Tag Archives: trail running

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.

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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

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Running Goals for 2017

16 Jan

As I started writing this post yesterday I was sat looking out of the window at the rain pouring down! It has been so sticky lately – I hoped that the rain would lighten the humidity – but no – it has stayed humid. Today has been slightly better but I am actually looking forward to autumn!

It has been a good and bad week – good being running has been ok – haven’t done too much but the running I have done has felt good (although hot early in the morning), my nutrition is going well after a few not so great days at Christmas and New Year. But the bad side of my week is to hear that a member of my family back home is still very sick and it has made me really homesick feeling quite far away – but my family are giving me regular updates so that’s good.

My Goals for 2017

All I have been hearing since New Year’s Eve is what people’s new year resolutions are. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead but I started to think last week and here are mine:

To get stronger and faster on the trails

Currently I feel like I am fairly slow when running on the trails. I realise it is a completely different type of running to running on the road but I would like to feel stronger and more confident when running.

To be more consistent with my running

I think having no races in the diary makes it easy to roll over and go back to sleep – which I have done a few times. The girls I run with during the week and weekend are forcing me to more accountable to my training and I am feeling more motivated so I am hoping that this new year resolution might be a big tick 🙂

To run a couple of races on the trails – with no pressure – possibly the Rainbow Beach Marathon fat adapted in my LCHF way or eating

This is probably the biggest goal I have set myself for the year. In April I will have been following a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet for 1 year and it has not been without its challenges. Whilst I feel much better, my running has suffered – I have gotten slower and haven’t got the short sharp bursts of speed that I used to have – but endurance has improved to an extent. So this year I would like to run a couple of races and feel strong and solid running on fat rather than carbs!

To continue to enjoy running

I figure if I get to a point when I no longer enjoy running there is a problem! So my goal is to continue to enjoy it and to change whatever makes me not enjoy it if that ever happens. I am loving running on the trails and training with my running friends. We laugh lots, we share stories and it really makes it fun and gives a purpose more than just putting one foot in front of the other!

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Some of the lovely ladies I run with during the week

To continue writing this blog consistently!

Last year after returning to work full-time for someone else rather than my own business was a real challenge especially where writing this blog was concerned. I did think for a while that maybe it was time to finally stop writing but after 6 years I found that I couldn’t give it up that easily, so my final goal is to continue to write it but consistently and with passion!

So they are my goals for myself this year. I am excited about the challenges I have set myself and am being positive that I can achieve them. So glad you are along for the journey and will be sharing more with you soon!

What are your goals you have set yourself?

 

Getting back into running after moving to a new area

25 Nov

Whatever it is in life we are doing where there are other people involved, there is one thing we tend to want, and that is acceptance. Moving to a new area, starting a new job and even something as simple as finding people to run with can be stressful, and also make you feel vulnerable in terms of change and being the new person.

I’ve been through all three in the last 6 months. It struck me today and that’s why I am writing as I have been feeling a bit down lately and trying to work out why – and I realised it comes down to acceptance and wanting to feel like I fit.

Working for someone else

6-7 months ago I made the decision to go back and work for someone else and to slowly disband my business. I still in some respects feel like the new kid on the block as I am very different to the people I work with. Fitting in has been important to me and I have worked really hard at it but I am not 100% sure I have really accomplished it, but love the job itself so I continue to push for acceptance. I often feel like I say the wrong things and just like I am trying too hard . I’ll get there!

New home

Starting a new job meant that we could move to an area both my husband and I have been wanting to move to for a number of years, and we finally did it about 3 weeks ago. It was very stressful and we are getting to grips with it – but also realising again we are the new people and we don’t know anyone – so we are working hard at getting involved in things to try and fit in and become accepted into the area. We are almost an hour from where we used to live so it is hard to see friends I used to hang out with.

New people to run with

From a running perspective – I was really excited as I know a couple of people that live or run in this area and so was looking forward to be able to start to run with them which has turned out to be great so far. Not everyone has that though and it can be tough if you are used to running with other people and then move to somewhere new.

I guess what I am trying to say is things have been a bit bumpy lately and I never realised how important it was to feel accepted until now. Being that person that is different or new isn’t something I have relished, and I have just tried and wanted to fit in. I am gradually getting there I think but the girls I have started running with have really helped make me feel a lot more settled in myself and less of an outsider in one area of my life at least!

Getting back into running after moving to a new area 

I wanted to share some tips if you are in the same boat as me and have moved to a new area and want to get out and run:

Check out the terrain and routes

If you are a lone runner and are happy to be, then the best way to get into your running in a new area is to have a look on Strava or Map My Run or something similar and check out all the local routes that others have run and have a go!

When I went overseas last year I did a few running routes posted on Strava and it was like a ‘mystery’ run as I had no idea where I was going and it was great fun seeing where I would be taken.

Local Park Runs 

If you are a park runner then check out where your local park runs are and give them a go, it’s a great way to meet other runners too.

Local Running clubs?

Have a look on Facebook or Google local running clubs in the area as there may be some you can join and go along and try out. I found a trail running group that runs on the weekend so joined them this weekend just gone which was great fun.

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Running with the #brisbanetrailrunners 

Local Gym or bootcamp?

The way I made friends when I first moved to Australia was actually through a local 12 week Bootcamp I attended. There was a core group of us that hit it off and when the bootcamp finished we carried on training together. Some of the people I am still very good friends with 7 years on!

Anyway this isn’t meant to be a ‘woe is me’ post as I am getting there – I just wanted to share how I am feeling and some helpful tips if you are in the same boat!

Bye for now xx

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Running with the #brisbanetrailrunners – another great group of people I have met over this side of town

 

Moving, snakes, and trail running

22 Nov

What a few weeks it has been. In fact what a year it has been!

I feel like I have neglected both my running and this blog from a consistency point of view. Both have often seemed in the ‘too hard’ bucket at times when I have been tired, demotivated or just darn right fed up. The last month has been a challenge but I think I am finally getting there.

We moved! 

So we moved house to a place 50 mins from where I have lived in Australia for the last 7 years, we moved to the country from the suburbs which has been great from a beautiful area, land, running trails, no more noisy neighbours point of view – but a bit lonely, being the new girl on the block, realising I am far from most things and old friends, having to contend with the idea of snakes and generally that life has now changed point of view.

snake awareness

I even went to a snake awareness day to educate myself on snakes in the area! I know – over paranoid…yes

This post sounds a bit doom and gloom but I promise you it isn’t I am just mentally reflecting.

New friends and trails

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I love the new house – we have so much more space, and the area is truly beautiful. I have met a group of girls – two of which I knew previously on Instagram and met at the Gold Coast Marathon too and I have been trying to run 3 times a week with them on the trails which has been awesome – finally people to run with – albeit at 4.30am!

They are also ultra runners which is starting to challenge my thinking, and there is a small part of me that is thinking maybe that could be a goal for me next year – but I really have to see how I go for the rest of this year and be realistic about whether I could fit the training in.

running on the trails

Post training pic with Adele one of my friends aka @sherunsalot – she is a really inspiring ultra runner 🙂

Running on the trails has been great fun and I love it. It means I can run slower but am essentially working harder and I am seeing the results already. I had a tumble last week but I figure that’s a rite of passage on the trails. It is just so different and liberating – not wearing headphones just running on the tracks, the birds singing, the fresh outdoors – it has been music for the soul.

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Loving running on the trails – music for the soul – I look like I am about to slip on this pic!

So that’s me for this post – but I am feeling good and prepared to really get back into consistent training, country life and enjoying the new house. Wishing you a great week of running – more to come soon xx

 

 

A week of highs, lows and running on the trails

7 Apr

Since I last wrote I have struggled a little bit with my training – but feel like I am pushing through the other side now which is awesome. I don’t find running easy, and I think most runners would agree it never get’s easier because you are always pushing yourself harder, even when you improve!

Feeling Flat 

In my last post I had completed the Twilight Half Marathon and was wondering what was next. I had a bit of a rest and then went along to my usual Thursday night Intraining training run and I felt really flat.

The group are always so positive and friendly, but I just felt a bit of a failure going back to the session – not having done so well in the race, and because of my eating (more on that later) I didn’t feel very bouncy – so I struggled. When I got home that night I was really quite fed up.

To make matters worse, on the Saturday I went out to run on my own, as my friend wasn’t running – and my heart and body wasn’t in it. I got to 3km and stopped – out of energy, out of motivation and generally just fed up. So I walked 3km back home to my husband who just looked at me as if to say “you’re nuts; why not just stop”!

Determined to run a decent run 

The stubbornness in me prevailed, and rather than having a nice lie in on Sunday and resting awhile (husbands advice!) I found a group of guys that were running the trails in Bunya and decided to go along. So at 4.15am on Sunday morning I pushed myself out of bed – determined it was sink or swim. I had to do a decent run and feel good about it – and the trails were the way to go.

Organised Chaos

It didn’t start well that morning.

My crazy neighbours kept us awake and when I rose at 4.15am it was after literally no sleep, and they were still up! But that’s a whole other story!

I didn’t do my usual two toilet visits before my run, I didn’t have my running sunglasses, I had my newer trainers on – not ideal for the trails and I made sure I packed a bandage as I was paranoid I was going to get bitten by a snake – regardless of all of this I was prepared to kick ass.

Running with the guys

running on the trails

I ran with a lovely group who kept me going and encouraged me even when I wanted to stop 🙂

The guys I met were lovely who live and breathe running from the sounds of it. Four very fit looking guys and me. I was a bit nervous I was going to get left behind – but they assured me it was just a recovery type run  for them and they’d go easy on me. So off we trotted.

There is something to be said about running outside on the trails. Picture peace and tranquility, birds chirping, and all you can hear is the soft padding of your feet pounding the trails and your breathing.

All the stress of the week and the disappointments faded away and I just got my head down and enjoyed the run – and without headphones 🙂 I chatted away to the guys occasionally when they waited back for me and I soaked in the atmosphere and beautiful scenery around me.

running on the trails

It was a tough run for me with plenty of hills but I embraced each one, was fairly slow but I really enjoyed it and am so glad I did it. It was mean’t to be just over 8km which turned into 9, which ended at 10.5km – and then the guys ran on to do another circuit whilst I staggered back to the car – having to do an emergency toilet in the bush stop as there were no toilets out there! (sorry a bit too much information!)

Low carb progress

I completed my first week on a lower carb lifestyle which I don’t doubt contributed to my energy levels and not so great running – but it’s going well and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I am not working to 100% no carbs – I am working to using carbs strategically – so watch this space – I’ll update more soon.

 

A weekend of hot park and trail running!

1 Feb

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was full of running 🙂 and it was very hot!

Saturday – parkrun time 

On Saturday I ran the Rocks Riverside parkrun with my lovely friend – I’m not a huge fan of that particular course as there is no shade and so on a warm day it’s quite severe, and Saturday was no exception. It was so sticky.

My saving grace was I had spontaneously entered a trail race for the following day so I decided to just take it easy in the parkrun and just run as if it was a training run. It was still uncomfortable but not as uncomfortable if I had been pushing hard. There was a good turn out and then I rushed off as it was my sons first swimming lesson 🙂 He did brilliantly! (of course I would say that as I’m his proud mum!).

rocks riverside parkrun

Finishing the Rocks Riverside Park parkrun felt good this week as it was like a training run – taking it easy ready for my trail race the next day.

My first trail race 

So as I was saying I entered a trail race last week – part of the SEQ trail running series. My friend Erica convinced me as I wasn’t sure. Apart from running up the trails on Mount Cootha this would be my first time trail running so after reading the handouts and particularly the ones about what to do in the event of a bush fire and how to handle snake bites I was somewhat nervous. I think I must have messaged Erica countless times asking her what I should wear, what happens if I get bitten (haha) and would it be muddy! Thankfully she was extremely patient!

SEQ Trail Running Series – Bunya Forest Trails Race 

So I opted to do the 8.5km trail race and laid my clothes out the night before. I decided to run with my hydration backpack as there was no water on the route and the organisers – Those Guy Events insist you have at least 300ml of water with you when you run. So I popped my backpack kidney into the fridge the night before and prepared myself to wake up at 4.30am to get to Bunya for 5.45 to collect my number.

Thanks to my extremely noisy neighbours I ended up with about 3 hours sleep so I was not a happy bunny on Sunday. I had a shower, and raced out the door and drove to what I expected to be the middle of nowhere and I arrived to loads of people and realising I was wasn’t too rural. What I noticed though was that people were fairly differently dressed to a normal road race. They all had hydration backpacks – hardly saw any water belts. Lots of cool Injinji socks and special trail running trainers – I figured I stood out in my Kayano’s as I wasn’t kitted out in ‘trail gear!’.

There were a few trail running clubs and I felt a bit lost, so I was glad I knew someone else that was running – well kind of…. There is a story behind Erica and I knowing one another – the most bizarre thing happened when I ran last years Gold Coast Marathon. Erica finished just before me and was therefore in pretty much every one of my finishing photos! We didn’t know one another and Erica got in touch and we became friends and then on Sunday we ran our first trail run together – how cool is that. I love how running brings likeminded people together 🙂

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Erica and I before the race started looking very smiley 🙂

The race 

So the race went off in waves to allow for congestion I guess. I was in wave 11 and figured I’d have ages to wait. Erica was in  10 but switched to 11 so we could run together and we only had to wait a few minutes and off we went.

It was different to a road race – people still raced off but I found myself constantly looking at my feet to make sure I didn’t roll my ankle or lose my footing. I was out of breath pretty quickly too as the race soon went into a small incline. I was assured this was nothing compared to what was coming!

I basically followed Erica around following and I pushed on. I got to a huge hill and we walked and as we started again I soon realised this was tough and there was no way I would be able to keep up so Erica kept going and I slowed. The heat had also suddenly hit me. It’s like running under the trees keeps the heat in and at 4k or so I was struggling.

I decided not to run with headphones either so relied on the puffing and panting of others along with admiring the beautiful scenery to keep me going.

trail running

I had a smile on my face here – it’s the start of the race! It was great fun though – road running seems quite boring after this race!

I got to one hill and noticed lots of houses with lovely swimming pools and I made a comment to the runners around me – ‘oooh they look very inviting’ and someone shouted – ‘focus focus’ – I considered myself told and carried on pushing!

I got to 7.5k thinking yay I only have 500m left and then suddenly realised it was 8.5km not 8 and my whole body just gave out but someone ran by me and told me to keep going so I did. Races always bring out the best in people and it’s like you are running as a team – people help you – you help them and everyone finishes (all being well).

The last section was a killer as I looked at my watch and figured I was almost done and turned a corner for the last 150 meters to see a massive hill – but thankfully there were people screaming at me to finish, and so I gave it one last push and finished!

It hurt a lot but it was also so exhilarating and different to a road race. I’d love to do another one – maybe a bit flatter but I really enjoyed it in a love/hate kind of way 🙂 The photographers got a photo of me smiling so I figure I must have enjoyed at least some of it 🙂

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That look of elation after the race was over!

My legs are a little bit sore today but not too bad. This week I am turning my attention to the Twilight Half Marathon which is not far away. I need to up my mileage and get some solid runs in in the next few weeks.

Anyway that’s it for this post. My next post I will be reviewing the teatox I recently did and giving away a free detox. So watch this space.

Happy Running 🙂

 

A trail run in the dark up Mount Cootha

20 Jun

I recently met a friend who invited me to run up Mount Cootha in the evening with her and her friends/running group, so I figured that since I am now on the mend from being sick and my back injury that I would give it a go.

I have to say it was one of the most exhilarating yet scary things I have done in a while.

running in the woods

Image used from pentaxforums.com
This was lighter than I could see last night but gives an idea….

I turned up not thinking to have taken a torch with me since I figured we would be running on the road, although I probably would have needed a torch still for the roads at that time of night, so one of the girls lent me a bike light. We weren’t actually running up the roads we were running up the track, I’d never been up the tracks! Bwefore all of that I couldn’t really find where to park as it was dark and wasn’t sure where the car park was and then I saw a faint glimmer of someone (could have been someone ready to pounce on me for all I knew!) and asked him if he was a runner, he said – no he was a walker but I decided this area was the place to park. So I parked up waiting for some other possible runners.

When everyone arrived and said we were running up the track I was a bit freaked out as I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work, the first bit we walked up as it was quite steep and then it was a case of use that light to make sure you don’t slip and roll your ankle or something. All I could see was a metre in front of me, looking back it was a bit scary to say the least. I decided the best option was to be in front of some of the runners so that I wasn’t at the back and easy picking for someone that might be lurking around waiting to pounce on that unlucky girl with a very small bike light and it seemed to work better as the glare from the lights behind me helped me see where I was going.

The actual conditions reminded me of when I was back in London running around Wimbledon Common and I am sure it looks really pretty by day.

We did a bit of running on the road and got to the top and then headed back down which was better in terms of the stairs but quite steep. I was a bit worried this would be the ankle roll so tried to keep my pace steady. Got to the bottom and felt great and felt like I had a real all over workout. Then it was off for a well earned dinner. I’ve never been a trail runner but I think I could be a convert as it was great fun and no pressure to be quick, just enjoying running. Running at night actually helped from a psychological point of view as I couldn’t see the hills coming so just pushed as much as I can, whereas normally in my head when I see the hill my brain tells me it’s going to hurt, so that was a good thing too.

So today is a rest day after the last few days of running and I am going to enjoy it ready for the next session!