2020 – time to start 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.

convicts & wenches, 25k trail

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.

Some of the RMA ladies before we started. 25 & 12 km runners.


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.

Bling and tank top.

Ross, 5k, 14/4/19

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.

At the finish, photo taken courtesy of a lovely lady I met before hand, who finished shortly after me.

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.

Run Devonport – 18/3

There’s a lot to be said about not putting expectations on yourself and having fun while you run. You never know, you may get a pb. The same goes for strength workouts and intervals.

You probably get where I’m going here.
I raced on Sunday.
I did really well.
I’m proud of myself.

The forecast was not good and the closer it got, the more nervous I felt. I’ve run in the rain before, so if I had to I would. It’s just really uncomfortable and makes you really cold. “Pull up your big girl panties and get on with it, I said, what kind of silliness is this, take note of that tatt on your ankle. Mind over matter. It’s only water after all”. Having got that out of my head, I felt better, and then the weather cleared up.

By the time the 10k started it was only a little windy, and there was 5 mins of rain during the race. As I lined up I decided subconsciously that I would not look at my watch, I was going to concentrate on not falling over myself and face plant into a puddle.
Last time I thought of that, I kept sneaking peaks after the first 4kms. This time, I didn’t look at all, even when I finished. Saved the workout and looked for my husband. And only when he said what he did, did I look at my time.

The course we ran had changed to the parkrun x 2 laps as the wind had been blowing the road signs everywhere as they set up. I didn’t mind as the whole thing was new to me. And two laps of 5km is not too bad, better than two of 10 or 20k.

Its a beautiful course, winding along the river bank for 2.5kms, completely flat and easy to run. I ran by feel as I’ve tried before, not thinking about anything but being at ease, resting the shoulders, moving forward with good movements. My only thought was to try and keep the 60min pacer close by or behind me slightly.

On my way back in the first 5 a friend was waiting and getting pictures of the RMA’s on course. I waved and gave thumbs up, smiling and continuing on. Not thinking about it until I saw her again on the last lap. I was having fun and feeling good so had a go at the jump shot. She got both attempts and it was great to see the joy in my face for once. I tend to look so serious during races that to see a picture with the inside feelings coming out was just amazing.

I kept cruising, self talking the ‘stay steady, don’t race, enjoy the finish’. So up the finishers chute with a big grin and feeling damned good. Tired, but good.

I wandered out to find hubby and he was looking pretty pleased, a big hug and photos with him saying “that was fast” I questioned, and said I never looked at my watch, his reply was that I wasn’t too far behind the 50min pacer…a check of my watch and Omg! Another pb! I was fast. The thing is, I didn’t feel fast, I felt comfortable, I wasn’t too tired. These are the things I am after. Finishing a race with more in the tank. Doing a race easier, steadier.

There is a lot to be said for not putting expectations on yourself.
For having fun when you run.
Most importantly, for those strength and interval workouts.

My official time? 56.47.

A new pb by 1.07. While I am not worried about being quicker than 55mins, you never know what might happen with 8 or so more races to go this year.

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Have you done a race where you’ve completely surprised yourself with a result?
Have you tried the jump shot? Did you succeed?
Let’s share some feel good stories (and pictures if you want).

Train well and have fun running

City 2 Casino 2017

It’s race recap time again and while I didn’t pb as I had wanted to I had a great time. I joined hubby on this run – it was his idea after all, and am so very proud of him and how he went.

This is how it went down:
– the day was bright, sunny and warm.
– it was a fast field and I felt terribly slow.
– my knee played up and slowed me down more.
– my foot was so far asleep for half the race I’m surprised I was able to stay upright.
– hubby was right on my rail the whole way – unknown to me until the last second.
– we finished with on 21 seconds between us.
– I was happy and jumpy afterwards – hubby was sweaty, tired sore and I hope very proud of himself.
– post run coffee turned into a delightful egg and bacon brunch
– our race photos show us both looking strong and determined
– I love the bling and it looks great.
– hubby has said this hasn’t made him want to do it again

I will always treasure May 21st and what my husband achieved!

Keep training and do your best, Jennifer

Point 2 Pinnacle

It’s been a week month, and I’m still on a high from this race. We didn’t make it to the top and it rained the whole way. It was bloody hard work and I was soaked to the bone. I didn’t care, I had a blast and in many ways it was my best race to date. Definitely one of the most enjoyable.

All the usual suspects for a race were lined up – I had done the training, I had a rough plan in place, I was organised for pre and post race and not even the rain was going to dampen my spirits for this one.

I had initially thought of this race as a one-off, a ‘conquer the mountain’ and be done with it. Well that went out the window with the crazy weather conditions and I just have to come back next year to give it another shot. Which in itself is not a bad thing.

I was disappointed that we were told the course was altered but along with every other race I’ve done it gave me a chance to learn something. With this one… I found out just how steep an incline the mountain really is. It is hard work. I know where I need to improve my hill workouts for the future. I know how much I need to dig deep and push through the pain. I know that this time next year I will conquer the mountain!

Why would all of this make it my best race of the year? Because I switched off all notions of a PB, of timing and pace,  and just did it. As usual my photos don’t show it, but I enjoyed every minute of it, up and back. I just ran. It was really getting back to running. I had my volume down on the phone so wasn’t hearing anything.

As it turns out I did make a PB and was slightly (10mins) ahead of my halfway time plan. When I heard the time as I approached the turn around I knew then that I could have made it to the top.  The way back down the hill was certainly a lot easier. I didn’t push for speed, I just moved along, knowing I would finish easily within the time frame. I could have gone harder, I was enjoying it as it was.

As I said it rained all the way up and back, and it wasn’t until I replaced my beanie after towelling my hair that I realised how cold I was, and my head. I took off and found a shopping centre with event public toilets – you don’t think how small the cubicles are til you want to get changed, and dry off at the same time.  To say it was awkward is an understatement, especially as everything was tight and sticking to me. I spent the rest of the afternoon in 3 layers done up past my chin, compression sleeves and a beanie. The cold was that bad.

 

I am so proud of what I have achieved this year, this was my best race for many reasons. Bring on next year – 2 marathons, numerous 10ks and I’ll have to find at least one half in there somewhere.

Keep running, be fit and have a great new year.

jennifer

 

 

Out with the old…

I had read about this thing but having not done a lot of running before never experienced it for myself. The retirement of old running shoes. Generally around 800-1000km mark you are meant to swap over your shoes for maximum comfort and running…what’s the word…you know, gait, style, stride..so you don’t injure yourself.

Two months ago I went and put a couple of pairs on layby knowing that I would be ready by the time I paid for them. More ASICS, my favourite brand. And the shop I buy them from know their stuff – they watch you walk to gauge your hair, they find out what surface you run on, how often you run…all the important hugs to make sure you get just the right shoe. And I try on about 6 pairs before making my final decision.

This morning I laced up the first pair and off I went. Of course I had forgotten what new shoes are like after 11 months and 895kms and that was my down fall.

At 5kms my toes were numb. Loosen and re-lace shoes. At 10kms it was worse. Remove feet from shoes, adjust and re-lace. By 13kms I was having trouble moving, my shoes felt like there were lumps in them, I couldn’t feel my feet properly and was struggling to run in any semblance of a straight line.

My distance was also way off track. What I thought was 20kms was more like 30 so I had to re think my route. Accepting I would have to do another hill climb I trudged along the road to the intersection. And stopped. And made a phone call.

It was 8kms up over the hill and I just knew I would not make it. By this time, 15.5kms I couldn’t feel my feet at all and knew it would be dangerous to keep going.

I was disappointed at having to do this, falling 2kms short of today’s training plan. Happy that I had gone that far and felt pretty good.

I do remember all of his happening with the last pair I bought. I was only doing 5kms at a time back then, so didn’t think anything of it.  I’ll have to remember this for next time. Let the shoe gently wear in and soften up, don’t push it.

The lesson has been learnt and I know the first run with the other pair is a simple 5k.

The beautiful road I was on.

New shoes and compression sleeves. Thank you and good bye old shoes.

After I got home. Feeling better though feet are still aching.


Today’s long run, hoping for 20 but oh well.
Happy running, P2P recap soon.