When your body is telling you to rest…

23 Mar

It happens to us all…we work hard, train hard, and push and push – until our body finally kicks back and says STOP. That’s been me for the last 5 days – sick with flu and absolutely no training- it sucks!

I have a fairly demanding job, life and top that with trying to train hard I knew when having a few days away from work that I would cop it. I woke up on the first day and felt under the weather and went downhill from there.

Normally with running if it is in my head and not below my neck I will train, but this went straight on my chest so I stopped. You know when you get that rattle in your chest when breathing? Yep that’s been me. I have been a bit fed up but it has also been good to stop.

Still not feeling great so just waiting until my body allows me to train again, and in the mean time I have been reading and working out my next phase on training and getting my eating back on track after having a few days of not eating LCHF all the time. 

There are heaps of articles about running and sickness. A few things I have learned over the years based on my experience are:

1. If it doesn’t feel 100% right and not like a normal cold then go to the doctor and don’t train until you know things are ok and you feel better.*

2. If it is any sort of sickness that travels to your chest slow right down or stop training.

3. Enjoy the rest. It is clearly your body saying you need it.

4. Don’t stress it and panic you’ll suddenly gain a gazillion kg just because you haven’t trained for a gew days. Seriously if you rely on training that much to maintain your weight you have issues. Diet is the most important and training is secondary. 

5. Use the time to plan your goals, think about how things are going and be productive if you really can’t have a few days not concentrating on training. 

6. Feed that cold with food and water. Stay warm and hydrated. I am a shocker at drinking water but have guzzled lots the last few days.

7. Stay well. Feeling better and recovering from a cold/flu/virus is more important than going back to training sooner. Especially if you have a race coming up or when you are sick. If you do have a race and wake up feeling unwell take it easy and don’t push it (or if feeling really bad – dont run it!!) hard as it could end up far worse than just a few days off training. 

*I’m not a doctor and I always write based on my experience, so ALWAYS seek professional advice and do not take my posts as any form of that..if unwell please see a doctor.

Anyway next time I post I am hoping to be back running and feeling better! 

Learning my limits

12 Mar

I’ve pushed myself to my limits the last few weeks with a huge work deadline, trying to fit in training and spending time with my family. It has been really tough to be honest. 

Last week was all consuming and I didn’t run bar the Saturday before where I did a park run, and the next day where I jogged the International Women’s Day 5k with some people from work – and then I didn’t  run until Friday. As a result of a number of crazy busy days and not being able to let off steam I had a melt down in the week!

Running is my release 

If I don’t run I get fidgety and anxious, and I start seeing runners everywhere – kind of like when I was pregnant and it was like the whole world was pregnant at the same time as I saw pregnant women everywhere!! Running is my way to handle busy times- especially just being on the trails – so when I ended up working 3 12+ hour days last week I finally cracked! 

The world was ending- I needed a release but was too tired. I found I didn’t want to eat and was not having a restful nights sleep and I was generally exhausted. Thankfully I got to my deadline on Friday morning and decided enough was enough and packed my running kit in my car, got out of work at 4 and ran on the trails.

It was like I could breathe again. Everything was back to normal. Life seemed normal. I was at one with nature on the trails and not a soul in sight – it was exactly what I needed. I breathed in the fresh air around me, listened to the singing birds and reflected on the week. 

I have been really hard on myself and realise we all have to know our limits. I need to run! It’s what I have been doing for half my life now and when I couldn’t do it it sent me over the edge! Even my husband can tell when I just need to run! So I am aiming to try and fit something in even when things get nuts – but equally to go easier on myself where work and the quest for perfection in it is concerned. 

With my running I have finally decided to concentrate on running my own race and not others. I have been so focused on trying to make friends and fitting in I have struggled and to the detriment of my running, and I feel trying to run a trail marathon this year may be too much with everything on my plate.so Rainbow Beach will more than likely be a no no but I going to continue trying to run with the Brisbane Trail Runners and my friends when I can but focus on improving on trails and just generally getting fitter. 

Next year I want to do each of the SEQ Trail series and then maybe give the Great Ocean Road Marathon a go….I just have to be realistic and do things when I know I am ready and able – and not try to do too much and then set myself up to fail…

So lessons learned in the last few weeks – but it’s good when that penny finally drops….

Product Review: empassion cleanser and exfoliant scrub

26 Feb

Ok so this is not my normal kind of post. I generally talk about food or running – but today I am writing about another passion of mine natural products. Ever since my very close friends brother died from cancer back in 2006, and the nurse made it clear that everything we put in and on our bodies counts – I switched to using natural products rather my old ways of paying for the name rather than the ingredient. I figure I eat healthily, have a healthy life – skin care to me is just as important.

It has taken a lot of playing around and trying different products to feel happy with a lot of the natural products out there – some of which did not work for me or I simply didn’t like but I am mostly sorted now.

A company called empassion contacted me and asked whether I would like to try out some of their products. So the first thing I did was check their website to see whether their products were natural – and they were as well as all Australian made products at great prices.

Before I go on please note I wasn’t paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Products

empassion kindly sent me some pink grapefruit foaming cleanser and some pink grapefruit exfoliant scrub.

empassion natural toiletries

Thoughts

Exfoliant Scrub 

empassion exfoliant scrub

empassion exfoliant scrub

The exfoliant smelled divine – I could have eaten it! The ingredients include jojoba beads, apricot kernel oil, pink grapefruit oil and pomegranate.

The liquid itself is nice and thick and creamy. Having very sensitive skin I found it didn’t irritate and left my skin feeling nice and soft – so a winner for me. I have often found with some skin care ranges that my skin gets blotchy but I had no issues with this one.

The size is a nice small size 125ml – I think it would last a fair while as you don’t need too much. The price at $14.95 is pretty reasonable too. When I think of how much I have paid for products like this for a well known brand name such as say Jurlique – it is a fraction of the price. My only criticism is that I was actually travelling to the UK when I got these and it would have been great to take on the plane in my hand luggage as I like to cleanse etc on a long flight but the size was slightly over the allowed amount.

Foaming Cleanser

empassion foaming cleanser

empassion foaming cleanser

The foaming cleanser again smelled nice and ingredients include jojoba oil, pink grapefruit and pomegranate. It comes in a pump action bottle and it took a few pumps to get a decent consistency and amount out but then when it did come out it lathered well and felt really nice on my face.

Again, having sensitive skin I needed to ensure it didn’t irritate and it was fine – so a tick from me. I didn’t need to use much either.

The price was lower than the scrub at $11.95 so a nice price point for the same amount 125ml. Again i would have liked to have taken this on the plane but couldn’t so that is the only down side for me for this product.

Summary 

Love the product and will definitely be looking to try some of the other products.

Pros

  • Lovely smell and nice on the skin
  • Price point is nice and low – bear in mind there is a flat fee of $10 shipping so bunch your order together rather than buying one by one would be my advice.
  • Australian made – I am all for supporting local business
  • Natural product – no nasties in – awesome!
  • Great for affordable gift ideas
  • Baby, kids, men and women’s ranges which is great

Cons

Small size products. I often like to buy in bulk rather than small sizes – but the handy size they are in do make them compact for overnight stays and holidays – although not suitable for carry on luggage requirements on the plane. The body wash etc do come in larger sizes – 250ml and 1ltr refills.

For more information have a look for yourself at empassion’s  website.

Race recap: SEQ Trail series – Bunya 15.7km

11 Feb

It’s been a couple of weeks since I did my trail race before flying to the UK, but I decided I’d best write it up otherwise I would forget.

How could I forget though – it was a crazy hot day! I had originally entered to run the 8k race but my friend who was also running said she was doing the 15.7km – so I decided I would give it a go!

All set the night before

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I made sure the night before I was hydrated. I laid my kit out ready to run the next day, got an early night and did everything I was meant to do. I ate an extra helping of fat with my food to make sure I was good for the next day. I filled my hydration pack up and also packed two smaller hydration bottles with my Science in Sport hydro juice.

My usual pre running food on a low carb high fat way of eating consists of a glass of water with coconut oil and lemon juice in, and a boiled egg. Since I started doing this I haven’t felt hungry or in need of energy when training – but I realised this was the longest trail race I had done and it was going to be hot so I packed a couple of fairly low carb snacks to take with me in case I needed them.

Hot!

I woke up the next morning and it was hot! I felt parched so drank a lot of water, had my breakfast, got ready and zoomed off to James Drysdale Reserve which was the race start. I met my friend Jo and we collected our race numbers and chatted until the start of the race. The race sent runners off in waves – so we were in wave 4 so had a few minute wait.

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Jo and I before the race – all smiles

When our wave went I figured I would try and hang back and let the crazy fast people zoom ahead of me as the difference with running on trails to road is there is a lot less space – and often you can end up stuck behind someone or holding everyone up. So I tried to be courteous!

The route was fairly hilly and initially I jogged up the hills, but then I realised I should just walk up them to preserve my energy.

I found a few km in that I was very hot and I needed to remove my running vest as I just needed to cool down. So I slowed down and let Jo go and I stuffed my shirt in my hydration pack. I never caught Jo – but I figured I needed to just run my run and keep going, not try and catch up with someone, and as it was I was beginning to really struggle with the heat.  the most antagonising thing was running by the ends of the trails where there were residential homes with swimming pools. I longed to just dive in and cool down!

seq trail series - Bunya

I’m smiling!!

I always felt that maybe trails would be better in the heat than the road but I found that the heat was almost contained under the trees and struggled. It was a boiling hot day but I started to shiver with the cold…I figure the only time I had this before I ended up collapsing in a shop after a long run in the UK and ended up in hospital!

I have found with eating a low carb high fat diet whilst I have endurance I struggle with speed and general oomph sometimes – and it hit me as I got half way into the run. I longed for a carb gel but knew I had to just push on and it was the heat that getting to me not the lack of carbs. I have been running fat adapted for a while so I knew it wasn’t that. I literally felt like I was running in a sauna!

Almost lost! – my guardian angel!

I walked for a little while and didn’t realise but I was wandering off in a completely different direction, I heard someone shout – ‘you’re going the wrong way!”.  I turned to see a woman looking quite concerned at me – and I realised I was indeed going completely off track, so I jogged towards her and she followed me along the right path. She basically saved me and got me through the race. I later found out her name was Dana and she was my guardian angel and encouraged me to keep going. I love the fact that runners stick together and help one another out. She basically stuck with me the entire race and when I walked she walked and we ran together right until just before the end when I needed to pop to the loo in the bushes – but even then she was at the end congratulating me!

Mental battle

I found myself at 8k thinking – why did I not do the 8!? why did i change to the 15.7!! I think in hindsight I should have done the 8 but I am glad I did the 15.7 as it prepares me for what is potentially coming later in the year with the Rainbow Beach Marathon….

It was a good race, very well organised and a great bunch of people running the race. The hindsight for me was underestimating the heat and the race didnt start until 6.30am – when I normally train much earlier so that didn’t help either.

I was a little bit down afterwards as I figured if I can’t run 15.7km then how will I run 42k on the trails – but heat was the biggest issue I think and I have to realise I just don’t find it easy!

So – Here’s to the next one!!

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-40-pm

Looking pretty warm and tired after the run with Jo

Three countries in a week and very cold running!

7 Feb

Last week wasn’t foreseen. I had to fly back to the UK for a family members funeral. It was a very sad occasion and a whistlestop visit – with 5 nights in total in the UK and 2 in Singapore.

My running kit was the first to go into my suitcase. I figured it would be cold so the lings, beanie and gilet went in. I managed to run twice which isn’t much but considering the length of stay, the occasion and jetlag –  I was happy with that.

I managed one run in my home town which was cold but good. I had forgotten how much I missed running in cold weather. I found it much easier and really enjoyed it.

The second run was more memorable  – with forgetting to pack my headlamp – so at one point I was running in complete darkness, and had to use the torch on my phone to try and see. Thankfully I didn’t roll my ankle! 

The second thing was I got lost! I didnt have data on my phone and took a slight detour – see video! I found my way back when I realised I could try and use map.me and lived to tell the tale – but that was a lot more challenging than my first run! I needed it though. The funeral had been the day before and I really just needed to let everything out in the only way I know best – to run!

I don’t know about you but I feel so much better after running when having a not so great day. My husband certainly can tell when I haven’t run for a while too, and often ‘encourages’ me to go!

Anyway I am homeward bound tomorrow from Singapore – so looking forward to seeing my boys but not looking forward to the heat!

Running Goals for 2017

16 Jan

As I started writing this post yesterday I was sat looking out of the window at the rain pouring down! It has been so sticky lately – I hoped that the rain would lighten the humidity – but no – it has stayed humid. Today has been slightly better but I am actually looking forward to autumn!

It has been a good and bad week – good being running has been ok – haven’t done too much but the running I have done has felt good (although hot early in the morning), my nutrition is going well after a few not so great days at Christmas and New Year. But the bad side of my week is to hear that a member of my family back home is still very sick and it has made me really homesick feeling quite far away – but my family are giving me regular updates so that’s good.

My Goals for 2017

All I have been hearing since New Year’s Eve is what people’s new year resolutions are. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead but I started to think last week and here are mine:

To get stronger and faster on the trails

Currently I feel like I am fairly slow when running on the trails. I realise it is a completely different type of running to running on the road but I would like to feel stronger and more confident when running.

To be more consistent with my running

I think having no races in the diary makes it easy to roll over and go back to sleep – which I have done a few times. The girls I run with during the week and weekend are forcing me to more accountable to my training and I am feeling more motivated so I am hoping that this new year resolution might be a big tick 🙂

To run a couple of races on the trails – with no pressure – possibly the Rainbow Beach Marathon fat adapted in my LCHF way or eating

This is probably the biggest goal I have set myself for the year. In April I will have been following a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet for 1 year and it has not been without its challenges. Whilst I feel much better, my running has suffered – I have gotten slower and haven’t got the short sharp bursts of speed that I used to have – but endurance has improved to an extent. So this year I would like to run a couple of races and feel strong and solid running on fat rather than carbs!

To continue to enjoy running

I figure if I get to a point when I no longer enjoy running there is a problem! So my goal is to continue to enjoy it and to change whatever makes me not enjoy it if that ever happens. I am loving running on the trails and training with my running friends. We laugh lots, we share stories and it really makes it fun and gives a purpose more than just putting one foot in front of the other!

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-8-51-56-pm

Some of the lovely ladies I run with during the week

To continue writing this blog consistently!

Last year after returning to work full-time for someone else rather than my own business was a real challenge especially where writing this blog was concerned. I did think for a while that maybe it was time to finally stop writing but after 6 years I found that I couldn’t give it up that easily, so my final goal is to continue to write it but consistently and with passion!

So they are my goals for myself this year. I am excited about the challenges I have set myself and am being positive that I can achieve them. So glad you are along for the journey and will be sharing more with you soon!

What are your goals you have set yourself?

 

Review of 110% calf sleeves

8 Jan

I’ve often watched athletics on TV and seen athletes running in what look like long socks, and more recently seen runners in mass races wearing them too. My attitude has always been there is no way I would wear them having quite big calves…until now. I am a convert!!

Realigntech contacted me to see whether I would like to try a pair of the socks. I ummed and ahhed about it and spoke to a few people and decided I probably wouldn’t- but then I met a girl at a Brisbane Trail Running session who was wearing calf sleeves – so these were socks without the sock on the foot – just the calf bit. She raved on about them and said they helped her in training and afterwards too – and one of the guys I work with has some too and loves them – so I thought I would give them a go.

So the first thing I had to do was measure the widest part of my calf and send details to Realigntech. I did and then a pair of 110% Play Harder calf sleeves arrived on my door step.

I was a bit apprehensive about wearing them as I figured my calves were big enough – I really didn’t need to make them stand out anymore, and also what if they started to slide down? That would annoy me!

Anyway I tried them out on a weekend trail run where I knew it was at least 10k and I would really get to put them through their paces. Here is what I thought below. Firstly please note I was not paid for this review and all views are absolutely my own.

Wearability

When i took the sleeves out of the packet they came with a left and a right indicator on the sleeves as well as some thin ice packs which you put in the freezer and you can slide down the second skin of the sleeve post training for relief post training – handy idea.

I slid the sleeves on. They felt very tight and I wasn’t sure whether they would be uncomfortable to run in but after I got used to them they were literally like a second skin!

The fabric felt good. I had seen some sleeves that were a more lycra glossy type fabric and people I spoke to had complained they rolled down – so this was different. I like the fact that the sleeves are sleeves and not a full sock and when I put my sock on they all fitted nicely underneath.

Sleeves in action

I found as I said before the sleeves were like a second skin. They were actually super comfortable and I never once had to pull them up or felt like they were falling down. 

I found during my run that  my calves felt supported and really solid, and the added bonus was they shielded me on more than one occasion against my calves being cut after a spectacular stack on the trails. 

After wearing them the first time I found I didn’t want to not wear them on my runs and they have become a firm part of my running kit. I’ve worn them on most long runs and I wore them in a race I did a short while ago.

For recovery
I have tended to wear the sleeves for running in and then taken them off as they need to be washed – but they are also great for recovery and wearing when muscles are tired. As I said before they come with an extra sleeve within the sleeve to slide frozen ice packs down to aid recovery. Great idea but to be honest I haven’t needed them. I have found each time I wore the sleeves my calves haven’t ached. 

They are very versatile and I even wore them on the plane on my trip recently over to the UK as compression aids. 

Summary and thoughts

I surprised myself on these calf sleeves. I didn’t think I would find them as useful as I have and they are now a firm staple in my running kit. If anything I would consider buying a second pair so I had some for training and then some for recovery. 

Pros

– very comfortable no issues with slipping down

– great protection when running on the trails. My lower legs survived a couple of stacks thanks to the sleeves.

– no aching during runs and seemed to have less after runs and quicker recovery

– easy to wash. Simply put them in the washing machine. Done.

– if you need extra relief there is a second layer that you can put ice packs down post session.

Cons

– no idea what the price is for sleeves but they are a little bit of an investment at just over $100 but I feel with a lot of things you do get what you pay for.

– make sure you measure your calf correctly to ensure you get the right size.