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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! 

Moving, snakes, and trail running

22 Nov

What a few weeks it has been. In fact what a year it has been!

I feel like I have neglected both my running and this blog from a consistency point of view. Both have often seemed in the ‘too hard’ bucket at times when I have been tired, demotivated or just darn right fed up. The last month has been a challenge but I think I am finally getting there.

We moved! 

So we moved house to a place 50 mins from where I have lived in Australia for the last 7 years, we moved to the country from the suburbs which has been great from a beautiful area, land, running trails, no more noisy neighbours point of view – but a bit lonely, being the new girl on the block, realising I am far from most things and old friends, having to contend with the idea of snakes and generally that life has now changed point of view.

snake awareness

I even went to a snake awareness day to educate myself on snakes in the area! I know – over paranoid…yes

This post sounds a bit doom and gloom but I promise you it isn’t I am just mentally reflecting.

New friends and trails

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-7-12-50-pm

I love the new house – we have so much more space, and the area is truly beautiful. I have met a group of girls – two of which I knew previously on Instagram and met at the Gold Coast Marathon too and I have been trying to run 3 times a week with them on the trails which has been awesome – finally people to run with – albeit at 4.30am!

They are also ultra runners which is starting to challenge my thinking, and there is a small part of me that is thinking maybe that could be a goal for me next year – but I really have to see how I go for the rest of this year and be realistic about whether I could fit the training in.

running on the trails

Post training pic with Adele one of my friends aka @sherunsalot – she is a really inspiring ultra runner 🙂

Running on the trails has been great fun and I love it. It means I can run slower but am essentially working harder and I am seeing the results already. I had a tumble last week but I figure that’s a rite of passage on the trails. It is just so different and liberating – not wearing headphones just running on the tracks, the birds singing, the fresh outdoors – it has been music for the soul.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-7-15-54-pm

Loving running on the trails – music for the soul – I look like I am about to slip on this pic!

So that’s me for this post – but I am feeling good and prepared to really get back into consistent training, country life and enjoying the new house. Wishing you a great week of running – more to come soon xx

 

 

How to treat and prevent blisters @azumioinc

14 Jan

Hey there! I hope you are having a good week and that you are getting to run lots. It’s been a mixed bag of a week for me with trying to still keep off my feet a little bit to let my bursitis heal but I am feeling much better and the pain is starting to subside.

I’m volunteering at a ParkRun at the weekend in Southbank as my running club Intraining has organised volunteers and needed help and I figured in order to ensure I kept my pace down that I would volunteer for the 35 minute 5k. That works out to about 7 minute km which is a lot slower than I would normally run but I am hoping I get to run comfortably and encourage people along the way if they need help.

Anyway I’ve been a guest blogger for Azumio for a good few months now and I was running out of ideas as to what to write and my latest post is all about blisters – how to treat them and how to prevent them in the first place. I am no podiatrist but with all the hassles I had in the lead up to the Gold Coast Marathon last year with that horrendous blister to the point it nearly sidelined me I figure I have a few tips from what I learned along the way.

blister before treated - the girl that runs

This was my blister at its largest – it was a monster – at least an inch and a half big! yuk.

You can read the post on Azumio’s blog – but always remember if you have any injuries or problems please always consult a professional.

Have a great rest of the week and happy running 🙂

Tips for maintaining a positive mindset during marathon training #GCAM15

15 Jun The Finish Line

I had a bit of a not so great week last week. After all the trials with my foot and not having run a decent long run; on Tuesday night I then got sick. I’d been outside for too long at night wheeling my son up and down a cold foyer and the next morning I woke up unable to even get my head off the pillow. I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t be sick not 3.5 weeks out to the marathon and it was my birthday week 😦

So basically Weds, Thurs, Fri and some of Saturday were spent in bed sick coughing, spluttering and sleeping – and my husband got sick on Thursday too so at least I had some company! We spent the day sharing medicine, sleeping and watching TV! whilst my son got to play and have a ball in daycare. I managed to get out with the girls for a few hours on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday (not quite sure how – it might have been the glass of wine that helped!) and then yesterday again was spent on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

Hitting rock bottom 

I got to a low yesterday and decided that was it – I wasn’t going to run at all or I would downgrade to the half marathon as I was so stressed that I just don’t have enough time. A couple of my friends reminded me why i was doing the race and that it was never going to be about time. Roger my running trainer said I can do it, and my lovely ultra runner friend Zayne told me what she would do at this stage which was really helpful and convinced me I can do it – even if I have to walk some of it.

I was never in this for the time, it was about having a goal and getting back into running after bub being born. It was about doing something for me and feeling like I had achieved something in training,  and it was about encouraging other runners thinking about running a marathon that are not that fast that anything is possible even after having a baby within the year.

Coulda Shoulda Woulda 

It’s so easy to say “if this” and “if that” but life is life and  we deal with whatever is thrown at us. I decided I could choose to quit or i could choose to push on regardless and who cares about the time. I really don’t. I did for a long time but now I don’t.

Tips for keeping a positive mindset when your race is looming 

I couldn’t write a post like this without a few tips 🙂 I did write some in a previous post but these tips are more from a mental mindset point of view

Be positive 

If you feel like you are not motivated or need a pep talk – call a friend and a good one that understands. I found that my perspective was completely different to my friends and whilst I have been concentrating on having not done well – a couple of my friends reminded me that actually within a year I have had a baby and come back and trained for a marathon and that’s actually pretty good.

Write things down 

I like to look over my progress and look back at where I was and where I am now. In January I was unable to run 5k – now in June I can run 36 and will be running 42k in July!  A training journal is a great help. I got sent one from Journal Menu which is great to record training manually rather than electronically 🙂 and again see how far you have come and also make notes on each session as to how you are feeling.

Focus on the end goal 

Try not to worry about anyone else’s training and focus on your own and also that it isn’t forever. There is an end date – focus on it and try not to worry about pressures around you. On the day just focus on what you have trained to do and if you have to walk or if you are slower than you anticipated think about the people that haven’t even got up out of bed yet and give yourself a big pat on the back 🙂

So I think I am in for a very tough race but you just have to go for it right? let those negative thoughts disappear and think about the achievement….and the finish line!

3 weeks to go – bring it on!

Tips for avoiding blisters when running

26 May

I was all set to write a post following my long run two Saturdays ago –  and then it went a bit wrong and I’ve been a bit down in the dumps ever since – so I decided rather than throw my dummy out of my pram via my blog post I would stay silent for a few days! So this is my calmer version 🙂

I was all set for my 30k run two Saturdays ago – went to bed early, got my kit ready, drove into the city all set for my run, and a quarter of the way round my foot started to hurt and a small blister had formed. I decided stupidly to push on and push through what at some points was excruciating pain and yes you’ve guessed it I made it worse.

I decided to nip it in the bud and booked in with my podiatrist who put some padding and dressings in place rather than try and treat myself – 6/7 weeks to the marathon – I figured I didn’t have time to mess around. I went back to my running, a few niggles no dramas…. then I got to my long run again last Saturday and this time it was a 32k. What do you think happened…?

Yes You’ve guessed it the blister returned with a vengeance and this time it was a whopper. How I managed to run 32k on it I will never know but I got back home and was howling in pain and out of frustration.

blister before treated - the girl that runs

This was my blister at its largest – it was a monster – at least an inch and a half big! yuk.

My friend who is a nurse came around a day or so later and popped the monster of a thing and dressed it. I was a bit of a baby – but I have to say it is getting better but I haven’t run in a few days and I am just accepting I need to rest it as there is some tissue damage underneath.

Hoping that this weekend I will be able to get back into things but I wish sometimes I would take my own advice!  But I am amazed that such a trivial thing as a blister can cause such a hassle and essentially sideline you from running! So don’t do what I did!

Anyway ignoring what i did above here are some tips for what you potentially should do if you find you have a blister. Again remember these are just my thoughts and opinions – if you have a medical issue always seek professional advice.

Tips for avoiding blisters

Double up 

Many people swear by wearing two pairs of socks saying that the friction will be between the socks rather than the sock and the skin. My foot was rubbing against my shoe so in that instance that might not be the best option but it might help with an extra layer…..

Cornflour

My Podiatrist told me to put cornflour in the bottom of my shoes which will basically help absorb any excess moisture and ultimately help avoid blisters forming.

Footwear needs to fit 

Make sure that your footwear fits correctly. If your shoes are too big they will push your foot around and rub, if they are too small they will potentially present issues also so good shoes for your feet especially when running long distances are a must and will help avoid blisters.

Cotton a no no

Again many posts by experts that I have read say to avoid cotton socks and to wear moisture wicking ones or those made of nylon. I have a wide range of socks and I haven’t always found this to prevent blisters but it does help.

Vaseline or blister spray 

Rubbing Vaseline or equivalent onto the feet is also meant to be a great way to avoid blisters and there is also a blister spray that I was given a sample of at a running expo which my Podiatrist mentioned might help me also. You can buy these from any large chemist or I would imagine a specialist running store.

Pre empt the blister and cover up

I think I tried too late but if you feel a sore area on the foot when running you could always put a plaster such as Compeed on even though you don’t yet have a blister. I think I did it too late and my blister actually expanded but I already had a blister and it was a biiiiiiiig one!

Blister

Here is my blister now after my friend popped it. There is a bit of tissue damage so I need to let it heal before running on it but it is much better.

Got a blister already?

If you are in the unfortunate position of having a blister right now I found this great post which you might find useful – it’s from 2012 but it seems to be one of the most balanced articles I could find.

Runners World are a good option too to have a look at. If you have a really bad blister then pop along to your podiatrist or local running store depending on the severity of your issue. In Brisbane we are lucky to have some specialist running stores that also have podiatrists attached to them such as InTraining. They weren’t who I went to but having a had a chat to one of their people this morning they do offer some great advice and I am considering going in to see them if this doesn’t improve!

Are you preparing yourself for your run?

4 Mar

This week has been tough so far and it’s only Wednesday!

Last night I had to train – I had a 7k to run followed by squats (thanks Roger!) and an hour or so before I just didn’t want to train. It’s the first time since I embarked on my marathon training that I felt like this and I really just couldn’t snap out of it. I forced myself to get dressed ready and got in the car and went to the gym – and even on the treadmill even though 7k seems relatively easy these days – (still slow but easier) mentally I struggled.Take water when you run - the girl that runs

As I got to 5k a light suddenly went on in my head. It was no wonder I was so tired and lacking energy as:

1. My little one has been sick and we have been fairly sleep deprived and I have been existing on a few hours sleep until a night or so ago so it was catching up with me;

2. I’d forgotten to have a proper lunch and had had some crackers and cheese;

3. I’d also broken the big rule of not having much water – I’d maybe had half a litre all day;

4. The biggest thing I would say that has been affecting me is since January I have consciously not been having carbs bar those in my vegetables in order to try and trim down a little bit so the marathon training was easier and I cut out wheat and all carbs – I think this has finally caught up with me in the sense it’s harder when running longer distances and needing more energy.

So with all of these things it was no wonder I was struggling and therefore lacking the energy or motivation.

I am very good at giving out advice but not always good at taking it myself so this week has been a real eye opener and I am intending on drinking more water, looking at increasing my carb levels, catching up on sleep and making sure I eat a decent lunch especially when training in the evening.

Now I am clocking up 60km a week and if you are doing the same it’s important to look after ourselves. I think sometimes for those of us/you that are parents it is easy to put yourself second but often I find when I have been racing after my son that it is easy to not have had proper food or even a cup of water all day and it catches up with you as I have found this week especially when trying to fit in an intense training program.

Anyway I just wanted to share that with you and if there is anyone in the same position I hope that sharing helped.

As always have a great week and happy running 🙂

It’s ok not to be perfect

22 Aug

I was umming and ahhhing whether to write this on a published post that everyone could see but figured there might be other people that have felt or currently feel the same way.

Since the birth of my baby in fact since being pregnant I have had getting back into exercise on my mind especially my running. I didn’t think that having a baby would be a big deal and I figured shifting the weight and getting back into it all would be simple. I was going to be super mum!  

To an extent the first bit was easy enough – getting back into exercise and losing the first bit of weight – but I didn’t realise it would be so hard to get back to where I was before or the sheer energy drain that a new born baby can be and so this week I have been feeling a bit down and eating rubbish food and then feeling even more miserable.

I went for a run on the treadmill at the gym earlier this week, I was just cooling down and one of my friends arrived and hopped onto the treadmill next to me and we chatted as I cooled off. I said to her -‘ how come it’s so hard!. It all just feels so hard.’ I was running at 9.5km on the treadmill whereas before being pregnant i could get up to 15km on a good day.

She responded by reminding me that I had just had a baby and had only been back into exercise for 4 weeks. I kind of nodded but I still had this overwhelming desire to be better, to be perfect and get back to where I was. It was only when in Harvey Norman yesterday paying for my purchase with baby M that the penny dropped.

The lady at the check out desk said to me ‘It’s hard isn’t it!’ – I looked up at her – and she said to me ‘You are doing an excellent job – just remember that – but it takes time.’its ok not to be perfect

I almost cried there and then but reflected on the way home that she was right. I have been trying so hard to be a good mum and wanted people to see that I am a good mum but I have been punishing myself for not losing weight quick enough, not getting back into exercise quick enough and not being able to do as much as i could before – but I have a baby now – a beautiful wonderful baby and that is enough.

I think sometimes we spend so much time worrying about what people think about us and trying to be what we think people want/expect us to be that we end up often doing more harm than good. This weeks experiences have really put me in my place and helped me to realise that it’s ok not to be perfect as long as we accept who we are and that that’s enough then that’s all good. It’s hard not to worry about what people think but it is a real downward spiral if we have that on our minds all the time. It doesn’t help when we are constantly bombarded with images from the media with celebrities that appear to be perfect. It’s only later we often read about their melt down. I get tired of seeing people that had bounced back after having their baby within weeks plastered all over the latest magazines. Another good friend of mine reminded me that it takes 9 months to put that weight on – allow at least that to lose it again. 

I want to encourage anyone else feeling the same way I have that you are a beautiful person inside and out and if the people around you can’t see that then you are with the wrong people. Keep doing what you’re doing – you’re doing a great job 🙂