Tag Archives: Brisbane

Brrr it’s cold for training in Brissie

28 May

I’m sat looking out of the window in my office watching the rain pouring down quite thankful I am sick at the moment! I have friends that I call ‘all weather nuts! (sorry Shaun!) who will train come rain, hail or shine! Me on the other hand if it was raining before my trainers touched the outside then it would either be a lie in or an indoor training session. I’m a delicate flower and don’t welcome the prospect of being sick all in the name of a training session :-) I can hear some of you saying ‘Suck it up Princess!’ – sorry I am a sook!

It’s gotten very cold in Brisbane the last few days and as a result a lot of people I’ve spoken too have gotten sick – and I came down with something a few days ago and currently still sound like a female version of Barry White – so haven’t done anything remotely exercise orientated in the last few days! Still not able to run at the moment but being sick and not even being able to do weights or walk the dog has driven me stir crazy!

Hope you have had a better training week than I have and haven’t succumbed to sickness. Will write more soon when my brain doesn’t feel like it is full of candy floss!

Happy Running :-)

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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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!

Too busy to run?

23 Aug

This week and part of last week has been so busy I feel like I haven’t had room to breathe ! As a result though I haven’t done as much training as I would like. I have tried to fit things in when I can and have had lots of late nights and early starts and then been flat out all day so it has actually pretty much been impossible.

Do you find you don’t always have time to train? and what do you do about it? It’s very easy to just think ‘Oh I don’t have much time, forget the training!’ but I really tried to think of things I could do that I could do in the minimum time but with the maximum output. Here are some of my ideas and things I have actually done this week and last:

Treadmill – sprints

I only literally had 20 mins or so one day this week so I jumped on the treadmill, did a short warm up and then sprinted like there was no tomorrow with less rest than I would normally have. It’s a great way to get a short, sharp and sweet workout but still get a good quality session in. Alternatively a brisk walk uphill on the treadmill or outside would be good too.

Spinning bike in the gym – sprints 

Again – hard training on the spin bike is a cool way to burn off some serious fat and kilojoules and if you haven’t got much time a good hard sprint session is good or an uphill climb.

Ab ripper

I am a fan of p90x and their Ab Ripper X cd is awesome and it’s only 15 minutes long – perfect for a core workout when you haven’t got time to do anything else.

X Trainer 

I don’t use the cross trainer that much but their interval hills program is awesome and when I train with my friend and make her put it up a level i get evil looks! A short sharp session on that would be good when you don’t have much time either.

Is there anything I have missed? What do you do?

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

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!

Mother’s Day 4k race a week today !

6 May

It’s been another good week of training and I am feeling reasonably good. I have upped my weights work and am running a fair bit as well as my mixed cardio. It suddenly dawned on me today that this time next week I will have run the Mothers Day race in Brisbane.

I entered the 4k this year instead of the 8k as I have been concentrating on short distance, and this will be only my second race this year as I have been shying away from them a bit.

I found last year when I was racing fairly regularly that I got myself in such a panic and got so nervous before the race that it wasn’t worth the stress quite frankly. I don’t know why I got so nervous its not like I was likely to win! The only person I compete against is myself at the end of the day as we are all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and experience when it comes to running. So I decided to go back to basics and run because I enjoyed it and to not put any pressure on, but I decided the Mothers Day race would be a good one to run to gauge how my training has been going.

So another week of training, maybe not quite as hard but looking forward to it.

Happy running and happy long weekend if you have one this week.

Taking running to new heights – my run up Mount Cootha, Qld

25 Apr

I’ve really been pushing the training this week and this week has been a real step up a notch in my efforts. I don’t know what happened but on Sunday I was exhausted and demotivated after my 10.5k and then on Monday I was on fire to train and push to new limits- awesome – I love it when that happens and it’s continued throughout the week – so maybe I have finally turned that corner.

I don’t know what you are like with your training but with me half the battle is to feel that motivation all the time, to want to get out of bed, to want to train, to want to push hard each time. It helps having had my PT friend to train with all week as we push one another, she probably pushes me more than I do her but I love making her work hard on the treadmill as she is a very quick runner and I know she can do more.

Mount Cootha

The View from Mt Cootha - (low res image)

So when she said she and some of our other friends were running up Mount Cootha I jumped at the chance. If you’ve not been to Queensland or are not from Queensland you have no idea where I am talking about, but Mount Cootha is the highest peak in Brisbane and is 287 metres above sea level and very steep in places, with an awesome view right over Brisbane. The idea was to run up and down, then drive up in the car for a coffee afterwards – easy right? hmm not quite so.

Right from the start when we left the Botanical Gardens we hit a very steep hill. It was a rude awakening at 6.15 in the morning but I embraced the hill, plugged my iPod in and pushed. My friend pushed on and I was on my own which was fine, I just got into the Zone, and I have to say the run up the Mount was tough but really rewarding. I never stopped, just slowed down a bit when the really steep bits came and pushed through – had I been at a low in my training I may have just walked but I didn’t so I was really pumped about it all. I got to the top and wasn’t sure how to get back down and very nearly went the long way back down but in the end took what I thought was the short way and it turned out to be the right way, I’d have done 15k if I’d gone back the other way, as it happened It was just over 10.5k according to my watch.

Mount Cootha

The View from Mount Cootha (Low res image)

The decline was amazing. I felt like a bird flying as it was hilly downwards all the way down so i took small steps and enjoyed the run down. Chatted with a couple of cyclists on the way down and felt really good.

The reward was coffee and toast at the top of the Mount, then home to chill out.

The pressure is off

27 Feb

I got in from my first proper run since I got sick two weeks ago today.

It was hard work.

I forced myself to get up, put my kit on and even ran with my iPod Shuffle this morning to give me that extra motivation. My legs felt sluggish to begin with and everything jiggled, or at least I thought it did. In my head I was pushing myself to push harder but my body was crying out that I hadn’t run properly in at least 10 days so to take it easy. Then when I got into the run I kept a nice comfortable pace, relaxed back into the run and really enjoyed it.I got home sweating profusely – it was a sticky morning in Brisbane this morning!

Pressure cooker letting off steam

Image used from Indiadaily.com

The first thing I said to my husband was

“i’m so slow…..I don’t know if I can do the 5k race that is in three weeks” and he said to me…

“why do you always put so much pressure on yourself?

You have nothing to prove. You’ve been running for 10+ years, have run four full marathons and are injury free! Stop complaining and enjoy running”.

I stood and looked at him and the penny (or cent – we’re in Australia after all!) dropped.

He was right.

The only person putting the pressure on was me. Noone was forcing me to enter the race that so many other people I know are running. I was forgetting the reason why I love to run!

So I’ve decided, pressure off for a while.I need to get better after being ill, get back into enjoying my running and aim for the next race but not force myself if my heart or health aren’t in it. Definitely going to do the Mother’s Day 8k in May all being well and may try a few Park Runs and Brisbane Road Runner Runs but no pressure.

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