Tag Archives: RunStopShop Ambassador

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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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?

Tips for preparing 2 months before your marathon #GCAM15 #runstopshop @runstopshop

5 May Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

The last week or so has been a blur with training and organising my son’s first birthday party. I never tend to do things by half so I put far too much stress on myself in preparation for his party and ended up making 4 cakes for his birthday as trial runs and they all went bad – so King of Cakes saved the day! But anyway as a result I haven’t written many blog posts lately.

Marathon training is up and down and it is now less than two months until the big day. I ran 28km on Sunday and the long runs are going up and up so all going ok at the moment but I feel like a bit of a tortoise crawling along and very tired.

I’m starting to get a bit nervous about race day and I whilst I haven’t put any pressure on myself to run a specific time it’s starting to stress me a bit and I keep thinking – what if I don’t finish!?! My last marathon was nearly 10 years ago and I was a spring chicken then, it has been so much harder training this time and yes of course I am coming back from having a baby so there is that!

Anyway here is my 2 months countdown to marathon checklist

Make sure you have entered the race!

Sounds crazy but you can get so carried away with training that it might slip your mind to actually enter the race. This should be top of your list to get done. I know with the Gold Coast their early bird entries are closed now but you can still enter – but make sure you enter whatever race it is you are doing!  Also if you need accommodation get it booked ASAP – in fact in hindsight this should have been a 3 months before… I struggled to find accommodation for the Gold Coast Marathon but my awesome travel agent managed to get me some as I didn’t fancy driving from Brisbane on the day – just another headache.

Practice in your kit

Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

Marathon Training Kit sent from RunStopShop

As a RunStopShop Ambassador I got sent my Marathon Day clothes and shoes last week! and I am now busy trying them out to ensure they fit properly. The leggings were not right and the crop top was too big so I’ve had to send them back and will get replacements through shortly but I will be wearing them on most of my long runs now to ensure that I am used to them on race day.

Also if you are planning on running with energy gels start trying them out now too. As I said in my previous post 3 months before your marathon I had bad experiences with not trying out gels beforehand. Find out what the official gel for the race is and try that or choose your own but make sure you try them first.

Longer distance runs should be the norm

You should be feeling very comfortable with long runs now. I ran 28k at the weekend and I will be doing 20k this weekend and 30k the following. Depending on your program 2 months before the race your long runs should be up there too. I don’t stress about the time I do it in as I’m not trying to win the race – I just concentrate on time on legs for my long run.

Train at the time of race 

Training kit

I’m trying out all my race day kit

I have a few friends who ran a marathon a couple of years ago and they had been doing all their training very early in the morning i.e. 4am and the actual race started at 7.30am – and on the day it was an unusually warm day for that time of year and they struggled as their bodies weren’t used to running later in the morning.

I have started running later and later for some of my runs as The Gold Coast Marathon starts at 7.30amish and a lot of my runs have been either at 5am or at the gym in the evening so I am trying out running later in the morning and boy it makes a difference – I think that’s probably why I am finding it hard at the moment whilst my body adjusts to the temperature.

Massage and Physio if needed

I have started going to see my massage therapist as my calfs have been getting quite tight and I am worried I will get an injury so that has been helping, and I have friends who have their physio on speed dial during training to check out niggles they keep having. Worth considering if you are getting a few aches and pains.

Anyway the countdown is on! Less than 2 months to go until my marathon. Hope your training is going well and Happy Running 😀 

 

Please remember I am not a qualified professional when it comes to training and injuries. I write based on my experiences –  so always consult your doctor or trained professional before trying out anything new or if experiencing pain etc.

 

Tips for 3 months before your marathon #GCAM15 #runstopshop

23 Mar

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind but great from a running point of view. I am slowly getting faster and slowly getting used to running further. This week I have done around 60k and I finally feel like I am getting a bit stronger. Saturday I ran 20k, yesterday 6.5k and today I ran 12k with an 18k tomorrow!  I am finding that looking back now – running at 10.5kph doesn’t seem so hard on the treadmill anymore whereas back in January running at 8kph was tough so it is great to see consistency has equalled improvement although I am still finding it hard as the mileage goes up.

I can’t believe it is only 3 and a bit months to the race! Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2015 It’s been an exciting month or so and I was invited by The Gold Coast Marathon organisers to be an Ambassador!

I am quite nervous now because it’s not like I am an elite athlete or really have a story to tell. I just run and write about it! So whereas before I was planning on running and not stressing too much about it all I feel a little bit more nervous now. As a RunStopShop Ambassador as well it all feels a bit surreal.

Being an Ambassador means that I will be covering my time in the lead up to the race which I am doing anyway and then attend a lunch the day before and be interviewed so that’s a bit scary but all exciting.

I’m working through my training plan and have incorporated a few more carbs into my diet as since the beginning of the year I dropped off carbs a bit but I can’t now because of all the energy I am using. I’m starting to think about race kit and gels etc so I have been trying out different gels to make sure my stomach doesn’t react badly to them. I believe the official gel on the day is lemon-lime Endura Rehydration Formula so I will try that too.

Below are some tips that I wanted to share but also that are on my mind at the moment as I approach the 3 month countdown mark in the lead up to the marathon that might be of interest if you are running your first marathon.

3 months before marathon tips

Mileage

In the past with my marathons I’ve run – by this point I have had to ensure I can run at least 13-15 miles comfortably as from here the mileage needs to go up fairly steeply. I have been training as you know since January for this after coming back to training after having my son last year but if you are already fit then 12 weeks should be plenty of time to train. I am dreading the next months program that my trainer is preparing as i know it’s going to be full-on but I intend to embrace it like I now embrace hills 🙂

Race Entry

Make sure you have actually entered the race! I know people that have gotten so carried away with training that they actually almost missed the race entry cut off times. A lot of races tend to give earlybird entry specials and the prices go up nearer the time.

Kit and Gels

Start thinking about the weather at the time of the race and what training kit you might need or want to try closer to the time ready for the day. I generally have two or three pairs of trainers on the go at any one time and it’s good to know which trainers/kit work best for you on your long runs to avoid any issues on race day. Like I said above with Gels – try them out and don’t decide to try a new one on the day. I ran a half marathon where I made that mistake and ended up throwing up half way round.

Also if this is your first marathon or like me you are coming back to training after a baby or injury be aware of clothing and that it might get looser! I was running this morning and I had put on some old tights that I wore when I was a bit bigger and they started to fall down as I was running lol! I ended up having to pull them up all the way round so find clothing you like but be prepared you might have to buy a size or two smaller closer to the race if you drop weight.

Long run partner

I’ve been running with my lovely friend on a Saturday when doing my long run and it has made a huge amount of difference to my training. Normally I am a bit of a loner when it comes to running but the long runs are nice and gentle and a great time to catch up with my friend and to support one another as we run for a couple of hours. Sometimes she only runs half way with me and other times the full way but regardless I so appreciate the time we have to catch up and chat and run together – it certainly alleviates the monotony of the long run.

Anyway have a great Monday and as always – Happy Running 🙂