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What’s next after the Twilight Half Marathon?

29 Mar

Hope you had a lovely Easter!

The last week has been a bit of a write off. After running the Twilight Half Marathon I got sick, and today is the first day in a  week that I have felt remotely like exercising. I didn’t run – instead I worked on my wobbly belly and arms 🙂 as still not feeling 100%.

I think the race took it out of me and I shouldn’t have run not feeling 100% and having a migraine all day, so yet another lesson learned.

So now that Twilight is done I had a chance to think about what’s next. My husband would like very much that I have a rest from races but alas he is not that lucky – I have a few more planned for this year!

Running goalsGold Coast Half possibly Marathon

I honestly don’t know if I have another marathon in me, nor do I know if I want to run one. Five is enough and last year was meant to be my last one (famous last words!), but my lovely friend is really wanting to run her first so I have been thinking and I might do the training and then enter the half marathon – OR run the full and not worry about time – I never have with marathons anyway as I am no Paula Radcliffe!

So, not sure yet….

Dubbo Stampede Half Marathon 

We have friends in Dubbo and so it’s the perfect way to do a race and to see them at the same time, and it looks like great fun. I decided that I will definitely not do the marathon. I think it’s the first year and also it is a second lap of the half marathon and I am really not a lover of laps! The thought of running that over a marathon I think I would tear my hair out!

Do you need Goals?

I don’t know about you but if I don’t have a goal to work towards then I find it is really easy to let things slide.

When I was training for the Marathon I ran last year I was so focused and motivated, but this year I have found it much harder so I have started documenting everything again and planning sessions as if I am training for the race again – regardless of whether I do it and suddenly I am focussed again!


One of my goals for this year also is to try and run my races on a lower carb lifestyle. My husband and I are advocates of a LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) way of living but it has always been tricky for me being a runner. I have found some great likeminded people and a nutritionist who advocates LCHF for athletes (she called me an athlete! I’d never considered myself one before lol!) and I just started training on a lower carb diet – interested? watch this space…

Anyway have a great day and I’ll write more soon 🙂


Race Recap – Twilight Half Marathon

22 Mar

I should have known it was going to be a tough day when I woke up with a headache, and feeling decidedly under par – knowing I had to run the Twilight half marathon at 5pm later in the day. I hadn’t been too well in the week leading up to the race and hadn’t run all week so I knew I was going to face a battle on the road – but I wanted to do the race!

I have been training for the past few months with my friend Sam (and a couple of times Penny) and I was excited about the race, and  being a member of Intraining I felt it was almost a right of passage to have to run it, and the lovely running vest you get for entering was an extra incentive!

I don’t tend to enter races in summer as I am not too good with the heat but I figured a race that started at 5pm at night would be a good option. It did get rained off last year but the weather forecast was good. Sam picked me up and we drove to St Lucia to the Uni and I did my usual two trips to the toilet before the race (it’s a ritual! can’t not!).

Twilight Half Marathon 2016

All smiles before the race! With my friends Penny and Sam (left to right)

We stood in the line up both quite nervous and I intended to just run at an easy pace and run the race – not going for a time considering the last week and being ill. There was a sea of Twilight tops as well as Intraining, Springfield Runners and others that I didn’t recognise. Everyone was excited and pumped for the race to start and busy chatting, nervously glancing at their watches.  The 10k and the half started at the same time so I had to make sure I didn’t get pulled along with those 10k runners running  fast race!

The Race

We started running and there was a bit of a scrum so Sam and I got slightly separated but weren’t too far apart, and I relaxed into the steady pace and tuned into my music, and started the race.

Sam had mentioned to watch out for the hills and we went up one slight incline and I thought – wow was that it….no alas it was not! We went down the hill we were to later come up and it was a fairly steep incline. I don’t think that would have been an issue had we not had to do two laps of the course as the first time I ran up it I didn’t feel too bad.

Twilight Half Marathon 2016

Most of the route was flat and I haven’t run around St Lucia much before so it was nice to see a new area. The km points were well placed and I was feeling quite good watching each km go past. Seeing the front runners fly by was incredible – I was one side and they were flying back the other way – it amazes me that pretty much they were running twice the speed that I was running.

I found with it being two loops my brain started to play mind games on me and when we got back to the start which was where the 10k runners turned off to finish that was when it started…. my body suddenly wanted to slow down and finish and I took a gel to pump me up a bit and pushed myself to push on and then started counting down. I had seen my Intraining coach Paula and knew she would be at the 16/17k ish mark second time round so I started counting down and telling myself once I saw her I only had 4-5km left.

It was dark by this point and there wasn’t much lighting but thankfully there were a few people in front of me and a couple behind so I didn’t feel alone, and I just kept pushing towards that 16/17 mark. By the time I got there I was tired and I think I managed a quick look up to Paula and then it was head down push on to finish.

Coming in to Finish

That last 4k seemed to go on forever but I was determined not to stop and just keep pushing. I didn’t take on much water in the race as I noticed there were only one lot of toilets that I had spotted anyway.

I think I must have started my watch slightly early as it was ahead of the km signs in the race each time so I felt psychologically like I was having to run further each time even though that wasn’t the case. I had 1km left and I started to try and pick up the pace, and at about 500m left I felt a hand on my shoulder – there was Sam just when I needed her!! We pushed and ran together and then I saw the finish line and sprinted.

It’s funny that I was exhausted yet I had the energy to sprint finish!

I staggered over the line and there was Margot Manning – one of the owners of Intraining and she had a microphone in her hand. Sam took off and I stood there wobbling all over the place whilst she asked me a couple of questions. I can’t 100% remember what she asked me – I think it was something about how was the race – and I remember saying something like ‘It was hot and it was hard!’ not quite sure if that was the answer she was looking for but at that point I was willing my body not to throw up by her feet – I’m very glad I didn’t!

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I got home and was sick! I think I had used every last ounce of energy and my body melted down. I literally had a shower, half a bagel, a gulp of water and was back to the toilet and then straight to bed! So I know I worked as hard as I could!

The race in my opinion was really well organised. Maybe a few more toilets on the course but it is tricky when it goes along residential areas. The running vests are great compared to some I have had in the past and it was a lovely atmosphere of supportive runners and spectators.

I think if I was to do it again I might do the 10k as the half in summer was a bit too much for me! When the sun went down I did cool down but I don’t think I will ever get used to the Queensland heat!

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 11.58.12 am

We went a bit nuts after the race finished!

Running in Brisbane and heat stroke

29 Feb

Hope you had a great weekend of running.

I’m slowly building back up for the half marathon I have in a few weeks time. It feels so much harder than last year but I have to remember that I had an injury to recover from and it has been hotter which brings me to my post today.

Saturday according to the weather forecasts was going to be a boiling hot day, so my friends and I arranged to do a run in the city. We left at 5.00am to be there and running by 5.30am.

I felt pretty good and decided a few kilometres in that I’d like to pick the pace up – as I wanted to get as ready for my race in March as I could. So I said to the girls that I would push on and they were all good so I did.

I felt pretty good for a while. As I ran I looked around me at Brisbane early in the morning. I don’t tend to go into the city much so it was a real treat to be there running by the bridge and Eagle Street Pier etc. It’s so picturesque around there I love it.

Running by the river - the girl that runs

Brisbane by the river first thing in the morning – so beautiful and picturesque

We were running all the way from the Regatta Hotel to New Farm and back for a good solid 20k – It’s a little bit boring as it is just a straight line but good to get the distance in. But it all got a bit too much by the time I got to New Farm at the 10km mark as the heat hit me.

Running In A Sauna

I literally felt like someone had pushed me into a sauna and locked the door – and as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t get out. I drank a fair bit of water but didn’t seem to be able to cool down. The girls caught up and I decided to run back rather than going on any further – so I turned around and started trotting again, filling up on water whenever I could. The girls had gone a slightly shorter way back and it had more shade. So I hit the sun again. I passed my friends – feeling good – and that’s when the trouble started.

I got to having about 7.5k left to go and was running along the river, when I started to feel hot again. It was literally like I was running through treacle and in a sauna, and my head hurt so I walked for a while. One of my friends passed me and then the other caught up and I decided to try and push on again. I did for a while and got caught in the local park run race which pulled me along.

It was crazy that I could be freezing cold on a boiling hot morning!

Thankfully I was in the shade but I started to feel myself wobbling and I suddenly went very cold and got goosebumps all over me. It was crazy that I could be freezing cold on a boiling hot morning. I grabbed onto the railings where I was running as I felt like I was going to pass out or be sick. I decided it would be good to vomit over the side of it as I didn’t want the park runners to have to run through vomit!

So there I was dry wretching when my friend came up beside me. I told her to carry on but she insisted on staying to make sure I was ok. We ended up walking the last kilometre to the finish of our run and I was feeling much better by the time we got back. I’m so thankful to my lovely friends and them pulling me through!

So I thought about it and wondered whether it was my rushing to run off quicker that made me sick – but I deduced it came down to the heat, the distance and potentially yes pushing on a little too quick. But I finished my 20km run and am ready for my next one – but will be thankful when it cools down!

Running in the Brisbane CBD - the girl that runs

View whilst running of the Brisbane Bridge 🙂

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a real issue and especially here in summer in Queensland. When back in London I had a similar problem, and we had an unusually hot day. I was running 18 miles (30k) and I pushed hard, got back to the running club club house and felt freezing cold, and to cut a long story short I ended up collapsing at a local supermarket and being carted off to hospital. I’ll write in more detail about it another time – but it was a rude awakening that we runners should take the heat seriously and be really careful.

I’ve written a couple of previous posts about running in the heat if you are new to it.

Anyway onwards and upwards. Yet again I have learned my lesson and am looking forward to my next long run this coming weekend 🙂

A week of lots more running and finally some good news!

19 Jan

When I look back over the last week I can say it was a great week on many levels.

Hip hip hooray!

In a previous post I talked about how frustrated I was at sitting on the bench. I am pleased to say my hip is finally coming good and I ran 11k on Saturday, 4k on Sunday and 12k today and had no major pain. I went to see my physio, Casey  yesterday and he said things are looking good and I am good to run more and train for my half marathon – but not to push it.

The first thing I did was to email Roger my running coach who is starting to crank things up a bit ready for March – so today I ran 12k. It was a slow 12k as it was very warm and hilly – it was meant to be 13k but it was just too warm for me but I was still happy with that.

I met Pete!

meeting Pete

Pete Evans was lovely. Very chilled out and happy to have a photo taken. We talked about recipes and transformations – glad I popped into the Paleo Cafe that day!

I tend to follow a fairly low carb regime with my eating. I know that’s pretty nuts for a runner but it has been great for getting me in shape again and I generally feel healthier not having bread etc in my diet. Obviously when races come around then I do incorporate some grain and increase my carbs such as sweet potatoes into my diet. But anyway I am not paleo but I do agree with some of their eating principles so I have a few Pete Evans cookbooks on my shelf, and by a complete chance I happened to be in Hawthorne and remembered that Pete was going to be at the Bulimia Paleo Cafe half an hour later so I hightailed it to the Cafe and got to say hello, and have my photo taken with him – highlight of my day on Friday :-D.

Volunteering at ParkRun 

volunteering at park run

Volunteer pacers at the Southbank ParkRun – I am on the one on the left holding my balloon. I didn’t realise when I let it go that I was whacking the guy in the black in the face oops!!

I run with Intraining on a Thursday night as part of their Wife Night group 🙂 and Ingraining appealed for volunteers for the Southbank ParkRun and I decided I would volunteer as a pacer and go with the slowest pace so I knew I wouldn’t push my hip. My friends and I ran 6k beforehand so I got a quicker run in and I ended up having to sprint back to where the ParkRun started to get back in time.

It was actually great fun. I have to say though I had no idea how hard it is to pace a run. I was to run the 5km in 35 minutes and it was hard. I kept glancing down at my watch ever conscious that I had to try and be on time as people were sticking with me to do their best time or for some support and I had never looked at pacing that way.

I met some lovely people and encouraged them along, I screeched ‘1km left -7 mins left to run – you can do it!’ at one group of girls and it was great to be able to run and encourage people at the same time (hopefully that came across as encouraging lol). So I think it is definitely something I will do again. Not all of the ParkRuns have pacers so I guess it will be the larger ones which I have tended to avoid!

So all in all I have had a great 7 days which is a vast improvement on the week before! I’ve entered the International Women’s Day 5k with my friend too which I am looking forward to 😀 so here’s hoping things keep on improving!

Have a great day 🙂 and Happy Running 🙂

Let’s make 2016 an awesome year!

31 Dec

I am sat on New Year’s Eve with a smile on my face.

No it’s not because I have lots of things planned for the evening – (my night will be pretty boring actually) but it is because I am allowed to run again! I went to the physio yesterday and he says there is enough improvement that I can run and gradually build up ready for my half marathon in March and then my marathon later on this year.

I’m allowed to do two sessions this week of 2-3km and the following two weeks three to four sessions of 3-4km. I know it will be hard to stick to those distances and to not be tempted to go further if I feel good but I am going to try and stick to it as I know the ultimate prize is being able to run normally again.

Happy New Year 1

Looking back over the year

Looking back on the last year it has been quite challenging.  I pretty much started from scratch back in January 2015 after not running properly for a while, and trained for and ran the Gold Coast Marathon  (thanks to my elite runner friend Roger getting me through and my friend Nadia for being there supporting me the night before!) as well as being their Advocate and worked with RunStopShop also. It was so much fun and I remember being so nervous getting up on the stage to chat at the Legends Lunch – what a fun time it was, and then running the race after all my blister issues – what a drama that was!!

I then ran the River Run 100k relay with my friend Shaun and his friends, and then the Bridge to Brisbane dressed as a French maid, and then over to the UK to see family and managed to run my second Park Run and the Birmingham Half Marathon whilst there which was great fun.

I also started writing as a guest blogger for Azumio™ who are an international health app market leader which was really exciting.

So all in all it has been a great year of getting back into running longer distances, having fun running with friends and feeling better when it comes to exercise again.

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Posing after the Gold Coast Marathon with Benita Willis – she was so encouraging 🙂

2016 – goals and challenges

I said in my last blog post that I had a lot of goals to achieve in 2016 and I have added another one to the list – an 8 week challenge run by my lovely friend Nadia at NADU Fitness. I figured – start on the right footing with food and exercise and kick start the year.

What are your goals for 2016?

I am a very goal driven person so always need to have goals set otherwise I become demotivated. I’m so excited about this year as so many of my friends have set themselves challenges and it’s going to be great to support them and see them achieve them!

2016 running goals

Write them down!

If you are a goal person like me and are struggling with what you’d like to achieve why not write them down – simply write down what you want to try and do – whether it is to run for the first time, to run a ParkRun or running race or to improve or run your first Marathon.

Pin them up!

I find writing things down and pinning them up somewhere I constantly see them helps me focus on the objective!

Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself too is a great way to keep on track – I am intending on buying a new Garmin in 2016 – probably the Garmin 235 and so I want to complete my 8 week challenge and that will be my reward to myself at the end. Rewards don’t have to be as extravagant but it could be a new gym top, or something you’ve wanted to do – or simply a chocolate bar (in moderation of course ;-D).

Anyway – have a great start to your 2016. I’ve got lots of new ideas for my blog to share with you so watch this space.

Happy running 🙂