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A weekend of hot park and trail running!

1 Feb

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was full of running :-) and it was very hot!

Saturday – parkrun time 

On Saturday I ran the Rocks Riverside parkrun with my lovely friend – I’m not a huge fan of that particular course as there is no shade and so on a warm day it’s quite severe, and Saturday was no exception. It was so sticky.

My saving grace was I had spontaneously entered a trail race for the following day so I decided to just take it easy in the parkrun and just run as if it was a training run. It was still uncomfortable but not as uncomfortable if I had been pushing hard. There was a good turn out and then I rushed off as it was my sons first swimming lesson :-) He did brilliantly! (of course I would say that as I’m his proud mum!).

rocks riverside parkrun

Finishing the Rocks Riverside Park parkrun felt good this week as it was like a training run – taking it easy ready for my trail race the next day.

My first trail race 

So as I was saying I entered a trail race last week – part of the SEQ trail running series. My friend Erica convinced me as I wasn’t sure. Apart from running up the trails on Mount Cootha this would be my first time trail running so after reading the handouts and particularly the ones about what to do in the event of a bush fire and how to handle snake bites I was somewhat nervous. I think I must have messaged Erica countless times asking her what I should wear, what happens if I get bitten (haha) and would it be muddy! Thankfully she was extremely patient!

SEQ Trail Running Series – Bunya Forest Trails Race 

So I opted to do the 8.5km trail race and laid my clothes out the night before. I decided to run with my hydration backpack as there was no water on the route and the organisers – Those Guy Events insist you have at least 300ml of water with you when you run. So I popped my backpack kidney into the fridge the night before and prepared myself to wake up at 4.30am to get to Bunya for 5.45 to collect my number.

Thanks to my extremely noisy neighbours I ended up with about 3 hours sleep so I was not a happy bunny on Sunday. I had a shower, and raced out the door and drove to what I expected to be the middle of nowhere and I arrived to loads of people and realising I was wasn’t too rural. What I noticed though was that people were fairly differently dressed to a normal road race. They all had hydration backpacks – hardly saw any water belts. Lots of cool Injinji socks and special trail running trainers – I figured I stood out in my Kayano’s as I wasn’t kitted out in ‘trail gear!’.

There were a few trail running clubs and I felt a bit lost, so I was glad I knew someone else that was running – well kind of…. There is a story behind Erica and I knowing one another – the most bizarre thing happened when I ran last years Gold Coast Marathon. Erica finished just before me and was therefore in pretty much every one of my finishing photos! We didn’t know one another and Erica got in touch and we became friends and then on Sunday we ran our first trail run together – how cool is that. I love how running brings likeminded people together :-)

seq trail race bunya

Erica and I before the race started looking very smiley :-)

The race 

So the race went off in waves to allow for congestion I guess. I was in wave 11 and figured I’d have ages to wait. Erica was in  10 but switched to 11 so we could run together and we only had to wait a few minutes and off we went.

It was different to a road race – people still raced off but I found myself constantly looking at my feet to make sure I didn’t roll my ankle or lose my footing. I was out of breath pretty quickly too as the race soon went into a small incline. I was assured this was nothing compared to what was coming!

I basically followed Erica around following and I pushed on. I got to a huge hill and we walked and as we started again I soon realised this was tough and there was no way I would be able to keep up so Erica kept going and I slowed. The heat had also suddenly hit me. It’s like running under the trees keeps the heat in and at 4k or so I was struggling.

I decided not to run with headphones either so relied on the puffing and panting of others along with admiring the beautiful scenery to keep me going.

trail running

I had a smile on my face here – it’s the start of the race! It was great fun though – road running seems quite boring after this race!

I got to one hill and noticed lots of houses with lovely swimming pools and I made a comment to the runners around me – ‘oooh they look very inviting’ and someone shouted – ‘focus focus’ – I considered myself told and carried on pushing!

I got to 7.5k thinking yay I only have 500m left and then suddenly realised it was 8.5km not 8 and my whole body just gave out but someone ran by me and told me to keep going so I did. Races always bring out the best in people and it’s like you are running as a team – people help you – you help them and everyone finishes (all being well).

The last section was a killer as I looked at my watch and figured I was almost done and turned a corner for the last 150 meters to see a massive hill – but thankfully there were people screaming at me to finish, and so I gave it one last push and finished!

It hurt a lot but it was also so exhilarating and different to a road race. I’d love to do another one – maybe a bit flatter but I really enjoyed it in a love/hate kind of way :-) The photographers got a photo of me smiling so I figure I must have enjoyed at least some of it :-)

seq trail running

That look of elation after the race was over!

My legs are a little bit sore today but not too bad. This week I am turning my attention to the Twilight Half Marathon which is not far away. I need to up my mileage and get some solid runs in in the next few weeks.

Anyway that’s it for this post. My next post I will be reviewing the teatox I recently did and giving away a free detox. So watch this space.

Happy Running :-)

 

Caught in a predicament as race started…

27 Jan

Did I get your attention with that headline?

It was quite funny looking back now, but at the time I was stressed!

The last week has been great and on Friday I popped up to the coast to see family and decided it would be good to run a ParkRun up there as well – not noting the weather forecast! So I settled for the Noosa ParkRun. It sounded perfect and the route looked great.

Caught on the loo! 

Noosa Park Run January 2016

Not a huge fan of this photo – running photos always make me look chunky!

On the Saturday morning I jumped in my car on what I can only describe as a boiling hot morning at just before 6.30am and figured I had plenty of time to get to the start and go to the toilet and prepare for the race. What I didn’t allow for was the slow drivers on one long one laned road into Noosa!

By the time I arrived I had a couple of minutes to spare and simply had to go to the toilet. I asked a runner where the toilets were and dashed off – I swear I have never peed as quickly as I did. I raced back outside of the toilet only to discover that the run had started!

I had a nasty hill to sprint up to get to the start and must have looked like a wild woman sprinting up the hill and puffing and panting. Someone shouted out I was 26 seconds behind so I was determined to push as hard as I could to get to where I was comfortable in the race and then slow down to a slower more durable pace.

By the time I was a kilometre in – the humidity hit me as well as that sprint to the start and I was shattered. I ended up doing an ok time and was very glad to finish as it was so sticky! The group was quite small and everyone seemed to know one another so I didn’t hang around afterwards and I drove back to where I was staying and my lovely husband had breakfast waiting for me :-)

Sizzling heat and snakes 

running in the countryside

It was lovely running in the countryside – on a cooler day I would have appreciated it even more but it was so hot!

The next day I intended to run 10k in the morning,  and again it was hot and sticky. I hadn’t had a great nights sleep, and I hadn’t eaten great food the night before or taken on much water so it was a battle all the way round.

I took it easy and eased into the run and took in the beautiful scenery around me. I was jolted out of my daydream when I spotted three snakes consecutively. I am pretty sure two out of the three were dead – I did think the third was dead and took a photo but my husband isn’t sure whether it was dead or not – I’m glad I had convinced myself they were dead as I jumped out of my skin anyway when I saw them and may have screamed my head off also if it had moved!

It always reminds me of the first time I came to Australia and my husband was playing around with me I think when we went for a walk in the rainforest and he told me to watch my feet all the time if I heard rustling as it might be snakes…. I don’t think I have recovered!

snake

So what do you reckon? Dead or alive? My husband thinks it is alive… I am very glad I didn’t hang around to find out. I think it is only a tree snake but even so it is a SNAKE!

Anyway I ended up managing 7.5k instead of 10k but it was so sticky I just couldn’t handle the heat. I was annoyed as later on it started to rain and it was much cooler but it was just one of those things. Maybe I need to toughen up more!

So that was my weekend. I don’t think it was 100% successful running wise as I didn’t run as much as I would have liked but I’m thankful that I am able to run again. My hip is coming good and I am feeling stronger.

Anyway I hope you are managing to run lots and still enjoying it like I am :-D Have a great week….until next time!

On another note I was emailed by a company that has compiled a list of 100 blogs for fitness inspiration and I was 32nd :-) You can see the list here and might find some other blogs that tickle your fancy too :-)

How to treat and prevent blisters @azumioinc

14 Jan

Hey there! I hope you are having a good week and that you are getting to run lots. It’s been a mixed bag of a week for me with trying to still keep off my feet a little bit to let my bursitis heal but I am feeling much better and the pain is starting to subside.

I’m volunteering at a ParkRun at the weekend in Southbank as my running club Intraining has organised volunteers and needed help and I figured in order to ensure I kept my pace down that I would volunteer for the 35 minute 5k. That works out to about 7 minute km which is a lot slower than I would normally run but I am hoping I get to run comfortably and encourage people along the way if they need help.

Anyway I’ve been a guest blogger for Azumio for a good few months now and I was running out of ideas as to what to write and my latest post is all about blisters – how to treat them and how to prevent them in the first place. I am no podiatrist but with all the hassles I had in the lead up to the Gold Coast Marathon last year with that horrendous blister to the point it nearly sidelined me I figure I have a few tips from what I learned along the way.

blister before treated - the girl that runs

This was my blister at its largest – it was a monster – at least an inch and a half big! yuk.

You can read the post on Azumio’s blog – but always remember if you have any injuries or problems please always consult a professional.

Have a great rest of the week and happy running :-)

4 things to do when recovering from an injury

12 Jan

We are 12 days into 2016 and my year didn’t really start as planned. I planned to kick start my training but instead ended up on the bench resting over Christmas and then running very short and slow runs last week as well as doing lots of physio exercises thanks to bursitis on my hip.

I have been seriously frustrated but I am pleased to say I think it is starting to come good and I managed to run 5k this morning pain free – albeit it was slow but I finally felt I might be turning a slight corner and recovering rather than suffering – yay!

It’s hard being on ‘the bench’ and in the past I have pushed through and ended up even more injured and out of action for even longer so I am glad I have been patient as it seems to be paying off.

In today’s post I decided to give some tips based on advice I have had to tell myself whilst I haven’t been able to train and then reduced training.

injury

4 things to do when recovering from an injury

1. Listen to your professional therapist and do the exercises!

I’m not too good at remembering to do my physio exercises, generally I am more likely to do them when I am in pain than when I don’t feel too much discomfort.

Don’t do what I do!

Listen to your professional therapist and do what they say to ensure you recover as quickly as possible. If they tell you to RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) – do it, if they tell you to do certain exercises – do them :-)

2. Try not to let it get you down 

It’s easier said than done to not feel down when injured. I was so frustrated when I hurt my hip as I had done a great run, felt like I was finally coming back to feeling strong again and BAM! I over strode and have been seeing my physio ever since.

I got really down and became a recluse for the first week as I didn’t want to hear about how great everyones running was going, but my good friends helped me snap out of it.

Most of my running friends have experienced an injury at least once so we all understand one another’s pain, and my lovely personal trainer friend has been great tailoring my training around the many parts of my body that have hurt at one time or another! I found I felt better knowing I had support around me rather than hiding in my hole feeling sorry for myself.

3. Stay involved 

It’s easy to pull away when you can’t train especially when it is an injury that requires long term treatment – but from a mental point of view to stay involved gives hope and positive vibes that you’ll be back at some point.

If you can’t train then you could volunteer at ParkRuns or events you regularly attend to stay involved and still feel like you are a part of the running community.

4. Keep training the parts of your body that you can!

Depending on what your doctor or physio says you could do other types of training i.e. swimming* or cycling* or weights* – this all depends on the nature of your injury of course.

I plan to start swimming soon once my physio lets me to try something else in tandem with my running to get me stronger but not be too harsh on my body as well as the running.

*Always seek professional medical advice or advice from an expert such as a physiotherapist before trying anything new. I am not a doctor I am just expressing my opinions and experience.

Let’s make 2016 an awesome year!

31 Dec

I am sat on New Year’s Eve with a smile on my face.

No it’s not because I have lots of things planned for the evening – (my night will be pretty boring actually) but it is because I am allowed to run again! I went to the physio yesterday and he says there is enough improvement that I can run and gradually build up ready for my half marathon in March and then my marathon later on this year.

I’m allowed to do two sessions this week of 2-3km and the following two weeks three to four sessions of 3-4km. I know it will be hard to stick to those distances and to not be tempted to go further if I feel good but I am going to try and stick to it as I know the ultimate prize is being able to run normally again.

Happy New Year 1

Looking back over the year

Looking back on the last year it has been quite challenging.  I pretty much started from scratch back in January 2015 after not running properly for a while, and trained for and ran the Gold Coast Marathon  (thanks to my elite runner friend Roger getting me through and my friend Nadia for being there supporting me the night before!) as well as being their Advocate and worked with RunStopShop also. It was so much fun and I remember being so nervous getting up on the stage to chat at the Legends Lunch – what a fun time it was, and then running the race after all my blister issues – what a drama that was!!

I then ran the River Run 100k relay with my friend Shaun and his friends, and then the Bridge to Brisbane dressed as a French maid, and then over to the UK to see family and managed to run my second Park Run and the Birmingham Half Marathon whilst there which was great fun.

I also started writing as a guest blogger for Azumio™ who are an international health app market leader which was really exciting.

So all in all it has been a great year of getting back into running longer distances, having fun running with friends and feeling better when it comes to exercise again.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.07.23 pm

Posing after the Gold Coast Marathon with Benita Willis – she was so encouraging :-)

2016 – goals and challenges

I said in my last blog post that I had a lot of goals to achieve in 2016 and I have added another one to the list – an 8 week challenge run by my lovely friend Nadia at NADU Fitness. I figured – start on the right footing with food and exercise and kick start the year.

What are your goals for 2016?

I am a very goal driven person so always need to have goals set otherwise I become demotivated. I’m so excited about this year as so many of my friends have set themselves challenges and it’s going to be great to support them and see them achieve them!

2016 running goals

Write them down!

If you are a goal person like me and are struggling with what you’d like to achieve why not write them down – simply write down what you want to try and do – whether it is to run for the first time, to run a ParkRun or running race or to improve or run your first Marathon.

Pin them up!

I find writing things down and pinning them up somewhere I constantly see them helps me focus on the objective!

Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself too is a great way to keep on track – I am intending on buying a new Garmin in 2016 – probably the Garmin 235 and so I want to complete my 8 week challenge and that will be my reward to myself at the end. Rewards don’t have to be as extravagant but it could be a new gym top, or something you’ve wanted to do – or simply a chocolate bar (in moderation of course ;-D).

Anyway – have a great start to your 2016. I’ve got lots of new ideas for my blog to share with you so watch this space.

Happy running :-)

Struggling to get back into running….

1 Dec

Last week wasn’t the best week. 

In fact since I got back from my trip overseas 5 weeks ago things haven’t exactly gone according to plan! The plan was to get back, get the 1kg off that I gained, get back into running and really push the training. Three things happened:

  1. I got sick
  2. It was hot
  3. My feet deteriorated

I got sick

Ever since I got back from my UK trip I haven’t been feeling the best, and then I got sick. I figured after a week I would improve but I didnt. My husband has been the same – thankfully bub hasn’t been sick. I went along to my doctor and she said – “there is unfortunately no cure for the common cold – just ride it out!” so I sucked it up and have done but it has lingered and I am kind of over it – not even being able to sing in the shower these days as my throat is still mucussy!

It was hot 

Running in the heat

I have been trying to escape the heat by running under trees and around the lake where I live

So when I got back from it being 11 degrees in the UK it was late 30s here and I wanted to cry. I did a number of ParkRuns which were a disaster mainly due to the heat and the climate just being hotter and of course coming back from not being very well.

The heat has always been a killer for me. Living in the UK for 33 years means I love running in the cold and I did love it when running back home on my holiday. But Queensland and I always battle when it comes to heat and humidity. I have therefore resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a quick runner in summer here!

My feet deteriorated

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.05.04 pm

My poor feet had a going over but they are getting better now :-)

When I completed the Gold Coast Marathon back in July this year I had pain in my feet when I finished. I took my trainers off and low and behold there were two giant blisters underneath the tow nail – not the skin on the foot but the nail – ugh! It was unbelievably painful and I have been battling it ever since.

I didn’t want to go to my Podiatrist as I really didn’t want someone messing with my feet (I have ticklish feet!) – even when I had to strap them up before the Marathon it was tricky. But basically the toe situation escalated and went a bit yukky to the point the pain was unbearable and even having a sheet draped on my feet was agony.

So I called Doug my Podiatrist at InTraining last week, and went in to get fixed. It ended up with 4 injections in my toes but a whole lot of relief! The main pain was the injections going in but since then no pain – yay! I have some antibiotics to work through and then hopefully I am all good!

There is a Happy Ending I Promise! 

So I didn’t train over the weekend and ran 5k yesterday and 7.5k today – both were slow because of the heat and toes sore from injections but I am happy – finally feeling better feet wise and cold wise – I just need to get through the heat of summer, and have decided I have to just embrace it as it isn’t going away and accept that my training and races will be slower – but I am ok with that :-D

 

 

Wrists on the mend :-)

2 Nov wpid-img_20141013_210215.jpg

I hope your training is going well. I’m getting there and got a few posts to catch up on as life has been pretty busy lately but thought I would focus on my wrists in this post. Anyone regularly reading my blog will know after having my baby it seems I now have tendonitis in both wrists :-(

I wrote in a previous post about my current issues with my wrist. Unfortunately things didn’t get better and I ended up having a cortisone injection in my hand. My Dr gave me referrals to get both wrists done as they were both very sore but I decided in the end to get one done first to check that it worked ok and then get the other done.

I made the mistake of Googling Cortisone injections and was faced with lots of really negative articles and one person said the person administering the injection hit a bone and they passed out so I was terrified. I walked in a nervous wreck but the guy was nice and reassured me. Basically he did an ultra sound guided injection so he could make sure he got the injection in the right place – not bones were hit and it felt ok – a bit of a twinge but other than that great.

That was about 2 weeks ago and my hand still feels great. The other hand not so great – I did try acupuncture on that whilst I waited to see what my first wrist did which was an interesting experience considering i hate needles. I had needles coming out of my finger, toes and ankle to treat my hand and it felt much better when I left but I am not sure i could go back as I felt really stressed with all the needles to be honest!

image

Cortisone Injection done!

So I am gearing myself up to go and get the second hand done and looking forward to being able to pick baby M up again as currently my husband wont let me lift him to rest my hands!

It hasn’t really affected my running thankfully. Throughout all of this it’s the one thing that has been keeping me going! I didn’t realise how much I used my hands until it came to.not being able to use them!

Anyway onwards and upwards. Going to see my physio on Monday for some exercises for my left hand and then booking in for cortisone for the right!

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