Tag Archives: training

Being put through my paces by my friend’s husband!

17 Nov

Whilst I was in London on a trip back to the UK I stayed with my lovely friend and her husband in Balham. I hadn’t managed to attend her wedding last year as I had just had my baby – but I was very disappointed as I wanted to be there and the wedding was a different one as she got married half way around the Marathon du Medoc in France. It looked like great run and I have vowed I will do that race with her one day.

thegirlthatruns visit to london

It was so lovely to catch up with my friend Zayne :-)

But anyway they are both so well suited as they love running marathons and ultra marathons and pushing their bodies to the limit, and I admire them both wholeheartedly for taking life to its limits and going for it. In fact Tobias – my friends husband is a journalist and writes for Runner’s World and The Daily Telegraph – he also has an amazing book coming out soon (you can pre-order it on Book Depository or Amazon) which is all about 50 of the best races he has done..but anyway…

Being put through my paces

Whilst I was staying with them my friend wasn’t able to run so I figured I’d gotten out of having to train hard whilst in London – but alas that safety net was to be short lived.

I got back to their place after having been out most of the day walking around London and Tobias had his running gear on and as I walked through the door he said:

“perfect timing – do you want to come for a run?”.

I reminded him that I ran at a snails pace compared to him and he said that he would be going very slowly as he was easing back into exercise after some time off, so I agreed to run with him. I got my kit on and was set to go.

It was a very tough 7/8km run for me, one that I will not forget for a long time!


Balham was a lovely place to run round.
Image used from Dougladandgordon.com

The top of my comfort zone

As we started running I looked down at my watch and we were running at what I would say at the time was at the top of my comfort zone – about 5 minute kilometre pace. Tobias seemed to bounce along like he was going for a stroll in the park, and I tried to comfortably keep up and respond to his questions and conversation as we ran.

I was very thankful for traffic and being forced to stop for a few seconds here and there while the lights changed. Tobias reminded me that if I was able to talk back to him then I must be feeling ok and the pace must be ok…I smiled as best I could at this stage! Inside my body was screaming – this hurts!

The race home

I kept looking down at my watch and he had said we would be running for about 35-40 minutes and we were approaching the 35/40 minute mark. He slowed down and said to me:

“OK we have 3 minutes left back to my place – YOU are going to run in front and I am going to try and overtake you. When I do you have to run faster.”

I looked at him and blinked…. ‘ok’.

And we were off….

I don’t think I have run that fast in a very long time and three minutes ( I think it was more) seemed like eternity and a whole load of pain!

At one point he shouted out:

“If you carried on like this for 3 hours 15 – you’d have run a marathon! ”

I felt like my lungs were going to pop out of my chest and finally recognised the house and we were done!! Tobias patted me on the back and said “well done”.

I staggered into the house – my husband looked at me and smirked and my friend laughed later on saying she ‘forgot’ to tell me that Tobias tends to push you at the end whether it is an easy run or hard run…..hmm thanks for not telling me!

The thing that I came away with from that training session was we all think that we have a limit and it is very easy to think I can’t – but I worked hard in that session and still was able to push at the end and had more in me than I thought. So I tend to look at my training sessions like that now and push that little bit harder each time.

Product Review: 2XU Elite Compression Shorts

12 Nov

RunStopShop sent me a pair of 2XU Elite Compression Shorts to try out and the plan was to wear them whilst I was overseas on holiday. I did try them once in Macau but wanted to try them a few more times before reviewing them, and on arriving into the UK it was way too cold to run in them – and then Singapore had a problem with fires in Indonesia so it wasn’t safe to breathe all the air in outside…. so to cut a long story short I am only just writing up this review!

When I was asked whether I would like to try the shorts out to be honest I wasn’t sure as they looked shorter than I would normally run in. I am not blessed with tiny thighs so the thought of tiny shorts and my legs wobbling about didn’t appeal. I was assured by the team that they were great shorts so decided to give them ago. What you read below is my own account of how I experienced them and this is not an advertorial!

2XU Elite Compression shorts

Shorts design and comfort

When the shorts arrived I took them out of the packet and freaked out as there did not look like there would be enough fabric to cover my thighs and butt and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to review them as they looked quite short – but when I tried them on they actually were not as short as I had anticipated and felt quite comfortable.  I was still a bit worried my legs might rub but figured I’d give them a go on the treadmill at the hotel I was staying in in Macau on a boiling hot day in a gym with no air conditioning!

The shorts have a drawstring which I liked as I have worn a fair few pairs of shorts which either end up with a muffin top or pulling them up all the time so I figured you have more control with drawstring.

They also come with UPF50+ sun protection which living here in Queensland is a real plus so I figured they would come in really handy for running outside, and the compression feature seemed to be comprehensive on the information on the box so I was intriegued to see how I went when trying them out. I also liked when I tried them on how they actually held everything in – i love that about compression pants :-D

20151112_0913552Any good to run in?

So i put the shorts on and went for a run on the treadmill at my hotel in Macau and have since run in them a few times back here in Queensland and I have to say they are comfortable and I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that the short is a bit shorter than I would normally go but I didn’t experience any rubbing or chafing at all. I ran for an average of 30-60 minutes each time I have tried the shorts out so far and found them to be great. I haven’t worn 2xu shorts before so all in all I was happy and that I’ve found some shorts that are good in the warmer weather as I have lots of longer pants.

Size matters!

I think size really counts on the short though as when I got back from holidays whilst I hadn’t put any weight on I was not as toned as I was and the shorts felt a bit more snug the first couple of times I wore them – so really be conscious of the size you are ordering as they may not be as comfortable if you get a slightly too small size or alternatively a size that is too big as the compression element won’t work.

There is a sizing chart on the back of the packet and on the website to help you ensure you get the right size.


So all in all these are my thoughts on the shorts:


  • They didn’t ride up my legs for me which is a major plus point. I have had a number a shorts that did just that and made it really uncomfortable to run in
  • Compression pants – I’m a big fan of these and think they are a real asset to these shorts
  • Drawstring which means you don’t end up with a muffin top and they are not low rising either!
  • There is an inside key pocket to store your key or car fob when running which is good


  • If you don’t like shorts that are well and truly above the knee then these are not for you
  • They can make you look even curvier if you are an hourglass like me, I felt a little bit self conscious to begin with but am embracing my curves!
  • They are not the cheapest shorts so if you are on a budget these are not for you

You can buy the shorts on RunStopShop‘s site and if you sign up to their newsletter you can get $10 off your order :-) (this was correct at the time of writing the post 12 Nov 15)

Race recap – Birkenhead ParkRun, UK and getting lost in the Wirral

29 Oct

I have been a bit quiet of late as i have been overseas on a trip to Macau, UK and Singapore. It was a real bootcamp travelling with an 18 month old but great fun to see friends and family. The one thing I did find a challenge was squeezing in time to run without literally dumping bub on my husband and running out the door! So I didn’t manage to run as much as I would have liked but did manage to run a couple of times a week and fit two races in including a ParkRun in the Wirral and then a Half Marathon in Birmingham.

The ParkRun I ran was in the Wirral, Merseyside and happened to be just down the road from where my friends were. I was quite excited as it was my second ever Park Run and it was great weather conditions – being English I find running in Queensland hard but running in the UK was great.

What are ParkRuns?

If you haven’t heard of ParkRun’s then to sum it up they are basically an initiative firstly set up in the UK and are free timed 5k races run by volunteers and supported by brands such as Adidas. Great idea when you don’t want to have to pay for race entries all the time but want to run races regularly.

Anyway my ParkRun in the Wirral ended up being a real adventure. 

The night before I printed off my bar code all ready for the run the next day, and  I laid all my kit out (see a previous post if you want ideas of what is needed for a race). I was very thankful I remembered my Nike gilet and long sleeved running top as it was very cold for me in the UK.

Race day
I woke up ready for the race, grabbed a banana and my friend dropped me off at Birkenhead Park. My husband lent me his phone to take with me as the batteries had run down on my phone and I’d forgotten to charge it and needed the gps to know how to get back to my friends after the run.

I turned up at the race and it seriously was cold and very foggy. I found out it was the 11th week of the ParkRun at this place so it was a new one. The people were very friendly and I chatted to a few of the people whilst I was waiting to start and it was great to see so many people turn up in the cold to run. The ParkRun process is so well organised it is a well oiled machine now it seems – wherever you go to run it. I like the fact that you can take your barcode with you to any race and it will be logged.

ParkRun Birkenhead Park

As you can see it was cold! A bit different to my usual runs but great conditions and route.

The Race

The race started and I was running well. It was so refreshing to run in the cold weather rather than the heat I have grown accustomed to in Queensland.

The route was a few laps of the park and very well organised and mapped out. I ran as strongly as I could considering I hadn’t done masses of training but I was starting to feel it as I came to the finish. The 5k race is always a tough one as whilst it is a shorter race you tend to push harder and go faster as it is a short distance.

I did a reasonable time of 25:28 and 6th in my age category which was ok. I was just happy to be out running and feeling good.

My adventure was not over just yet….I was lost 

My adventure it seemed wasn’t over. I switched my husband’s phone on and started google maps to get me a mile (1.5km) back to my friends house. I started running and glanced down and noticed that his batteries had gone completely! I didn’t know where I was and I was lost with no phone number to get back to my friends place!

I tried not to panic as I remembered my friend said whilst the area was nice there were a few surrounding areas that were not so and I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know where I was going. I spotted some girls who looked like they had just finished ParkRun and I asked them if they knew the road I needed to get to. One of them looked it up on her phone and said it was just up the road – gave me directions to run up a hill and off I trotted. I realise now there was an easier route but I was following their directions and was running blind!

Useless without GPS!

I seriously have no sense of direction and without my GPS on my phone realised I was useless. My watch unfortunately doesn’t have those capabilities in terms of showing an actual map.

Anyway, I ran up a giant hill for what seemed like ages and still had no idea if I was on the right track, so asked a few people the way to Oxton Village which was near where my friends were and they all said yes but somewhere along the way I went off the track. I looked around me as running and realised this area didn’t look that great and my friends place was only meant to be a mile away……I was lost.

I tried not to panic and casually asked a guy the directions to Oxton Village and he ummed and ahhhed and asked me if I want to use his phone but I said I didn’t have a number to call. He pointed me in a direction and I bolted as I didn’t feel that comfortable. I suddenly realised I felt quite vulnerable as I had no idea where I actually was, no phone, it was cold and I was tired. I’d put everything into the race and I’d spent what felt like a lifetime running around.

Finally back on the right track!

I ran for a while longer and finally saw signs to Oxton Village and the spring in my step came back. I reached the Village and then suddenly realised I still didn’t know where to go – so I wandered into a shop or two asking for directions and it was only when I went to a grocery store that a guy paying for his newspaper gave me directions.

I trotted down the hill and found my friends place and they were all looking very concerned. I realised I’d run over 12k when I was supposed to do 5k and I’d been out for ages as I’d had to stop and talk to people and wander around. My husband just rolled his eyes as if to say ‘nothing you do surprises me!’.

I sat down, had a well earned breakfast and then shower and I recounted my adventure to my friends and husband who had a good laugh! I’m now sharing it with you and think I will remember this ParkRun for a very long time!

For ParkRun Australia go to http://www.parkrun.com.au and for ParkRun UK go to http://www.parkrun.com

Essential Kit for the first time runner

26 Sep

Hope your week has been better than mine. My week hasn’t been so bad but from a running point of view I’m not happy right now!

My week started well but went down hill and I am now unable to run! I ran a great 5k on the treadmill earlier this week and the niggle in my knee that had started has not improved and I am now in a lot of discomfort when walking so haven’t run in about 4 days :-(

Very frustrating but I am listening to my body and am resting when I can and not training, and hoping that my knee improves soon. I feel like since I had my son a year or so ago I have been plagued with injuries, niggles and pain!

Each time I have felt I have been turning a corner with training I have ended up with an injury and most of them have not been as a direct result from running…ie when I hurt my neck a few weeks ago I literally woke up and it was there, and hen when I twinged by back I was leaning into the car to get something! I’m sure it isn’t a direct result of having a baby in fact I’m beginning to think I’m just getting old and my body isn’t doing with running as much as it used to!

Running on treadmill

Essential kit for the everyday  runner post.

On the up side I recently became a guest blogger for Azumio Inc. who are a leader in health and fitness apps – and my first blog post writing for them is live. It is all about Essential kit for the first time runner.

So if you have just started running and are unsure what kit you should invest in have a read.

Anyway a short post today but have a great week running and I hope to be running too very soon!

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

A week of valium, voltaren and a bit of running

7 Sep

So last week was an interesting week. After running the Bridge to Brisbane last Sunday I figured I was set to continue with training and planned to build back up to 20km plus but then on Wednesday morning that all changed! I went to get out of bed and couldn’t! Initially I figured I had slept funny and my neck where the pain was would clear up but the pain was excruciating and didn’t go.

I was terrified that the pain was here to stay and that was the end of my running. My husband basically told me to stop being quite so dramatic! (moi! dramatic!?!) and after a small sulk I called the doctors to see if they could make me an appointment.


This is just a stock photo – not my pills!

By 9.30 I was at the doctors thanks to my husband having to stay at home and drive me. The doctor basically said I had some very long word which meant it was like severe cramp in my calf but obviously in my neck and he prescribed me a small amount of valium and also voltaren to take at the same time. I was surprised at being give valium but realise it was to relax the muscles whilst the voltaren got to work.

I came home at 10am popped my pills and woke up at 4pm!  I had lost 6 hours of my life that I’d never get back again! The pain was still bad so I did the same again after dinner and woke up the next morning feeling much better.

Anyway to cut a long story short I didn’t do too much training last week as I couldn’t move my neck 100%. All good now though and I did some general leg work and then ran on Saturday with my son which was a full-on work out.


I’ve been trying to decide where next with my training, as I am not one of those people that just carries on doing the same thing again and again – personally I agree with Einstein’s definition of insanity ( doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) – I just am not sure what I want to do – to get faster, to do another challenge i.e. a marathon or do shorter races… just can’t decide. So for the moment I am just going to push on – try some new things and decide on my races. The Twilight Race next March is an option….who knows and I am still part of Earthathon which keeps me motivated too as I am being held accountable by other runners all around the world!

Anyway enough of my rambling. Hope you have a great week of running :-)

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 :-)


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