Achieving those running goals

24 Aug

I haven’t written in a while quite simply because I felt like I had nothing exciting to say! The year so has been a roller coaster ride life wise, and I felt a real ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude where my running was concerned. Everything that I originally wanted to do just got put in the ‘too hard’ category and my eating was difficult for a while finding it hard when eating out a lot to always eat a lower carb choice.

So I basically have spent the last few months reframing and concentrating on bite sized goals rather than the main big hairy goals I have been trying to achieve.

I read a great book called The Slightest Edge which basically is precisely all about that. Taking that one goal and breaking it down a task at a time to achieve that ultimate goal in bite size pieces rather than getting scared of the big main goal.

I wanted to run Rainbow Beach half marathon but it came and went. So now I am focused on entering the SEQ trail series and will probably do the ones fairly close to me and not the coastal ones. I’m definitely opting for the 8k race this time not the 15k as I melted in January last time!

Then from there. Not sure. Possibly the Rainbow Beach half next year. I will see how I go.

Starting a new job has helped push me back into my running as they have showers so I have been trying to run at lunchtime when I can, and then on the weekends I run with the Brisbane Trail Blazers so things are improving!

For me it is not about looking the best, looking at what other people are doing and concentrating on times. It’s about enjoying running, fitting it in when I can and not feeling guilty when I can’t train, and not using it for weight loss. – eating properly does that!

So that’s where I am and where I have been running wise..one step at a time – literally.

I hope you and your running are going well. Have a great week!

It’s good to be back!

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Tips for drinking more water in general and running 

1 May

What a week it has been. It was my son’s birthday party this week, and we had over 30 people at the house including kids which was awesome but crazy! We survived and I even made the time to make my son a monster truck cake – but I have spent the rest of the long weekend recovering and haven’t even run! 

My goals I set myself that I shared in my last post are going slowly but now my son’s big day is out of the way for another year I can start to focus on things other than trucks and Blaze and the Monster Machines! 

Anyway, thanks to Nina for asking me a question on my last blog post about drinking water and did I have any tips. It prompted me to think more about it- hence this post today.

I have always struggled with drinking water. It sounds silly as it is a fundamental requirement of survival, but I am actually not good at it. As a human that’s not great, especially being a runner too. I feel looking back it has seriously affected me in both training and a number of races I have run. I have memories growing up of my aunt making me drink every time my cousins did to ensure I was drinking from a very early age.

We can’t exist without water, and when running we need more of it. I realise this hence one of my goals is to drink more. Sometimes I can go a whole day on less than 1 litre of water even when I have done a tough training session and I realise I have to change this and aim higher.

I’ve tried a few things over the years and a few things have and haven’t worked, so I thought I’d share them today. If you have any tips I would really welcome them.

My tips for drinking more water in general and for running:

Always carry water

Always have a bottle of water with you wherever you are. I use a stainless steel carrier which keeps my water cold. I just have to remember to put it in my bag!

Use a straw

One of the guys at work and who is also a runner guzzles water like there is no tomorrow, and he said the trick for him is having a water bottle that has a straw in it as he drinks more. So that’s something I have started to do and so far so good!

Set reminders

If you are a reminder focused person then set reminders in your phone or diary to remind you to drink water. I tried it and just dismissed the reminders!! But it might work for you.

2L bottle

You can buy bottles that are 1/2 litres and the idea is to fill them up and drink throughout the day. It’s a good way to see how much you have drunk. I had a Michelle Bridges one that I bought from Big W that was great for this.

Diarise/Log your intake

Apps like My Fitness Pal are great for logging food and also fluids so if you are into logging data this might work for you and be a good way to keep you drinking those fluids. 

Carry water when running

I always carry a hydration pack on the trails or wear a hydration belt when it is warm. I don’t take much water in but it is there if I need it. When it is really hot I stick my hydration pack in the fridge the night before to make sure it is nice and cool in the morning. 

Hydrate before a run 

The one thing I do try and stick to with running is hydrating as much as I am able the night before. I use the pee test as a good indicator (colour of urine – should be fairly clear) to ensure if running early in the morning that I am well hydrated. Again I am not always good at this but I try wherever possible.

These are things I have tried and I am sure you have tried others. I’m getting there slowly. 

Running and life goals

17 Apr

I finally decided it was time to get back to my keyboard and to start writing again after having a couple of weeks of neglecting my blog. I hesitated and to be honest I have not been at all motivated to write the last few weeks with work commitments, general lethargy and actually not even sure what to write about.

I haven’t done much running in the last few weeks due to being sick and being busy but I managed to run on the trails this weekend which reminded me why I run and to get back into it pronto.

I need to kick my own butt!

I gave myself a good talking to this afternoon and decided enough is enough. Every blog post I have written recently has been saying I am too busy, too tired, haven’t run, haven’t eaten properly and enough is enough. The only person that can fix all of this is me, so now that Easter has gone there are definitely no more excuses and I need to kick my own butt!

finishing the race

Setting firm goals

I had the chance to catch up with my LCHF (banting) coach whilst on business in Sydney a couple of weeks ago, and he helped me create some firm goals that I have to accomplish this year, and I feel better now with things to work towards and I added a few of my own. I’m sharing them with you to help me feel accountable as well as to my coach!

Some sound silly but I need them, and some are more adventurous. So here they are:

  • Drink 2 litres plus of water a day
  • Concentrate on MAF (Maximum Heart Rate Training) training where possible this year to help give my body a rest and build up endurance. So low heart rate training all the way….it’s  tough but I’m going to give it a go when I can.
  • Enter a big race for next year – probably Great Ocean Road Marathon. Havent decided yet.
  • I’m also aiming to lose another 10% of my body weight which I know I can easily do if I stick to my banting – aim is by end of the year!
  • Practise banting (LCHF) basics
  • Practice mindfulness and relax when possible which is something I am really not that good at!
  • Remember what is important in life and spend time doing it or with the people that matter

So they are my ultimate goals for the next few months at least. Hoping I can achieve at least some of them, and also remain inspired to train towards all my running goals! I realised (and I think I mentioned this in a previous post) that I was going along with other people to help them realise their goals, but always seemed to fail – it was only when the penny dropped that they weren’t my goals that I suddenly decided enough was enough…. the only person that can achieve my goals is me!

Anyway – a short but sweet post this week. Have a great week – whatever you are doing and I’ll write more soon!

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

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-51-pm

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.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-25-pm

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