Sunday, May 1, 2016

The cost of running...

I was having a bad day yesterday. The planned 21km training run was hard. I struggled and my legs felt tired. I started using tactics to keep going, watching Running Buddy get further away. She did a couple of loops to get back to me but not even my music or my negotiations helped much.

So my mind wandered to lots of places, one of which was the amount of money I have spent on this sport. It was partly prompted by a conversation I had had at work about the total cost of getting to this marathon in July. I don't really want to add up the money spent on races and events in the lead up as well as our flights and accommodation on the Gold Coast and it doesn't need to be said out loud.

Running is meant to be a relatively cheap sport, you can do it anywhere, solo or with others, you just need to go, you don't even need shoes if you prescribe to the barefoot running style.


the right equipment makes all the difference and to get money out of the increasingly growing running community the 'must have' items are also growing. We 'need' to have all the things to make us better runners, to prevent injury and stay out on course.

this was a happy day of running

Just yesterday my outfit looked pretty much like this.

This just to get out the door.

I haven't added in the multiple pants/shorts/tops/socks I have purchased.  Or the yoga DVD & foam roller. Or the headphones.   I also ran yesterday with a fuel belt with water bottles (another $30).

I am very thankful to be able to run and feel fit and healthy and shouldn't expect every run to feel glorious, a fact I was reminded of when I loaded the run onto Strava. My running community was as always very supportive and buoyed me with their comments.

I'll just put this one down to a bad run and a bad day and go out again today and tomorrow and the next day, only 9 weeks til the marathon.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

New shoes and a long run...

I went into the Running Company store in Geelong to look at all the pretty shoes and get a new pair for the next phase of our training. I plan to wear in these new shoes to run the marathon in. I tried on a few pairs but in the end the best for my pronating feet is again the Brooks Ravenna. Updated from last year in a nice bright blue, which will see me run another 800kms.

We are following the Asics training plan pretty closely and today's 21k was able to be run with a couple of hundred others around the grounds of the Werribee Mansion.

#teamJAM about to start
2 x 10 km loops on a very nice course saw us finish in 2:20 and feeling pretty good. I like this course despite a flight of stairs which we had to climb twice. I like even better that I came first in my age category, yay for the old girls!

A good day overall and another one crossed off the list.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A hard rock to crack...

We tackled Hanging Rock for a 20km run as part of our overall training plan.

Seemed a good idea a few weeks ago.

It was a tough run and the hilly, rocky course was more trail like than we are used to and it showed in our slower times, 2:25 for me.

It was a lovely sunny crisp morning and we had high hopes of continuing our progress through the training runs, we thought we were well prepared but it didn't pan out as expected. At one stage Running Buddy was really struggling and we had to break up the run into smaller parts. "We'll run to that next tree" or "We'll run to the flag" etc. There was no thinking about how many kms there was to go, that was too much. I even tried tricking my brain into thinking I was running along our river and the hill was just like the one at home that we practice on. Even the speedy Melissa confessed to walking on the steep sections. Running Buddy apologised for holding me back but I was glad to catch my breath as well.

We had a bit of a joke with the volunteers/marshalls and photographers. They did a great job and some were cheeky in telling us we looked good (we didn't) that the rest of the course was all downhill (it wasn't) or that we were close to the end (not even close). When we saw this photographer waiting at the peak I told him he was mean but then teed up this jump for fun. I enjoyed this aspect of the event, not taking it all too seriously.

we had some fun with the photographer who was perched at the TOP of the hill!

I was able to trial a new hydration product called Tailwind which I sipped as I ran along instead of pre loading or relying on the drink stations. We also tried some Cliff blocks and protein bars which seemed good. Usually after a long run, despite eating and drinking various things, I feel very nauseated and have occasionally vomited. It takes me a while to come good and I have to feel right before the drive home as that just makes things worse. But after this race with the Tailwind on board and some protein immediately after the run, I felt really good.

The best part of the run was coming into the home stretch into the finishing chute I heard the faster members of the Melton City Runners who had already finished, had a beer and a shower cheering me on by name. It was very uplifting and heartening. It's quite nice to have a crew of varying abilities to be a part of and to pick their brains for advice.

MCR - the running crew

Later that day I saw this quote about runners preparing for this weekend's Boston Marathon...

Enjoy the day. While every person who shows up to run Boston on Monday won’t have the best race of their life time-wise, there is no reason this can’t be the best race of your life experience wise. Savor the moment and celebrate all the milestones along the way.
Each run teaches us something new.

This run certainly taught us something and that just might be not to think you know what you're in for.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Geelong half marathon...

During April we need to do 35km each week with a long run of 20k included in that amount, so we have been looking for routes and events to mix it up a little. Running the same local runs makes getting the distance done hard. We have found a couple of events to achieve our training distances.

The first of 4 planned events took place this morning with the Geelong Cross Country Club  Half Marathon along the Barwon River in Geelong. This event was perfect timing in our training plan to do the 21km distance.

The morning started off a little drizzly and cool and the queue for the bib pick up was insane, so much so that they delayed the start until all the bibs were handed out. But we started out just after 8am for our long run. It was a really nice course and running conditions were great. Along the river the undulations were challenging and there were well spaced drink stations and great supporters along the way. I felt good along the way and was glad to finish in 2:20. Best result for me so far and the training plan has paid off. It was quite a serious race and I was at the back of the field the whole way finishing 658th of 725. I ran all the way and was happy with my effort, I couldn't have run any faster and my goal still remains to run all the way in the marathon and not be fixated on a time.

Supersport images

my favourite running singlet from the City 2 Surf run

Running Buddy finishing strong

Mel finished 10 minutes ahead of me

finished at last 
Funny to think back when a half marathon was the be all and end all not just part of a training plan.

More long distances to cover.

Lots of running news...

After hearing about running running running at work some colleagues have thought 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' ... we have worn them down.

Both of them have started where we started in running years ago with the Couch to 5k program and have the added advantage of having Parkrun to help them along.

I love both of these things. Couch to 5k gives you easy steps to transition from walking to run/walk to all running at a pace that suits you. Running with other people is another effective way to increase your running and Parkrun is a free timed event to challenge yourself and watch progress.

So Tania and Carol gave up a Saturday morning sleep in to attend Parkrun and we were there to encourage them, run/walk with them, taper for the half and introduce them to the friendly folk at Parkrun.

the relaxed pace meant we could have some fun
The girls did really well and said they would be back to improve on their bench mark time. It was a good reminder for us to remember how far we have come, how hard it was to run just 1k without gasping for breath, the friends we have made and where running has taken us.

This lovely short, relaxed run was a precursor for the next challenge...the Geelong Half Marathon

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Run 4 the Kids...

My fourth time running in this event and it was a beauty.

The carparking was a little tricky but Running Buddy negotiated me around some bollards and had a nifty back way past the Casino that saw us arrive in the pre destined parking bay in good time.

the MCG at sunrise

early start for us
 The course was altered this year so even though it was my 4th run it was new (and longer). After the tunnel and the bridge we ran through Docklands, behind Southbank back to the Domain.

there's something motivating about running with 30,000 others

We still ran through the Domain Tunnel and then up and over the Bolte Bridge. This was the first year I ran all the way to top of the Bolte. I was determined and very pleased to accomplish this feat. It was an interesting challenging route and I felt good the whole 16k but was pleased when the finish line finally came into sight. It was a good event to increase the distances we need to cover before July.

This event more than any other is about participating, challenging yourself, raising money for the Children's Hospital and involving all sorts of runners. Our conversation at brunch was peppered with highlights of the event and the things we spotted, like the man running in a leopard print dress, a man running with a pusher with AC/DC tunes belting out, a short statured runner who's running style looked like hard work, There were lots of people running who looked like they don't run regularly, lots of costumes as well as some famous finishers such as Craig Mottram and Lisa Weightman.

Our next event is a serious one, a half marathon where there will be no dress ups or frivolity, where the time is the focus.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Old anxieties...

The old anxiety about car parking has reared its ugly head today. Fore warned about road closures for tomorrow's Run 4 the Kids event have reminded me of how I used to feel before a big event. I've got the training down, the gear sorted and the fuelling okay and for the last couple of years I've had the car parking sorted as well. But this year's event clashes with The Grand Prix, the Garden Show and something called the Arnold Classic (!)  & means they have closed roads and access from 5am. I'm reassurred a little by Running Buddy's knowledge of the city and alternatives to my Book a Bay booked spot. Wilson Parking's Book a Bay has been my life and sanity saver knowing a reserved car park, pre paid and reasonably priced, has made events in the city very manageable. We haven't had so many messages back and forth for a long time.

But I will not be able to relax until my little car is parked in the city somewhat near to our event. The race itself will be a blast

Sunday, March 13, 2016

What's with the weather?...

Training has been proving difficult with this continuing hot weather we have been having in Victoria. Coupled with the high humidity we have been struggling along in clocking up the kilometres. But we usually don't let it put us off unless it is around 40 degrees. Running in high humidity is a new experience for us and has seen us dripping with sweat and desperate for a drink.
Tennis has also been difficult also. As we were running on Friday night I kept thinking to's just hot, it's just hot and maybe this is the conditions we will come across on the Gold Coast. And I have had chafing in some new and interesting places. One particular pair of shorts were banished until this morning when I thought I might still be able to wear them over full length compression tights.

Next run coming up next Sunday, the Run 4 Kids in the city.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Another week of running...

and not much else.

But training has been going well. We did 8k on Monday backing up Sunday's River Run and it felt good. Next up was 16km around our own river 3 k track. I was not keen on doing 6 laps of the same track but in the end it was a really good run.

Running Buddy has warned me that my tennis days will be over if I hurt myself while playing and I had a close call when I stumbled backwards after doing a burpee and landed on my bum, I did the absolutely wrong thing by putting my hands out to save myself, an instinct that is hard not to do. The result was only some bruising on my hands and coccyx. If I had broken my arms I could have still run, albeit looking more like a gimp, in plaster. Embarrassment was my biggest injury.

Luckily it didn't stop us running on and enjoying another event today.

We joined the Goding's Kubota team in our orange team T shirts and ran 10km in the Wyndham Rotary Fun Run. We have done this run before and enjoy the challenging course.

kicking back after the run

we are becoming known for our love of orange
34km run this week and as of this week the runs start to get longer

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Things are looking up...

A few more runs under the belt and the plan is going well. I've had to run a couple of times on my own this week, which I haven't done for ages and it has gone well. The smiley face icon is appearing next to the logged runs.
Today was also the first  race/event this year and it was a beauty, 10km along the Barwon River in Geelong on the undulating shady course. I was very happy with my time and got a medal at the end. Running Buddy slipped away from me in the crowd and I settled in with a couple of other girls and we paced along nicely. That is the nice thing about this running game, you can make a new friend and have an instant bond as you encourage each other along.

I love this run. I hope I love it when we do the half marathon

Days like today are the payoff for the training runs we do. I am looking forward to the next one in a month, even though it is the Run 4 Kids over my nemesis, the Bolte Bridge.

Hill work to come...