Tag Archives: Gold Coast Marathon

What’s next after the Twilight Half Marathon?

29 Mar

Hope you had a lovely Easter!

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

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

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

Running goalsGold Coast Half possibly Marathon

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

So, not sure yet….

Dubbo Stampede Half Marathon 

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

Do you need Goals?

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

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


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

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


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.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.07.23 pm

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 🙂


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.


I did it! I ran my 5th Marathon – The Gold Coast Marathon :-) #GCAM15 Race recap

6 Jul
At the finish with my bub :-)

At the finish with my bub 🙂

Yesterday I ran my 5th full marathon – the Gold Coast Marathon.

This time last year my son was 2 months old and my goal before he was born was to give birth, and then when allowed to: get back into my running and train to run a marathon and I did it!

RunStopShop fuelled my challenge by inviting me to choose a marathon in Australia I wanted to run and they would support me which they did. So I had no excuse to not do it right! If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I decided upon the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and was also invited to be one of their Advocates – meaning I got to speak at their Legends Lunch too.

So it’s been a whirlwind of a weekend.

Garmin Legends Lunch 

I was so nervous before the lunch. The thought of getting up in front of 300 people including elite athletes and talking about my journey was terrifying. My friend Nadia coaxed me into the room and my legs went to jelly when I saw the MC for the day Channel 7’s Sunrise Sports presenter Mark Beretta. But you know it was actually great and I got to meet one of my Twitter Friends Scott and also to meet some amazing people including Steve Moneghetti, Rob De Costella, Benita Willis, Lee Troop and other RunStopShop Ambassador Portia Large.

Garmin Legends Lunch

Being on the stage being interviewed was a bit of a blur. I think I did ok and I remember people laughing with me (not at me) so hopefully it was all good!

Being on the stage was a blur and I vaguely remember saying about being in labour and telling my husband I was going to run a marathon and people laughing but other than that I was quite nervous so don’t remember much, but after the event a few people came up and said they really resonated with what I had said and I was really touched.

Garmin Legends Lunch

On the stage with some amazing people including Steve Moneghetti, Benita Willis, Lee Troop, Rob De Castello, Pat Carroll and Portia Large.


Then it was off to the Expo to collect my race pack and to get my foot strapped for one final time by Doug at InTraining. Just getting my race number made me nervous and I am so glad Nadia was with me as I might have been tempted to run at that point. The guys at Intraining have been great helping me with my foot. I really thought a couple of months back that I might not even be able to run because of my whopping blister that caused a whole load of problems but foot got strapped and I was ready to go.

The night before

I was quite anxious the night before the race. It suddenly hit me that the next day I was going to run another marathon and I was concerned I might not make it. Lots of positive affirmations later and I was laying out my clothes. Nadia and I went for a walk to find some food; and a pizza, loads of water and garlic bread later I was stuffed. We went to bed just after 9pm and I had had the hotel set a call for 4am as RunStopShop’s Simon wanted me at the start for 5am so I could get a pic with Portia before her race! My race didn’t start until 7.20 so I figured I’d go to the hospitality pavilion after which the Gold Coast Marathon team had kindly given me access to as an Advocate.

Having fun with Nadia the day before the race

Having fun with Nadia the day before the race

The big day 

So the alarm went and I had a whinge to Nadia about the time and then eventually hauled myself out of bed. I had a terrible nights sleep mainly just because I was so nervous. Got ready, managed to force myself to eat my porridge and Nadia drove me to as close as we could get – I don’t know how she kept her cool as I was stressed beyond stressed.

Raced to find 99 Bikes which was where I was meeting Simon and Portia and we went to get our photo taken – it was crazy at this point – people everywhere, queues for toilets, people pinning on badges etc. We walked Portia to her start line and then it was off to chill in the hospitality pavilion which was great – no queues for toilets, water, food (although I just had a banana) and a perfect view of the finish line….I saw the winner come in and then had to go to my start line – a nervous wreck at this point.

At the hotel waiting for the lift to go to the race

At the hotel waiting for the lift to go to the race

The Race 

The start of the race was a bit of a blur. I got my watch ready and waited for the start to happen. They were a minute or so late and then it all kicked off. I was a bit back so it took a couple of minutes to get over the start line and then I was off! I tried to keep an even pace and not race off at the start and just keep things steady so I was constantly looking at my watch to get a good rhythm and to ensure I wasn’t going too fast. I found at about 3k suddenly my foot started hurting where the strapping was and I really thought I would have to stop but then it seemed to calm down and disappeared completely.

The heat was a bit of an issue as our race didn’t start until 7.20am and it was actually quite warm. I was very thankful for training later at lunch times and as late as I could in training to make sure I was ok with the heat. I did see some people going down from the heat throughout the race however 😦


I took an energy gel 20 minutes before the race and then once the race started every 50 minutes afterwards so things were going ok and I felt pretty good. I saw one of my friends Maria at the 8k mark and that gave me a real lift.

I got to 21k and thats when things started to hurt. I felt a bit nauseous and suddenly my stomach was not feeling so great and I got stitch. I slowed down and pushed through it but then howled out in pain and had to walk. A lovely girl came up and stopped running to check I was ok and gave me some encouraging words to push through the stitch and then I was back running again.

Then it happened again and I at that point felt like I just wanted to quit. I was crying at one of the water stations but something in me just said – you cannot quit. You have waited and trained so long for this just suck it up and push on. A guy who had been ahead of me and then following me came up and put his hand on my shoulder and comforted me and then I was off again and fine.

Beautiful Views

I loved the views by the sea. The Gold Coast is a truly beautiful landscape and the breeze from the sea was wonderful. The course was nice and flat bar a very slight incline towards Runaway Bay. It was a psychological battle once we got to the sections where the faster athletes were coming down the road the opposite way and you realised how far you had to run to get to where they were – but I think I shut down for a while and just got on with it.

I got to just before 30k and things were a struggle but I just focussed and told myself – get to 30k come on and then get to 35k and then when you get to 37k you only have 5k left and then at 40 only 2! So I pushed on.

Running Community 

As I was approaching just over 39.5k I could see the 40km sign way up ahead (I’m long sighted!) and I needed a breather and figured I would walk this last bit and then run the rest of the way to the finish. I spotted a guy who looked in trouble and I walked with him. I said to him – “you see that sign up there – that is the 40km mark.” He looked at me as if to say – yes so what? and I said “when we get to that sign we are going to run to the finish.” He kind of looked at me as if to say ‘ yeah ok. We reached 40km and he looked at me and I said “come on – go and get to that finish line!” and he ran like crazy and I never saw him again – so I am confident he finished!

That’s what I love about the running community – people help you; you help them. I ran pretty much the rest of the way and got to 41k, stopped and had a bit of a cry and then carried on. It was a cry of sheer relief that I only had 1k to go and I was going to finish. As I carried on more and more people appeared – and a lot of them. I pushed on and actually saw one of my friends Karen – she had done the half marathon earlier – she hadn’t seen me. I tapped her on the arm said “hey” and then I took off – that was my trigger to finish and I sprinted like a mad woman. Right at the finish my husband and son were there and my husband said “you did amazing” and I just cried and hobbled through the exit section.

Posing after the race with Benita Willis - she was so encouraging :-)

Posing after the race with Benita Willis – she was so encouraging 🙂

Posing with Steve Moneghetti after the race.

Posing with Steve Moneghetti after the race.

What an experience! I haven’t really talked about time – as for me it was never about the time. It was about coming back to running after not training for a while because of being pregnant and showing myself and other people that you can do anything you put your mind to if you believe in yourself.  I finished the race in 4:35 which I was really pleased with because I never even thought I would get to the finish line at one point.

I’m so thankful for all the support I have had both online and offline and the people I have met through this amazing journey – you are all very special 🙂

So what now?

I’m having a rest today but I am planning to do some walking and maybe a short run at the weekend and then the next thing on the calendar is the Bridge to Brisbane 🙂 See you there?

The Marathon is in less than 2 days! #GCAM15 @runstopshop

3 Jul

So the time has finally come and tomorrow I head to the Gold Coast to the Legends Lunch as Gold Coast Marathon Advocate where I will be interviewed on the stage by Steve Moneghetti for a couple of minutes, I’ll then go to the Expo and pick up my race number and pop to see the guys at Intraining to get my foot strapped up just to ensure my pesky blister scarring doesn’t cause too many issues on Sunday and then my friend and I intend to relax somewhere that doesn’t involve moving too much!

I can’t believe the race is here already. I am very nervous – initially more at having to get up in front of people tomorrow, and then it will be nerves before the race so I will be glad to get moving and running on the day and give it my best shot.


Lots of people have asked – “what time are you going for?.” My response has been “i’m not. I just want to enjoy it and finish.” I have had a fair few issues along the way in training with my foot and being sick so I decided not to set myself up. I always knew it wouldn’t be a quick race for me – I just wanted the challenge of running it and getting my fitness back and I have done that – well the fitness part – I still have to run the race!


I pretty much have my kit all sorted with my clothes from RunStopShop all ready. I made sure I have packed extra plasters just in case, plenty of tunes in case I need a push and I still can’t decide whether to run with my backpack or my Fuelbelt. I’ve got lots of energy gels just in case I need a further boost on the way round. I’m not good with caffeine so the orange Science in Sport ones are the only ones I could find that worked with my unreliable tummy. Kit for the marathon

I really appreciate my husband and all my friends and professionals that have supported me – who have had to listen to my ups and downs and had to reassure me along the way – I’m sure they will be glad as much as I will when the race is over 🙂

So now it’s time to relax, there is nothing more I can do – just to enjoy the experience, sit back, relax and bring it on on Sunday 🙂 I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Happy Running!

Race day prep tips for your marathon #GCAM15

30 Jun

Wow it has been an interesting week this week. In addition to of course counting down to the Gold Coast Marathon my grandad back in the Uk hasn’t been well, my son ended up at hospital and I had a car crash! Everyone is fine but it sure took my mind off the fact that the marathon is this weekend!

It really took a lot to put my running shoes back on and get back into it all but I’m now back focused on the goal and can’t wait. It’s actually come around really quickly.

Race day tips Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2015

Lay your kit out the night before

One of the best things I have learned is to lay all my kit out the night before so everything is ready the next morning and you don’t need to start racing around looking for things. Make sure your running watch/music player if using them are charged up and ready to go too.

If you need a map to get to the race make sure you have that to hand too.

Prep for the weather

If it is likely to be cold then take a shirt you don’t mind throwing away (or if someone will be coming to watch – give it to them before you start) so you can keep warm in the line up. If it is a warm day then make sure you aren’t overdressed!

Generally if I have trained in the cold and it is a warm day I take it very easy as your body may not be used to the heat and you could have issues with dehydration so be careful.

Make sure you are hydrated the night before and eat!Take water when you run - the girl that runs

No further comment about this. You will know what you need to be hydrated by now and also what foods you are eating the night before and on the day. I generally will eat 1-2 hours before as well as have some water and then I have to make sure I have been to the toilet before the race otherwise there will need to be a couple of stops along the way!

Don’t try anything new 

Race day is not the time to open the new trainers for the first time, new kit or energy gels. Everything you do, eat, wear should be tried and tested.

Don’t get caught up in the moment at the start 

I get very nervous at races and then my adrenalin kicks in and it is so tempting to fly off when you feel good but trust me I have learned the hard way from doing that. I ran one marathon’s first 1km 2 minutes quicker than I had been doing in training and seriously suffered. Don’t get caught up – stick to the pace you have trained at and maybe at the end in the last few km (you know your body however – this is just my opinion) push if you feel like you can.

Struggling with motivation in the race?

I do a number of things such as keep someone else in my sights in front of me and follow them – they are generally running my pace but further ahead.


Stick to one of the pacers for the race. Some people stick to the exact time they want to finish in, others go a bit above so that they can drop down if needed. The pacers are great for motivation and there is usually a good group of people running with them.


Get hold of a pace bracelet. The Gold Coast give them out or if they don’t have them at your race you could make your own so if you are going for a time you know you can glance at your pace to make sure you are on time. I’m not going for a time in this race so I won’t be worrying about it but I know there are a lot of people that want to achieve certain times so this is a great way to make sure you do.Above average runner

Enjoy the race and good luck!

It’s hard to say enjoy the race but I figure you have been training long enough for it – try and enjoy it a little bit at least 🙂 And good luck !!

Marathon Countdown – less than two weeks to go! #GCAM15

25 Jun

marathon prepWow I can’t believe it – it’s less than two weeks until the Gold Coast Marathon. What a roller coast ride it has been! I’m almost there now. Tapering off on my longer runs and gearing up to go.

The flu  that I had has gone now – yay and my shoe issue is 90% sorted. I’m still playing around with strapping to ensure that the skin where the whopping blister was doesn’t rub whilst I am running and I think I almost have that sorted. Have decided on my kit for the race so that’s all good so now I just have the Legends Lunch to get through the day before – I will be interviewed for 5 mins on the stage (very nervous) and then it’s just a matter of finishing the race!

So below are some tips based on what I have been done and done in the past at this stage with a race around the corner:

Tips for when the marathon is on your doorstep 


By now whatever program you have been following you should be well into tapering off in your training. Your long long runs should well and truly be a thing of the past. It is tempting if your sessions haven’t gone well to try and squeeze some long runs in but don’t. I was so tempted a week or so ago to attempt another 30-36k but my running trainer was quite firm and said no. So I listened to him and I didn’t. My legs feel fairly strong and it’s just psychological now – convincing myself I can finish the race.


I’m not going to profess to be an expert on nutrition or carb loading. There are lots of theories re carb loading etc.  and if it is something you want to do properly have a chat with your trainer or Runners World has a great article on Carb loading. I have been ensuring I am eating enough carbs as, as being someone that generally follows a low carb high fat diet I have had to really up my carb intake and have been eating oats, rice and a small amount of bread.

Check final details 

Check the race website to ensure you know where you are going on race day, how long it will take you to get there and all the details such as baggage drop areas and where the water stations are etc.


SIS Energy Gel

SIS Energy Gel – I use these as they don’t have caffeine in them and a lot of gels do unfortunately.

Buy your race gels if you are using them and not using the official race ones and make sure you have decided what you are having for breakfast and have tried and tested it and got a stock in for the week/night before. I am using SIS (Science in Sport) ones because their orange flavour has no added caffeine and I can’t have caffeine too much and I have had no adverse effects with using them so I am sticking with them. The only issue is they are a bit bulky so I think I will be running with my Camelbak!

Sort your tunes 

If you are planning on running with a music player sort out your music now so you don’t find you are scrambling around at the last minute and also if you are staying somewhere overnight the night before make sure you pack the charger for your music player!


This is what I am trying to do at the moment – trying not to be nervous about the race and trying not to put too many expectations on myself. I used to get so nervous before a race I would almost vomit. Determined not to this time!

I’m sure I have missed things that other people do, this is what I am doing at the moment and like I always say I am not a qualified expert I am writing from experience – so any hesitations about your training please make sure you consult a professional.