Days turn into weeks turn into…

…Months and before you know it, the year has ended, your goals have changed, and your mind set is in a whole new place.
I had big plans for this year. Some I have kicked, some have changed and one or two have fallen off the wagon.
I’m a little lost at the moment hence my lack of race recap posts. Add to that, my last race there were no finishing photos of me. Or any out on the course. Out of 500 odd pictures, and wearing my most fluro gear there was not one of me. (Yes I’m still a little pissy about this, thankfully hubby is there when I cross the line xx).  I need to shake things up a bit and really get my body into gear again.
My last two races have been average, with both leaving me feeling icky, physically. Mentally, not so bad, as I have the understanding of why they ran the way they did.
I started, I wasn’t injured during, and I finished both with a sub 60 time so still happy with that I can manage it.

The first run was an interesting course, quite pretty really but with a nasty throat issue that made breathing hard, meant I was struggling to get a nice rhythm going.
The second was long and boring. It was hot and the heat was coming off the highway in waves, I was under-prepared fitness and training wise, I didn’t have my pocket drink bottle, and I have this nigggle in my glute/hamstring that drives me crazy when I run.

My goals for this year was to have fun, start and finish my races and get a decent race pb for the 10k distance. I have done that, with two runs left for the year. One is the toughest race and the other an easy downhill run. Literally.

Another goal was to work on my strength and diet.
Well, I worked on them, just not always in the right direction. I went through LCHF (fantastic but too strict for me, I like a little bit more leniency for simply enjoying life… and food).  Deciding that I did indeed some decent carbs in my diet I ended up way off the scale, not just falling, but crashing spectacularly off the wagon.
Meal prep days/evening has to start again. Sundays are not always good and the fridge is gettting low by then. Grocery day meal prep is a much better option.

My strength has gone all over, a month here, a month there and more days that I’m happy with where I do nothing.  My visit to the Physio today confirmed what I thought. My strength is shot. I was hoping that was all it was, but you never know til you ask.  More exercises to do, and concentrate on all the others as well.  I was honest and said I hd been less than consistant with the previous things she’d given me, or anything else for that matter.

While running is what I love totally and find it ‘easy’, it’s the other aspects I have to really push myself to keep up with.
I have always wanted to try boxing for fitness even though I am not a fan of the sport. I have done Pilates before, loved it! and have realised that something like yoga will be extremely good for me.ay be something for me down the track.
I have joined the local Sports Centre on a one month trial to see how I fair with classes.  I have never been one to do classes, always feeling that self consciousness, everyone is watching me. I know that no one is watching or judging (and really, who cares if they are), and as a woman in my mid forties I really shouldn’t be worries about what others think. If I did, then I wouldn’t run, but classes are a whole different thing, don’t ask me why, they just are. So I have to just bite the bullet and get in there amongst it and give it my best shot.

         I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself.

 

For my running, the less is more approach is something I’d like to do, especially if I can get in two classes a week.  The basis of less is more is running 3 times a week (short, tempo/fast and long) with two cross training type classes inbetween. Two days off.

My goals for next have changed now. I really need to get back to running basics. I have registered for 3 (5k, 10k x 2(?)) runs already, including a 25k trail run and at the moment will leave it at that. I have decided to take it easy on the races. Sign up if I feel like it at the time, rather than like this year and have it all booked up early.
I am quite liking the virtual races where I can support charities but run the distance at my pace over the course of a month, rather than training for one day.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m at a cross roads. A loss of direction.
Some days I feel like I am running for other people, which I don’t need to do.
I’m trying to impress someone..who, I have no idea.
Like I’m running because I feel that I should. I need to find my ‘why’ again.
I need to go out there and run when I feel it, and get back to me.
I feel like I am burnt out.
These injuries aren’t going to fix themselves, and I need to get serious about other activities to keep me in a better physical shape.
So here I am at the end.
I will be working on the physical and mental me, a better body, a new lease on life.  Revamping my fitness.

 

 

Earned not Given – My marathon finishers picture.

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A reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. 

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Ross 2017 – 21.1km

After a rocky training schedule I started race day with one thing in mind. Finish the race.

During my interrupted training I knew I was good for the distance so decided to continue as I could with whatever strength and stretching routines I could muster up.

On the day I drove to Ross with a friend and we arrived early enough to pic up bibs, take a walk, stretch and make the copious toilet stops before the start. I was feeling good and had made the last minute decision to run naked – no hydration. The weather was looking ok, not much sun, dark clouds promising rain and the usual Ross wind.

As we started off I made sure to keep my pace slow, purposely bringing it back down. One of my many running faults is to start out too quick and then die in the back half. I didn’t want that to happen this time.
The first drink station is around the 4-5km mark and by then I was ready for some fluids. And a lolly or two. Imagine my horror when I see no lolly bowls at the ready. Nothing, nada, zip. Oh well, they might be at the next one. Nope, no such luck.

Walking through with my drink I sipped a bit then continued on. The infamous Ross headwind started just past the tree lined part on a long 3km section of open road and that set the mood for the rest of the run. Tough.
Ironically, it was this section of the road on the way out I started my music with the first song being ‘Road to Nowhere’ from the Talking Heads.

I pushed along the long and lonely road, by this time I was pretty well on my own. A few half and full marathon runners passed me. As I got closer to the turn for That Hill there was a little congestion but nothing too bad. Eyeing off the hill for the first time in 12 months was weird. Knowing I only needed to do it twice gave me comfort, as did the size of it, I had remembered it as something that resembled Everest (or for Tasmanians, Mount Wellington). I powered up it and got close to half way before the steep kicked in and I shuffle/walked the rest. Near the top I picked up the pace and continued on down the other side.

The rest of the run went smoothly, walked through the drink stations, sipping then emptying the rest over my head, and moving along, doing an occasional walk as I felt it.

At 17kms I was feeling good, running alongside another RMA and checking my watch saw that if I kept the current pace I could get a pb. Woohoo! I was still aiming to finish so just kept moving. A  friend was approaching on her second lap and I ran in front of her attempting a couple of jumps. We high fived and continued on. Boy, that wore me out, I shouldn’t do that again mid-race. Walked most of the hill and kept on moving.

The last turn was in sight and my watch said I was going to get a good time. Pushing on, looking at the mantra on my shoes – Finish Strong – and ploughed down Main Street. A surprise, and awesome support, came from car on the side  door opens and a voice calls out “Go Jennifer!!” I look around, wave and grin like a Cheshire, then pushed on harder. The little things, running side by side not talking, a shout out from a car, high fiving friends, saying ‘good luck’ ‘well done’ ‘keep it up’ are all welcome as it gives a boost we may not realise we need.

I approach the last corner and check my watch – omg! – vere to the right as I hit the finishing chute, grabbing the pb bell and giving it a good ring.

This race was one of my best. For numerous reasons. I wanted to finish, I wasn’t fully worried about a pb (always good, but now, not essential) and feeling stronger due to my regular strength workouts.

Beating even my wildest dreams for this (or any) race and gaining two personal bests over two consecutive years at the same Race location. First my marathon, now the half – wonder if I could make it a trifecta when I return to do the ten k next year?

A huge smile and absolute relief. Finished 21.1km in 2.16.58.
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We started the half as the clocked ticked over 1.30 from the full marathon start.

Train well, train with fun and keep working on being the best version of you, Jennifer

Times, goals and running underwear

:We’ll leave the underwear for a minute, it’s nothing raunchy or visual. Just a few thoughts and what I wear, having come about after reading a few articles out there.

I was looking through my phone notebook the other day and came across a note from back in August last year (2014). I had done lots of 5k walks and after feeling it was too slow, started running it. Compared to now that first time was pretty slow, but I was super happy with it. I then stated my next goal – how fast I wanted to go. I have since beaten that time a lot in less than 12 months.
My goal back then for the 5.8 and 3.4 were pretty lofty. I thought they were almost unattainable. Ha, if only I had known how much I would come to love and rely on running to keep me feeling good, along with the head clearing effect it has I would have reached higher. That is the good thing about hindsight, or growing stronger. I can now change those goals, knowing where I have come from and not just what I can do but where I have come from.  No pressure on where I can go if I can look back on not just my times, but my body and see where I have been.
The time for that first run…39:59. I thought it was super fast and my goal was to hit the 35 min mark. Seems a long time ago when I’m now running it in 30 at home and have got down to 28mins at my local Park Run.
I also do a bit of a tiny run, 3.4k. The first timed run there was 23:05. Not bad. My goal was 20mins, and while I have been oh so close to breaking it I am not so worried about that now as I want to pursue the distance factor. So 3.4 is like a warm-up almost now.

Distance has become my thing, and I want to be running not much less than 5k at any time I go out. I’m aiming to get consistent times in the 10 and pushing onwards to the 15 and 20.  I’m laughing at myself here as I am now eager to build up and do a marathon.  How things change. I remember in the not so distance past I told a friend that running a half or more was not my thing and takes a lot of dedication, motivation and strength. Total commitment.  See, laughing here, as I so want to do it. Five kilometres.. pfft, takes nothing to do. Pushing myself to do more, be more.  Friends are awesome!
My first 10k was a healthy time of 1:11. I wasn’t too fussed about the time, it was more of a test to see that I could do it, and what sort of time to aim for. To say I was happy with that is an understatement. I have done 4 in total and my quickest time was 1:03. I am not wanting to go much quicker really, if I can keep up a good pace and keep an average of 10K/hour I will be happy.
I was told that if I can do 5k in less than 30 then I can easily do 10 in an hour. Sure, but you have to remember one is distance, the other can be almost a sprint for some. The double distance changes how you run and how you pace. I’ve noticed that with my long runs. It is a completely different way of running. If I can do ten I know I can do 15 and 20. I have to up the distance steadily. Doing a half marathon in 2:30 is my goal, and I know when and where I will be doing it.

Goals are dreams and if we don’t have them, we wont change and grow and improve. And who wants to be stuck in the one place all the time. Not me.

 

Underwear… hmm.  I’m not large chested but I tell you, if I run in a normal bra then the girls hurt like you wouldn’t believe.  If you are large breasted then you know this pain from general activities.  Aside from good runners the biggest investment a woman can make for running is her bra. A sports bra designed for the activity you’re doing and costs both your boobs will be the best thing you buy.  Make sure you get properly fitted (like you should for any bra!) When I bought mine, I was asked what sort of activity I would be doing. Net and basket-ballers need something different again due to the stop start movements they do. Mine cost around $70 and I will definitely be getting at least one more. Super comfortable and keep the girls looking good outside of running.  Even though it feels like I’m pancaked, pictures show otherwise. Either way, I don’t care if I look flat chested, if my boobs don’t hurt then I am happy.

Knickers…wedgie material. And there’s nothing easy about pulling out a wedgie when you run. And like most women, our knickers are meant to look good when standing still not running, or walking or hell, even sitting. They ride up are arse and get quite uncomfortable. Running is no different. Grandma undies included. Even when you’re wearing skin-tight pants knickers move. I read some article about this and one woman stated she wore a G-string, or thong.  It would keep most of the sweat at bay, and meant there was no need for fidgeting with her skins. The first time I tried this it felt a little weird, then it become a kind of freedom. Your bum is going to jiggle when you run no matter your undies, so wearing none makes no difference really.  I just have to find the most comfortable wide waited g-string I can now. Wide waisted?? Yes, I had a pair of Elle McPherson ones years ago with a great waist band and they were the most comfy thong thing I had ever worn.  My fancy ones don’t quite cut it really.

Socks are whatever rows your boat. I wear bonds ankle sports socks from Big W. Cheap, comfy and not too hot.

This will go to publish and I shall change and head off on another 10k. After yesterday’s, not sure how I’ll go, doing a different route so shouldn’t be too bad.

Happy running, Jen