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Race Recap: Bridge to Brisbane – I’m not a fun runner or a group runner I have discovered!

1 Sep

Sunday just gone was the Bridge to Brisbane. I think my neighbour is psychic around these things as when I had the last race – River Run 100k – he kept me awake, and this time he left his lights on which beamed right into where  I was sleeping and I had a terrible nights sleep – grrrr.

Anyway I had to get up at 3.45am (yes that’s right – the middle of the night!) to get ready to meet everyone in my team at 4.45am. My husband was not at all impressed and said to me when setting the alarm the night before “this is the last fun run you are doing at this time! – it’s not even a half marathon!” and I agree with him whole heartedly on this one as I like my sleep and am not convinced it was worth the early start unlike the Gold Coast Marathon I ran 2 months ago!

Not a morning person!

So anyway I got to the gym to meet my friends and two of my girlfriends were late and then one forgot her bib number. Now I know it was only meant to be a fun run and we got all dressed up into french maid costumes for a laugh but after no sleep and hauling my butt up, having to be relatively social I think that pushed me over the edge… I grumbled and sat staring out of the window whilst the girls crunched around me on egg shells giggling away! They all know I am not a morning person and find it hilarious! I can laugh now but at the time I was very jealous of my husband snoozing back in bed.

Making our way to the race 

We got to Central station and I was a bit more awake and we caught the train to Murrarie ready for the race. We got a few looks from runners on the train – those serious runners who look at fun runners and think ‘they are not real runners – and they look ridiculous’ – I’m afraid i have been one of those in the past! But I accept now it’s for fun and having been over taken by superman and batman in marathons realise it doesn’t matter how you dress speed wise.

So we raced to the toilets and there were just people everywhere – I had forgotten what a nightmare this race was in the sense – not many toilets, and thousands of people. We then wandered up like zombies with everyone else to the start and I realised the enormity of the race not having done it for a few years. So many people and we were late and towards the back :-(

On the way to the race

On the way to the race – the whole team. Some of the girls and one guy walked and the rest of us ran.

The Race 

The race started but we stood still for a fair time waiting to get to the actual start point. I am not convinced it is possible to get a good time at an event like this – but I felt my adrenalin pumping all the same and soon found trotting up the bridge was a bit too slow for me, and I resisted the urge to weave in and out initially and then my body just wanted to zoom off.

My hamstring was actually hurting more the slower I ran, when I sped up it felt better so there was only one thing for it – I had to go and weave. I was a bit stressed as i thought the girls and Shaun would be annoyed I wasn’t going to stay with them but in the end i just blurted it out that  I had to go – they looked at me like I was odd as I was a bit stressed and then i went.

I felt so much better just running at my own pace and kicked back and settled into the run. I knew i wouldn’t do a great time because of the sheer number of people and the first few km had been quite slow but I figured I had paid for the entry I may as well push as much as I could in what little time was left. It surprised me how quickly the race went and it was great to see those km flying by. There was a sneaky hill at around the 8km mark and then I finished thinking I could have gone another 10k, collected my shirt and was done.

End of the race

Silly photo at the end with the girls and Shaun – and some random guy that photobombed!

So it was a bit of an anti climax and a race I don’t think i will do again as there were just too many people and the early start quite frankly wasn’t worth it but I did it – another one to tick off the list. It’s a great race if you are running as a new runner, with friends or for charity – I think I am a loner when it comes to racing – see below!

The things I discovered from this race though were that I am definitely not a fun runner. Whilst it was fun wearing the costume the idea was that we would all run together and not worry about time and have fun – I just couldn’t do it. I am very competitive with myself and couldn’t hold myself back – I just didn’t see the point in running a race just to enjoy it and to jog along. I needed to run it like I was racing it.

The second thing I discovered too which I already kind of knew is that I am not a group runner. All that marathon training I did was basically alone bar the runs I did with my lovely friend Karen and we had a similar pace – but I am definitely not a group runner when it comes to racing – I know that now – unless I have trained with that person in the lead up I think mentally I need to run my own race if that makes sense.

Anyway I’m looking forward to the next few challenges – haven’t decided what yet but a few potentials on the horizon :-)

Have a great week of running!


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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!



Back into racing – River Run is this weekend!

10 Aug

What an interesting time it has been since the Gold Coast Marathon! I hurt my hamstring, my back and then all of that was coming good and the last few days I got sick!! It has been really frustrating but everything seems to be back on track now. My physio has been excellent and I have actually listened, rested and done my exercises.

Yesterday I ran with my team mates for the River Run – one guy couldn’t make it but it was great to run with everyone else along the Brisbane River and I was the only girl which was novel. It was quite refreshing running with a group of guys as the conversation was very different but I still managed to crack jokes at my friend who invited me to the run’s expense!  Physically I had a great run, no niggles which was great and throat was so so – so I’m hoping that is all cleared up in time for Sunday.


We had a coffee after the run and tried to work out how we will do the relay and who will run in what order. The thought of starting at 4am doesn’t really appeal but I think my slot probably won’t be until about 8 as the guys are wanting to do 10k relays rather than 5k – suits me fine!

City Cycle convert…probably not but it’s a means to an end!

My cycling fanatic friend Shaun has convinced me we need to park near his work and then use one of the Brisbane City Cycles to get to the race! I never thought I’d be seen on one of them but it seems I have caved and agreed!  Apparently it is only $2 – what a bargain – hopefully I won’t regret it!

Preparing for the River Run

Posing with the guys after our run and coffee :-)

River Run 

I’m looking forward to the race, although not decided how to tackle it yet since whilst we are running medium distance – 10k at a time we have a few hours rest in between and I’m not sure whether to go quickly and hope my legs recover or take it stead and hammer at the end – so we shall see.

I figure energy wise – lots of snacks. I don’t want to eat too much in between so will take snacks rather than heavy full on food – whilst it’s tempting I have a dodgy stomach at times so light and carbs should do the trick. Here’s what I did for the Gold Coast Marathon which might be helpful if you need some tips for race day preparation.

So I’m looking forward to the weekend and will let you know how it goes. There are a few people running that I know too so looking forward to saying hi. If you are racing this weekend hope it goes well :-)

Happy Running :-)

The Brisbane River is so lovely to run round. It was a beautiful day as well with bright blue sky :-)

The Brisbane River is so lovely to run round. It was a beautiful day as well with bright blue sky :-)

Back’s on the mend and the River Run 100km approaches!

6 Aug

The last week or two have been frustrating with a hamstring injury and then leaning into the car and slightly straining my back – but I think I am back on track now ready for the River Run 100k of which I’m doing 20k next weekend!

I’ve spent the last week or so in and out of the physio’s office and running short distances on the treadmill and it seems to have paid off – I ran tonight and had hardly any pain compared to what I have had – yay!

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.23.08 pm

So now to turn my focus towards next weeks race. It will be an interesting one since I wont be running the distance all at once as it is done in a relay – and I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not since what will I do for an hour or two waiting for my turn to come around!?!

There are five of us in our team and I think it works in the sense you take it in turn to run your distance of 5k or 10k and then run the last 10k together – I think that’s how it works anyway…. so it should be fun and I am looking forward to catching up with some people I know that are also doing it too. We are running a trial run on the weekend to gauge how we all run together I guess – I only know one person in the group so I will be the newbie and token girlie in the group!

So in preparation for next weeks race I will be:

Upping the carbs a little bit again – I had lowered my carb intake after the Gold Coast Marathon was over but I need to have a few more back in my diet next week to get me through on the day.

Running a mixture of distances – I have a 10k planned for Sunday and then hope to do a couple of 5ks and possibly one 15-20k before the following Sunday – depends on time and my back

Getting my kit together again – I may even wear what I wore for the Gold Coast Marathon again since I know I dont have issues with any of that kit so that would be a safe bet to ensure from a race kit point of view all is good :-)

Sorting my music out – I think I need some heavier and quicker tunes as I will probably at times be running quicker than I ran the Gold Coast – although the guys want to run at about 6min km so fairly steady – but my music always helps me get round :-)

Anyway it’s the weekend tomorrow – yay! Hope you have a great weekend of running planned – and if you are racing – good luck :-D

Park2Park done and dusted – Happy but not happy with Garmin!

1 Aug

Sunday morning came and I was all set to run the Park2Park in Ipswich. I went through my usual motions (see last post) and was incredibly nervous! I think I had to go to the toilet three times before we left home.

By the time we arrived at the Lion park I was feeling really jittery but ready to go and we went and watched the half marathon runners come in just to see the winner cross the finish line. I went to the toilet a few more times and put my Garmin on and iPod (i’d decided I needed music for this race.) I then met up with my friends who were also running the 5k and felt even more nervous!

So we lined up and the race started. I had a bit of a nightmare with my Garmin in this race – the first time ever. As I crossed the start I hit start on my watch and nothing happened! I ran half a kilometre up the first steep hill trying to fathom out what was going on with my watch and not happy as I needed it to judge my pace and my distance!! I managed at almost a kilometre to get it to work and settled into the race but was fuming over it not starting at the start.

The race itself was well organised. Really well signposted and water stops with loud cheering supporters. I found most of the people over taking me were kids! They were so fast I felt like a plodder!

I pushed as hard as I could to make up the time I had lost at the beginning messing around with my watch and started to make some ground. The hills were a killer but I was determined to get round. I have to say though that I like hills much more than I used to :-) These hills were not nice and I take my hat off to the half marathoners that had to run the course route 4 times.

The weather was perfect for the race, a crisp sunny day so I really enjoyed the race. I found towards the end though that I was hurting, My chest felt tight and I just wanted to finish.

The last 500m approached and I was running against a 7 year old! He started to slow so I screeched at him to keep going, but he looked so tired the poor little thing.

I saw my friend as I had about 200 metres to go so pushed it to the finish thanks to her shouting me on. I was so happy to finish – and I think my official time was 25 mins 35, quite slow for me for a 5k but on hills I was pretty pleased. According to the results I was 110th over the line out of just under 1000 people, the 28th woman and 4th in my age range so pretty happy with that.

I think I’d like to do it again next year :-) it’s always easy to say that after the race is over :-)

Yesterday I ran the Mothers Day 8k…

9 May

So yesterday was the day of the Mothers Day 8k.

In my previous post I explained that I had had a stomach bug in the lead up to the race so I was a little bit anxious about how it was going to go.

I got up at 5 and met the girls at 6 with my wonderful husband by my side. We did the usual ritual of queue up to the toilets, put our numbers on and have our photo taken, and then it was time for one of the girls doing the 4.8k to line up, so we watched her go and then got ready to go ourselves in the 8k.

I think I ran through the first kilometre a bit too quickly at 4.42 considering I was meant to be taking it easy not feeling 100% so I looked down at my Garmin and slowed down a bit. I was doing pretty well until I got to the 6k mark and took on a little bit of water and suddenly got stitch! So I ended up having to have jog/run the 6-7 kilometre so I was a bit annoyed with myself as I lost a couple of minutes.

By the time I got to the 7k mark I picked it back up again, managed to run through the stitch and raced through to the finish. I was marginally slower than last year – last year I did 41.12 and this year 42.40 but not having been well I was just pleased I managed to run and compete in the race.

So today I am having a rest and thinking about what next. I’m not sure yet but I can guarentee whatever it is, it will include running of some description :-)

I have a race tomorrow and I am so not ready….

7 May

I seem to be developing a pattern this year when it comes to races – I get sick right before! I have the Mothers Day 8k tomorrow and I am feeling rough.

The last race I did which was the International Women’s Day race I was sick the day before and shouldn’t have really run the race but did and made myself worse , and tomorrow I have the Mothers Day 8k and I am feeling rough. This time instead of the day before it was the week before.

My husband and I caught some sort of stomach bug and were holed up in bed for a couple of days last week and what made it worse was I also had to do my driving test whilst feeling that way. One good thing that came out of it was I passed – Hoorah! It’s only taken  me 15 years!

So anyway I haven’t run in 7 days and i feel quite lethargic and generally like a couch potato so I have decided that I will run for fun tomorrow, push if I can but not take it too seriously because otherwise I will be disappointed with the time I do if it is not faster than last years race.

It’s a hard thing to say though as most runners that enter races do them for a reason be it to run a distance for the first time or beat a time they have already achieved. When lining up at the start line often my adrenaline is pumping so hard all I want to do is race off but having done that too many times now and paid the penalty I always pull back and stick to what I know. If I get to 5k and feel ok then I might push on but I’m not too concerned. My number one fan – my husband will be at the finish line cheering me on and that’s all that will matter :-)

So tonight I am about to go through my usual race ritual which is:

Get race kit ready – remembering safety pins for race number, charge Garmin, sort out tunes for iPod – I reckon I will need them tomorrow! also it’s cold in the mornings these days so a bin liner might come in handy too so I can throw it away when the race starts

Get food ready – it’s an early start

Have some carbs and plenty of water – ideally clear pee is a good indicator of being hydrated or a guy at work whose daughter runs said you should be going to the loo every couple of hours if you are hydrated properly although don’t want to be doing that through the night!

Relax – watch some TV and have an early night

And that’s pretty much it. I am sure I have missed things that I do but these will be the main things. I think I have written other posts on race preparation. Here’s one. 

Anyway I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow…


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