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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….

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Three countries in a week and very cold running!

7 Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Running Goals for 2017

16 Jan

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

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

My Goals for 2017

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

To get stronger and faster on the trails

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

To be more consistent with my running

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

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

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

To continue to enjoy running

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

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Some of the lovely ladies I run with during the week

To continue writing this blog consistently!

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

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

What are your goals you have set yourself?

 

Review of 110% calf sleeves

8 Jan

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

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

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

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

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

Wearability

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

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

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

Sleeves in action

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

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

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

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

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

Summary and thoughts

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

Pros

– very comfortable no issues with slipping down

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

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

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

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

Cons

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

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

Christmas craziness and back to running

27 Dec

Hope you had a nice relaxing Christmas. I popped up to the post with my husband to visit his family and it was chaotic as usual . I’m never used to having lots of people around so 7 adults, 3 kids and 2 babies was pretty full on! My mother in law has just moved and lives near the beach however so it was a great opportunity to put my runners on and explore. I only managed one proper run and then some walks along the beach which was nice.

I ate too many of the wrong things which I am sure many hardcore LCHF people will disapprove of including the very decadent peanut butter cheesecake I made! But this year has been so crazy in so many ways I needed a release – and this Christmas it was the beach and the food! 

I read that many people doing a LCHF way of eating do not find it an issue or too strict and love it. Most of the time I find it an easy way to eat and I also recognise it is a health benefit – but sometimes I need to let off steam for a day or three especially when staying with people that do not observe the same way of eating as me. 

The peanut butter cheesecake was worth every carb!

So it’s back on the horse after champagne, carbs and reduced running to focus focus focus! Starting with a 3 hour run tomorrow. Nothing like a bit of hard work to get you back on track! 

Christmas challenge and focusing on 2017

24 Dec

The last few weeks have been a wrestle from a food and training point of view. I’ve had a number of social events where I have found it hard to eat lower carb foods at as there were no options and I wasn’t prepared with my own stuff.  So  as a result I have eaten a bit more than I should carb wise. Plus it didn’t help that I volunteered to make peanut butter cheesecake for Christmas and had 2lbs of Reese Peanut Butter Cups sat in the fridge for two weeks!!

This had a knock on effect on my overall well being and training as I generally felt more sluggish and not well which then made it harder to train and to want to train. I have been very hard on myself and the harder I have been the worse it has been so I have resigned myself to the fact that it is ok.

It is Christmas tomorrow and so I am not going to worry about it all, and just focus on having a great day with family and then getting back on the strict LCHF horse afterwards. It’s been a very full on year and sometimes we have to admit that sometimes it is ok to eat the wrong thing – but to get back on the wagon the next day!

New Year Goals

I have had a few people ask me what races I plan on doing next year. I’m not putting pressure on myself but would like to get some in the diary. A couple that keep popping up on the radar are the SEQ Series Bunya and Daisy Hill trail races in Jan and Feb, and then the girls I run with are going to do the Rainbow Beach Marathon which is a trail race with 9k of sand running and only a few dozen competitors…I’m tempted so will try for that and go down to the half if not ready. I’m secretly (or not so secretly) thinking about pushing up the distance but will see how runs go in early 2017…

I find I need a goal to work towards otherwise it makes it easy to roll over and ignore the alarm in the mornings.

Anyway if you are a goal setter- what are your running goals for 2017? First 1ok? Get faster? First marathon? Ultra? 

Go for it whatever it is!! 

Anyway have a great rest of 2016. I’ll be back in January with more posts including my reviews of the product that Science In Sport sent me and my 110% calf sleeves that Realigntech sent.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Zoe

Getting back into running after moving to a new area

25 Nov

Whatever it is in life we are doing where there are other people involved, there is one thing we tend to want, and that is acceptance. Moving to a new area, starting a new job and even something as simple as finding people to run with can be stressful, and also make you feel vulnerable in terms of change and being the new person.

I’ve been through all three in the last 6 months. It struck me today and that’s why I am writing as I have been feeling a bit down lately and trying to work out why – and I realised it comes down to acceptance and wanting to feel like I fit.

Working for someone else

6-7 months ago I made the decision to go back and work for someone else and to slowly disband my business. I still in some respects feel like the new kid on the block as I am very different to the people I work with. Fitting in has been important to me and I have worked really hard at it but I am not 100% sure I have really accomplished it, but love the job itself so I continue to push for acceptance. I often feel like I say the wrong things and just like I am trying too hard . I’ll get there!

New home

Starting a new job meant that we could move to an area both my husband and I have been wanting to move to for a number of years, and we finally did it about 3 weeks ago. It was very stressful and we are getting to grips with it – but also realising again we are the new people and we don’t know anyone – so we are working hard at getting involved in things to try and fit in and become accepted into the area. We are almost an hour from where we used to live so it is hard to see friends I used to hang out with.

New people to run with

From a running perspective – I was really excited as I know a couple of people that live or run in this area and so was looking forward to be able to start to run with them which has turned out to be great so far. Not everyone has that though and it can be tough if you are used to running with other people and then move to somewhere new.

I guess what I am trying to say is things have been a bit bumpy lately and I never realised how important it was to feel accepted until now. Being that person that is different or new isn’t something I have relished, and I have just tried and wanted to fit in. I am gradually getting there I think but the girls I have started running with have really helped make me feel a lot more settled in myself and less of an outsider in one area of my life at least!

Getting back into running after moving to a new area 

I wanted to share some tips if you are in the same boat as me and have moved to a new area and want to get out and run:

Check out the terrain and routes

If you are a lone runner and are happy to be, then the best way to get into your running in a new area is to have a look on Strava or Map My Run or something similar and check out all the local routes that others have run and have a go!

When I went overseas last year I did a few running routes posted on Strava and it was like a ‘mystery’ run as I had no idea where I was going and it was great fun seeing where I would be taken.

Local Park Runs 

If you are a park runner then check out where your local park runs are and give them a go, it’s a great way to meet other runners too.

Local Running clubs?

Have a look on Facebook or Google local running clubs in the area as there may be some you can join and go along and try out. I found a trail running group that runs on the weekend so joined them this weekend just gone which was great fun.

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Running with the #brisbanetrailrunners 

Local Gym or bootcamp?

The way I made friends when I first moved to Australia was actually through a local 12 week Bootcamp I attended. There was a core group of us that hit it off and when the bootcamp finished we carried on training together. Some of the people I am still very good friends with 7 years on!

Anyway this isn’t meant to be a ‘woe is me’ post as I am getting there – I just wanted to share how I am feeling and some helpful tips if you are in the same boat!

Bye for now xx

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Running with the #brisbanetrailrunners – another great group of people I have met over this side of town