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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!!

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Looking pretty warm and tired after the run with Jo

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My First Road Race Running On Low Carb High Fats

12 Jun

I haven’t written for a while as life again has been pretty crazy, and then coming down with a cold it hasn’t been much fun in the last week.

I thought I would continue on from my last post and talk you through the recent City to South race I ran – my first proper road race (not counting one park run) run on Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) eating.

I have to say I was pretty daunted at the prospect of running 14k in race conditions  without my usual plan of having carbs a few days before and on the day of the race, but I trusted my banting coach and went for it.

Race Prep

My usual race prep would have been have carbs the night before, along with plenty of water and then in the morning my breakfast of carbs – a banana and oats. This time the night before I had a normal dinner of protein, fats and vegetables, and then in the morning I had – a coffee with three tablespoons of cream – a bit of a difference!

I was meant to have some salt water an hour before the race and I forgot. It is meant to help with cramping. I had it around my waist in one of my bottles and only realised later when during the race I took a swig and almost gagged!

The Race 

city to south

All smiles before the race

So my lovely friend Sam and I parked and made our way to the start of the race. I was fairly calm – had my two toilet visits (my running ritual!) and was ready to go! It was really cold, and the race was a couple of minutes starting and then we were off!

I found to begin with that I felt good. I kept a solid and comfortable pace a little it under what I thought I could run and plugged into my iPod and settled into the race. There were plenty of people running and it bottle necked a bit, but I was doing an ok pace.

I have come to terms with the fact that my running times whilst adapting to fat and LCHF way of life are slower. I have dropped almost 30 secs off my usual per km pace but haven’t been stressing about it. So I got through the first few km and was feeling ok.

By the time I got to 5k I started to feel a little bit fatigued. I saw Sam and she looked good and I realised I might be pushing too hard so I slowed a little bit to prepare myself for the hills, and whereas I used to power up the hills I found myself slowing right down to chug up the hills and to keep a good endurance level.

Hills, Hills and More Hills 

I found the race quite hilly, and my mind started to play tricks on me and convince me that without the carbs it was a disaster so I started to wane a bit as the hills came and went. I found myself telling myself I wasn’t going to be able to get around the distance and what was I thinking trying to race on low carbs, and it was a real battle but I pushed on determined to finish. Some of the hills were pretty tough but I just slowed down and chugged up whilst people passed me.

I found with my legs that they didn’t feel as bouncy as they usually did in a race. I am assuming that was lack of carbohydrate…who knows but it wasn’t impossible but it just felt that little bit harder when I tried to push. I have heard with LCHF however that endurance improves but the ability to sprint can be reduced.

What happened to team spirit?

One of the things that really disappointed me in the race was the team spirit of some of the runners. I saw a young guy struggling as I was running, he was walking with his head bent on the side of the road. I saw him from afar and could see that he was in distress, yet no-one stopped to check if he was ok. I think it must have been the ‘mum’ in me and as I got closer to him I checked if he was ok and he said ‘No’. He looked really sad and like he was beaten down – it was a tough course and I think he had over estimated how fast he could run. I asked him if he wanted me to get some help but he said he would carry on walking and urged me to carry on running which in the end I did – but I have to just say – I would have stopped and walked with him if he needed it, and it was really disappointing that no-one stopped before me.

Just saying!

City to South

Smiles after the race – Sam and I

As I pushed up Highgate I really struggled but was determined that the hill was not going to beat me and I took an extra swig of my ‘salt’ water which as I mentioned before I was meant to have before the race! After making it up Highgate I figured there were a couple of KM left so it should be plain sailing…no …. there was another hill which caught me out! I pushed up that and realised then that the race was almost over – and as usual I was like a homing pigeon and as soon as I realised where the finish was I literally sprinted.

I don’t know where the energy came from but I pushed to the finish and almost cried when I finished. It had been such an effort. My time was ok and I think my average pace was 6.06km which is not really quick at all, but I was proud I had achieved it on LCHF, and my first hurdle was over!  My friend Sam had finished just before me and we got our usual photo taken and headed home jubilant – having finished.

Now to look to the next race on the Sunshine Coast and to learn from this race.

Have a great week!

 

 

Running for a cause – The Mother’s Day Classic

26 Apr

There are so many fun runs across Australia and the world now days, and as a result it has become a great way for charities to use them as ways to fundraise. The Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC) is one of those – in aid of breast cancer research.

I’ve run the MDC a few times but won’t be able to run this year. I was however approached by them to help them raise awareness of the event which has so far raised $27.4m for research into Breast Cancer, and my post today is sharing the testimony of the event’s co-founder Louise Davidson.

I am very fortunate to have not had anyone close to me suffer with breast cancer. It’s a terrible disease so very important we keep supporting charities that are researching a cure. You can enter the MDC by going to their website, alternatively if you are unable to attend then why not donate anyway!

Louise’s Story 

> Louise co-founded the event in 1998 when she lost her mother to breast cancer – as she wanted to make Mother’s Day meaningful. She founded the event with with fellow superannuation executive, the late Mavis Robertson.

> She was awarded Victoria’s Australian of the Year Local hero Award in recognition of founding the event.

> The event is this year in 100-plus locations across Australia, and has grown to involve more than 130,000 Australians. Last year was Louise’s 18th year at the MDC but her first as a breast cancer survivor.

Louise found the 2015 Mother’s Day Classic, her first since her own diagnosis with breast cancer, incredibly moving.

Louise Davidson and Mavis Robertson - co-founders of the Mother's Day Classic

Louise Davidson and Mavis Robertson – co-founders of the Mother’s Day Classic

“I wasn’t sure how I’d react. I’ve participated every other year as an organiser, and as a daughter who lost her mum to the disease, and each year draws out feelings of sadness for my own loss and empathy for others’ loss… but last year it was more emotional.

“My diagnosis gave me a different perspective, it was much more personal,” according to the 47-year-old CEO of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

1 in 8 Australian women are affected by breast cancer 

While some may see a sense of irony that she should face the disease Mother’s Day Classic fights against, there’s no reason her long-term and close involvement with the event would make her immune to a disease that affects one in 8 Australian women.

She confesses to being surprised at just how shocked she was at her diagnosis: “even knowing the statistics, co-founding Mother’s Day Classic and having Mum with the disease, I really didn’t expect to get breast cancer”.

A mother’s influence

Louise Davidson’s motivation for starting the event was seeing firsthand the impact of breast cancer – Louise was very close to her mum, Kaye, and was her primary carer through her two-year battle with breast cancer before Kaye died at age 52.

In the 20 years since Kaye’s death, Louise has found Mother’s Day Classic a positive way to spend what had been a sad day without her Mum.

Just two months after the 2014 event, Louise became one of the (on average) 40 Australian women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each day.

“Because of Mum, I’ve always had regular checkups. As always I looked at the mammogram film before my appointment – not that I really know what I’m looking at. There was a blurry spot that really stood out to me, and worried me.

“The doctor noticed the blurry spot too and sent me for a biopsy. A few days later he rang at 7.30 at night and said you’re not going to like the news, you’ve got breast cancer.”

“At the better end of breast cancer”

Louise was quickly booked for surgery for a small lump that doctors described as being caught early and “at the better end of breast cancer”. She had an anxious wait for pathology which dictates how aggressive the cancer is and whether there is any spread. On a scale of 1-3 grades, with three being the most serious, hers was a grade 2.

“Having been involved in MDC for almost two decades, and having been carer for my Mum when she went through her treatment, it was interesting to see what the reality of being a breast cancer patient was like,” she says.

“While so much progress has been made, you still see things that could be done better (for me I would like to see patients not have to be permanently tattooed for radiation treatment).

“Mum was diagnosed at 50, I’m 47 now. There’s never been anything selfish about my involvement with Mother’s Day Classic but it turns out now that my involvement has been beneficial to me – like every other patient or every woman who could be diagnosed in the future, it’s research that we rely on to make sure we get better outcomes,” Louise says.

The reason for research

She had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. NBCF-supported research found that sentinel lymph node biopsy is just as effective as traditional and more invasive surgery in predicting and controlling the spread of breast cancer. (Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) was introduced as an option for some women as part of breast surgery. The sentinel node is the first lymph node to which breast cancer cells are likely to spread. If the sentinel node is cancer free, there is no need to remove further lymph nodes – reducing the risk of debilitating lymphoedema.)

She is happy to have dodged the need for chemotherapy, requiring six weeks of radiotherapy.

She takes the drug Tamoxifen, a necessity for 5-10 years to decrease her risk of recurrence. (Tamoxifen is used to prevent and treat breast cancers that test positive for estrogen receptors. It lowers the chance that breast cancer will grow, by blocking the effects estrogen has on cancer cells).

Again this highlights the importance of funding research – there are currently trials underway to see if survivors get better results by taking Tamoxifen for 5 or 10 years.

“Research has made a significant difference to outcomes for women diagnosed with breast cancer.  Earlier diagnosis, much more precise imaging and surgery and big leaps forward in the drug treatments available have all contributed,” Louise says.

Living in “the new normal”

The familiarity of constantly being around breast cancer via Mother’s Day Classic didn’t make the process any easier when she faced her own diagnosis- in fact, Louise feels it made things “much scarier”.

“I understand that Mum’s cancer was a lot more advanced, so the prognosis was not good. She developed secondary cancers and died, which to me makes it very real that this might not be the end of it for me,” Louise says.

“Although since being diagnosed, lots of people in my circle have shared their stories of having had breast cancer when they were younger – and I’d had no idea. So it is positive that all these years later they are alive.”

The hardest part of the process was telling her three daughters – Kaye (named after her Mum), 15, and twins Lily and Rosie, 13.

“I have been the daughter hearing the diagnosis and dealing with my fears for my Mum. It was tough to see my own daughters in that same position.

“My girls never met my Mum but through Mother’s Day Classic they know her story. I’ve emphasized to the girls that my cancer was caught early, and that it’s very different to my Mum’s case. But it’s hard knowing the worry this causes.”

The experience has changed Louise’s perspective on life.

“I don’t know if this change will be permanent, but for now I definitely have a different outlook.  There’s a heightened sense that I shouldn’t put off anything that I want to do, things can change so quickly. There’s a very strong sense of ensuring I spend more time with the people I love – and spending more time with my girls during treatment was something I really valued.

“I’m definitely conscious that my response to my breast cancer has made me think more deeply about Mum’s experience and in a way I’ve gone through a whole new grieving process for Mum.

“I have more understanding of how she must have been feeling. She was single, and even though I cared for her, it must’ve been tough to have no partner to give her a hug and be there for her – there’s always the sense of a parent trying to shield a child from the full brunt of anything painful. I have a renewed empathy for her.”

Making Mother’s Day meaningful

Co-founders Mavis Robertson and Louise, having never participated in a fun run, organised the first Mother’s Day Classic in 1998 with a few thousand superannuation colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne.

“I’d had the experience with my mother and we knew a lot of other women who were being diagnosed. At that time breast cancer wasn’t receiving its fair share of the funding pie, so through women in super we set up some volunteer committees in Melbourne and Sydney,” Louise says.

One of the most satisfying things for Louise has been witnessing the event become a positive outlet for those fighting breast cancer, and for those who have lost loved ones, giving a real purpose to what could be a sad day (Mother’s Day without your Mum).

In 2010, inspired by those she had met at the event over many years, Louise ran her first Mother’s Day Classic. Being out on the course instead of in the “control centre” gave her new insights into how important the event was to those battling breast cancer.

“It is a celebration of the lives of those who have breast cancer and others we’ve lost to the disease. It’s emotional but not depressing. There is solidarity in seeing so many people wearing placards on their backs to remember or support someone with breast cancer,” she says.

“Personally, it has been a really powerful way for me to use the strong grief I had for the loss of my mother. For participants, our sadness has been channeled into a fantastic outcome.

“It continues to grow because it is much more than just a fundraising event.  I’ve heard of instances where people attend the Classic and are prompted to go to a breast examination the next day. They discover a lump, go to their doctor and detect breast cancer earlier than they would have if they had not been prompted by the event. So if we save one life that way, it makes everything we have done worthwhile.”

“My three girls weren’t even born when we started the event. They have grown up with the Mother’s Day Classic as the only Mother’s Day they know. When they were really little they used to write me Mother’s Day cards that said “happy Mother’s Day Classic”.”

“I hope that fundraising through events like the Mother’s Day Classic will mean my girls don’t have to worry about breast cancer when they get older.”

There’s progress, but at what pace?

Like most patients, Louise found going to the hospital daily and being a patient a very draining experience.

“People around you, whether they are family, friends or work colleagues, want you to be able to assure them that the cancer has gone – and you just don’t get that sort of all clear with breast cancer. Psychologically, it’s always there and always will be,” she says.

With successful research over the past few decades has come increased survival rates – and learning how to successfully navigate survival (and the thought always at the back of one’s mind: will the cancer come back?).

Louise Davidson and her three daughters

Louise Davidson and her three daughters

Louise is investigating whether any of the known breast cancer genes are involved in her case – information that could be vital for her three girls when they reach adulthood. This knowledge can also impact on different treatment paths. Her genetic material would be stored, and as new genes are discovered checked against her material.

Like all with the disease, her hope is that by the time her girls are adults breast cancer will not exist.

She knows that while research has made many advances, it doesn’t pay to be complacent.

“In 1993 I went with Mum to see her breast surgeon and Mum asked him about the risks for me of getting breast cancer. He said ‘by the time Louise reaches an age where this could affect her, breast cancer might not exist, or if it does the diagnostic and treatment advances may mean it’s no longer such a major issue’.

“So unfortunately, we have not moved as fast as we might have hoped or imagined…,” Louise says.

To register or for more information go to http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au

Ways you can help:

Put together a teamhttp://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/teams/about-teams/become-a-team-captain/

Fundraisehttp://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/fundraise/about-fundraising/

Volunteerhttp://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/volunteer/volunteer-now/volunteer-roles/

Start a local event http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/event-info/start-your-own-mdc-event/

For tips on running for charity have a look at a blog post I wrote for RunStopShop last year on where to start.

 

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!

LCHF Goal

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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Finished!

 

Afterwards

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!

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We went a bit nuts after the race finished!

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 🙂

Counting down the days to Christmas and setting challenges for 2016!

22 Dec

It’s been an interesting week or so which landed me right back in the physio’s office and no running thanks to bursitis on my hip and a bit of the same on my shoulder.

I thought I would freak out but I was actually quite surprised at how calm I was when my physio said no running in the lead up to Christmas. I do feel somewhat lazy but it has given me time to think about next year and what I would like to achieve.

I have found since the Gold Coast Marathon and then being overseas that I just haven’t been able to get it together with my training or eating to an extent. After chatting to friends and to my husband I realise I am a structured person and need structure in my training too. Not having any major goals has meant I have been a bit all over the place with no real reason to get out there and run So I have a plan for next year.

2016 running goals

The Plan

Whilst I hadn’t planned to run another marathon I have decided actually I will. I am not going to put any pressures on myself but I am going to train for it and run it – simple as that. I’m going to enjoy it and enjoy the training 🙂

I have a few in mind – I could either do the Gold Coast Marathon again, or try out the Brisbane Marathon or my wild card this time is the Dubbo Stampede as you get to run around Dubbo Zoo and we have friends there too (in Dubbo not at the Zoo !!). How fun would that be!

So the plan is sort my hip out, train and run the Twilight Run in March and then start the steady build up to one of the Marathons!

This year was hard because my friend was meant to be training with me but she got injured so I did a lot of the training alone, but next year I have a few friends who are planning to run a marathon and I am a member of Intraining now too so there are runs that they do that I have access to for Marathon build up. So I am hoping that things will be a bit easier where training is concerned.

R & R 

So whilst a lot of people are relishing the idea of having time off work over Christmas and running lots it looks like I may well still have my rest time if my hip doesn’t clear up and then will start training in January.

I’m quite excited about the new challenges and really enjoying running at the moment (when not injured!) – with no pressures.

So here is to an exciting 2016. I hope you have lots of challenges and goals planned! I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year 🙂

In case I don’t write again before the new year. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year – thanks for continuing to read my random ramblings – it means a lot 🙂

Zoe 🙂

Ps. 

My most recent blog post as guest blogger for Azumio Inc is now live if you’d like to read it. It’s all about running safely after dark.