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Anticipation; Anxiety and Excitement

9 Mar
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Getting bigger now! Just over 7 weeks to go!

Those three words in the heading of my post are the three things I have been feeling lately knowing that in a few weeks (7 to be precise) I will have a new born baby! Anticipation of what’s going to happen, what it’s going to be like and whether my life will ever be the same again.

Anxiety of the birth and labour – I have stopped asking the question of whether it will hurt – yes it is going to hurt and have been anxious that the baby is ok and delivers ok and has no major health problems.

Then there is the Excitement of – wow we are having  a baby! I had my baby shower last weekend and some of my friends came and fussed over me and we played some fun games and ate cake :-) Knowing pretty much all of them bar one have been through childbirth, and some many times has helped to reassure me somewhat! Secretly I am also excited that I will be able to get back into training sometime in the not so distant future now I have an end date – so that’s good too!

My husband and I are all set to go. We pretty much have all the stuff we need now – bassinet, change table, pushchair, car seat, capsule, clothing, lots and lots of wraps and blankets, toys, nappies, wipes – I am sure we have missed things but we’ll find out soon enough :-)

Unfortunately the nausea has returned :-( apparently it does for a few people – so I reckon I had about 3 weeks of no sickness for the whole pregnancy – I am reframing it as the baby is very healthy and is sending lots of hormones all over the place so it’s easier to endure that way thinking that way! Had another physio session but thanks to the Pregnancy shorts I got the backache and pelvic pain seems to have gone mostly – yayy. I’m planning on doing a proper review of them shortly as they have been so awesome!

It was the International Women’s Race today which I missed. Am hoping I can do it next year and get my pink on! Well done to all the ladies that participated in Brisbane today!

Anyway enough of me rambling on – Have a great week and as I always say – Happy Running :-)

Breast Cancer Research – How you can help by running the Mothers Day Classic

28 Feb

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I have been fortunate to not have been close to anyone who has suffered with breast cancer but I know people that have had their family or friends go through it. As a woman it scares me along with all the other cancers we are potentially at risk of. So the annual Mother’s Day Classic races across Australia in aid of Breast cancer research have always been races I have wanted to support and be involved in.

Last year I was unable to run so didn’t race and this year it is on the 11th May right before when my baby is due so I won’t be there this year either so I thought instead I would write a post promoting it and give you some facts about breast cancer.

DID YOU KNOW? Image

  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia.
  • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • In 2014, 15,270 women are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia.
  • In 2020, 17,210 women are projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia. This is an average of 47 women every day.
  • Increasing age is one of the strongest risk factors for developing breast cancer. More than two in three cases of breast cancer occur in women aged between 40 and 69 years.
  • Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer have an 89% chance of surviving five years after diagnosis.
  • Improvements in survival are attributed to earlier detection of breast cancer through regular mammograms and improved treatment outcomes for breast cancer.
  • On average, seven women die from breast cancer every day in Australia. Finding breast cancer early increases the chance of surviving the disease.
  • Although rare, breast cancer can also affect men, accounting for about 1% of cases. Around 110 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year.

*These stats were taken from The National Breast Cancer Foundation where you can also get more information about Breast Cancer.

I have fond memories of running the Mother’s Day Classic with my friends and hope this time next year to be running it again rather than just talking about it :-) It’s a really fun race with a serious message behind it and I love seeing all the girls dress up in fancy dress and really having fun as well as running – all in the name of raising money for Cancer Research.

The event takes place in more than 70 different places across Australia and you can read amazing stories on their website as well as donate or volunteer if you are not wanting to run. There is a 4.5km and an 8km race which people either walk or run and the support you get whilst running round is amazing.

I want to wish everyone walking/running the event Good Luck and I’ll be thinking of you and hoping to be there next year :-)

Vote for The Girl That Runs in @RunStopShop’s quest to find their favourite running blogger

15 May

Hi, how is your training going?

It’s been so nice in Brisbane today, perfect weather for training outside :-) I managed to drag the dog out for a walk this morning at 6am and have been racing around ever since – going to try and fit a weights session in later if I can!

I need your help :-)

My blog has been highlighted in a list of  10 running blogs across Australia in a poll to find the best! I am so surprised that my little blog has made it to someone’s list and not really expecting to win as there are some very strong contenders out there – but would really appreciate you voting for me in the poll if you get a chance :-)It’s just a bit of fun but it made me much better seeing the email yesterday after not such a good day :-)  Thanks RunStopShop :-)

Vote here - thanks for supporting me :-)

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The joys of summer training

15 Jan

Wow it has been hot the last week or so in Brisbane, thankfully today is a bit cooler, but still sticky! I’ve found myself missing the cool weather in the UK and longing for my husband to treat me to that spa and swimming pool I’ve aways dreamed of!

Training has been tough in the last week or so just trying to push myself to train in the heat. I’ve been getting up really early in order to keep as cool as possible in training, and unfortunately going to the gym doesn’t help as my gym doesn’t have AC!!

sunI’ve learned a few things in my training time when it comes to the heat which I thought I would share:

Slip slop slap

If you must run outside and in the sun at least cover up or put on sun tan lotion. I know a lot of people that won’t wear sun tan lotion because they don’t like the feeling of it on their skin, but frankly I would rather feel greasy than get skin cancer and Australia is renowned for it!

Drink plenty of water 

My friend always says I don’t drink enough water and at this time of year it’s really important to ensure you take on water before during and after training. The amount varies from expert to expert but I always go along the lines of the pee test – nice and clear means all nicely hydrated before a run, but brown and the darker the pee is not good! I remember once race I did when I pee’d afterwards it was brown like watery tea! Not good! Try and carry water around with you or choose a running route that you know has drink fountains on the way round. A camelbak can help if you are like me and not very good at running with a bottle in your hand or around your waist.

Training times 

When the heat is on like it has been the last week or so I try and train early or later on in the evening to avoid the heat and the sun. For those of you blessed with a gym with air con or home with air con I would be taking advantage right now. I’ve been doing my P90x a fair bit at home with the air con on as it is cooler than doing weights at the gym right now!

Isotonic drink 

I passed out with heat stroke a fair few years ago now and just before my friends had gotten me to drink salt water and also juice to replace the sodium and sugar that I’d lost in a mammouth 30k run I had done in the boiling heat on a very hot day in London (very unusual) but now i tend to drink isotonic drinks to help replace any sugar/salt lost in training during and after training – this for me is important especially on hot days.

Find some trees 

I tend to vary running routes when hot and find routes that are shaded and less out in the open to help me keep relatively cool.

Well here are a few things i do – how do you keep cool in the sun when training?

Happy running!

 

Walking, running and the frustration of slowing down

7 Jan

Hope you had a great Christmas and new year. It’s taken me a while to post as I have been pretty busy and a few things going on but I’m back now!

My training has actually been going well with riding, running, walking – although I have been pretty frustrated as due to a medical issue my doctor asked me to keep my heart rate down a bit so the other day I went out for a run and tried to stick to the heart rate she wanted and it was so frustrating as almost no sooner had I started to run I needed to walk again and I was running around the lake near to home and was having a mental battle in my head with my head saying I could do it and my heart saying ‘but you have sprinted around this lake so many times before, what will people think when they see you running and then walking’ – but I stuck to it and actually felt ok. Interval training as we all know is a great way to keep fit – but try telling that to a seasoned runner that just wants to run and not walk – as you can see I haven’t quite resolved that issue with myself yet!

My mother in law used to do a lot of walking and she got extremely fit doing just that as well as observing a balanced diet of course. I can’t resign myself to just walking though not just yet! I need to RUN!

I was thinking about new year resolutions and have decided not to have any as everytime I seem to set them I never achieve them so I decided this year will be a year of achieving but without goals :-) I’m just going to go as hard as I can and see how I do. Have you made any resolutions?

Bye for now!

 

Running without time

21 Oct

How has your training been this week?

Garmin 405cxI did a killer session yesterday as in the morning I ran up Mt Cootha – 10.5k but very hilly, and then in the afternoon I did a 20k bike ride with my friends. I was convinced I would be ok to train again this morning but when my alarm went off at 5.45am and I tried to get out of bed my legs and hips did not want to move and hurt in a way I knew I would end up literally crawling on the 10k I had planned, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Anyway I digress slightly. When I was running up Mount Cootha yesterday I realised 500m in that I hadn’t charged my Garmin watch properly and it died on me. My first reaction was to think argh – shall I run back to the car park and use my iPhone Map My Run  app or Strava? but I made the decision to keep going even though I knew now I wouldn’t have any running stats.

But you know what….it was actually quite liberating, just to run and not to be looking down at my time per kilometre or my heart rate. I literally had to go on how I felt. I felt good, and I did walk a little bit this week as it was my first proper run back since my holiday but I really enjoyed my run, I got to look around and look at all the beautiful scenery that’s all around on Mount Cootha and to suddenly take in that I was outdoors, running – doing what I love and I had a really great run. I finished the final sprint back to the car park with a smile on my face and it set me up for the day.

I think a run every now and again without wearing my watch might be good but I have to admit, I did find myself wondering what my time was and whether I had broken any of my times according to the Strava segments – very sad you say …….. I know!

So do you run with a watch when you train? If not is there  a particular reason why you don’t?

Happy training and have a great week next week!

It’s a dog eat runner world

16 Aug

I’ve been running pretty well lately. I think the Olympics has spurred me on. I decided yesterday that I would start to up my mileage and ended up running 13k which was great ,bar the route I was on I knew had lots of four legged friends on it.

As a runner dogs have always been an issue. I remember running in Richmond Park in London and being chased by a big dog once in a while but never really had an major issues until I moved to Australia. My friends and I have been chased, snarled at and barked at by lots of unleashed dogs and so far there haven’t been any injuries but I have read about lots, so am very cautious whenever I run.

Polly

Not all dogs are as cute as our dog who would never hurt a fly. When out running, dogs can be a real hazard.

A friend told me a while ago that one of her runner friends was set upon whilst out running by two staffies who worked together as a pack in an attempt to maul him – he ended up  having to hit one in the face and they both ran off. I had a similar incident where a dog ran out at my friend – it didnt see me and was snarling and growling as it ran at her. I screamed at it and said a few naughty words at it and it looked at me and scarpered off.

The route I ran yesterday I knew had a few dogs on it so I was very careful to tip toe past hoping that I wouldn’t get chased. It was a bit scary as I was on my own thinking about what I would do if a dog came running after me. Thankfully yesterday was a good day – a few barks and a few growls and I was ok. But what should you do if encountered by a dog?

My friends and I have tended to slow down and walk when we see a dog unleashed and to not look at it directly in the eye, and so far that has worked. I read a recent article that gives a bit more information and here is a summary:

1. avoid smiling – they actually say to avoid smiling at the dog as it means revealing your teeth which can be seen as baring your teeth for a fight! I’d never thought of that – nor would I normally intentionally smile at an aggressive dog!

2. look for the warning signs – according to the article if a dogs head is up and head level it means it means business as is an even steady run, whereas a dog with its head held high or low is probably not going to attack.

3. remain calm – I remember when my friend and I got chased on one occasion, she was freaking out and I was remarkably calm – I also remember telling her not to worry as she was skinny and it was more likely to go for me as I had more meat on my bones! Funny the things you think as your life flashes before your eyes!

4. The article also says that if you use words like ‘go home’ or ‘down’ it may stop a momentarily attack as they are in subjugation to humans. I wasn’t quite that polite when faced with a grizzly dog!

5. The article recommends facing the dog side on rather than head on. Not sure about that either.

The article gets a bit more gruesome after that so if you want to read the rest go for it.

Have you ever been chased by a dog out running? What did you do to get away from the dog?

 

Happy running!

Please remember my blog posts are only based on my experience and relevant articles I refer to. Please seek advice from professionals in their field in this case Vets and people that are experienced with dogs before taking any of this advice as sound.

 

 

Tough run up Mount Cootha and Marathon envy

30 Jun

I ran up Mount Cootha this morning, up along the road and back and it was a tough 10.5k run, the longest I have run since I got sick, and I felt every stride. I felt great afterwards but whilst running it I really had to fight to not stop and walk. It was a constant battle to push myself to run especially up the steep bits.

It reminded me very much of some of my marathons I have run.

Tomorrow is the Gold Coast Marathon and I won’t be running any of it this year, not even the 5k, but I know a couple of people running the half, and a couple running the full marathon, and initially I was a bit envious. I imagine right now they will have all their kit ready, be full up on carbs, have their race number and timing chip ready to go, and anticipating the race tomorrow.

medals

I thought a bit further and started to think back to when I ran my longer races and ok maybe I am not so envious. It’s one of those things that you either love or hate. After I ran my first marathon in London, I signed straight back up to do the Dublin later that year and then I did Berlin and then I did Paris – my last one in 2006. By the time I got to Paris my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I struggled so much with the race both physically and mentally, but I got round and then hung my running shoes up for a while after that, promising my husband I wouldn’t put him through the 10 weeks of nightmare training that both he and I had endured.

I endured the long runs, the blisters, the constant hunger, the tedium of the 20 mile training runs and the tiredness – whilst he endured my pickiness over food (i.e. no spicy good as it might make my stomach funny for a run the next day), my constant early nights, grumpiness from being tired from training and my general obsession with everything marathon.

I was only talking to my friend today saying I knew someone that had entered the New York Marathon and I thought I had one marathon left in me and I would consider doing it a few years down the track, and I thought to myself ‘argh what are you saying!?!’ but running is in my blood, sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it but it’s there constantly and I go crazy if I can’t do it. I love long distance running but it has a place in parts of my life not all, currently I am running middle distance runs and am loving it but I am sure there will come a time where I am ready for those longer runs again.

So part of me wishes I was lined up tomorrow to run the 42km and part of me is very glad I am not. I am so proud of the races I have participated in so far and those I am sure are yet to come, and I wish everyone lining up tomorrow the very best of luck and ask that they put a stride or two in for me :-)

Have a great weekend

A trail run in the dark up Mount Cootha

20 Jun

I recently met a friend who invited me to run up Mount Cootha in the evening with her and her friends/running group, so I figured that since I am now on the mend from being sick and my back injury that I would give it a go.

I have to say it was one of the most exhilarating yet scary things I have done in a while.

running in the woods

Image used from pentaxforums.com
This was lighter than I could see last night but gives an idea….

I turned up not thinking to have taken a torch with me since I figured we would be running on the road, although I probably would have needed a torch still for the roads at that time of night, so one of the girls lent me a bike light. We weren’t actually running up the roads we were running up the track, I’d never been up the tracks! Bwefore all of that I couldn’t really find where to park as it was dark and wasn’t sure where the car park was and then I saw a faint glimmer of someone (could have been someone ready to pounce on me for all I knew!) and asked him if he was a runner, he said – no he was a walker but I decided this area was the place to park. So I parked up waiting for some other possible runners.

When everyone arrived and said we were running up the track I was a bit freaked out as I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work, the first bit we walked up as it was quite steep and then it was a case of use that light to make sure you don’t slip and roll your ankle or something. All I could see was a metre in front of me, looking back it was a bit scary to say the least. I decided the best option was to be in front of some of the runners so that I wasn’t at the back and easy picking for someone that might be lurking around waiting to pounce on that unlucky girl with a very small bike light and it seemed to work better as the glare from the lights behind me helped me see where I was going.

The actual conditions reminded me of when I was back in London running around Wimbledon Common and I am sure it looks really pretty by day.

We did a bit of running on the road and got to the top and then headed back down which was better in terms of the stairs but quite steep. I was a bit worried this would be the ankle roll so tried to keep my pace steady. Got to the bottom and felt great and felt like I had a real all over workout. Then it was off for a well earned dinner. I’ve never been a trail runner but I think I could be a convert as it was great fun and no pressure to be quick, just enjoying running. Running at night actually helped from a psychological point of view as I couldn’t see the hills coming so just pushed as much as I can, whereas normally in my head when I see the hill my brain tells me it’s going to hurt, so that was a good thing too.

So today is a rest day after the last few days of running and I am going to enjoy it ready for the next session!

It’s that time again: does the fan go on or off at the gym!

28 May

I love my gym. It gives me great pleasure to train there except when it’s boiling hot as there is no air conditioning, just fans, and when it is winter in Brisbane and it’s cold.

Oscillating Fan

I train my butt off at the gym especially on the treadmill when I don’t want to run outside, but the issue I face and the girls that I train with is often when we are running inside in winter and we are working hard and sweating, we put the fan on much to the annoyance of the people that think going to the gym involves sitting on a bike and reading a magazine and not raising much of a sweat hence they don’t really warm up and give death stares when anyone goes near the fans.

I had one of those moments the other day as I was running for the first time in a couple of weeks after being sick and went to put the fan on to discover it wasn’t working. I went to one of the guys on the desk who came over and said someone had had it switched off at the mains, he then switched it on for me and the guy in question didn’t look too happy and said I shouldn’t work so hard – in a nice way of course.

I am finding I now have an aversion to the fan. Everytime I think about switching it on I look over at who else is training and whether they are training hard, if so I will go and switch it on, but if not I just suck it up as I don’t like to upset people and I end up finishing my training early because I am too warm. Am I being crazy? I mean when I sweat I get really hot – and there are only so many clothes I can remove without getting in trouble!

Maybe I should stick to training outside!

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