Tag Archives: marathon running

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 🙂

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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.

 

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.

Time

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!

Kit

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.

Or

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.

Or

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 

Taper

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.

Carbs

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.

Gels

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!

Breathe!

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.

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!

5 week countdown to marathon – tips #GCAM15

2 Jun

Well the marathon is almost here and the last week or two have not been without drama as you will have read in my last post.

The blister went on to sideline me from a weeks training when distance was at its most crucial. I spent a frustrating week not running and visiting the podiatrist instead. I ended up switching and going to see the guys at InTraining as they are all runners and I figured they would be used to dealing with stressed out runners like me not wanting to rest and needing to run and I was right.

I was given advice of what I should do and what potentially if we fixed me up temporarily what I ‘might’ be able to do. Of course I went with the latter and some plasters and strapping meant i was able to run on the coast in Caloundra on Saturday with no pain! I almost cried with sheer joy! I ran 10k (oops sorry Roger I know I wasn’t meant to!) And then back in Brisbane on the Sunday I ran 20k after a visit to InTraining for restrapping on Saturday – and again no pain. So I am very hopeful about this weekends 36k….

With all of this going on I had a bit of a meltdown and my confidence in being able to finish the race started to wobble. I went out with friends on Saturday and just couldn’t concentrate and freaked out as questions were asked about training in a coffee place afterwards. The 20k run the next day helped squash the doubts and I am getting back on track thankfully. I also remembered a great quote from modern Olympic Games creator Baron Pierre de Coubertin – see photo  below, and it made me feel less stressed about everything. pierre-coubertin-quote

So 5 weeks until the marathon. Here are a few tips based on what I am doing at the moment that may be helpful:

Iron out any niggles with training kit and injuries 

This is the time to be sorting out any last minute niggles with kit and in general. I’ve almost got my kit sorted that RunStopShop kindly sent me and will be writing a separate blog post about what I will be using on race day but if you have any dramas with your kit – it needs to be sorted now! The same goes for any niggles with injuries etc. If an injury is still playing up and not looking like it is improving then I would say don’t run the race at this stage with only 5 weeks left to go. I really thought with this silly blister that I wouldn’t be able to run. Had it been the week before it could have been a real problem but thankfully it seems to be healing.

I’m also still making the decision of whether to run with my Camelbak or Fuelbelt. I often suffer with my stomach and things around my waist don’t help but I can’t decide at the moment.

Food and Drink

make sure you have nailed your food and drink now. Be happy with your energy gels if you are using them and be comfortable with how long you eat before your run and what you eat. I’m still working on mine. I am not a huge breakfast eater these days and so I struggle to eat a lot before a run – but I am getting there. Bananas are my friend at the moment.

Tapering to start soon 

Depending on whether you are following a training program or working with a coach your last longer run may well be this week. I have a 36km run on Saturday and then everything starts to go down distance wise. I need the run on Saturday to give me the confidence that I can do it especially after the last few weeks with issues.

Music

Go back through your music and start to pick our your playlist. I have started doing this as I find when I am struggling I need music to keep me going. Races aren’t too keen on you using your headphones but I always taken them with me for marathons in case I struggle.
Don’t panic! 

I had my melt down at the weekend and it can be overwhelming with the marathon around the corner, especially if it is your first. Chat to friends, feel comfortable in the training you have done/are doing and try to relax and mentally prepare yourself. I have found in all of my marathons that if I haven’t got the mental side prepared as much as the physical training side then I am in for a very tough finish. You’ve done the training, you’re ready to go so relax would be my advice – although I know it is easier said than done!

Anyway more posts coming – I have a lot to say in the next few weeks 😀 Have a great week and happy running! xo