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Essential Kit for the first time runner

26 Sep

Hope your week has been better than mine. My week hasn’t been so bad but from a running point of view I’m not happy right now!

My week started well but went down hill and I am now unable to run! I ran a great 5k on the treadmill earlier this week and the niggle in my knee that had started has not improved and I am now in a lot of discomfort when walking so haven’t run in about 4 days 😦

Very frustrating but I am listening to my body and am resting when I can and not training, and hoping that my knee improves soon. I feel like since I had my son a year or so ago I have been plagued with injuries, niggles and pain!

Each time I have felt I have been turning a corner with training I have ended up with an injury and most of them have not been as a direct result from running…ie when I hurt my neck a few weeks ago I literally woke up and it was there, and hen when I twinged by back I was leaning into the car to get something! I’m sure it isn’t a direct result of having a baby in fact I’m beginning to think I’m just getting old and my body isn’t doing with running as much as it used to!

Running on treadmill

Essential kit for the everyday  runner post.

On the up side I recently became a guest blogger for Azumio Inc. who are a leader in health and fitness apps – and my first blog post writing for them is live. It is all about Essential kit for the first time runner.

So if you have just started running and are unsure what kit you should invest in have a read.

Anyway a short post today but have a great week running and I hope to be running too very soon!

A leisurely Sunday run up Mount Cootha #scenicbrisbane #brisbanerunner

16 Sep

How’s your week going so far? Mine is pretty good from a running point of view. I ran yesterday, am running tomorrow and ran at the weekend – Sunday being a tough one as somehow I managed to end up running up Mount Cootha. Initially I asked around to see who was running and I mentioned I had asked my friend if she wanted to run up Mount Cootha or Kangaroo Point thinking she’d say no and I would then run closer to home and have an easy run… she called my bluff!

In fact two of my other friends said they’d like to run with us so I was locked in! And so at 6am on Sunday I left the house to go and run. I was quite tired but by the time I got to the Botanical Gardens I was pumped to start running.

Running up Mount CoothaThe first section is always a killer – running up the massive hill from the Botanical Gardens. By the time I got to the top of that I was stuffed wondering how I was going to make it but we carried on, running, chatting, laughing and pushing.

I underestimated the hills and the number of them, so thinking I was on the home stretch half way around towards the Channel 7 offices I pushed on only to find there were still lots of hills in front of me and it took me all my time to not stop.

Running up Mt Cootha

My partners in crime running up Mount Cootha. We were smiling at this point before it got really tough!

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Here three of us are running up the Mountain.

I did walk and run for a little bit and I breathed to my friend “I can’t do this” as she trotted by and she encouraged me on. Once I got closer to the top I got my second wind and the remaining push to the top was great. I can still feel the marathon in my legs even now after 2 months passing by and it certainly came in handy! When I got to top I had a quick toilet stop and waited as I wasn’t sure whether my friend at the front had waited but after a few minutes I couldn’t find her so I started the awesome descent back down.

Running down the mountain is always great fun – flying by the seat of your pants literally. There is one tiny hill and the rest is heavily downhill and a great way to make up for the slow plodding up the hill – so I cranked up my iPod and went for it.

I was exhausted at the bottom but exhilarated. I plan to do the mountain run more regularly to start getting stronger ready for races later in the year/early next.

Hope you are having a great week!

Bye for now

A week of valium, voltaren and a bit of running

7 Sep

So last week was an interesting week. After running the Bridge to Brisbane last Sunday I figured I was set to continue with training and planned to build back up to 20km plus but then on Wednesday morning that all changed! I went to get out of bed and couldn’t! Initially I figured I had slept funny and my neck where the pain was would clear up but the pain was excruciating and didn’t go.

I was terrified that the pain was here to stay and that was the end of my running. My husband basically told me to stop being quite so dramatic! (moi! dramatic!?!) and after a small sulk I called the doctors to see if they could make me an appointment.

Pills

This is just a stock photo – not my pills!

By 9.30 I was at the doctors thanks to my husband having to stay at home and drive me. The doctor basically said I had some very long word which meant it was like severe cramp in my calf but obviously in my neck and he prescribed me a small amount of valium and also voltaren to take at the same time. I was surprised at being give valium but realise it was to relax the muscles whilst the voltaren got to work.

I came home at 10am popped my pills and woke up at 4pm!  I had lost 6 hours of my life that I’d never get back again! The pain was still bad so I did the same again after dinner and woke up the next morning feeling much better.

Anyway to cut a long story short I didn’t do too much training last week as I couldn’t move my neck 100%. All good now though and I did some general leg work and then ran on Saturday with my son which was a full-on work out.

insanity

I’ve been trying to decide where next with my training, as I am not one of those people that just carries on doing the same thing again and again – personally I agree with Einstein’s definition of insanity ( doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) – I just am not sure what I want to do – to get faster, to do another challenge i.e. a marathon or do shorter races… just can’t decide. So for the moment I am just going to push on – try some new things and decide on my races. The Twilight Race next March is an option….who knows and I am still part of Earthathon which keeps me motivated too as I am being held accountable by other runners all around the world!

Anyway enough of my rambling. Hope you have a great week of running 🙂

Back into racing – River Run is this weekend!

10 Aug

What an interesting time it has been since the Gold Coast Marathon! I hurt my hamstring, my back and then all of that was coming good and the last few days I got sick!! It has been really frustrating but everything seems to be back on track now. My physio has been excellent and I have actually listened, rested and done my exercises.

Yesterday I ran with my team mates for the River Run – one guy couldn’t make it but it was great to run with everyone else along the Brisbane River and I was the only girl which was novel. It was quite refreshing running with a group of guys as the conversation was very different but I still managed to crack jokes at my friend who invited me to the run’s expense!  Physically I had a great run, no niggles which was great and throat was so so – so I’m hoping that is all cleared up in time for Sunday.

Strategy

We had a coffee after the run and tried to work out how we will do the relay and who will run in what order. The thought of starting at 4am doesn’t really appeal but I think my slot probably won’t be until about 8 as the guys are wanting to do 10k relays rather than 5k – suits me fine!

City Cycle convert…probably not but it’s a means to an end!

My cycling fanatic friend Shaun has convinced me we need to park near his work and then use one of the Brisbane City Cycles to get to the race! I never thought I’d be seen on one of them but it seems I have caved and agreed!  Apparently it is only $2 – what a bargain – hopefully I won’t regret it!

Preparing for the River Run

Posing with the guys after our run and coffee 🙂

River Run 

I’m looking forward to the race, although not decided how to tackle it yet since whilst we are running medium distance – 10k at a time we have a few hours rest in between and I’m not sure whether to go quickly and hope my legs recover or take it stead and hammer at the end – so we shall see.

I figure energy wise – lots of snacks. I don’t want to eat too much in between so will take snacks rather than heavy full on food – whilst it’s tempting I have a dodgy stomach at times so light and carbs should do the trick. Here’s what I did for the Gold Coast Marathon which might be helpful if you need some tips for race day preparation.

So I’m looking forward to the weekend and will let you know how it goes. There are a few people running that I know too so looking forward to saying hi. If you are racing this weekend hope it goes well 🙂

Happy Running 🙂

The Brisbane River is so lovely to run round. It was a beautiful day as well with bright blue sky :-)

The Brisbane River is so lovely to run round. It was a beautiful day as well with bright blue sky 🙂

Back’s on the mend and the River Run 100km approaches!

6 Aug

The last week or two have been frustrating with a hamstring injury and then leaning into the car and slightly straining my back – but I think I am back on track now ready for the River Run 100k of which I’m doing 20k next weekend!

I’ve spent the last week or so in and out of the physio’s office and running short distances on the treadmill and it seems to have paid off – I ran tonight and had hardly any pain compared to what I have had – yay!

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.23.08 pm

So now to turn my focus towards next weeks race. It will be an interesting one since I wont be running the distance all at once as it is done in a relay – and I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not since what will I do for an hour or two waiting for my turn to come around!?!

There are five of us in our team and I think it works in the sense you take it in turn to run your distance of 5k or 10k and then run the last 10k together – I think that’s how it works anyway…. so it should be fun and I am looking forward to catching up with some people I know that are also doing it too. We are running a trial run on the weekend to gauge how we all run together I guess – I only know one person in the group so I will be the newbie and token girlie in the group!

So in preparation for next weeks race I will be:

Upping the carbs a little bit again – I had lowered my carb intake after the Gold Coast Marathon was over but I need to have a few more back in my diet next week to get me through on the day.

Running a mixture of distances – I have a 10k planned for Sunday and then hope to do a couple of 5ks and possibly one 15-20k before the following Sunday – depends on time and my back

Getting my kit together again – I may even wear what I wore for the Gold Coast Marathon again since I know I dont have issues with any of that kit so that would be a safe bet to ensure from a race kit point of view all is good 🙂

Sorting my music out – I think I need some heavier and quicker tunes as I will probably at times be running quicker than I ran the Gold Coast – although the guys want to run at about 6min km so fairly steady – but my music always helps me get round 🙂

Anyway it’s the weekend tomorrow – yay! Hope you have a great weekend of running planned – and if you are racing – good luck 😀

Ideas for what to do post marathon

14 Jul

The last week or so has been a roller coaster. I was interviewed at the Garmin Legends Lunch at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and then ran the Marathon and then it all came to a standstill.

After I crossed the finish line there was an initial high of sharing my news that I had finished and was very happy with my time and having done it, I ordered my photos and relived my weekend with friends and my husband but then I woke up on the weekend thinking:

“ok what happens now?.”

I suddenly realised I hadn’t thought this far along. I had been concentrating so much on training for the marathon and preparing myself for the lunch but I hadn’t prepared myself for when it was all over and I felt a bit down. Suddenly there was no need to stick to a schedule or run 5 times a week and even get my foot strapped.

I would imagine there are probably a lot of people that are feeling like this now. There is the elation of having finished, and no more nightmare 30-36k runs but at the same time that purpose has gone and it is time to find something new.

I’m all good now and did a great session at the Kangaroo Point stairs with lovely friends on Sunday and was pumped again but it was a strange feeling.

Setting goals 

I am a very goal driven person so I have decided it’s time to set some goals again to stay motivated. I want to lose a little bit of weight, work on building some muscle as well as go back to basics and run some shorter races – so 5ks, 10ks and a half or two in the next 12 months as well as mastering the Kangaroo Point Stairs that I ran at the weekend. It will seem strange running less distance  but I know it is not necessarily easier as potentially I will be running faster.

Below are some thoughts I have explored in the last few days about how to stay motivated after the marathon/big event you have been training is over – so if you have been or are feeling the same way as me they might help:

Ideas for what to do post Marathon

what's your post marathon challenge?

A bigger challenge?

I have a number of friends who started running marathons and then had a real taste for them and went one step further and got into ultra marathons. If you finish your marathon and still want more then maybe this is an option to think about or perhaps triathlons and the ultimate Ironman! It’s not for me – the marathons I ran were hard and the thought of running any further than that makes me feel quite faint!

Different terrain

I have on a  number of occasions enjoyed trail running and used to run up Mount Cootha both on the road and on the trails. My friends that used to do that have unfortunately left Brisbane so I no longer do it but maybe after running a marathon you might want to try something new and venture into trail running – quite different to road running but lots of fun.

Different place

Fancy another marathon but not the same one. There are literally hundreds all around the country/world. I have done 5 marathons in 5 different countries and it makes the goal and excitement even more as you are working towards a goal and a holiday!  If you are a beginner marathon runner I would seriously consider giving yourself a fair while off training for another one though. Don’t rush straight back into another one in a months time unless you know your body very well. I did it after my first marathon and crashed and burned spectacularly!

Different distance?

Now that the marathon is finished if you aren’t keen to do another one then think about trying a different distance. Running shorter distances is great for getting quicker in your overall running times, maybe that is something to consider.

Enjoy just running for a while?

If you are a content person that doesn’t need goals then why not just enjoy running for a while without the pressure of a race coming up? Me personally I can’t do that as it would be very easy to not run!

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!