Life as we know has changed irrevociably. Coronavirus (covid 19) has taken the world by storm, literally. Countries are shut down, our borders here in Australia, and Tasmania, have closed (and being an island continent makes it somewhat easier to control) and projects, plans,, races, wedding and funerals, Parkrun is being cancelled left right and centre.
Two things here.
Parkrun has been postoned indefinately. Which means my 20 actual runs may not happen. The co-ordinator of the challenge where I said wjhat my plan was, has stated that given the situation, they can be flexible if I do some Freeedom runs and show evidence.
For those that don’t know, a Freedom run for parkrun is where you run the course outside of Parkru times. So if for any reason, like covid 19, you can head out to the course and do it on your own. Parkrun have stated they don’t want people doing this as it will sully the good Parkrun name, I get that. The difference is, quite a lot (5 of the 6 in my local area) are normal places for people to run, so if I choose to go to said location and run, then that is what I am doing. Going for a run. Group runs would be another story I spose.
My workouts will be home based, I have dvds, my gym, and the treadmill. So much for getting back to that other Actual gym. It will have to wait a bit longer.
The second thing that I’m working on. Low carb again. I have to work twice as hard to shed some kilos, so it’s back to low carb. Very little bread, pasta, rice and spuds. After a week, I’m pretty happy. I’ve snuck the odd biscuit (cookie), I’m not perfect, and life is to be enjoyed. For me, it’s all in moderation, the odd cookie is not like a bowl full of pasta or a plate of mashed potato.
Stay safe everyone, and we’ll make it out the other side.
Yeah yeah yeah. The same old thing being touted by all and sundry at he beginning of any new year. I prefer not to go with resolutions as such, erring on the side of ‘how can I improve on what I did last year, what can I do?’
I like to take things in small bites – the whole eating of an elephant and raising the ocean kind of thinking. This year so far has been hit and miss. I know where I need to improve, I just haven’t started yet.
I love my husband dearly, and when he’s away I miss him so much. I also enjoy being on my own, as in, I am happy with my own company. And that of my youngest being the only one still at home. I do however, distract myself when he’s here and don’t get the gym work done like I should. He agrees. And acknowledges that he does it himself also.
A promotion for him at work means he has had to relocate (a 7 hour, 2 plane, trip away) and will be home maybe 3 times a year. I will be travelling to him several times as well. This means that we will both have plenty of time to not be so distracted and actually get the serious work done. This also means not sitting on the computer all night or reading books til all hours. This year I want to get back into the ‘actual’ gym more often, even if it is once weekly, and concentrating on a few goals I have at home.
My goals for fitness and running this year are: 1) get my 5km time down to as close to 25 mins as I can. 2) do at least 9/12 sub 60 10km runs (race or not) 3) do 20 parkruns.
The third will be the easiest, as I can go whenever I want rather than push to get there twice a month. I have 6 to choose from in my city so no reason not to get there. The 5k goal I would like to test formally at a flat, fast fun run in September.
On that note, I have run two 10k races, beat my time by 1.30, and earned 3 magnets on my 2020 challenge. I want to give myself two weeks and then attempt the 4th run, a half mara distance. The full mara is a goal that I’d like to work up to for the end of the year.
I know this is a pretty blah post, and I’ve most likely repeated myself somewhere. I just felt that I had to put it out and get writing again.
I just realised it’s been 6 months since I posted last. So much has happened. Little did I know that the 2 days later my mum would have taken her last breath and everything went pair shaped. Three weeks later my youngest had a pretty serious mountain bike accident (in hindsight I could have prevented it) and after doing research, realised he could have died also. Thank god for safety equipment.
My year started off ok as I looked through my posts. Two 5 km runs and an enormous trail run – I did love that one, tough as it was. I then went down hill, my good work with strength and running small doses went to pot. I put on weight and fell into a weird cycle of eat, exercise, feel shit and repeat. I have made the promise to myself that I want to get fit again. I want to feel better, stronger. I want to improve my times and get the enjoyment of running back. While it may hurt at the time, when it’s enjoyable it becomes easier and more enjoyable. This is my journey and I am getting it back. I have joined a training for 2020 challenge where we get the medal first and get to add markers along the way. There are three personal challenges, 4 distances (5, 10, 15, 21km) plus the big kahuna – 42km _ for those that wish to. You can also move the little runner along the train track as you build your kilometres over the year. I had to have a hard think about my goals. I didn’t want anything too lofty, or un-achievable, given my last year.
This is my goal list for the year, which includes making it further than the 600kms I did in 2019.
So to explain. Goal 1 I would like to get my 5km time as close to 25 mins as I can. I only have to take 2 mins off my current pb however where I am now means I have to shave 5 mins off it. Lots of work. This goal had two parts, a primary and a secondary portion. First: sub 25.30 and second: at the very least, to beat my current – sub 27.38. Goal 2 I want to have a more consistent approach to my 10 km time. My current pb is 54 mins. Not sure whether I’m worried about getting there again 9sub 55 mins is good enough for me). I want to do a 10km each month (not necessary to be a race) and make 9/12 to be sub 60. Run 1 for the year, is a No. 1.04.38. Goal 3 My last goal is to get back to Parkrun more. There are 52 weekends in a year. My husband does FIFO so is home for 26. Leaving me 26 to get done while he is away. I want to aim to get 20 done. Not quite one a fortnight, which is much more doable for me. 20 for 2020.
Last goal or running challenge is purely to get more than my 600kms I did last year.
Oops, am I in trouble again? Not this time. It’s one of my new workouts.
I have been writing up my own workouts for a few weeks now, taking ones I see online and tweaking them for my home gym, or using a workout from instagram as an idea base to make my own from. In all of these, I’ve included my physio’s exercises and making sure I have a variety of cardio, weights and a combination to keep me happy.
What is this ‘ups and downs’ you talk about? After writing up two as a test, not knowing if they will actually work, I have used them several times a week and find them very good. I’m not sure if they are a thing elsewhere, but I like them. They get my heart rate up, and the challenge is put out there. I have one for arms/shoulders and one for core/butt. I tweak them a little each time I use them, and put my run distance on the sheet (every little bit counts for Run Down Under).
Ok, the idea behind them is that there are two portions to the workout. Cardio and strength. Five rounds with both time and reps for each. The run part starts at 5 mins – time goes down, speed goes up and the strength portion starts low on reps and go up with each round. So as an example, it would be 5 mins/8.5 speed; 4 mins/9 speed; 3 mins/10 speed; 2 mins/sprint/ 12 speed. The reps start at 10 and work up to 25 with 4-5 exercises to do. I then finish on round 5 with a 3 min sprint on L2 before cool down stretches/physio exercises. This takes around 45 mins and makes me sweat like crazy. Boy do I feel good afterwards though. It hurts, and I grunt like a stuck pig or ‘someone dying’ as my son put it (that’s what a 2 min plank will do for you). I add weights to whatever I can to up the ante – it’s gotta do me good right…?
Where to from here… From here I will up the weights, add an incline to the runs and practice those burpees and push ups.
Sometimes I wish I had started this two years ago when I first thought of it. Sometimes in life we have to learn things the hard way to get a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind it. I run when I can (park run and longer if I have the opportunity) and know that when I do run these exercises are doing me good, making me stronger. And that is what I am happy about.
Saturday just past the plans for our respective days went somewhat pear shaped and my Parkrun 5k turned into an awesome trail run. Hubby had a more stressful change yet still managed to get a motorbike ride in.
So what actually happened?
It started like any other Saturday really. I was at our eldest’s ready to Tourist Parkrun while hubby was taking mr 15 to Maydena for a skills lesson and some runs on the MTB downhill track. We had spoken earlier and I was doing a warm up jog when the phone rang again and a voice told me there was a problem. The ute (with two bikes on board) had simply died on the side of the highway, he had been thinking (and swearing no doubt) and there was only one way to fix it straight up. I take mr 15 to Maydena and he waits for the tow truck and sorts out the vehicle. Parkrun can wait, so I rang my appointment for later and cancelled, filled the car with petrol and headed north to be the rescue car. We were going to be late but if I could make up some time I was going to do it. I pushed it the whole way and we got there as on time as we could – hubby had rung and sorted out the costs and timing. I got mr 15 under way on the bike and I settled in by the fire pit to have my first, and most delicious, coffee of the day.
It’s time to run and time to explore.
I finish my coffee and pump one of the guys for info on where I can go running, aside from up and down the highway. I head off and find the road easily enough, an undulating gravel road that winds for a few kilometres before coming to a stop and the rain-forest path with cave entrance signage awaits me. As I head up here, ducking under logs and minding my step on the greasy path, I am in wonder of the amazing scenery we have and how it changes so dramatically in a matter of metres really…step off the road and there are new things to be found. I am creeped out by the cave entrance and head back towards the road. I am 8-9 kms in so decide to see if I can get to 15. I’m feeling like a challenge. The rail track heads east and I figure it crosses the highway at numerous points, I’ll follow for say 3 km and then head back along the road to where I started.
You know what they say about ‘All good plans…’
Turns out the train track winds further inland and for longer before it crosses the highway. I do a run walk along the tracks, some parts are not runnable and slippery – this is trail running after all. While I don’t want to rush I did have a basic time restriction. About 2 hours, so am constantly checking my watch to gauge where I am at. I’m around 11 kms so am conscious of the need to head back. I also have to go to the toilet. And not a wee. I notice a track and head off the rail lines. Google is my friend and I see that I am pretty close. If I follow this road I will get back to where I am going. By the looks of it, it’s a track in the bush as compared to a gravel road or train lines.
Note to self: I need to bring wet wipes in my shorts pockets next time.
Lucky for me the tracks heads up hill towards the highway and I am at the main road. Bitumen. Easy to run back to my destination. I google again and notice I have less than 3 kms to go. Woohoo. So happy. I head off and as I get to the car realise I just have to even the distance so keep going for another couple of hundred metres.
And that is how I accidently ran a 15km trail run. And got back right on time.
Hubby finished sorting out the mess, did a few chores, then went ‘&*#* it’ and surprises us both by taking Mr 20’s motorbike and coming to see us.
The joy on Mr 15’s face was a wonderful thing to see.
As a side note, I am feeling so very lucky and grateful. The strength workouts I am doing are really helping my running. While my hammy still hurts, the DOMS, and general soreness the next day was next to nothing. Like it used to be when I would eat that distance for breakfast.
I was under prepared. I had a basic plan. A vague hope for finish times. Get out there..have fun..finish.
I did it. I finished and fell into hubby’s arms, sobbing tears of both exhaustion and the joy of it being over. The last few kms were of utter pain and ‘where is the end?’ coupled with an inner joy of having done it. The tears threatened to flow. I stopped and walked, then jogged and repeat…anything to keep moving and not keel over completely. My legs felt like lead, like the end of my marathon where I didn’t think they would take me another metre. My husbands words ran through my mind..’remember that tattoo on your ankle..mind over matter’ That thought would carry me the last 5 kms where I was so tired I nearly fell several times through exhaustion.
This race started like all the others. Getting there early for bib pick up, photos, and more than one loo stop. Catching up with other running friends eased my nerves, and I was relaxed, even though my arms were heavy from the day before’s activities.
This race is cut into 4 sections – 3kms beach, 6kms trail, 10kms beach then replay the 6km trail. Getting onto the trail was a bottle neck with the 12k’ers but it soon spread out and we moved easily along the route. It felt like it would never end, but that was before I saw The Beach. The Very. Long. Beach. Scrambling over rocks was almost the easy part. You know when you’re driving a flat road and the horizon kept moving, never seeming to get any closer. That’s how it felt. With both a head and side wind, wet feet and the roaring waves to our right, I began to wonder if I was in some sort of weird recurring dream. I ran walked this section to preserve my energy, trying not to feel too deflated, yet still amazingly happy that here I was, actually doing this bucket list run! Onto the road for 200m to the shelter where they ticked you off the list (making sure everyone was accounted for). I oggled the chips and bananas, scruffed a handful of lollies and headed back out. Tried sending hubby a video to say I was on the return, but it didn’t work so he got weird selfies instead. I was slightly quicker along the beach with a tailwind, although somewhere around the 16-17k mark my ITB decided to play up. Dammit. And I was going so well too. My plan was to run as much as I could and walk where I needed. I couldn’t help it, so had to work by its rules. Over the rocks, grabbed more lollies from the stand and headed up the hill at 19kms. I had to walk as my hammy wasn’t letting up either. Sent the last message to say I was heading bush again and would see him soon. Checking my watch it was 2h:30 and I was hoping for the last 6k in around 40 mins, even in my head knowing how fast I would have to be to do that.
I was the only one on the trail for the most part during my return, with very few people around, meaning I almost took a wrong turn on several occasions. The last 3 kms were the hardest with me nearly coming a cropper after tripping on my own feet. I had visions of the next person along finding a body sprawled face down on the ground. It wasn’t a pretty thought. I pushed through and counted down the last km. I can see the beach. I can see the flags. I’m at the flags… Hitting the board and seeing that finish line. Fist pumped the air as I came to the end and then saw hubby and mr 15 waiting. Nearly missed my medal.
I was under prepared. I’m not as fit as I thought I was. I am also not as un-fit as I thought I was.
For my very first trail run I am absolutely stoked with my achievement. They say to add half again on your regular distance time when doing trails, so to have finished my first in the time I did, makes me even happier.
This is also the first race where I am happy with all my photos. Official time: 25kms – 3.25.35. I Owned Today.
Nothing says awesome run by actually being prepared. Funny that. I had put in the work, done my training and worked on my strength routine. On the day, the nerves were still there, (as they should be) and it all came together nicely. I did my usual and went out too fast, yet by the 3k mark I was feeling ok and knew i could do a sub 30 if I pushed along and simply did it. No thinking, no over thinking, just run and walk at the drink station that was…just…down..there. At 4k my hammy was starting to ache a little, but I gave it ‘what for’ and kept going, knowing at that point I was good for a sub 30. I know I slowed down, my downfall in going out too fast, but I also knew I had some leeway.
Pushing through the last couple hundred metres there was a choke at the finish but I came through smiling and happy. My hammy had given up and was feeling good. Thank god for that.
I did all the post run things – stretch, drink, eat, selfie and then took a picture of all my medals. Once I was done with that I went back to cheer on some friends doing the half marathon. I paced one friend to a pb – she was on track, I was just there to help her keep going and not lose sight so close to the end, cause if you’re going to, that’s where it happens. I ran the last 2 kms then let her take the finish. I did the same with the friend who drove me there, pushing her to jog more than she walked on the last km. Hollered and whooped at the others still finishing, it was hot by the time I started at 10.30 and without the usual Ross wind, it was a scorcher, and the extra oomph near the finish is always appreciated.
Happy day had by all, and so proud I could get out there and do it again – ate all the food on the way home. I’ve been working hard to get my fitness back, I love running and Ross was just enough to show me how good it is for me. I’ve another post to write about this subject, on something I did a few days before hand. Which makes my sub 30 at Ross even better.
For the first time in around 8 weeks I went our for a run last night. Oh. My.God. It wasn’t just hard, it hurt. Yeah it was warm, but not excessively so to cause a problem, yet I struggled like it was 40C. I felt like a fat slug trying to run through quick sand. It wasn’t that I wanted to go fast, I just wanted to go out. I honestly didn’t think it would be so hard. I had to push through the mental pain, the inner struggle at how much I had lost. The idea that I had lost so much fitness hurt, that I was back at the beginning. I struggled to get to 3.5kms, pulling the pin at that point and I learnt right then, that I have so much further to go.
When it gets hard I just have to tell myself I’ve done harder.
I’ve run a marathon.
I’ve done P2P on the hottest day.
I. Can. Do. This.
Even when I first started running it wasn’t this hard. It was hard when my knee played up. It was hard when my ITB played up. It is hard now my hammy is healing. My cycling is keeping me feeling fit, yet last night I felt the un-fittest I have ever.
I have put on over 7kg, and am struggling with the added weight gain and the difficulty in shifting it. I am struggling with the feeling that I am starting from scratch again.. What I am happy with though is that I know how to move forward. I know what exercises I have to. I know what to do with my diet. I am positive that I can get this back on track. I know I can make this work for me in a way I am happy with. I don’t have to be skinny, the fastest, the strongest…I just have to be the best I can be at any given time, embrace the strength my body has, what I have achieved already. Knowing it is nothing short of amazing. I. Can. Do. This.
In just over a week I have a 5k race. Once upon a time, and even as late as October last year, my goal was to get a pb, finish strong and have fun. Now, my goal is simply to finish, no matter my time, even if I have to walk part of it. Which I will be. I’m not going to be cocky, I’m being honest with myself. I have to be if I am going to get stronger, and get back to running properly. I have done 3 of the four race distances* at this location and be buggered if I am not going to finish this one.
Onwards and upwards. To be stronger than I was yesterday. To keep fit and healthy.
*while I started the marathon, I didn’t finish it due to injury. I did receive a medal with iTab insert stating what happened. So I have all medals so far.
The year that was. Time to reflect. Think about the future. Discuss what we want to do.
Yeah, these are all things we do at the end of one year as the clock ticks over to midnight and 365 days are sitting there in front of us. Just waiting to be filled with our good intention. And there are always lots of them. Even for me, when I say I don’t want to make those kinds of plans, think those good intentions. We all fall into the trap in some way. It’s time to get moving and do better things for ourselves.
I am only planning a few things. They are small but simple things. I want to be more consistent with everything I do. Be more consistent with my strength exercises. Be more consistent with my running training. Learn more with my cycling. I’m not sure if this means I have to do a roster, or planning calendar. It has to be something to make sure I do my strength. I know it is good for me, but sometimes most times, I feel I would rather be out doing the actual activity. This is where I need to kick my own butt, and say, “..look what happened last year when you disregarded the workouts…do you want to repeat that..?” Well, no I don’t. I started the yer, just like this, saying I have to do something about it, and I did. A bit hit and miss but I did stuff. Then I did my hammy. I just decided. Right then as I was typing. Go back to basics. Back to where I started with push ups, sit ups and squats. Then add in the rest bit by bit.
I wrote a post a while back about Fit not skinny. That’s what I want to work on. Sure I do need to lose a few kilos, there’s being healthy and fit and there’s being over weight. No matter by how much. Since seeing this new physio I have learnt a whole lot more about what I need to do to keep the injury at bay. My fitness is important so I can keep going for years to come, whether by running or cycling. I have to decide on whether I join the gym and do pilates/yoga amongst other things. I know what the problem is with my diet and I have to get super strict with it again. I tell people I like to eat and want to enjoy this life. There is a line between enjoying life and being a glutton and going too far. A version of portion size and low carb is what I am aiming for. Not the low carb I was doing before, but more of a carbs for 1-2 of 3 meals a day.
I look back at what I have just written, and have a little laugh to myself. It is all well and good to write these things, but then think and say, well am I actually going to do them. You know, good intentions and all that. It takes 21 days to make a habit. Can I do that? Well that becomes my choice. I have only 4 races this year so far, and I’m leaving it at that. Not worrying too much about other ones unless I choose to at the time. Taking this year off almost. At least from real life races. There are always plenty of virtual races to do.
Be the best version of you, and work hard at what you love. Jen