Tag Archives: running in the heat

Race recap: SEQ Trail series – Bunya 15.7km

11 Feb

It’s been a couple of weeks since I did my trail race before flying to the UK, but I decided I’d best write it up otherwise I would forget.

How could I forget though – it was a crazy hot day! I had originally entered to run the 8k race but my friend who was also running said she was doing the 15.7km – so I decided I would give it a go!

All set the night before

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I made sure the night before I was hydrated. I laid my kit out ready to run the next day, got an early night and did everything I was meant to do. I ate an extra helping of fat with my food to make sure I was good for the next day. I filled my hydration pack up and also packed two smaller hydration bottles with my Science in Sport hydro juice.

My usual pre running food on a low carb high fat way of eating consists of a glass of water with coconut oil and lemon juice in, and a boiled egg. Since I started doing this I haven’t felt hungry or in need of energy when training – but I realised this was the longest trail race I had done and it was going to be hot so I packed a couple of fairly low carb snacks to take with me in case I needed them.

Hot!

I woke up the next morning and it was hot! I felt parched so drank a lot of water, had my breakfast, got ready and zoomed off to James Drysdale Reserve which was the race start. I met my friend Jo and we collected our race numbers and chatted until the start of the race. The race sent runners off in waves – so we were in wave 4 so had a few minute wait.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-9-05-25-pm

Jo and I before the race – all smiles

When our wave went I figured I would try and hang back and let the crazy fast people zoom ahead of me as the difference with running on trails to road is there is a lot less space – and often you can end up stuck behind someone or holding everyone up. So I tried to be courteous!

The route was fairly hilly and initially I jogged up the hills, but then I realised I should just walk up them to preserve my energy.

I found a few km in that I was very hot and I needed to remove my running vest as I just needed to cool down. So I slowed down and let Jo go and I stuffed my shirt in my hydration pack. I never caught Jo – but I figured I needed to just run my run and keep going, not try and catch up with someone, and as it was I was beginning to really struggle with the heat.  the most antagonising thing was running by the ends of the trails where there were residential homes with swimming pools. I longed to just dive in and cool down!

seq trail series - Bunya

I’m smiling!!

I always felt that maybe trails would be better in the heat than the road but I found that the heat was almost contained under the trees and struggled. It was a boiling hot day but I started to shiver with the cold…I figure the only time I had this before I ended up collapsing in a shop after a long run in the UK and ended up in hospital!

I have found with eating a low carb high fat diet whilst I have endurance I struggle with speed and general oomph sometimes – and it hit me as I got half way into the run. I longed for a carb gel but knew I had to just push on and it was the heat that getting to me not the lack of carbs. I have been running fat adapted for a while so I knew it wasn’t that. I literally felt like I was running in a sauna!

Almost lost! – my guardian angel!

I walked for a little while and didn’t realise but I was wandering off in a completely different direction, I heard someone shout – ‘you’re going the wrong way!”.  I turned to see a woman looking quite concerned at me – and I realised I was indeed going completely off track, so I jogged towards her and she followed me along the right path. She basically saved me and got me through the race. I later found out her name was Dana and she was my guardian angel and encouraged me to keep going. I love the fact that runners stick together and help one another out. She basically stuck with me the entire race and when I walked she walked and we ran together right until just before the end when I needed to pop to the loo in the bushes – but even then she was at the end congratulating me!

Mental battle

I found myself at 8k thinking – why did I not do the 8!? why did i change to the 15.7!! I think in hindsight I should have done the 8 but I am glad I did the 15.7 as it prepares me for what is potentially coming later in the year with the Rainbow Beach Marathon….

It was a good race, very well organised and a great bunch of people running the race. The hindsight for me was underestimating the heat and the race didnt start until 6.30am – when I normally train much earlier so that didn’t help either.

I was a little bit down afterwards as I figured if I can’t run 15.7km then how will I run 42k on the trails – but heat was the biggest issue I think and I have to realise I just don’t find it easy!

So – Here’s to the next one!!

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Looking pretty warm and tired after the run with Jo

Running in Brisbane and heat stroke

29 Feb

Hope you had a great weekend of running.

I’m slowly building back up for the half marathon I have in a few weeks time. It feels so much harder than last year but I have to remember that I had an injury to recover from and it has been hotter which brings me to my post today.

Saturday according to the weather forecasts was going to be a boiling hot day, so my friends and I arranged to do a run in the city. We left at 5.00am to be there and running by 5.30am.

I felt pretty good and decided a few kilometres in that I’d like to pick the pace up – as I wanted to get as ready for my race in March as I could. So I said to the girls that I would push on and they were all good so I did.

I felt pretty good for a while. As I ran I looked around me at Brisbane early in the morning. I don’t tend to go into the city much so it was a real treat to be there running by the bridge and Eagle Street Pier etc. It’s so picturesque around there I love it.

Running by the river - the girl that runs

Brisbane by the river first thing in the morning – so beautiful and picturesque

We were running all the way from the Regatta Hotel to New Farm and back for a good solid 20k – It’s a little bit boring as it is just a straight line but good to get the distance in. But it all got a bit too much by the time I got to New Farm at the 10km mark as the heat hit me.

Running In A Sauna

I literally felt like someone had pushed me into a sauna and locked the door – and as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t get out. I drank a fair bit of water but didn’t seem to be able to cool down. The girls caught up and I decided to run back rather than going on any further – so I turned around and started trotting again, filling up on water whenever I could. The girls had gone a slightly shorter way back and it had more shade. So I hit the sun again. I passed my friends – feeling good – and that’s when the trouble started.

I got to having about 7.5k left to go and was running along the river, when I started to feel hot again. It was literally like I was running through treacle and in a sauna, and my head hurt so I walked for a while. One of my friends passed me and then the other caught up and I decided to try and push on again. I did for a while and got caught in the local park run race which pulled me along.

It was crazy that I could be freezing cold on a boiling hot morning!

Thankfully I was in the shade but I started to feel myself wobbling and I suddenly went very cold and got goosebumps all over me. It was crazy that I could be freezing cold on a boiling hot morning. I grabbed onto the railings where I was running as I felt like I was going to pass out or be sick. I decided it would be good to vomit over the side of it as I didn’t want the park runners to have to run through vomit!

So there I was dry wretching when my friend came up beside me. I told her to carry on but she insisted on staying to make sure I was ok. We ended up walking the last kilometre to the finish of our run and I was feeling much better by the time we got back. I’m so thankful to my lovely friends and them pulling me through!

So I thought about it and wondered whether it was my rushing to run off quicker that made me sick – but I deduced it came down to the heat, the distance and potentially yes pushing on a little too quick. But I finished my 20km run and am ready for my next one – but will be thankful when it cools down!

Running in the Brisbane CBD - the girl that runs

View whilst running of the Brisbane Bridge 🙂

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a real issue and especially here in summer in Queensland. When back in London I had a similar problem, and we had an unusually hot day. I was running 18 miles (30k) and I pushed hard, got back to the running club club house and felt freezing cold, and to cut a long story short I ended up collapsing at a local supermarket and being carted off to hospital. I’ll write in more detail about it another time – but it was a rude awakening that we runners should take the heat seriously and be really careful.

I’ve written a couple of previous posts about running in the heat if you are new to it.

Anyway onwards and upwards. Yet again I have learned my lesson and am looking forward to my next long run this coming weekend 🙂

Caught in a predicament as race started…

27 Jan

Did I get your attention with that headline?

It was quite funny looking back now, but at the time I was stressed!

The last week has been great and on Friday I popped up to the coast to see family and decided it would be good to run a ParkRun up there as well – not noting the weather forecast! So I settled for the Noosa ParkRun. It sounded perfect and the route looked great.

Caught on the loo! 

Noosa Park Run January 2016

Not a huge fan of this photo – running photos always make me look chunky!

On the Saturday morning I jumped in my car on what I can only describe as a boiling hot morning at just before 6.30am and figured I had plenty of time to get to the start and go to the toilet and prepare for the race. What I didn’t allow for was the slow drivers on one long one laned road into Noosa!

By the time I arrived I had a couple of minutes to spare and simply had to go to the toilet. I asked a runner where the toilets were and dashed off – I swear I have never peed as quickly as I did. I raced back outside of the toilet only to discover that the run had started!

I had a nasty hill to sprint up to get to the start and must have looked like a wild woman sprinting up the hill and puffing and panting. Someone shouted out I was 26 seconds behind so I was determined to push as hard as I could to get to where I was comfortable in the race and then slow down to a slower more durable pace.

By the time I was a kilometre in – the humidity hit me as well as that sprint to the start and I was shattered. I ended up doing an ok time and was very glad to finish as it was so sticky! The group was quite small and everyone seemed to know one another so I didn’t hang around afterwards and I drove back to where I was staying and my lovely husband had breakfast waiting for me 🙂

Sizzling heat and snakes 

running in the countryside

It was lovely running in the countryside – on a cooler day I would have appreciated it even more but it was so hot!

The next day I intended to run 10k in the morning,  and again it was hot and sticky. I hadn’t had a great nights sleep, and I hadn’t eaten great food the night before or taken on much water so it was a battle all the way round.

I took it easy and eased into the run and took in the beautiful scenery around me. I was jolted out of my daydream when I spotted three snakes consecutively. I am pretty sure two out of the three were dead – I did think the third was dead and took a photo but my husband isn’t sure whether it was dead or not – I’m glad I had convinced myself they were dead as I jumped out of my skin anyway when I saw them and may have screamed my head off also if it had moved!

It always reminds me of the first time I came to Australia and my husband was playing around with me I think when we went for a walk in the rainforest and he told me to watch my feet all the time if I heard rustling as it might be snakes…. I don’t think I have recovered!

snake

So what do you reckon? Dead or alive? My husband thinks it is alive… I am very glad I didn’t hang around to find out. I think it is only a tree snake but even so it is a SNAKE!

Anyway I ended up managing 7.5k instead of 10k but it was so sticky I just couldn’t handle the heat. I was annoyed as later on it started to rain and it was much cooler but it was just one of those things. Maybe I need to toughen up more!

So that was my weekend. I don’t think it was 100% successful running wise as I didn’t run as much as I would have liked but I’m thankful that I am able to run again. My hip is coming good and I am feeling stronger.

Anyway I hope you are managing to run lots and still enjoying it like I am 😀 Have a great week….until next time!

On another note I was emailed by a company that has compiled a list of 100 blogs for fitness inspiration and I was 32nd 🙂 You can see the list here and might find some other blogs that tickle your fancy too 🙂

Struggling to get back into running….

1 Dec

Last week wasn’t the best week. 

In fact since I got back from my trip overseas 5 weeks ago things haven’t exactly gone according to plan! The plan was to get back, get the 1kg off that I gained, get back into running and really push the training. Three things happened:

  1. I got sick
  2. It was hot
  3. My feet deteriorated

I got sick

Ever since I got back from my UK trip I haven’t been feeling the best, and then I got sick. I figured after a week I would improve but I didnt. My husband has been the same – thankfully bub hasn’t been sick. I went along to my doctor and she said – “there is unfortunately no cure for the common cold – just ride it out!” so I sucked it up and have done but it has lingered and I am kind of over it – not even being able to sing in the shower these days as my throat is still mucussy!

It was hot 

Running in the heat

I have been trying to escape the heat by running under trees and around the lake where I live

So when I got back from it being 11 degrees in the UK it was late 30s here and I wanted to cry. I did a number of ParkRuns which were a disaster mainly due to the heat and the climate just being hotter and of course coming back from not being very well.

The heat has always been a killer for me. Living in the UK for 33 years means I love running in the cold and I did love it when running back home on my holiday. But Queensland and I always battle when it comes to heat and humidity. I have therefore resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a quick runner in summer here!

My feet deteriorated

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My poor feet had a going over but they are getting better now 🙂

When I completed the Gold Coast Marathon back in July this year I had pain in my feet when I finished. I took my trainers off and low and behold there were two giant blisters underneath the tow nail – not the skin on the foot but the nail – ugh! It was unbelievably painful and I have been battling it ever since.

I didn’t want to go to my Podiatrist as I really didn’t want someone messing with my feet (I have ticklish feet!) – even when I had to strap them up before the Marathon it was tricky. But basically the toe situation escalated and went a bit yukky to the point the pain was unbearable and even having a sheet draped on my feet was agony.

So I called Doug my Podiatrist at InTraining last week, and went in to get fixed. It ended up with 4 injections in my toes but a whole lot of relief! The main pain was the injections going in but since then no pain – yay! I have some antibiotics to work through and then hopefully I am all good!

There is a Happy Ending I Promise! 

So I didn’t train over the weekend and ran 5k yesterday and 7.5k today – both were slow because of the heat and toes sore from injections but I am happy – finally feeling better feet wise and cold wise – I just need to get through the heat of summer, and have decided I have to just embrace it as it isn’t going away and accept that my training and races will be slower – but I am ok with that 😀

 

 

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.

Expo

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 😦

Stitch

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 joys of summer training

15 Jan

Wow it has been hot the last week or so in Brisbane, thankfully today is a bit cooler, but still sticky! I’ve found myself missing the cool weather in the UK and longing for my husband to treat me to that spa and swimming pool I’ve aways dreamed of!

Training has been tough in the last week or so just trying to push myself to train in the heat. I’ve been getting up really early in order to keep as cool as possible in training, and unfortunately going to the gym doesn’t help as my gym doesn’t have AC!!

sunI’ve learned a few things in my training time when it comes to the heat which I thought I would share:

Slip slop slap

If you must run outside and in the sun at least cover up or put on sun tan lotion. I know a lot of people that won’t wear sun tan lotion because they don’t like the feeling of it on their skin, but frankly I would rather feel greasy than get skin cancer and Australia is renowned for it!

Drink plenty of water 

My friend always says I don’t drink enough water and at this time of year it’s really important to ensure you take on water before during and after training. The amount varies from expert to expert but I always go along the lines of the pee test – nice and clear means all nicely hydrated before a run, but brown and the darker the pee is not good! I remember once race I did when I pee’d afterwards it was brown like watery tea! Not good! Try and carry water around with you or choose a running route that you know has drink fountains on the way round. A camelbak can help if you are like me and not very good at running with a bottle in your hand or around your waist.

Training times 

When the heat is on like it has been the last week or so I try and train early or later on in the evening to avoid the heat and the sun. For those of you blessed with a gym with air con or home with air con I would be taking advantage right now. I’ve been doing my P90x a fair bit at home with the air con on as it is cooler than doing weights at the gym right now!

Isotonic drink 

I passed out with heat stroke a fair few years ago now and just before my friends had gotten me to drink salt water and also juice to replace the sodium and sugar that I’d lost in a mammouth 30k run I had done in the boiling heat on a very hot day in London (very unusual) but now i tend to drink isotonic drinks to help replace any sugar/salt lost in training during and after training – this for me is important especially on hot days.

Find some trees 

I tend to vary running routes when hot and find routes that are shaded and less out in the open to help me keep relatively cool.

Well here are a few things i do – how do you keep cool in the sun when training?

Happy running!

 

My first “ParkRun Australia’ Race

21 Jan

My friend in the UK told me about the ParkRun‘s and that they had now started in Australia.

According to its website Parkrun started in 2004 in Bushy Park, Teddington, UK (love that place – I used to run there myself) and it was a 5k timed event and the only one of its kind on a free and weekly basis.

It’s a great concept where runners sign up once on the website and can then run at any event in their country and they are free. Results are posted, prizes are given out and weekly newsletters are sent out. Brilliant idea.

If you are a runner reading this, I don’t know about you but races entries can seriously add up over time, so I liked the idea of running this as it was free.

So I entered yesterday and got my own bar code that I printed off and took with me and this morning I went along to New Farm Park in Brisbane ready to race at 7am.

I was amazed at how many people were there (a hundred or so) and they all looked very fit so I was a bit daunted but my wonderful friend Nadia who I had brought along assured me it would be ok.

The race was very well organised and someone gave us (the newbies) a talk before the event just to run through runners etiquette which I liked as it reminded me of when I ran in the UK, some of the races and some of the runners I have come across here in Brisbane haven’t always been that hospitable so this was a good start.

The problem for me was it was 7am and already hot. Only having been back from the UK a week I had a feeling I might suffer.

So we started the race. My Garmin as predicted played up on me but I managed to get the timer working and I was off. Nadia shot off into the distance but I got my head down and started pounding the pavement. The route was along the river in New Farm, nice on the way up but hell on the way back as there was no shade and the sun was hotter.

So I settled into the race, my music playing and pushing as much as I could. I felt pretty good and do you know something, those really fit looking people that made me doubt my confidence, I was surprised but I was able to pass a lot of them.

On the way back to the finish I started to struggle as the heat was almost unbearable for me but I kept pushing as much as I could and managed a consistent 5.00-5.17 min per km pace which for me not having trained much in the last 4/5 weeks and in the heat was not bad. Today’s race was not about timing for me but for confidence and a benchmark to improve on so I was happy.

After I crossed the finish line I queued up to hand in my barcode and token to have my time recorded, grabbed some water and a piece of water melon and Nadia and I went for a well earned coffee.

I’ll definitely do the ParkRun again but perhaps once it gets a bit cooler.