New Year, New.. blah, blah, blah

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.

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.

Couples goals

Hmm, you say what..?

I keep seeing the hashtag attached to perky pictures of couple at races or the gym.
I hear within other conversations that said couple does everything together (or most things fitness orientated).
I roll my eyes at these things.
I have this weird feeling about the term #couplesgoals.
Look, I am not against couples going out and getting fit together, or enjoying a mutual activity.
It’s about the giving it a name. As though that makes it all the more exciting, or it’s something we all need to strive for.
Poo bah.
For me, and I say this regularly to my husband whenever it comes up – my only couples goal is that we are happy together.
We love being with each other, we love going out and doing things. It’s what couples do. Why should I give it a name.
He supports my running no end – gets up early, drives me to races, hangs around up to two hours longer than said race and drives me back home. All with a smile and no grumbles, loads of hugs and beautiful words.
Because that’s what couples do.
I get up at stupid o’clock and drive him to work when he has to work away (single car family) with no grumbles, and small smiles (due to said stupid o’clock). Because that’s what couple do.
If he wants to go out with the boys on the motorbikes, or with mates for whatever reason – I am booting him out the door.
Because that’s what couples do – they are independent people who love each other but can equally survive without needing to do all things together.

That’s my thoughts on this whole #couplesgoals thing.
What are your thoughts – Yes or No.

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

The plan

I love the plan.

This is my second time using the plan.

The plan works for me.

I feel more in control when using the plan.

I don’t feel guilty on rest days when using the plan.

The plan gives me more freedom.

The plan works.

Trust the plan.

Trust the training.

You will finish and the plan will have paid off.

I love the plan.

I hate the plan.

 

Run to your plan and stay strong.

 

Off to the physio I go…

After my last post and the resulting abysmal runs I went off to the physio to see what she could help me with.

Not only did I get really good information and help, with instructions on exercises to do, I felt embarrassed by and ashamed of my lack of form. This appeared to be my the main problem – lack of form.

She poked and prodded, I bent, twisted and showed her my squats. Did wall sits, and quad stretches. While we talked and discussed these movements, I got a lovely massage that eased my leg.

I went home with a list of exercises and strength movements to work on, and feeling positive after getting permission to run again.  The catch…don’t wait til my knee is killing me to stop, but when I feel a niggle, I should stop and do a few stretches. Reset it so the speak.

There is something in this that puts me at ease. I could do this myself. Say stop and rest, stop and stretch, but I’m stubborn and could not bring myself to actually do it. The flip side of this, having someone who is helping to fix me, who then give me permission makes it all ok. I don’t quite know how or what, but I am more comfortable about doing it.

The rest of the week passed in a blur of half-hearted exercises as I felt worn out physically for some reason (and not an excuse, work was ridiculous and very day).

I’ve made myself a pact today that I need to keep up my normal strength exercises, concentrating on the ones she gave me, skipping one she doesn’t recommend. Loads of stretching, and also foam rolling – she said she can’t see why I shouldn’t. Yippee, I am feeling really good  from doing this on each leg.

And running. Every second day. Doing a version of the Jeff Galloway run/walk method.  I really need to get my strength back up, and right now the only way to do this is to do what she says and practice.

Run strong my friends, Jennifer

Journey to the Pinnacle

It’s four and a half weeks til my next big race. The worlds toughest half marathon. And I can believe it. 21kms of incline. To a total height of over 1270 meters above sea level. That’s pretty high. And a lot of hard work. Lots of hill to climb. Like a mountains worth, literally.


My training has been slightly hit and miss as it should have been all about strength and hills.  I haven’t done as much strength training as I’d hoped I would, yet my hills are moving along quite nicely. Both of these workouts are definitely not my strength so it’s been a double whammy on the challenge. The challenge of getting to the top. The challenge of training hills (my knees hate me most of the time with any kind of incline) and strength (while I know I should do it I make excuses to not go there).

I’m almost enjoying the hills. I can feel it’s making my usual runs stronger and faster. The hills while challenging, are good for me, for my mental strength as well as my physical. Thinking that no matter what happens on race day, this training can only be good for me.

On my run this evening I ‘officially’ passed 700kms for the year.  I think I have done nearly 800 as I started the challenge a good few weeks after the start date.  So my run was hard initially, what felt like an actual vertical climb before levelling out and heading back down hill, I got to thinking about the race. And how I was going to tackle it time wise. Normally wouldn’t be too worried about a time but this one has a strict cut off period to allow for as little traffic disruption as possible (and is capped at 3000 people combined for the walk and run). And in my very basic math head I began working out how fast I would need to go to finish within the time. And it’s not too bad.

What I figured out.  Time frame minus say 20 minutes. Times by 60. Divide by 4. This would give me an idea of how long to allow for each five km plus plenty of time to finish that last kilometre, and rest up/stretch before catching the bus back to the start line. Number crunching done, it works out like this.

3.40 total time.  Minus twenty minutes. Times 60. Time is now 200 minutes. Divide by 4 = 50 minutes per 5km + time up my sleeve for the last and final dash to the finish line.

Now as I usually do my 5k in roughly 30 mins I’m working on an extra twenty making this more than doable. And in my head that works. It doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off and run slower. It’s only going to make me want to work harder so I’m stronger and more capable of doing it. And doing it stronger.

This is one race where the adage of “Finish lines not finish times” is all I’m thinking about. I just want to make it to the top. Because with such an iconic race (founded in 1995) participating – and reaching the Pinnacle! – is so much a part of the end result.

A preview of some of the hills I’ve been working on lately.