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A leisurely Sunday run up Mount Cootha #scenicbrisbane #brisbanerunner

16 Sep

How’s your week going so far? Mine is pretty good from a running point of view. I ran yesterday, am running tomorrow and ran at the weekend – Sunday being a tough one as somehow I managed to end up running up Mount Cootha. Initially I asked around to see who was running and I mentioned I had asked my friend if she wanted to run up Mount Cootha or Kangaroo Point thinking she’d say no and I would then run closer to home and have an easy run… she called my bluff!

In fact two of my other friends said they’d like to run with us so I was locked in! And so at 6am on Sunday I left the house to go and run. I was quite tired but by the time I got to the Botanical Gardens I was pumped to start running.

Running up Mount CoothaThe first section is always a killer – running up the massive hill from the Botanical Gardens. By the time I got to the top of that I was stuffed wondering how I was going to make it but we carried on, running, chatting, laughing and pushing.

I underestimated the hills and the number of them, so thinking I was on the home stretch half way around towards the Channel 7 offices I pushed on only to find there were still lots of hills in front of me and it took me all my time to not stop.

Running up Mt Cootha

My partners in crime running up Mount Cootha. We were smiling at this point before it got really tough!


Here three of us are running up the Mountain.

I did walk and run for a little bit and I breathed to my friend “I can’t do this” as she trotted by and she encouraged me on. Once I got closer to the top I got my second wind and the remaining push to the top was great. I can still feel the marathon in my legs even now after 2 months passing by and it certainly came in handy! When I got to top I had a quick toilet stop and waited as I wasn’t sure whether my friend at the front had waited but after a few minutes I couldn’t find her so I started the awesome descent back down.

Running down the mountain is always great fun – flying by the seat of your pants literally. There is one tiny hill and the rest is heavily downhill and a great way to make up for the slow plodding up the hill – so I cranked up my iPod and went for it.

I was exhausted at the bottom but exhilarated. I plan to do the mountain run more regularly to start getting stronger ready for races later in the year/early next.

Hope you are having a great week!

Bye for now

Race Recap – River Run 100k

17 Aug

Yesterday was the River Run 100k. My morning didn’t start off too well since the neighbour next door kept us awake all night so when the alarm went off at 5am I was already awake and exhausted! Shaun picked me up at 5.40 and we parked near his work place and he had convinced me that we should cycle to the start using City Cycle bikes. It’s an interesting concept which I believe hasn’t taken off that well here in Brisbane but it was handy to pay $2 to have a bike to cycle across the city in. I felt tired before I started the race with being sleepy and cycling!

City Cycle

Shaun’s idea was to cycle to the race from where we parked the car. It wasn’t the most glamorous of experiences!

When we arrived our team was well and truly into the race already. John went at 5 to do 10k and then Matt second. Shaun was third and I was 4th and then Alex after us. I ran my 10k and the first mistake I made was I got off the Goodwill Bridge and turned right instead of left! Coordination and directions have never been a strong point of mine but I soon realised I’d gone the wrong way and quickly turned around. I felt really strong and ran out and back fairly evenly – I think we all raced off quickly for the first leg.

So basically you had a choice in teams of running 5k legs or 10k – the 10k went across the Goodwill Bridge and along towards the Regatta and the 5k didn’t go across the bridge but went down towards the Jazz Club on the Brisbane river. It was a bit boring when others were running and it gave time for muscles to seize up!

Getting a good leg stretch

The leg stretches got me through – i would have preferred to have run the distance in one go i think

I found when i stopped that my hamstring was sore so went for a leg stretch with the guys who were giving leg massage/stretches from Prestige Lifestyles which helped but as the day went on things got worse because of the stopping and starting. The next leg which was 5k started a bit stressful since I realised the joystick on my TomTom watch had fallen off somewhere and I couldn’t find it and had to start running as Shaun came in – so I had no idea how fast or slow I was going! I found the 5k itself to be quite boring but also got sick of weaving in and out of people as it was just a public footpath not taped off for the run so I didn’t think that aspect of the race was so great.

My husband and son arrived to support me but I was in a bit of pain so couldn’t walk around too much so bub was a bit bored. By the time we came for the last leg I was doing my 5k and then as I was last at this point I then had to turn back around and run the Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 12.07.18 pmlast 5k with the whole team so got to do 10k at the end. My legs were sore but I figured this would be better for my hamstring than doing a 5k and stopping again and waiting for the last 5k. When I finished my 5k and picked the guys up I struggled all the way to the 2.5k point and then turning around and knowing we only had 2.5k left I suddenly felt like someone had charged me up and was raring to go! I realised I hadn’t run as a team for a very long time and struggled to keep with their pace as they were taking it slow and I just wanted the pain to stop and to finish so I raced off a couple of times, realised and then slowed again – so they must have been thinking – hmm she’s not much of a team player is she!!!

Smiling faces now we have finished

Smiling faces now we have finished

We finished the race and I got one final leg stretch done and hobbled back with my husband and bub to the car very glad it was over. I am not sure I would do it again as I think I would rather have done the distance in one go. It didn’t help having a hamstring issue either so I’ll be resting mostly now until two weeks when it is the Bridge to Brisbane!



Not listening, dodgy hamstring, and two races!

28 Jul

Hope you have had a great week and that your running is going well. Mine started off ok….and ended with me not running the weekend just gone!

After the marathon my running trainer said not to push it too much for a month or so after the race which I adhered to initially. Then last week I pushed it on the treadmill in a pyramid sprint session. I did a 1k warm up, followed by 1 min sprint, 1 min easy run, 2 min sprint, 2 min easy run, 3 min sprint and then 3 min easy run and then 2 min sprint – you get the picture right!

My sprint pace started at 11.5kph on the treadmill and ended up at almost 13 and it was at that point that I felt something not quite right in my butt! so I slowed down and hobbled the last bit of the session then got off the treadmill looking like I had had an accident! I then tried to do some leg curls and realised ‘ok Zoe enough is enough – there is something not right’ and then spent a restless night trying to sleep. Got in with a physio today and she said I have sprained my hamstring – oops. So no running for me this weekend. I am allowed to ‘jog’ on Monday – but we’ll see – maybe I can run :-)

So Roger if you are reading this – you were right, I pushed it and now I am injured! I’ve learned my lesson on this occasion!

I went for a slow run yesterday and I did feel it but I am back with physio on Thursday and hopefully will have improved! She said it should take a week to two weeks so we will see how I go…

Upcoming races – River Run 100 and Bridge to Brisbane

Feeling a bit sorry for myself last week I got an email from a running friend who is in a team for the River 100 relay race in a few weeks so I am potentially going to do 20k in the relay – it’s in 5k sections so should be fine providing I have no problem recovering from my hamstring issue. Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.23.08 pm

I’m quite excited as whilst I am running the Bridge to Brisbane at the end of August that will be a fun run whereas this will be a bit more serious. I certainly won’t be dressing up as a waitress like I am for Bridge to Brisbane!

So it has been a mixed week but loving the running and feeling strong – just hoping my hamstring is ok!

Tips for preparing 2 months before your marathon #GCAM15 #runstopshop @runstopshop

5 May Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

The last week or so has been a blur with training and organising my son’s first birthday party. I never tend to do things by half so I put far too much stress on myself in preparation for his party and ended up making 4 cakes for his birthday as trial runs and they all went bad – so King of Cakes saved the day! But anyway as a result I haven’t written many blog posts lately.

Marathon training is up and down and it is now less than two months until the big day. I ran 28km on Sunday and the long runs are going up and up so all going ok at the moment but I feel like a bit of a tortoise crawling along and very tired.

I’m starting to get a bit nervous about race day and I whilst I haven’t put any pressure on myself to run a specific time it’s starting to stress me a bit and I keep thinking – what if I don’t finish!?! My last marathon was nearly 10 years ago and I was a spring chicken then, it has been so much harder training this time and yes of course I am coming back from having a baby so there is that!

Anyway here is my 2 months countdown to marathon checklist

Make sure you have entered the race!

Sounds crazy but you can get so carried away with training that it might slip your mind to actually enter the race. This should be top of your list to get done. I know with the Gold Coast their early bird entries are closed now but you can still enter – but make sure you enter whatever race it is you are doing!  Also if you need accommodation get it booked ASAP – in fact in hindsight this should have been a 3 months before… I struggled to find accommodation for the Gold Coast Marathon but my awesome travel agent managed to get me some as I didn’t fancy driving from Brisbane on the day – just another headache.

Practice in your kit

Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

Marathon Training Kit sent from RunStopShop

As a RunStopShop Ambassador I got sent my Marathon Day clothes and shoes last week! and I am now busy trying them out to ensure they fit properly. The leggings were not right and the crop top was too big so I’ve had to send them back and will get replacements through shortly but I will be wearing them on most of my long runs now to ensure that I am used to them on race day.

Also if you are planning on running with energy gels start trying them out now too. As I said in my previous post 3 months before your marathon I had bad experiences with not trying out gels beforehand. Find out what the official gel for the race is and try that or choose your own but make sure you try them first.

Longer distance runs should be the norm

You should be feeling very comfortable with long runs now. I ran 28k at the weekend and I will be doing 20k this weekend and 30k the following. Depending on your program 2 months before the race your long runs should be up there too. I don’t stress about the time I do it in as I’m not trying to win the race – I just concentrate on time on legs for my long run.

Train at the time of race 

Training kit

I’m trying out all my race day kit

I have a few friends who ran a marathon a couple of years ago and they had been doing all their training very early in the morning i.e. 4am and the actual race started at 7.30am – and on the day it was an unusually warm day for that time of year and they struggled as their bodies weren’t used to running later in the morning.

I have started running later and later for some of my runs as The Gold Coast Marathon starts at 7.30amish and a lot of my runs have been either at 5am or at the gym in the evening so I am trying out running later in the morning and boy it makes a difference – I think that’s probably why I am finding it hard at the moment whilst my body adjusts to the temperature.

Massage and Physio if needed

I have started going to see my massage therapist as my calfs have been getting quite tight and I am worried I will get an injury so that has been helping, and I have friends who have their physio on speed dial during training to check out niggles they keep having. Worth considering if you are getting a few aches and pains.

Anyway the countdown is on! Less than 2 months to go until my marathon. Hope your training is going well and Happy Running :-D 


Please remember I am not a qualified professional when it comes to training and injuries. I write based on my experiences –  so always consult your doctor or trained professional before trying out anything new or if experiencing pain etc.


Tips for staying motivated when injured or unable to train

15 Nov

This week has been another interesting week with my second cortisone injection in my other wrist. This one hurt a lot more than the first and I have been on a bit of a downer wondering what’s going to happen next! My wrist seems to be improving but I haven’t been able to do anything – my family have been helping whilst I rested but being an active person it has been very frustrating and I even froze my gym membership for a week or so to get a bit of rest – I can still run but I have to run a bit funny so my wrist doesn’t pull so I decided to rest!

I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and sometimes things that happen to slow you down are actually a good thing and force you to realise perhaps you needed the rest – so all good.

I was hoping to get a race in before Christmas but it’s unlikely now and I am actually ok with that. I’m intending to start running outside more with the Baby Jogger now bub is old enough so I can’t wait once my wrist is strong enough.

It's hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

It’s hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

4 Tips to stay motivated when injured or unable to train 

It’s not forever

Often we see hurdles and setbacks as the end of the world and a real killjoy. I know with being pregnant, then being injured I have certainly felt that way. I don’t think I had ever not trained for so long and it drove me nuts. Friends that I had disappeared as I no longer had those things in common and I felt quite isolated. Often we learn a lot from these experiences and just remember it isn’t forever.

Cruel to be Kind 

In not training because of an injury or health issue or even pregnancy you have to remember it is for a specific reason. It’s not like you just can’t be bothered – there is a specific reason and you should remember that. Running with an injury would be pretty silly just as running when pregnant unless your doctor has given you the all clear.

Other Opportunities

Take the time to use the time for other opportunities – get that book read or call your friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while and enjoy the time off as if you are anything like me when you eventually get back to training you will work extra hard to make up for lost time!

Set a goal for when back training 

When I was pregnant I set all sorts of goals for when my baby was born to give me some motivation to push through the pregnancy. I know dead on week 12 I signed up to a new gym and started slowly getting back into training. I bought a few new gym clothes and was very excited about getting back so I had something to look forward to – but that’s just me – you might have other ideas but it helped me to keep going. I know when I go back to the gym in a matter of days I have set myself some goals to really get myself back into training and a couple of targets which if I don’t make them I’ll get over – but I’m being positive that  I will achieve them!

Anyway onwards and upwards – have a great week of running!

Zoe :-)

Baby Max has arrived

21 May

Sorry – long time no talk! I haven’t written anything in a week or three as our baby finally arrived!

He arrived!!

max hospital

Max was born at the end of April – it was a fairly quick labour and nice and pain free thanks to the epidural I made sure I had! I read lots of articles about having a fully natural labour and decided not being great with pain I would reduce the stress on me and Max and go for pain relief. Very thankful I did – although the administering of the epidural was not the best!

I have to say the pregnancy was a shocker but worth every last ounce of nausea, reflux, back pain etc for what I got in return. My friend who is also my doctor said to me that the pregnancy was worse than the birth as the birth is like a marathon to get through in one day whereas the pregnancy is nine months of discomfort! She was so right!  My stomach muscles certainly got some use in the labour and I just imagined I was in an exercise class and pushed as hard as I could and he was out within 12 pushes :-)My little boy is the most precious thing I have ever seen and we are delighted as parents that everything went ok.

I spent a few emotional days looking at Max in amazement that he was finally born and felt so great – no more sickness yay! We’ve spent the last 2 weeks sleeping when we can, feeding him and helping him get to sleep – it’s certainly been a challenge as I am sure any mums reading will know :-)

Gearing back up to train!

Max buggy

First day out with max in the babyjogger – it was so good just to get out and start to feel ready to train again.

Fitness wise I am raring to go. Thanks to a natural birth I have pretty much recovered, belly has gone down – still a little way to go but I was amazed at how quickly belly disappeared and I am back into my first trimester maternity clothes and not worrying too much right now about getting all the weight off. I have an appointment with my obstetricians physio then hoping I will be signed off to start to slowly get back into training! I’m a bit nervous as I haven’t run in a very long time but I am looking forward to putting my trainers on and giving it a go. Going to join a gym again and I recently took Max out for a little walk in the stroller which was great. He seemed to like it and I loved just getting out and about and feeling like I was ready to start training again :-)

Rave products helping me at the moment 

I have found some products invaluable to me at this time helping me with my postpartum recovery and just having a baby in general. Here are my top 5.

1. SRC Recovery Shorts 

These are amazing and I will review in more detail in a separate post. They are great for both natural birth recovery or C section recovery and I am convinced they have helped everything to go down a bit more i.e. my tummy and also for my ability to walk easier and not be in discomfort.

2. Ultimate Sleep Breast Feeding Pillow 

Again I will write a separate post on this but having already tried two other pillows this pillow which is endorsed by the Australian Breastfeeding Association is so comfortable to use and also great to just stick in the washing machine when it gets dirty – very handy!

3. Lansinoh – my saviour! Nipple cream (sorry to any men reading this! might be too much information!)

Lansinoh has been awesome in keeping me sane and helping me to recover from the toe curling start of breast feeding when baby decides to bite the hell out of those sensitive parts of the breast!

4. Baby Cam :-)

My husband installed a baby cam by Max’s bassinet so that when I pop out and he is looking after him I can check my phone and see him sleeping – priceless :-) I love being able to check on him at all times!

5. Exercise Ball

My exercise ball has been very helpful for both mobility for me – getting me used to just moving a bit again and also bouncing Max gently when he doesn’t want to sleep :-)

Anyway I’ll be trying to write more frequently to keep you posted with my journey back to fitness – happy running! Here’s just one more photo of Max from his proud mumma!


Anticipation; Anxiety and Excitement

9 Mar

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 :-)


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