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

Advertisements

Post workout recovery – what I choose to do.

image

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through long runs and marathon training, it’s how I like to recover after a long run. Short runs, like a five or ten k requires a slightly vastly different routine than that of a 20+ km run. Not having the time to do my usual recovery session recently, I realised what I like to do and how my body works.

A short run requires light stretching, a protein shake and I’m good to go. Nothing more than that.

A long run works the body and mind in a deeper, harder way, so need a more intense variety of recovery.

I like to take my time and let my body cool down, relax. Then refuel and refreshen.  From a long run it takes up to 2 hours before I eat properly and at least another hour after that before I have the energy to do more than be a couch potato. I let my body relax, and I have learnt to make sure I do it properly.

I know what I am like if I don’t recover properly, headaches prevail and general grumpiness. Not nice for anyone in the direct vicinity. Myself either. I dislike how it feels. I may not always like the pain on a long run but I do love the feeling I have after.

My routine goes something like this.

Finish my run. Spend ten minutes chilling, walking and letting my body relax. Let the shakes in my legs calm down.  Make a protein shake. Stretch and drink. Eat a banana. Chill out a bit more. Drink water. Shower. And somewhere around 1 1/2 – 2 hours post run I am ready to eat properly.

This was really put to the test when I did my 25km run. What I thought would be an ‘easy’ run was a lot harder than I thought, and my post run routine was stretched to its limits. I passed, but not without more aches and pain than I wanted.

The week after when I had my 30km I also had another little helper. Proper fuel in my camelbak. Water is great and definitely required but on long runs you need to do more than just hydrate. Replacing the salts you lose are important and help the body to keep moving. Tailwind is my new best friend. While I didn’t drink all 2 litres of it, I was so much better off afterwards. Less tired, more energy, and no headaches.  I will be using this on my marathon and any time I do more than 15kms. If it works I’m going to use it.

I had to explain my recovery routine to my husband prior to my 30k. I’d said that I would be up and out the door at 5am, allowing four hours to do the run. He then said, but that’s only mid morning. And so I explained what I do and the time frame it takes up. He seemed to understand then why I was happy to get up that early on my day off. I will be up that early if it means I have more time to do other things later. (Even if that day it was veg out on the couch and watch a movie or two and eat all the food I could stuff in my mouth).

My recovery session after my marathon this weekend may be slightly different again, but hopefully as much the same as usual. It’s a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from home and I have my family with me as my support crew (plus its Father’s Day here), and it’s a race which means meeting up with friends (more like running acquaintances) and being around the general atmosphere of race day. Then the drive home. At least I won’t have to drive at all.

recovery is important no matter what distance you run, or how hard you do it. Fuel, hydration, rest and stretching.

Now I must head off and make up my list of what I need to take with me, I can’t be forgetting the important things. Especially not with a 3am get up on the day.

Happy running and safe recovery.

Jennifer

 

 

The sub 60 challenge.

The sub run. No,not to subway, but the running of a distance below a certain time frame. Most people when they start running eventually getting point where they want to aim for a sub 30 5k or a sub 60 10k. While I know I can do the former, it is the latter I have been more interested in. Five km for me is a warm up,a run to do so I feel ‘like I’ve done something when I’m feeling lazy’ kind of thing. After only 12 short months I am definitely in the minimum of 10km distances. The best man can do five km a good five minutes quicker than me and still have room for a sprint at the end. Me, I’ve always been good at holding the pace for distance. Over the last six months I have run several 10km races and my goal was to get that elusive sub 60 mins. I have been so close several times, and have done it once or twice over a longer distance, but for me it has to be official. I feel that once I’ve done it, and it’s in writing so to speak, then I can move on to the next thing. This is not saying I will never be happy and there is always something else round the corner, it is about stretching myself, adjusting the dream, while still being proud of where I have come from and what I have achieved. Even right now, as I type this, I am pretty happy with my results to this point.

Part of my marathon training called for a 10km slow run on Sunday just gone. Well, it just so happened that it coincided with a local fun run….yep, you guessed it, a ten kay-er. It didn’t take much to say “bugger the plan, I’m going for the sub 60”. And speed is good to practice also. While I am not speedy by some standards, it was fast for me.
My plan after I arrived was to identify the 60 min runner and stick with him the whole way til the last kilometre and then pop ahead to finish under the hour.
We all know how “the best laid plans…” work out. Well mine did. I went out strong and got ahead of the pacer. Actually I went out too quick and got ahead of the pacer. For most of the race I was pretty well in the middle of the 55 and 60 min pacers, I considered this good, I could place quite well.
The last couple of k’s were hard, the result of going too hard too fast too soon, and I slowed down probably more than I wanted too. Either way, I still finished strong, as I like to, and was about a minute ahead of the pacer.
Then, typically, I forgot to turn off my tracking so it clocked my run at 1.01 with a very slow last 300m.

I was still pretty sure at this point that I had done it, but when I saw the preliminary results I was super happy. I may have had less than 60 seconds to spare but a sub 60 is a sub 60 no matter whether there is 1 second left on the clock or otherwise. And I am really proud of myself. Now, I don’t mind what I do. So long as my longer distances are consistent then I am happy. I can cross one more thing of my list.
My stats for the race are:
Place: 164/196
Gender place: 60/84
Time: 59.14!

image

image

 

And in other news I am now officially registered for the Point to Pinnacle in November. 21km of pure hill climb through some of the best scenery we have to offer. And spaces are limited to 3000. Scary stuff.

Marathon training back up and running!

image

Training for a marathon is hard work. It takes a lot of hard work. Dedication. Commitment. Resilience. I have all of these, just not always and not all at the same time when I probably should have. Like now, when I’m in marathon training mode.  My lack of any decent running over the last few weeks is due to the pain in the butt that is moving house. And working full time.  Not having one iota of energy to even think about running.  This move took everything we had, yet even though I was not running I didn’t get that sludgy feeling I normally do. That feeling of losing fitness and becoming a slug. I have felt pretty good physically through all of that, so when I started again last week with a few treadmill runs I knew I would be alright.

As I have said before I have the Asics running plan to help me keep on track and so far it is doing its job. I tend to run a bit faster than it wants me to, despite feeling at those moments that I couldn’t go slower if I walked. I am doing alright.  I’m figuring the plan has been worked out on flat runs not hills, so on my hill climbs tell it I’m going slower.  I like hills, and I hate hills. Hills are good to help with strength and a different kind of endurance. They also kill my knees.

I wrote up my training plan on a big white board and its in the corner of our lounge/gym where it’s easy to read for everyone. Crossing off each day and updating both my running apps* gives me some satisfaction. It also makes it easy so if anyone wants to plan something they know what I should be doing and when.

*my phone had a bit of a hiccup so has been sent away. What I got as a replacement was a dinosaur so my runs have to be tracked by car for distance before I can run them. So it’s an update of apps and not a ‘stop tracking and save’ motion. This may mean my runs are slightly off for a week or two. I’m not worried, i am still doing it.

My eating plan has been ok, smaller serves and less giving in to temptations. Control is the key.  I’m not sure if my body has changed that much or it’s an illusion, but I do feel leaner. It’s a good feeling.

During the week my runs were pretty good, I was feeling it during and after, even though my mid length run was slower than I wanted. I was a bit worried during that run as it got dark a lot quicker than I was expecting so had to finish in the dark not being totally visible.  Next time, (so this week), it will be reflectors and head lamp. Hopefully with a little running beanie I’ve ordered.  I’ve found that while the head lamp is great (this morning’s run proved that) it doesn’t fit so well over my cap. So I wore my cap backwards so the lamp was in the right place. Felt a bit weird but you know what, I’d rather look silly and be visible than the alternative.

Why would I wear a cap when it’s dark? Well for many reasons. When I started running I found that I really disliked my hair bouncing around (yes, even with short hair) and if I wasn’t wearing my sunnies the glare would hurt my eyes. So a cap became a part of my outfit. Now, I don’t go anywhere without it, if it’s raining, it will also keep the rain at bay somewhat. That and clear glasses. Good for cold/wet/dark so I can still see (cold makes the eyes water like you wouldn’t believe).

While I’m on the subject, what else do I have in my outfit range… my pink light as a feather all purpose Asics jacket (in a fluro-ish pink, so my perfect colour and highly visible as well!). It keeps the cold at bay, the rain and the wind. And because it’s so light I don’t get hot while wearing it. It is incredible!

Then there’s the asics high vis vest I bought for the same reason. Night time visibility. Not only its it in that gorgeous green it has pockets galore for all the little things you need plus the back is a pocket to hold a camelbak. Ooops, I may have just picked one up yesterday to use for my longer runs… for anything over 20km my hydration belt just doesn’t cut it.

I tested it out this morning. Very comfortable to run with. Cold on my back a bit, though the weather wouldn’t have helped with that, it didn’t bounce around and was easy to use.
image

image

Cold hands have been an issue, so with any length run if it’s cold enough, my Nike running gloves with padded fingers for smart phone easy access are the bomb. Comfortable as, and my hands didn’t get too hot like I thought they would. I run hot so each of these things could be an issue. With this cold weather I and finding that extra layer is awfully good.

Another lovely find is my asics long sleep top. Thumb holes so it covers the hands a bit, and a fluro high vis section across the upper back. Super comfy and again, not too hot.

Most of my running gear has been Kmart, Big W, Michelle Bridges, Target, you know, the cheaper items and not full on brand names. There are items though that I will spend on and ‘get what I pay for’. Quality and durability.  I do like Asics, big fan here.

Wow, that was a bit of a digression there. From training plans to my outfits. Ah well. Running is the most expensive free sport .

Back to the training. I am loving it, more so when summer kicks in and daylight savings is back.  Longer evenings after work, lighter earlier in the morning. There is that certain freedom in running, and even in training mode I am still enjoying it. Only way to go really. I have to work hard, I have to push through the ‘it’s going to be cold on the weekend’ comments that I hear everyday at work.

My mid week runs are short, 5 and 10k, with the long run on a Sunday. Perfect as Sunday’s were my usual long run day anyway. My long runs up to race week are 10 (handy as I’m doing a 10k fun run on this day, sub 60 is the plan), 21, 25, 30 then 14 the week before race day. My only issue is only getting to the 30k mark and not having tried the full kahuna before the actual day. For my half marathon I ran it at least twice that I can remember so I know that I could actually do it. I spose I should trust myself, my training and the race day high to get me through. I’ve heard it’s a flat course so hopefully will make it ‘easier’. Of course running 42.2 km isn’t easy by anyone’s measure, but hills certainly make it more challenging.

I will keep plugging along, doing the work, stretching and light weight workouts on my rest days. Having a plan has been good for me. I think I said it once before somewhere. Leaving the planning to someone else and doing what I’m told has been good. I’m not feeling guilty because I think I should be running, because I know I will get the run in when I am meant to. Before, I used to be push push push, run run run, all the time, with a ‘gotta go for a run or I’ll lose it all’ mentality. Oh how I’ve grown up, if just a little bit.

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

Run the Bridge – 14 Feb

I’m still getting into the hang of writing again after such a long break so this will be a short sweet post. The one I started earlier is full of words and just a bit much right now.
On February 14th I did the 10k ‘Run the Bridge’ event. This is an event which is held all over the world. Anywhere that has at least one bridge crossing can do it. It’s all about running over the bridge. I think it’s a super cool idea and would love to do some elsewhere now.  As an aside, I have now run over two of the three bridges that span the river in Hobart.  Not sure how I’ll get to do the third.
But I digress. I did enough training and going into it, I felt really good. Fit, happy and ready to conquer it. Not as nervous as the last one.

The lessons I learnt from the half marathon I brought into this one and loved it!
My recovery was just right.  Fruit and water at the finish line, then my chocolate milk when the bag truck finally arrived.  A 2km walk to my car then a half hour swim to help loosen the muscles.
It’s good to have someone to chat with before the race to calm your nerves.  Not just as you hang around doing the porta-loo dance but in the pack when you’re ready to roll.
And I had a ball. Even with the short sharp hill 4 kms in I enjoyed the run. The run up the bridge was surprisingly easier than I had reckoned on.
The highlight? Running around the wharf area and down Salamanca Place to the turn around for the 600mt to the finish line.

My official time of 1.01.02. was just perfect. I’m really happy with it, and know if I do a flat 10k then I can do it in just under 1hr. Not necessarily a goal, but knowing I can do it is certainly an accomplishment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

My post injury workout

Now that I’m making running a regular thing, just another activity I do throughout the day I have a calendar on the wall that I fill with my dreams and aspirations – in between the other life I have to keep organised. I have it marked down as something else to cross off. I love it, and while this makes it seem like a chore, it’s the time factor (30-90+mins required for a run and stretching afterwards) to take into consideration.

Going from running or doing some form exercise each day to having a week off to recoup from an injury makes the re start tough going.  My calendar this week had 3 x 5+k, an 8 and a 10k with body routines on the between days.
Well that is going to the shits. Thursday I was involved in a bike accident and while only bruised wanted to rest my leg – I didn’t fancy the chance of a blood clot creeping around my body with the extra movements. Come Monday morning and I am itching to get out. My head is about to explode. My body feels sludgy and ugh after doing nothing. Like it’s been on holiday.
I need that run. I have to do it.
I could the change in my mood as soon as I put on my bra (a good sports bra is an absolute must no matter your cup size, girls) and pulled up my running pants. Adding the music and my favourite cap and it was all I needed.
I could feel the smile bubbling away inside.
Doing a few stretches, setting the timer and I’m out the door.
The feeling of elation lasted for, oh, the first kilometre.  My dicky knee screamed at me. ‘what the fuck are you doing? It’s been a week and this is how you treat me?’ Yeah, sorry about that, knee. And I know that I will be feeling it for a couple of days. Maybe the 8 and 10k will have to wait til the end of the week.
I pushed through and completed my 5.8 in 36 mins. Right on par really, even though it felt slow.  I can do it closer to the 30 min mark, but with my knee I wasn’t upset at all.

I know I should have taken it easier, done the 3.4k run after such a big break, but that burn, that feeling I get isn’t quite the same. The burn of a bad knee is a whole other concept, and one I have to pay to get taken away. Might have to make it a regular appointment.
I spose the point I’m trying to make is that no matter what the injury, always start back into your routine slowly.  There’s no need to be all gung-ho and launch yourself at it like a rocket. Your goals will still be there. Your time/speed will come back.  You will bounce back as your body recognises what is going on.. ‘oh, yeah, I remember this movement’. And your body will thank you in the long run.

I will be pushing it, but also being mindful of my own limitations at this time over the next week.

I had a goal on the MapMyRun website/app of getting in 40 miles over 4 weeks. I would have easily done it, including today’s run as I only had the equivalent of 10km to finish. I got to 90%.
I’m not making a goal for this month, May, as there are 7 full days where I wont have a chance of getting any running in at all. These days will have to include other full body exercises.

I’ll leave you with a little saying that is relevant for today and a picture of me post run.

wpid-screenshot_2015-03-30-08-17-19_1.jpg

IMAG6869-2