Tag Archives: marathon

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.



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!

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.

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!

Staying motivated when the running gets tough in marathon preparation #GCAM15

14 May

It’s a 7 week countdown now to the Gold Coast Marathon and I have struggled this week to remain motivated. The weather has gotten colder, it’s dark in the mornings and early evening and I just want to stay in bed!

I had a couple of sessions where I pushed them to later in the day rather than the morning, and a couple of sessions where I didn’t want to run – I did feel better once I was up and running though but I hate it when it is hard work to get motivated and the mileage is pretty long as the marathon edges near. I’m at about 75-80km this week.

So once again I kept going and have a few things to share below that I did that have helped me get back on track this week that might help you if you are feeling the same way. Other than that training is going ok and I am happy with my kit which I will write about soon and I’ve been using Body Glide to deal with my chafing issues and it works wonders – so happy bunny in that department 🙂

Tips for staying motivated when the running gets tough in marathon preparation 

See the end goal

Post training - The Girl That Runs

Post training with my lovely friend Karen who has kept me going on the long runs with her company, jokes and encouragement!

I think I have said this in a number of posts now but it’s so true. Whenever I have felt demotivated in the last week or so I have just looked at my photos from races and put my eyes back onto the goal – the marathon. It’s been good as The Gold Coast Marathon have sent a few emails out this week so it has forced me to think about the race anyway!

Crank up the music

I am a person motivated in my running by my music – so when I feel really demotivated I crank upon the tunes. Each month I share some of my running tunes I listen to and I will be putting a list for the marathon together which I will share but I find that certain songs really lift me and push me so music has been a great motivator for me this week.

Adjust running times

Like I mentioned before I switched some of my training around so I ran later in the day rather than early in the morning and I found it worked me. Stepping outside of the door when it is sunny and warm rather than dark and cold does wonders for the motivation!

Join a group to get you through the longer runs  

I haven’t done this but I know a lot of people that when they did their marathons joined a marathon running group or a friendly running group so that they had company to run with. I have my lovely friend Karen who is running the half marathon this year who runs with me on my long runs for part of the way and makes me laugh so much I forget about the distance ,and then the other part once she is finished it’s me, the music and the open road which sometimes gives me time to reflect so not running as a group isn’t an issue for me but it might be something you find you need.