I know I was in a panic when I parked but I also know I was only one block back from the course. I was in the right street, just not far enough across. I say down on some steps to think, and hope like hell I didnt have to ring my friends and say I’d lost their car. No, I hadn’t lost the car, just gained them a parking fine for stopping in a loading zone. Shit. Not as bad as I had thought it would be.
Hoping to find a maccas or something on the way home was not to be and I certaintly wasn’t going to tempt fate and make a detour. I made it back up the mountain to my friend’s house without any further directional difficulties. Noting that one was home and feeling glad for a minute, I stripped off, climbed into bed and promptly fell asleep. An hour later I wake feeling somewhat better, and stumble into the shower. Omg. That is fantastic, hot, good pressure and soapy. I stand there for what feels like an eternity before drying off and cooking up Vegemite toast. Just what I needed. By then I was starving, although with a slight headache still. I head upstairs where I’m asked, after the how’d the race go, if I wanted to head out for a drink. No alcohol for me but a bowl of sweet potato fries filled the spot. Back home and I head back to bed before dinner.
After dinner I have a long soak in a radox bath before packing my bags and catching yet another early night ready for my trip home. I wake at 4.45 for a 5.15 trip to the train station and notice that for the third time the pillow has a lovely wet patch on it. You know the kind of deep sleep where you wake having drooled on the pillow – yep, that was me three times in 24hrs after my race. I had been exhausted in more ways than just the physical and I must admit I woke on that Monday morning feeling of refreshed and ready to go.

In the time between my first and second nap I browsed Facebook and saw the times had already been posted on their website…ooh, how exciting, lets check out what I achieved….I must say I was plesaently surprised. After what I thought was an ok time turned out to be an awesome time. My chip time was only a few minutes over my previous PB. So to say I was happy is an understatement. I was excited. It wasn’t as bad as all that. The pain of the post run struggle was worth it. It may not have been a new pb (I knew it wouldn’t be by the half way point) but it was well within reach of my other times. 2.27.50!


The time above is the gun time, which I’m still pretty happy with, and the other time is what comes on my itab, and whati am saying it did it in. After all, it took that 9minutes to get from my start to the actual start.

It’s been a good week and a half since my trip to GCAM but already feels like a life time past. In that time I have moved house and continued my usual 9-10hr a day job. So much happens each day that I feel like it is old news already.
The things I learn t along the way on this race are many and varied.
– be more prepared and check out the timing of travel (airport transfers to start with)
– get there earlier to make sure I know where I am going on race day.
– stay closer to the race precinct.
– take my husband with me.
– all of the above.
– relax and breathe more during a race.
– drink more during a race – despite not feeling so bad, it was a lot hotter than what I have been used to so was mildly dehydrated at the end.

Stay safe, run with fun and enjoy your races, jennifer

GCAM 17, part 1, Getting to the precinct.

I’ve done the training and am ready to do one last long run and keep up the strength workouts.  I am ready to go, getting excited and nervous and then I wake up one day a with a sore throat. You know the one. It says I’m going to make your life a misery for a week or more. Well it lived up to its reputation. For nearly two weeks I was full of snot, dizzy heads and no energy to do any kind of exercise. I really wanted to but knew I’d get my arse handed to me if I tried. If not by the cold then by my husband.
The week I was flying out it eased and I was just coughing my lungs out.
My bags were packed by the Wednesday with only last minute things to add Saturday morning. By this time I was feeling and unfit, I know I wasn’t but it’s just the way it goes for runners when you don’t do exercise for a while.
Waking early I had my coffee and small breakfast before we left for the airport.
From Hobart to Brisbane was pretty typical of flights with a short stopover in Sydney where I had a lunch of coffee with chicken avocado whole grain sandwich.
Having pre-paid my train ticket made it easy for the next step. Let my hosts know where I was and they told me which stop to get off at. Then sit back and relax.
After a bolognese dinner I head back to my room. My gear is ready to go, flat me photographed and facebooked/instagrammed. I make my phone call to home and have a shower. The bed is really comfy and I surprisingly a good amount of sleep before the 3.30 alarm goes off.

It’s now Sunday morning, about 4.15 am, and I’m on the way to the Gold Coast marathon precinct. I had wished my husband a happy birthday and was headed towards my first interstate race. The half marathon, a good middle to long distance run, that I quite like. I was excited!
Within 20 minutes it all turned to shit.

To say my ‘anxiety about being late’ went into overdrive, is an understatement. I’ve always liked being somewhere early, even to the doctors, when I know I’ll be sitting there waiting anyway, so this was going to test me to the limits.
I had been worried about this exact thing happening several weeks before.
I was going to be in a place I don’t know, on my own and driving someone else’s car, to a place I didn’t know. Hmm, recipe for disaster. And disaster it was.
I would love to see the tracking of where I had driven, it would have looked like a crazy cat going nuts. I realised afterwards I had taken either a wrong turn or turned at the wrong place and that set the wheels in motion. Somehow I ended up on the freeway going in completely the wrong direction. This is what happens when it’s dark, and the streets don’t always have signs.  I stopped several times, close to tears, hyperventilating, before taking a breath and looking at the map again.
The result of that – I got lost not once, or twice, but three times, and at 5.30, with only 15 mins to get there I rang my friends to ask for directions.
Luckily for me I was very close and it took me no time at all to get where I was going.
Joining a group of cars I found the right place and scoured the street for an empty park.
Shit shit shit, where is a space, these got to be one here somewhere….I spy one and pull in sharply, grab my gear, jump out and run. Doing a half turn I lock the car and quickly start to follow another runner I see ahead of me.
I catch him up and ask where to go, he points the way and we run on. By this time it is the cut off for gathering in the corral and we are heading down the last kilometre of the race route. The support and running club tents are up and people are out watching, getting reading for us to all run past. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights with a crazy panicked look on my face. I duck and weave those standing around while looking for the sign to corral D.

To be continued…

Marathon dreams

Eight months ago I had a dream. One my husband was happy to help me with. And we started right then and there – booking flights to my second marathon.
Today, I write that my marathon dreams are over. At this stage I highly doubt I will do another one. I won’t write it off completely, but right now it’s nowhere on my horizon.
Shortly after my DNF in January while I was in recovery mode I made a decision. Do two more marathons (GCAM and give Cadbury another go) then ‘retire’. Concentrate on halves and 10k runs. Races that are relatively easy to train for and don’t take up all my time and energy. As I’ve written before, training for a marathon takes a hell of a lot of time and effort. By the time you have finished the race you have been on the go for up to six months. Totally exhausted.

I am 3 weeks out from what would be my third marathon start and I have dropped to the half. Last week signalled the end of my marathon dream. It also signalled the start of a whole new chapter. One I will start on the Gold Coast, not in Hobart.

The history of this decision..? Week 7 of marathon training and I roll my ankle during a short run. Somehow I manage a tough but excellent timed 25k 3 days later. The following week I am planning a good 30k and all hell breaks loose. My body and head were fine, it was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect – especially a long run like I had planned. My foot on the other hand had other ideas. From 6k mark it just wanted to shut up shop and disappear. Every step was painful and it felt like my whole foot was a bruise. To touch it hurt like the proverbial. Putting my pride aside I made the call at 13k and finished fifteen of the slowest kilometres I have ever done.
It was at that point I knew I should probably not push the distance. Hubby agreed when he got home from work and it was as easy as that.

My feelings about all this… well I realised the next day how much stress I had put on myself to do it. Which on the day would have resulted in another injury or meant the day before I would change to the half and then be disappointed right when I should be feeling on top of the world. By making that decision now means I can spend 3 weeks preparing my best for 21kms.
I cancelled the app with my marathon training and will make small adjustments to the written version to finish the deal.
The aim is to keep doing the main runs (2 small/med and 1 long) while concentrating on strength and stretching in between days.

All this aside there is one very special reason why I want to finish this race, enjoy the run and have a blast. I want to arrive home on a high, enjoy the trip, cry tears of joy and embrace the atmosphere – it’s my husbands birthday on race day and he will be at home with our boys. If there was ever a non-selfish-most-supportive thing a person could do,this is it. Pay for your wife to travel interstate on her own to do something she loves. Now that is what I call support and honest to goodness deep love.
That is the reason I am happy to do the half not the full, to look after my body so it is healthy and able to love for a long time to come.

Keep training, look after yourself and do what you love, jennifer.

Journey to the Pinnacle

It’s four and a half weeks til my next big race. The worlds toughest half marathon. And I can believe it. 21kms of incline. To a total height of over 1270 meters above sea level. That’s pretty high. And a lot of hard work. Lots of hill to climb. Like a mountains worth, literally.


My training has been slightly hit and miss as it should have been all about strength and hills.  I haven’t done as much strength training as I’d hoped I would, yet my hills are moving along quite nicely. Both of these workouts are definitely not my strength so it’s been a double whammy on the challenge. The challenge of getting to the top. The challenge of training hills (my knees hate me most of the time with any kind of incline) and strength (while I know I should do it I make excuses to not go there).

I’m almost enjoying the hills. I can feel it’s making my usual runs stronger and faster. The hills while challenging, are good for me, for my mental strength as well as my physical. Thinking that no matter what happens on race day, this training can only be good for me.

On my run this evening I ‘officially’ passed 700kms for the year.  I think I have done nearly 800 as I started the challenge a good few weeks after the start date.  So my run was hard initially, what felt like an actual vertical climb before levelling out and heading back down hill, I got to thinking about the race. And how I was going to tackle it time wise. Normally wouldn’t be too worried about a time but this one has a strict cut off period to allow for as little traffic disruption as possible (and is capped at 3000 people combined for the walk and run). And in my very basic math head I began working out how fast I would need to go to finish within the time. And it’s not too bad.

What I figured out.  Time frame minus say 20 minutes. Times by 60. Divide by 4. This would give me an idea of how long to allow for each five km plus plenty of time to finish that last kilometre, and rest up/stretch before catching the bus back to the start line. Number crunching done, it works out like this.

3.40 total time.  Minus twenty minutes. Times 60. Time is now 200 minutes. Divide by 4 = 50 minutes per 5km + time up my sleeve for the last and final dash to the finish line.

Now as I usually do my 5k in roughly 30 mins I’m working on an extra twenty making this more than doable. And in my head that works. It doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off and run slower. It’s only going to make me want to work harder so I’m stronger and more capable of doing it. And doing it stronger.

This is one race where the adage of “Finish lines not finish times” is all I’m thinking about. I just want to make it to the top. Because with such an iconic race (founded in 1995) participating – and reaching the Pinnacle! – is so much a part of the end result.

A preview of some of the hills I’ve been working on lately.

 

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

Race Time for ‘the kenyan’

I’ve now completed my very first race. You know, one of those official things that you register for, pay money, get timing chips and bibs for.
And there are two very important things I learnt along the way.
1) Training and recovery.
2) Don’t take yourself too seriously.

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In typical Jennifer fashion, I didn’t pick a quick little 5k as my first race.  It was half marathon all the way.  A friend has nicknamed me ‘the Kenyan’ due to my competitive nature and apparently there’s a look that crosses my face at the start of a race. I find it quite funny really.  Yes I am competitive – mostly against myself, but sure, wanting to beat that person behind me, or two steps ahead is right up there as well. And my speed, while not at elite level by any means is bordering on fast (by some people).

How did the race go for me?  I knew I hadn’t done enough training, we had been really busy and I made excuses not to do it. My fault, and I had to live with it.
I had picked up all my important things and checked out the parking options the day before so when I arrived at 5.30 on race morning I was prepared. That’s something I stress about – being organised about these types of things, getting lost, missing the start…
Up at 3.30 and getting ready I was quite emotional. This was all new and I was scared. Scared of getting lost on the course, scared of coming last, scared of somehow making a fool out of myself.  Of course I knew it was all silly but I’m sure anyone who has done this has felt it at least once.

Hubby came with me and was able to watch the start before he went to work.  And that was awesome. I was calmer and felt more in control knowing he was there, calming my nerves, and surrounding me with his love.  That’s what your support team does. And he is the most amazing support.
The race itself was pretty good.  I settled into my regular pace easily and appeared to run with the same group of people. Sometimes ahead, sometimes behind.  I took in drinks at each station, following suit and tossing the cup – although I did try to aim towards the bin.  My fear of getting lost was one of the silliest things ever to go through my head as there was never a time when no one was around.
Crossing the bridge toward the halfway point was the best feeling – 10K down and my pace and time were sitting nicely.
It all fell apart at the 15k mark when I hit the wall. My head started fucking with me. My legs felt like lead and I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I pushed through – I was Not.. Going.. To walk.
This is where that extra training pays off, on the last legs, that extra kick when you are beginning to flag.  When you think you can’t go on, knowing that you’ve done the preparation for it.
At the second last drink station (18K mark) they were handing out jelly beans and chocolate. Oh. My. God! yes please. They were just what I needed. The much desired pick me up.  I did start to walk at this point and then realised I actually couldn’t, my legs just would not move, it was easier to shuffle/run than walk.  I sorely needed that sugar to kick in soon!

And then the finish line was nearly in sight. A short sharp uphill that really took it out of me. I did walk until I saw the photographer.  And then after you come over the crest and flatten out, you are in the finishes chute.  And this is where I took it too seriously. I managed to get a sprint up. And finished well.  I was super proud of myself.  Then I saw the official photos.  Ha, the face I was pulling looked like I ready for the toilet. Not the look of someone who is proud of their work, who did enjoy the race, no smiles anywhere.
And yet when I bought my photos that’s the one I decided to get with the certificate. Why?  Because I am incredibly proud of what I achieved. How totally knackered I was after my legs carried me for 21.1kms.  How strong I was mentally to get through it.
And that second thing I learnt… Post race recovery.  I now have some idea of how I will react physically after a long hard workout. I need to have that brilliant thing called chocolate milk, bananas and then be ready for the munchies an hour or two later. I was ravenous once my body calmed down.
I was so tired I had to take a nap, I had a splitting headache, and just couldn’t function for several hours (sorry hubster). It quite simply took everything out of me.  Part of recovery will need to include the pre run carb load the night before and making sure I am better hydrated during the race (hello, hydration belt and when required a camelback).
Lessons learnt.

I did no exercise at all for the next week. Stretching most days to keep the limbs mobile (on top of 10hr days at work) before taking the plunge and heading out for a 5k. And I didn’t die. It wasn’t that bad.
Now its training time for my next lot. Hills. Lots of them. I really really don’t like them.
Next time, there will be talk of hill runs and interval training.
Pop over to my Challenges page to see what I’m training for next. I’m already planning a tattoo to commemorate my big year of running and the distances I want to do.

Happy training,
Jennifer

Supplements and inside vs outside running….

Supplements. Ah, that dreaded word. You either love them or hate them. You live by them or can’t be arsed. You’re addicted to them or have no wish to try them.  No matter what side of the fence you sit on, we all have a perception of them and where they live within our own moral exercise ground.
I have always been of the ‘no way in hell’ camp. Until my husband bought a weight loss powder for me (and him) and some kind of muscle builder one for him.
I have to admit I’ve become kind of addicted to the weight loss one, not for the weight loss reason, but because it tastes so damn good.
I will also admit, that is the only thing I take to help with my weight loss/fitness journey. Protein shakes, muscle builders and the like are not on my radar. My work keeps my arms reasonably toned, as does my running. And the rest is all about fitness now I’m at my goal weight.
Hubby is using the muscle builder one to help him out while he gets started in the gym, loses weight (he is doing so well, having changed so many things recently, it is really noticeable!). He will stop once he gets to a point where he feels comfortable with using the gym only.
And that is the sort of control we all need. Being able to use a product for only as long as it serves its purpose, until we can stand on our own two feet and manage things ourselves (Like anything I spose).And that’s all I want to say on that subject. Mainly because supplements are not in our everyday radar and we don’t want them to be. I always said if I can’t lose weight the old-fashioned way of hard work and dedication then there is no hope for me. In this case there is a glimmer of hope for me as I did 90% of it on my own, the rest was starting a 70hr/week job with little time to snack and nibble.
Each to their own I say. I don’t judge.

Now this next one I have slightly more to talk about.
Inside vs outside training, running, sport.

Back in high school I was a runner. And although my distance was no longer than the ubiquitous 1500m, I loved it. That and cross-country.
Fast forward many years and I decide on a whim to enter the Mother’s Day classic and run 8km.  After having done no exercise at all for years.
So I hit the gym and work on a few things, lots of treadmill running and very little road running. My goal was to do it in less than an hour.
First up, I did that. Secondly, I was badly prepared and it showed. In the first 500 metres. I was stuffed just going around the athletics field and up the short sharp hill to get onto the road. Omg, I wondered then and there what I had gotten myself into to. I settled into my own rhythm soon enough, having to deal with the fact mothers and prams were overtaking me.
Treadmill running is fine so long as you don’t just stay on the one speed and incline. You still have to challenge yourself and that’s what I didn’t do. Running on the bitumen is quite different, and a whole lot harder than the treadmill.
A few years later I start running again, more seriously, and outside. There is something so fulfilling about getting out in the fresh air (where you can outside of the city) and just running. Natural hills and dips work you in a way a treadmill just doesn’t know how. Sure the speed is good, and you can make a steady go at it, but being outside means more challenges to keep up the pace, push to actually run up the hill and not walk.  One thing I have learnt is that “you don’t learn to run up a hill by walking it” And it’s true. If you don’t challenge yourself then nothing will change. And I try this every time I go out now. Even if it’s a barely moving shuffle type of run I am not walking and I do not stop.  This is not an option on the treadmill, it is way easier to press the buttons.  Running outside give you the inspiration to want to run, to want to keep going, the make the most of the journey, and knowing the destination.
Right now I am just doing treadmill work (20-30 mins worth, not even full 5kms) and hanging out for daylight savings when I can get outside again. Really push myself, going further along the road, heading north, heading south. Anywhere, just running. Being out in the air.
My goal this and next year is to compete in a 10k, half and marathon.  The first step to doing that is looking for them, and then biting the bullet and registering. This at least makes me accountable to setting a goal and achieving it.

At the end of the day, which ever method you use for running is your decision. It depend on what you want to achieve with your exercise. If it’s simply for weight loss and basic exercise, then the treadmill is fine, no different really to walking along the road. If it’s competition and bigger goals then road running for sure (or trails if that’s what you like) and mixing up the treadmill for other types of training. I know I’m happy with both, my preference is the outside life.

Keep running, stay crazy and have fun!

 

 

Times, goals and running underwear

:We’ll leave the underwear for a minute, it’s nothing raunchy or visual. Just a few thoughts and what I wear, having come about after reading a few articles out there.

I was looking through my phone notebook the other day and came across a note from back in August last year (2014). I had done lots of 5k walks and after feeling it was too slow, started running it. Compared to now that first time was pretty slow, but I was super happy with it. I then stated my next goal – how fast I wanted to go. I have since beaten that time a lot in less than 12 months.
My goal back then for the 5.8 and 3.4 were pretty lofty. I thought they were almost unattainable. Ha, if only I had known how much I would come to love and rely on running to keep me feeling good, along with the head clearing effect it has I would have reached higher. That is the good thing about hindsight, or growing stronger. I can now change those goals, knowing where I have come from and not just what I can do but where I have come from.  No pressure on where I can go if I can look back on not just my times, but my body and see where I have been.
The time for that first run…39:59. I thought it was super fast and my goal was to hit the 35 min mark. Seems a long time ago when I’m now running it in 30 at home and have got down to 28mins at my local Park Run.
I also do a bit of a tiny run, 3.4k. The first timed run there was 23:05. Not bad. My goal was 20mins, and while I have been oh so close to breaking it I am not so worried about that now as I want to pursue the distance factor. So 3.4 is like a warm-up almost now.

Distance has become my thing, and I want to be running not much less than 5k at any time I go out. I’m aiming to get consistent times in the 10 and pushing onwards to the 15 and 20.  I’m laughing at myself here as I am now eager to build up and do a marathon.  How things change. I remember in the not so distance past I told a friend that running a half or more was not my thing and takes a lot of dedication, motivation and strength. Total commitment.  See, laughing here, as I so want to do it. Five kilometres.. pfft, takes nothing to do. Pushing myself to do more, be more.  Friends are awesome!
My first 10k was a healthy time of 1:11. I wasn’t too fussed about the time, it was more of a test to see that I could do it, and what sort of time to aim for. To say I was happy with that is an understatement. I have done 4 in total and my quickest time was 1:03. I am not wanting to go much quicker really, if I can keep up a good pace and keep an average of 10K/hour I will be happy.
I was told that if I can do 5k in less than 30 then I can easily do 10 in an hour. Sure, but you have to remember one is distance, the other can be almost a sprint for some. The double distance changes how you run and how you pace. I’ve noticed that with my long runs. It is a completely different way of running. If I can do ten I know I can do 15 and 20. I have to up the distance steadily. Doing a half marathon in 2:30 is my goal, and I know when and where I will be doing it.

Goals are dreams and if we don’t have them, we wont change and grow and improve. And who wants to be stuck in the one place all the time. Not me.

 

Underwear… hmm.  I’m not large chested but I tell you, if I run in a normal bra then the girls hurt like you wouldn’t believe.  If you are large breasted then you know this pain from general activities.  Aside from good runners the biggest investment a woman can make for running is her bra. A sports bra designed for the activity you’re doing and costs both your boobs will be the best thing you buy.  Make sure you get properly fitted (like you should for any bra!) When I bought mine, I was asked what sort of activity I would be doing. Net and basket-ballers need something different again due to the stop start movements they do. Mine cost around $70 and I will definitely be getting at least one more. Super comfortable and keep the girls looking good outside of running.  Even though it feels like I’m pancaked, pictures show otherwise. Either way, I don’t care if I look flat chested, if my boobs don’t hurt then I am happy.

Knickers…wedgie material. And there’s nothing easy about pulling out a wedgie when you run. And like most women, our knickers are meant to look good when standing still not running, or walking or hell, even sitting. They ride up are arse and get quite uncomfortable. Running is no different. Grandma undies included. Even when you’re wearing skin-tight pants knickers move. I read some article about this and one woman stated she wore a G-string, or thong.  It would keep most of the sweat at bay, and meant there was no need for fidgeting with her skins. The first time I tried this it felt a little weird, then it become a kind of freedom. Your bum is going to jiggle when you run no matter your undies, so wearing none makes no difference really.  I just have to find the most comfortable wide waited g-string I can now. Wide waisted?? Yes, I had a pair of Elle McPherson ones years ago with a great waist band and they were the most comfy thong thing I had ever worn.  My fancy ones don’t quite cut it really.

Socks are whatever rows your boat. I wear bonds ankle sports socks from Big W. Cheap, comfy and not too hot.

This will go to publish and I shall change and head off on another 10k. After yesterday’s, not sure how I’ll go, doing a different route so shouldn’t be too bad.

Happy running, Jen